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Aspiring graphic designer finds her confidence at City of Bristol College

A former City of Bristol College student, who at 18 did not feel ready to go to university, is now going to do just that after completing the first two years of her degree at the College.

Ruth Bovett began her FdA Graphic Design with Digital Arts in 2019, having chosen to study at the College so she could stay local and study in an alternative environment to a university.

She said:I wanted to study at degree level but also wanted to live at home with my family in Chippenham. I didn’t yet want to move out and going straight from school to a university environment felt like a big step; this course was a good way for me to still study the course I was interested in.

“The graphics course at City of Bristol College was friendlier and more personal, and because of the smaller group numbers, the staff and students get to know each other well. The College was a good mid-way step for me as it had a welcoming atmosphere for my 18-year-old self, who was just out of school and nervous about new people, new experiences and faraway places!


The Graphic Design and Digital Arts Foundation Degree is delivered alongside City of Bristol College’s university partner, University of Plymouth, and taught at the bustling College Green Centre in the heart of the city.

Nowadays, Ruth is unrecognisable from that nervous 18-year-old, as she now feels ready to move to Plymouth for the third and final year of her course in September 2021. She explained: “My confidence in graphic design knowledge and generally my confidence around people has grown so much in the past two years. It has even improved how I work in a team in my job as a barista.”

After carefully considering all the alternatives to university, Ruth chose her course at City of Bristol College for its breadth of interesting and exciting modules. She said:The course modules stood out because they covered topics like packaging design, advertising, video and motion graphics which I hadn’t previously had a chance to explore in art class. I was unsure what my interests were, and the course allowed me to try a variety of completely new design skills.

The higher education student now feels her time at the College has prepared her to take on a career, having gained not only the graphic design skills she needs, but the life experience too.

She explained: “In so many ways, we’ve experienced more corporate settings through mentoring from industry professionals but also practiced the one-to-one client experience of freelancing. Also, the times we worked remotely and continued to learn throughout a pandemic have greatly helped us with our resilience and approach to facing challenges.”

To anyone considering studying their higher education course at City of Bristol College, Ruth’s message is a resounding ‘do it!’, adding: “It allows you to get to know people and focus on your interests without having to worry about daunting new experiences, and I have found all of this incredibly important to my student life.

Find out more about the College’s higher education provision.

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