What is it like to study at a creative University?
04 December 2023
This piece was written by BA(Hons) English and Creative Writing student Darcy about her experiences of studying at a creative University.
For me, the prospect of going to a creative university was daunting. I came from a background of ‘non-creative’ A-level subjects, so I had a lot of imposter syndrome thinking I would feel very out of place amongst artists, who were ‘more creative’ than me. This idea in my head was almost immediately squashed when I discovered it is near impossible to feel alienated in a place like Falmouth! I realised it was a chance, not to compare my creativity levels to others’, but to learn from them. With the many creative disciplines Falmouth offers, there is a real sense of community and a certain type of out-of-the-box thinking that I don’t think I would have found if I went to a more conventional university.
In such a creative community, there is a lot of opportunity for collaboration across departments. Falmouth Uni really encourages external course communication, because in the real-world, collaboration is necessary for creative jobs. For example, most children’s writers can’t exist without illustrators and most fashion designers can’t exist without photographers. Understanding this, Falmouth Uni has CoLab, which is a platform built specifically to pitch your projects and search for new opportunities to get involved in. Also, staff and students are very active via email with calls to students to help on projects or submit work to publications and exhibitions too.
Wednesday Open Workshops are a great opportunity to explore other subject areas. Any student from any discipline can sign up to a workshop on a Wednesday afternoon to learn a new skill and explore the facilities Falmouth has to offer. If you want to make jewellery or need an introduction to Photoshop, you can; and Falmouth’s expert staff and industry professionals are on hand to help and guide you.
Living and working with students
What I love most about being at Falmouth is that everyone is either working on something cool themselves or knows someone who is! You have writers living with fashion designers living with business students living with actors living with illustrators, which makes such a dynamic household. It also means that in the future, if you need a quick favour for someone to design you a logo or get you in contact with a publisher, you probably will have creative contacts, friends and flatmates from your days at uni to help you out (how convenient!). I am always surprised by the genuine enthusiasm of Falmouth students and how passionate everyone is to learn more about others’ work and to tell you about their own.
Falmouth University is made for the close-knit, small-town community that surrounds it. There is a strong relationship between students and the locals. Students get involved in regular town life and locals get involved in uni activities too. Last year, we hosted a community day, which saw residents and families come onto the campus for free activities and events and to look at the graduate exhibitions and showcases.
There are lots of opportunities for students to get involved in creative projects going on in the town and to gain inspiration. Whether it’s a walk to the beach being the influence for your next poem, or live music being the catalyst for your next event idea, inspiration is everywhere here in Falmouth. I have found that, because the location is fairly out of the way, a lot of projects are contained within the local area for the benefit of students.
So… what IS it like?
To sum up, studying at a creative university is fun, inspiring and will set you up for your wider creative future. It is undoubtedly a different experience to those at non-creative universities and may not be the ‘classic’ uni experience that school or home friends will talk about in years to come. Instead, you will be surrounded by original, enthusiastic and like-minded people when living and working here.
The collaborative nature of Falmouth Uni means you will make connections for life, which is invaluable for any creative career!