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Design Crafts (BA)

Apply VIA UCAS - Full Time

Design Crafts gives you the opportunity to learn the design and creative 3D-making skills you need to work professionally with glass, ceramics, and jewellery. Allowing you to discover your creative voice while developing traditional hand-making skills and contemporary approaches such as laser waterjet cutting and 3D printing.

The programme offers a diverse range of material and process practices, including ceramics, cold and kiln-formed glass processes, wood, metal, plastics, fibre glass and resins, textiles, jewellery, mould making, laser and waterjet cutting, CAD/CAM, 3D printing and scanning.

You will experience a comprehensive programme of hands-on workshop-based education, underpinned by contextual and historical studies, placements, internships and residencies.

This course will equip you with comprehensive knowledge, practical skills and innovative approaches to sustainable craft practices, developing critical awareness and resourcefulness to enable you to establish new responses in the evolving field of design crafts.

Delivered by a team of established craft practitioners with international reputations and supported by an experienced technical team, your experience will be further enhanced by the programme of visiting lecturers and practitioners. Entrepreneurial skills are embedded in the course.


Pathway Options

Design Crafts (BA)
UCAS Code:  D100
Apply via UCAS 

How to apply

All applications to study for a full-time undergraduate degree programme are made through UCAS - Swansea College of Art UWTSD is part of University of Wales Trinity Saint David.  All our course come under the institution code T80.

Full-time applicants who wish to start in September should apply through UCAS. Part-time applicants should apply through the University. 

Visit the University's How to apply section to find out more.

Book an Open Day Request Information
Contact Name: Catherine Brown

Tuition Fees 2023/24:
Home (Full-time): £9,000 per year
Overseas (Full-time): £13,500 per year

5 reasons to study this course

  1. Explore your passions for materials and making
  2. Develop professional workshop skills and experience
  3. Discover ways to develop and sustain a career that you love.
  4. Enjoy your own desk space in a vibrant creative studio
  5. Get your hands dirty!

Take a look at our ratings and rankings page.

What you will learn

Course Overview

The UK has a worldwide 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.

First-year modules are designed to establish a core platform of essential skills for all students and encourage the development of design and making in glass, ceramics and jewellery:

  • Contextual Practices to develop and enrich the student’s knowledge of design and craft.
  • Design and Make modules that develop 2D and 3D drawing and visual literacy through materials.
  • Professional Practice to gain core skills in digital portfolios and online presence.
  • Material workshops to build the student’s skills in working with glass, ceramics and other materials.
  • Design and material knowledge to provide an understanding of design and craft.

Second-year students develop the knowledge, practical abilities and creativity to undertake design and craft artefact realisation. They are able to work as an individual designer, maker or as part of a multidisciplinary team for the manufacture of design crafts. During this year students experience ‘live briefs’ and client-based scenarios.

Third-year modules are designed to allow students to formulate their own individual career direction and aspirations as a design crafts graduate. Students select and manage their own personal and major projects with the support of the staff team so that they can demonstrate their core skills and experience and develop:

  • Advanced knowledge of design crafts, thinking and practice.
  • A personal design philosophy to underpin their current and future practice.
  • Advanced awareness of the value of their intellectual and creative ability and a well-defined strategy for personal brand and career development.

Third-year students prepare for their launch into the graduate marketplace with the support from the universities Research, Innovation and Enterprise Services.

Module Topics

Year One – Level 4 (Cert HE, Dip HE, BA)

  • Contemporary Challenges: Making a Difference (20 credits; compulsory; Graduate Attributes Framework module)
  • Design & Make 1 (20 credits; compulsory)
  • Design & Make 2 (20 credits; compulsory)
  • Introduction to Casting (20 credits; compulsory)
  • Learning in the Digital Era (20 credits; compulsory; Graduate Attributes Framework module)
  • Ways of Perceiving  (10 credits; compulsory)
  • Ways of Thinking (10 credits; compulsory)

Year Two – Level 5 (Dip HE, BA)

  • Advanced Material Practice (10 credits; compulsory)
  • Advanced Material Finishing (10 credits; compulsory)
  • Changemakers: Building your Personal Brand for Sustainable Employment (20 credits; compulsory; Graduate Attributes Framework module)
  • Changemakers: Creativity and Value Creation (20 credits; compulsory; Graduate Attributes Framework module)
  • Design & Make 3 (20 credits; compulsory)
  • Design & Make 4 (20 credits; compulsory)
  • International Independent Study (60 credits; optional)
  • Research in Context (10 credits; compulsory)
  • Research in Practice (10 credits; compulsory).

Year Three – Level 6 (BA)

  • Advanced Creative Enquiry (20 credits; compulsory)
  • Independent Professional Placement (60 credits; optional)
  • Independent Project (40 credits; compulsory; Graduate Attributes Framework module)
  • Individual Major Project (60 credits; compulsory)
  • International Independent Study (60 credits; optional).

