QANTM reviews.

Hey guys,

I'm seriously considering doin a CUF50107 Diploma of Screen and Media (with a specialisation in Animation) online from QANTM Brisbane, i have done some googling and have found some people saying how poor their course was an not recommending it at all, having said that, it was from 2005 and i cant really find anything more recent.

Is their anyone here who may be able to shed some light on the current quality of QANTM courses and if it is something i will get value from.

Thankyou very much

Sam

Anonymous's picture

Im doing the batchelor of interactive entertainment with a major in animation at perth's qantm campus at the moment, its great! I wouldnt know much about CUF50107 and the online units but its worth checking out, the staff on this side are brilliant so im sure the same goes for the eastern states.

Is there anything you wanted to know in specific?

Ben

sammole's picture

thanks for the reply mate, nothing particular ive just heard QANTM cop alot of slack from ppl. and just wanted to make sure the $7,500 im going to invest in it was worth it, is there any chance of seeing some of your work so i can see the level that QANTM operates at?

Anonymous's picture

I've dealt with QANTM face-to-face [not online] but I'd heartily suggest to anyone to stay well and clear away from this school. Their teachers showed no care to their profession, the industry they are suppose to represent or the course materials. Google up "QANTM Connect" if you want to have a good laugh. You're much better off spending that money on a real course from a real Uni, buy books, take a few months off and teach yourself; you'll get just as much education and dare I say a much better education by yourself.

Anonymous's picture

Qantm is a joke. I studied a Bachelor of Interactive Entertainment majoring in Games Programming at the Brisbane campus.

First, we have the fees - $36k to study a 2 year degree (3 years accelerated). This would be acceptable if the standard of teaching was higher, and the facilities were better. During final projects at the end of the course we actually had to evacuate half of our final project room (dedicated to second year students only) because of the leaks in the roof. This went on for a MONTH.

Study rooms are constantly full towards the end of a semester, so people wishing to submit their assessments must wait for these rooms to clear up - as Qantm does not allow online submission. They also offer no WiFi, so students with laptops are unable to use the network without plugging in. The worst thing about the wretched place though is the chairs. It shouldn't be hard to get enough decent gas-lift chairs when every single student is paying $36k to be there, but somehow Qantm manages to siphon student fees off into the black hole that is SAE's wallet - where they instead waste their money on Mac's that underperform and have frequent overheating issues. For a college that offers a programming course (and claim it is the best in Queensland) they are extremely under-equipped for the task, both in terms of hardware and competent lecturers.

I cannot speak for the other degrees Qantm offers, but their programming degree is a joke. 2 years is NOT enough when a year of that time is wasted on subjects such as;

DES101: Principles of Design
DES102: Communication Design
INT201: Narrative & Character Development
DES104: Design for Interactive Entertainment
INT202: Scripting & Storyboarding
DES202: Game Level Design
NEM201: Managing New Media Projects
NEM204: New Media Business Compliance
MED103: Principles of 3D Animation

Whilst it is useful to have a background in all of these areas, none of these should be present in a 2 year course. If the degree ran for 4 years then the amount of time spent studying programming-oriented subjects would be acceptable. The current curriculum breeds the idea that programming is something that can be mastered in 2 years (in reality the programming portion of the degree only runs 1 year). Before I entered the course I had a modest background in C++, but not one person who came out of that course is ready to work in the industry at a SERIOUS game development studio. The programming lecturers treat students at Qantm as though they are still in high-school - constantly hand-holding, doing the work for them because they're too lazy / too stupid to figure it out for themselves. I'd also stress that programming assessments focus entirely on creating a product that ticks the criteria in terms of functionality, even if the code is an absolute mess. I've seen some shocking examples of poorly designed and written code submitted for assessments - sometimes copy pasted directly from the internet, and yet the student will get a Distinction or even High Distinction. These students will get quite a shock if someone is ever stupid enough to hire them, or they get the opportunity to work in a team-based environment - that shit just won't fly.

