The BA Artist Designer Maker degree at Cardiff Met is a course that has making at its heart. You will gain hands-on experience with materials from metals, glass and ceramics through to wood and textiles. You will learn to bridge the gap between age-old skills and the latest technology and create new and original ways of making for our ever- changing world.
You will develop your own unique style and consider where your work sits within creative practice. You will learn from professional practicing artists, designers and makers, sharing in their passion and acquiring their skills.
By the time you graduate, you’ll be able to investigate and develop an idea all the way through to realisation - whether it’s a functioning product, decorative object, sculpture or installation. You’ll be a maker - and the future will be in your hands.
What makes this course so unique is the combination of traditional skills and cutting-edge technologies. You'll have opportunities to work with materials, skills and processes that include:
Metal - Casting in bronze, aluminium and pewter, welding, soldering, forging and small metalworking including enamelling
Ceramics - Modelling, throwing, mould making, 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
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.
Whatever your interests as a maker are, this course is structured to help you explore them. You can opt to gain business experience or take on an industry work placement, choose an academic path with a research project – or travel and study abroad. So you have every opportunity to gain the tools and knowledge you need to fulfil your aspirations as a maker.
Subject: groundings - 40 credits
Subject: individual project - 20 credits
Start your first year with workshops that introduce you to the materials, processes and equipment you'll need for creative practice – from ceramics, textiles, wood, metal and glass to CAD applications and digital fabrication. You'll also explore the key concepts in practising art and design through making.
Field one: collaborate - 20 credits*
Widen your horizons by joining students from other courses to collaborate on a project. You'll take inspiration from other disciplines to build on your experience and expand your creativity – and use your skills and artistic insight to apply them to your work.
Constellation: concept - 40 credits
This module introduces you to the wider world of ideas, theory and contextual studies to help you develop your academic research skills and critical thinking. You'll focus on particular areas of interest in study groups and you'll become familiar with the exciting trans-disciplinary research and expertise in Cardiff School of Art & Design.
Subject: create - 40 credits
In this module you'll move outside your comfort zone – taking risks and experimenting with material process and new technologies. You'll develop your skills in key areas – from ceramics, textiles, wood and metal through to 3D printing, laser cutting and arduino. Through peer critiques, themed seminars and tutorials, you'll reflect on your artistic strengths and interests and present your research back to the group.
Field two: explore -
You'll expand your experiences with challenging projects designed to encourage you to explore and experiment outside your immediate discipline. This transformative opportunity leads to new thinking and innovation – and opens up all kinds of future possibilities. You'll take on exciting projects that challenge you in new ways. You can also choose to travel, take a work placement, start your own business or try something new.
Constellation: critique - 40 credits
By critiquing literature, journals and exhibitions, you'll hone your ability to put your design practice into context. You'll also have opportunities to interact with students and staff and delve deeper into your areas of interest.
Subject: research and development - 40 credits
This module is designed to help you further your creative practice. Depending on where you want to take it, you could base your work around your professional development or opt to enter it in competitions. You may decide to refine your studio practice – using a self-directed brief to lay the foundations of a large body of work, to complete during your final year.
Field three: exposure - 40 credits
Your final term is dedicated to a major project and an exhibition of your work. This is where you draw together everything you've learned during the course and is the launch pad to your future career.
Constellation: contribution - 40 credits
Your practice is underpinned by your knowledge. Demonstrate your research and analysis skills in your final constellation submission, where you'll explore ideas in both written and practical forms.
*modules available through the medium of Welsh
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.
During their first year of study each student can expect to receive between 14 and 22 hours of contact time per week via lectures, seminars, tutorials and practical workshops.
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
Tariff points: 96-120
Contextual offer: See our
contextual offers page.
GCSE: Preferably five GCSEs at Grade C / 4 or above to include English Language / Welsh First Language, Mathematics / Mathematics – Numeracy.
English Language Requirement: Academic IELTS 6.0 overall with at least 5.5 in all elements, or equivalent.
A level: Minimum three A levels. No specific subjects required. Welsh Baccalaureate – Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate considered as a third subject.
BTEC National / Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma: MMM-DDM
T Level: No specific subjects required.
Access to Higher Education Diploma: No specific subjects required.
International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma: 24 points. No specific subjects required.
Irish Leaving Certificate: No specific subjects required. Higher level subjects only considered with a minimum grade H4.
Scottish Advanced Highers: No specific subjects required.
Other requirements: Successful
interview and portfolio review. Applicants will be required to submit a digital portfolio.
Combinations of the above qualifications are accepted if they meet our minimum requirements. If your qualifications aren’t listed, please contact
Admissions or refer to the
UCAS Course Search.
Further information on Overseas qualifications can be found
If you are a mature applicant, have relevant experience or
RPL that you would like us to consider, please contact Admissions.
How to Apply
Further information on how to apply can be found
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 www.cardiffmet.ac.uk/fees.
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.