Course Overview

The top-up degree has been designed for students who have successfully completed an HND or Foundation degree in a relevant subject and now wish to convert their existing qualification into a full BA honours qualification. This flexible way of studying allows students from other institutions the opportunity to join our existing 3rd year BA (Hons) students for the final year.  It also provides a natural progression route for students completing one of our own foundation degrees.

You will be encouraged to develop your thinking and understanding to become an independent and critically aware practitioner in your chosen field. This will include undertaking a major piece of theoretical work, as well as improving your technical and creative skills through a programme of negotiated projects. You’ll also be expected to exhibit, take up live briefs and competitions, together with any opportunities that will improve your understanding of the creative industries and your own professional development. In the majority of our HE courses, there will opportunities to exhibit at a national level at major events such as New Designers.

Critical Studies

These studies are entirely focused around the students’ course area, providing a solid grounding in subject history and in critical ways of thinking about creative practice. The Critical Studies programme enables students to set their own work in a wider context, and also helps them develop a better understanding of how creative work can be interpreted and assessed.  Click here for more details

Progression and Careers

Generally, students who successfully complete the course progress to become professional practitioners within the field of Applied Arts and Crafts, contributing to raising the quality and standard of contemporary work within this area of the Creative Industries. Graduates have also successfully established themselves in community arts, teaching and residencies.  Others decide to continue with their studies at Postgraduate level.

Graduate Showcase

Click the links below for:
Graduate Showcase 2015
Graduate Showcase 2014


Entry Requirements

  • Successful completion of a Foundation Degree (FdA) or HND in a related subject.
  • Applicants whose first language is not English – proof of an overall IELTS score of 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in all sections (reading, writing, listening & speaking)
  • Recognition of Prior Learning Opportunities - The college welcomes applications from students with prior learning and/or previous experience.  Further details on eligibility can be found on page 15 of our Admissions Policy.  Alternatively, please contact us at and we can advise you on the college’s and the University Awarding body requirements (evidence of prior learning will need to be provided).

What you will study:

The year provides you with a set of specific opportunities to assemble a highly specialist and professional portfolio of work. There is increased emphasis on research, critical thinking, and innovation. You will be expected to work in an increasingly self-directed manner to a professional level, and you’ll have the opportunity to produce a body of work for public exhibition.

At this stage, you will have the unique opportunity of profiling yourself and your practice to representatives of the creative industries through a series of appointments with gallery directors, craft shop owners, arts/crafts officers, et cetera. Students will be given the opportunity to contextualise their own ideas and design philosophy by undertaking a critical enquiry project in the form of a dissertation or case study.