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, material samples and artefacts.

Written Assignments – work is 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 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. 

Graduate Attributes Framework

This Framework aims to develop your professional skills and competence alongside your academic subject knowledge. You’ll study up to 40 credits per level throughout your programme from the Graduate Attributes Framework.

The Graduate Attribute modules are designed to enable you to develop, and evidence, a range of career-focused skills related to your subject area. These skills include digital competency, research and project management, as well as such personal competencies as communication, creativity, self-reflection, resilience and problem-solving. 

Our Facilities, Graduates and Industry Links

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Key Information

Entry Criteria

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 artanddesign@uwtsd.ac.uk as we can consider offers to applicants based on individual merit, exceptional work, and/or practical experience.

See our Interview Guide for more information.

Career Opportunities

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 launchpad for an 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 coursework. Students are chosen on merit, via competitions, to work on live commissions that further demonstrate the high standards achieved.  

Additional Costs

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.

Student Quotes

Samina - year 2

“Design crafts has taught me so much over the last two years. I went into the course wanted to only focus on jewellery. However, I found myself leaning towards lost wax casting and UV bonding glass.

The program allowed me to explore avenues that were not at all on my radar and now I am making glass jewellery. Being a DC student means you get to be in a multidisciplinary course that will cater to the path you would like to choose for yourself!”  

Gina – year 2 

"Hi my name is Gina, I’m currently in my second-year degree studying Design Crafts. I can’t believe how quickly time has flown, I’m really enjoying it, everyone is great. The staff and students are all very friendly, there is plenty of support and encouragement. The facilities are exceptional and set in a beautiful building. 

I’m a mature student and completed the foundation course first, and am lucky enough to have the chance to work with so many different materials, that’s why I love this course as it is so unrestricted and gives you the chance to experiment and explore with likeminded makers!" 

Alyson - Year 2 

"I am a second-year Mature student. Returning to studies after working in the charity and community sectors for a long time. After completing a foundation year at Swansea College of Art I decided on this particular degree course as I felt it would allow me to carry on experimenting with and to try my hand at a wider range of materials and disciplines than some of the other courses. 

All the staff and technicians are very knowledgeable about their subjects and actively encourage and support experimentation to promote self-learning” 

Kate - year 1 

“I'm just coming to the end of my first year of Design Craft in Swansea and I have loved every minute of it. In fact, starting this course was probably one of the best decisions I've ever made! The lecturers are so knowledgeable and inspiring as well as being amazingly friendly and approachable, making each week so interesting for us. 

We've covered so much already from glass cutting and sandblasting to spot welding and ceramic casting, as well as pattern making and sketching and creating abstract forms.  I've been really excited about every part of the course so far and I'm looking forward to continuing.” 

Lesley - 1st year 

"I am a first-year Design Craft student who has returned to Higher Education after 40 years in work! I was drawn to the course because it offered me the opportunity to explore a range of design areas in glass, ceramics and jewellery making, to present my finished pieces in a professional way and to fulfil my dreams of being a designer and maker. The advice and support provided by the tutors is invaluable, all of them have an incredible depth of knowledge and extensive experience and skills in the creative industry and the workshop facilities are amazing, with technicians on hand, to help us maximise the use of the tools and technology."

Megan – year 1 

"The Design Craft course has allowed me to explore my creativity with endless opportunities from the different media we explore, from printing and cutting glass, making pots and glazes in ceramics, to making jewellery. I love the freedom I have going from department to department. This course has no boundaries and has allowed me to create mixed media outcomes." 

Carwyn Llewelyn – year 1 

"This course was practically made for me! Throughout this course, I have been exposed to an array of new working techniques as well as new working environments within various workshops and through the use of taught sessions. Within these taught sessions, I am able to further enhance my overall practical and theoretical knowledge within ceramics, Glass and jewellery.

This is done through the use of practical drawing, which would then be transferred into 3d forms using any technical process. Practising artists within themselves the tutors are happy to fully guide me with any issue in relation to the course as well as any further plans for the future of my workings.

Hard-working technicians are always there to help when I need them, whether it be guidance on the use of a material or the functionality of a tool or piece of machinery. Going forward within this course I am excited to see what new opportunities and experiences that can be offered along with numerous material and tool based techniques. "

Bursary / Scholarship Information

You may be eligible for funding to help support your study.  To find out about scholarships, bursaries and other funding opportunities that are available please visit our Scholarships and Bursaries section.

Study Abroad Opportunities

Visit Go Global with UWTSD to learn more about opportunities to study abroad. 


In addition to our University Accommodation at Llys Glas, Swansea also benefits from a number of private student halls, all within a short walk, including:

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Further Information

Please get in touch with us if you have any questions related to the University or to this course in particular.