Ceramics

Study options

Award

MA

Key facts

Location:
Stoke-on-Trent campus
Location:
Stoke-on-Trent campus
Study option:
Full-time
Study option:
Part-time
Duration:
13 Months
Duration:
24 Months
Start date:
20 September 2021

The centre of UK ceramics

Study in Stoke-on-Trent - a city renowned for its ceramics industry

Connected to industry

Benefit from close connections with world-famous manufacturers

Outstanding facilities

Giving you the skills to be at the forefront of the ceramics industry

Studying Ceramic Design in Stoke puts you at the centre of UK excellence in the industry. Enhance your career opportunities through this internationally recognised award.

MA Ceramics at Staffordshire University is recognised worldwide as one of the leading postgraduate programmes in ceramics for small and mass manufacture. Taught in Stoke-on-Trent, the home of UK ceramics for over 2 centuries in the Potteries, this long-established course consistently produces career-ready graduates that are in demand by leading ceramic companies both in the UK and overseas. With world-famous ceramic manufacturers quite literally on the doorstep, Stoke-on-Trent provides a unique venue for the study of ceramics.

This course provides a design-led creative experience of ceramics within a broad subject context. Designing through intelligent making allows you to access ideas through a unique material. The deep knowledge of one material helps you to appreciate the opportunities in ceramics but also its translation into other materials and professional opportunities. Whether your personal aspirations are embedded in 2D surface and pattern, and or 3D shape, form and function.

The relationship between the course and the global ceramic industry is mutually beneficial and is primarily responsible for the unique character and international reputation of the course. The strength of this award lies in the accumulated wealth of specialist knowledge and practical skills, which are the essential tools of the ceramics designer; and in the good working practices developed over many years. In the close working relationship with industry, and in the clarity of purpose that ensures academic coherence, and the credibility of the award.

MA Ceramics brochure

MA Ceramics at Staffordshire University is recognised worldwide as one of the leading postgraduate programmes in ceramics for small and mass manufacture. Taught in Stoke-on-Trent, the home of UK ceramics for over 2 centuries in the Potteries, this long-established course consistently produces career-ready graduates that are in demand by leading ceramic companies both in the UK and overseas. With world-famous ceramic manufacturers quite literally on the doorstep, Stoke-on-Trent provides a unique venue for the study of ceramics.

This course provides a design-led creative experience of ceramics within a broad subject context. Designing through intelligent making allows you to access ideas through a unique material. The deep knowledge of one material helps you to appreciate the opportunities in ceramics but also its translation into other materials and professional opportunities. Whether your personal aspirations are embedded in 2D surface and pattern, and or 3D shape, form and function.

The relationship between the course and the global ceramic industry is mutually beneficial and is primarily responsible for the unique character and international reputation of the course. The strength of this award lies in the accumulated wealth of specialist knowledge and practical skills, which are the essential tools of the ceramics designer; and in the good working practices developed over many years. In the close working relationship with industry, and in the clarity of purpose that ensures academic coherence, and the credibility of the award.

MA Ceramics brochure

On successful completion of study, we will issue the following award: MA Ceramics

On successful completion of study, we will issue the following award: MA Ceramics

Part-time study

The course is part-time over 36 months. The expected study pattern is for you to complete 60 credits in each year of study to meet the 180 credit requirement.  

Course content

The course will give you a design-led, creative experience of ceramics as well as consideration of a range of market opportunities to meet your personal aspirations whether designer-producer or industrial ceramicist.  

You’ll take modules on tools and techniques as well as conduct your own programme of design, research and practice. You’ll consider business, management and enterprise for professional practice. A collaborative project will introduce work with external clients.  

A collaborative project will introduce you to working with world leading external clients such as Wedgwood, Dudson, Royal Doulton, Denby amongst many more.

In the final semester, you’ll undertake a final Masters project on your own ceramics project. 

