This summer we will be exploring the range of programmes run through our University Centre, helping to explain the stories behind our offer and why studying at university level locally can be a great option for many people.
The first of our series explores the HND Creative Media Production (VFX) course, run over two years at our Chippenham campus.
First-year student Rachel Gayfer explains about her experience, having decided to follow-up an interest in animation after originally studying business at college-level.
Rachel explained: “I came to this course from a business background. I did a year of BTEC Business at Level 3 and after that, unfortunately, I struggled a bit with my mental health, so I dropped out and took time off. I tried to go back to traditional university but it didn’t work out.
“It was quite late in the year last year – about June or July – that I thought ‘let me just look at Chippenham because it’s close to me and see what they have’. I saw the HND in Visual Effects and I’ve always been interested in that, things like media and animation, but I’ve never had the confidence to do it as a course.
“I was just thinking about whether I could do it, whether it was applicable to me, and I thought ‘why don’t I just put the application in and see what happens’. I did apply quite late but they let me in.”
Although she only discovered the course late in the day, Rachel is glad she made the decision to apply and has gone from strength to strength.
“I am really enjoying the content of the course. There are a lot of different aspects to it – it’s very varied. I’m doing a lot of different things and learning different software,” said Rachel.
“I just finished my final project. The assignment brief was about the environment and sustainability, so I found this song of Big Yellow Taxi and I immediately thought I had to make a yellow taxi and have it go through different environments.”
“I have definitely had tough moments both with my workload and my mental health. I still struggle a little bit and sometimes I have to have chats with the lecturers, but they are really great at supporting me.
“Software-wise, there were massive learning curves in figuring it all out, but there has been lots of persistence and I have just kept trying. I’ve surprised myself with how well I’ve done, in terms of my grades, but I think it’s just proven to me that I can do it. I feel that this first year has really helped me establish myself.
“I’m going to continue for the second year here and in terms of work when I finish, I haven’t really chosen a specialism to focus on. I’m trying to be quite generalist at the moment and learn as much as I can.”
Rachel combines her studies at WCUC with a small business, selling crafts online which helps to utilise her creative flair.
She explained: “I run a little online shop on Etsy and there’s a bit of a creative element to it. It’s basically badges and novel pins based around musical theatre because that’s my passion outside of my course. I was running that before I joined the course, so I put it in my personal statement because I wanted to show I do something creative.”
Find out more about the HND Creative Media Production (VFX) here.
Check out Rachels' work below: