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Swansea University Featured Masters Courses

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 specialism in glass or ceramics, making use of the outstanding facilities at National Glass Centre in Sunderland

95.3% of our graduates are in employment or further study within six months of graduating, according to DLHE 2016/17 (based on UK postgraduate students)

Sunderland is a thriving research hub and hosts the Ceramics Arts Research Centre (CARCuos), which aims to develop, support and disseminate new knowledge and scholarly activity

Course Structure

Compared to an undergraduate course, you will find that this Masters requires a higher level of independent working.

We use a wide variety of teaching and learning methods which include lectures, seminars, critiques, workshops and practical demonstrations. These are supported by a range of guest speakers from diverse academic and industry backgrounds. You will also have high levels of contact with tutors who give regular feedback and support.

We organise field trips so that you can experience international work in your field. Destinations include cities such as Prague, Berlin and New York.

Stage 1 (60 credits)

  • Contextual Studies: Critical and Professional Contexts in Contemporary Art and Design (30 credits)

Investigate some of the major terms in contemporary art and design, focus on key themes in art and design after modernism including the premises of conceptual art and postmodern practices, simulation and hyper-reality. Relate critical and professional contexts to creative strategies in order to reflect upon and evaluate your own professional practice.

  • Experimentation in Glass and Ceramics (30 credits)

Write a self-negotiated project proposal in which you describe how you intend to advance the work. Discuss your progress with teaching staff and fellow students. Reflect on how developing practice relates to historical and contemporary precedents and relevant debate in art, craft and design.

Stage 2 (60 credits)

  • Contextual Studies: Professional Practice in Glass and Ceramics (30 credits)

Gain an overview of current professional practice by artists, designers and craftspeople working in the field through a series of artist talks. Identify your ‘market’, search for funding, and develop an online presence through a live photography session and continued development of an e-portfolio.

  • Developing Practice in Glass and Ceramics (30 credits)

Develop ideas, technical skills, and knowledge of the area you are working in. Consider what ‘professionalism’ will mean in your practice including how your work should be presented and how you might market your work in the future.

Stage 3 (60 credits)

  • Contextual Studies: Research Project in Glass and Ceramics (30 credits)

Establish a field of study which enables you to situate your individual practices within wider historical, theoretical and artistic contexts. Develop a written research project articulating some of the working philosophies and critical ideas informing your practical work and submit a fully worked up and costed funding proposal.

  • Synthesis in Glass and Ceramics Practice (30 credits)

Produce a resolved body of work underpinned by evidence of a coherent and systematic approach to developing and expressing ideas in the form of drawings, sketch books, designs, scrape books of imagery, models, maquettes and practical tests, that show an in depth exploration of both content and technique.


Postgraduates are highly employable and, on average, earn more than individuals whose highest qualification is an undergraduate degree. On completing this course, you will be equipped for roles throughout the creative industries.


Many recent Sunderland graduates are now working as independent artists with their own workshops and are successful practitioners around the world.

Some graduates have moved on to lecturing positions at universities around the world or have chosen to move into other areas, including painting, sculpture, jewellery, architecture, interior design, engineering and photography.

During the course we encourage you to gain industry experience which will enhance your skills, build up a valuable network of contacts and boost your employability. This experience can take the form of working on live commissions, entering competitions and exhibiting work in public exhibitions.

The University has close links with arts organisations including Arts Council England, the BALTIC, Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Centre of Ceramic Art (CoCA), National Association for Ceramics in Higher Education (NACHE), Equal Arts, The Biscuit Factory, Tyne and Wear Museums Service and Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art. We also have international links in USA, China and Czech Republic.

Visit the Glass and Ceramics - MA page on the University of Sunderland website for more details!






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