Chloe Jones

Visual Communication - BA (Hons)

Chloe knew BCU was the place for her when she saw the state-of-the-art photography facilities, she didn’t expect for BCU to become the place that would help her through her Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis and give her the confidence and freedom to be herself. 

“I always wanted to attend university and become a photographer, but I struggled for a couple years to find a place that suited me and has the photography course and facilities I wanted.

When I visited BCU, I was blown away by the photography facilities and Birmingham Itself, it seemed like a great student city and has great travel links. I knew it was the perfect place for me to study.

The Visual Communication department has so many amazing facilities; we have access to editing facilities, a darkroom and tonnes of print facilities! You can hire any equipment you need and you can bring guests to the studio to appear in your photos. I knew the facilities were good, but they exceeded my expectations. It’s great to know everything is there when you need it.

BCU also gives me many opportunities to improve my future career prospects. In my first and second year, I’ve been able to work with external clients to complete photography briefs. It's great fun and gives us chance to experiment with different styles and techniques, as well as the opportunity to work with a professional brief.

I am soon taking part in a workshop on my course which looks at job opportunities and placements after third year for my area of interest. These opportunities help me to be confident in my work and be prepared to withstand the working world, these are goals that I want to achieve before I graduate and I’m already seeing a difference.

Moving into student accommodation has also really boosted my confidence. For my first year, I stayed at University Locks. I really liked how close it was to the university and how it was only a short walk into the city centre, it was really nice to get a feel for the university and city. The accommodation blocks have a real sense of community, I made friends not just within my flat or block, but from across the accommodation.

Since beginning my studies, I’ve been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, I struggled with my mental health after the diagnosis. I contacted student support to see how they could help. The process was so quick and hassle free, I managed to get through to student support immediately and they were really helpful. They set up counselling sessions and helped me with issues I was having on my course due to my health condition and poor mental health. Everyone I spoke to was lovely and friendly – it’s like having another friend that is completely impartial but understands and will listen to you.

I now receive on-going support from the team, they make sure I have extra time to work on my assignments if I need it, it’s a big relief to know that my condition won’t affect my studies.

I can struggle with mobility at times, but BCU is great for accessibility and it's very easy for me to get around university when I'm having issues. If I can't get to university, my lecturers are really understanding and help me study from home without missing out. My lecturers and course tutors have been a huge help, they’re so friendly. It’s really reassuring to know they’ll be someone at university who will make you smile.

To me, ‘I am BCU’ means being proud and happy to be a BCU student, being at BCU has given me freedom and the opportunities to be myself.”