I can recount many cases when a student has had a question for the lecturers, and instead of helping the student to understand the problem, the lecturer simply tells the student to step aside, and does the work for them. Sometimes this can go on for hours at a time, and yet when a capable student asks a question, the lecturer assumes that they know enough to eventually figure it out themselves. There were times when this happened in every single tute session. Of course I made a point to mention these issues in the end of semester teacher evaluations, however the problems were never addressed - most likely due to the beaming reviews given by the students who were having their work done by the lecturer, and receiving excellent grades as a result.

It's unfortunate that QUT doesn't offer a dedicated programming degree, as it would quite easily be light-years ahead of the one Qantm offers. My advice to anyone still wanting to become a games/engine programmer would be to stay the hell away from Qantm - and instead buy yourself some books from Amazon. If you can teach yourself and keep motivated then you'll be much better off than anyone with a piece of paper from Qantm. Unfortunately, young people have to make a lot of stupid mistakes before they learn anything. I know most will probably ignore this warning, and studying at Qantm will be one of those mistakes.

Anonymous's picture

I'd sincerely advise anyone thinking about enrolling at QANTM to avoid the place like the plague. As a design major of 2010, my intake had viewed internships as critical to our path towards employment. unfortuantely we discovered that the best the "university" could provide was one day a week in a room ON CAMPUS spent with a representative FROM AN UNRELATED BRANCH OF THE INDUSTRY. The "teaching" taking place throughout various units often involved nothing more that links to internet tutorials , and this was for subject matter that was the focus of assesment! I fondly remember the scripting and storyboarding class, when the storyboarding lecture was presented the day after the storyboarding assignment was due. The facilities in general are borderline insulting given the exorbitant fees QANTM has the gall charge -ancient, broken computers abound; antique,rotting furniture, leaking ceilings, etc, etc.,and most unfortunately the shambolic state of affairs only serves to devalue the degree. The intership debacle obviously reflects the local industry's opinion of the place. Stay away.

Anonymous's picture

I can't speak much for Qantm's online courses or diploma courses, but having done my degree at the Brisbane campus, I'm going to have to agree with the poster above. You'll spend a good amount of your time writing useless academic essays and dealing with unprofessional and (some) under-qualified staff. It would be unfair to say that their entire faculty is lacking as that would be untrue. However, the teachers who actually know their materials inside-out and have the ability to effectively teach are a rarity, especially amongst the recent waves of newly hired staff.

I paid quite a large sum to be taught from what I was lead to believe to be 'the best in Australia'. Instead, most of what I know now was purely learnt from self-motivated studies or activities with other students conducted in our own time.

As previously mentioned, buying a book of 'Animation for Dummies' and dedicating yourself to it for several months will achieve far more than studying at Qantm, provided you're able to keep yourself motivated.

Hope this helps.

Anonymous's picture

Give me a rather grim insight to qantm. The problem is, who else offers a online diploma in 3d and animation?

Anonymous's picture

Part of the Qantm problem, is that they do 3 years in 2 years. Then quite often, even if you have a knowledgeable tutor in to teach, they've been given a week at best to prepare for the classes they are going to teach. If they're lucky, they have course material -- lessons and tutorials -- to go off of, even if they are quite poor or just wrong. If they're unlucky, they'll get some lesson slides and resources, not all, and no tutorials at all -- why you end up doing online tutorials and the like, as the tutor just doesn't have the time with everything else, to come up with ones from scratch.

You see, though if you're lucky, you'll get a teacher with experience in their field who wants to do the best by their students. Chances are, that the administration haven't got a clue when it comes to game development, but since it is very much in vogue, they'll just hire staff at the last moment in order to provide courses to their fee paying students -- in other words, they don't really care as long as they get your money.

If you really want to know what Qantm is like, watch a TV series called Community; that will give you a good idea what to expect ;).

