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Case Study

Emily Maguire

North Shields, UK

BA (Hons) Graphic Design


Emily Maguire has always loved designing and being creative and so wanted to carry this passion forward and study Graphic Design. When applying to universities, Sunderland stood out to her as she was impressed by the course structure, the facilities and the supportive tutors. Her favourite part of the course was learning new skills, such as Motion Graphics and Cinema 4D, and she also enjoyed group work. She plans to work within branding, computer illustration or advertising.

When I was younger I loved designing and being creative, so I wanted to carry this forward and study Graphic Design. Before university I was studying Graphic Design, Photography and Media Studies at college, but I was struggled with Maths and was told multiple times I would not get into university. This gave me the drive to make sure my work was the very best so it would get noticed by the tutors at the universities I applied to. When applying, Sunderland stood out to me the most. It stood out because of the course itself, how well it was delivered, the different design aspects we would be learning, the campus and the facilities on offer. I was also impressed by the tutors who are very friendly and want to help you succeed.

The best aspect of the course is the different design skills you learn, such as Motion Graphics and Cinema 4D, which were new to me. Having never been taught these before, I felt learning them has helped me develop my skills as a graphic designer and I have more skills to present to employers. The overall atmosphere of the course was another aspect of the course I enjoyed, and being put into groups to work on projects helped create connection with fellow students. We could help each other out when needed and it was great to have people around to support you. Having a good connection with fellow students also helps with professional practice, for when you go out into the design world and work with colleagues.

My advice to any students looking into Sunderland as a choice is to definitely consider it. I was offered support that many universities don’t offer, and the facilities are great; we could use equipment such as iMacs, Wacom Screens, a 3D Printer, a Fabric Press, and cameras from the Northern Centre of Photography.

Whilst studying at Sunderland, I have taken more of a professional approach with my career. I plan to work full-time within the Graphic Design industry and I want to work within branding, computer illustration or advertising, as these aspects of design are what I am most passionate about.

I would sum up my time at university as a once in a lifetime experience. I am so glad I chose to study at Sunderland, it has given me multiple career paths to follow and helped me develop my life skills.”

Published 12 June 2020

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