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Postgraduate

MA Design (Ceramics, Furniture, Jewellery)

Photograph of a long, light coloured wooden bench with curved back
Image courtesy of UAL,
College
Central Saint Martins
Start date
October 2021
Course length
Two years (60 weeks)
Extended full-time

MA Design focuses on your individual design practice and will broaden your career and research horizons.

Through researching, analysing, designing, making and immersion in material processes, this course will challenge you to make your mark on the global design industry. This course offers three pathways: Ceramics, Furniture and Jewellery. It is part of the Product, Ceramic and Industrial Design programme.

Why choose this course at Central Saint Martins

  • Project-focused learning: Working on your own personal project enables your design practice to become self-motivated, transformative and empowered.
  • Network support: You will be supported by the experience and long-term professional networks accrued by staff and alumni. This will help you gain new, challenging perspectives on your practice.
  • Design resolution: You will be challenged to confront the reality of bridging the gap between design ideas and resolution. You will be expected to go beyond the development of models into working prototypes through to practical iteration and reiteration. This will encourage you to be entrepreneurial, making you highly employable after graduation.
  • Responsive teaching: The course addresses the changing roles of designers and their increasing need to design responsibly and re-imagine manufacturing.

Meet Course Leader Simon Fraser, staff and students

Maria Gasparian talks about her project 'Ceramic City'

Mark Laban on traditional Japanese aesthetics in digital furniture design

Jordan Söderberg Mills, MA Design alum

  • Chloe-Duran-Stone.jpg
    , Chloe Duran Stone
  • Zhaoshen-Wang.jpg
    , Zhaoshen Wang
  • Tomos-Owen.jpg
    , Tomos Owen
  • TonyHoward2017.jpg
    , Tony Howard
  • Xiaonan-Zhang.jpg
    , Xiaonan Zhang
  • Jiahui-Liang.jpg

Course catalogues

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

  • Maison/0 This Earth 2021

    In its inaugural year, we announce the winners of the Maison/0 This Earth Award celebrating the power of artistic practice to advocate for nature.

  • Hybrid Futures

    Hybrid Futures gathered together a constellation of voices and perspectives on the contested relationship between humans and machines. Here, Dr Betti Marenko – Reader in Design and Techno-Digital Futures – shares her reflections on the event

  • Class of 2020: The Body

    Depictions of the human body are a constant throughout art history. Here, we talk to the 2020 graduates who incorporate the body into their creative process – from performative drawing to explorations of illness.

  • Class of 2020: Waste at Work

    From unwanted food to industrial byproducts, we are producing waste at an alarming rate. Many of our graduating students are rethinking waste as raw material and here, we speak to just a few of them.

Course overview

MA Design: Ceramics, Furniture or Jewellery will develop your creative abilities, imagination and expertise. Framed within one course, we use design to explore these evolving disciplines, embracing ideas of practice beyond traditional definitions. This creates a range of hybrid practices disrupting assumptions around design, craft and production. 

Your creative focus will evolve through a structured process of research, design ideation, exploration, development and evaluation. Encouraging you to expand skills intellectually, contextually and practically, extending and exploiting design strategies from your own and other disciplines. To question and test ideas through teamwork, collaborations and group critiques. 

We embody design as a process and a practice of transformation. We view design as research in and for practice, as modes of thinking, as ways of communicating to diverse audiences. 

The sustainability and ethicality of production is an urgent challenge to each of our disciplines. We are interested how this challenge shapes all forms of manufacturing – from master craftsmanship, artisanship and the hand-made to factory production and contemporary technologies. In single artefacts, mass-market delivery and all stages in-between.  

The nature of production and consumption constantly changes, in the face of complex social, economic, environmental challenges and technological innovation. What could or should be the role of the ceramic, furniture or jewellery designer in the twenty first century? By engagement, reflection, negotiation and evolution, we challenge you to shape the future.

Re-framing a discipline or industry, places emphasis on strategic awareness within design and requires a set of responsive, generative and critical skills to complement your creative process and material knowledge. 

We encourage you to question who you are as a designer. How will you shape your discipline? Will you design for a market-led focus, collaboratively with industry partners, regeneratively for a community of practice or identify ways forward as a thought and practice leader? 