Anonymous's picture

Community is at least amusing; I wouldn't go comparing QANTM to Greensdale, I'd much rather have gone to Greensdale...

The problem QANTM has is that as a school it's a joke. There's nothing wrong with trying to cram 3 years of study into 2, the real problem stems from the fact that the teachers were incompetents who were more interested in lying to students about their achievements then actually trying to help those students learn.

Anonymous's picture

The problem is lads there is a lack of online diploma options. I'm tempted to go for it anyway. Since I'm doing it online I will have my own equipment and work schedule. Also the diploma will get me an interview, my show reel will get me a job.

Anonymous's picture

No, the first thing we look at is your portfolio. Why would I open up a document and scan through a wall of text when I can find out if you're any good in 10 seconds by looking straight at your work?

Your show reel will get you an interview, your interview will get you a job.

Anonymous's picture

Particularly for an animator, a short, polished, well presented showreel of your best work will be your best bet for catching an employer's attention. A degree is useful for showing that you are dedicated to the industry and can stick something through, but we're far more likely to hire someone who shows awesome work than someone with a degree and good work. Ask yourself what's going to make whoever receives your application go "ooh" and run straight over to show the Art Director!

Anonymous's picture

I'm torn now. I don't need names but I'm guessing you both work in the industry and know a thing or two about employment. Previous posts are saying just get some books and work at my own pace. But, if someone applies for a job. With a diploma in animation and a great show reel, and another guy applies for same job without diploma but a great show reel. Surely diploma wins.

Anonymous's picture

It will be rare for two applicants to submit a portfolio containing work that is identical in quality. Depending on who is reviewing the applications, one party will always be favoured for their portfolio (and not a piece of paper), simply due to personal taste.

Further, you won't get far in terms of employment with a diploma. I know several very talented artists who studied a diploma at Qantm, and came back the next year to study for a degree as well, because they found that their diploma held such little weight in convincing studios to hire them.

Don't bother with the diploma - you'll still have to do independent study in order to become capable in your chosen field. From the above responses you can see this is the case even for degree students, so why not just go that route from the beginning?

Anonymous's picture

Some employers will only look at your work and character; totally ignoring the piece of paper you spent one or more years obtaining (and several thousand $ at that too!). Others may use that piece of paper as a tie-breaker. The fact is, having a degree/diploma isn't without its benefits, but its definitely not something you should depend on to get you a job. As someone said above, your show reel will get you an interview, your interview will get you a job.

sammole's picture

thanks a lot for all the feedback here, im currently looking on Amazon for some DVDs and books to further my knowledge on 3ds max. I have until September to decide on the course but by the looks of it, its not worth the money or time. Which is really disappointing because i was rather excited about starting a new course in something im so interested in.

I guess I will work on my show reel and do some independent study, if anyone here is willing i would love to see some of your work so far.

Also if anyone has any suggestions on reading material im all ears, so far im looking at these.

http://www.amazon.com/Introducing-Autodesk-3ds-2011-ebook/dp/B00452V4EA/...
http://www.amazon.com/Autodesk-Authorised-Essential-Skills-Training/dp/B...
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0041D8V8K/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_1?pf_rd_...

Thanks again guys.

Anonymous's picture

Probably the most professional and in depth tutorials available are from either:

http://www.thegnomonworkshop.com/
http://eat3d.com/

Also, get involved in online communities where you can get feedback, ask for help or guidance, and find new techniques and inspiration.
One such site which I frequently use is Polycount.com, lots of people on there all the time, many of them willing to provide feedback, advice, information and tutorials, check it out.

sammole's picture

some of the Eat3d stuff looks amazing, would love to order some DVDs but they are all region 1 :( lol. but they look like some great sites to cruise around and get to know some people.

Lach's picture

Had quick look at their brisbane site to see who the lecturers were,
could find or see any listings- if there is one its pretty tucked away.

I'd say that's a bit of a worry if you can't do due diligence on who's teaching.
Pretty sure unversity' have bios/listings of their lecturing staff.

