BA (Hons) Ceramics


Program Description

Course Overview

Clay is the enabler of every civilization on earth. It’s synonymous with human ingenuity and humankind’s conquering of nature.

When you join the BA Ceramics degree you become skilled in working with this most versatile of materials. You learn to feel the world through your hands. You take risks and rise to creative challenges – using both traditional methods and cutting-edge approaches.

This dynamic and progressive programme has a long-standing global reputation for excellence in the field that attracts students, practitioners and academics from all over the world. You will join a vibrant community of ceramicists, learning from each other as you shape and mould to convey meaning and tell stories.

By the time you graduate, you’ll have started your career, developed visionary ideas and changed perceptions of the material world.

Course Content

We embody the material of ceramics from the iron in our blood to the calcium in our bones; from the bricks making up our homes, to the cup from which we drink. It is easy to recognize that clay is the one material that we share with every single person on earth.

The vibrancy of the material has enabled Ceramics at CSAD to continually take risks and rise to creative challenges. This stems from fostering a community of ceramicists operating at undergraduate, postgraduate, and Doctoral levels, who produce a wealth of critically engaged enquiry.

Our dedicated studios will be your home throughout the course. You'll work across a broad range of processes, exploring the full potential of ceramics and gaining advanced skills. You'll learn from a team of practising ceramicists and have opportunities to experience a variety of taught practices – including:

  • Alchemy - glaze technology, encompassing geographical and socio-historical debate
  • Throwing – traditional pottery techniques from domestic ware and double walled vessels to sculptural composite forms
  • Hand modelling – the human form in clay, from ornamental and sculptural work to fine base relief
  • Cob building – traditional practices with contemporary application, encompassing sustainable builds and environmentally aware practices
  • Mold making – casting in plaster, mixed-media molds (fabric/combustible), composite molds, lathe turning
  • Surface pattern - printing techniques – including transfers, screen print and on-glaze
  • Firing – electric, gas, raku, soda, saggar, building external kilns to explore both function and performance
  • Digital fabrication – including learning software and application of 3D printing, laser cutting, CNC modelling

The course is structured to give you valuable insight into the ceramics industry as you plan for your future – whether you want to set up your own studio, extend your studies or join a professional practice. There are opportunities for industry work placements, studying abroad or collaborating on a research project.

In your third year, you can complete either a dissertation or business plan, paving the way for your career after you graduate.

Learning & Teaching

From the outset, you will gain hands-on experience in practical studio sessions and workshops – developing your core material skills. Lectures, lead by members of the academic staff, will broaden your theoretical understanding of your subject, whilst smaller, targeted seminars are designed to provide guidance for meeting more individual intellectual and practical demands.

During their first year of study, each student can expect to receive between 14 and 22 hours of contact time per week via lectures, seminars, tutorials and practical workshops.

Employability & Careers

Whilst your learning is designed to develop you into a rounded and capable artist/designer and intellectual, your curriculum is similarly structured with your potential in mind.

As such, the emphasis that will have been placed upon your work ethic, both creatively and academically, is matched with a significant focus on real-world experience; from building contacts and undertaking placements to live briefs and, should you choose so, support in forming your own business.

You can elect to take a route through your second and final years of studies where you can engage with businesses or launch your own for the moment you graduate. In your final year, rather than submit a dissertation, you have the option of devising a detailed business plan.

Throughout your time at CSAD, you will be meeting and hearing from professionals within your industry, honing your skills and ideas for commercial and professional advantage. Cross-disciplinary projects will prepare you for teamwork later on, whilst live briefs will prepare you for deadlines and the demands of tight specifications.

Entry Requirements & How to Apply

Applicants should have a strong art and/or design portfolio and demonstrate a commitment to art and/or design, and preferably five GCSE passes to include English language and Mathematics* at grade C or above/grade 4 or above (for applicants holding newly reformed GCSEs in England)

Following an interview and assessment of portfolio, our typical offers can range between:

  • 96 - 120 points from a successfully completed Art & Design Foundation Diploma or/and
  • 96 - 120 points from at least 2 A Levels; Welsh Baccalaureate – Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate will be considered as a third subject
  • RQF BTEC National Extended Diploma / Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma: MMM - DDM
  • 96 - 120 points from a combination of Scottish Highers and Scottish Advanced Highers
  • 96 - 120 points from the Irish Leaving Certificate at Highers to include 2 x H2 grades from any subject (minimum grade H4 considered)
  • 96 - 120 points from the Access to HE Diploma within a relevant subject

*For Welsh applicants sitting the reformed Mathematics GCSE, we will accept either GCSEMathematics or Mathematics – Numeracy.

Last updated Oct 2019

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About the School

Located in an exciting, modern European capital city, Cardiff Metropolitan University is a global university. We are continually investing in our students' future and provide education and training op ... Read More

Located in an exciting, modern European capital city, Cardiff Metropolitan University is a global university. We are continually investing in our students' future and provide education and training opportunities that are accessible, flexible and of the highest quality to students from over 140 countries worldwide.???? Read less