Your views on Masters degrees (UK)

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Old 01 January 2010   #1
Your views on Masters degrees (UK)

Hi there. I'm currently in my 3rd year at the NCCA in Bournemouth, and am now looking at my options. I'm aiming for a career in the VFX industry, and more specifically the 3D effects side of VFX. Because there are certain areas that I feel I'd like to work on before hitting the industry, I feel the MA Digital Effects course here would be perfect; there are a couple of factors putting me off, however, primarily amongst them is the cost. Being a Bournemouth graduate, I would get 15-20% off of the tuition costs of any post graduate course taken here, which is appealing. However, I'm not going to let dictate where I'm going to do my Masters (IF I take a Masters).

I was wondering where the best places are in the UK to look at taking a Masters degree? When I was applying for a degree, the best places in the UK were Teeside and Bournemouth. Is this the case for Masters? I've heard that in recent years, the playing field is levelling with regards to the best places to study in this field. I'd actually love the opportunity to be able to study in a different region/establishment for a year.

I was also wondering what everyone's views are on taking a Masters in general? I'm still undecided as to whether there would be much point in taking one at all; I feel that the three years I have spent here have been more than enough to point me in the right direction to do everything I want to do, thus I feel that any areas that I I'm lacking in, I at least know where to begin. Spending another year in education does sometimes sound like another year jumping through hoops! (Although I realise that a career isn't much different in that respect!)

What are everyone else's thoughts on the matter?
 
Old 01 January 2010   #2
How did you like Bornemouth?

Saxcore, you are the first person that I heard of that went to Bornemouth for undergrad in animation. How did you like the program? How is the grading? Do you think you will graduate with first class honors or second or third class? How is their placement for the program.
 
Old 01 January 2010   #3
A masters will make no difference to your employment options in the VFX field.
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Old 01 January 2010   #4
Firstly on the different forums I keep hearing how good the bornemouth courses are. However the general view is that the reputation/ famous for, is from the MA program. This also makes it one of the top places to study in 3D. If you really want to take a MA in my opinion, courses wise is there a need to go elsewhere when many view it as a top course( this is only what I hear from people talking about the course). One thing that you should do is ask the lecturers what the course is like and speak to some of the MA students since they are right next door. Just investigate some more before making your decision.

In terms of degrees and Masters, I agree with leigh. The reason is that the industry isn't qualification dependant and you don't necessarily need a qualification to get into the industry(not say you don't gain and learn from courses). Many people say this because one of the most important things is your reel, most studios are only interested in how good your work and reel is.
 
Old 01 January 2010   #5
@ taxguy: It's a great course! Naturally, I don't know how it compares to any other course in the UK, however it has covered everything I would have wanted it to, and given me a solid base with which to choose a more specific field within the VFX industry. This there have been some significant revisions to the course though, so I don't know exactly what the course is like for the students just joining up; I'm sure it's not that different, although there are almost twice as many students being taken on now, with a few sub-courses being devised for the new students in thier second year... that's as much as I know, though.

@leigh: Yeah, I would have assumed that the "title" itself wouldn't be worth much in the industry. However, I was wondering more about the skillset? I met with one of the course leaders today to discuss one of MA the courses, and am still completely undicided!

Sam
 
Old 01 January 2010   #6
Hi Darkherow.

Yeah, I agree the quality of work output from the Masters courses here is a lot better than that of the BA. However, the BA does give a lot more of a rounded education, whereas the Masters courses tend to specialize in one area. So in a sense that's one of the main advantages of taking a Masters, to come out with a better showreel. I think the BA still holds a strong reputation, particularly in the VFX industry.

..At least I hope it does!
 
Old 01 January 2010   #7
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