Abby Clarke | Selby College
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Meet the students

Abby Clarke

Higher National Diploma Art & Design

Before embarking on her Art and Design course, Abby was an A Level student at Selby College and really enjoyed the environment and the way lessons were carried out within the Art & Design department. Abby was considering going to university to carry out her degree, but after receiving feedback from other students that she knew, she got the general consensus that contact time with tutors and work space was limited at universities. These were both things that Abby really appreciated during her A Level course at Selby College and were the deciding factor for her. By choosing to carry out her Higher Education at Selby College, she would be able to continue this working environment and atmosphere which she found so beneficial.

Abby didn’t have much interest in moving out of her family home at this point and also had a stable job at Drax Power Station, which she didn’t want to give up due to it being such a great opportunity.

According to Abby, the atmosphere on the course was brilliant: “I was a part of a group of great people who were all in it together, helping each other where we could and just generally getting on. My peers were definitely an important part of my experience. The teaching on the course was amazing as there was so much freedom to explore each avenue possible. My tutors Elaine, Paul and Kate were very encouraging throughout the whole course, helping wherever needed and always being honest – which is exactly what we needed to prepare ourselves for working life and the industry. I will forever be thank for this and their ability to let us get on and be independent, which meant I never felt restricted by the course.”

The programme allowed Abby to explore every avenue of Art and Design, which was perfect for her. At the start of the course, she was not 100% sure as to what career path she wanted to follow. However, due to the tutors providing a range of workshops in each area, Abby was able to understand the elements of work she did and did not like and the ones which she wanted to follow further. Not only was she able to create work, but she also learnt a lot about the background of industries and 'why' and 'how' outcomes are achieved.

While the reduced fees of the course were a bonus, the greatest benefit of the course was the learning environment. According to Abby, she had significant contact time with her tutors, who made themselves available at any time which was really helpful. Although the course is only set to two days per week, the room Abby and her fellow students were based in and all of the facilities were available to them at all times (Monday – Friday).

More often than not, the tutors worked late to enable them to continue working or to go into the photography studio when required – and Abby personally believes this isn't something she would have had the privilege of if she had made the decision to go to University.

After finding her love for Graphic Design through her Higher Education course, Abby followed this path and now works for 2 angling companies as an in-house Graphic Designer. As part of her role, Abby works with a variety of platforms including print, web and social media.

“I believe the course at Selby was the most beneficial thing I could have chosen to do as I had the best experience, learnt a lot of design-based skills, found my love for design, had amazing opportunities, learnt many employability skills and all-in-all just had the best 2 years studying what I loved,” said Abby.

“Selby College provides everything and more from both a course point of view and as a College in general. I would definitely encourage current 16/17/18 + year olds to consider carrying out their Higher Education at Selby College. It's a safe environment and ensures every student achieves
exactly what they should, if not higher."

Abby Clark, Higher National Diploma Art & Design Student