Home Colleges Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) Art & Design

Art & Design

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Date of Review Aug 31, 2011 Go Back
Year of Study 5th
4 Helpful votes.
Student Type Mature
From Galway Ireland
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Why did you choose your course?

I chose my course after doing a year of Arts in NUIG and deciding that it wasn't for me. I wanted to pursue a career in art and design. In order to enter most art colleges it is necessary to do a portfolio preparation course. There was an excellent course in GTI in Galway city and going to GMIT was a natural progression from here.

Are you happy with your choice of course?

Yes

On reflection, what made it the right or wrong choice for you?

Having already made the difficult decision to leave a college I was nervous about committing to another four year course. The Institute proved wonderful however. GMIT has an excellent student/tutor relationship and the support and help received from the student services really saw me though the four years. While there is an unexpectedly heavy workload in the course, the work is continuously assessed throughout the year rather than the stress of exams and so provides a fairer mark, in my opinion. My tutors provided me with excellent opportunities to travel and study abroad and I was offered a chance to pursue a research masters in Critical Theory of art. I am now in my second year.

How many hours of organised classes do you have per week? (labs,tutorials,lectures,etc)

10hrs

Are your lectures/labs mainly based on or off the main campus?

On

Is your course weighted more on

Continuous assessment

Is there an option to study abroad on your course?

Yes

What are your favourite aspects of your course?

There was the option of studying five disciplines in first year and you were then able to make a decision about which one to study for the rest of your degree/hons degree. This meant that all the different disciplines knew that you were fully committed to studying that area (i.e. paint, sculpture) and you were surrounded by peers who were as dedicated as you were to achieving their best. The tutors genuinely cared about the outcome of your time in the college and made sure you had full access to all the facilities. They really went out of their way to help students and the rapport we built up with them lasted past the time of our graduation. I should also mention the GMIT art library which is fantastic and has great librarians who are very helpful.

What are your least favourite aspects of your course?

The expense of the course is definitely something to consider. We have to pay a materials fee on top of the registration fee. However, this did not cover a lot of the items we were using and grants/wages are soon eaten up but the costs of paints and other expensive art items. There is a slight divide between the main GMIT campus and the art campus and it would be nice to see this gap being bridged more. The location of the college means that you should expect to sit in traffic if you are driving/travelling there every day as the notorious traffic lights at the end of that road lead to tailbacks!

Was your course what you expected?

No

What do you wish you had known before choosing this course?

I wish I had known a bit more about the costs and also that a major recession was heading our way! As a result, my grant has been cut so that is something to take into account. Working part-time has been invaluable to me but it makes the week very long if you are working full-time at the weekends.

Why?

There is an undilutes source of art and art history books. The library is divided into categories depending on the disciplines and they have a huge source of cataloges and electronic materials. The tours of the library are excellent and fines are not as expensive as others in Ireland. They are also extremely considerate and helpful regarding inter-library loans and general queries.

Is there a good social life on your course?

Yes

Please describe

The course has a great mix of younger and mature students. There were people in their 60s who had great friendships with people who were just out of school. The atmosphere was generally welcoming and enjoyable. In my five years there I never heard of anyone leaving the college due to loneliness or feeling like they didn't 'fit in' which I had of other places. Galway has a great social scene and is suited to artistic and creative people - for a quiet pint, a gig or a party! The social life also extended to the annual art-trips where we were well looked after. This meant that you always felt secure and heppy in the course.

Rate your course in terms of difficulty

Difficult

Please rate your course in terms of workload

Much more than other courses

Are you an active member of any societies?

Yes

Are you a member of any sports clubs?

No

How much do you spend on living every week (going out, food, transport etc.), excluding rent and bills?

€180-200

Do you or have you lived away from home during college?

Yes

How much does your rent cost per month?

€350-450

As a first year did you live in college halls?

No

If yes, where and why?

Rahoon and the west side of the city is far away and not on any direct bus route. The drive would also be difficult due to traffic.

How would you recommend this college to a friend?

I would explain both the advantages and disadvantages of the college and life in Galway. The positives far out-weigh any negatives!

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