Ceramics - MA/PgD/PgC


Course Overview

The MA Ceramics Programme’s aim is to enable each student to identify their true interests and concerns as artists, designers or makers and to develop appropriate methods to explore their ideas and articulate or express them effectively in imaginative or innovative ways, through the medium of ceramics. 

It also engages students with the key theories and contemporary debates, thus fostering their understandings of the ways in which these influence the development, expression and communication of their ideas, which will impact upon the success of their future practice as artists, makers or academics

Ceramics is a medium in which the practitioner occupies very different positions and frequently has opposing priorities and values drawn from previous personal experiences, technical competence and tacit knowledge.

The MA Ceramics programme is for individuals seeking to extend and develop their practice as well as deepen their knowledge and understandings of the subject, as future practitioners, researchers or academics.

The MA programme allows each student to:

  • Develop their authorship of advanced studio work
  • Be analytically rigorous
  • Develop a greater capacity for reflection

Students are encouraged to challenge norms and question conventions through fusing materiality and concept. This approach is underpinned by a critical and historical approach discourse – a critical language for both fine and applied art and design.

Course Content

This programme of learning is driven by the student's self-defined project. To support this, each student is allocated a Personal Tutor and an additional subject-specialist member of staff from within the School. Together they form the Supervisory Team.

The nature of the discipline is such that the course will rely on skilled practitioners as the key facilitators of learning, and, reflecting this, a variety of delivery mechanisms will be deployed.  However, they will all have a common focus in that they will seek to develop the skills of students as proactive and reflective independent learners.

As a part of this programme students will study the following modules:

  • Construct (60 Credits) 
  • Exploration (60 Credits)  
  • Realisation (60 Credits) 
  • Research and Ideas Seminars (0 Credits)

Exit points/Awards

  • On completing 120 credits in total students will be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma.
  • On completing 180 credits in total students will be awarded a Master's Degree (MA Ceramics


Learning & Teaching

The MA is taught through lecture and seminar with individualised supervisory meetings to develop a learning contract (part of the early Personal Development Planning process [PDP]) and an individualised programme of learning and individualised supervision towards a creative research outcome, defined and monitored by developing PDP.

Our approach to learning and teaching is based on negotiation and dialogue, encouraging students to develop their own, self-directed project to a professional standard within a rigorous yet supportive academic environment. To support this, each student is allocated a Personal Tutor and an additional subject-specialist member of staff (academic tutor) from within the design expertise in a respective design department.

Together, they form the Supervisory Team. The CSAD web application form includes a personal statement, and an outline of the professional or research project that the student wishes to pursue at Masters level. This informs the allocation of personal tutor and subject-specialist member of academic staff (academic tutor) with whom the learning contract is established, which in turn forms the basis for the student’s personal plan, reflected on in the continuing PDP process.

There are opportunities for all MA students to come together in common teaching and presentations, to engage in peer learning groups and peer review of work, and to reflect on the outcomes of these peer reviews in PDP. At several key stages in the MA programme we stress the importance of self-directed and negotiated learning. This is in part a response to what we perceive to be a growing demand for programmes of study that allow students to integrate work, study, career, personal aspirations and other commitments.

All course documentation, including Cardiff Metropolitan University’s Research Studies Manual, CSAD’s Research Study Guide, the MA Ceramics Handbook with module descriptors, assessment guidelines and criteria, will be available as hard copy and electronically. In addition, lecture PowerPoint presentations and workshop-generated material, for example, paragraphs and textual or visual analyses composed during workshops, will be available on the Cardiff Metropolitan University Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).

Remote or electronic contact with staff will be available by email and/or VLE. The supervisory team will deliver, manage and monitor each student's progress through a number of individual and team meetings. Students will also be encouraged to form and maintain peer-learning groups, either face-to-face or online. Learning will be supported through the use of the VLE, electronic communications, and other relevant methods. Any students requiring learning support are advised to contact Learning Support in Student Services. Throughout the programme, students are expected to maintain their own Personal Development Plan/Portfolio (PDP), intended to provide evidence of their knowledge and understanding in relation to the learning outcomes of each module.

Each 20 credits is equivalent to 240 learning hours (80 typically are taught and 160 are directed study or independent study).


Specialised studio space for those engaged in full time practice. Cardiff School of Art and Design offers an extensive range of spaces, workshops and equipment, creating a vibrant and creative learning environment, within a new purpose designed building and a fully renovated extension. Workshop and technical facilities include: Media – with computers, digital sound, video and editing; Print – including a range of presses and processes; Sculpture – including a foundry; and access to other workshops across the full range of Art and Design disciplines. Cardiff School of Art and Design has a wide range of tools and equipment for use by students. You also have access to and use of recycled materials within workshop areas.

Indicative Material Costs

You will need to purchase materials for individual projects used in studio and workshops as appropriate. Please note that costs will vary depending upon the scale and individual requirements of your work. Typically we suggest that you budget £850 for your projects during the MA Ceramics Programme.

Other Additional costs

Additional costs will be incurred for the one-off purchase of personal tools and equipment (particularly any personal equipment appropriate to your own field of practice or enquiry) and study trips if you participate in these. Other costs such as printing, the purchase of textbooks; and cost of optional placements will also need to be accounted for. In particular you are expected to possess a networked laptop or similar device, and a good quality digital camera for documenting work.

Studio tools and basic equipment to facilitate your learning can be pre-purchased or sourced at the commencement of the programme. Additional purchase can be made from bespoke suppliers who attend CSAD in the 1st Semester. Please ask your Programme Director for specific guidance when you accept our offer of a place.


