facebook MA Design (Ceramics) – Bath Spa University

Key facts

Award
Options: MA Design (Ceramics), PG Dip Design (Ceramics), PG Cert Design (Ceramics).
School
Bath School of Art and Design
Campus or location
Sion Hill
Course length
MA full-time: three trimesters (one calendar year); MA part-time: six trimesters (two calendar years); PG Dip full-time: two trimesters (one academic year); PG Dip part-time: four trimesters; PG Cert full-time: one trimester; PG Cert part-time: two trimesters.

Entry requirements

You’ll need a good undergraduate degree in Ceramics or equivalent experience. See "Interested in applying?" for more information.

Rooted in material investigation, this course allows exploration of ceramics through art, craft and design contexts.

  • Taught by leading academic and practitioners, with a high level of tutor input.
  • Excellent technical support and facilities with specialist equipment.
  • Regular visits from industry experts and practicing artists.

This distinctive MA course offers you the opportunity to study a range of approaches to ceramics at postgraduate level.

You’ll develop skills and knowledge through an exciting combination of material investigation and research. This will allow you to contextualise your practice in relation to current debates in art, craft and design and to develop an individual production strategy.

Approaches of past students range from sculpture and installation through to studio ceramics and design for products.

“The University’s facilities are fantastic with all the equipment needed to study ceramics from kilns, wheels and spray booths to a dedicated plaster workshop, glazing facilities and glaze library.”

Taz Pollard, MA Design (Ceramics)

What you'll learn

Overview

You’ll be part of a lively ceramics community based around comprehensive workshop provision and studio spaces shared with multidisciplinary BA students specialising in Ceramics. As postgraduate students, you’ll have the opportunity to extend and hone your making skills in conjunction with developing your understanding of how a Ceramics specialisation might relate to production in art, craft or design contexts.

Through study of historical and contemporary theory and practice, you’ll deepen your knowledge of the field and develop your abilities in critical thinking and writing. Drawing on recent developments in artistic research, you’ll also explore methods for generating writing from practice. We’ll help you to become theoretically and critically aware, so you can identify and communicate effectively with the audience/market for your practice, and/or progress to research at MPhil or PhD level.

The course moves from taught modules through to a self-directed Master's project. The four modules taken in the first two trimesters lead to the Postgraduate Diploma (PG Dip), while the successful completion of the double module in the third trimester leads to the award of MA Design (Ceramics).

Course structure

There are two routes through the course:

  • Full-time – three trimesters, over one calendar year (September to September)
  • Part-time – six trimesters over two calendar years.

Full-time students take two modules per trimester, while part-time students take one module.

Trimester one
In the first trimester you’ll establish the direction of your creative practice through studio and workshop-based making, gaining the opportunity to develop skills and to explore their place within a range of possible approaches to production. Masterclasses will be delivered by course staff and visiting artists/makers. You’ll also undertake a Research Methodologies module, providing you with a strong sense of methodological purpose when thinking in, through and about your practice. We’ll outline established models of academic enquiry - both practical and intellectual - proposing ways to gather, analyse and communicate a wide range of data and ideas.

Trimester two
In the second Trimester, you’ll negotiate a proposal for self-directed study, taking an experimental approach to advancing your ceramic practice. You’ll deepen your knowledge and understanding of debates in ceramics and situate the personal interests and concerns that inform your work within an appropriate contemporary context. Building on the knowledge acquired in Trimester one, you’ll map out a rationale for production in ceramics through reference to a range of cultural, theoretical and historical perspectives and develop your ability to communicate concepts and working methods.

Trimester three
The final trimester, leading to the MA, comprises an individually-negotiated and self-initiated body of work building on the knowledge and skills already acquired. You’ll be encouraged to set up your project in the context of a clearly thought-through approach to production and exhibition and will be supervised by tutorial through to completion.

Course modules

This course includes or offers the following modules. Please check the course handbook or definitive programme document for full details on which modules are core, required or optional.

  • Research Methodologies
  • Initiating Creative Practice
  • Analysis of Contemporary Context
  • Developing Creative Practice
  • Master's Project.

How will I be assessed?

At the end of each trimester, modules are assessed by internal staff and moderated by an external examiner. Practice modules are assessed through a studio exhibition of work with a supporting statement. Theory modules are assessed through written assignment and verbal presentation. The final Master's project is assessed through exhibition and your Evaluative Report. There are no written examinations.

How will I be taught?

You’ll receive specialised ceramics tuition from a dedicated team of academic and technical staff within the ceramics area, as well as from regular part-time lecturers and visiting practitioner/artists. You’ll also receive cross-disciplinary input, both technical and academic, appropriate to the direction in which you choose to take your ceramics practice.

Research Methodologies is delivered by the department of Design and Critical Studies and you’ll be taught alongside students from all postgraduate courses in the School of Art and Design. Peer interaction across the school, along with the group dynamic within the course, is seen as critical to your learning experience.

