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Julius Smit studied on the MA Photography (Visual Communication) course from the University of Hertfordshire, delivered online by IDI. Already accustomed to distance learning after studying various subjects at undergraduate level, Julius knew what he was looking for when he chose to study photography at postgraduate level online. So far, he is enjoying being part of a global creative community as a master’s student with IDI.

“An expansion of my photographic horizons with an academic approach is my number one priority and after two IDI semesters I can truly say this is already happening.

“I chose to study for an MA more for a need for intellectual enquiry and stimulation and practice-based experimentation, than for the prospect of suitable employment. At nearly 64 years of age my chances of employment are slim in an industry which is almost as competitive as that of the theatre! However, I now see myself more of a visual artist rather than the traditional model of a ‘jobbing’ photographer.

“Photography is one of a group of subjects under the IDI design umbrella. This means there is a broad-based design approach as well as opportunities to work within the chosen discipline. Both theoretical and practical opportunities are made available as part of the overall study experience.

“There is a great deal of stimulating dialogue not only with other students but also with the tutors. In fact, the more the student engages in dialogue, the more this will benefit the intellectual and artistic progress of the student’s work and study. The student peer group, being located in a virtual environment, is truly an international, if not a global student community.

“Two very different and inspiring tutors for each study module means strong input resulting in strong student motivation! The IDI tutors are very supportive with excellent communication responses. The activities in each subject area are well constructed and structured with good opportunities for student peer group discussion and evaluation. Practice-based work is continually encouraged during each semester and there is always very supportive feedback from tutors and your student peer group.

“My best memory of my time as an IDI student so far is when I first introduced my project based on the town where I live as part of a Pecha Kucha project. I loved launching myself into the global student domain and in return looking at contributions from other students in my group. It was exciting to realise that I am part of a truly global student community.”