Group of students at City Lit

Why Study a 1-to-2 Year Course at City Lit?

18 December 2023
Posted in: Career Hub

From passion to profession

Whether you’re in need of that big career switch or are looking for your first job, it is never too late to turn your passion into your profession.

You are not alone if you’ve ever thought about changing your line of work. A recent survey found that over 30 percent of people aged 25 – 34 are considering a switch of careers.

As well as the many of short courses available, City Lit also offers specialised 1-to-2-year courses designed to set you up for the next stage of employment. Many of the courses are also accredited, granting you a higher education qualification.

There are so many advantages to these courses: from the skills you gain; to the contacts you can make; to the employment outcomes upon finishing.

Here are all of the benefits of studying 1-to-2 year course at City Lit.

 

Contents

1. They give you the time to balance other commitments

2. They are shorter than typical university courses

3. They provide you with quality training

4. They are cheaper than university undergraduate courses

5. They can help you build a body of work

6. They set you up with a network of contacts

7. Shorter courses allow you to meet the entry requirements

8. The employment and further education outcomes are fantastic

They give you the time to balance other commitments

Most university and college courses can take up a lot of your time, making it hard to work or do other things. Learning and studying can quite easily turn into a full-time job.

However, at City Lit, it is our aim to make sure this does not prohibit our students who are looking to turn their passion into their profession. Our 1-to-2-year courses run only a few days each week, sometimes solely in the evenings. This gives you the freedom to balance your other responsibilities.

If you are thinking about changing careers or pursuing higher education, this flexibility is perfect. It lets you keep working while you train, so you can eventually switch jobs.

Charmaine Watkiss finished the Foundation Diploma in Art and Design in 2015. She explained, “Whilst I was on the course, I was freelancing part-time, but it gave me the space to really contemplate what was important to me as an artist.”

They are shorter than typical university courses

Our courses are shorter than those at other universities and colleges, which usually require three or more years of study. This gives you the opportunity to develop your skills, get your qualification, and start your next chapter much sooner.

Despite the courses being a shorter length, your learning is not affected. Given their small class sizes, the 1-to-2-year courses offer a much more personalised learning experience. This includes regular individual feedback sessions, tutorials and group crits.

Tutors also ensure you know your options and 'next steps' after finishing, for a smooth transition to a new industry or more education.

City Lit's Pre-foundation and Foundation courses can help build up your portfolio

They provide you with quality training

The quality of teaching at City Lit is certainly one of the biggest perks of the programmes.

The tutors’ support extend well beyond a simple curriculum. In a recent Ofsted inspection, the quality of education was deemed to be ‘outstanding’. This gives you an sign of the teaching standard of teaching you can expect.

The tutors are experts in their field, often balancing teaching the course with working in their profession. For example, many of our counselling classes are taught by practicing therapists. A number of performing arts tutors are established actors, directors and artists. Their professional knowledge, understanding and experience have proven to be invaluable for students.

Akin, who finished the Therapeutic Counselling Diploma at City Lit, said the same thing. He credited the tutors for helping him during a career change.

“I found it very valuable to be tutored here,” he said, “but also to able to tap into life and career experience that those tutors have.”

City Lit's modern facilities also help students make the most of their time with the college. The courses benefit from the best spaces we have to offer, like the John Lyons Theatre and Health and Wellbeing Centre.

They are cheaper than university undergraduate courses

Our 1-to-2 year courses are also significantly less expensive than a standard undergraduate year at university.

The prices vary depending on the course, ranging from £1,249 to £5,521 per year. This makes our courses considerably more affordable than similar ones at other institutions.

However, we do understand that this is still a large amount, so City Lit can help financially. There are several bursaries and payment plans which can help alleviate worries around costs.

If you think you may be eligible for a bursary, you can read more about it here.

Many of City Lit's tutors are practicing professionals in their fieldMany of City Lit's tutors are practicing professionals in their field
Many of City Lit's tutors are practicing professionals in their field

They can help you build up a body of work

Lack of experience is another barrier into employment or further study. In creative industries, you need a portfolio or body of work to be able to show off your talents.

