Glass, Ceramics, Jewellery, Metalwork | 4 year

BA (Hons)

2018 entry

The first year of this four-year course will introduce you to the creative environment of crafts and design. It facilitates the transition from secondary to higher education within a specialist creative context for those wishing to establish the relevant skills and knowledge base. Upon successful completion, you’ll progress onto our BA (Hons) Glass, Ceramics, Jewellery, Metalwork course without further application or interview.

The UK’s craft and design specialisms have a long-standing and world-renowned reputation, putting the country on the map for innovative, forward-thinking, contemporary design. From iconic landmarks like The Shard to high performance components in space travel, the UK’s craft and design industry plays an integral part in architectural and manufacturing processes.

Our Glass, Ceramics, Jewellery, Metalwork degree gives you the opportunity to explore each of the four specialisms, before choosing to study one in greater depth. With no prior specialist knowledge or expertise required, this course fully equips you to initiate and develop creative ideas while offering you the freedom to work with a range of materials.

Our School of Crafts & Product Design has leapt an impressive 24 places in The Guardian's 2017 university league table.

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Length of study:

Four years (Year 0 + three-year degree) full-time


September 2018


UCA Farnham

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Course overview:

This course is all about finding innovative design solutions, our working methodology is collaborative, curious, playful and experimental and a vehicle for expression.

Our students’ work spans a very broad spectrum – from design for manufacture, to the built environment and the unique art object – so throughout your studies, you’ll learn and develop your skills through a combination of workshops, lectures, seminars, tutorials, but most importantly through your own practice.

You’ll use your glass, ceramics, jewellery and metalwork making skills as a means of experimenting with materials and processes, whilst playful invention will form the basis of working through specialist workshops and creating engagement on multiple levels.

Working within focused design briefs, you’ll test and develop ideas, combining research, documentation, evaluation and resolution. You’ll also build the ability to work as part of a creative team through a public graduate exhibition.

Previous students have also taken part in competitions with the British Art Medals Society, the Lighting Association, and the Stevens Association, familiarising themselves with work-place projects, commissions, and exhibitions during their studies here at UCA.

Our strong links with craft and design associations, together with a study of business, marketing and promotion, will enable you to develop a deep understanding of professional practice before graduating. The diversity and standard of our studio facilities across the four course specialisms is exemplary within the Higher Education sector.

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Course content - 2018 entry

Year 0 provides an early entry point to the course and is specifically focused upon glass, ceramics, jewellery and metalwork skills, offering an alternative to a Foundation Diploma. The year enables you to explore and experiment with a range of tools, methods and processes, to begin developing a portfolio of work.

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change.

Course modules

  • Portfolio Practice

    This unit will introduce you to a range of basic communication skills necessary for the production of an art and design portfolio. You'll undertake a range of exercises each practicing / combining different skills. Traditional and contemporary precedent examples provide subject context and reference for inspiration. You develop in greater depth a communication technique of particular individual interest.

  • Craft Practice 1

    The purpose of this unit is to quickly orientate you within the 3D workshop environment and to introduce basic material and process exploration. Readily workable materials will be explored suitable for creating and replicating texture, form and surface eg. plaster, wax, silicones and ‘jesmonite'. Basic qualities of glass, ceramics, metal and textiles will also be introduced through technical demonstration. Traditional and contemporary practice precedent examples provide subject context and reference for inspiration.

  • Craft Practice 2

    This unit is for you to further develop and exercise subject skills within the context of elementary, creative design project briefs. Greater emphasis is placed upon individual research and project narrative.

  • Craft Contexts

    The aim of this unit is to furnish an understanding of ‘craft’ through a variety of recent and contemporary contexts, from its associated materials and processes through to its social, cultural and economic positioning within contexts of display and consumption. The unit will focus on the means by which craft can be experienced in today’s world, from the studio or workshop, museum, gallery, research centre, retail space or home, through to the catalogues, magazines, social media and online presences that add to its definition. Throughout the unit, you are expected to collect and annotate a body of research material that demonstrates an appreciation of the breadth of contemporary practices and experiences, and to develop critical skills through comparative evaluation.

