Don't just take our word for it – here's what students say about what it's like to study at Kingston University.
Name: Bonnie Gibbons
Course: BA (Hons) Fashion
Route to University: A-levels and Art Foundation
Year of graduation: 2015
Why did you choose Kingston University?
"I chose Kingston because the reputation of its Fashion course was outstanding and the amount of support given was very appealing, especially the technical support.
"Kingston is close to London, but not as hectic. Therefore, it is easy to access fabric shops and museums that you need to visit but also has a slightly cheaper cost of living than central London. The Kingston area is built along the River Thames and has lots of green spaces rather than being surrounded by concrete. It was a nice environment to study in.
"The Kingston University tutors were incredibly approachable and all very supportive. The technical staff were really helpful and pushed me to my full potential.
"Finally, the collection and catwalk show in the final year was incredibly fun and rewarding as it was what I had been building and striving towards throughout the entire course."
Did you do a Foundation Degree first and was it of benefit?
"I did A-levels in Fine Art, History and Politics. After that, I did an Art Foundation course at Oxford Brookes. I am really glad I did a Foundation because I found it extremely beneficial. I didn't initially plan to study fashion until my Foundation; the textile side of fashion appealed to me more as I had come from a fine art background."
What skills did your degree course give you?
"I had never learnt knitting before, and now I work as a knitwear designer! I am grateful for the skills they taught me; they [the tutors] were always there when I needed assistance."
How has your degree opened doors or enhanced your job prospects?
"One of the highlights was the course was a trip to New York, which was organised by Kingston University. As part of the trip, we visited American companies that the university has links with in order for us to make connections.
"After graduation, I worked as a technical fellow in the Fashion department at Kingston University for seven months until March 2016. I then began working as a knitwear designer for Fiona Colquhoun Design."
Were there any obstacles to overcome in starting and then completing your course at university?
"The cost of university was a challenge; my year of intake was the first year that the tuition fees went up £9,000 a year. If I had not done my foundation then I would only have paid £3,000, but it would have cost me more if I had rushed and made the wrong decision. I felt like I had a lot of pressure on me to succeed because it was expensive. But I didn't let the pressure get the better of me.
"Also, I didn't find out that I was dyslexic until my Foundation year. However, at Kingston I was given a dyslexia mentor who was very accommodating and supportive and helped me with my work. I also received help for my essays from the FADA faculty academic support advisor.
"I was also unwell in my third year of university and had to take time out. However, all the tutors and academic support team were very supportive and helped me through it."
What advice would you give to someone wanting to apply for Fashion?
"The intensity of work calms down after graduation because it becomes less emotional due to the fact that the work you produce while on an arts degree is personal; you're putting a part of yourself into your work.
"You have got to really love fashion because it is really tough. I learnt so much, including invaluable skills that I wouldn't be where I am today if I didn't have."
Name: Morwenna Treleven
Course: Fashion BA(Hons)
"I chose Kingston for a number of reasons. The reputation for their fashion course is very good; their links with industry and facilities are brilliant. Overall though it was the interview process that sold it to me, they really were interested in my work and what I had to say, I felt valued and therefore felt it was the place for me."
"The contact time we have with tutors and technicians is great, there is always someone there to answer our questions. All second year projects are industry based and result in internships and often jobs when students graduate. The knit facilities in particular are brilliant; there are only two Shima machines in the UK, one at Pringle and one here at Kingston.
The fashion course really prepares you for industry. By having so many industry related projects it really gives you an understanding of what the future will bring. Internship opportunities are always coming in and tutors will always give everyone the opportunity to do them. In third year there are businesses and companies coming in regularly to view our portfolios and interview graduates to work with them. Zara and Abercrombie are just two of the many that employ Kingston graduates."
Name: Georgina Jones
Course: Fashion BA(Hons)
Route to university: Art foundation
Accommodation: Halls of residence first year, rented with friends second year
"I wanted to study fashion because it's fast, it's varied, it's exciting and you get to do lots of design, drawing and research, all of which I love. I chose to come to Kingston because it's renowned for being one of the best courses both in terms of design and getting a job afterwards.
The University location is also great. It's got everything you want – parks, shops, bars, nightlife – and it's easy to get to London.
Apart from just doing something I love everyday, the highlight of the course has been an internal competition, which was set up by the fashion label Gas Jeans. The Faculty chose some of my work to put forward for the competition, which was exhibited on the catwalk before the third year Degree Show. That was really exciting.
University is a lot more informal than college and that's something I've liked. You are treated as an adult and the course has definitely helped me focus. It has made me realise that just because you do a certain degree, it doesn't mean that you have to work in that specific field. I now know being trained in design provides lots of opportunities.
"I have also learnt that I like variety and I enjoy being very independent. So I would like to set up my own company. I like the idea of being very organised and building my own career."