How I found my ideal study space at UWE Bristol.

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By Mercedes, BA (Hons) Drama and Creative Writing

How and where we study is different right now and so it’s more important than ever to find a place where you feel safe and supported, so that you can focus on getting the most out of your course.

‘The Ideal Study Space’ is different for everyone. Some prefer to be in the comfort of their own space, (These people are fascinating to me, like, how do you not nap…At all?!) Some prefer a coffee shop type setting, and some prefer the calm outdoors.

As for me, I get too distracted in all of those settings, but I’ve found that studying on campus actually really works for me!

Mercedes

I’m currently studying Drama and Creative Writing and am based at UWE Bristol’s City Campus.  Contrary to most belief, doing a Drama degree is a bit more than remembering lines and getting bruises from Physical Theatre exercises — there’s a lot of ‘behind the scenes’ knowledge that needs to be learned. Using the City Campus Library makes me feel like I’m at home, but with a fresh element of productivity that helps me get stuff done.

The library is a great space for me to concentrate, with staff and resources on hand if I get stuck. It’s usually open pretty much all day (although it’s subject to some extra regulations at the moment due to Coronavirus restrictions), so you can get a good day’s work in without worry of having to leave early evening, and the space is perfect for group work in the main area as well as a section for silent study with a view of the Ashton Grounds to keep you at peace.

Here’s my favourite feature…You may or may not have heard of a software called Adobe Creative Cloud, you know…the one that costs a pretty penny to get for yourself? Well in the library at UWE Bristol they offer FREE use of the full package! In fact they’ve provided a wall of MacBooks that you can take out for the day to use on site, and you have access to all of the apps. I’ve found this so useful for my course and am pleased UWE Bristol makes the effort to cater to the needs of the student, whilst providing great places for focus.

UWE Bristol makes the effort to cater to the needs of the student, whilst providing great places for focus.

Mercedes

Even after the workload has gone down, you’ll still find someone chilling there with their music and a book, or groups of students planning a creative project on one of the roundtables, or someone making beats in the corner, or someone editing photos from their shoot — It’s a space for everyone to use!

So, where do you prefer to study? If, like me, nothing really works for you, why not give the UWE Bristol spaces a try?

Find out more about our campus and facilities.

How studying at the Arnolfini has opened doors for my creative career.

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By Chloe, UWE Bristol graduate.

The benefits of studying at the Arnolfini

For the last three years, I have studied BA Fashion Communication at UWE Bristol. My primary campus was at the Arnolfini (Part of UWE Bristol’s City Campus), and one of Europe’s leading centers for contemporary arts; hosting guest speakers, art exhibitions, music and film events.

Prior to moving to Bristol, I lived in a small village in the countryside, but studying at the Arnolfini allowed me to become immersed in city life. As a graduate from UWE Bristol, I really enjoyed studying at the Arnolfini due to the central location, the opportunity to collaborate, and the support provided by staff.

The city centre location

The Arnolfini is situated on the picturesque Bristol Harbourside, surrounded by thriving bars and restaurants, it is one of my favourite spots to go to in the city. The campus is accessible by bike, bus or train and within walking distance of the major shopping centre, Cabot Circus.

A real benefit of studying at Arnolfini is being located within walking distance to both arts, historical and cultural landmarks including the city Cathedral, Bristol Hippodrome, MShed Museum and Watershed Cinema. With so much going on around you, it enriches your experience and studies with the range of activities and events.

A beautiful Bristol Harbourside sunset.

Support and collaboration

Inside the UWE Bristol campus, students have access to a number of computer suites where IT Staff provide technical support, offer workshops and help to bring your ideas to life. Across the creative campuses, collaboration is encouraged especially when sharing the facilities with Fashion Communication, Graphic Design, Illustration and Fine Art.

I enjoyed being able to work with fellow creatives on internal projects, which has now given me the confidence to approach external individuals and network.

