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Postgraduate

MA Design: Ceramics, Furniture, Jewellery

Three pieces of colourful student work
Left: AnnaLisa Iacopetti, Solve e Coagula: Murano glass table recycling cotizzo - waste from the glass blowing process. Centre: Kachi Irondi: Sekho: 3D architectural ceramic tiles enable natural air-conditioning, based on Nigerian tribal heritage. Right: Arlena Paraschivescu, Modern Medusa: Feminist jewellery embracing femininity as a superpower., Left: AnnaLisa Iacopetti, Solve e Coagula: Murano glass table recycling cotizzo - waste from the glass blowing process. Centre: Kachi Irondi: Sekho: 3D architectural ceramic tiles enable natural air-conditioning, based on Nigerian tribal heritage. Right: Arlena Paraschivescu, Modern Medusa: Feminist jewellery embracing femininity as a superpower.
College
Central Saint Martins
Start date
September 2024
Course length
Two years (60 weeks)
Extended full-time

MA Design: Ceramics, Furniture, Jewellery focuses on your individual design practice and will broaden your career and research horizons.

Applying for more than 1 course

You can apply for more than 1 postgraduate course at UAL but we recommend that you apply for no more than 3. Find out more in the Apply Now section.

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

Multiple disciplines within one ethos: MA Design principally considers three areas of practice – ceramics, furniture or jewellery – each with rich traditions of material creativity and innovation. Opportunities emerge within and between disciplines, encouraging hybrid practices to disrupt assumptions.

Personal and responsive: Ideas that seemed unimaginable at the outset iterate through design as concepts are exposed to alternative futures. This adventurous space offers insights and opportunities, developing models into working prototypes.

Transformation: Design is transformational of individuals, enterprises, publics, services and the practice of design itself. MA Design explores entrepreneurial models and sustainable approaches, developing your skills as an innovative, creative, attuned and articulate practitioner. Through rigorous, reflective and speculative processes, we define ethical and resilient futures.

Agile practices: Within the Product, Ceramic and Industrial Design programme, we celebrate diverse cultural perspectives, differing knowledges and remain continually curious. We are pro-active in seeking contributors to enrich debate from design industries and communities.

Global networks: This course embraces social, cultural, material, economic and technological innovation. Understanding specialist knowledges empowers generative research and practice. By positioning your work in the wider world, design transformations actively support diverse communities and entrepreneurial innovation.

Course overview

MA Design (Ceramics); MA Design (Furniture); MA Design (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? 

We are committed to developing ethical design practices. To achieve this, we are working to embed UAL's Principles for Climate, Social and Racial Justice into the course.

Course units

MA Design (Ceramics); MA Design (Furniture); MA Design (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.

Important note concerning academic progression through your course: If you are required to retake a unit you will need to cease further study on the course until you have passed the unit concerned. Once you have successfully passed this unit, you will be able to proceed onto the next unit. Retaking a unit might require you to take time out of study, which could affect other things such as student loans or the visa status for international students. 

Mode of study

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

The learning and teaching methods devised for this course 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 

Meet Course Leader Simon Fraser, staff and students

Maria Gasparian talks about her project 'Ceramic City'

Jordan Söderberg Mills, MA Design alum

Explore work by our recent students on the UAL Showcase

  • NNN: Human Printer
    NNN: Human Printer, Nhan-Nhi Lillian Nguyen, 2023 MA Design (Ceramics, Furniture, Jewellery), Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • Symbiocene, Living Furniture
    Symbiocene, Living Furniture, Peter Nasielski, 2023 MA Design (Ceramics, Furniture, Jewellery), Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • The Perception Of Order-Beyond Fantasy
    The Perception Of Order-Beyond Fantasy, Hanjie Kong, 2023 MA Design (Ceramics, Furniture, Jewellery), Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • Discipline and Disorder
    Discipline and Disorder, Sherry Shieh, 2023 MA Design (Ceramics, Furniture, Jewellery), Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • Nol-ee, a sense of joy.
    Nol-ee, a sense of joy., jihyo kim, 2023 MA Design (Ceramics, Furniture, Jewellery), Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • Merve Balikcioglu
    Merve Balikcioglu, Merve Balikcioglu, 2023 MA Design (Ceramics, Furniture, Jewellery), Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • FLOAT
    FLOAT, Zitian Liang, 2023 MA Design (Ceramics, Furniture, Jewellery), Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • Bodhrán
    Bodhrán, Joseph Clinton, 2023 MA Design (Ceramics, Furniture, Jewellery), Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • Close Encounter (井底之哇)
    Close Encounter (井底之哇), Qingting Yang, 2023 MA Design (Ceramics, Furniture, Jewellery), Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • Wild series
    Wild series, Benyang Jiang, 2023 MA Design (Ceramics, Furniture, Jewellery), Central Saint Martins, UAL

