The first 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 first year, you'll choose one of the four specialisms to pursue, with support from our teaching staff, and with seminars and tutoring sessions.
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.
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.
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).
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.
Studying abroad can be a life-changing experience. Living in another country, you'll experience new places, people, cultures and possibilities. You'll develop initiative, independence, motivation and, depending on where you go, a working knowledge of another language – all qualities employers are looking for. You will return to complete your degree with all the benefits of the International Year experience behind you.
To find out more about studying abroad as part of your course please see the Study Abroad section:
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.
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, and (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. Your portfolio 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.
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.