Don't just take our word for it – here's what students say about what it's like to study at Kingston University.
Name: Karolina Auksoriūte
Course: BA (Hons) Product and Furniture Design
Route to University: Art and Design BTEC
Year of graduation: 2017
Why did you choose Kingston University?
"When I came for an open day the tutors and staffs were all very friendly and positive. Everyone was very approachable and welcoming. The workshop facilities are amazing and did not compare to the other universities that I visited.
"The campus atmosphere is amazing, as well as all the facilities such as the library. The inside of the campus is where all the beauty and creativity is. All the staff are very approachable, easy to talk to, friendly and smiley, which is lovely. I get a lot of tutor time; you can get as much as you need and you get quick replies from emails."
Did you do a foundation degree first and was it of benefit?
"I came from Lithuania five years ago so I had to take another pathway to get into university. I took GCSEs to start with to learn English and new skills. I then studied an Art and Design BTEC where I did a subsidiary and extended diploma over two years. I then started looking for university courses.
"On my BTEC I got to experiment with lots of mediums such as photography, illustration and animation, fashion, fine art and print making. From there I got to choose which one I wanted to specialise in. You get to try a lot of new things! I was drawn to fine art but I wanted to make things in 3-D so I took the path of Product and Furniture Design."
What skills did your degree course give you?
"The modules during the first and second year were very intense, with many different projects running at the same time. This led me to become more independent in my work and seeking tutors help when needed. There were also lots of tutorials to help me develop my work further.
"The best bit of the course is the making I learn more from making and learning new skills. The ‘Thinking Through Making' phrase in the workshops is very true."
How has your degree opened doors or enhanced your job prospects?
"This course has given me the opportunity to work on projects with lots of external companies such as Dyson, Herman Miller and John Lewis. I have also just finished my second year and I have applied for Erasmus, which I found out about at the events when starting university. In the second semester I am going to study at a university in Portugal.
"For the first semester, I am organising internships and work experience. Kingston University is helping me with career advice to find these opportunities."
Were there any obstacles to overcome in starting and then completing your course in university?
"Although coming from Lithuania, my sisters had gone through a similar situation when going to university before me, so I knew what I had to do when applying for university.
I attended the Head Start events, which is part of the Compact Scheme, before starting the course and it made starting university less daunting and much easier. The Compact Scheme can help you throughout the whole of university life. If I ever feel like I have a problem I know that I can go and talk to a member of the Compact Scheme. I am now working for the Compact Scheme as an ambassador, as the University gives job priority to students who are on the Compact Scheme."
What advice would you give to someone wanting to apply for Product and Furniture Design?
"If you have a chance to go to university go! However, if you are really unsure or don't feel ready yet then consider doing an Art Foundation instead to help you prepare."
Name: Christa Tjong
Course: Product & Furniture Design BA(Hons)
"Kingston University was the right choice for my bachelor degree in product and furniture design. The time I spent here has made me understand many different ways and types of design as well as finding my own way of design. We have a great relationship with the tutors and they are very dependable. The workshop has experienced technicians we can approach and we are also free to explore on our own with proper inductions. The campus has great facilities we can use, including photography studios, print making studios and a digital workshop.
The course is divided well between the three years to include collaborating with companies and working with various different types of briefs. These briefs allow us to explore diverse approaches to design and the projects from the first two years were planned to prepare us for the most important final year of our degree. There were also several visits within London that were set up by the tutors and the overseas university trip held every year was also a fun way to explore design outside London.
Overall, the three years I've spent at Kingston University were a really great experience and I graduated with no disappointment at all."
Name: Connor Holland
Course: Product & Furniture Design BA(Hons)
"As a prospective student, what attracted me to Kingston were the excellent workshop facilities, with large open workspaces, state of the art equipment, and skilled technical staff. Over the past three years I have seen even more investment into the workshop, with a new CNC plasma cutter, cutting-edge sheet metal benders, and the opening of a new 3D printing and electronics space.
The first- and second-year projects offer a exciting and diverse experience of design, and the opportunity to work with 'live clients' from companies such as Dyson, Hermann Miller and Dixons Retail.
Workshop modules introduce students to new machinery, making techniques and processes; enabling students to develop products physically, and applying the 'thinking through making' ethos.
The third-year projects allow students to choose their own briefs for total creative freedom, calling upon their experience and developing the skills learned during the course. My personal highlights include the course trips to Munich, Basel, Amsterdam and Rotterdam, as well as the 'Toolkit' lectures from industry professionals, which introduced me to the design world outside of university, and gave me the confidence to pursue a career in design."
A keen conservationist and up-coming-designer has turned her talents to devising a shelter for hedgehogs.