Contact us

For queries relating to the Coronavirus outbreak, read our Coronavirus guidance for prospective students.

To register your interest and receive information and updates about studying at UAL, please complete this form.

If you can’t find the information you’re looking for or to ask a question, please contact us.

Course dates

Autumn term
Monday 27 September 2021 – Friday 10 December 2021
Spring term
Monday 10 January 2022 – Friday 18 March 2022
Summer term
Tuesday 19 April 2022 – Friday 24 June 2022

Course units

MA Design Ceramics, Furniture or Jewellery begins with your project focus. Discussed on entry, this initial vision develops into a plan of action. The three units of the course guide the development of your research and design direction, from research and design investigation through trialling and experimentation, to your final high-level resolution.

Design Research is a wide-ranging activity which includes visual, social, cultural, economic, material and technological information interrogated and explored through the design process itself.  

Developing a strategic awareness of your professional potential by reviewing international trade events, seminars, production facilities, materials sourcing, technological advances, sustainable and ethical debates, exhibitions and social and retail environments both digital and tangible. This process is supported by lectures, seminars, peer presentations and tutorials and your explorations in studio practice.

Critical thinking is central to the course ethos and practice. You will be encouraged to draw on the full range of your experience, resources and abilities. 

Unit 1: Exploring the Landscapes

The essence of Unit 1 is the introduction to a whole new world of possibilities.

Designing from day one, Unit 1 explores and interrogates a diverse range of design and research methods, skills and techniques relevant to designers of ceramics, jewellery or furniture. 

Unit 1 orientates your practice and yourself within the course and develops your contextual, critical and research skills at the onset of your postgraduate experience. It will integrate you directly into the course postgraduate community and will include a period of introduction to the course, the College and University resources and London’s design cultures.

Unit 2: Dreaming Big

Building your confidence and pushing the boundaries of your ambition. 

Unit 2 is divided into two sections, Speculative Futures in the summer term Year 1, Materials Matters in the autumn of Year 2. Unit 2 focuses on reflectivity, contextualisation and positioning in response to the design research directions developed in Unit 1. 

This unit incorporates personal and professional development, entrepreneurship and innovation. Exploring, interrogating and reflecting on the diverse range of production and delivery methods for contemporary materials and digital practice. Engaging with emerging sustainability and ethical standards in global production. 

Unit 3: Moving on Up!

Unit 3 brings your project focus to a practical and critically reflective conclusion, evidencing how you have specified, managed, implemented, and evaluated a Self-Directed Design Project. Producing high level practice outcomes and evidence of understanding the value generated in your design process and outputs, in diverse and variable contexts. 

Evaluating the project through a critical lens allows you to plan your next steps beyond CSM. The final stages of the course encourage further personal and professional development. This structure is devised to support your, digital communication, networking, evaluation, resolution and career development to enable you to confidently present, perform and embody your new professional persona.

Mode of study

MA Design Ceramics, Furniture or Jewellery is offered in extended full-time mode which runs for 60 weeks over two academic years. You will be expected to commit 30 hours per week to study, which includes teaching time and independent study.

The course has been designed in this way to enable you to pursue studies, while also undertaking part-time employment, internships or care responsibilities. 

Credit and award requirements

The course is credit-rated at 180 credits. 

On successfully completing the course, you will gain a Master of Arts (MA) degree. 

Under the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications, an MA is Level 7. All units must be passed in order to achieve the MA but the classification of the award is derived from the mark for the final unit only. 

If you are unable to continue on the course, a Postgraduate Certificate (PG Cert) will normally be offered following the successful completion of 60 credits, or a Postgraduate Diploma (PG Dip) following the successful completion of 120 credits.

Learning and teaching methods

During your course you will engage with learning and teaching that includes both online and face-to-face modes. Typically, this will include:

  • Project brief 
  • Peer learning 
  • Research through design and making (see full list in Unit teaching and learning methods) 
  • Professional panels and mentors 
  • Studio practice 

Assessment methods

  • Critiques  
  • Feedback tutorials  
  • Individual design work (2D, 3D, 4D) 
  • Group design work (2D, 3D, 4D) 
  • Pin-up and onscreen presentations 
  • Performances 
  • Action agreement documents 
  • Portfolio submission 
  • A written critical review
  • Viva voce interview

Lecturer: Professor Rob Kesseler

Associate Lecturer: Melanie Eddy
Associate Lecturer: Kathryn Hearn 
Associate Lecturer: Alice Cicolini

How to apply

Opportunities for all

We are committed to making university education an achievable option for a wider range of people and to supporting all of our students in achieving their potential both during and after their courses.

