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b3 yrs full-time, 6 yrs part-time
££9,000 p.a.
Fees per anum UK & EU
DUniversity of Wales Trinity Saint David
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Find your place as an innovative maker on the UK’s longest-established crafts course.

Our course ethos is to blend modern design principles and innovative new processes with hands-on making. We will help you to develop both specialist material knowledge and your own visual language as part of your journey to becoming a successful maker.

Throughout the course, you will be encouraged to challenge and push boundaries to explore new realms in craft and design.


Hear from current student Tom Hancock

More about this course

This Key Information document gives you a summary of the core characteristics of the BA (Hons) Contemporary Design Crafts degree at HCA.

You will join a community of students who continuously engage in critical discussion about contemporary crafts. In this stimulating environment, your ideas will be challenged and developed through regular group feedback sessions and one-to-one tutorials. You will also have the opportunity to take these conversations into wider forums, engaging with others and discovering new perspectives.

As a student at Hereford College of Arts, you will learn to become a maker of opportunity, often working on projects within the booming crafts and design sector. Live briefs are available across all years, with particular focus on work placement activities in your second year.

Contemporary Design Crafts offer an amazing breadth of mediums and processes to explore: ceramics, print, textiles, small metals and many more. Your experience on the course will equip you with the knowledge and understanding to develop a fully structured professional portfolio. Additionally, the networks and partnerships you form will provide support and challenges both during the course and as a continuing legacy afterwards.

Materials and making is core to much of what we do. Our workshop facilities provide you with the space to think, question and develop ideas. You will gain a solid grounding in making skills, with expert guidance from our workshop team.

Our workshops represent the foundation for learning new skills and processes. Masterclasses are delivered each year by visiting lecturers specialising in a variety of material approaches and disciplines.

You will have the opportunity to collaborate across a range of disciplines, leading to deeper understanding and exciting innovations. As part of the process of defining your practice as a maker you will also be encouraged to develop your critical thinking skills and contextual knowledge, through thought-provoking critical studies sessions,

Throughout the course, you will be encouraged to challenge and push boundaries to explore new realms in craft and design.

  • Individual workspaces
  • Excellent tutor contact time & availability
  • Access to all workshop facilities to develop ideas & produce work
  • Lectures & masterclasses with visiting designers & makers
  • Collaborative events, live briefs, exhibitions
  • Local, National & International trips
  • Academic support and mentoring
  • Extensive professional practice modules
  • Minimum age 18.
  • Successful portfolio interview.
  • Academic achievement – we would normally expect applicants to have achieved 80 UCAS Tariff Points at entry but, whilst qualifications are important, our offers are not solely based on academic results. We may make offers based on other evidence of talent and suitability for the course.
  • 80 UCAS Points on the New UCAS Tariff system for 2017 equates to 200 UCAS points on the previous points system – for more details please see tariff explanation and advice on the UCAS website.
  • Applicants whose first language is not English – proof of IELTS overall score of 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in all sections (reading, writing, listening & speaking) is required.
  • Applications from mature students with relevant experience will also be considered.
  • 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 offer further advice on HCA and the UWTSD awarding body requirements.

NB for Top-Up students different entry requirements apply – please see our Top-Ups application page for more information.

Find out more about our new, purpose-built student accommodation in the heart of the City. The accommodation is located next to Hereford Railway Station and is mid-way between the two teaching campuses (College Road & Folly Lane)

HCA is an independent arts school surrounded by people who are passionate about the arts, media and performance. Find out more about why you should choose HCA.

Your Creative Career

  • Craftsperson
  • Jeweller
  • Ceramist
  • Textile Artist
  • Glass Artist
  • Designer
  • Researcher
  • Consultant
  • Curator
  • Buyer
  • Stylist
  • Educator
Mature Students

What I loved most about the Design Crafts degree was the chance to experiment and become independent, the projects you work on set you up for life on the other side of graduation. The focus on project management has allowed me to move forward in my practice and make great leaps in getting myself out there.

Libbertine Valentine

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BA (Hons) Contemporary Design Crafts

On the Sofa with Course Leader Helen Marton and student Eppie Ali


BA (Hons) Contemporary Design Crafts


On the sofa with Contemporary Design Crafts student Eppie


Why Choose HCA

Emma Mantle

I knew I wanted to be a maker, but was also aware that the way I think and conceive ideas dips into the realm of fine art.

Emma Mantle

Matilda Gomersall 1

My course is fantastic in that we can use any material, and with any outcome we wish. This means there are few confines to how you work and where you work. I am spread between each of the workshops – which all have a different atmosphere and new people to bounce ideas off and learn from.

Matilda Gomersall

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What will you study

Investigative, experimental and analytical

The first year focuses on providing a thorough grounding in technique together with research and exploration for interdisciplinary and mixed media design. The programme is based around studio and workshop-based projects that encourage creative thinking, experimentation and becoming more articulate about design crafts. Emphasis is placed upon the development of drawing, design and material skills. You will use personal visual research and learning journals to develop a reflective, analytical and evaluative approach to your practice.

Establishing Practice

The second year of the programme encourages you to specialise in particular materials and processes. You will gain greater knowledge of materials with reference to their history.  We encourage students to combining traditional approaches with new technologies. Structured projects offer live and research-led projects as well as professional work experience activities.

Resolution of Practice

This final year provides you with the intellectual and creative space to fully realise your creative ambition. Emphasis is placed on students’ ability to evaluate and make informed choices when selecting techniques and processes, and on creating innovative outcomes. Your work will become increasingly self-directed, to a professional standard, as you produce a body of work for public exhibition.

The professional and entrepreneurial skills you need for a self-sustaining practice are embedded in the final year. Students participate in a series of business seminars, complete a fully costed business plan, create a professional portfolio, and develop an online digital presence.

Your practice will also be developed and informed by your extended research project: the dissertation or dissertation alternative.

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