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Design Crafts BA (Hons)

Our long-standing craft provision in ceramics, glass, jewellery, textiles and metalwork will help you discover your artistic style and develop your entrepreneurial skills to set you up for a range of careers in the creative industries.

Overview

Meet Helena as she explains the inspiration behind her final project and her experience at DMU.

On this hands-on and multi-disciplinary course you will explore both traditional hand skills and emerging technologies while working with a wide range of materials such as hot and cold glass, clay, paper, fine metals, plastics, resin, wood and textiles.

You will select a specialism and determine your own direction according to your interests and aspirations, establishing your personal creative voice. You will have the freedom to explore different processes to create objects for domestic use, interior spaces, exterior spaces or to be worn on the body and these can be hand-held or large-scale pieces, whether that be vessels, tiles, stoneware, glassware, jewellery, tableware or sculptural pieces to name just a few examples.

You will develop an understanding of craft contexts and markets alongside environmental and ethical issues surrounding the practice of craft. Professional and entrepreneurial skills are a key focus of the course and we aim to nurture you to become an industry-ready and adaptable creative professional with a clear sense of your own practice.

Key features

  • Work on live projects with industry experts to gain valuable skills and experience. Recent briefs have been set by Sainsbury’s Home, Argos, Sue Pryke Ceramics, Goldsmiths Company, the Leathersellers’ Company and Contemporary British Silversmiths.

  • Explore a huge range of designing and making opportunities with access to outstanding facilities in our award-winning Vijay Patel Building. We have superb workshops and industry standard equipment including glassblowing, slip casting, potter's wheels, kilns, casting in precious metals, enamelling, digital printing, laser cutting, embroidery machines, looms and lathes.
  • Professional skills are embedded throughout the course to prepare you for a range of careers within the creative industries, whether that be as a craftsperson, jeweller, ceramicist, textile artist, designer-maker, glass artist, designer, researcher, consultant, curator, buyer, stylist or educator. 
  • You will have the flexibility produce a wide range of objects, including individual artefacts for galleries and to commission, small batches of similar items, limited editions, public installations and designs for industry. 
  • Establish yourself by entering national and international competitions. DMU graduates have won many accolades, including the Goldsmiths’ Precious Metal award, and have exhibited at prestigious events such as New Designers and One Year In. 
  • Learn from highly-experienced academic and technical staff and hear from guest speakers from across the creative industries to help you to determine your future career path.
  • Benefit from Education 2030, where a simplified ‘block learning’ timetable means you will study one subject at a time and have more time to engage with your learning, receive faster feedback and enjoy a better study-life balance.

Student success:

Talented DMU makers rewarded with cash prizes at New Designers

National stamp of approval for DMU designers

DMU's artist-in-residency helps grads shine at contemporary craft show

More courses like this:

Fashion Textile Design BA (Hons)
Textile Design BA (Hons)
Fine Art BA (Hons)

  • UK
  • EU/International

Institution code: D26

UCAS course code: W200

Duration: Three years full-time, four years full-time with a placement. Six years part-time.

Fees and funding: 

2023/24 tuition fees for UK students: £9,250.

Find out more about tuition fees and available funding.

Additional costs: Here at DMU we provide excellent learning resources, including the Kimberlin Library and specialist workshops and studios. However, you should be aware that sometimes you may incur additional costs for this programme.

Duration: Three years full-time, four years with placement

Fees and funding: 

2023/24 tuition fees for international students: £15,250

Additional costs: Here at DMU we provide excellent learning resources, including the Kimberlin Library and specialist workshops and studios. However, you should be aware that sometimes you may incur additional costs for this programme.

Entry criteria

Typical entry requirements 

We welcome applicants from a range of backgrounds.

  • Art and Design Foundation or
  • 112 points from at least 2 A ‘levels 
  •  BTEC Extended Diploma DMM
  • International Baccalaureate: 26+ Points 

Plus five GCSEs grades 9-4 including English Language or Literature at grade 4 or above.

  • Pass Access with 30 Level 3 credits at Merit and GCSE English (Language or Literature) at grade 4 or above

We will normally require students to have had a break from full time education before undertaking the Access course.

  • We also accept the BTEC First Diploma plus two GCSEs including English Language or Literature at grade 4 or above

English language requirements

If English is not your first language an IELTS score of 6.0 overall with 5.5 in each band (or equivalent) when you start the course is essential.

English Language tuition, delivered by our British Council-accredited Centre for English Language Learning, is available both before and throughout the course if you need it.

Interview and portfolio

Applicants with relevant qualifications will be invited to submit a portfolio of work. Please see our portfolio advice page for full details.

Non-standard applicants may be invited to attend an interview via MS Teams with a portfolio.

Structure and assessment

Education 2030

We want to ensure you have the best learning experience possible and a supportive and nurturing learning community. That’s why we’re introducing a new block model for delivering the majority of our courses, known as Education 2030. This means a more simplified timetable where you will study one subject at a time instead of several at once. You will have more time to engage with your learning and get to know the teaching team and course mates. You will receive faster feedback through more regular assessment, and have a better study-life balance to enjoy other important aspects of university life.

Find out more information about Education 2030.