Anonymous's picture

It's a shame that there is so much negativity surrounding Qantm..
I'm currently studying at Qantm Melbourne and am in my second year of my Bachelor of Interactive Entertainment with Game Design major.
The one thing I have noticed studying at Qantm is that so many people come in expecting that it's going to be a fun course about playing/making games and we will get taught everything we ever need to know about the industry. Because of this reason, I have seen many students drop out, claiming the school is rubbish and that we don't get taught a thing.

The reality is that the teachers are there to guide us through our course, not to spoon-feed us into getting a job at the end. The industry is still small in Australia and jobs can be hard to come by. Students really need to take the initiative to start taking what they learn in class and use it to build a better understanding of what the industry will really be like.

In my personal opinion the teachers are great. They run their classes as they have been told to run them and that's their job. If you need more assistance (and this is always highly encouraged by staff) then it's not difficult at all for students to approach their teachers outside of class time to keep learning. It's these students, the ones who take the course seriously and really want to get into the industry, that are the ones who come out with a high greater chance of actually finding work. I've been told countless by both students and staff that you will only get out what you put in, so it's really up to the individual and how much they want to learn.

Yes, it may be easy to watch YouTube videos, read some books and do some online tutorials to learn the same software you would at Qantm, but the feedback, dead lines and atmosphere of school are what really teach you what to do, when to do it and what can be done if things go wrong.

I'm sure a lot of people here will disagree with me, but with so much negativity being thrown around I thought I would just take a few minutes to let you know that it's not all that bad. At the end of the day only you can decide if it will be a waste of time or not. :)

- Benn

Anonymous's picture

Having already completed the course that you are currently studying, I can tell you for a fact that we (the students who stayed for the entire duration) took our studies quite seriously. After all, we did pay quite a rather LARGE sum to be there. While I do agree with you on the matter of new students thinking the course would be all fun and games, until they inevitably dropout of the 'rubbish' school. You know there is a serious problem when graduates claim the same flaws.

Fact: No design graduates from the Brisbane campus have scored themselves a design job in the industry within the past 2 years.

Anonymous's picture

Some valid points, but, it is also the industry. The big draw card, the one they put on the top of the list of things to study in their adverts is: game design. But it has been my experience, that the local industry pays lip-service to how much they want good designers. The fee-for-service mob, know that what counts for the projects they get are: coders and artists. The design team, is there to help implement the client's ideas NOT there to generate their own. So, why hire those people who are seen as not being very "practical" in their approach? Not to mention, that such studio management, usually can't tell one designer from the next. A bad one from a good one, a good one, from a great one. Code and art are far more easy to judge and measure in these respects.

Another part of the problem, is that such colleges are churning out students who all have game demos of some kind. In the past, a designer -- an actual designer not a coder -- who approached a studio with a game demo, was seen to stand out. These days, every designer that applies has one. So, it really needs to be polished and stand out -- which may not necessarily be the case if the colleges don't place the emphasis on this on student's work.

It's not the WHOLE picture. It would take too much effort revealing the industry's real view of designers. But I think it introduces something else to the discussion which is kinda over looked. All I can add further in way of my opinion and advice, is that design students seem to either be too optimistic or stubborn about their chances. You have to remember, that EVERY one in the industry thinks of themselves as a competent designer. Coming in with what can be perceived as an arrogant attitude, may not be of much help to you -- and there may be nothing you can do about it as it is THEIR perception.

Lastly, such design courses give you a wide set of skills. 2D & 3D animation, audio design skills, level and game design skills, scripting skills, etc. If you don't have much luck getting a job, then, you might want to give the indie thing a go and work on your own project. You may not have the experience yet to realise that approach, however, you may luck out as you have a natural ability for it or your work will get you noticed by studios who will then see you as being someone to consider when those roles do come up.