This year will give you a rich experience of each of the four specialisms, and you'll explore how to initiate and develop ideas in and out of the studio. Through a series of differently sized projects, you'll also learn how to resolve creative ideas using a range of materials.

At the end of the year, you'll choose one of the four specialisms to pursue, with support from our teaching staff, and with seminars and tutoring sessions.

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change.

Course modules

  • Maker and Materials Lab

    The primary purpose of this unit is to introduce Glass, Ceramics, Jewellery, Metalwork students to the act of making and embed it as the most fundamental skill requirement and means to experimental research.

  • Practice Process 1

    This unit quickly orientates you within the Glass, Ceramics, Jewellery, Metalwork practice context by introducing the fundamental discipline-specific making skills and knowledge that provide your learning foundation and inform the design process.

  • Practice Process 2

    This unit introduces further fundamental discipline-specific Glass, Ceramic, Jewellery, Metalwork skills and knowledge and to test and develop this learning within given Glass, Ceramic, Jewellery, Metalwork practice design brief contexts. It synthesises design processes of research, documentation, evaluation, ideas generation, iterative exploration, resolution and communication at a basic level.

  • Contextual Frameworks

    Through a series of illustrated thematic lectures, the unit will articulate a range of theoretical and practice-based positions in order to expose the rich diversity of approaches to crafts and design, and to consider aesthetic decisions in relation to wider contextual fields.

You'll start work in your chosen specialism, exploring relevant skills and processes in more depth through dedicated workshops taught by a number of industry experts and tailored to the progression of your own ideas.

You'll have the chance to undertake a work placement, take part in a competition or complete an industry commission, where you'll gain insight into career opportunities and learn directly from industry professionals.

Towards the end of the year, you'll also host group exhibitions - this includes the choice of venue, timing, the exhibited work and the exhibition's marketing and promotion.

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change.

Course modules

  • Ideation and Insight

    You'll activate your creativity and stimulate a fluent output of ideas and insights. This is undertaken in an abstract context to encourage a freer and more speculative approach.

  • Practice Exploration 1

    You explore and develop individual design identity and interest through engagement with Glass, Ceramics, Jewellery, Metalwork design project briefs within set topical themes. Briefs require engagement from inception to resolution incorporating all stages of the design process.

  • Practice Exploration 2

    You'll extend and develop your exploration of individual design identity and interest. This is undertaken through engagement with industry facing Glass, Ceramic, Jewellery, Metalwork design project briefs, set within specific topical themes. Live competition brief options will feature, with organised industry collaborations and work placement possibility also available subject to confirmation.

  • Contextual Perspectives

    You'll be introduced to a range of contextual, theoretical and critical perspectives that encourage an involved and insightful appreciation of crafts and design practices as expressions of meaning and value. With an emphasis on crafts and design as discourse, and drawing on a range of research methods and thematic content, the unit will seek to highlight relationships between creativity, production, mediation and consumption, promoting analysis and evaluation as essential aspects of creative research and resolution, and encouraging a positional approach to studio practice that identifies objects as experiences.

  • Study Abroad Year (optional)

    Students in the School of Crafts and Design have the unique opportunity within UCA to add an additional year of study at an overseas institution (either at a higher education establishment or workplace).

    This optional year is designed to broaden your educational experience and deepen your understanding of cultural diversity, enabling you to study within a different cultural context and gain fresh perspectives.

The final year of this course is fully self-directed. The first term focuses on developing a project proposal for your major project, with the second term dedicated to its development and completion. A business, marketing and promotion unit also runs throughout the year, preparing you for industry once you graduate.

At the end of the year, you'll be part of a large University-wide graduation show where you'll exhibit your final project.

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change.

