MDes Design Crafts
The MDes programme is an integrated Masters option. This four-year pathway allows you to build upon the skills and knowledge gained at undergraduate level.
The Design Crafts degree will give you the skills you need to work across materials including Glass, Ceramics, Jewellery and mixed-media before choosing specific areas to focus on. You will have the freedom to discover your creative voice and plot a career path among a number of exciting opportunities. You will develop traditional hand-making skills and contemporary approaches.
You will study a wide range of processes including: ceramic construction; glass processes including casting, fusing and slumping, cold-techniques and pâte de verre; traditional and contemporary jewellery techniques; multi-media casting as well as a variety of construction and forming processes for wood, metals, plastics, fibre-glass, resins and electro-forming. You will be introduced to computer-aided design (2D and 3D) so that you can work with processes including 3D printing, laser engraving and cutting, waterjet cutting and CNC milling.
The experience of such a wide range of materials and processes will allow you to develop a highly personal approach to achieving the creation of bespoke or batch produced high value artefacts and luxury goods for a variety of applications including: architecture, interior design, art objects (for sale through galleries or by commission) and jewellery.
The course will be delivered through a series of taught workshop-based sessions, tutorials, work-placements, live-projects, design briefs and competitions, all underpinned by visual studies and historical and contextual practices.
Our team of established craft practitioners and experienced technicians will support the development of your creative ideas and designs throughout the course and introduce you to current innovations in materials and processes to ensure you have the most up-to-date skills and knowledge.
The UK has a world-wide reputation for creative and innovative Craft and Design, with graduates from these sectors in high demand across a range of industries. Graduates from our Design Craft course will develop strong creative, problem-solving, design and making skills which can be applied to a wide range of employment opportunities, from self-employment (as independent artists, designers and makers) through to working for established companies in a variety of roles.
Entrepreneurism is embedded within the course, with wide-ranging discussions of the diverse approaches to developing and sustaining a creative practice as well as finding routes to employment within the immediate sector and beyond. This will be enhanced through regular lectures from visiting practicing makers and associated professionals.
Our team of established craft practitioners and experienced technicians will support the development of your creative ideas and designs throughout the course and introduce you to current innovations in materials and processes to ensure you have the most up-to-date skills and knowledge. In addition to permanent staff, students will benefit from ongoing engagement with a variety of visiting artists, alumni and lecturers.
The Design Crafts Course boasts a broad range of specialist making facilities, supported by a comprehensive array of general workshops.
The three main modes of assessment used on this programme are:
Studio Projects – work undertaken to fulfil the demands of a given or student generated brief. Projects are set to examine the student’s abilities to master the integration of new design principles and skills to his / her design practice. Studio projects may be set and take place in a variety of forms and over a range of durations, and include activity within the glass workshops, CAD studios as well as traditional design studios. Students may be required to present a variety of types of work for assessment such as; portfolios, sketchbooks and project journals, presentation boards, three-dimensional models, glass samples and artefacts.
Written Assignments – work undertaken by the student in his/her own time. Written assignments may take the form of an illustrated paper or report. In both cases the student is expected to demonstrate critical insight and proficiency in articulating the results of a practice or research based assignment.
Seminar Presentations – this form of assessment requires the student to demonstrate conceptual understanding and evaluate the rigour and validity of published research. Seminars may take the form of individual and/or group presentations to peers and other professional groups.
We are interested in creative people that demonstrate a strong commitment to art and/or design and therefore we welcome applications from individuals from a wide range of backgrounds. To assess student suitability for their chosen course we arrange interviews for all applicants at which your skills, achievements and life experience will be considered as well as your portfolio of work.
Our standard offer for a degree course is 120 UCAS tariff points. We expect applicants to have a grade C or above in English Language (or Welsh) at GCSE level, together with passes in another four subjects. Plus we accept a range of Level 3 qualifications including:
- Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, plus one GCE A-Level in a relevant academic subject
- Three GCE A-Levels or equivalent
- BTEC Extended Diploma in a relevant subject, with minimum grades of Merit
- International Baccalaureate score of 32
- Other relevant qualifications can be considered on an individual basis
Qualifications are important, however our offers are not solely based on academic results. If you don’t have the required UCAS points then please contact the courses admissions tutor or email firstname.lastname@example.org as we can consider offers to applicants based on individual merit, exceptional work, and/or practical experience.
See our Interview Guide for more information.
Swansea College of Art has a long and successful record of producing graduates of the highest professional calibre in the fields of art and design.
Possible career pathways have included:
- Establishing yourself as an artist, designer or maker.
- Setting up a studio as a sole supplier or in a partnership with others
- Employed in specialist glass, ceramic or jewellery studios
- Engaging in freelance work on architectural and interiors projects
- Designing for industry or working in the glass, ceramics and jewellery industries.
- Working on private and public commissions
- Working on art projects and community projects
- Other opportunities include arts administration, curating, teaching and mentoring, community work and arts editorial.
- Continuation of studies to postgraduate level on our MA programme.
- Further academic research leading to MPhil, or PhD is available.
Graduates may naturally be involved in a broad range of these opportunities and increasingly graduates enter employment in the wider creative industries sector where the design thinking and project management skills developed on the course come to the fore. The Professional Development module is designed to enable final year students to develop their external profile and prepare for professional practice.
Swansea College of Art exhibit student work annually in major graduate design and recruitment exhibitions, showing at the National Waterfront Museum in Swansea and at new Designers in London as a launch pad for early design career.
Students benefit from opportunities to work on diverse live commissions with industry partners. This allows students to gain experience, designing for live commissions as part of, or in addition to their course work. Students are chosen on merit, via competitions, to work on live commissions that further demonstrate the high standards achieved.
Our students have access to a diverse range of equipment and resources, which in most cases are sufficient to complete their programme of study. We provide the basic materials necessary for students to develop their practical work within our extensive workshop and studio facilities. However, it is likely that art and design students will incur some additional costs to extend their investigation of their personal practice. For example, purchasing their own specialised materials and equipment, joining in optional study trips, and printing.
Students are expected to bring their own personal art and design equipment with them when they commence the course. We can advise on the correct equipment needed for your programme of studies and signpost appropriate suppliers if you wish to purchase essential items before or during your studies. A basic ‘art and design kit’ will cost approximately £100 but you may well already have much of the equipment required so check with us first.
Also, although we have extensive dedicated digital design studios (PC and MAC) for you to undertake your coursework you may wish to bring your own digital devices, again check with us first before making a purchase. Depending on distance and duration, optional study visits can vary in cost from approximately £10 to visit local galleries and exhibitions to £200+ for overseas visits – these costs cover things like transport, entry to venues and accommodation and are normally at reduced rates for our students.
The programme team encourages students to participate in the work of professional bodies such as the Worshipful Company of glaziers and Painters of glass, the Contemporary Glass Society, the British Society of Master Glass Painters, The Crafts Council, Design Council, Makers Guild of Wales, Association for Contemporary Jewellery and the Royal Society of Arts, with whom the department enjoys close working links. The course also benefits from close collaboration with industry through annual live projects. This flexible relationship with industry and the professions allows students to engage with events and projects from a broad spectrum of external bodies.
Although there is no specific ‘sandwich’ option, the department has good links with industry in the UK and Europe, especially Finland, France and Germany, and provides opportunities for visits, exchanges and work placement.
During your time with us you will have the opportunity to study abroad with the Erasmus exchange programmes currently running with Universities in Norway, Barcelona and Sweden.
Students can also take up the opportunity to study a semester in the USA and Canada.
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