Chloe

As a graduate

Studying at the City Campus in Arnolfini, I became familiar with the city, surrounding businesses and prospect work opportunities. Since graduating in June 2020, I have worked as an in-house graphic designer and now secured an internship in a Bristol-based creative agency. My confidence to network and collaborate is down to studying at UWE Bristol, in the heart of the city.

Find out more about City Campus.

How being in the right learning environment is helping me to thrive.

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by Chloe, BA (Hons) Creative and Professional Writing

Delights on campus

Moving to a new city and starting a new chapter at university is by far one of the most exciting things I have ever done. There is so much exploring to do in Bristol, from the Clifton Suspension Bridge to Millennium Square, not to mention all of the amazing independent businesses and quirky stalls in the popular markets. However, it never occurred to me that there were so many hidden gems on the UWE Bristol campus itself!

As well as having quick and convenient bus links to and from the city centre, amazing resource centres and helpful career hubs, Frenchay Campus boasts some beautiful spaces to work and chill with your friends. Due to the fact there is so much choice, there is always somewhere you can go.

Whether you prefer somewhere that you can have a bite to eat or somewhere quieter, there is no doubt that you can find it on campus.

Chloe

Frenchay Campus library

One of my favourite places to study is the library, which has a range of zones over five floors! Each level has a different purpose which means you can study in a variety of environments, allowing you to find a space perfect for you.

From Help Zones (Level 2), Quiet Study (Level 3) to the main Study Zone (Level 4), to silent Study (Level 5) you can find the perfect spot to work on assignments and research.

You can also book study spaces and individual study rooms which are so useful if you have a group project and want your own room, or even if you have a conference.

The Library Lounge on Level 4 gives you the chance to buy drinks and have a quick break in between sessions, which is a huge bonus to keep yourself refreshed and stay focussed.

For me the library has been somewhere that I have used most frequently since joining UWE Bristol because you can stay focussed in any zone that makes you feel comfortable – plus the staff in the help pods are so helpful and approachable.

Chloe

I think that having such a good environment to use and enjoy, with so much choice, has enhanced the way I look at studying and means that me and my friends can use each zone depending on how we feel when we come in.

Business school booths and the Atrium cafe

Talking of places that you can get a bite to eat, another one of my favourite places on the UWE Bristol Frenchay Campus is the beautiful Business School.

This is one of the newest builds on campus and one of the most gorgeous buildings inside and out! It has such a modern feel and the Atrium Café on the ground floor is a great place to just hang out even if you haven’t come for a lecture or self-study. The food on offer is really tasty, quick and healthy – no wonder it’s such a popular spot!

As well as this, X block as it’s more commonly known, flaunts teaching and office spaces and booths over seven floors, so there is more than enough space to find a spot.

The Students’ Union

Now the real community hub of UWE Bristol is the Students Union! This is where students hang out, go to events and a hot spot for food and drink. There is always something being run either at the SU building or online, meaning there is never a dull moment. UWE Bristol wouldn’t be complete without the SU – it’s all part of the experience!

The SU team run so many competitions where you can win some ace prizes and connect with new people. It is a great place to mingle and I met some students there that are now still close friends.

It’s good to have somewhere that isn’t study related where you can chill out and just have a break.

Chloe

The variety on Frenchay Campus at UWE Bristol is something that has made my experience at UWE Bristol both productive and fun. The choice is unbelievable and there is always somewhere to go that has exactly the vibe you want. Being comfortable and confident is so easy when there are so many options to hang out and I think that’s what is so unique about UWE Bristol – we aren’t just a university, we are a community.

Find out more about campus life.

How I adapted to online learning

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by Imogen, BA(Hons) Fashion Textiles

Like most courses, my final term of year two was adapted to online submission. As I study Fashion Textiles at UWE Bristol, which is a largely practical course, there was a massive learning opportunity.

Using online software to create a virtual sketchbook

The new module brief included using online software to create a virtual sketchbook rather than a physical one, and designing a new collection online rather than making a garment.

Being able to access the UWE Bristol library online was a massive help to my research. I was able to access a large variety of resources such as books, e-journals and magazines. Typically, the library is somewhere I would be spending the majority of my time when doing sketchbook work and so the online library and my home desk was the next best option!