Course modules

  • Practice Portfolio

    The purpose of this unit is to prime you in complete readiness for constructive engagement with your future prospects upon graduation. It helps to facilitate the transition from student to early stage professional practitioner or adjacent destination.

  • Practice Position 1

    You'll commence framing an individual Glass, Ceramics, Jewellery, Metalwork practice position. In order to achieve this two routes of pursuit are offered (i) research / exploratory prototyping and testing (ii) research to resolution.

  • Practice Position 2

    You'll finalise framing an individual Glass, Ceramic, Jewellery, Metalwork practice position and realise a self-initiated, graduate major project that realises individual potential.

  • Contextual Research and Critical Reflection

    You'll conceive, develop and construct a personally meaningful portfolio of contextual research that informs, augments and reflects upon practice, towards the provision of structured narratives that critically engage with a range of contextual and theoretical frameworks and serve to support the positioning of individual practice in relation to past, present and possible future endeavours.


UCA Farnham provides first-rate facilities with extensive workshops and equipment to support your study. It's also home to the Crafts Study Centre - a purpose-built museum, research centre and gallery dedicated to crafts.

Course staff

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International study

Find out more about studying in the UK, or studying part of your course abroad at one of our partner institutions (study abroad option not available on all courses).

Course connections

On this course, you'll be exposed to a world of opportunities

We enjoy close links with a range of Worshipful companies and other organisations who are able to benefit our students in the form of bursaries, awards, seminars, workshops, commissions and competitions. These include:

  • Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths
  • Worshipful Company of Pewterers
  • Worshipful Company of Ironmongers
  • Worshipful Company of Glaziers and Painters of Glass
  • Worshipful Company of Glass Sellers
  • Weston Beamor Ltd
  • Bullseye Glass of America
  • Gaffer Glass UK.

Our students have also taken part in competitions with the British Art Medals Society, the Lighting Association and the Stevens Association.

Many of our graduates become self-employed designers, makers or practitioners, setting up their own businesses and also taking freelance commissions. Others pursue positions within galleries and curatorships, or enter teaching roles.

You may also like to consider further study at postgraduate level.

How to apply - 2018 entry

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Entry requirements - 2018 entry:

As a leading creative arts university, we want to attract the best and most creative minds in the country – so we take a balanced approach to candidate assessment, taking both individual portfolios and exam results into account. 

That’s why your portfolio is an especially important part of your application to study with us – and we can help. Our academics can offer you expert advice on how to showcase your creative work and build a portfolio that will make your application stand out. More advice on how to create an exceptional portfolio is also available here.

Entry requirements

Along with your portfolio, the standard entry requirements* for this course are:

  • 64 new UCAS tariff points (equivalent to 160 old UCAS tariff points), see accepted qualifications 
  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4)
  • Merit, Pass, Pass at BTEC Extended Diploma
  • Pass at UALAB Extended Diploma
  • 64 new UCAS tariff points from an accredited Access to Higher Education Diploma in appropriate subject.

And four GCSE passes at grade A*-C and/or grade 4-9 including English (or Functional Skills English/Key Skills Communication Level 2)

Other relevant and equivalent Level 3 UK and international qualifications are considered on an individual basis, and we encourage students from diverse educational backgrounds to apply.

*We occasionally make offers which are lower than the standard entry criteria, to students who have faced difficulties that have affected their performance and who were expected to achieve higher results. We consider the strength of our applicants’ portfolios, as well as their grades - in these cases, a strong portfolio is especially important.

Your portfolio

For Year 0 entry no portfolio is required. However, if you do have a general portfolio or examples of work which you would like to bring with you to interview, we would love to see it. We will require you to attend an Applicant Day which will include an interview. This will also give you the opportunity to visit us, meet the course team and see the facilities.

More portfolio advice

Fees & finance

Uncover all the costs involved, as well as the grants, loans and other financial support you may be entitled to.

Student regulations

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