We welcome applications from people with disabilities. If you have a disability (e.g. mobility difficulties, sensory impairments, medical or mental health conditions or Asperger’s syndrome) we strongly encourage you to contact us on disability@arts.ac.uk or +44 (0)20 7514 6156 so that we can plan the right support for you. All enquiries are treated confidentially. To find out more, visit our Disability & Dyslexia webpages.

Entry requirements

The standard entry requirements for this course are as follows:

  • An honours degree 
  • Or an equivalent EU/international qualification.

AP(E)L – Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning

Exceptionally applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered. The course team will consider each application that demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might, for example, be demonstrated by:

  • Related academic or work experience
  • The quality of the personal statement
  • The quality of the design research focus
  • A strong academic or other professional reference

Or a combination of these factors.

Each application will be considered on its own merit but we cannot guarantee an offer in each case.

English language requirements

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) level 6.5 or above, with at least 5.5 in reading, writing, listening and speaking (please check our main English language requirements webpage).

Selection criteria

The application, indicative design research focus and the portfolio will be assessed in relation to: 

  • Analytical and critical skills in combination with your ability to apply these to the project focus.
  • The quality of the design work submitted in support of the application and the 'match' between this and the MA Design Ceramics, Furniture or Jewellery Course aims.
  • Open and flexible in your attitude to exploration, ideation and new contexts and challenges.
  • The suitability, appropriateness and deliverability of the project in relation to the professional contexts.
  • Awareness of the historical, cultural and social implications of your project focus (including sustainability and ethicality).
  • The resource implications of the project focus and the ability of the applicant and the course to support the practical realisation of the project.

Making your application

You should apply by clicking on the link to the direct form below. The application form can be saved as you fill it out, so you do not 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.

Deferred entry

Central Saint Martins does not accept applications for deferred entry. You should therefore apply in the year you wish to study.

Transfers

If you are currently studying at another institution and if you have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units and modules on your current postgraduate curse and wish to continue your studies at Central Saint Martins, you can apply to transfer. The Admissions Tutor will consider applications on a case by case basis, subject to places being available. You must apply directly to the course via the course webpage as early as possible.

Please check our Student Transfer Policy for more important information and be ready to provide us with your current course handbook and unit transcripts.

You will need to provide an official document (translated into English) from your current university, explaining the learning outcomes of the units you have completed.

Start your application now

Before you apply, please take time to read the guidance below. You will be asked to provide the following information when completing the online application form:

General information

  • Personal details (including legal full name, preferred name, date of birth, nationality, addresses)
  • Current English language level
  • Current and/or previous education and qualification details
  • Employment history

Personal statement

Your personal statement should tell us 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 do you think you could contribute to your peer group and the course culture?

Indicative project focus

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

Outline of project focus

  • Describe the core of your project focus in three to four sentences.
  • Outline the contemporary or future context in which your project focus operates. Answer questions such as: Why is your project relevant at this point in time? Who do you consider your audience(s) might be?

Developing the project focus

  • Expand the description of your project focus considering specific areas or critical ideas. We are particularly interested in your evaluation of prior examples and how you position your project focus against these.

Working process

  • What kind of challenges do you think you will face when you begin working on your project focus?

Reflection

Where do you think the strengths of your work lie and where are the challenges?

Evaluation of resources

  • List the resources you have used while developing your proposal focus. This can include professional contacts, libraries, museums, galleries, special archives, collections etc.
  • List any professional contacts that might help you to achieve your aims. These might be drawn from the resources above and / or extend to your access to particular research or production facilities, potential collaborators etc.
  • List your professional qualifications, skills, experiences, abilities and prior practice that are relevant to your project focus. We recognise that skills, experiences, abilities and prior practice can come from a wide array of backgrounds, not just a professional context.

