Cleveland College of Art and Design
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Review of "Cleveland College of Art and Design"
Cleveland College of Art and Design has three campuses in the Tees Valley (North East England). It has been established for over 100 years and is currently the only independent, specialist arts college in the North East.
The college offers a fairly large range of courses leading to various qualifications, including NCFE, GNVQ, BTEC, and Foundation Degrees (FdA).
The courses are really too extensive to list them all on here, but I will give an overview - for a full prospectus you can visit the CCAD website at www.ccad.ac.uk. The courses include:
Art and Design
TV and Film Production
Most of the courses are full time courses, although some are offered part time. I am currently in my second year of a Foundation Degree in TV and Film Production, which is actually one of the courses awarded by the University of Teesside. Once I complete my course (4 years for me part time, but normally 2 years), there is the option to go straight on to do a full degree at the University.MY EXPERIENCES
As I mentioned above, I am in my second year of four at the college, studying toward an FdA in TV and Film Production. I actually began the course after looking in the university prospectus for a new direction. I liked the idea of the course and wanted the technical knowledge of making a film. When I contacted the uni, I was informed that the course was actually run at the art college, and so I went along to visit the college and have a look around.My first impressions were not great in all honesty. The college itself doen't look fantastic - it could do with a lick of paint! I was shown around though, and as soon as I saw the TV studio, I changed my mind - I definitely wanted to do the course. The equipment awed me a little bit - they have quite a stock of equipment compared to what I had expected. Of course, now I've been there for a year, I realise that the equipment isn't brand new or top of the line, but it is decent, and does the job it needs to do.
I can't really speak for the other courses because obviously I haven't tried them all, but judging from the course I do, and from what I've seen and the people I've met around the college, it is run fairly well. The staff are friendly and very helpful (for the most part at least), and the amenities are quite good.One downfall is definitely the provisions for part time students. The way the college is run, which is largely for full timers, quite often makes it difficult to use some of the facilities. The LRC (Learning Resource Centre, or library) is only open until 7pm Mon-Thurs and until 4pm on a Friday. For a part-time student who doesn't begin until 6pm, this does not leave a lot of time to use it. In addition, if you need to speak to student services, you're screwed unless you can find an hour or two off work because they are only open until (I'm pretty certain) 5.30pm.
Again, I can't speak for the other courses, but my course leader tends to schedule events in for during the day (which need to be done during the day, don't get me wrong), but they tend to do it only a week or so in advance which, for people who work full time, is not enough warning to put in a days holiday, so we often miss out on things.
Generally though, the tutors are helpful, and do try to provide for the part-timers as well as the full. As a side note, there is talk that they will be scrapping the part-time option for TV and Film from next year.
The area that the Middlesbrough college campuses are in is quite pleasant (they are both quite close together). Other than the two colleges, which have fairly small premises, the area is mainly residential. There are shops pretty close by.
I am unfortunately not able to comment on the Hartlepool campus, as I have never had the opportunity to visit.
The college also has its own cafeteria.CONCLUSION
If you're looking for an arts course in the North East, CCAD is probably a good place to start. The staff are helpful, and will usually happily meet with you to discuss any course you are interested in. Although the Green Lane campus that I attend isn't fabulous to look at, the amenities are good, but particularly good for anyone thinking of studying full-time rather than part-time, and there is a good range of courses and qualifications available. It is, of course, the only specialist arts college in the area, so your options are limited anyway, but this is not a downfall of the college, just of the area.All in all, I think it's worth considering if you're interested in an arts or media related subject.
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