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Alana James

MA Design

Design-MA_Student_Alana-JamesWhat MA Course did you study with us and when did you graduate?

I studied MA Design, specialising in Fashion and graduated in December 2010.

Why did you choose Northumbria School of Design, and what did you know about us before you applied?

I had heard about Northumbria School of Design through reputation alone, and being one of the leading establishments for fashion it seemed a natural transition to come here to do my MA degree.

What do you most like about Newcastle, and how do you find the city?

Coming from studying in Manchester, I like how small and friendly Newcastle is, I always feel safe whilst out and about. The fact that you can walk everywhere is also a big bonus.

How do you find the cost of living in Newcastle?

Newcastle is the cheapest rent that I have ever paid as a student plus minimal travel expenses means you can save money.

Did you find the Design School welcoming?

The design school is very welcoming. When I first started, there were various welcome events organised for new students to attend.

How do you find your tutors and the staff within the School?

This is one area I saw a huge difference in, in comparison to my previous academic experience. The staff here at Northumbria are always happy to help, often going above and beyond their line of duty to help develop your design career.

What are the facilities like?

With the school of design being very new, the facilities are great. There are ample amount of Mac’s available and modern visual and sound equipment available to all students.

What do you like most about the School of Design?

I like the way the design community as a whole works together across disciplines.

Tell me a bit about your course?

MA Design is a perfect mix of design practice and theory, in comparison to undergraduate, a masters degree illustrates why we design. During teaching hours we worked together across disciplines as one team, this inspired me to incorporate this rich mix of backgrounds and design approaches into my own design philosophy.

If you had to pick an object to represent your course, what would it be and why?

A Globe, the mix of cultures and nationalities is so diverse on the MA course, I now have friends from all over the world.

What are the most valuable lessons you have learnt to date during your time with us?

To appreciate other design cultures and disciplines and to know why you are designing what you are designing.

If you had 3 words to sum up your time with us what would they be?

Invaluable, Productive, Fun

If you could offer some advice to students thinking of coming to study here what would you say?

Northumbria is a great community to be part of, very friendly and welcoming and, as for Newcastle, the city is compact and affordable yet has a great array of cultural events to get involved with.

What are your plans now and for the future?

I plan to stay with the Design School for the next 3 years as I am conducting a PhD in Consumer Behaviour in Ethical Fashion Purchasing at the Centre for Design Research. I have also established my own design company with 4 other friends from my MA degree which is in the process of getting off the ground.

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