Bibliography

  • Please reference any material you have used writing this project focus including books, images, videos, objects, artworks, online sources etc.

Appendix (optional)

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

We cannot consider your application if you do not provide all the information above, including a complete project focus addressing all the questions in the guidance above.

Communicating with you

After you have successfully submitted your application, you will receive an email confirming we have successfully received your application and providing you with your login details for the UAL Portal.  We will request any additional information from you, including inviting you to upload documents / portfolio / book an interview, through the portal.  You should check your UAL Portal regularly for any important updates and requests.

Please add csm.ukeu@arts.ac.uk to your contacts to ensure that you do not miss any important updates re: your application to UAL.  Also consider altering your spam or junk mail filter to ensure that emails from @arts.ac.uk get through to you.

Application deadline

12 January 2022 or 13 April 2022

For all postgraduate courses at UAL there are 2 rounds of applications. This is to ensure equal consideration and fairness for all of our applicants. You must apply by 12 January 2022 for Round 1 or by 13 April 2022 for Round 2. We recommend you submit your application as early as possible before these deadlines, to allow the Admissions team to resolve any queries and progress your application as quickly as possible.

When you'll hear from us

This course receives a high volume of applications. We need to make sure that we give all applications equal consideration, so the course team will review them in two rounds, after each application deadline date. This means you won’t hear from us about any next steps until after the relevant application deadline date. Outcomes for Round 1 will be released by (at the latest) end of March and outcomes for Round 2 will be released by end of June 2022.

Remember to check the outcome of your application in the UAL Portal. If you apply in Round 1 and don’t hear back from us, we will consider your application within Round 2.

Find out more about what happens after you apply.

There are two ways international students can apply:

You can only apply to the same course once per year.

If you are applying directly you click on the link to the direct form below. The application form can be saved as you fill it out, so you do not 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.

Transfers

If you are currently studying at another institution and if you have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units and modules on your current postgraduate course and wish to continue your studies at Central Saint Martins, you can apply to transfer. The Admissions Tutor will consider applications on a case by case basis, subject to places being available. You must apply directly to the course via the course webpage as early as possible.

Please check our Student Transfer Policy for more important information and be ready to provide us with your current course handbook and unit transcripts.

You will need to provide an official document (translated into English) from your current university, explaining the learning outcomes of the units you have completed.

Deferred entry

Central Saint Martins does not accept applications for deferred entry. You should therefore apply in the year you wish to study.

Visas

Read our visit our immigration and visa advice page to find out whether you need a visa to study.

Start your application now

Before you apply, please take time to read the guidance below. You will be asked to provide the following information when completing the online application form:

General information

  • Personal details (including legal full name, preferred name, date of birth, nationality, addresses)
  • Current English language level
  • Current and/or previous education and qualification details
  • Employment history

Personal statement

Your personal statement should tell us 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 do you think you could contribute to your peer group and the course culture?

Indicative project focus

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

Outline of project focus

  • Describe the core of your project focus in three to four sentences.
  • Outline the contemporary or future context in which your project focus operates. Answer questions such as: Why is your project relevant at this point in time? Who do you consider your audience(s) might be?

Developing the project focus

  • Expand the description of your project focus considering specific areas or critical ideas. We are particularly interested in your evaluation of prior examples and how you position your project focus against these.

Working process

  • What kind of challenges do you think you will face when you begin working on your project focus?

Reflection

Where do you think the strengths of your work lie and where are the challenges?

Evaluation of resources

  • List the resources you have used while developing your proposal focus. This can include professional contacts, libraries, museums, galleries, special archives, collections etc.
  • List any professional contacts that might help you to achieve your aims. These might be drawn from the resources above and / or extend to your access to particular research or production facilities, potential collaborators etc.
  • List your professional qualifications, skills, experiences, abilities and prior practice that are relevant to your project focus. We recognise that skills, experiences, abilities and prior practice can come from a wide array of backgrounds, not just a professional context.

Bibliography

  • Please reference any material you have used writing this project focus including books, images, videos, objects, artworks, online sources etc.

Appendix (optional)

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

Immigration history check

Whether you are applying online or through a UAL representative you will need to complete an immigration history check to establish whether you are eligible to study at UAL.  If you do not complete the check we will not be able to proceed with your application.

