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Case Study

Vanessa Karou

Nicosia, Cyprus

BA (Hons) Animation and Games Art

Vanessa Karou initially began her student journey at the University of Sunderland by studying computing, but decided to change to a more creative path after her first year. Her favourite part of the BA (Hons) Animation and Games Art course is the creative freedom and the employability-enhancing opportunities. Her future career aim is to work in the creative industry pursuing her passion for motion graphics and VFX.

Before university, I was in secondary school where our teachers would discuss with us the option of going to university. One of the reasons I wanted to go to university was because I wanted to find a subject to study that I was passionate about and that I would want to pursue as a future career. I also wanted the opportunity to travel overseas and experience life somewhere else; meeting people from different backgrounds and cultures.

I initially chose the University of Sunderland to study computing, but at the end of my first year I decided to change courses as I realised I preferred to do something more creative. I looked into the course structure of BA (Hons) Animation and Games Art and was impressed with the variety of modules. I also found from my research that the University of Sunderland was among the top universities to study animation.

One of the great aspects of the course is that it allows students the creative freedom to enhance any areas of interest, whether that is animation or gaming. This means we are able benefit when it comes to employability, as the transferable skills that we acquire throughout the course means we can have wider career opportunities. Additionally, we are able to broaden our networks with alumni and external practitioners through events, and guest speakers give advice on what we need to know to become industry-ready. We also had the opportunity to attend animation festivals and experience other animators and students' work, which was really inspiring.

I would recommend the University of Sunderland to other students as I have found it to be a great experience throughout my four years studying there. It is a perfect city for student life as you have everything you need within walking distance, to and from its campuses. There is essential and excellent facilities and a number of sports and activities to choose from. The staff always made me feel welcome and I can always get help and advice from them. The University also provides a great careers department that can help in so many ways, for example with your CV and applications when applying for jobs.

My future career aim is to work in the creative industry, pursuing my passion for motion graphics and VFX. Within the creative industry you can never stop learning, so I cannot wait to start developing and gaining new skills, and work on projects that will allow me to use my full creativity. Looking back at my time at university I can confidently say I have gained the skills that will help me going into the industry.

I am overall extremely pleased with my experience at the University of Sunderland – it has been an adventure that has changed my life. I have developed and matured as a person and I have been able to learn so much from other people around me and made great friends. I am thankful to my tutors and the experiences the University enabled me to have.”

Published 12 June 2020

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