Explore work by our recent students on the UAL Showcase

  • Marine Alchemy
    Marine Alchemy, Heather Blake, 2023 MA Design (Ceramics, Furniture, Jewellery), Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • RE-CONNECT embracing tactility in a digital age
    RE-CONNECT embracing tactility in a digital age, Helena Boddenberg, 2022 MA Design (Ceramics, Furniture, Jewellery), Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • Parallel Forest
    Parallel Forest, Mingyu Xu, 2022 MA Design (Ceramics); MA Design (Furniture); MA Design (Jewellery), Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • Hatchery  |  孵化器
    Hatchery | 孵化器, zhan zhan, 2022 MA Design (Ceramics); MA Design (Furniture); MA Design (Jewellery), Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • Graduate Showcase: Ruth Maria Robledo Alanis
    Ruth Maria Robledo Alanis, 2022 MA Design (Ceramics, Furniture, Jewellery), Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • Gar
    Gar, Nareg Krikorian, 2022 MA Design (Ceramics, Furniture, Jewellery), Central Saint Martins, UAL

Instagram

Course publications

MA Design: Ceramics, Furniture, Jewellery stories

410 Gone

410 Gone


openresty

Explore work by our recent students on the UAL Showcase

  • Loverpool
    Loverpool, Yiwei Wang, 2021 MA Design (Ceramics); MA Design (Furniture); MA Design (Jewellery), Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • SOLVE ET COAGULA
    SOLVE ET COAGULA, Annalisa Iacopetti, 2021 MA Design (Ceramics); MA Design (Furniture); MA Design (Jewellery), Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • Guards of the Wilderness
    Guards of the Wilderness, Anna Cebular, 2021 MA Design (Ceramics); MA Design (Furniture); MA Design (Jewellery), Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • Modern Medusa
    Modern Medusa, Arlena Paraschivescu, 2021 MA Design (Ceramics); MA Design (Furniture); MA Design (Jewellery), Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • Kun; Galaxies & Nebulae.
    Kun; Galaxies & Nebulae., Linna Dong, 2021 MA Design (Ceramics); MA Design (Furniture); MA Design (Jewellery), Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • Yarn_
    Yarn_, Phoebe Ho, 2021 MA Design (Ceramics); MA Design (Furniture); MA Design (Jewellery), Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • RAW: Rebellion Against Waste for the Future
    RAW: Rebellion Against Waste for the Future, Yasmin Morjaria, 2021 MA Design (Ceramics); MA Design (Furniture); MA Design (Jewellery), Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • Theia
    Theia, Xinyi Gao, 2021 MA Design (Ceramics); MA Design (Furniture); MA Design (Jewellery), Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • Floating Pavilion
    Floating Pavilion, Qing Zeng, 2021 MA Design (Ceramics); MA Design (Furniture); MA Design (Jewellery), Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • Unexpected Guests.
    Unexpected Guests., Karina Mir, 2021 MA Design (Ceramics); MA Design (Furniture); MA Design (Jewellery), Central Saint Martins, UAL

Staff

Associate Lecturer: Kathryn Hearn

Fees and funding

Home fee

£7,680 per year

This fee is correct for 2024/25 entry and is subject to change for 2025/26 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 nationals and UK residents who meet the rules. However, the rules are complex. Find out more about our tuition fees and determining your fee status.

International fee

£20,505 per year

This fee is correct for 2024/25 entry and is subject to change for 2025/26 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.

Students from countries outside of the UK will generally be charged international fees. The rules are complex so read more about tuition fees and determining your fee status.

Scholarship search

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); MA Design (Furniture); MA Design (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.

Apply now

Application deadline

Deadline

Round 1:

13 December 2023 at 1pm (UK time)

Round 2:

3 April 2024 at 1pm (UK time)

Digital portfolio and video task deadline

Round 1:

16 January 2024

Round 2:

16 April 2024

Decision outcome

Round 1:

End of March 2024

Round 2:

End of June 2024

Round 1
Round 2
Deadline
13 December 2023 at 1pm (UK time)
3 April 2024 at 1pm (UK time)
Digital portfolio and video task deadline
16 January 2024
16 April 2024
Decision outcome
End of March 2024
End of June 2024

All applications received by 3 April will be treated equally. If there are places available after this date, the course will remain open to applications until places have been filled.

Read more about deadlines

Apply now

Application deadline

Deadline

Round 1:

13 December 2023 at 1pm (UK time)

Round 2:

3 April 2024 at 1pm (UK time)

Digital portfolio and video task deadline

Round 1:

16 January 2024

Round 2:

16 April 2024

Decision outcome

Round 1:

End of March 2024

Round 2:

End of June 2024

Round 1
Round 2
Deadline
13 December 2023 at 1pm (UK time)
3 April 2024 at 1pm (UK time)
Digital portfolio and video task deadline
16 January 2024
16 April 2024
Decision outcome
End of March 2024
End of June 2024

All applications received by 3 April will be treated equally. If there are places available after this date, the course will remain open to applications until places have been filled.

