Pulse College

Pictured: Marketing Manager Ray sitting in the recording studio where U2 recorded their Pop Album.

Pictured: Marketing Manager Ray sitting in the recording studio where U2 recorded their Pop Album.

Thinking of going back to college? Love music? Want to study locally? NewsFour popped into a college we spotted on our commute to work.

Pulse College is a private college set in the splendid Art Deco surroundings of the Windmill Lane studios at 20 Ringsend Road in Dublin 4.

Coming from the city centre, it is just over the bridge after the Grand Canal Theatre and the Lir Acting Academy – in the vicinity of Boland’s Mill, the famous 1916 site that is being re-developed. In the opposite direction it is two minutes walk from the centre of Ringsend.

After being buzzed in and greeted by the lovely and friendly receptionist, I was introduced to the professional, charming and dapper Marketing Manager Ray.

He ushered me into the inner sanctum of the college – the recording studio area. There seemed to be some post-production work on highly technical equipment going on.

It was like walking onto the set of a U2 video. By the way, U2 recorded many of their albums there. And only a few weeks ago Ed Sheeran was in there doing some recording during a respite from his busy touring schedule.

Ray showed me walls of memorabilia and a section where you could open doors on the wall to reveal old-fashioned original master tapes, which he informed me is where the technicians go back to in order to remaster albums. The only problem is that they can only be used once and are unusable afterwards. So it’s a once-or-nothing high stakes operation with no room for error. Very impressive, interesting and exciting.

Then we proceeded onto the green room behind the studios where we sat down for tea and a chat.

This was my time to quiz him on all the various courses on offer and various offers available to both local and foreign students.

He informed me that their student body is 15% international and 85% Irish.

The college was opened as a small venture but has grown exponentially over time. Students study here both full and part time. The part-time students are mostly made up of an older demographic, as is the case for most colleges.

Next, the gender balance:
Historically, gaming has always been male-dominated and still is at 90%, but this is reducing. Animation, film and music courses draw more females than gaming, but more is being done to counteract the gender disparity. The college has a separate building called ‘The Market Studios’ near The corner of Halston Street and Mary’s Lane in Dublin 7 which focuses on Games Development and Animation. The gaming division is very popular and is now being seen more and more as a career rather than just a hobby.

The students begin by getting to grips with board games and gaming theory before progressing on to complex matters such as Sandboxing and the Unity Game Program. Students can complete a Higher Certificate in Game Development at level 6 on the HETAC framework, which allows progression onto a BA in DIT to complete the four years of study to gain this qualification.

One of Pulse College’s most prestigious courses is a Masters in Scoring for Film & Visual Media. It’s rated in the top five of such courses in the world. At €28,000 in fees, it doesn’t come cheap, but you pay for what you get.

There is also a BA in Film and Television Production which this journalist has his eye on if he ever takes the leap from journalism!

All in all, it is a fascinating college with many fascinating courses to pick from. But how to pick just one!

Tea for one, please…

By Thomas Gaffney