Jewellery design brings together craftsmanship and truly creative, conceptual design. At HCA you will get the skills and specialist support to make contemporary pieces that really say something.
With the opportunity to work in a range of materials, and tap into influences from across the worlds of art, design, making and digital media, this course gives you the foundation to become an imaginative and inventive contemporary jeweller.
The course is practice-based. You learn through live projects and small-group work led by industry professionals, in dedicated studio spaces and workshops.
BELIEVE IN BEAUTIFUL
For centuries jewellery and body adornments have been a way of making a statement about the world or about the wearer.
Over three years you will learn and refine your skills in traditional making techniques, as well taking a critical approach to the cultural study of jewellery and its social and human impact. This combination will help you develop and communicate your ideas, and leave with a practice that can make its own statement, whether that’s subtle or sensational.
AN ARTS SCHOOL IDENTITY
The course sits within the School of Materials + Design. You will work side-by-side with fellow creatives and have the opportunity to innovate and collaborate with students from degrees like Contemporary Design Crafts, Textile Design and Photography.
HCA’s approach and scale allows you to develop as an individual, at your own pace.
The college’s teaching staff were rated among the top in the UK for their ability to explain their subject area, and to help their students produce their best work. The independent National Student Survey also scored HCA among the best in the sector for how students feel free to express their ideas, opinions and beliefs.
You will join a rich arts school tradition, and we are proud of that culture.
CONNECTED TO THE WORLD
Live projects and public exhibitions give you real-world experience as a professional maker. This is underpinned by dedicated Professional Practice teaching modules that will help prepare you for a career as a successful designer.
Our visiting lecturer programme features the likes of Sheng Zhang and Katie Treggedian , and provides additional insight and access into the industry. HCA supports students to enter national competitions to raise the profile of their portfolio, while our Honorary Fellows include the likes of Wally Gilbert, Seetal Solanki and Jerwood Prize winner Susan Cross.
Alongside using drawing as a tool to communicate your ideas, computer-aided design is integrated into our teaching, and our specialist Digital Demonstrators can support you to explore new frontiers in design like 3D Modelling that may offer fresh opportunities for you as a practitioner.
Why study Jewellery Design at HCA
Explore and experiment with traditional and modern materials and processes to design and make objects of distinction and meaning, whether individually crafted or designed for batch production. Join our stimulating community of creative students and tutors to realise your own voice.
This is a practical course, based in your dedicated space in a studio with easy access to our range specialist workshops. You will learn to harness your creativity through traditional craft making skills that reflect the subject’s rich heritage, whilst embracing contemporary ideas, materials, processes and technologies. You will be given the support and freedom to find your creative voice, to express it through developing your personal design and making practice, and to develop your unique professional career trajectory.
Our Students & Graduates exhibit at:
Made By Hand
Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Cambridge Contemporary Crafts
Cornwall Contemporary, Penzance
South West England
New Designers, London
Studio One, Manchester
Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair
Craft Festival – Cheltenham & Bovey Tracy
Diana Porter Contemporary Jewellery, Bristol
Bircham Gallery, Norfolk
Gallery Nine, Bath
Kath Libbert Jewellery Gallery, Saltaire
Explore student work
Your Creative Career
You will be equipped with all the right entrepreneurial skills and experience to become an independent designer-maker, or a designer within a studio or gallery.
> Freelance jewellery designer producing designs for mass production
> Independent small-batch producer
> Bespoke/commissioned jewellery design
> Gallery curator
> Jewellery stylist
> Design teaching + workshop facilitator
> Creative director
> Jewellery buyer
> Post-graduate study (including HCA’s Contemporary Crafts MA)
More about the course
On this small and friendly course, you’ll join a supportive environment where students share ideas and experiences and benefit from both individual tuition and group discussion. You will be taught by a team of lecturers, technical demonstrators and visiting professionals, each with their own creative practice and expertise in their field. You will acquire skills in designing and making by hand, by machine, and by using digital technologies.
- Immersive, creative arts school experience that develops your creative and making skills.
- Designated studio space for every student.
- Outstanding access to specialist workshops, overseen by technical experts.
- Well-developed links with local and national professionals, organisations and gallery owners.
- Hereford is home to a thriving local craft community.
- HCA students have been recognised in awards such as: ‘Mark your Mark’ from the Goldsmiths’ Company, The Goldsmiths’ Precious Metal Bursary Award, The Goldsmiths’ Craftsmanship & Design Awards, New Designers ‘One to Watch’
- A programme of visiting lecturers from around the world bringing cutting edge practice to HCA students.
HCA Jewellery Design students have access to superb design studios and 3D workshops across 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.
You will be given opportunities to take part in real world projects, as well as high-profile industry competitions. In the second year, you will be supported to make connections and gain valuable experience with makers and professionals on a regional, national and international arena.
In your final year, emphasis on your own practice will prepare you to begin professional life after college. The course has well-developed links with local and national industry professionals and gallery owners.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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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.