• CollegeCSM
  • Start dateSeptember 2018
  • Course lengthExtended full time: 2 years (60 weeks)

MA Design (Ceramics); MA Design (Furniture); MA Design (Jewellery)

Places available 2017/18
This course has places available for UK and EU applicants for 2017/18 entry. View the ‘How to apply’ section on this page for more details.

MA Design focuses on your individual design practice and, through making and immersion in material processes, will broaden your career and research horizons. Your Masters project becomes the vehicle for developing your creative abilities and analytical skills, while you critically engage in the fields of emergent design discourse, global markets and the investigation of technologies. Our two-year Masters programme expects you to be ambitious. It will challenge you to explore and expand your opportunities, and make your mark on the global design industry.

This course is part of the Product, Ceramic and Industrial Design programme.

Great reasons to apply

  • Our graduates are versatile makers, astute commentators, and agents of positive socio-economic, cultural, and technological change
  • We take a critically informed and experimental approach to the production, form, and circulation of knowledge bringing together the traditional studio and craft traditions of graphic design with research driven approaches 
  • We experiment openly with existing specialisms such as illustration and web design but also develop our own new ones
  • Our students have access to a diverse range of workshops including letterpress, print-making, photography, video, sound and digital facilities
  • Our individual and collective practices benefit from a highly international and diverse student and staff community.

Meet Course Leader Simon Fraser, staff and students

Maria Gasparian talks about her Nova-nominated final project 'Ceramic City'

Nova nominee Mark Laban on traditional Japanese aesthetics in digital furniture design

Aureliele Bourhis
Aureliele Bourhis

Aureliele Bourhis

Ana Jimenez Palomar
Ana Jimenez Palomar

Ana Jimenez Palomar

Alice Cicolini
Alice Cicolini

Alice Cicolini

Course catalogues

Course detail

MA Design (Ceramics); MA Design (Furniture); MA Design (Jewellery) is part of the Product, Ceramic and Industrial Design programme. Ceramics, furniture and jewellery design share rich cultural histories and traditions of practice. Each is concerned with what can be described as 'intimate architecture' - a physical relationship of the artefact with the body.

The role of design practitioners is changing as a result of emergent technologies, global marketing, the internationalisation of production, and a rising interest in a 'bespoke approach' or 'craft content' within design.

Designers need to be able to think creatively and strategically about the identity of products and their cultural backgrounds and to support their ideas with innovation, commercial thinking and ethical questioning. MA Design: Ceramics, Furniture or Jewellery (by Project) develops your creative abilities, imagination and expertise in relation to real design world demands by linking formal design approaches with practice-led research.

The postgraduate course is achieved in the context of your own personal project, explored and developed according to your individual pathway choice, in a stimulating, supportive, creative and collaborative environment.

  • MA Design (Ceramics); MA Design (Furniture); MA Design (Jewellery) lasts 60 weeks structured as three consecutive periods of 20 weeks each (i.e. two academic years) in its 'extended full-time mode'
  • The Course is credit rated at 180 credits, and comprises three units. Unit One (60 credits) lasts 20 weeks. Unit Two (60 credits) runs for 10 weeks in the first year and 10 weeks in the second year. Unit Three (60 credits) runs for 20 weeks
  • Units One and Two must be passed in order to progress to Unit Three
  •  The MA certification (Pass, Pass with Merit or Pass with Distinction) derives from the assessment for Unit Three only
  • An exit award of Postgraduate Certificate can be awarded on completion of Unit One
  • An exist award of Postgraduate Diploma can be awarded on completion of Unit Two
  • The student is expected to typically commit 30 hours over three days per week to study, within which the taught input will typically be scheduled over three days. The course has been designed in this way to enable the student to pursue studies, whilst also undertaking part-time employment, internships or care responsibilities
  • Teaching will consist of lectures, seminars, demonstrations, workshops, fieldtrips, tutorials and project work carried in groups and individually.

Course structure

Curriculum

The framework for the postgraduate course is an independent study route defined by your chosen project. The project becomes a vehicle for developing your creative abilities, problem solving and analytical skills, and for locating your work within the professional world.