We cannot consider your application if you do not provide all the information above, including a complete project focus addressing all the questions in the guidance above.

Communicating with you

After you have successfully submitted your application, you will receive an email confirming we have successfully received your application and providing you with your login details for the UAL Portal.  We will request any additional information from you, including inviting you to upload documents / portfolio / book an interview, through the portal.  You should check your UAL Portal regularly for any important updates and requests.

Please add csm.international@arts.ac.uk to your contacts to ensure that you do not miss any important updates re: your application to UAL Also consider altering your spam or junk mail filter to ensure that emails from @arts.ac.uk get through to you.

Application deadline

12 January 2022 or 13 April 2022

For all postgraduate courses at UAL there are 2 rounds of applications. This is to ensure equal consideration and fairness for all of our applicants. You must apply by 12 January 2022 for Round 1 or by 13 April 2022 for Round 2. We recommend you submit your application as early as possible before these deadlines, to allow the Admissions team to resolve any queries and progress your application as quickly as possible.

When you'll hear from us

This course receives a high volume of applications. We need to make sure that we give all applications equal consideration, so the course team will review them in two rounds, after each application deadline date. This means you won’t hear from us about any next steps until after the relevant application deadline date. Outcomes for Round 1 will be released by (at the latest) end of March and outcomes for Round 2 will be released by end of June 2022.

Remember to check the outcome of your application in the UAL Portal. If you apply in Round 1 and don’t hear back from us, we will consider your application within Round 2.

Find out more about what happens after you apply.

After you apply

What happens next

Initial application check

We check your application to see if you meet the standard entry requirements for the course.  If you do, you will be invited to submit a portfolio through your UAL Portal.

Digital portfolio

The full portfolio should be no more than 15 pages comprising your work and evidence of your current creative practice. Your digital portfolio should demonstrate:

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

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

  • Your Video Task (details below) – the first page of your portfolio
  • A project brief and your research into and interrogation of the brief (This could be a client or college brief or a brief you might have set yourself)
  • Research: 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 of making, production and refinement of objects
  • Final product(s), object(s) and/or presentations such as exhibitions etc.

For more portfolio advice please visit our portfolio advice page.

Video task

We'd like you to submit a 2-3 minute video to help us learn more about you:

  • Please speak clearly in English and face the camera
  • Your video task is submitted along with your portfolio
  • Read our guidance for how to submit your video task and which file types we accept

As part of your video task please respond to the following direction:

Select a project that is important in relation to your development as a designer.

  • Briefly describe what is your project about, and what was your inspiration?
  • What was, or is, the most surprising aspect of this project for you?
  • Why did you choose this project?

Interview

Following the review of your application, indicative project proposal and portfolio, we select a small number of applicants to move on to the next stage of the process.  These applicants will be invited to an online interview, lasting 15 to 20 minutes.

Interviews are used to evaluate the extent to which a candidate demonstrates:

  • 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. All applications are reviewed by at least two members of the course team.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

You will receive the outcome of your application through the UAL Portal.

Fees and funding

Home fee

£6,455 per year

This fee is correct for 2021/22 entry and is subject to change for 2022/23 entry. Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students on courses lasting more than one year. For this course, you can pay tuition fees in instalments.

Home fees are currently charged to UK resident nationals. However, the rules are complex and you can find out more on our tuition fees pages.

From 2021/22 entry, most EU students will be charged the International tuition fee rate, although this may depend on your individual circumstances. If you started your course in October 2020 or earlier, you’ll continue to pay Home (UK) fees for the duration of your course. Read more advice for EU students on our Brexit information webpage

International fee

£16,450 per year

This fee is correct for 2021/22 entry and is subject to change for 2022/23 entry. Tuition fees for international students may increase by up to 5% in each future year of your course. For this course, you can pay tuition fees in instalments.

International fees are currently charged to students from countries outside of the UK. However, the rules are complex and more information can be found on our tuition fees pages.

From 2021/22 entry, most EU students will be charged the International tuition fee rate, although this may depend on your individual circumstances. If you started your course in October 2020 or earlier, you’ll continue to pay Home (UK) fees for the duration of your course. Read more advice for EU students on our Brexit information webpage

Scholarship 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.