With access to the online library I was able to read up on the brand Kenzo, which I had chosen to design a new collection for and understand learn about their history.

My final collection project inspired by traditional Japanese fashion and 80’s retro.

Previously, Illustrator and Photoshop were software that I had used before but wasn’t confident in. But by having to create an online sketchbook and submit my work online, my digital drawing skills have really improved.

I also found online tutorials extremely helpful when I got stuck, and have started a notebook to record new techniques I have learnt for future reference. Having improved so much with my online skills, I’ve decided to use more virtual methods of presenting my work in my summer project and third year modules. These digital skills are also extremely useful for the fashion industry and this project has taught me how to use them creatively to present my work.

I’ve also been able to further develop the skills I’ve learnt during my course and experiment with them. Making garments using my pattern cutting skills and up-cycling old garments using different textiles skills such as dyeing, embroidery, crocheting and fabric painting, has been how I have stayed creative through lockdown. As hand embroidery is typically a very time consuming technique, lockdown has been a great opportunity to embroider for fun and see what I can create.

One of my favourite things I have made so far was this Tinkerbell crop top – I found some Tinkerbell material on my weekly food shop and just had to make something with it!

Looking forward, I’ve also started researching for third year and have been using virtual art gallery tours to get inspired! Typically, a trip to London would be my normal start to researching a project, but with the online gallery tours I’m able to visit galleries all over the world without travelling and for free. Here is a list of some of the best virtual toursBristol Museum has its own one too!

For my current summer project, I have been exploring Surrealism and have found an online Surrealist photography exhibition curated by Cris Orfescu. The online gallery tour has been a great source of inspiration and information. I would encourage anyone with a laptop and a spare half an hour to check out some of the online galleries!

Research for my summer project

Learning online and adapting to life in lockdown, has definitely allowed me to explore different creative mediums and develop new skills which I know I’ll take forward into my final year.

To keep up to date on University coronavirus guidance and information, visit the student guidance and FAQ page.

The heart of Bristol: living in the city centre

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by Razaan, BSc(Hons) Civil and Environmental Engineering

Hi, I’m Razaan, and I am currently a third year student at UWE Bristol. I’ve been living in the city centre ever since I started studying here, and it has its pros and cons. In this post, I’ll walk you through what it’s actually like living in the centre as a UWE Bristol student.

Continue reading “The heart of Bristol: living in the city centre”

Why choose Bristol?

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by Mercedes, BA(Hons) Drama and Creative Writing

To choose to live in Bristol as a student is to choose to enter into a completely different way of exploring, moving, creating and living. There isn’t a corner of the City that isn’t signed with some form of creativity and individuality, and they’ve left no room to question the authenticity of the people and appreciation of the history.

Bristol has mastered a way of being all-inclusive

Mercedes

Bristol has mastered a way of being all-inclusive — from the party-goers to the theatre-goers, to those who prefer artisan coffee shops and a good page-turner, to those who are desperate to keep the kids entertained for half-term, to the history fanatics, to those who love a good shaded spot on the grass with good company, to those who love a bit of ‘me time’ — there is something here for everybody.

To all of the foodies out there, you won’t be left disappointed. I’m yet to find a cuisine that doesn’t have its own place. They’re dotted all over the City too: Harbourside, Stokes Croft, Gloucester Road, Clifton, Cabot Circus, Cribbs Causeway — thank me later, and “Bon appetit!”

Creatives, whether on your own or with a group, a whole weekend can be planned to get the creative juices flowing. You can go to places such as the Arnolfini or Spike Island, or get lost in the fresh air up at the Clifton Suspension Bridge, or even in the array of quirky cafes to plan your next project.

Bristol has an amazing understanding of community

Mercedes

Bristol has an amazing understanding of community, and it’s almost as if everyone and everything is working in tandem to keep the buzz of the City alive. Every campus has a different atmosphere, but all comfortable in their own right, and you can feel the drive of each student independently yet collectively working together to create two of the best Universities in the UK.

