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BA (hons) Artist Designer: Maker

Course Overview

This course has making at its heart, enabling students to engage with practices drawn from a broad spectrum of creative disciplines including art, design and craft. Bridging the gap between traditional skills and new technologies, the course enables students to work in a myriad of ways, including producing work for batch production, bespoke one-off pieces or manufacture.

The programme offers students the opportunity to work with a broad range of materials, skills and processes from the traditional to the cutting edge. These include:

Metal: Casting in bronze, aluminium and pewter, welding, soldering, forging and small metal working including enameling.
Ceramics: Modelling, throwing, mould making, casting, firing and glazing
Wood: Joinery, turning, marquetry.
Glass: Casting, fusing, slumping and painting.
Textiles: Stitch, print and construction.
Digital Fabrication: 3D printing, Laser cutting, 3D digital modelling (Rhino), scanning, digital stitch, digital print textiles, Arduino / electronics and augmented reality.

This combination of traditional skills and the use of new technologies is part of what makes this course so unique and exciting. You will explore the synergies between these areas, creating new ways of making for our ever changing world.

Matthew Bush“Maker was art and it was design, and I liked that it was about traditional processes as well as brand new ones, like 3D printing.” Matthew Bush. Click here to read more on Matthew’s first year at CSAD.

Alongside this skill acquisition you will be learning about the context of making practices. You will identify where your work is situated within the broader parameters of creative practice; are you a designer, an artist, a craftsperson or do you work across a number of disciplines? You will learn how to investigate and develop an idea into a fully realised material outcome, whether this is a functional product, a decorative artefact, an installation or an expressive object.

Using our ‘state of the art’ equipment, you will create your own vocabulary of material skills and understanding in both traditional materials and digital media, and apply this to your unique creative ends.

Download the BA Artist Designer: Maker prospectus here

Using our ‘state of the art’ equipment, you will create your own vocabulary of material skills and understanding in both traditional materials and digital media, and apply this to your unique creative ends.

We have purpose built workshops and studios and all our workshops supported by highly skilled Technical Demonstrators. Each Maker student has their own dedicated workspace, with bespoke furniture designed for a Maker’s needs, work bench, storage and shelving. The studios are large and light and are equipped with their own kitchen facilities. All Maker students work alongside each other across the years of the programme.

“The creative atmosphere is engrossing, it is a place where possibilities become limitless” Tess Jenkins. Click here to view Tess’s blog.

The structure of the course enables you to gather the experience and knowledge relevant to your own future aspirations as a maker. You may choose to gain strong business experience or undertake a work placement within industry. Equally you may wish to take a more academic path, carrying out research-based projects with one of the professors or academics within the school. There are also opportunities to travel and study abroad, exploring other cultures and traditions of making. These individual interests are catered for particularly in your second year within the Field module, and in the third year where you elect to develop either a business plan, a conference paper, a full academic dissertation or a critical reflection on your creative practice.


The focus of the degree is not only to develop you as a student and critical thinker, but to inspire your growth into a skilled and intellectual maker. These attributes, which are dependent on one another, combined with practical experience and an understanding of the making industry, will form the beginning of your career, and stand you in the strongest possible position to carry it forward.

“I chose to study Maker because it has the freedom of Fine Art with the precision and discipline of Product Design.”
Claudio De Luca, Maker

“I chose to study Maker because it has the freedom of Fine Art with the precision and discipline of Product Design.” Claudio De Luca.

The Artist, Designer: Maker programme is taught by a dedicated team of both academics and professional artists; staff interests and research areas range from sculpture, ceramics and textile art to sonic art, electronics, and installation and site-specific work.

Year One (level 4)

Material and Process: This module is designed to develop your understanding of the key concepts in practicing art and design through making. Through a series of induction workshops, you will become familiar with the materials, processes and equipment relevant to creative practice. These will include processes in ceramics, textiles, wood, metal and glass, as well as CAD applications and rapid prototyping.

Artists and Designers in the City: In this module, you will be offered the opportunity to collaborate across subject disciplines. By tackling a set of concerns as a group, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of your own strengths, skills and artistic insight in relation to the broader creative field.

Constellation – Concept: In term one, a series of keynote lectures from across the Constellation team will introduce you to the staff and their areas of interest and expertise. Through interdisciplinary working – such as collective presentations – you will be developing your academic and research skills, across concepts ranging from post-modernism, identity and globalisation to post colonialism, technology and embodiment.

Click here to read the full description of this programme (PDF format).

Year Two (level 5)

Create: This module is designed to enable you to reflect upon your own strengths and interests and to begin to shape your career by building that intellectual expertise and vocation into the core of your practice.

Field: You will be set a challenging project which will require you to negotiate and learn beyond the curriculum of your subject discipline. It may take you abroad for international study; to an existing company for work experience or voluntary social engagement; or result in working with School’s leading research teams or individual staff. Designed to encourage you to explore and experiment, individual projects will be graded by a common form of assessment.

Critique: In terms one and two you will attend a series of seminars lead by different Constellation team members, thus engaging in a diverse range of topics where you will be able to put your academic skills into practice. This will include critiquing current literature as well as contemporary journals and exhibitions, with the purpose of examining a range of modern research ideas; from interactivity and design to metaphor, critical theory, ecology, art and science. In doing so, you will be introduced to additional research methodologies, such as ethnographic research, content analysis, archival research.

Click here to read the full description of this programme (PDF format).

Year Three (level 6)

Research and Development: This module is student-led in terms of both content and outcome, and is designed to help you further your creative practice. As such, it could be that your work is founded in a professional context, or that it centres around entry into competitions. It may be that you choose to refine your studio practise, and use this largely self-directed brief to develop the conceptual foundations for a larger body of work to be completed later in the year.

