On MA Design (Ceramics); MA Design (Furniture); MA Design (Jewellery), your programme of study is based on your project proposal. This will be negotiated on entry and then developed into your agreed plan of action for the course. The three units of the course support the development of this action agreement and your journey through the project.
Initially your task will be to research your project proposal. Research itself is taken to be a wide-ranging activity which includes visual, social, cultural and factual information gathering and most importantly: drawing, designing and modelling as you investigate the practical outcome of your project through design practice. You will be expected to develop strategic industry awareness, and to visit international trade events, seminars, production facilities, exhibitions and social and retail environments. This self-driven research is supported by seminars and tutorials.
Critical thinking will become the basis of your critical review. This examines your project intellectually and contextually and forms part of your Master’s submission. You will be encouraged to draw on the full range of your experience, resources and abilities. You will also be encouraged to think globally to realise your project outcome. This may include, for example, mobilising personal craft skills, devolved production across the globe and use of both traditional and new technologies.
Unit 1: Exploring and Designing
Unit 1 introduces issues and topics relevant to ceramics, jewellery or furniture, including research methodologies and techniques. These will help you orientate your practice within the course, and to develop contextual, critical and research skills at the onset of MA learning. You will be designing out ideas from day one as you research. You will work collaboratively with students from other courses and examine some of the key cultural and theoretical ideas impacting design.
Unit 2: Design and Professional Practice
Throughout Unit 2 you are expected to develop a critical self-awareness of professional practice. You will focus on reflectivity, contextualisation and positioning practice in response to the action proposal developed in Unit 1. You are expected to actively engage with your peers, external practitioners and collaborators to produce a body of work which will map and articulate your position in your field. You will reflect on your understanding of design industry structures – in particular, contemporary practices in ceramics, furniture and jewellery. The unit incorporates personal and professional development, enterprise and contextualising activities.
Unit 3: Evaluation and Resolution
Unit 3 brings your project to both a practical and critically reflective conclusion. You will produce practical outcomes, evaluating the project through a critical review. During the final stages of the course there will be further personal and professional development. This is devised to support your career development.
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
- Project brief
- Peer learning
- Research through design and making
- Professional panels and mentors
- Studio practice.
During your course you will engage with learning and teaching that includes both online and face-to-face modes. Typically, this will include:
- Feedback tutorials
- Individual design work (2D, 3D, 4D)
- Group design work (2D, 3D, 4D)
- Pin-up and onscreen presentations
- Action agreement documents
- Portfolio submission
- A written critical review
- Viva voce interview