Oh, and it probably depends upon who you know not exactly what you know as well -- as much as I dislike it myself ;)

sammole's picture

ive decided to study through some books and training dvds and see where that takes me, if i find im not personally happy with my level and am not where i want to be, i will look into a course. Qantm seems to be getting some bad press so im not going to rush out and spend hard earnt bucks just yet. I really appreciate all the time an effort you guys have put in to answer me on this topic, i am still very interested in seeing some works that you guys may have put together. so feel free to send me a link or something, thanks again.

Anonymous's picture

I'm QANTM alumni from the degree - quite a few years ago now. And while I think QANTM definitely isn't all it sells itself to be and the degree program alone won't give you that big a boost in getting a job, I have to say one thing it does really well is give you a least a vague idea of what it might be like to work in the games industry. Their group projects I found to be a useful microcosm of how a games company might run, warts and all, and it's valuable experience with lessons learned that I carry with me even today.

Most of what they teach you can find online, cheaper and often better and more-up-to-date, but you can't learn to work with other people in your bedroom. You can't network with peers who you may one day form a startup with, or who will be valuable contacts later on. There's something to be said for face time. Their lecturers are hit and miss - we had a really fantastic animation lecturer in our years, and I think it shows in that most of our graduates who made it in were artists in some capacity.

Also, while I think their design component is one of their stronger areas, particularly compared to other university 'game design' tracks, truth is almost nobody will get a design job on graduation. If you focus on design, develop a subsidiary skill to cover you on your journey there.

Anonymous's picture

I don't agree with this idea that it's better to just buy some books and DVD's than to study a degree.

With or without university, you are going to need to work your arse off to get anywhere. Now, assuming that you are going to work your arse off, learn everything you can, and work every project to the best it can be, do you think you will get better results by yourself at home, or in a learning environment surrounded by enthusiastic and competitive people, and with people to help you when you get stuck?

Anonymous's picture

It depends on youre personality, but assuming that you are in fact motivated to work your arse off, IMO you would get better results self-studying.

Anonymous's picture

And if he wanted to go to a real University I think most people would support it over self-study but the question was about QANTM... and frankly QANTM isn't a real Uni, heck, QANTM in Sydney is barely even a school at all with the type of teachers they present.

Anonymous's picture

These reviews of Qantm are very unfair! I agree with you to SOME extent, as I'm going to finish my year at Qantm and transfer to Griffith. However, there are some things I want to clear up.

"You'll spend a good amount of your time writing useless academic essays"
Welcome to the world of tertiary education. No mater what university you go to, you will have to be writing "useless" academic essays. That's just how it is. Be thankful that you only had to write a 1000 word essay. I have friends at UQ, QUT and Griffith and they have to write 8000 word essays! Qantm avoids exams as well, whereas at the public universities, you have to do exams.

I do agree that the fees at Qantm are quite exorbitant. $37, 000 is A LOT of money for a two year course. At the moment they are refurbishing the place, so some rooms look VERY scabby, while others look very nice and sleek.

If you want to study at a tertiary level, anywhere, then you have to write "useless" academic essays. Grow up.

Anonymous's picture

Yet you still transfer...

It isn't about the length of the essays or the existence or lack of exams.

The fact is QANTM as a school isn't on par with a normal university. The money that goes into it simply disappear, they could have the nicest chairs in the world but if their teachers are incompetents (which they are) and lack knowledge about the subjects they teach (which they do) AND show a genuine disregard for any quality to their teachings (which they have) then frankly they earn the dubious reputation of a BAD college (which it is).

In short, stay away from QANTM, doubly so if you live in Sydney...

Anonymous's picture

I've decided to develop a showreel over the next 12 months or so to see where I'm at by the end of that time. If Im not happy where I am I will look into courses further.

Now I've been thinking over the last few weeks and have realised. Although I love the games industry and the the thought of working for a games studio is great. My passion is 3d modeling and animation, not just games. But for architects, movies, iPhone anything. So having said that, where should I sink my time? Maya or max lol