This is an innovative course which develops creative potential and in-depth knowledge of theories, processes and techniques.
Students will use a variety of materials, manufacturing techniques and processes, of much greater potential than indicated by the term ‘jewellery and silversmithing’.
The scope for design is very broad and builds on knowledge in the area of personal ornaments, body signification and decorative metal objects. There are also affinities with industrial design, fashion design, fine art and sculpture and content is often informed by philosophy, conceptualisation and critical theory.
Project-based activities will develop creative, design and making skills and enhance students' professional skills. Concepts and products will also be developed. Students will analyse problems and reflect on the relationships between personal objectives, cultural values, market identities, prototyping techniques and new technologies.
This course is divided into three trimesters to allow students to work towards a Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma or a Master's qualification.
PgCert: Design Project: Diagnostic; Design Project: Design Development; Research Project.
PgDip: Design Project: Research and Innovation; Professional Practice Project.
Master's: Master Design Project
Studies include structured, project based learning activities which develop creative, design and making skills, research and investigative abilities, evaluation and independent learning to an advanced level; it includes individual and group tutorials, tutor-led and student-led seminars, lectures, and workshops as well as report writing and project work.
Miriam is studying for an MA in Jewellery, Silversmithing and Related Products at Birmingham City University’s School of Jewellery, which she is due to complete in 2010.
It was on a visit to Birmingham during a previous trip to the UK that Miriam found herself drawn to the University and its Jewellery School because of its history in the jewellery field. She was studying Jewellery and Metalwork in her home state of Georgia, USA and considering postgraduate study at the time. She found out that the School of Jewellery was based in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter and came very well-recommended. After that she says applying to the University “was an easy decision to make!”
She noticed that students and alumni from the School of Jewellery had pieces in many shows and exhibitions in the UK and abroad, and the facilities and equipment available at the School would give her a lot of opportunities for development during her studies.
Miriam has found that having access to so much state-of-the-art equipment and a knowledgeable staff has made her studies very enjoyable as they have allowed her to learn many new techniques and processes. This is just one of many reasons she gives for why the course has exceeded her expectations. She says the course is very cohesive and organised in a very logical manner. She was “really pleased with the self-directed study on the course and enjoyed being able to work alone while still receiving project support from tutors and visiting artists.” Miriam says her tutor is “extremely knowledgeable in our subject area” and has “contributed vastly” to her professional development as a designer and maker.
Miriam says “I admire the University’s dedication, not only to the education of its current students, but also to the professional development of current and former students. I have not seen this dedication at any other institution. I am really impressed by what I’ve seen here.”
Miriam also likes being a student in Birmingham. She says: “There are plenty of things to do in and around the city.” She enjoys being in such a central location, allowing her to access London, Manchester and Liverpool in less than two hours. She says: “It’s great having easy access to London without having to have the expensive cost of living.”
After graduating, Miriam plans to live and work in Birmingham. She has begun to make arrangements to set up a studio space with other jewellery artists from the MA course.
Applicants require a good degree in Art and Design or recognised equivalent subject (degrees in business related and other theoretical subjects without evidence of advanced creative practice are not recognised as equivalent subjects). Applicants will be requried to submit a study proposal that indicates development potential supported by evidence of high level creative work.
Recipient: Birmingham City University
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