Silversmithing, Goldsmithing & Jewellery

BA (Hons)

2018 entry

Our award-winning BA (Hons) Silversmithing, Goldsmithing & Jewellery course provides you with a unique opportunity to become a distinctive designer and maker across three specialisms.

Focusing on both traditional and contemporary approaches to making, and we place great importance on 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 2018


UCA Rochester

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UCAS campus code:


Course overview:

On this course, physical making and material investigation will be at the core of your student experience, bringing together traditional craft skills and developments in technology.

Alongside the technical elements of the course, you’ll be encouraged to develop your own interests and distinctive creative direction through design projects. By designing, making and evaluating, you will develop practical skills, critical judgement and professional confidence, building your self-reliance and ability to resolve projects to a high standard.

With access to excellent workshops and your own workspace, you’ll work alongside like-minded designers and makers in a stimulating creative studio environment at our Rochester campus, where innovation and excellence are encouraged.

We offer a supportive culture, which is stimulating and challenging. The teaching team are practicing designer-makers who are all highly regarded within their professions, ensuring that they respond to the changes and opportunities in the development of contemporary practice, promoting a culture of creativity, innovation and competitiveness.

Long-standing links with industry and leading organisations such as The Goldsmiths’ Company, West Dean, and The British Art Medals Society will give you the chance to take part in national and international competitions and placements.

What’s more, live projects within industry will give you invaluable professional experience. Our students and graduates have an excellent reputation within the profession and have had outstanding successes in major competitions.

An additional ‘International Year’ study/ work placement abroad option is available between second and third year study and a European study trip is organised each year which is open to all year groups.

Our graduates have progressed to a variety of professional roles, including becoming designer-makers, designing, working for jewellery companies, marketing, retail and teaching whilst others have chosen to embark on postgraduate study.

Open Days

Register for an Open Day to find out more about this course in person.

Course content - 2018 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.

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).

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

Course modules

  • Study Abroad Year

    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.

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.

Course leader

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 - 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:

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.
  • 27-30 total points in the International Baccalaureate Diploma with at least 15 IB points at Higher level, see more information about IB entry requirements.

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 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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