For each module, assessment is in the form of:

  • MAA7001 Research Methods (20 credits)
    Written 3000 word paper
  • MAC7004 Studio Project1. (40 credits)
     Constructing a Discourse' Presentation of Practical Work Power Point Presentation with 1,000-1500 word transcript  
  • MAC 7006 Studio Project 2. (40 credits)
    Presentation of Practical Work Power Point Presentation, with 1,000-1500 word transcript Viva Voce.
  • MAC7008 'Developing a Theoretical Context for Student's Studio-Based Practice' (20 credits)
    Written 5000 word paper
  • MAC7007   Major Project. (60 credits)
    Presentation of Practical Work  Power Point Presentation with 1,000-1500 word transcript Viva Voce.

Support will be available through weekly individual tutorials, group seminars, workshops where practical demonstrations, involving student participation. This may include, for example (Theory), communal writing (via computer and data projector) or group discourse analysis.

Students are encouraged to instigate discussion within and outside of the formal delivery Programme Face book pages and blogs further contribute and facilitate this shared learning experience.

Employability & Careers

The MA Ceramics programme enables students to enhance their careers as, or to become, established artist, designers, makers leading towards a career, or towards a PhD or to a Professional Doctorate in either art or design. Cardiff School of Art and Design offers Professional Doctoral programs in both Art and Design.

The MA Ceramics programme is designed to enable students to achieve the attributes of greater flexibility, adaptability, and individual responsibility and autonomy as professional artists, makers and designers or researchers. It is Internationally  recognised that the  MA Ceramics programme develops individuality , creativity, self-reliance, initiative, and the ability to perform in rapidly changing environments as well as increasing competence with research skills and methods which will make graduates highly employable as academics and or researchers or enable them to develop an active and sustained practice as artists makers  or designers.

The MA Ceramics programme particularly characteristic is that it enable graduates, mid- career  and professional practitioners from within and outside of  the discipline of Ceramics to negotiate and examine strategies of Practice through the medium of Ceramics and yet being able to create their own hybrids of material based practice that can further enhance the territory that Ceramics can occupy.

All students receive individual Semester based PDP tutorials to support employability and life-long learning. Learning Journal blogs, and continuous visual documentation /text that integrates opportunities for self-reflection in programmes in order to help them develop as effective and confident learners are expected to be maintained throughout the programme of study.

At the conclusion of the programme, a very high percentage of MA graduates establish or continue their professional practice, enabled by the links they have made with galleries or organisations associated with the visual arts. Some elect to continue with ceramics at CSAD by undertaking a PhD.

Entry Requirements & How to Apply

Students will normally have achieved a first class or second class upper division first degree (1st or 2.1 degree classification) in an appropriate subject, and/or equivalent professional standing or experience in Ceramics or other disciplines e.g.  Fine Art, Design or related humanities programmes of study (based upon assessed Accredited Prior Learning or assessed Accredited Prior Experiental Learning), or a discipline associated with their programme of study.

In addition those students for whom English is not their first language are required to have IELTS or to have achieved an approved equivalent standard. Applicants are normally required to have achieved a minimum IELTS score (or the equivalent) of 6.5 based upon specific minimum sub-test scores of: Reading: 6.0; Writing: 6.0, Speaking: 6.0, Listening: 6.5. International applicants can apply for the Cardiff Metropolitan University (CMU) processional English courses that aim to assist in achieving IELTS score requirements.​

Claims for Accredited Prior Learning (APL) are assessed in accordance with the CMU Academic Handbook , based upon either demonstrable evidence of assessed learning outcomes with equivalence, or equivalent experience where students “have learned in similarly ambitious ways”. APL claims are normally expected to be approved at the time of enrolment.

School of Art and Design (CSAD) postgraduate applicants are required to both apply via the Cardiff Metropolitan University admissions site, and to complete additional information via the CSAD website. The additional information that is required includes:  a statement about your current work and practice and the interests which inform it; a succinct statement outlining why you wish to undertake this course; an outline of the professional or research project that you wish to pursue on this course; and a portfolio of your previous work (where appropriate) in support of your ​application.

Images of your work or examples of written work can be submitted via a personal website or via an appropriate online platform (eg. Flickr, Tumblr or Wordpress). At least four different examples of your work should be referenced. Before an offer is then made some applicants may then be asked to attend for an interview, by visiting CSAD or by Skype or similar online discussion tools.

How to Apply:
Applications for this course should be made direct to the university via our self-service facility. For further information please visit our How to Apply pages at www.cardiffmet.ac.uk/howtoapply.

Key Facts

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

Course Length:
One year full-time, Two years part-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 www.cardiffmet.ac.uk/international.

Tuition Fees and Financial Support:
For up to date information on tuition fees and the financial support that may be available. Please refer to www.cardiffmet.ac.uk/fees.

Postgraduate costs of study in CSAD


You will receive access to materials used as part of timetabled workshop inductions. You will also have access to and use of recycled materials within workshop areas where available. In general you will need to purchase materials for individual projects used in studio and workshops as appropriate. Please note that costs will vary depending upon the scale and individual requirements of your work. In addition one-off purchases of personal tools and equipment will need to be budgeted for. Other costs such as printing, the purchase of textbooks; and cost of optional placements will also need to be accounted for by you.

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: www.cardiffmet.ac.uk/additionalcosts.


​Field trips and visits

Study Trips are organized during the year and students will 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 www.cardiffmet.ac.uk/scholarships.

Contact Us

For general enquiries please contact the Admissions Team on 029 2041 6044 or email askadmissions@cardiffmet.ac.uk.

For course specific enquiries, please contact the programme administration:

CSADPostgradStudies@cardiffmet.ac.uk Tel: 029 2041 6669


Full terms and conditions in relation to accepting an offer to study at Cardiff Metropolitan University can be found by visiting www.cardiffmet.ac.uk/terms