You'll be encouraged to refocus your skills intellectually, contextually and practically, to exploit and extend design strategies from your own and other disciplines, and to question and test your ideas through teamwork and group critiques. On applying to MA Design: Ceramics, Furniture or Jewellery you'll be asked to produce a comprehensive project proposal that you refine during Stage One of the programme. In Stage Two, this proposal becomes an agreement, the blueprint for the MA project submission at the end of the postgraduate course.

  • Unit One: Exploring and Designing introduces issues and topics relevant to ceramics, jewellery or furniture, research methodologies and techniques and aims to enable the student to orientate their practice within the course, and to develop contextual, critical and research skills at the onset of MA learning. You will also collaborate in cross course collaborative projects
  • Unit Two: Design and Professional Practice, through unit two the student is expected to develop a critical self-awareness of their professional practice by focusing on reflectivity, contextualisation, and positioning practice in response to the action proposal developed in unit one. Throughout the unit, the student is expected to actively engage with, peers, external practitioners, networks and collaborators to produce a body of work which will map and articulate the students position in the field and reflect on their understanding of design industry structures; in particular, contemporary practices in ceramics, furniture and jewellery. The unit incorporates Personal Professional Development, enterprise and contextualising activities
  • Unit Three: Evaluation and Resolution brings the project to both a practical and critically reflective conclusion, manifesting the practical outcomes, identifying where the student locates their practice and evaluating the project through the Critical Review. During the final stages of the course there will be further Personal Professional Development activity  and professional futures workshops to support your career development. 

MA Design CFJ Programme Specification 2018/19 (PDF, 356KB)

Industry collaborations

Working with paying clients on live briefs will give you valuable commercial experience which may mean your work being taken forward for production or, if so desired, in the purchase of your intellectual property. All paid projects are conducted within a carefully developed legal framework, which includes student agreements to protect your work and help you realise its commercial value. 

Recent client projects in the Product, Ceramic and Industrial Design programme include: Nespresso, Roche Bobois, John Lewis, Canal and River Trust, Action Dog.

Once you’ve graduated, you may be picked as part of a small team to work on a live creative brief, organised by our Business and Innovation department, under the supervision of an experienced tutor. This can be a valuable first step in working professionally in a chosen discipline and has resulted in graduates being hired by clients.

Staff

Course Leader and Subject Leader (Jewellery): Simon Fraser

Subject Leader (Furniture): Professor Ralph Ball

Lecturer: Professor Rob Kesseler
Lecturer: Dr Ulrike Oberlack
Lecturer: Anthony Quinn
Lecturer: Dr Elizabeth Wright

How to apply

2017/18 entry
Please note, this course has places available for UK and EU applicants only for 2017/18 entry.

2018/19 entry
Applications for 2018/19 entry will open in Autumn 2017.

You can apply for this course using our online application form:

Before you apply, we recommend you take some time to read the following details about the application process, including guidance on the extra information we will ask you to provide.

Please make sure that you complete your online application to the course as soon as possible, even if you intend to send us more information through other links, for example, WeTransfer.

This is because the online recruitment system does not notify the course team of your application until it is completed online, so the team will be unaware of your application or your interest in a place on the course until you have gone through this process.

Required information for all postgraduate course applications

You will need to enter the following information in the online application form:

Personal details (including full name; date of birth; nationality; permanent address and English language level)

Current and/or previous education and qualification details

Employment history

Before you can submit the form, you’ll also need to agree to the terms and conditions for how we process your data – these are explained in the form.

Extra information required for applications to this course

Once you have submitted the online application form, we will send you a confirmation email.

You will be emailed a link to our online application tool, where you should submit the extra information we require for the selection process:

Personal Statement

Your personal statement should give us information about yourself and why you want to join the course. (Write between 300 and 500 words)

  • What are you doing at the moment educationally, professionally, personally?
  • Why do you wish to study on MA Design; Ceramics, Furniture or Jewellery?
  • What makes you a suitable candidate for acceptance?
  • What do you think you would contribute to your peer group on the course?

Project Proposal

We expect a project proposal to be 500 to 800 words long in total. The sections ‘Resources’, ‘Bibliography’ and ‘Appendix’ are in addition to this word count.

Your Background

  • Using bullet points, state professional qualifications, skills, experiences, abilities and prior practice that are relevant to your proposal.

