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Our Journal

Exceptional levels of satisfaction among Pre-Degree students at Arts University Plymouth

Student surveys reveal students who are happy with their progress, feel safe & enjoy their time studying creative qualifications

Students from Arts University Plymouth’s dedicated city-centre Pre-Degree campus for 16 to 19-year-olds, working across a range of A-Level-equivalent creative qualifications, have reported exceptional levels of satisfaction in their 2022 student survey.

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Art University Plymouth's Pre-Degree campus

High overall satisfaction levels were recorded this year by final-year students from Extended Diplomas in Creative Practice across pathways including Filmmaking & Media Production; Photography; Art & Design; Fashion & Textiles; and Graphics, Illustration & Game Arts:

  • 98% of students reported feeling safe at Arts University Plymouth.

  • 97% of students reported being confident in their English skills as a result of work undertaken during their time at Arts University Plymouth.

  • 97% of students reported feeling that they were treated fairly by staff during their studies.

  • 97% of all second-year Pre-Degree students reported that their teachers are knowledgeable about the subjects that they teach.

  • 96% of all second-year Pre-Degree students reported that they were happy with the progress that they have made during their time at Arts University Plymouth.

  • 95% reported that they enjoyed their achievements at Arts University Plymouth.

UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Creative Practice: Art, Design and Communication students specialising in the Photography pathway were particularly happy with their experiences at Arts University Plymouth, with 100% of students happy with the resources available to them, 100% of students feeling safe in Palace Court and 100% feeling treated fairly by staff.

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UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Creative Practice: Art, Design and Communication students specialising in the Fashion & Textiles pathway also reported particularly high levels of satisfaction. 100% of students were happy with the resources available to them, 100% of students were happy with the progress made during their studies, 100% enjoyed the achievements made during their studies, and 100% felt safe studying in Palace Court.

Steven Forsyth, Head of Pre-Degree at Arts University Plymouth, said: “The exceptional levels of satisfaction reported by students in our surveys this year reflect the tenacity, dedication and hard work of staff and students alike over the past two years. After the initial lockdowns of the pandemic ended, the return to full-time teaching on campus was a challenging period and I think that educators across the country will agree that the wellbeing and emotional health of many students suffered during those prolonged periods at home.

Steven Forsyth Course Leader BTEC ED Graphic Design Illustration

Steven Forsyth, Head of Pre-Degree at Arts University Plymouth

“As a result, we’ve treated student wellbeing as a top priority within Palace Court over the past year, improving our learning environments and outdoor spaces, including the creation of a new wildflower garden, introducing a free breakfast club and daily supply of free fresh fruit for all students, working to ensure that laptops are available to the students who need them, plus recruiting a new Academic Skills Coach to ensure that core skills like English and Maths are treated as an equal priority alongside practical and digital creative skill sets. We’re incredibly proud of the results of this work. In the last academic year 100% of students with special educational needs or an education, health and care plan passed their A-Level-equivalent Level 3 qualifications and 36% of UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma students obtained a Distinction, which is equivalent to 3 A*s at A-level or 168 UCAS points. This is significantly higher than the national benchmark of 16%.

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“Our teaching staff can take pride in these great results, but our internal student survey is possibly their most significant achievement, because this reflects how our students see us and how they feel about the time that they’ve spent learning in Palace Court. Choosing to leave a traditional school environment to join a dedicated city-centre Pre-Degree campus is a big decision, so it’s fantastic to know that 98% of our second-year students feel safe when they come to learn with us. We know that when young people feel safe, trusted and respected, that’s when they can go on to achieve their full potential. I’m excited to see what this cohort of students go on to achieve in the world.”

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Among the cohort of Arts University Plymouth students who completed the 2022 student survey, Photography students Freddie Allen and Lloyd Field both obtained Distinctions as their final grade and have progressed onto places studying BA (Hons) Fashion Photography at Leeds Arts University and BA (Hons) Commercial Photography at Arts University Plymouth. Filmmaking & Media Production students Charlotte Canham and Ben Hack have progressed to study BA (Hons) Film & Screen Arts at Arts University Plymouth and BA (Hons) Film Studies at University of Exeter.

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Former UAL Foundation Diploma in Art & Design students Sam Bolton, Ola Ebutt, Lauren Wilton and Kayleigh Hatch are now studying degrees in Liberal Arts at Royal Holloway University of London, Design for Performance at Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Textile Design at Arts University Plymouth, and Fine Art with Art History at Goldsmiths.

To find out what it’s like to be involved in a creative community, or to learn more about our Foundation Diplomas and UAL Level 3 Extended Diplomas, the art university's next Pre-Degree Open Day takes place in its city-centre Place Court campus on Saturday 26 November 2022.