We live in a material world, materials form the spaces in which we live and the objects that we use. Materials create and, unfortunately, may destroy the environments that we inhabit. Even in an increasing digital age in which the global economy and market continues to expand, the physical nature of materials is always present but it changes and is subject to contextual particularities, such as traditional practices, availability of resource and skills, emerging materials and technologies such as digital fabrication.
The programme focuses on process; the direct experience of using and making with materials; how materials are used in creative works, design and production; how new opportunities and ideas may evolve through reflective practice.
The programme employs a cross disciplinary approach and uses the workshops and expertise across Edinburgh College of Art. You will work with many materials including glass, textiles, metals, timber and concrete. You will also access and use various methods of digital fabrication such as additive manufacture and CNC routing and laser cutting.
The programme addresses directly important contemporary issues of economy, inclusion and sustainability, through the practical, collaborative and individual projects.
The programme is available to students from a variety of design and creative material practice, art, design, craft, and architecture backgrounds and from more traditional technologically based disciplines, such as engineering, looking to expand their skills and understanding in both material techniques and collaborative practice.
The programme is largely workshop- and studio-based. You will gain experience and expertise from a variety of tutors, support staff and technicians.
Periods will be spent in different workshops of the ECA, to explore materials and technique including: metals, glass, textiles and architecture.
As you progress through the programme you will acquire both skills and understanding of various materials, apply these in a series of projects that consider contemporary issues, culminating in a self-directed project, developed from your own experience.
The MSc in Material Practice seeks to provide core learning outcomes:
To understand and develop further skills in materials technique and processes
To explore and develop cross disciplinary design and creative practice
To understand the evolving nature of material practice and digital fabrication
To understand explore contemporary issues and themes through material investigations
To formulate and undertake cross-disciplinary research in materials and material practice
Graduates can direct their career, having furthered their skills, explored and developed cross disciplinary design and creative practice and explored contemporary issues and themes.
Opportunities exist with the many and various cross-disciplinary practices that operate in design professions such as product design, architecture and art practice.
The programme will also help those that wish to develop their own practice as fabricators or design/contractors.
The Institute for Integrated Micro and Nano Systems (IMNS) brings together researchers from integrated-circuit design, system-on-chip design, image-sensor design, bioelectronics, micro/nano-fabrication, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), micromachining, neural computation and reconfigurable and adaptive computing.
Research interests include low-level analogue, low-power, adaptive and bio-inspired approaches, system-on-chip computing and applications from telecommunications to finance and astronomy. There is also a research focus on integrating CMOS microelectronic technology with sensors and microsystems/MEMS to create smart sensor systems. We also have a strong and growing interest in applications relating to life sciences and medicine, with particular focus on bioelectronics, biophotonics and bio-MEMS.
IMNS has laboratory facilities that are unique within the UK, including an advanced silicon and MEMS micro-fabrication capability coupled with substantial design and test resources. The Institute has an excellent reputation for commercialising technology.
The development of transferable skills is a vital part of postgraduate training and a vibrant, interdisciplinary training programme is offered to all research students by the University’s Institute for Academic Development (IAD). The programme concentrates on the professional development of postgraduates, providing courses directly linked to postgraduate study.
Courses run by the IAD are free and have been designed to be as flexible as possible so that you can tailor the content and timing to your own requirements.
Our researchers are strongly encouraged to present their research at conferences and in journal during the course of their PhD.
Every year, the Graduate School organises a Postgraduate Research Conference to showcase the research carried out by students across the Research Institutes
Our researchers are also encouraged and supported to attend transferable skills courses provided by organisations such as the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).
The Institute has laboratory facilities that are unique within the UK, including a comprehensive silicon and MEMS micro-fabrication capability coupled with substantial design and test resources.
The Institute has an excellent reputation for commercialising technology.
We offer a comprehensive range of exciting research opportunities through a choice of postgraduate research degrees: MSc by Research, MPhil and PhD.
An MSc by Research is based on a research project tailored to a candidate’s interests. It lasts one year full time or two years part time. The project can be a shorter alternative to an MPhil or PhD, or a precursor to either – including the option of an MSc project expanding into MPhil or doctorate work as it evolves. It can also be a mechanism for industry to collaborate with the School.