How do you decide which GD degree is best for you? Would love some help with this!

Tl;dr: Three questions if you can't be arsed with reading the whole thing –

  1. Is it stupid to be tempted by a 'big name' uni over a lesser known one, even though the course isn't as good?
  2. Is it also stupid to be tempted by less required hours attendance (leaving me some much needed time to work part time), given that this suggests less value for money from the course?
  3. Should you ignore the 'vibe' of the university you want to go to, i.e choosing an inner-city university over a slightly further away and less 'glamourous' suburban uni?

Non-tl;dr:

I'm returning to university as a slightly older student (under 30 ) and have luckily gotten into all of my top choices within London, where I live. The problem is, I'm currently completely stuck between two choices: Kingston University and Central Saint Martins.

I have been told by many people that Kingston University's course is very good, they require you to be in from 9 to 5, 5 days a week and have very attentive and always available tutors. They also put a lot of emphasis on establishing a good studio culture; you will spend all your time with your peers in the same studio space often on group projects. For me, however 5 days a week attendance feel excessive, and I will struggle financially without some time for part-time work. I also, perhaps stupidly, worry that Kingston is not well known internationally, and as someone who wants to work in Japan and possibly Europe; I worry that this might work against me? Finally, Kingston University is further for me to travel to, and does not have the same 'inner-city university' vibe that Central Saint Martins have, which I was actually really looking for in a university.

Central Saint Martin (CSM), here in the UK, has some weight behind its name, and I know of some lazy employers who simply pick from a pool of CSM graduates when looking for freelancers. The course structure is much more loose and 'independent', which I suppose is code for 'not as much bang for your buck'. There is no designated studio space, you must find your own space within the and work there; although there are of course, proper facilities and computer suites and studios to work in, they are just not 'your' space, as such you do not work closesly with your peers like at Kingston. The contact time with tutors is much less as the course is much bigger and I have heard general comments about feeling like you are 'just a number', unless you push yourself to 'stand out' and make yourself known. Because the uni is so well known, they have a lot of big-name attention, for example Pentagram often comes for lectures, and job opportunities seem solid if you can make use of these connections. Finally, the location is very central and much more 'connected' to everything, and is personally very easy to get to.

I know that my sensible self should be choosing Kingston University, it seems very nice there and the course seems very good. However something inside me is sorely tempted to choose the seemingly inferior but more famous CSM. I suppose what I'm asking for if anybody's read this far is, what would you do? And what should I do??

Really appreciate any and all advice on the matter!

submitted by /u/Warui-ne
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