The course will give you a design-led, creative experience of ceramics as well as consideration of a range of market opportunities to meet your personal aspirations whether designer-producer or industrial ceramicist.  

You’ll take modules on tools and techniques as well as conduct your own programme of design, research and practice. You’ll consider business, management and enterprise for professional practice. A collaborative project will introduce work with external clients.  

A collaborative project will introduce you to working with world leading external clients such as Wedgwood, Dudson, Royal Doulton, Denby amongst many more.

In the final semester, you’ll undertake a final Masters project on your own ceramics project. 

Throw Down star champions Staffordshire University design course

News

TV potter Keith Brymer Jones is continuing to talk up the Potteries by lavishing praise on Staffordshire University's 3D Designer Maker course

Modules

The tables provide an indicative list of the modules that make up the course for the current academic year. Each module is worth a specified number of credits. Our teaching is informed by research, and modules change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline. We aim to ensure that all modules run as scheduled. If for any reason a module cannot be run we will advise you as soon as possible and will provide guidance on selecting an appropriate alternative module.

Year 1 compulsory modules
Year 1 compulsory modules
Ceramic Design, Professional Pathways 30 credits
Collaborative Project 30 credits
Creativity And Innovation 30 credits
Masters Project (Ceramic Design) 60 credits
Tools And Techniques 30 credits

Entry requirements

An undergraduate degree of 2:1 or higher or equivalent. You’ll be considered if you have an appropriate level of interest and relevant experience. 

An undergraduate degree of 2:1 or higher or equivalent. You’ll be considered if you have an appropriate level of interest and relevant experience. 

For equivalent entry requirements in your home country, please see the information on our country pages.

Choose your country

Check our entry and English language requirements for your country.

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Facilities

Ceramics workshops

Our kiln room, plaster, print and computer workshops is where you'll create functional ceramicware and sculptural forms using the techniques of slipcasting, plastic clay forming, hand throwing and hand building.

Modelling Rooms

Our modelling rooms will let you realise your designs.

Careers

Whether aspiring for a career as a studio-based designer or industrial ceramicist, you’ll be equipped with the required digital and business skills as well as creative knowledge of materials for work in the following roles: 

  • Freelance studio ceramic designer/ producer
  • Designer in industry
  • Shape designer
  • Surface pattern designer
  • Retail product developer or in-house brand designer
  • Retail buyer
  • Sales managers
  • Lecturers and teachers

Our students and graduates have scooped prestigious prizes:

  • Best Stand Award - New Designers 2018
  • Denby Award – New Designers 2018
  • National Trust Artisan & Craft Award – New Designers 2018
  • Sainsbury’s Homeware Award, winning a a year long paid placement
  • Keith Brymer Jones ‘promising young designer’ Award
  • Potclays National awards
  • Multiple winners of FRANZ Rising Star Scholarships

Teaching and assessment

Assessment

You’ll be assessed on the submission of coursework for each module. It may consist of any one or a combination of the following components:

  • Workbooks, sketchbooks or visual diaries
  • Research files or folders
  • Finished design work
  • An essay or report
  • A seminar or presentation

Your course will provide you with opportunities to test your understanding of a subject before completing the formal assessment that counts towards your final mark. The practice or 'formative' assessment is carried out in tutorial and critique situations and feedback is usually provided to you orally, with a written record kept by the award leader. 

The formal or 'summative' assessment is provided in the form of a grade point (on a scale of 0-15), at the end of each module which is accompanied by written feedback from the module tutor.

You’ll be assessed on the submission of coursework for each module. It may consist of any one or a combination of the following components:

  • Workbooks, sketchbooks or visual diaries
  • Research files or folders
  • Finished design work
  • An essay or report
  • A seminar or presentation

Your course will provide you with opportunities to test your understanding of a subject before completing the formal assessment that counts towards your final mark. The practice or 'formative' assessment is carried out in tutorial and critique situations and feedback is usually provided to you orally, with a written record kept by the award leader. 

