What do you see in the future of jewellery? Join HCA and become one of our innovative makers challenging traditional notions of adornment.
Processes and ideas drive this degree programme. You will experience a course centered around creative design for objects relating to the body. You will be encouraged to experiment with materials and investigate various methods in a supportive, practice-based environment. The course will inspire you to create thoughtful designs that explore your own ideas about what contemporary jewellery is, or what it could be.
We will help you to develop your own visual language whilst equipping you with the core skills and specialist jewellery knowledge to enable you to become a successful maker.
Jewellery Design at Hereford is a practical course, based in our studios and specialist workshops. You will learn traditional craft making skills that reflect the subject’s rich heritage, whilst embracing contemporary ideas, materials and technologies. You will be given the support and freedom to find your creative voice, and to express it through developing your own original design practice.
Why study Jewellery Design at HCA
More about the course
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.
You will be taught by a team of lecturers, technical demonstrators and visiting professionals, each with their own creative practice and expertise in the field. As an HCA student, you benefit from access to an astonishing range of mediums and processes; across small metals, ceramics, wood, glass, plastics, textiles and more. You will acquire skills in designing and making by hand, by machine, and by using digital technologies.
Materials and making is central to the course. Our extensive workshop facilities provide you with the space to think, question and develop ideas. With expert guidance from our workshop team you will be taught and mentored to become technically proficient.
Our workshops represent the foundation for learning new skills and processes. Masterclasses are delivered each year by visiting lecturers specialising in a variety of techniques and disciplines.
You will have the opportunity to collaborate across a range of disciplines, leading to deeper understanding and exciting innovations. You will also be encouraged to develop your critical thinking skills and contextual knowledge, through Critical Studies sessions, on the path to defining your practice as a maker and designer.
Throughout the course, you will be encouraged to challenge and push the boundaries of jewellery design.
- Designated studio space for every student
- Specialist workshops, overseen by technical experts
- Well-developed links with local and national professionals, organisations and gallery owners
- Learn through doing – with a hands-on approach to mastering material and process
- Opportunities to take part in live projects and industry links
- A highly respected course, with several award-winning students and alumn
HCA Jewellery Design students have access to superb design studios and 3D workshops accross our 2 campuses. All workshops are run by expert staff who support your technical needs and help you realise your ideas. We have laser cutters, 3D printers, small metals, wood and plastic forming workshops, ceramics, glass, textile and drawing studios. We are committed to offering students, regardless of their chosen degree, access to all our workshops so they can develop and advance their practice without limitation.
We are uniquely placed to be able to offer individual workspaces throughout your three years of study. You will also have access to professionally equipped IT suites with both Mac and PC’s, large scale digital printers and professional software to support your practice.
HCA Students have been recognised in awards such as: ‘Make your Mark’ from the Goldsmiths Company, The Goldsmiths’ Precious Metal Bursary Award, The Goldsmiths’ Craftsmanship & Design Awards, New Designers ‘One to Watch’ and more.
You will be given opportunities to take part in live projects as well as high profile industry competitions. In the second year, you will be encouraged to make connections and gain valuable experience with national and international professionals. In your final year, emphasis is placed on your own practice, preparing you to launch your creative career on graduating.
The course has well established industry links with local and national industry professionals and gallery owners, including Alloy, Hereford’s own, vibrant jewellers’ group, who offer a graduate residency as an annual prize
- 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 email@example.com 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.
Your Creative Career
You will be equipped with all the right skills and experience to become an independant designer-maker, to find a rewarding role in the wider creative design sphere, or perhaps move into teaching or community arts. Some graduates pursue further study, including HCA’s Contemporary Crafts MA program.
- Freelance Jewellery Designer producing designs for mass production
- Making jewellery in small numbers
- Creating bespoke pieces commissioned by a client
What will you study
Investigative, experimental and analytical
The first year focuses on a thorough grounding in technique together with research and exploration. The programme is based around studios and workshop-based projects which encourage creative thinking, experimentation and help you to become articulate about your work. 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 focus and specialise in particular materials and processes. You will gain knowledge of materials in connection with their history and try combining new technologies with traditional approaches. Structured projects involve both research-led activity and real design briefs. You will also focus on exploring professional work experience opportunities.
Resolution of Practice
This final year provides you with the intellectual and creative space to fully realise your design ambitions. 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 level, 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.