Posts Tagged ‘photography degree’

Yes I have the official confirmation that I have passed my degree with a 2:1 result.

Whilst I am somewhat pleased with the 2:1, I am seriously disappointed with the lack of teaching and support offered by the Hull School of Art and Design (HSAD) where I studied.

With a 2:1 why would I be unhappy?

In September 2014 I started my 3rd and final year of my degree. For this privilege I shelled out a quite obscene £6000 to be ‘educated’ to degree level.

Things did however start rather positively. We had a new course leader who was simply appalled at how we had been treated in the first 2 years by the previous course leader. It had been a game to him with totally misleading information and demands of submissions being in a certain format, only to deny this when we all turned up with mountains of images. Coupled with his inability to remember what he had already lectured us about, thus repeat lectures were often stopped after 20 mins or so, it was pleasing to have this new blood.

This new found optimism was soon dashed as we found our course leader was still covering his old job too. His promises of trips and shoot opportunities simply evaporated along with his attendance at HSAD. He was simply sucked back to the other job/students which clearly demanded a higher level of input from him.

He did manage one tutorial with me, though I had to see him at his other workplace across town, to which I received an email outlining my work to date. I don’t blame the course leader for this atrocious teaching but do blame the HSAD Dean and her financially inept counterparts from the main building.

Now for £6k you’d be expecting some quality lecturing to take place to help students attain the best possible grades. Amazingly the HSAD feels that lectures are somewhat a grey area in year 3 so they deliver nothing. Nothing? I hear you say so I will repeat that we received not one lecture in the whole academic year. Oh no, no, no, you are expected to teach your craft to yourself via a mixture of academic reading and work related tutoring. This is simply a rip off and abuse of the students attending the course. The Dean is useless and simply denies there is anything wrong at the school either at educational level or the way in which students are treated. Many, including myself, have complained and they either blatantly deny that there is anything wrong or try and blame the student for the failings.

The HSAD is an all too typical publicly funded educational joke. If it was a private business it would have closed many years ago owing to students being able to choose from alternative businesses that provide what they should. It’s a bit like paying a travel agent, for a holiday, only to find you actually have to get there yourself, find accommodation, feed & water yourself, get yourself back, write a review and then receive a mark, from the travel agent, on how well you did. An utter farce.

One small glimmer of educational quality did exist within the CATS department though it was a small, a very small glimmer of educational hope. The assistance given to our dissertation consisted of 6 x half hour sessions all held before christmas. The head of CATS tried telling us that this level of interaction is more than any other institution he knows about. He, as the Dean, obviously thinks we are idiots who know nobody else at university. Some challenged this and the simple answer was too many students for a depleted staff reduced by financial constraints. I have a close friend who had an hour every week and could book additional tutorials if she required additional assistance. This shows the gulf and disparity between educational centres and why, in my opinion, places like HSAD should be closed.

We had several students leave over the 3 years, including those in the 3rd year, who were simply at a loss over the appalling education and support given. To throw things away with only months to go shows how demoralising this building can be.

So the key question is would I recommend the Hull School of Art and Design to any prospective student?

The simple answer is no. If you can travel or reside anywhere else in the UK, for the same degree, then go and do it there. I would have completed my 3rd year elsewhere had it not been for my family commitments. With the nearest Uni being at Leeds a daily commute of 120 miles and the time travelling negated this option for me.

Finally, would I do it all again?

I would but not at HSAD. I genuinely believe the degree holds some weight with certain customers and, at least in the 1st year, helped improve my skills. I would now save a sound financial pot to finance my 3 years elsewhere, where students are treated with respect and tutored, yes actual tutoring, accordingly.

With no help I got a 2:1 so with actual tutoring, lectures & learning assistance I’m in no doubt a 1st was easily achievable.

Quite frankly my comments could be far more detailed and condemning of a building which, in my and others, opinions shouldn’t exist. As for the lecturers there I just can’t find the words to express my disappointment though the Dean and her financial restrictions certainly contribute to my feelings about lecturers.

I’ll close these comments with an image, taken by me last year, outside the entrance of HSAD. The area always has students and lecturers stood smoking which looks so unappealing to anyone passing by. At the time litter was always strewn everywhere, for which lecturers were also responsible, and yet no bins for litter etc.

I placed the image on this blog and as people, from HSAD, actually read our blogs as part of a module, I like to think I was responsible for someone actually placing bins at the entrance. Sadly some muppets have no idea on how to use a bin so litter does, although reduced, remain. Add this to the dirty broken blinds in the office windows and it could almost be a scene from some post apocalyptic film as you approach the building.



Before people decide that the image I have taken for this is a negative one please realise this image is only one, of potentially many, that sum up Hull to me. This image does not represent what I see of, believe in or love about Hull.

Hull is a city full of culture and heritage and whilst still struggling from economic forces beyond it’s control is one to be proud of. This is where my “Sums up” image becomes personal to me and why I chose it. Literally anywhere you walk, within the city centre, you will find the pavements covered in an assortment of cigarettes, chewing gum and other assorted litter. This is something that I have often thought sums up the minority of mindless idiots who will moan when they can’t have things their own way or be denied something which makes their lives better yet happy to just drop cigarette tabs or flavourless chewing gum to the floor. Individuals who will probably moan about the state of Hull yet contribute to the issue of litter on a regular basis. Sadly this is all too prevalent throughout the UK in general.

Where did I get my picture of this litter ? Right outside the HSAD main doors. As I approached HSAD this morning two young ladies in front of me were smoking and simply tossed their butts to the floor as they opened the outer door. As I left just before lunch there was a lecturer finishing his cigarette whom also simply discarded it to the floor. What better place could I take this image than somewhere that, some, people obviously have no respect for including students or tutors. I actually took a long look and just wondered what any potential student walking up the ramp would think will all the tab ends lining the wall. What worried me further was all the tutors including the Dean of HSAD walk in and out of the same doors every day. As the initial impression of the school it doesn’t say much about the attitude of what goes on inside. You may disagree with this but if you saw a B&B with an overgrown garden, dirty curtains & in need of painting would you be knocking on the door asking if there was room….no you wouldn’t.

Anyway here it is, my “Cig’ butts & chewy” masterpiece taken about 3 feet from the main doors of the HSAD building………horrendous.


Technicals 100mm, f/8, 1/80th and ISO 100