Silversmithing, Goldsmithing & Jewellery

BA (Hons)

2017 entry

This award-winning degree course provides a unique opportunity to become a distinctive designer and maker across three specialisms.

Our Silversmithing, Goldsmithing & Jewellery course is focused on both traditional and contemporary approaches to making, and we place great importance on the acquisition of both hand and digital fabrication skills.

Our students and graduates have an excellent reputation within the industry and have had outstanding successes in major competitions.

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:

Three years full-time


September 2017


UCA Rochester

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Course overview:

On this course, physical making and material investigation are at the core of our student experience. Through highly structured intensive technical workshops in a purpose-built and fully equipped facility, you’ll gain the opportunity to learn – in your own dedicated workspace – from highly qualified technical tutors, how to develop and realise your ideas and designs.

In parallel to the strong technical elements this course provides, you’ll be encouraged – through specific design projects – to develop your own interests and form your personal creative direction. You’ll be taught how to undertake creative research, and to observe, document, hypothesise, develop and resolve projects to a high standard.

Throughout your studies you’ll be supported through regular technical reviews, group critiques and one-to-one tutorials with faculty staff and highly regarded industry professionals to talk about your work, share and learn how to develop projects and concepts professionally.

We’re passionate about learning and we foster a supportive environment which is stimulating and challenging for our students. The teaching staff are all practising designer makers and are highly regarded within their profession, ensuring that the syllabus is constantly evolving to meet the latest professional demands.

You’ll also benefit from specialist master classes from invited guest tutors, giving you unique opportunities to learn highly specialist techniques from leading practitioners. Long-standing links with industry and leading organisations such as The Goldsmiths’ Company, l Trust and The British Art Medals Society will give you the chance to take part in national and international competitions and placements. Live projects with industry will give you invaluable professional experience.

Our Rochester campus is just a 40-minute train journey away from London, linking you to one of the most diverse and creative cities in the world, populated by a host of future clients, employers and commissioning agencies.

Course content - 2017 entry

In the first year, you'll be introduced to the University and the technical workshops and facilities available to you. On the course you’ll learn the technical and conceptual skills that will give you a solid foundation from which to explore your areas of specialist activity.

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

Course modules

  • Maker, Materials and Process 1

    The purpose of this unit is to introduce you to the act of making as a key skill and means of experimental research through the exploration of materials and processes.

  • Maker, Materials and Process 2

    This unit builds on the previous one with you extending your vocabulary of material knowledge through the acquisition of a different but related set of material skills and processes. You'll test and further develop skills and knowledge from inception to resolution within given silversmithing, goldsmithing and jewellery practice brief contexts, increasingly synthesising design processes of research, ideas generation, iterative exploration, documentation, evaluation, resolution and communication at a fundamental level.

  • Practice, Process and Concept

    The purpose of this unit is for you to develop creative responses to designing and making, reflecting on and using experiences of processes and materials learned in previous units and employing new skills learnt in the unit.

  • Contextual Frameworks

    Introduces you to a range of historical and contemporary contexts that serve to locate crafts and design practices within wider social and cultural frameworks, and to promote contextual research as a fundamental aspect of creative practice. 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.

The second year focus is on finding your own specialist way of working and you’ll be encouraged and supported to start working more independently. During this year you may also have the opportunity to complete an industry work placement or even study abroad.

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

Course modules

  • Practice Exploration 1

    You'll explore individual design identity and interest through engagement with design project briefs. Briefs require consideration from inception to resolution and incorporate all stages of the design process.

  • Practice Exploration 2

    You'll further extend and develop your exploration of individual design identity and interest. This is undertaken through engagement with selected project brief/s set within specific contextual themes and is seen as an impetus to engage in speculative and conceptually led design in the production of Silversmithing, Goldsmithing and Jewellery.

  • Establishing Practice

    You'll define your own patterns of study and consolidate their creative and conceptual practice. This unit provides, within a defined contextual framework, an opportunity to develop work in response to your own conceptual concerns and personal direction.

  • Contextual Perspectives

    Introduces you 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 seeks 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 (optional)

    Optional unit that will allow you to spend a period of time in an overseas education institution.

The third year will see you achieve a greater level of independence with self-managed research, study and practice, resulting in a final major project and a written dissertation.

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

Course modules

  • Practice Portfolio

    This unit primes 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 Silversmithing, Goldsmithing and Jewellery 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 Silversmithing, Goldsmithing and Jewellery practice position and realise a self-initiated, graduate major project that realises individual potential.

  • Contextual Research and Critical Reflection

    The purpose of this unit is for you to 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.

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

Course modules

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 strong links with many of the leading industry organisations, including:

  • Geist Magazine
  • The Goldsmiths’ Company
  • The Worshipful Company of Pewterers
  • The British Art Medals Society
  • Harriet Kelsall Bespoke Jewellery Design
  • Solidscape
  • RF Bright Ltd.

Awards received by our former students have included:

  • Young Designer Silversmith of the Year (gold award)
  • First prizes for two students at Pewter Live awards


This unique course has opened the doors to a variety of career paths for our graduates – for example, in design, production, buying, marketing, retailing and teaching, as well as self-employment and postgraduate study

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

How to apply - 2017 entry

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Entry requirements - 2017 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:

One of the following:

  • 112 new UCAS tariff points (equivalent to 280 old UCAS tariff points), see accepted qualifications
  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4)
  • Distinction, Merit, Merit at BTEC Extended Diploma
  • Merit at UAL Extended Diploma
  • 112 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.

New UCAS tariff

UCAS has made changes to its tariff system.

Find out how these changes will affect you

Your portfolio

For this course we'll require you to attend an Applicant Day and bring your portfolio for assessment. Further information on how to compile a portfolio and the specific requirements for examples of work to be included will be provided on the Applicant Portal after you've applied.

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

Find out more about the operation of our courses, student conduct, assessments and examinations.

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