SAE Institute


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The Independent Online

History: The first SAE Institute was founded in 1976 in Sydney, Australia, and was the first institute anywhere in the world to offer practical audio education. In 1985 SAE London was established and today there are 54 branches in 26 countries worldwide, with four in the UK (London, Oxford, Liverpool and Glasgow). Courses are accredited by Middlesex University.

Address: The London branch is situated in east London's trendy Dalston, Liverpool's is on The Strand, the Glasgow centre is on Portland Street in Kinning Park and Oxford's is in Littlemore Park, next to the hospital.

Ambience: State-of-the-art recording facilities and computer suites are combined with expert inside knowledge of the industry to provide a highly professional outlet for students' creative energies.

Who's the boss? Dr Thomas Misner is the engineer and producer who founded the institution in 1976 in Australia.

Prospectus: 020 7923 9159 or download a 'starter pack' here.

UCAS code: S05

What you need to know

Easy to get into? For degree courses a minimum of two A-levels (160 UCAS points) is required. See their website for more detailed information.

Vital statistics: Around 450 students in the UK study courses in audio, multimedia, film making and interactive entertainment

Added value: All centres have professional-standard recording studios. As the studios aren't used for commercial purposes, students can use them 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Glasgow and London have digital film equipment, including professional camera and lighting equipment and dedicated editing workstations. Students following the degree course also have the opportunity to spend their second year in Byron Bay in Australia, a surfer's paradise. The London centre has a specialist divison, Qantm College, offering courses in games design and development, 3D animation, web design and web development.

Teaching: As a private institution, there's no QAA assessment of the teaching at SAE. The number of successful graduates seems to suggest that SAE is living up to its international reputation, though.

Any accommodation? None provided by SAE but they do produce information to help their students find somewhere.

Cheap to live there? Depends - London is pricey and so is Oxford. Liverpool and Glasgow are slightly cheaper.

Transport links: All four UK institutes are centrally located in major cities so there's no trouble getting there or getting away.

Fees: These vary depending on the course, from £8,000 per year for web development, 3D animation and game programming to £9,000 per year for audio production and digital film-making - fees listed for home and EU students. Overseas students pay a couple of grand more each year.

Bursaries: There is a possibility some funding may be available but contact them directly for details as this will be limited.

The fun stuff

Nightlife: Wild parties to be found left, right and centre in London, Liverpool and Glasgow, while Oxford offers a slightly more relaxed vibe.

Sporting facilities: None of its own but plenty of options around London.

Glittering alumni: Graduates have worked with big names in the music business. Nigel Godrich has worked with Radiohead, Beck and Paul McCartney, while Valgeir Cigurdsson has worked with Bjork and Sigur Ros. Other graduates have worked with Metallica, Kylie, Destiny's Child and The View, among others.