The formal or 'summative' assessment is provided in the form of a grade point (on a scale of 0-15), at the end of each module which is accompanied by written feedback from the module tutor.

Learning support

Your course tutors will provide lots of support. But you can also take advantage of our Academic Skills team, who can help you with:

  • Study skills (including reading, note-taking and presentation skills)
  • Written English (including punctuation, grammar)
  • Academic writing (including how to reference)
  • Research skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Revision, assessment and exam skills (including time management)

Additional support

If you have additional needs like dyslexia or a sensory impairment, then our AccessAbility Services are here to help make sure nothing stands in your way.

Feedback

We know that it’s important for you to be able to gauge your progress. So, your tutor will give you feedback on any practice assessments you do. We usually give you feedback on formal assessments within 20 working days, but the format will vary for each module.

We know that it’s important for you to be able to gauge your progress. So, your tutor will give you feedback on any practice assessments you do. We usually give you feedback on formal assessments within 20 working days, but the format will vary for each module.

Your study time will include scheduled classes, independent learning and assessments. It will vary depending on your module choices. 

Your study time will include scheduled classes, independent learning and assessments. It will vary depending on your module choices. 

Independent learning

As well as timetabled sessions, we know it’s important for you to discover things on your own terms. This could involve:

  • Reading journals, articles and books
  • Working on projects, alone or in a group
  • Researching in the library
  • Preparing coursework
  • Getting ready for exams

We’ve invested in state-of-the-art facilities to help you make the most of your private study time. Whether you need a library, a computer, or a lab, you’ll find it at Staffordshire University.

As well as timetabled sessions, we know it’s important for you to discover things on your own terms. This could involve:

  • Reading journals, articles and books
  • Working on projects, alone or in a group
  • Researching in the library
  • Preparing coursework
  • Getting ready for exams

We’ve invested in state-of-the-art facilities to help you make the most of your private study time. Whether you need a library, a computer, or a lab, you’ll find it at Staffordshire University.

Staff

Our teaching team are all design professional and active researchers with extensive experience and industry contacts.

Edward Austin

Lecturer

Ed has a proven track record designing best selling ranges for hotels and restaurants worldwide, with over 5 million products sold, from Hilton to Harvester and everything in between. Ed is interested in the intersection of craft pottery and mod…

Edward's profile

Dr Neil Brownsword

Professor

Neil's artistic research examines the manufacturing histories of North Staffordshire's ceramic industry, and the effects globalisation has had upon people, place and traditional skills in recent decades.

Neil's profile

Timothy Forrester

Senior Lecturer

Tim Forrester is one of Britain's most innovative designers. He achieved great success during a period spent working in Milan & has now returned to the UK to continue designing & manufacturing his high quality, inspirational and versatil…

Timothy's profile

Fees

For the course starting on 20 September 2021 the tuition fees are:

Tuition fees for MA-Full-time
Study option UK / Channel Islands International
Full-time £8,085 per course £14,500 per course

For the course starting on 20 September 2021 the tuition fees are:

Tuition fees for MA Part-time
Study option UK / Channel Islands
Part-time £4,028. per year of study

If you would like to know more about the fees listed and what this means to you then please get in touch with our Enquiries Team.

Alumni discount

If you've previously completed a Staffordshire University undergraduate degree (excluding HND and foundation degrees) you may be entitled to a discount of up to 25% off your course fees for any subsequent postgraduate taught course (terms apply, see the alumni discount page for details). If you have any questions about how this relates to you, please contact feesandbursaries@staffs.ac.uk.

Included in tuition fees
Included in the fees:

Travel, and accommodation costs incurred by compulsory trips and visits away from the University that are directly linked to the learning requirements of a specific module.

The use of all workshops, studios and specialist technical facilities and hire of equipment relating to the course of study.

Travel, and accommodation costs incurred by compulsory trips and visits away from the University that are directly linked to the learning requirements of a specific module.