Exhibition: Built around a major project and an exhibition brief, the module will see you produce a professional presentation of your design collection; this being the culmination of your creative practice, often serving as the launch-pad for a final year student’s future career.

Constellation: Your final Constellation module will demonstrate your ability to produce a dissertation of significant value to your field, with a sense of authority stemming from thorough research and academic rigour.

Click here to read the full description of this programme (PDF format).


From the outset, you will gain hands-on experience in practical studio sessions and workshops – developing your core material skills. Lectures, lead by members of the academic staff, will broaden your theoretical understanding of your field, whilst smaller, targeted seminars are designed to provide guidance for meeting more individual intellectual and practical demands.

Click here to read the full description of this programme (PDF format).


Throughout the duration of your studies, you will be evaluated on three main criteria which underpin all of the disciplines being taught at CSAD:

Skills The practical, technical and conceptual skills you acquire during your course.
Context Your understanding and knowledge of broader intellectual context within which your discipline and work is located. This includes historical, theoretical and social issues and will often be explored in written or theoretical work, known as your Constellation modules.
Ideas Your understanding of intellectual and creative ideas from within and beyond your discipline; plus your ability to acquire new concepts and form new ideas. Ideas will be explored in your Constellation assignments, as well as being evident in your practical progress.

Click here to read the full description of this programme (PDF format).


Whilst your learning is designed to develop you into a rounded and capable designer and intellectual, your curriculum is similarly structured with your potential in mind.

As such, the emphasis that will have been placed upon your work ethic, both creatively and academically, is matched with significant focus on real world experience; from building contacts and undertaking placements to live briefs and, should you choose so, support in forming your own business.

The course has excellent relationships with the London and local design agencies, research partners and cultural partners. Its graduates are in prominent design positions worldwide.

You can elect to take a route through your second and final years of studies where you can engage with businesses or launch your own for the moment you graduate. In your final year, rather than submit a dissertation, you have the option of devising a detailed business plan.

Throughout your time at CSAD, you will be meeting and hearing from professionals within your industry, honing your skills and ideas for commercial and professional advantage. Cross-disciplinary projects will prepare you for teamwork later on, whilst live briefs will prepare you for deadlines and the demands of tight specifications.

Graduates from the programme are well placed to join design companies, work as designers in large organisations, or set up their own businesses. Some take further training, for example a PGCE. Some elect to take their studies further by studying at CSAD at Masters level. They have opportunities to take this further, through a Professional Doctorate.

“This is definitely the course for my generation, the curriculum evolves with technological developments, and I don’t feel like I am on a train track as everyone in on a different route” Claudio De Luca. Click here to see Claudio’s blog about his Maker projects.

Click here to read the full description of this programme (PDF format).


Applicants should have a strong art and/or design portfolio and demonstrate a commitment to art and/or design, five GCSE passes including English and Maths at grade C or above plus:
• 300 points from a successfully completed Art & Design Foundation Diploma or/and
• At least 3 A Levels / Scottish Advanced Highers from any Subject, (General Studies excluded)
• QCF BTEC Extended Diploma: Distinction Distinction Merit
• 300 points from the Irish Leaving Certificate at Highers to include 3 x B1 grades from any subject (minimum grade C2 considered)
• Pass Access with 45 credits at Level 3 within a relevant subject
• 300 points from the Welsh Baccalaureate to include grades CC at A Level within any subject, General Studies excluded, Core counted as fourth subject
• Qualifications equivalent to the above

If your qualification isn’t listed above, please refer to the UCAS website.

For applicants only undertaking 2 A Levels / 12-unit BTEC or equivalent, or applying with other life experiences, other qualifications and/or art & design achievements will be considered. If you are a UK or EU student intending to enter the first year and are confident you will meet the academic level (the tariff points) for your preferred undergraduate course, then you should apply through the usual means (UCAS in the UK) as detailed on the applications page of the Cardiff Metropolitan University website.

Selection Procedure:
Selection is based on the receipt of a completed UCAS application and attendance at a School of Art & Design Interview.
Acceptance at interview is based upon a balance of three criteria.
(i) Personal enthusiasm for and immersion in the practice and theory of Art & Design.
(ii) Academic Achievement and ability.
(iii) Quality of work, ambition and skills demonstrated in a portfolio.

Click here to read the full description of this programme (PDF format).


UCAS code: W291
Course length: Three years full-time.
Subject Leader: Ingrid Murphy;

Click here to read the full description of this programme (PDF format).

Below is a list of other related courses at undergraduate and postgraduate level. Visit the courses page for the full list.
BA Fine Art
BA Ceramics
BA Textiles
Ceramics - MA
MA (Art & Design) with pathways
Master of Fine Art (MFA)

Cardiff School of Art & Design is home to 1200 students, united by ambition and a true passion for creative enquiry. We are makers and thinkers in the fields of fine art, design, architecture and a range of craft practices. We have workshops and studios that ensure our students can operate as professionals from the moment they start their studies.

Why choose CSAD? Read three big reasons here.

150 years of Cardiff Metropolitan University

2015 marks our 150th anniversary.

Read more about the events to celebrate the occasion on the Cardiff Met website.

Open Days

Dates for Undergraduate Open days for 2016/17 entry will be posted on the Open Day web page.

The next Masters Open Day is on Friday 19th June 2015 at 12pm. Please email to book a place.

Visit the Open Day web page for more information.

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Download a prospectus

Click here to visit our Prospectus page with links to pdf prospectuses for the range of subjects covered at CSAD.

Research & Enterprise Newsletter

CSAD releases a regular pdf newsletter featuring the latest Research & Enterprise news from across the School. Click the links below to view a selection of recently published R&E Newsletters (pdf format):

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