Positives: Small class sizes, creatively stimulating, like-minded peers, great lecturers
Negatives: it’s the first year the course has been run so it’s kinda just getting in its feet
My advice to future students is: idk pick up and elective too bc there’s only 3 classes a semester and u start to feel kinda dumb
Positives: No matter how much you might not want hear it, the teachers are honest. Which helped me learn and grow.
Negatives: Really just small things like printers being a pain. Some of the other students in my course. It’s a struggle to find good and interesting friends.
My advice to future students is: Stay organised and ask as many questions as possible. Also the two week breaks we get are never actually a break from uni.
Positives: There’s a lot of freedom to do what you want. There are opportunities to work in many visual arts areas for electives, and then have freedom to choose your project in your final year. The art facilities are great, they’re facilities you often wouldn’t find at other universities. I recently overheard that UniSA is one of two uni’s in Australia that has a full glass studio, though I can’t confirm that for sure.
Negatives: The course is new this year (2018), having changed from Bachelor of Visual Art last year. For me, as a second year student this year, this has affected me strongly. The course is still similar, and elective content hasn’t necessarily changed, but through this change I’ve found the staff to often be unreliable. I was told when I first started studying that I’d have the option to continue in the Bachelor of Visual Art, but halfway through the year I was told differently and that I’d have no choice but to study the new degree. The program director went on leave for the remainder of the second semester after announcing the changes, which I found to be a very unprofessional decision that inconvenienced a lot of the staff and students as we had a lot of questions about it.
Myself and a friend also had experiences last year with an almost-retired tutor who had little experience in teaching tutorials, which is bad enough as it is, not to mention his abusive behaviour towards students, both verbally in front of students and through email. He refused to believe valid reasons for extensions, and threatened students with plagiarism if they did not do things his way. When it came to placing complaints about this behaviour, the staff brushed it off as if it were nothing - in fact, I was told that, unless I was studying art history and theory electives this year, he would not be teaching me. So obviously I was quite angry when he turned out to be my tutor for one of my courses this semester.
As part of the new degree, they’ve also added in some new courses, which I feel have been very poorly planned as if the university rushed to create the content for the new degree. One of these courses, Contemporary Art Practice, is a prime example, as I’ve found staff do not know what they are doing and that the online content would be better suited to a lecture theatre. Courses such as Art and Australian Culture could get away with being online, as I feel I’m learning nothing in class (and tutorials are spent doing nothing but presentations). Hopefully issues like these won’t be so bad for future students in a few years time, but at this present time I would not recommend students studying this degree as it’s very poorly planned out and feels very rushed.
My advice to future students is: Definitely consider other art degrees before considering this one. Complete a lot of research into what kinds of art you would like to do before making any decisions though, as some opportunities at UniSA aren’t offered elsewhere.
Being that this is a post graduate course the class sizes are small. There are lots of flexible options with developing a project. You see, There is a year long project you complete as a major part of the curriculum. The amazing thing is, you can select from a long list of project briefs supplied by the lecturer OR you can create your own OR, and the best one I think, is that you can go out into the field, use contacts you've established during the undergraduate degree or even create new connections to work on a project with an existing company, in the real world, instead of doing a ""fictional"" project, supplied by the Uni. The uni are also great in setting up real world contacts and work experience too! SO small class sizes, flexibility with creating your own curriculum (basically) and an amazing and engaging, learning filled course!
Negatives: Little to none here, one post graduate requirement is the exploration into a thesis subject. While it isn't required to complete an entire thesis, thesis proposals and some chapters are required. There is lots of training and learning material to help out, but some designers aren't prone to loving writing thesis and essays. However, It's a vital role of the course and while I found the task itself to be somewhat mundane, the learning outcomes I achieved surpassed this.
My advice to future students is: Stick with it to move past the boring, and enjoy the great and amazing options students in this course have access to. Use the resources, the library and the lectures knowledge to benefit your year long project. Also, don't take the easy rout! If it sounds hard, it's worth doing. Look to establish the industry connections, and another thing, marketing and small business courses, while boring, are a great choice for free subject courses or extra credit.
The course as a whole was fantastic, UniSA have a very engaging environment in the creative fields and staff that have qualifications in the fields too. First year study was mainly introductory and included a lot of theory based subject matter. However dull theory based subject matter may sound in a practical based course and industry, the scope of learning was invaluable. Almost all courses were hosted by a qualified and knowledgeable lecturer and more often than not they were accompanied by tutors too. Following the first year, and each year after that, course work becomes a lot more industry focused with a lot of on site and real world projects. Positive aspects would include the ability to seek help, assistance and advice from multiple staff, including lecturers, tutors and campus support staff. Additionally, access to amazing online and physical learning resources. The workshop located on campus is amazing, heaps of flexability for working times, out of hours even!
Negative aspects included some over crowding issues in some courses. Older buildings (that I believe are getting upgraded during 2017-2018) had smaller rooms and even less resources such as computer access. and the only other negative aspect I would say would be that while there was a substantial amount of resources for students, there could be even more to enhance the Uni SA learning experience for this course.
My advice to future students is: Go for it! Uni is a wonderful experience and this course in particular is jam packed with interesting subject matter, flexibility in your projects (past first year) and an engaging networking environment.
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