BA (Hons) Artist Designer: Maker


Course Overview

​The focus of the BA Artist, Designer: Maker degree is not only to develop you as a student and critical thinker, but to inspire your growth into a skilled and intellectual maker. These attributes, which are dependent on one another, combined with practical experience and an understanding of the making industry, will form the beginning of your career, and stand you in the strongest possible position to carry it forward.

The Artist, Designer: Maker programme is taught by a dedicated team of both academics and professional artists; staff interests and research areas range from sculpture, ceramics and textile art to sonic art, electronics, and installation and site-specific work.

This course has making at its heart, enabling you to engage with practices drawn from a broad spectrum of creative disciplines including art, design and craft. Bridging the gap between traditional skills and new technologies, the course will enable you to work in a myriad of ways, including producing work for batch production, bespoke one-off pieces or manufacture.

Course information on this page relates to September 2016 entry.

​Course Content​

The course off​ers students the opportunity to work with a broad range of materials, skills and processes from the traditional to the cu​tting edge. These include:

Metal: Casting in bronze, aluminium and pewter, welding, soldering, forging and small metalworking including enamelling.

Ceramics: Modelling, throwing, mould m​aking, casting, firing and glazing

Wood: Joinery, turning, marquetry.

Glass: Casting, fusing, slumping and painting.

Textiles: Stitch, print and construction.

Digital Fabrication: 3D printing, Laser cutting, 3D digital modelling (Rhino), scanning, digital stitch, digital print textiles, Arduino / electronics and augmented reality.

This combination of traditional skills and the use of new technologies is part of what makes this course so unique and exciting. You will explore the synergies between these areas, creating new ways of making for our ever-changing world.

Alongside this skill acquisition you will be learning about the context of making practices. You will identify where your work is situated within the broader parameters of creative practice; are you a designer, an artist, a craftsperson or do you work across a number of disciplines? You will learn how to investigate and develop an idea into a fully realised material outcome, whether this is a functional product, a decorative artefact, an installation or an expressive object.

Using our ‘state of the art’ equipment, you will create your own vocabulary of material skills and understanding in both traditional materials and digital media, and apply this to your unique creative ends.

We have purpose built workshops and studios and all our workshops supported by highly skilled Technical Demonstrators. Each Maker student has their own dedicated workspace, with bespoke furniture designed for a Maker’s needs, work bench, storage and shelving. The studios are large and light and are equipped with their own kitchen facilities. All Maker students work alongside each other across the years of the programme.

​The structure of the course enables you to gather the experience and knowledge relevant to your own future aspirations as a maker. You may choose to gain strong business experience or undertake a work placement within industry. Equally you may wish to take a more academic path, carrying out research-based projects with one of the professors or academics within the school. There are also opportunities to travel and study abroad, exploring other cultures and traditions of making. These individual interests are catered for particularly in your second year within the Field module, and in the third year where you elect to develop either a business plan, a conference paper, a full academic dissertation or a critical reflection on your creative practice.​​

Click here to visit the Cardiff Met web pages which lists fees, equipment requirements and other charges for courses -

Year One:

Material and Process:
This module is designed to develop your understanding of the key concepts in practicing art and design through making. Through a series of induction workshops, you will become familiar with the materials, processes and equipment relevant to creative practice. These will include processes in ceramics, textiles, wood, metal and glass, as well as CAD applications and rapid prototyping.

In this module, you will be offered the opportunity to collaborate across subject disciplines. By tackling a set of concerns as a group, you'll gain a deeper understanding of your own strengths, skills and artistic insight in relation to the broader creative field.

Constellation – Concept:
This module will develop your ability to contextualise your practice by introducing historical and theoretical perspectives to assist in the development of ideas. We offer a series of keynote lectures that will introduce you to staff areas of interest and expertise and you will participate in study groups that allow you to specialise in particular areas of interest. Through interdisciplinary working, the focus will be on developing your academic and research skills to enable critical reflection on your practice.

Year Two:

Subject - Create:
This module is designed to enable you to reflect upon your own strengths and interests and to begin to shape your career by building that intellectual expertise and vocation into the core of your practice.

You will be set a challenging project, which will require you to negotiate and learn beyond the curriculum of your subject discipline. It may take you abroad for international study; to an existing company for work experience or voluntary social engagement; or result in working with School's leading research teams or individual staff. Designed to encourage you to explore and experiment, individual projects will be graded by a common form of assessment.

Constellation - Critique:
In terms one and two you will engage in a diverse range of topics where you will be able to put your academic skills into practice.  This will include critiquing current literature as well as contemporary journals and exhibitions. Further contextualising of your practice will be nurtured at this level, with an opportunity to specialise in areas that reflect on your own interests.

Year Three:

Research and Development: 
This module is student-led in terms of both content and outcome, and is designed to help you further your creative practice. As such, it could be that your work is founded in a professional context, or that it centres around entry into competitions. It may be that you choose to refine your studio practise, and use this largely self-directed brief to develop the conceptual foundations for a larger body of work to be completed later in the year.

Field - Exhibition: 
Built around a major project and an exhibition brief, the module will see you produce a professional presentation of your design collection; this being the culmination of your creative practice, often serving as the launch-pad for a final year student's future career.

