I attended an open day at the University of East London (UEL) today, and I am very happy to say that it will be in one of top choices!
UEL has three campuses around London, and the Arts and Digital courses are situated in the Docklands campus. Despite being an hour late due to the trains (it is about a 50 minute journey from my house by tube), I was still greeted warmly by the staff, and did not miss the important Fashion Textiles taster session. My first impressions of the university were all very good- I absolutely loved the campus and felt instantly comfortable, so it was easy to foresee myself studying here for a BA (hons).
In a small group of about 15 people, the tutors/ course leaders explained general information that would apply to Fashion Design, Textiles and Marketing applicants:
- The modules are a year long
- Modules include the history of fashion, and employability aspects
- We will learn alongside students of other sectors- Fashion Design and Fashion Marketing
- A placement in the fourth year is optional, and it’s possible to opt for a 3 year course and then change afterwards to a programme with the placement later
- A placement year changes you, because you are challenged with applying your skills to the actual, working world
- Be aware of self funding yourself for the placement year- there are currently no grants for this
- Placements include M&S, Asos, McQueen, Urban Outfitters etc.
- It’s very rare to get a paid placement
- Cross programme collaboration- working with Fine Art and Photography students too
- 2nd year includes loads of live projects
- The textiles course is focused slot on mixed media and print, introducing knit too. Weave is not done a lot, as there are no weaving machines.
I was very impressed with the students’ work at UEL, the final projects all seemed so professional in terms of presentation and ideas, and I could tell that they really enjoyed the course, and many have won awards with their final outcomes. The Fashion Textiles programme is actually very new- they only started teaching it this year, so I couldn’t see much of their work. But I am confident that it is strong- as the fashion design ones definitely were. I loved the experimental mark making on the fashion illustrations, it even encouraged me to purchase and start a small sketchbook of random mark makings I could produce.
The BA Fashion Textiles course requires that a portfolio includes:
- 20-25 sheets of work
- 2 sketchbooks only
Afterwards, we had a tour around the building, and the studios for first and second year undergraduates. The space was quite decent, and it is possible to work in studios over the weekends too. The facilities for printmaking are good, and the sewing machines. The only exemption is weaving- as there are no machines to do this. Lockers tend to be prioritised for the second and third years, but letting us know when you need it ASAP is best, as they do fit everyone in usually.
There are many students who come from North London everyday into UEL like me, and I don’t find it too difficult to travel from home so I won’t be living in halls for this BA course. Majority of the students here also come from an art foundation, but about 6 are straight from A-Levels this year. Although the the open day could be better if there were students on the course I could talk to. There isn’t an exact number of students they want to take in, the tutors just take in the students they love and go from there.
These were in the sewing machine studios, and I couldn’t stop looking at them! They are richly sculptural, and the boldness of the blood red really demand attention and a strong presence.
Overall, I am extremely glad to have found another top choice for my UCAS application, and I believe UEL can offer me the right guidance and expertise on shaping my textiles to its full potential.