Outline Proposal

  • Describe your precise area of interest and research/study you wish to undertake demonstrating your contextual knowledge;
  • Describe the core of your project in three to four sentences;
  • Outline the context in which your project operates answering questions such as: Why is your project relevant? Who might be its audience(s)?

Development

  • Refer to specific areas, critical ideas and precedents, which underpin and frame your proposal;
  • This section invites you to extend the description of your project focusing on specific areas. Particularly important is your evaluation of precedents and how you position your project in relationship to these.

Research

  • Outline the sequence of practical, of theoretical and of visual research that you intend to follow;
  • This section requires you to be specific about how you plan to conduct your project and where particular challenges might lie.

Evaluation

  • Evaluate your work to date. Which conclusions are you are able to draw?
  • Where do you think the strengths of your work lie and where are areas you might improve?

Resources

  • Document resources that you have drawn on as part of your research towards your proposal including professional contacts, libraries, museums, galleries, special archives or collections;
  • Document any professional contacts that might support the delivery of your project. These might be drawn from the list above and / or extend to your access to research or production facilities, potential collaborators etc. 

Bibliography

  • Please give clear references of any relevant documentary material including books, images, videos, objects, artworks, online sources etc. 

Appendix (optional)

  • This section is optional. You can insert any additional material that you consider relevant but not a core part of your project proposal;
  • This could be other projects, notebooks, drawings, company analyses, or additional research material.

Portfolio

Your digital portfolio should contain up to 20 images and demonstrate:

  • The full range and level of your design, technical and practical skills;
  • Your thinking and decision making in the design process;
  • Your personal vision and approach to design.

Your portfolio should contain at least one fully documented design process showing:

  • A project brief and your research into or interrogation of the brief (This could be a client or college brief or a brief you might have set yourself);
  • Inspirations and initial ideas (where do these come from?);
  • Visual and conceptual development of these ideas (sketching and/or alternative methods);
  • Drawing/design of objects based on these visual/conceptual developments;
  • (Iterative) model making, production and refinement of objects;
  • Final product(s), object(s) and/or presentations such as exhibitions etc.

References

This course requires at least two references one of which should be an academic or professional reference.

Start your application now

The application form can be saved as you fill it out, so you don’t need to complete it all at once. You will also have the chance to review all the information and make any necessary amendments before you submit the application form. 

What happens next

We read and consider all application forms and personal references.  Subject to your meeting the entry requirements and consideration of your application form, preliminary selection is based on your documentation of work and supporting information. You may then be invited to an interview (either in person or by skype). You will be asked to bring a portfolio of your latest work.

We will send you emails as you progress through the application process, so do check your inbox (and junk folder, just in case). These emails will contain important information about your application, and links to the online forms you should use to submit the extra information required.

When to apply

We strongly recommend you apply before 30 June 2017. After that point we cannot guarantee your application will be considered.

Deferred entry

Entry can only be deferred in exceptional circumstances. Please contact us before submitting your application if you're considering applying for deferred entry.

2017/18 entry
Please note, this course has places available for UK and EU applicants only for 2017/18 entry.

2018/19 entry
Applications for 2018/19 entry will open in Autumn 2017.

You can apply for this course using our online application form:

Before you apply, we recommend you take some time to read the following details about the application process, including guidance on the extra information we will ask you to provide.

Please make sure that you complete your online application to the course as soon as possible, even if you intend to send us more information through other links, for example, WeTransfer.

This is because the online recruitment system does not notify the course team of your application until it is completed online, so the team will be unaware of your application or your interest in a place on the course until you have gone through this process.

Required information for all postgraduate course applications

You will need to enter the following information in the online application form:

Personal details (including full name; date of birth; nationality; permanent address and English language level)

Current and/or previous education and qualification details

Employment history 

Before you can submit the form, you’ll also need to agree to the terms and conditions for how we process your data – these are explained in the form.

For further advice on how to apply please visit the UAL International Application page.

Immigration History form (for International Applications only)

Whether you are applying online or through a UAL representative you will need to complete an Immigration History form.

We will email you an Immigration History form when we receive your application.

