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Program overview
3-4 years
Full time
Bachelor's degree
Scholarships available
Start dates
September 2022

September 2023

September 2024

Program description

Design Crafts (MDes, BA)

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.

Admission requirements

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

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Program content

Module Topics

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.

Year four modules (level 7) are designed to encourage advanced practice and entrepreneurial thinking. In particular, students studying at this level are encouraged to display resourcefulness, entrepreneurial skills, and the capacity to establish new and innovative enterprises. Level 7 provides an advanced understanding of research tools that can be implemented within a range of contexts and extend critical and creative thinking. Students are encouraged to extend their professional standing in their chosen field through either developing existing assets generated at undergraduate level or exploring collaborative opportunities with commercial partners, public sector or social enterprises: or may seek to develop a new business start-up.

(The MDes allows you to study on a four-year course that allows you to achieve a Master’s award within a single fee structure)


Each year of the course has a value of 120 credits spread over the following subject areas.

Year 1

  • Contextual Practices
  • Professional Practices 1 & 2
  • Design and Make 1 & 2
  • 3D construction Techniques
  • Introduction to Casting

Year 2

  • Contextual Practices
  • Professional Practices 3 & 4
  • Design and Make 3 & 4
  • Applied Material Practice
  • Advanced Material Practice
  • Advanced Material Finishing

Year 3

  • Advanced Creative Enquiry
  • Dissertation / Manifesto
  • Collaborative Practice
  • Individual Major Project / Professional Placement / Study abroad

Year 4 (MDes only)

  • Research Methods and communication
  • Design Experiment
  • Collaborative Dialogues
  • Creative Venture

Scholarships & funding

Several scholarship options are available. Please check the university website for more information.

Tuition fees

Tuition fees for 2021/2022:

  • Bachelor: £13,500
  • Master: £15,000

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.

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About this institute

University of Wales Trinity Saint David

UWTSD is the oldest University in Wales and was founded in 1822. It has campuses in rural and city locations in the UK. The University’s main campuses are situated in various locations in and around Swansea’s city centre as well...

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Contact info

University of Wales Trinity Saint David

College Road Carmarthen
SA31 3EP Carmarthen Carmarthenshire
United Kingdom

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