ANDREW Dougall is a first-year HND student at Forth Valley College.
What course are you studying?
I am currently studying Creative Industries: HND Media & Communications at Forth Valley College, Stirling.
What inspired you to choose this course ahead of all the others on offer?
I had been offered a drama course from another college; however, as I read up on what Forth Valley’s course had on offer I felt that this was much broader and had more scope for employability after graduating.
Media & Communications was a more natural step for me rather than drama, so I applied and was successful.
At what stage are you at?
I am currently half way through my first year.
What have you most enjoyed about the course so far?
‘Writing for the media’, ‘interpersonal and group skills’, ‘semiotics, representation and ideology’, and ‘IT and desktop publishing’. The social aspect of the course is fantastic too; we have a class of 14 and we are now like a family. The ages range from 17 to 46, and it’s great to have them all as friends.
What lies ahead and how are you preparing yourself for it?
My graded unit is now underway and I am taking extra tutorial classes in order to prepare for it. I am currenrly writing a treatment for it, as I am making a short film.
Are you currently using any of your new-found skills in actual media work?
I currently work part-time for an estate agency, doing photography and some marketing for them.
I have been able to take some of my knowledge from my advertising class into this field too.
I have also written a few feature pieces for the college magazine, Fusion.
What next, after you have no doubt successfully completed your course?
I plan to go onto obtain a degree in Media and Communication and hopefully, after that, I will get a job as a teacher or lecturer.
Any single piece of media studies advice you want to share?
If you are planning on becoming a film director, study ‘semiotics, representation and ideology’. This class opened my eyes to the reasons directors include certain things in their films and it has made the experience of watching films all the more enjoyable.