No matter where you’re coming from, Bristol is definitely a home away from home — and the more you put in, the more you’ll get out of it.

Find out more about living and studying in Bristol

How my degree prepared me for the world of work

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by Anastasia, BA (Hons) Architecture and Planning

In July 2019 I graduated from BA (Hons) Architecture and Planning with a First Class degree. Looking back now, I can’t believe that I ever doubted my decision to study in the UK and in particular to study Architecture and Planning at UWE Bristol. I feel super lucky and am glad I chose to follow my inner voice.

Why go to university?

I feel that my degree gave me a kick-off start to my career and also my personal development. It started with a great supportive and diverse bunch of people that I was studying with, and our brilliant lecturers. To be honest, coming from Russia, I did not expect to form such strong bonds with lecturers that made me feel worthy, valued and heard. These four years (it was a four-year programme for me as it is a sandwich course) changed my attitude towards myself. I can tell that I ended up feeling more confident and able to aim high. A lot of that was a result of lecturers being very attentive and open-minded, encouraging students to make their own decisions and take their own paths with a careful guidance from the university environment.

How to make the most of your university experience.

I have been heavily involved with out-of-curriculum activities that university has to offer. Some of the things I have enjoyed most were:

  • Taking part in a range of societies, mainly as a part of the committee (ESN Exchange society and Built Environment Society). I particularly enjoyed being on the other side of the events held, by getting involved and helping to organise them.
  • Being a PAL (peer assistant learning) leader, which means helping first year students with modules that I had already been through. (This is a paid role that really boosted my confidence and ability to speak in front of an audience)
  • Language exchange buddy – my Italian friend and I agreed to have weekly hourly sessions, during which she was teaching me Italian and I was teaching her Russian. (This was really useful when I was preparing for my Erasmus exchange experience that I talk about later on)
  • Green Team events and forestry volunteering – This environmentally-oriented team hosts a wide variety of events, including fortnightly meetings, that involve activities such as going to Stokes Park to clean up the forest. This is with a mix of other students from a range of different courses and years.
  • Being part of the UWE Bristol Jazz band as a singer allowed me to develop in that field as well. I was surrounded by talented musicians with whom I performed weekly in the Students’ Union bar and at a range of other events, such as at the Bristol Hotel and at the ‘We The Curious’ museum.

CV Boosting opportunities

In terms of more educational experiences, again, my course offered plenty.

  • Every Thursday during term-time, a guest speaker from industry came in to give a lecture. This was open to all and conveniently hosted in R block where all architecture and product design students are based.
  • My course had RIBA and RTPI accreditation which means that my peers and I have a free RIBA and RTPI membership. This allows us to go to a multitude of events in Bristol hosted by those bodies and take part in RIBA Mentoring scheme in the final year.

A quick showing off moment – my dissertation has been nominated for the RIBA Presidents’ Medal in 2018. This has been one of the highlights of my professional path and would not have been possible if my course had not been accredited.

Anastasia
  • Erasmus exchange – An  opportunity that I have been delighted to be part of that allowed me to study in the University of Bologna for one year as a part of my course. This made my university experience even more full and rounded, allowing me to learn Italian language, culture and be introduced to Italian way of thinking about architecture and urban planning.
  • Hong Kong study trip with the Built Environment Society – a university-funded summer school which has brought twenty UWE Bristol students to a partner university in Hong Kong, allowing us to explore engineering methods used on the other side of the planet.
Beautiful Bologna!

And imagine, these are only the highlights. In between these have been multiple competitions, site visits, ceremonies, nominations and, most importantly, full days of hard work. Yes, it was tough at times but totally worth it. All thanks to people and an environment that let me shine and feel happy throughout. Yes, it is all about feeling satisfied and accomplished with what you do, at least for me it is so. And UWE Bristol allowed me to have this worth-while experience that started me off well on my professional path as well as in other aspects of my life.

Find out how a degree from UWE Bristol can prepare you for the world of work.