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Course content

The University of Sunderland has the largest glass and ceramics department in Europe.

Course overview

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.

You’ll be joining the largest glass and ceramics department in Europe, made up of an international team of creative and experienced educators and practitioners. All academic staff on this course are engaged in professional practice or research and are at the forefront of their discipline.

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 whilst also providing a platform both practically and theoretically for discussion aligned to the ceramic arts.

Graduates from Sunderland have gone on to work throughout the creative industries. MA graduates have also wished to extend their work through a research degree either at MPhil or PhD level and continue studies within CARCuos the ceramic arts research centre at the University.

This course can also be taken part time - for more information, please view this web-page:

Course content

The content of the course is shaped by your personal interests with guidance and inspiration from Sunderland's supportive tutors.

Modules on this course include:
Stage 1 (60 Credits)
-Contextual Studies: Critical and Professional Contexts in Contemporary Art and Design (30 credits)
-Experimentation in Glass and Ceramics (30 credits)

Stage 2 (60 Credits)
-Contextual Studies: Professional Practice in Glass and Ceramics (30 credits)
-Developing Practice in Glass and Ceramics (30 credits)

Stage 3 (60 Credits)
-Contextual Studies: Research Project in Glass and Ceramics (30 credits)
-Synthesis in Glass and Ceramics Practice (30 credits)

Teaching and assessment

Compared to an undergraduate course, you will find that this Masters requires a higher level of independent working. The course aims to stretch your creativity and maximise your sense of personal fulfilment.

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.

Facilities & location

Facilities for this course include:
-26 glass kilns, including a large glass casting kiln
-13 ceramic kilns and two large gas kilns
-Ceramics mould-making and glaze workshops
-Hot glass workshop with international-quality equipment
-Two cold working studios (sandblasting, cutting, grinding and polishing)
-Printing facility for ceramics, glass and other surfaces
-Architectural glass studio
-Decal printer
-3D MakerBot Printer
-Water-jet machine/Computer Aided Design
-Project and exhibition space
-Multi-function creative and social space
-Lampworking and future light workshop
-Computer suite and project space
-Arts and Design Library
-Journals and research

We subscribe to a comprehensive range of print and electronic journals so you can access the most reliable and up-to-date articles. Some of the most important sources for your course are:
-Key Glass and Ceramics magazines and journals
-Art Full Text + Art Abstracts, which is a major resource for arts information
-Design and Applied Arts Index, which covers journals featuring both new designers and the development of design and the applied arts since the mid-19th century
-JSTOR (short for ‘Journal Storage’), which provides access to important journals across the humanities, social sciences and sciences

National Glass Centre
The Glass and Ceramics Department is based in National Glass Centre, a nationally recognised glass production and exhibition centre with a world-class programme of creative projects.

Studying here puts you at the heart of an international network of professionals in the ceramics sector. You will be exposed to the latest ways of working through visiting artists and designers, and you can become involved in exhibitions that help launch your career.

Employment & careers

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.

Recent Sunderland graduates are now working as self-employed practitioners as well as being employed in arts administration and education.

During the course we encourage you to gain professional industry experience which will enhance your skills, build up a valuable network of contacts and boost your employability.

The University has close links with arts organisations including Arts Council England, the BALTIC, Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Tyne and Wear Museums Service and Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art. We also have international links in USA, China and Czech Republic.

A Masters degree will also enhance career opportunities within Higher Education and prepare you for further postgraduate studies.

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





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