The use of all workshops, studios and specialist technical facilities and hire of equipment relating to the course of study.

Not included in tuition fees
Not included in the fees:

The estimated cost of text books over the duration of the course. All essential text books are available from the library, but some students chose to purchase their own copies.

Travel, subsistence, entrance fees etc. incurred by optional trips and visits away from the University related to the course.

The cost of materials for the development of a student’s individual practice and work. Additional costs vary dependent upon student’s own choice of materials and approach to their practice.

Optional personal insurance when borrowing equipment such as cameras, lighting equipment etc. for extended period of use off campus [Approx £50-£100]. It may be possible to add some items to home contents insurance.

The estimated cost of text books over the duration of the course. All essential text books are available from the library, but some students chose to purchase their own copies.

Travel, subsistence, entrance fees etc. incurred by optional trips and visits away from the University related to the course.

The cost of materials for the development of a student’s individual practice and work. Additional costs vary dependent upon student’s own choice of materials and approach to their practice.

Optional personal insurance when borrowing equipment such as cameras, lighting equipment etc. for extended period of use off campus [Approx £50-£100]. It may be possible to add some items to home contents insurance.

Accommodation and living costs
Accommodation and living costs

Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees. 

For more information on accommodation and living costs, please see: Accommodation

Sources of financial support

Providing you are studying towards a full Masters qualification you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan of up to £11,222 to help with tuition fees, maintenance and other associated costs. Student loans are available for many of our postgraduate degrees and are provided by the Student Loans Company (SLC). The loan can cover a wide range of postgraduate study options; part-time, full-time and distance learning. 

For more information and how to apply visit masters loan.

Our students

Graduate, Kian at work in the studio

Ceramics Technician Dave Finney with artist in residence Margaret O'Rourke

Graduate, Laura Plant now works as an independent Designer/Maker

Work by Sabrina Vasulka

The programme has given me the opportunity to not only build on designing and making skills but allowed me the space to learn new ones such as throwing. There are numerous live briefs with established companies that has helped me to focus and refine my vision as a designer and given me the confidence to be more assured in what I make.

Nicole Waefler

MA Ceramics

Learning to integrate contemporary design with industry focused practical skills during my MA in Ceramic Design prepared me to take on many challenges. I've since worked with artists, communities, schools, industry, fellow designers, academics and multi-national brands. My current role at Burleigh incorporates a lot of facets; from glaze development to pattern design and even being a judge on the Great British Throw Down!

Alison Howell

Design Development Manager at Burgess and Leigh (Burleigh)

We did a lot of research before we decided to come to Stoke-on-Trent. Staffordshire University was the only place that offered this very niche course which was exactly what we were looking for. We took 18 months out of our work to learn from the best!

Lik Kian Loh and Debbie Ng

Current students and Independent Designer Makers

The facilities are great, and the tutors and studio technicians are very supportive. It’s made me a lot more comfortable in my area; I’ve gained a lot of confidence, allowing me to be more confident in the work I’m producing, as well as in my abilities.

Holly Kemp

Graduate - Independent Designer Maker

The MA gave me the opportunity to work on renowned projects, start a career in the academic field and gave me the self-confidence to develop many new pieces. It’s opened so many doors and gave me a huge step forward in my career; I´m really thankful for that and I know the future is promising.

Sabrina Vasulka

Graduate - Independent Designer Maker

Studying for my Master’s was the biggest learning curve I’ve ever been on, but I’ve finished feeling confident and prepared to build the career that I want and have even started my own business as a designer maker.

Laura Plant

Graduate

Apply

Location Award Study option Start date Apply Link
Stoke-on-Trent campus MA Full-time 20 September 2021 Apply now

Rules and regulations

If you are offered a place at Staffordshire University, your offer will be subject to our rules, regulations and enrolment conditions, which may vary from time to time.

Students of Staffordshire University enter into a contract with us and are bound by these rules and regulations, which are subject to change. For more information, please see: University Policies and Regulations.

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