MA Design: Ceramics

Ceramics aims to develop individual abilities within the subject, whether through practice or historical or theoretical study. Whether you want to specialise in sculpture and installation, or studio ceramics and product design, studying Ceramics at Bath School of Art and Design gives you the opportunity to develop individual abilities in the subject through a wide range of disciplines, like hands-on practice, or historical and theoretical study.

Course Structure and Content

We offer Ceramics as a full or part time course, lasting one year (3 trimesters) for full-timers, 6 trimesters for part time. Your first two trimesters will be made up oftaughtsessions and assessed projects, while the Master’s Project in the final trimester is bynegotiatedproject only. On completing the first two modules, you’ll be awarded the Postgraduate Certificate, with a Postgraduate Diplomabeing awardedon completion of the first 4 modules. Once you’ve completed the subsequent MA double module you’ll be awarded an MA Design.

You will be taught by a range of visiting lecturers and your Course Leader is Conor Wilson.


Visit Bath Spa University website page for application details


Research Methodologies Part One:

This module introduces generic research practices. In part two, you’ll look at initial explorations into relevant materials using visual research methods in a studio environment. You’ll also look at approaches to recording and drawing.

Initiating Creative Practice:

A practice module in which students produce work based on pre-negotiated and agreed programme . This will build your skills in setting agendas and working plans.designed to set an agenda and working plan.

Developing Creative Practice:

You’ll develop your skills in studio work, awareness and understanding of relevant concepts. The work you produce will be based on visual research, according to a pre-negotiated work programme.

Analysis of Contemporary Context:

You’ll explore your work’s contexual consideration, including cultural, critical, theoretical and historical perspectives. You’ll use advanced research methods alongside the development of a proposed programme for your final MA module.

Advanced Studio Practice:

You’ll submit a comprehensive body of creative ceramic work which meets your agreed objectives, accompanied by documentation of visual and other research. It should include a written evaluation of the ‘journey’ and outcomes of your project, and aspirations for future developments.

Teaching Methods and Resources

We’ll help you develop context to your work by introducing theoretical elements, which run alongside the practical aspects of the course, as well as building your skills in relevant research methodologies. This will help you produce work which is is firmly based in the theoretical and critical awareness of its context and potential market.

As a Ceramics student, you’ll have access to studio workspaces and well-equipped specialist workshops for plaster and mould making, digital 3D printing, a glaze laboratory, and a range of electric and gas-fired kilns with a capacity for large scale-work. You’ll also have access to school workshops in woodwork, metalwork, photography, plastics, etching and litho, as well as the specialist Art and Design library.


Your career destinations could include:


  • Exhibiting

  • Ceramic design and museum work

  • Arts administration

  • Public art

  • Research

Assessment Methods

There are no written examinations for this course. We’ll assess your work for the four taught modules in trimesters one and two through studio exhibitions with a supporting statement, or via a document, which you’ll submit along with evidence of appropriate research. We assess your work for final module for the through exhibition or exposition (depending on its nature) or a record of the work, which, addresses the issues you agreed in your initial proposal.

Entry Requirements

To be a successful applicant, you’ll need a BA (Hons) degree in Ceramics or equivalent experience. This could include a first degree in other disciplines, as well as subsequent studio practice. What’s most important to us however is your potential to successfully complete the programme, which we will assess during your panel interview.

Quote from graduate of the course

“I have a degree in 3D design and have also completed a PGCE, and before starting this course I was lecturing in Art and Design. I chose to do the MA in Ceramics at Bath Spa as the course has a reputation for high quality teaching and facilities, as well as offering the opportunities to develop my work. The course provided the flexibility to truly explore my personal and professional interests. Bath Spa is my local university and I particularly liked the compact, dynamic and well-resourced environment in which to study. This qualification has already helped my career, and since finishing I have opened a Design company, shown at trade shows, participated in national touring exhibitions, sold products to Italian design companies and have also become a senior lecturer. I would advise anyone considering the Ceramics MA course to be as dynamic and experimental as possible, break boundaries and do your own thing.” Daniel O’Riordan

Staff Profiles

Frequently asked questions

How many days a week will I need to attend University?

Nothing beats of the atmosphere of a dynamic studio culture and learning environment, and for this reason, we expect full time students to be in the studios and workshops from Monday to Friday.  As a student, you’ll be expected to attend one taught day per week as a minimum, whether you’re full or part time. Full time students should expect additional teaching or course events on a second day each week in semesters 1 and 2.

Do I get my own workspace?

Yes, as a full time student, you’ll be given a work space. If you’re studying part time, you may not get a  permanent workspace, but you’ll have access to one on the days you attend. All students will get access to Ceramic Department workshops and facilities, and to school facilities, including the library.

Do I have to buy my own materials?

We charge a small studio fee, which means you can then use the wide range of ceramic materials stocked by the Department.

Do you accept mature students?

We welcome students of all ages and diverse backgrounds.

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