Subject: Creative Degrees

With the UK’s creative industries contributing nearly £9.6 million1 to the countries economy each hour (that’s £84.1 billion per year1), the international validity of BA’s should be on the increase. Yet a stigma still remains surrounding the choice to study an arts based subject as opposed to a slightly more traditional BSC, but why is this still happening?  

With on going cuts for education sectors across the world, creative degrees appear to have been the hardest hit. Only recently in Australia, the government cut funding for 57 creative degrees2 due to their minister of education considering them to be merely a lifestyle choice - a choice that isn’t deserving of the government funding that is handed out across the country, to support further education (click here to find out more). Here in the UK, the History of Art A Level was saved from cuts at the last minute3, following an on going campaign to save the subject. The qualification is now being remodelled to broaden the spectrum of studied creatives, moving the focus away from the usual dead white men who are generally the focus of theoretical art degrees. 

The age-old argument of BA vs. BSC is something that will continue for years to come. But it shouldn’t be about deciding on which course is a more valid educationally, but about recognising the legitimacy of both degree choices. Both are taught at the same level of education, requiring the same level of skill & knowledge. Some are exam based; some rely on presentations & coursework & at the end of the 3, 4, 5 (however many you choose to do), we all come out with a qualification of the same level. 

Some may argue that my studying of fashion is in no way comparable to that of medicine or engineering, & I am happy to admit that I wouldn’t be able to sit through a lecture on Bio Medical Science. But then the same goes for the reverse; just because fashion, fine art, jewellery design or theatre production may be considered as trivial by some, these degrees produce creatives who contribute to the aesthetic of everyday living. From your overused oyster card, the adverts you see on the way to the office, the packaging of your breakfast bagel, your new favourite suit, the building that you work in, the interior of the cafe where you get your lunch, the signs that you follow to get onto the Central line, the book you read on the train, the headphones that help you block out the commuter buzz, your front door when you make it home – everything that you use, see & experience has had input from a creative on some level. 

With the majority of degrees, whether it is a BA or a BSC, you will have the opportunity to learn a wide range of transferable skills, which may not be solely specific to your area of study. Just because I am currently studying fashion, it doesn’t necessarily mean that my future career can only be within a fashion related role, there is a wealth of possible options for me to experience. 

So next time someone decides to comment on your trivial degree choice, or assumes that you must make all of your own clothes, just because your degree has fashion in the title - remember that your degree could lead you to improve their inflight experience, or drive them to experience a new & unknown brand through your creative aptitude & ability to lead the consumer in new directions. 

Right - Continue the reading here.

https://i-d.vice.com/en_au/article/fashion-students-open-up-about-the-real-pressures-of-study

http://www.poisonandice.com/tuesday-talks/lets-face-it-your-art-degree-is-going-to-get-you-nowhere

Kind regards,

 

Beth Bowman

Hannah Rafter