Constellation - Contribution
Your final Constellation module will demonstrate your ability to produce a dissertation of significant value to your field, with a sense of authority stemming from thorough research and academic rigour.  Your final dissertation submission can take the form of a 10,000 word essay, or a business plan, a technical report, conference paper and presentation, or a 6000 word paper and accompanying practical piece.​

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 field, whilst smaller, targeted seminars are designed to provide guidance for meeting more individual intellectual and practical demands.


Throughout the duration of your studies, you will be evaluated on three main criteria, which underpin all of the disciplines being taught at CSAD:

SKILLS: The practical, technical and conceptual skills you acquire during your course.

CONTEXT: Your understanding and knowledge of broader intellectual context within which your discipline and work is located. This includes historical, environmental and ethical issues and will often be explored in your 'Theory and Context' modules.

IDEAS: Your understanding of intellectual and creative ideas from within and beyond your discipline; plus your ability to acquire new concepts and form new ideas. Ideas will be explored in your written work, as well as being evident in your practical progress.

Each of these criteria is given equal weighting during the assessment process. That is to say that they are seen as equally important and critical to your development; an emphasis which is designed, for example, to enable a more well-rounded skill set from a student who may be skilled technically, but weak in generating ideas, or a student with much creative flair who may struggle to hone a broad concept into a strong, individual design.

We provide a number of ways for you to track your progress en route to submitting your work for marking. Understanding that the emphases will revolve around the core areas of skills, context and ideas, you will also become familiar with the structured assessment form used by your tutors and learn to relate to your work back to the intended learning outcomes of each brief.

The main types of formative assessment are; academic (feedback from your tutors); peer (from your course-mates or project partners); and self-assessment (which is your own critique, in light of other forms of feedback). You won't just be receiving feedback at the end of a brief, however – your tutors will often assess your progress as your work develops, providing formative feedback at crucial moments where it is hoped to encourage you to take risks, maintain your motivation or shape-up your ideas ahead of deadline.

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 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, five GCSE passes including English and Maths at grade C or above plus:

  • 300 points from a successfully completed Art & Design Foundation Diploma or/and
  • At least 3 A Levels / Scottish Advanced Highers from any subject (General Studies excluded)
  • QCF BTEC Extended Diploma: Distinction Distinction Merit
  • 300 points from the Irish Leaving Certificate at Highers to include 3 x B1 grades from any subject (minimum grade C2 considered)
  • Access to HE Diploma with 45 credits at Level 3 within a relevant subject
  • Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma considered along with CC at A Level within any Subject, General Studies excluded
  • Qualifications equivalent to the above

If your qualification isn't listed above, please refer to the UCAS website.

For applicants only undertaking 2 A Levels or BTEC equivalent, or applying with other life experiences, other qualifications and/or art & design achievements will be considered.

Selection Procedure and Interview Days:
Selection is based on the receipt of a completed UCAS application and attendance at a School of Art & Design Interview.

Acceptance at interview is based upon a balance of three criteria:

      • Personal enthusiasm for and immersion in the practice and theory of Art & Design
      • Academic achievement and ability
      • Quality of work, ambition and skills demonstrated in a portfolio
For more information about Art & Design Interview Days, please click here.


How to Apply:
Applications for this course should be made online to UCAS at For further information please visit our How to Apply pages at

UCAS Code:

Key Facts

Place of Study:
Cardiff School of Art & Design
Llandaff Campus

Course Length:
Three years full-time.

International Applicants:
Before making an application, international students (those outside of the EU), should contact the International Office at Cardiff Met to discuss the necessary procedures in relation to studying with us. For further information visit

Tuition Fees, Student Finance & Additional Costs
For up to date information on tuition fees and the financial support that may be available whilst at university, please refer to

Undergraduate costs of study in CSAD 


CSAD provides a variety of basic materials. These enable students to develop their competence in a range of skills and demonstrate their technical ability. Materials needed in unusual quantities, or those that are specialised, expensive or unusual are at the student’s expense. Advice will be given about how ‘unusual’ is defined, which materials are deemed to be ‘expensive’, and examples given of what is viewed to be ‘unusual’. CSAD students often elect to spend on materials they prefer to work with, including sketchbooks and pens, as well as specialist equipment of their own choosing. 

In the main, no charges are made for the use of equipment, with the exception of some specialist high end equipment such as the Mimaki and 3D printers. Access to Cardiff FabLab​ is subject to student membership; it offers reduced fees for student use. 

For further information about additional course costs, including fees, equipment requirements and other charges for each undergraduate programme, please visit

Field trips and visits 

Field trips that are part of core learning will be paid for by the School. Additional visits are occasionally arranged which are optional and where the students may be asked to share the costs. The costs of study abroad, including exchanges, placements and projects are the responsibility of the individual student.​

Bursaries & Scholarships:
The university also offers a bursary and scholarship scheme to help students whilst at university. To see if you are eligible, visit

Contact Us

For general enquiries please contact the Admissions Team on 029 2041 6044 or email

For course specific enquiries, please contact the Subject leader, Ingrid Murphy:

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Full terms and conditions in relation to accepting an offer to study at Cardiff Metropolitan University can be found by visiting