Lines of enquiry will be explored and critiqued in individual and group-tutorials with peers and tutors. Lectures, seminars, group critiques and trips will also be central to your learning experience. Throughout modules you’ll receive formative feedback, in both verbal and written form; at the end of each module you’ll receive a summative assessment with verbal feedback.

Opportunities

Field trips

The department organises two study visits to London each year as well as visits to other centres and exhibitions. We offer a series of study trips including the British Ceramics Biennial, Collect, and gallery visits with talks by ceramics practitioners. Please note that you may have to pay for some of these study visits.

Work placements, industry links and internship

Our students have worked with The Holburne Museum, British Ceramics Biennial, Collect, Ceramic Art London, New Designers, The Contemporary Craft Fair, Ceramic Review and Crafts.

Careers

Typical career destinations include:

  • Exhibiting
  • Ceramic design
  • Museum work
  • Arts administration
  • Public art
  • Research
  • Teaching.

Competitions and awards

MA Ceramics student and graduate achievements:

  • Vilas Silverton - 2015 MA Ceramics Graduate: Exhibited at the British Ceramics Biennial, 2015 and Art in Clay, 2016
  • Taz Pollard - 2013 MA Ceramics graduate: Winner of One Year On at New Designers 2014
  • Jane King - 2012 MA Ceramics graduate: Prize Winner at 58th Premio Faenza: International Competition for Contemporary Ceramic Art, International Museum of Ceramics, Faenza, Italy
  • Jo Taylor and Jane King - 2012 MA Ceramics graduates: Shortlisted for Young Masters Art Prize 2014
  • Maria Wojdat - 2007 MA Ceramics graduate: Featured in Elle Magazine and showing at Ceramic Art London 2015.

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

Our Art and Design courses are based at our Locksbrook Road (2019) and Sion Hill campuses.

You'll have access to:

  • New, purpose-built facilities, specifically designed to encourage creative cross-disciplinary encounters with other artists and designers
  • Specialist Art and Design library (Sion Hill)
  • Dedicated subject librarian
  • Specialist ceramics workshops: glazing, throwing, plaster mould-making and slip casting
  • 3D digital processes workshop
  • Glaze laboratory
  • University-wide workshops: woodwork, metalwork, photography, audio visual studio, silkscreen, etching and litho, sculpture casting and plastics.

 

Beginning in Autumn 2019, our Art and Design students will have access to Locksbrook Road, a new, innovative, purpose-built, state-of-the-art campus specifically conceived to encourage creative cross-disciplinary encounters with other artists and designers.

With this new space, we intend for the Bath School of Art and Design to become one of the most inspiring and exciting places to study not only in the UK, but anywhere in the world.

“The updated buildings will allow us to supercharge our existing approach, which is based on superb, disciplinary teaching and practice, with a strong, real-world focus and an emphasis on collaboration."

Anita Taylor, Executive Dean, Bath School of Art and Design

Fees

UK and EU students full time

Course fees
2019/20 entry £7,995
2020/21 entry Published Jan 2020
2021/22 entry Published Jan 2021
Material fees
2019/20 entry £290
2020/21 entry Published Jan 2020
2021/22 entry Published Jan 2021

UK and EU students part time

Fees shown below are for part time study over two years, although some courses may be available over longer periods.

2019/20 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £4,000
Year 2 Published Jan 2020
Material fees
Year 1 £145
Year 2 Published Jan 2020

2020/21 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2020
Year 2 Published Jan 2021
Material fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2020
Year 2 Published Jan 2021

2021/22 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2021
Year 2 Published Jan 2022
Material fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2021
Year 2 Published Jan 2022

International students full time

Course fees
2019/20 entry £14,900
2020/21 entry Published Jan 2020
2021/22 entry Published Jan 2021
Material fees
2019/20 entry £290
2020/21 entry Published Jan 2020
2021/22 entry Published Jan 2021

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

You’ll need a good undergraduate degree in Ceramics or equivalent experience. This could include a first degree in other disciplines together with subsequent studio practice. The key is having an open attitude to learning and the potential, in the view of the interview panel, to successfully complete the programme.

How do I apply?

Ready to apply? Click the "apply now" button in the centre of this page.

Need more guidance? Head to our how to apply webpages.

Interview and portfolio guidance

Your portfolio is an important part of the application process, giving us an insight into who you are as a ceramics practitioner. We ask that you include a wide variety of work in your portfolio, including sketchbooks, visual research, tests and trials as well as finished ceramics works.

Admissions service: +44 (0)1225 876 180
Email: admissions@bathspa.ac.uk
Course leader: Conor Wilson
Email: c.wilson3@bathspa.ac.uk

Website feedback to web@bathspa.ac.uk