The adornment of the human body with objects, and use of jewellery can be traced back millennia. It carries many meanings, and answers profound and enduring needs to express personality and individuality. In a changing world we know this ancient desire for self-expression will remain. Develop your own creative identity and help others realise theirs through this practice-based course.
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.
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Your Creative Career
You will be equipped with all the right skills and experience to become an independent 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 programme.
- Freelance Jewellery Designer producing designs for mass production
- Making jewellery in small numbers
- Creating bespoke pieces commissioned by a client
More about this 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.
- 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.
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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.