A group of Queen Alex students are heading straight to university rather than having to complete a foundation course because their work is of such a high standard.

It's very unusual for this to happen in art and design 'A' level courses and staff and students at Queen Alex are delighted that lots of hard work has paid off.

Kimberley Brown is going to Northumbria University to study BA (Hons) Animation and Design. She says: "I was quite surprised I got in straightaway. After university, I'd like a career in film or game animation."

Erin Spencer is going to be studying at either Northumbria or Cumbria university. She says the key to her success is down to the teaching. Erin says: "The teachers are really helpful. They spend so much time preparing you for what's coming up and make sure that your portfolio is up to a high standard." Erin's plans for the future include her own photography studio, although not before she has done some travelling first.

Another student bucking the trend is Franki White. She has a place at Cumbria university on the BA (Hons) Contemporary Applied Arts course. She says: "With being at a college rather than a school we're encouraged to do more experimental things. At my interview, the university lecturer said my work was unusual and took risks." After graduating, Franki wants to set-up her own textiles business making intricate embroidered cushion covers, bags and purses.

Other art and design students from Queen Alex have got places at universities including Sheffield Hallam, Sunderland, Lincoln, Northumbria and Cumbria.

College Principal, Jon Vincent says: "Both staff and students have worked hard and their creativity has been recognised by all these universities which will mean they can go straight into higher education and fulfil their potential."