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Full time October MA 1 year full-time; 2 years part-time

About the course

Join the university with the largest glass and ceramics department in Europe. Develop a specialism in glass or ceramics using the outstanding facilities at National Glass Centre. Establish yourself as a professional artist.


This programme is for individuals who wish to develop both their practice and critical understanding with regards to glass and ceramics. The subject is explored and contextualized in its widest sense through both practical and theoretical investigation and application.

We do not have a ‘house style’, instead you will be encouraged and supported to develop your own focus, independent creativity, improve your technical skills through expert support, and develop academic skills in research and communication.

Why us?

This course is for people who want to develop a

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Entry Requirements

We usually require applicants to hold an honours degree in an art or design discipline.

We may also consider applicants who have relevant experience and who can demonstrate their suitability for the course.

If English is not your first language, please see our English language requirements.

If you are suitably qualified, we will invite you to an interview to assess whether this is the right course for you. Given the strong practical element in the course, we invite applicants to share their portfolios and creative aspirations with us at interview stage.

Course Content

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Student Profile(s)

Naomi First

Naomi First decided to study Glass and Ceramics at the University of Sunderland due to our location, reputation and fantastic facilities. After studying the MA, Naomi can now envisage herself as a practising artist in the future.

"Before coming to Sunderland I was working as a management consultant; I was ready for a significant career change and having taken various part-time art classes I realised how much I enjoyed creating and making. The next step was to immerse myself fully in art, and that’s when the University of Sunderland stepped in; I had worked there over 20 years ago and I had family in the North East, so I was quickly drawn to study at Sunderland. I chose to study Glass at Sunderland because of the location, reputation and fantastic facilities.

I did the first year of the BA before commencing to the MA, the two courses combined worked well for me. On the BA I learned lots of new skills and increased my creative confidence, on the MA I had the space and support to fully explore my ideas, develop new approaches to making, establish my own style and aesthetic and increase my understanding of art in the wider historical and current context.

I would recommend Sunderland as a place to study – find the programme that best matches your skills, experience and future goals and remember that Masters programmes are largely self-directed. I now wish to pursue a career as a practising artist within the creative sector.

My time at Sunderland has been transformative, now I can envisage a future for myself as a practising artist."

Kathryn Wightman

Studying at Sunderland gave Kathryn Wightman the chance to change her degree course and the course of her life! Kathryn, from Newcastle, studied glass to Degree, Masters and PhD level at Sunderland before moving down under to New Zealand, where she now teaches at the Wanganui Glass School.

"I had started studying for a degree in Psychology and knew it wasn’t for me, so I asked if I could change to something more suited to my practical nature. After a great deal of help I went on to study glass and ceramics – a world away from my original course – and when my degree finished I went on to do an MA in Glass.

It’s amazing to think that when I started studying I was heading in a completely different direction. Thanks to the University of Sunderland I was given a fantastic opportunity which has really shaped the rest of my life.

A lot of people I talk to within the glass community over in the States, here in New Zealand and in Australia, are all aware of Sunderland’s reputation. In a way when you are studying you are surrounded by your own bubble and it’s not until you leave that you realise how much you actually know and what a great experience you had. I’ve come to realise that I know a great deal about the subject and it is fantastic to now pass that information on to students on another continent.

Perhaps I didn’t realise at the time how much is constantly going on around you at Sunderland and the variety of what is on offer under the umbrella of Glass and Ceramics. This is something I am trying to instil in my students in New Zealand and is very much a case of the Sunderland approach spreading itself to other parts of the globe.

It’s very different here in New Zealand – it is a much more relaxed way of life compared to back home. We have an annual glass festival here in Wanganui, which attracts different artists from all over the country. I always plug Sunderland whenever I get the chance!”

Eileen Downs

"I really like Sunderland and the National Glass Centre has amazing facilities that allow you to explore a wide range of ceramic processes.

My work mainly involves slip casting and printing on ceramic surfaces so I chose to make a large slip-cast punch bowl in bone china for my final piece, which is quite an ambitious project.

The staff have been very supportive, allowing me to explore quite unconventional methods to achieve my goal, without trying to influence my decisions.

I have so much more confidence in myself as an artist. Undertaking the MA has allowed me to explore working with bone china whilst also refining my skills in printmaking to support surface decoration.

Prior to undertaking my MA, I had a small garage studio. However, now that my skills have expanded sufficiently it has given me the confidence to take a studio at the National Glass Centre. I will continue to develop my ceramics and print skills making saleable pieces of work."


Alumni Loyalty Scheme

International Scholarship

The Robson Art & Design Masters Awards

We Care Scholarship

The Mike Davies Innovation Scholarship

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