Georgia McClymont

Foundation Diploma in Art and Design

"I am really glad that I made the decision to attend University Centre St Helens. I have had a great year and the support from the lecturing team throughout the programme has been invaluable, especially in my last few weeks when I had to take up full-time employment unexpectedly. I have always had a passion for animation but wasn’t confident in using packages such as Photoshop and After Effects, one of the lecturers within the department gave up his own time to show me how to use both pieces of software, so that I could attend university interviews more confidently."


Whilst studying for her A levels, Georgia used the UCAS process to apply for a range of degrees at universities across the country. However, as the time to make her choices quickly approached, Georgia realised she was undecided in what she would like to study, torn between two passions, Fine Art and Animation. Reflecting, Georgia said, “With hindsight, I wasn’t ready to go to university. I was unsure of what I wanted to study, so, despite getting a selection of offers from different universities, I decided to turn down the offers I had. Instead I applied to University Centre St Helens to study on the one-year Foundation Diploma in Art and Design.”

Joining this course allowed Georgia to experiment with a wide range of artistic techniques, whilst also helping her to build confidence through the delivery of presentations. A key seller for Georgia was the opportunity to build a strong arts portfolio whilst on the Foundation Diploma.

Explaining Georgia said, “One of the modules provides the opportunity to build a portfolio from scratch. Despite having studied Art at A level, I didn’t have much of a portfolio and had little idea of how to develop one, so this was invaluable for me. Since joining, I have developed a broad portfolio, which I was able to take to university interviews and the universities I attended really valued the comprehensive portfolio that I was able to showcase.”

Continuing Georgia added, “I am really glad that I made the decision to attend University Centre St Helens. I have had a great year and the support from the lecturing team throughout the programme has been invaluable, especially in my last few weeks when I had to take up full-time employment unexpectedly. I have always had a passion for animation but wasn’t confident in using packages such as Photoshop and After Effects, one of the lecturers within the department gave up his own time to show me how to use both pieces of software, so that I could attend university interviews more confidently.”

After spending a year on the Foundation Diploma, experimenting with a range of techniques, Georgia realised that her passion for animation was one that she wished to pursue as a career and subsequently applied for a variety of animation degrees across the country. One of the interviews Georgia attended was for a place on an animation degree at Nottingham Trent University. Impressed with her portfolio and sketchbook selection, after initially receiving a conditional offer on the spot at interview, a week later, when logging into UCAS, Georgia found her offer had been changed to unconditional, meaning she had a guaranteed place. Delighted, Georgia chose to accept the offer, after falling in love with the university and facilities and being made to feel extremely welcome at her interview.

After deciding that a career in animation is the route she would like to take, Georgia plans to maintain her love of Fine Art in her spare time, as a hobby around university study.

Receiving her results earlier this month, Georgia was delighted to learn that she achieved the highest possible grade on the Foundation Diploma, a Distinction. Not only did Georgia achieve a Distinction but her grade was noted to be a high Distinction, demonstrating not only her commitment to the subject but also her natural talents for her chosen discipline.

Speaking about the Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, lecturer Fiona Stirling said, “The Foundation Diploma in Art and Design at University Centre St Helens caters for all students from a range of backgrounds. Whether students have studied the traditional A level route, joining us with an A level including Art and Design, or whether they join us from a non-traditional background, all of those who join us, flourish. This is a key strength of the course. We don’t just cater for those with the highest A level grades, everyone who joins us has the opportunity to exceed their own expectations, find their specialism and build a strong portfolio.”