Glasgow School of Art


Tuesday 06 August 2013 12:20

History: Founded in 1845 as a Government School of Design, becoming a Government School of Art in 1858 and acquired its current title in 1897. One of the oldest artistic institutions in the UK.

Address: Good location in central Glasgow, virtually mid-way between the cosmopolitan west end and the vibrant merchant city.

Ambience: Urban, friendly, cool and creative. The main building is an architectural icon, designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh in 1896 and the first important architectural monument to the modern movement in Europe.

Who's the boss? Professor Seona Reid is director. She is a former director of the Scottish Arts Council.

Prospectus: 0141 353 4500 or view the undergraduate magazine (in lieu of a prospectus) online here.

UCAS code: G43

What you need to know

Easy to get into? Competitive - receives a high number of applications. Applicants usually need at least four highers at ABBB, or thee A-levels at ABB, plus a portfolio of work. There are other specific requirements for courses such as product design, product design engineering and architecture.

Vital statistics: One of the few independent art schools in the UK. Of its 1,900 students, almost 20 per cent are from outside the UK, making it a truly international creative community. Academic staff across three academic schools (architecture, design and fine art) are engaged in research and practice, nationally and internationally. There is a growing postgraduate community and degrees are validated by Glasgow University.

Added value: All students have a dedicated studio space. Teaching is face to face and 'socially engaged'. There is an international exchange programme with more than 80 participating institutions. The Mackintosh School of Architecture was ranked as the top architecture school in Scotland and third in the UK by Architects Journal. The School of Fine Art has produced two Turner Prize winners, two nominees for the Turner Prize 2009 (one from the undergraduate course and one from the MFA course), three Beck's Futures winners and virtually all the artists chosen to represent Scotland at the Venice Biennale since 2003. Glasgow is Scotland's creative capital, home to the largest number of contemporary artists and creative companies outside of London and the South East. A £50m development is due to open in spring 2014, designed by architect Steven Holl.

Teaching: The school's annual student satisfaction survey, continually shows that nine out of ten students would recommend the GSA to prospective students.

Research: In the Research Assessment Exercise, the GSA was ranked as the second largest art and design research community in the UK, with 25 per cent of research considered to be world leading and a further 25 per cent internationally recognised.

Any accommodation? Rents range between £95 and £102 per week in Victoria Halls. Some halls charge extra for utility bills.

Cheap to live there? Not bad. Private rents in Glasgow are around £65 per week.

Transport links: Great - in the centre of a big city and easy to reach by air (Glasgow International Airport is 20 minutes away), road and rail.

Fees: Scottish and EU students pay £1,820 annually while new students from England, Northern Ireland and Wales are charged the maximum of £9,000. International students must pay £12,360 per year.

Bursaries: A range of subject-specific scholarships are offered by the university. See the website for full details.

The fun stuff

Nightlife: The GSA Union is one of Glasgow's leading night venues, hosting gigs and club nights and attracting the like of Mr Scruff, Belle and Sebastian, Arab Strap and many leading DJs. Glasgow is internationally recognised as a cultural hot-spot with some of the UK's best pubs, clubs and music venues (listed by Time Magazine as Europe's capital of rock) and home to most of Scotland's national performing arts companies.

Price of a pint: £2.78 on average in Glasgow but there are plenty of student club nights and drink deals at the union.

Sporting reputation: Arty rather than sporty, but those with a penchant for both can join the University of Glasgow's gym. Drop-ins for basketball, badminton and others run weekly. Plenty of sports clubs run by the University of Glasgow, ranked 28th in the 2012/13 BUCS league.

Glittering alumni: Charles Rennie Mackintosh, architect; Robert Hardy of the band Franz Ferdinand; Andrew Dunlop, Dougie Payne and Fran Healy of Travis; fashion designers Jonathan Saunders and Pam Hogg; Turner Prize winners Douglas Gordon and Simon Starling; Beck's Futures winners Roderick Buchanan, Toby Paterson and Rosalind Nashashibi; artists Jim Lambie, Steven Campbell, Peter Howson, Adrian Wiszniewski, John Byrne, Stephen Conroy, Alison Watt and Christine Borland; Muriel Gray, journalist and broadcaster; actors Robbie Coltrane and Peter Capaldi; Ian Callum, design director of Jaguar Cars.

Alternative prospectus: See how current students review aspects of life at Glasgow School of Art on Which? University here.

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