You will need to send this back to us, by email, with copies of the following documents:

  • Your passport photo page 
  • Your current visa (if you have one) and any previous UK study visas
  • Your current English language certificate (if you have this)
  • Your academic qualifications (A2, IB, high school diploma, foundation etc. - if completed. Translated into English)

Please note: If you do not complete and return your Immigration History form we will not be able to proceed with your application.

Extra information required for applications to this course

Once you have submitted the online application form, we will send you a confirmation email.

From January 2017 you will be emailed a link to our online application tool, where you should submit the extra information we require for the selection process:

Personal Statement

Your personal statement should give us information about yourself and why you want to join the course. (Write between 300 and 500 words) 

  • What are you doing at the moment educationally, professionally, personally?
  • Why do you wish to study on MA Design; Ceramics, Furniture or Jewellery?
  • What makes you a suitable candidate for acceptance?
  • What do you think you would contribute to your peer group on the course?

Project Proposal

We expect a project proposal to be 500 to 800 words long in total. The sections ‘Resources’, ‘Bibliography’ and ‘Appendix’ are in addition to this word count.

Your Background

  • Using bullet points, state professional qualifications, skills, experiences, abilities and prior practice that are relevant to your proposal.

Outline Proposal

  • Describe your precise area of interest and research/study you wish to undertake demonstrating your contextual knowledge;
  • Describe the core of your project in three to four sentences;
  • Outline the context in which your project operates answering questions such as: Why is your project relevant? Who might be its audience(s)?

Development

  • Refer to specific areas, critical ideas and precedents, which underpin and frame your proposal;
  • This section invites you to extend the description of your project focusing on specific areas. Particularly important is your evaluation of precedents and how you position your project in relationship to these.

Research

  • Outline the sequence of practical, of theoretical and of visual research that you intend to follow;
  • This section requires you to be specific about how you plan to conduct your project and where particular challenges might lie.

Evaluation

  • Evaluate your work to date. Which conclusions are you are able to draw?
  • Where do you think the strengths of your work lie and where are areas you might improve?

Resources

  • Document resources that you have drawn on as part of your research towards your proposal including professional contacts, libraries, museums, galleries, special archives or collections;
  • Document any professional contacts that might support the delivery of your project. These might be drawn from the list above and / or extend to your access to research or production facilities, potential collaborators etc.

Bibliography

  • Please give clear references of any relevant documentary material including books, images, videos, objects, artworks, online sources etc.

Appendix (optional)

  • This section is optional. You can insert any additional material that you consider relevant but not a core part of your project proposal;
  • This could be other projects, notebooks, drawings, company analyses, or additional research material.

Portfolio

Your digital portfolio should contain up to 20 images and demonstrate:

  • The full range and level of your design, technical and practical skills;
  • Your thinking and decision making in the design process;
  • Your personal vision and approach to design.

Your portfolio should contain at least one fully documented design process showing:

  • A project brief and your research into or interrogation of the brief (This could be a client or college brief or a brief you might have set yourself);
  • Inspirations and initial ideas (where do these come from?);
  • Visual and conceptual development of these ideas (sketching and/or alternative methods);
  • Drawing/design of objects based on these visual/conceptual developments;
  • (Iterative) model making, production and refinement of objects;
  • Final product(s), object(s) and/or presentations such as exhibitions etc.

References

This course requires at least two references one of which should be an academic or professional reference.

Start your application now

The application form can be saved as you fill it out, so you don’t need to complete it all at once. You will also have the chance to review all the information and make any necessary amendments before you submit the application form. 

What happens next

We read and consider all application forms and personal references.  Subject to your meeting the entry requirements and consideration of your application form, preliminary selection is based on your documentation of work and supporting information. You may then be invited to an interview (either in person or by skype). You will be asked to bring a portfolio of your latest work.

We will send you emails as you progress through the application process, so do check your inbox (and junk folder, just in case). These emails will contain important information about your application, and links to the online forms you should use to submit the extra information required.

When to Apply

We strongly recommend you apply before 30 June 2017. After that point we cannot guarantee your application will be considered.

Deferred Entry

Entry can only be deferred in exceptional circumstances. Please contact us before submitting your application if you're considering applying for deferred entry.

Entry requirements

We recruit students to ensure a dynamic and supportive cohort with a range of different life experiences within the ceramic, furniture or jewellery design areas, who will be able to share expertise and add value to the experience of all students on the course.

