My path to an Art and Design degree with Kings
Pak Fai Chui, also known as John, from Hong Kong recently completed the Art and Design Foundation at Kings Brighton, and has just begun a degree at the University of Leeds. We caught up with him before he left Kings to find out about his experience at Kings, and other UK schools, and his path to university.
Hi John. What course did you complete at Kings, and what is your next step study-wise?
Art and Design Foundation is the course I completed in Kings. During the UCAS application, I chose Leeds University as my firm choice and Edinburgh University as my insurance. My result met the offers from both of them therefore I am going Leeds university in September.
What were the highlights of your time at Kings? Were you in Brighton the whole time?
In terms of the highlights of my time in Kings, I would say the Art trip I went on is one of the most remarkable experiences for me throughout the year. I had a chance to meet other students who were doing the same course and were from a different Kings campus. This allowed me to see various levels of artworks by different students, specifically who had the same pathway as me.
I was pretty much in Brighton the whole time, apart from the long holidays such as Christmas and Easter, when I went up to the north and stayed with my friends from high school. The majority of the time I spent in the campus was in the studio, even over the weekend, the studio can be available if we art students ask permission for it.
Would you recommend Brighton as a study destination and if so, why?
Brighton is a city I would definitely recommend to students as a study destination. I had studied in cities such as Newcastle, Durham and Cambridge. Brighton is the only city I would call 'artistic' among the four of them, artwork from popular artists can be seen almost everywhere, as well as graffiti. It is not as busy as Newcastle and not as quiet or far as Durham. Brighton is about an hour train from London, and what kind of college has a better location which is 15 minutes' walk from the beach?
How long have you been the UK so far and where were you before Kings?
I have been studying in the UK for about 7 years. When I was 13 years old, I went to a boarding school in Yorkshire. I had my Year 8 and 9 and also my GCSEs there. After that, instead of doing two years A-Level like most of the local students do, I decided to go for one-year Business Foundation at another school, which then led me to Year One Business Management in Newcastle University. However, Business Management and me are not really the perfect match apparently, I ended up withdrawing from the programme half way through the first semester.
What made you decide to do the Art course at Kings?
Before I went through my colleges selection, I had heard that Brighton is a very nice city. At the time I wanted a college with a small scale of class where I could focus on my study but not too far away from the city.
Kings was suggested by my agent and it was suited to what I was looking for. As I assumed, the new campus in Brighton possesses brand new facilities and advanced equipment (such as iMac) I need for my artwork, for instance, portfolio preparation and photo editions.
How does Kings compare to the other places you studied, and what do you think are the main advantages of Kings programmes?
The flexibility of courses and modules content are quite high from my preceptive, there are less compulsory subjects for GCSEs students compare to traditional boarding schools. When I went the school where I took the Business Foundation, as I can remember there were about 15 students in my class and all of us were under the same tutor. Furthermore, at least 11 of us were Chinese students.
Comparing to Kings, I had a class summed up with 4 students, who are from Malaysia, Hong Kong and Iran. I believe that all the students in my class would agree that each one of us had decent amount of time to interact with our teacher independently, and possess our own space for academic work within the studio.
We also had a tutor class mainly for preparing UCAS application, there were around 9 of us, including my best friends in Kings, Diego from Belgium and Mark from Ukraine. Kings is surely a place that offers excellent opportunity to meet multi-national friends from different part of the world.
What would you say are the benefits of taking a course which gives you the freedom to choose your final university through UCAS, and would you have thought you would get to a university as good as Leeds when you first started your course at Kings?
When I first started the course, I had no idea of what university I might go to in the coming year. I did not even know about what specific degree I was going to take in university. By engaging Art and Design Foundation course, my Art teacher Kate assisted me to select my potential pathway through identifying my strengths and weaknesses from my visual work. During the first term, I was told that my style of works have many similarities with illustration, since then I began to narrow down my development from various art and design area to illustration.