We recognise this. That’s why we offer pre-foundation and foundation courses, designed to give you the best possible introduction to your desired subject and nurture your creative interests.

This sentiment was echoed by Esmé, who completed the Pre-Foundation course and Foundation Diploma in Art and Design.

“You’re sort of treated as an artist from the start so that you get used to considering yourself as an artist regardless of where you are in your creative practice,” she highlighted.

Esmé also explained that the end of year exhibition in the City Lit Gallery helped her a lot. She told us that “career wise if you ever do any other kind of exhibition, [you are used to] the process, the planning, the preparation.”

After receiving the Diploma, Esmé got accepted to study Fine Art at Central Saint Martins. She’s a brilliant advocate for the progression that City Lit can offer.

Esmé Fenwick former Pre-Foundation and Foundation Diploma student at City LitEsmé Fenwick former Pre-Foundation and Foundation Diploma student at City Lit
Esmé completed the Pre-Foundation course and Foundation Art and Design Diploma at City Lit

They set you up with a network of contacts

Diversity is what sets City Lit apart from other institutions; people from all walks of life attend the college every day. Our students make long-lasting friendships with people from different backgrounds and ages. They also make important connections for finding jobs.

Belinda, who completed the Level 3 Acting Diploma, spoke about the "priceless" connections she formed at City Lit.

“It’s not just with the tutors [but] with the colleagues as well, she explained, “they’ve given me the space to grow, to improve [and] to challenge myself."

She also talked about getting her first two industry credits by meeting people on the course.

“[This] helped me get on to Spotlight, which I wasn’t on before, and that has opened so many doors.”

Tutors also regularly tap into their own networks of contacts to help students. This means that City Lit has developed trusted partners to help students gain industry experience for their training.

Acting Diploma student Belinda (right) performing during a dress rehearsal of the City Lit Drama production Poor MurdererActing Diploma student Belinda (right) performing during a dress rehearsal of the City Lit Drama production Poor Murderer
Acting Diploma student Belinda (right) performing during a dress rehearsal of the City Lit Drama production Poor Murderer

Shorter courses allow you to meet the entry requirements

Picture the scene. You’ve always wanted to be an actor, and you notice that our Foundation in Drama course gives you the flexibility to learn while balancing your other job. However, you are lacking confidence and worry you won’t pass the audition to get onto the programme.

In this scenario, we offer short courses to fill knowledge gaps so that our students can succeed. For instance, a one-day introductory acting course could build up your self-belief before auditioning.

These short courses are available throughout the tenure of the 1-to-2-year programmes. As such, students can become proficient in multiple disciplines while studying with the college.

Speaking to City Lit Vice Principal Wendy McCaig, she outlined, “We will always find a way you get you where you want to be.”

“There is no need to turn anyone away from City Lit.”
Wendy McKaig (pictured left) at the recent 2023 City Lit Awards ceremony, with Performing Arts Programme Manager Edward Breen (middle) and Head of Quality and Tutor Development Dragana Ramsden (right)Wendy McKaig (pictured left) at the recent 2023 City Lit Awards ceremony, with Performing Arts Programme Manager Edward Breen (middle) and Head of Quality and Tutor Development Dragana Ramsden (right)
Wendy McKaig (pictured left) at the recent 2023 City Lit Awards ceremony, with Performing Arts Programme Manager Edward Breen (middle) and Head of Quality and Tutor Development Dragana Ramsden (right)

The employment and further education outcomes are fantastic

Many former students have enjoyed our long courses and gone on to further education or careers.

Counselling Diploma students often go on to achieve bachelor’s and master’s degrees, start private practices, or work freelance.

Some our former Foundation Art and Design Diploma students have had their work shown in galleries and public spaces across London. Many have now moved into their own studios.

Last year, some of our Access to Higher Education students were accepted on to courses at the University of Cambridge, Kings College London, UCL and the University of Exeter. This is just a flavour of the opportunities waiting for you upon completion of our City Lit 1-to-2-year courses.

 


It is clear that these courses can give you flexibility, training, and employment opportunities.

But in more general terms, they could also be the key to unlocking the future you have always dreamed about.

Consider City Lit if you have the desire to turn your passion into your profession.


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