Former Coombe Dean School pupil Ryan Lee joined City College Plymouth after completing his GCSEs. Knowing he didn’t want to sit A Levels, Ryan chose the College as he felt the BTEC Extended Diploma in Media was the right step towards his goal of working in the film industry. Now aged 20, Ryan has just started his final year at City College, which will see him top-up his Film Production Foundation Degree and gain a full Honours Degree in Film and Media Production.
For Ryan, the best thing about the media courses he has studied during his time at City College has been the freedom granted to him and his fellow students to explore and develop their own interests and passions. Ryan said: “We are actively encouraged to be as creative as possible, rather than being forced to stick to a strict way of producing our assignments. Want to do a film? You can. Want to make a radio drama? You can. Want to write an essay? That’s fine, too. There are no limits when it comes to the way you can submit an assignment.
“I have had such a positive experience at the College which is why I chose to stay here for my final year. I have thoroughly enjoyed the style of teaching provided by the lecturers, and the informal – yet highly professional – manner the staff use to interact with students. I have always found them very approachable, and it is nice to be able to have that close contact that you don’t always get at some of the bigger universities.”
Ryan, whose goal is to be a producer or director in America, said he was being well-prepared for life in the film industry and that he appreciated being able to learn from lecturers who had all worked in the industry. Ryan added: “Everything I am learning on this course is of professional practice. The way we learn to do things is the way it is done in the industry. We have the chance to create a range of different media products, from films and radio productions, to graphic design work and journalism. Because of this, we’re able to get hands on with different projects and find out which areas of the industry suit our interests.”
To summarise his time at the College, Ryan said: “I made the best choice coming to City College. The lecturers and tutors are so supportive, giving lots of guidance and feedback throughout your studies, and treating you as a person rather than a number in the system. The teaching quality is beyond any other that I have ever experienced and has made my whole journey at the College pleasant.”