Read more about deadlines

Apply to UAL

Start your application
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Apply with a UAL Representative

Based across the world, our local UAL representatives can support you with your application from your home country. Check to see if there is a representative available in your country currently.

Find your representative

How to apply

Follow this step-by-step guide to apply for this course

Step 1: Initial application

You will need to submit an initial application including your personal statement and CV.

Personal statement advice

Your personal statement should be maximum 500 words and include:

  • your reasons for choosing the course
  • your current creative practice and how this course will help you achieve your future plans
  • any relevant education and experience, especially if you do not have any formal academic qualifications.

Visit our personal statement page for more advice.

CV advice

Please provide a CV detailing your education, qualifications and any relevant work or voluntary experience. If you have any web projects or other media that you would like to share, please include links in your CV. If English is not your first language, please also include your most recent English language test score.

Study proposal advice

Please provide a summary of your study proposal (500-800 words).

It should:

  • describe the focus for your proposed project
  • outline the contemporary or future context in which you project operates. For example, why is your project relevant now? Who are your audiences?
  • include evaluations of prior examples and how your project compares against these
  • refer to any potential challenges or historical, cultural or social implications
  • include any reflections relating to your personal strengths and current creative practice
  • include a bibliography and an appendix if necessary (not included in the word count).

Please note, your proposal serves to inform your application and we understand that your ideas will inevitably develop and change throughout your studies.

Step 2: Video task and digital portfolio

We will review your initial application. If you have met the standard entry requirements, we will ask you to submit a digital portfolio.

You’ll need to submit this via PebblePad, our online portfolio tool.

Video task advice

We’d like you to submit a 2-3 minute video to help us learn more about you. When recording your task, please face the camera and speak in English.

What to include in your video task:

  • choose 1 project from your portfolio and explain what it was and how it helped you develop as a designer.
  • what inspired you to undertake this project and was there was anything that surprised you about this project?
  • explain why you chose to talk about this project.

Read our guidance for how to submit your video task and which file types we accept.

Digital portfolio advice

Your portfolio should consist of recent work that reflects your creative strengths.

It should:

  • be maximum 25 pages, including your video task
  • consist of 1 fully documented design process, including the project brief, research, any visual or conceptual examples of how you developed your ideas, final outcomes and reflections.
  • demonstrate your research into and interrogation of the brief
  • illustrate your creative process and decision-making skills when developing a project from initial ideas to final designs
  • demonstrate the full range and level of your design, technical and practical skills
  • reflect your personal vision and approach to design.

For more support, see our Portfolio advice and PebblePad advice.

Step 3: Interview

You may be invited to an interview following our review of your application. All interviews are held online and last 15 to 20 minutes.

For top tips, see our Interview advice.

You also need to know

Communicating with you

Once you have submitted your initial application, we will email you with your login details for our Applicant portal.

Requests for supplementary documents like qualifications and English language tests will be made through the applicant portal. You can also use it to ask questions regarding your application. Visit our After you apply page for more information.

Applying to more than 1 course

You can apply for more than 1 postgraduate course at UAL but we recommend that you apply for no more than 3 courses. You need to tailor your application, supporting documents and portfolio to each course, so applying for many different courses could risk the overall quality of your application. If you receive offers for multiple courses, you'll only be able to accept 1 offer. UAL doesn't accept repeat applications to the same course in the same academic year.

Visas and immigration history check

All non-UK nationals must complete an immigration history check. Your application may be considered by our course teams before this check takes place. This means that we may request your portfolio and/or video task before we identify any issues arising from your immigration history check. Sometimes your history may mean that we are not able to continue considering your application. Visit our Immigration and visas advice page for more information.

External student transfer policy

UAL accepts transfers from other institutions on a case-by-case basis. Read our Student transfer policy for more information.

Alternative offers

If your application is really strong, but we believe your strengths and skillset are better suited to a different course, we may make you an alternative offer. This means you will be offered a place on a different course or at a different UAL College.

Deferring your place

We do not accept any deferral requests for our postgraduate courses. This means that you must apply in the year that you plan to start your course and you will not be able to defer your place to start at a later date.

Application deadlines

For postgraduate courses at UAL there are 2 equal consideration deadlines to ensure fairness for all our applicants. If you apply ahead of either of these deadlines, your application will be considered on an equal basis with all other applications in that round. If there are places available after the second deadline, the course will remain open to applications until places have been filled.

Careers

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

MA Design: Ceramics, Furniture, 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 Swarovski, MADE, Top shop and the House of Fraser.

MA Design: Ceramics, Furniture, 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.