FROM OPPORTUNITY (A CAREERS MAGAZINE FOR BLACK AND MINORITY ETHNIC STUDENTS): AN INDEPENDENT PUBLISHING MAGAZINE

How to succeed in the design world

Exhibit impressive skills in art and design and put yourself in the frame for a successful career, says Margaret Jones

Great artists and designers don't down tools at teatime and switch off. They live and breathe their creativity. In the arts there is no nine-to-five. Be ready to work, and work hard! Yet having a true vocation doesn't mean you can't be exceptionally successful in business (look at Vivienne Westwood, Terence Conran, Neville Brody) and that passion, drive and inventiveness means art and design graduates are in demand for their creative-thinking skills and ability to verbalise their thoughts confidently.

Design and art are often put together in higher education, and although similar, they have differences. A designer designs for a mass market and manufacture. An artist creates one-off pieces that appeal to a more individual market and are less likely to be produced in bulk. The two areas feed off each other, and an artist's creativity can be tempered and commercialised by a designer.

When considering design as an area of study, the sheer variety of courses and types of design on offer can cause confusion. A quick look at the Ucas website shows over 2,600 courses aimed at specific types of design, with around 200 providers. Some, such as surface pattern design, demand creativity and aesthetic awareness. Areas such as graphic design require good technical and computer skills. Good visual skills, colour knowledge and awareness of proportion are common to all courses.

The traditional route to an arts or design degree is through a one-year Foundation diploma. This is usually done locally - it's a full-time, further education course and has a number of advantages, not least that students tend to live at home so don't need to move away. It's a bridge between school and university, offering a unique chance to develop your skills as well as really enjoy exploring your creativity. You try a number of different disciplines, gradually narrowing those down until arriving at the final project; this variety is great if you're unsure what to specialise in. Entry qualifications start at GCSEs plus portfolio.

A BA honours course needs higher entry qualifications, starting around 160 UCAS points, depending on the university. You learn transferable skills: research, both visual and textual; team working; giving presentations; and putting your portfolio together. Work is assessed by portfolio presentations (examinations are very rare) so you learn how to talk confidently about your work. Increasingly, students enquire about study trips, opportunities for work placements, entering national and international competitions and attending international trade fairs. For example, Indigo, a fair held in Paris, has many UK art colleges exhibiting, with students selling their own textile designs.

And if you're thinking about teaching, you should find out if you can you undertake a Student Associates Scheme, which means getting paid to do work experience in the class room while still an undergraduate.

After graduation, jobs vary; you may be the only designer or part of a team. Employers range from private companies to large multinationals, as well as local authorities and consultants, and self-employment as a freelance is another option. It's down to you to get creative!

Margaret Jones is a senior lecturer in the department of art and design at the University of Bolton, www.bolton.ac.uk

CASE STUDY

Tayab Iqbal, 20, is in the first year of a design for interiors foundation degree at the University of Bolton

I've always had an interest in interiors - the idea of being able to manipulate spaces so that you can not only alter the look of an interior but also change how people think and feel is something that appeals to me.

This course deals with all aspects, ranging from critical studies to looking at uses of colour and texture for interiors. We learn how to compose surveys of existing spaces and draw them to scale, and how to use CAD (computer-aided design) programs such as 3D Studio Max, which are very important in today's design.

We're taught through lectures and practical lessons and do coursework in our own time - there are no exams!

Once I've finished this course, I am going to go and do a one-year top-up course for interior design. And when I've completed that, I'll have qualified with a BA (Hons) in interior design.

WEB WATCH

Student Associates Scheme

More information on gaining some classroom experience

www.tda.gov.uk/partners/recruiting/careerexploration/studentassociates

Indigo

Find out about visiting the Parisian trade fair

www.indigo-salon.com

Foundation awards

Subscribe to an art and design website

www.edexcel.org.uk/quals/fad

Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Sport
The Pipes and Drums of The Scottish Regiments perform during the Opening Ceremony for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park on July 23, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.
Commonwealth GamesThe actor encouraged the one billion viewers of the event to donate to the children's charity
Sport
Karen Dunbar performs
Entertainers showcase local wit, talent and irrepressible spirit
Sport
Members of the Scotland deleagtion walk past during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
News
Very tasty: Vladimir Putin dining alone, perhaps sensibly
news
Life and Style
Listen here: Apple EarPods offer an alternative
techAre custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?
Arts and Entertainment
Top guns: Cole advised the makers of Second World War film Fury, starring Brad Pitt
filmLt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a uniform
News
The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
News
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre
theatreReview: Shakespeare in Love has moments of sheer stage poetry mixed with effervescent fun
News
Joining forces: young British men feature in an Isis video in which they urge Islamists in the West to join them in Iraq and Syria
newsWill the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?
Arts and Entertainment
The nomination of 'The Wake' by Paul Kingsnorth has caused a stir
books
News
i100
Life and Style
food + drinkZebra meat is exotic and lean - but does it taste good?
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

SEN IT Teacher

£100 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: IT EBD Teacher job in Runco...

SEN Maths Teacher

£100 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Maths EBD Teacher job in Run...

SEN Maths Teacher

£100 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Maths EBD Teacher job in Run...

SEN Teacher

£100 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: SEN Teachers required, vario...

Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game