The role of craft is continually evolving. As society rethinks our relationship with the planet and the impact of throwaway culture, the origin, quality and meaning of objects in our lives have never been more significant. Be part of the crafts resurgence that is committed to shaping a better future. Develop a personally sustainable practice, rooted in material understanding, drawing the best of the past but passionate for innovation. Think with your hands as well as your brain.
Hear from current student Tom Hancock
You will be encouraged to challenge the traditional notions of design craft, by investigating a wide variety of processes and exploring new ways of working with materials, objects and ideas. We support collaborative working across a range of disciplines, understanding how this can lead to exciting innovation and prepare students to forge new paths as independent makers, designers and entrepreneurs or carry craft values and practice into different fields of employment.
This course blends new design principles and an innovative approach to process, together with material knowledge and craft skills developed through hands-on making.
You will explore an ongoing dialogue between materials, process and ideas whilst advancing your skills within our specialist workshops. With regular sessions in wood, metal, ceramic and textiles you will develop expertise in key making practices.
You will be invited to respond to a rich and varied range of subjects including cultural, ethical and environmental issues. By taking part in a series of external projects you will improve your ability to create objects within a professional and critically reflective framework.
Explore student work
- Textile Artist
- Glass Artist
More about the course
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 collabor
- This is a practice based degree with plenty of time in workshops.
- Individual design spaces with excellent access to teaching staff.
- Masterclasses with leading craft professionals.
- A programme of visiting lecturers from around the world bringing cutting edge practice to HCA students.
- Final year students have exhibited at high profile graduate showcase exhibitions in London such as New Designers.
- Bespoke professional practice modules concerning post programme goals, including business planning, marketing and work placement.
- Successful completion of a UK based level 5 qualification such as a Foundation Degree (FdA) or HND in a related subject (evidence of prior learning will need to be provided).
- Portfolio submission or audition (as applicable) and successful interview.
For more details about the course, click here
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.
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.
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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.
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.