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Postgraduate

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

Photograph of a long, light coloured wooden bench with curved back
Photograph of a long, light coloured wooden bench with curved back - Credit: 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-based 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

  • 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

  • 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.

  • Class of 2020: Jahnavi Inniss

    Graduating from BA Graphic Communication Design, Jahnavi Inniss talks to us about her final project, a quilt and online directory highlighting the contributions of Black Britons to British history.

  • Maison/0 Green Trail 2020

    We're proud to announce the five winners of the Maison/0 Green Trail which shares the most innovative sustainable projects from this year's graduating work.

Course overview

MA Design (Ceramics); MA Design (Furniture); MA Design (Jewellery) will develop your creative abilities, imagination and expertise. It offers three pathways: Ceramics, Furniture and Jewellery. These disciplines all have a rich tradition in material-led creativity. Framed within one course, we explore the evolving boundaries of these disciplines, embracing ideas of practice beyond traditional definitions. This allows a range of hybrid practices to emerge, disrupting assumptions around design, craft and manufacture.

The course focuses on design as a process and as a practice. We look at design as modes of thinking, as ways of communicating to audiences and systems of engagement with the materiality of the world. These factors will impact the way your ceramics, furniture or jewellery design work will be realised. It will influence how you design it, talk about it, debate it and how you write about it. We are interested in all forms of manufacturing – from master craftsmanship, artisan work and the hand-made to factory production and emerging technologies. Our students are interested in single artefacts, mass-market delivery and all stages in-between.

On MA Design (Ceramics); MA Design (Furniture); MA Design (Jewellery), you will work on your own personal project. This will be explored and developed according to your individual pathway choice. Your project will evolve through a structured process of research, exploration, development and evaluation. You will be encouraged to refocus your skills intellectually, contextually and practically. You will be expected to extend and exploit design strategies from both your own and other disciplines and to question and test your ideas through team work and group critiques.

The course is taught by team of skilled practitioners. Alongside teaching experience, staff have professional careers and strong links with commercial, artistic, craft and industrial bodies. This will help you locate mentors and foster a broad range of contacts. Meetings with peers, staff, practitioners and industry professionals will also help you develop your presentation skills, so you are able to communicate and discuss your project and your ideas.

Course units

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

    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
  • 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

Staff

Simon  Fraser

Simon Fraser

Course Leader and Subject Leader Jewellery, MA Design: Ceramics, Furniture and Jewellery.

Ralph  Ball

Professor Ralph Ball

Course Tutor, MA Industrial Design; Subject Leader Furniture, MA Design (Ceramics); MA Design (Furniture); MA Design (Jewellery)

Ulrike  Oberlack

Dr Ulrike Oberlack

Course Co-ordinator, MA Design (Ceramics); MA Design (Furniture); MA Design (Jewellery)

Elizabeth  Wright

Dr Elizabeth Wright

Contextual Studies Leader, BA Ceramic Design, MA Design (Ceramics); MA Design (Furniture); MA Design (Jewellery)

Lecturer: Professor Rob Kesseler
Lecturer: Anthony Quinn

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
  • A strong academic or other professional reference

Or a combination of these factors.

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

English language requirements

IELTS 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 project proposal and the portfolio will be assessed in relation to:

  • 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.

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 - MA Design (Ceramics)

Start your application now - MA Design (Furniture)

Start your application now - MA Design (Jewellery)

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, 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 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?

Indicative 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.

We cannot consider your application if you do not provide all the information 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

15 March 2021

We recommend you apply as soon as possible before this date, for equal consideration. We may still be able to accept applications after this date, depending on availability.

When you’ll hear from us

We receive lots of applications for this course. We consider each one equally, so we review them all after the application deadline date. This means you won’t hear from us about any next steps until after this date. Find out more about what happens after you apply.

There are two ways international students can apply:

  • One of our official representatives in your country
  • A direct application.

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.

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 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.

Start your application now - MA Design (Ceramics)

Start your application now - MA Design (Furniture)

Start your application now - MA Design (Jewellery)

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, 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 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?

Indicative 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.

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.

Application deadline

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

15 March 2021

We recommend you apply as soon as possible before this date, for equal consideration. We may still be able to accept applications after this date, depending on availability.

When you’ll hear from us

We receive lots of applications for this course. We consider each one equally, so we review them all after the application deadline date. This means you won’t hear from us about any next steps until after this date. 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.

Portfolio Review

The full portfolio should be no more than 30 pages comprising your work and/or relevant documentary material, and evidence your current creative practice.

Your digital portfolio should 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.

The only files that can be uploaded as part of the portfolio are:

  • Images: bmp, gif, jpg, jpeg, png
  • Audio: mp3, mp4, ogg, wav, wma
  • Video: avi, mp4, mpg, mpeg, mkv, mov, wmv

Portfolio advice

Your portfolio should demonstrate creative development, whether for a college project or in your personal work. By creative development, we mean ideas that have originated through your own experience and research and progressed towards potential visual proposals. Ideas, visual research and experimentation are more important than finished design solutions and can be shown in 2D work, or through photos of 3D objects and maquettes.

It is important that the creative work you include reflects and demonstrates your thinking, initiative and personal commitment to a particular project, theme or idea.  We are interested in you as an individual, your personal interests, your creativity and initiative in finding out about your proposed area of study. We would also like to know about your favourite designers and artists, where you have seen their work at first hand and how you have acquired more information about the work that interests you.

For more portfolio advice please visit the Portfolio advice page.

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 interview either in person or by skype.

Interview

The 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 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.