Why go to Academic Support?

Why go to Academic Support?

From pre-degree to PhD levels, all students are welcome at Academic Support. But what is the experience like and how can it enhance their learning? Sarah Macdonald asked seven current students and alumni to tell us what they had gained from Academic Support. In their illuminating responses below they mention: motivation, structure, confidence-building, inspiration, creativity and direction.

Ben will graduate from the BA Information and Interface Design in 2020 and is about to go into full-time work.

Academic Support for me had a great impact on my work and how I felt about what I was producing as a student. It gave me the confidence and reassurance I needed to continue with my writing, guiding me in the right direction and clarifying problems I was facing and did not want to bring up in class.

Although at first, I did not see Academic support as having much of an impact on my work and my self belief, it really helped me, especially in my final year whilst writing my thesis. The additional support outside of the classroom and a new perspective was very motivating, and I really felt it gave me the ammunition I needed to complete writing assessments.

Personally, I used one-to-one tutorials on a regular basis. This became more frequent when I needed them, which was great as I could book in when it suited me.

To other students I would say, be resourceful with what Academic Support has to offer, take time out to have tutorials when you are struggling and really utilise a great support tool.

Alessia Camoirano graduated from the BA Film and TV in 2018. She is now an assistant producer working in TV and film and has her own art business which can be found at alessiacamoirano.com or intenseartalessia on Instagram.

Academic Support was extremely helpful not only from an academic point of view but also as personal and emotional support. One of my biggest struggles is believing in myself and the Academic Support Lecturer I saw encouraged me to achieve more, risk and believe in myself. She was honest and supportive and I am so grateful for the sessions that I had because she also helped me to structure and set deadlines at a time when I was struggling majorly with my mental health and with concentrating on my studies.

Ankita Anand graduated in 2018 with a BA in Illustration and Visual Media. She has just completed a Masters in Computational Arts from Goldsmiths and is currently (due to the virus) doing freelance graphic design & web development. 

Being an international student, I am comfortable using the English language, however Academic Support lessons helped me structure my dissertation and find key academic terms to some topics I wished to discuss. It was not always possible to have one-to-one lessons during my classes but having a personal tutorial every week gave me a good direction and personal motivation to keep on improving my written piece. I would highly recommend using Academic Support. The tutorials give personalised feedback which is important in improving academic skills especially for rather daunting dissertations.

Mario Hamad is completing a PhD in Film Practice and will graduate in July 2021. He would like to get an academic job after graduating, maybe a teaching/research job at LCC. He has an idea for a new MA programme.

I have so far loved all the experiences I’ve had with Academic Support, for they have been a pleasurable break from periods of Doctoral study—periods which are often quite lonely since you don’t have classes when you do a PhD, and therefore you don’t really have classmates either.  Since the events I have participated in with Academic Support have all been about interaction with other students and staff in a social setting, they have provided the classroom experience that I had been missing out on.

I have been a regular attendee of World Conversations and have also attended a Creative Writing session a couple of times too, which was equally as enjoyable. These sessions provide the opportunity to meet so many other students from a range of courses and countries.  Around a year ago I even met someone at World Conversations who went on to become a close friend of mine.

Overall, I would say that these sessions provide both the opportunity to meet new people whilst also acting as a form of extra-curricular experience and skills building (e.g. practising conversation; learning about other people and cultures; and developing creativity and new ideas for writing).  I would therefore encourage students to participate in Academic Support events, workshops and creative activities.  I myself will certainly continue to do so.

Dan will graduate from the MA Design Management and Cultures in 2021 and hopes to find a job related to his field of study.

Academic Support helps with clarifying your ideas when you are writing an assignment. It helps you to understand deeply what the UAL assessment criteria are in every brief by analysing what needs to be answered. Another important way it helps is in how to structure your research papers. Academic Support Lecturers have expert knowledge in decoding briefs and structuring essays, reports, proposals and so on. The workshops are very insightful because they tend to be about things that are happening now and can inspire you to find a topic, as well as teaching in depth subjects that you wouldn’t have the time to explore in class.

Pier completed his BA Interaction Design Arts in 2020 and is hoping to find a good job or do a Masters after coronavirus settles down.

For my personal process, it really helps if I can talk things out with the Academic Support Lecturers. They all have invaluable advice and generally know what tutors are looking for in terms of academic writing and even studio work. It is quite helpful to have a second pair of eyes that can objectively flag things to look out for, things to improve and slight tweaks that can make your work a little more polished. 

Hsiang Ting Tsu (Tiffany) completed the preparation in Design, Media and Screen in June 2020. She is currently working as a video editor and hopes to complete the Postgraduate diploma in Visual Communication at LCC soon.

I think studying at school and using school facilities is better than working online, but I really like Academic Support as it gave students ideas during the lockdown. I recommended that my classmates join the online workshops and some of them didn’t even know we had this benefit. I told them the online quality was good. As an art student it is important to talk to people in order to get more ideas. With the assistance of the lecturers, Academic Support has been one of my best experiences in education so far.

Academic Support is 100% committed to enhancing students’ learning. Our one-to-one tutorials and academic skills workshops are open to all students and are currently online. You can find out more and students can book a session at:  https://academicsupportonline.arts.ac.uk   We understand that learning online can present different challenges and might not be practical for everyone. If students have concerns or would like to discuss other options, please email: academicsupport@lcc.arts.ac.uk

This story was prepared by Sarah Macdonald in the LCC Academic Support team, in collaboration with the students mentioned.

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