 

Course modules

Teaching and assessments

 

First year

  • Block 1: Craft Skills
  • Block 2: Design and Make
  • Block 3: Craft Projects
  • Block 4: Craft in Context

Second year

  • Block 1: Live Projects
  • Block 2: Craft Skills 2
  • Block 3: Craft Cultures
  • Block 4: Creative Practice

Third year

  • Blocks 1 and 2: Craft Practice
  • Blocks 1 and 2: Craft Connections
  • Block 3: Design Crafts Projects
  • Block 4: Personal Projects

 

Overview

You will learn in regular timetabled practical workshops, inductions, lectures, seminars, group tutorials, one-to-one tutorials, practical and theoretical talks. Each module has a brief that challenges you to respond creatively, enabling you to develop a range of skills which enhance your personal development. By the final year you will propose your own direction of study and final project. 

You will receive ongoing feedback in tutorials, seminars, workshops and more formal written feedback. We assess your progress and achievement throughout the course, formally through presentations and the display of coursework. Typically we assess your work in sketchbooks, design sheets, physical objects, maquettes, models and samples, portfolios and log books. We assess a small amount of written work in the form of technical notes, reports and essays. We ask you to evaluate your own achievements and comment on your own progress. 

There are opportunities throughout the course for placements in galleries, small workshops, Sainsbury’s, Hand & Lock, and for exchanges, working collaboratively and working on live briefs and with external clients.  DMU is involved in the Crafts Council’s Firing Up scheme where you can volunteer to work with clay in local schools. 

Our graduates have won many recent awards and prizes including The Enameller’s Guild Bursary, the Embroiderers' Guild Scholar 18-30, The Worshipful Company of Goldsmith’s Precious Metal Bursary, The Creative Business Award and the Silver Award in Craft and Design Magazine’s Selected Maker Awards, The Young Silversmith’s Award. 

One of our recent graduates Alice Funge was personally selected by New Designers sponsor Sainsbury’s to show their work alongside a display of the supermarket giant’s own homewares in a prime spot near the entrance of the hall at the Business Design Centre. 

The Design Crafts lecturers are all practising designers and makers, from a wide range of arts and crafts disciplines. We are also proud to have numerous visiting speakers which have included cermacists, jewellery designers, sculptors, textile artists, enamellers, furniture and product designers and illustrators.

Contact hours
In your first year you will normally attend around 24 hours of timetabled taught sessions each week, and we expect you to undertake at least 19 further hours of independent study to complete project work and research.

 

Facilities and features

Art and design facilities

Our award-winning Vijay Patel building has been designed to provide the space and facilities where all of our art and design students can develop their ideas and flourish. 

The creative industries require imaginative graduates who can develop new ideas and products. Students use our sophisticated and contemporary workshops, labs and studios to experiment and test in the same way they will in industry, while the open and transparent spaces in the building encourage collaboration between disciplines. In doing so, the building prepares students for industry and helps develop them as future leaders in their respective fields. 

Take a look at our stunning showcase of the building at dmu.ac.uk/aad.

More flexible ways to learn

We offer an equitable and inclusive approach to learning and teaching for all our students. Known as the Universal Design for Learning (UDL), our teaching approach has been recognised as sector leading. UDL means we offer a wide variety of support, facilities and technology to all students, including those with disabilities and specific learning differences.

Just one of the ways we do this is by using ‘DMU Replay’ – a technology providing all students with anytime access to audio and/or visual material of lectures. This means students can revise taught material in a way that suits them best, whether it's replaying a recording of a class or adapting written material shared in class using specialist software.

Campus Centre

The home of  De Montfort Students' Union, (DSU) our Campus Centre offers a welcoming and lively hub for student life. Conveniently located at the heart of campus, it includes a convenience store, a Subway and a Starbucks. Here you can find the DSU-owned charitable accommodation service Sulets and DSU’s shop, SUpplies, selling art supplies, stationery and clothing, and printing and binding services. The building is also home to the DSU officer team. 

Opportunities and careers

Find the people who will open doors for you

DMU's award-winning careers service provides guaranteed work experience opportunities DMU Works
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Artist in Residence

As part of our Artist in Residence programme, selected graduates are provided with a year’s worth of access to DMU’s workshops and academic and technical support after finishing their studies. It provides our graduates with the opportunity for their ideas to grow within a creative environment, with support from access to facilities that would rarely be available to new graduates. 

For Parneet Pahwa, securing a spot as an Artist in Residence was “the greatest opportunity after graduating.”

Students on the #DMUglobal trip to New York

DMU Global

Our innovative international experience programme DMU Global aims to enrich your studies and expand your cultural horizons, helping you to become a global graduate, equipped to meet the needs of employers across the world. Through DMU Global, we offer a wide range of opportunities including on-campus and UK-based activities, overseas study, internships, faculty-led field trips and volunteering, as well as Erasmus+ and international exchanges. 

Students on this course have previously undertaken DMU Global trips to New York, where they visited arts organisation UrbanGlass, as well as benefited from a design-centred experience in Copenhagen and a trip to Berlin to understand how their art practice sits within an international context.

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Graduate careers

Our graduates can gain the skills to go on to careers in a variety of areas such as craftsperson, jeweller, ceramicist, textile artist, designer-maker, glass artist, designer, researcher, consultant, curator, buyer, stylist and educator.  

Previous graduates have set up their own craft workshops, secured roles in design studios with brands including Sainsbury’s and Next, worked in the craft industry with leading ceramicists such as Sue Pryke and Hannah Tounsend, as well as collaborated with organisations including the National Trust.  

This course gives you the option to enhance and build your professional skills to progress within your chosen career, through a placement year. Our dedicated team offers a range of careers resources and opportunities so you can start planning your future. Previous students have secured placements at deVOL Kitchens and Henry Holland.

Find out how Design Crafts graduate Ellie Barton secured a job with luxury interior design brand deVOL. 

Take your next steps