We offer places to a variety of applicants, ranging from exceptional students who have just completed undergraduate degrees in the appropriate subject, to graduates who have been working in the field for some time and who wish to return to study.

We are interested in applicants from a range of arts/design backgrounds who are looking to relocate their career paths or who feel that their skill base can be used to open new opportunities and avenues in the ceramics, furniture or jewellery fields.

Applicants who have proven managerial experience of design will also be encouraged, especially if they have worked in an area directly related to ceramic, furniture or jewellery production.

Minimum entry requirements

We consider applicants who have already achieved an educational level equivalent to an Honours degree. You can demonstrate this educational level by:

  • Relevant Honours degree; (or)
  • Evidence of experiential learning equivalent to a degree; (or)
  • Three years relevant professional experience.

English language requirements

All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language you will be asked to provide evidence of your English language ability in order to apply for a visa, enrol, and start your course. The English language requirement for entry for this course is:

IELTS 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in any one paper, or equivalent. 

For further information visit the English Language requirements page.

Applicants who will need a Tier Four General Student Visa should check the Visa and Immigration page which provides important information about UK Border Agency (UKBA) requirements.

Selection Criteria

Admission is based on submission of the following:

  • A Project Proposal written by the applicant outlining the main project's intentions and the research support and commercial/industrial connections applicable to the project
  • A portfolio of supporting work illustrating the applicant's previous experience and practical skills
  • Documentation relating to exhibitions or particular 'live' projects will also be required.

Applicants may then be selected for interview based on:

  • The suitability, appropriateness and deliverability of the Project Proposal in relation to the professional expertise of the staff team
  • Analytical and critical skills and the ability of the applicant to apply these to the Project Proposal
  • The quality of the design work submitted in support of the application and the 'match' between this and the Project Proposal
  • The applicant's awareness of the historical, cultural and social implications of their project
  • The resource implications of the Project Proposal and the ability of the course and the applicant to support the practical realisation of the project.

Fees and funding

Home/EU fee

Tuition fees for 2017/18: £5,050 per year. Please note that fees for second year of study will be subject to inflationary increase.

£500 per annum discount for all students who have completed a PG Dip/Cert or an undergraduate course including Grad Dip/Cert, at UAL.

You can pay course tuition fees in instalments for this course.

International fee

Tuition fees for 2017/18: £12,860 per year.

£500 per annum discount for all students who have completed a PG Dip/Cert or an undergraduate course including Grad Dip/Cert, at UAL.

You can pay course tuition fees in instalments for this course.

Additional costs

In addition to tuition fees you are very likely to incur additional costs such as travel expenses and the cost of materials. Please read the information on our additional costs page.

Accommodation

Find out about the accommodation options available and how much they will cost.

Scholarships and awards

There are a number of scholarships and awards available to students on this course. Use our search tool to find out more information.

Scholarships search

Careers and alumni

Through the professional experience of the teaching team there are strong links with commercial, artistic, craft and industrial bodies in London, nationally and internationally. Over the duration of the MA, meetings with practitioners, industry professionals, and participants in the wider design community will enable you to learn to communicate effectively across a range of different environments.
Future careers and graduate prospects

Many MA Design: Ceramics, Furniture or Jewellery graduates move speedily into self-employment, developing businesses at the highest levels finding opportunities to progress their independent practice at both a national and international level. These includes students showing work at the Victoria Miro Gallery and Sotheby’s and collection designs for Swarovksi, MADE, Top shop and the House of Fraser.

Other MA Design: Ceramics, Furniture or Jewellery graduates work for design teams in Europe and Internationally either in their country of origin or increasingly in a country of their choice. A significant minority enter educational work at Masters level.

Alumni profiles

  • Gunjan Gupta

    MA Design; Furniture alum Gunjan Gupta tells us about her final project ‘Dining Throne’, created in collaboration with North Indian master craft communities.

  • Ceramic work by David Rhys Jones.

    David Rhys Jones

    Since graduating from MA Design; Ceramics David has developed a wide-ranging practice from commemorative ware to public art installations and artists books.

  • Gold and bright red jewellery pieces.

    Eve Vautier

    Since graduating Eve has worked for in the jewellery and accessories design team at Hermes and as an advisor on lacquer production for Hermes.