Edit: I've heard good things about the Stafford course, it's probably worth looking into. I've also heard good things about the games art course at Derby. I would certainly recommend a focused course rather than a 'jack of all trades' design course. If you feel that you should have applied elsewhere, it is definitely worth deferring a year
, taking time out and reapplying next year. Don't be unsure and then head to one university anyway, because it will cost. Often you can transfer between universities and courses part way through, but this comes at other costs, such as disjointed tuition and the all important social aspects and need to move again
The Leeds course outline looks like it may well be reasonable. I'm not so sure of the London course; it looks like it lacks coverage and direction. I don't know much about either though, so take that with a pinch of salt.
Originally Posted by PogoP
and the amount of money you pay back is miniscule when you look at your take-home pay when you finally get a job.
It's not miniscule:
Consider a starting salary above-average of £25k - here's your break down:
Student Loan: £2,500
Pension (7%): £1,750
Take Home: £16.75k
Personally, my rent per-year is about £12k - I do not live in a lavish mansion, but I do live in a small two-bedroom place on the edge of cheapest area of town in an expensive town (that's where I work, not much choice in that regard). Council Tax comes in at around £1,750, then you need to consider annual gas electricity and water bills. The average bill there comes to around £1,250 (mine is certainlt less than that).
Lets drop the rent to a more reasonable £10k, then take all of that out of the take home pay and you're left with £3750 to live on for the entire year, or £315 a month.
If you're not paying the student loan back, you've a bit under £525 a month. The difference isn't miniscule.
The degree and tuition is there to develop your skills and get your first career roles; so you need to offset its value with what you're paying when you first get that role. After that first role your pay will rise, but the experience you're being employed for isn't directly related to your degree tuition.