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Graduates from this course have gained employment with a wide range of organisations

  • Ceramic Design Industry
  • Craft NI - Flowerfield Centre
  • Ceramic Research Centres
  • Museums and Gallerys
  • Silversmithing and Jewellery Design companies
  • SME's

Graduates from this course are employed in many different roles

  • Ceramic Artist Designer
  • Jewellery Designer
  • Silversmith
  • Studio technican
  • Art Teacher
  • Community Artist
  • Curator


In this section

BA Hons Contemporary Applied Art, Ceramics, Silversmithing and Jewellery is a student centered programme supported by teaching and technical staff.


Study Contemporary Applied Art at Ulster University in the United Kingdom.

The BA Hons Contemporary Applied Arts (CAA) Ceramics, Silversmithing and Jewellery course is an exciting pathway to the acquisition and development of contemporary technical and conceptual skills and creative knowledge within a 3D art and design practice. The course is centred on teaching through material and process and although it comprises three core discipline areas: Ceramics, Jewellery and Silversmithing, an interdisciplinary approach is also encouraged. The course provides excellent learning opportunities and with innovative research-led teaching graduates will be equipped with the necessary technical, intellectual and entrepreneurial skills to make a significant and unique contribution to the Creative Industries.

This course is centred on skills-based learning in a workshop environment. The key objective is to develop independent, skilled, motivated and creative graduates who will contribute directly to rapidly expanding national and international craft communities and markets through innovation and entrepreneurship.

In 2015 CAA Ceramics Sliversmithing and Jewellery opened new studios as part of ongoing developments on the Belfast campus. This creates an exciting new teaching and learning environment for staff and students.

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About this course

In this section


The course encourages you to think and work independently. The core technical and conceptual skills taught on the course are essential for a variety of career pathways in teaching, curatorship, journalism, management and arts administration; and in the wider Creative Industries and related support structures both locally and internationally. After successful completion of Year 2, you may opt to undertake a placement year. Placement is always successful in giving you real experience of the work contexts into which you might move upon graduation.

With a small and committed staff team, who are research active, and working in their field, the course is built on a lively and creative studio/workshop ethic. All year groups work in the same studio environment, where you are encouraged to learn from your peers and build communities of practice.

Each CAA Student is assigned an individual tutor and studies advisor to ensure that progress on the course is supported by staff.

Associate awards

Diploma in Professional Practice DPP

Diploma in International Academic Studies DIAS

Find out more about placement awards


Full-time: three/ four years (with optional placement year).

As a full-time student, you will be expected to attend five days per week. Your time will be divided between studio work and seminars, lectures and library study. During the week, you will have set times of contact with your tutor, and you will be expected to continue work without supervision, which we call 'independant study'. You will be provided with a timetable at the beginning of each semester.

Start dates

  • September 2016
How to apply

Entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.

In this section

A level

The A Level requirement for this course is 240 UCAS tariff points to include 2 A Levels at minimum grades CC.


The BTEC Extended Diploma requirement for this course is 240 UCAS tariff points based on an overall BTEC award profile of MERIT, MERIT, MERIT to include 15 merits.

Irish Leaving Certificate

The Irish Leaving Certificate requirement for this course is 240 UCAS tariff points based on an overall Irish Leaving Certificate (Higher Level) profile of BBCCC and Irish Leaving Certificate (Ordinary Level) English Language at grade C or above.

Scottish Highers

The Scottish Highers requirement for this course is BBBB.

Scottish Advanced Highers

The Scottish Advanced Highers requirement for this course is CCC.

International Baccalaureate

Overall International Baccalaureate profile minimum 24 points (12 at higher level).

Access to Higher Education (HE)

Successful completion of Access Course with an average of 55%.


GCSE Profile to include English Language at minimum grade C.

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Additional Entry Requirements

Submission of a satisfactory portfolio.

Teaching and learning assessment

Teaching is delivered through individual and group tutorials, group seminars and peer review critiques. CAA Students are assigned an individual tutor and a studys advisor. An assessment for one 40 credit module and one 20 credit module occurs at the end of each (6) semester across 3 academic years. Ongoing tutorial advice and feedback occurs during each semester before each student makes a submission for module assessment. Feedback is a critical and core element of the course. Feedback is delivered promptly to assist in the students creative and critical progress throughout the course.CAA always works with a UK based External Examiner ensuring the academic standards demanded by the course are consistent with UK wide standards.

Exemptions and transferability

Students with appropriate prior experience may opt for entry into Year 2. Submission of a Portfolio and an interview are necessary.

Careers & opportunities

In this section

Graduate employers

Graduates from this course have gained employment with a wide range of organisations. Here are some examples:

  • Ceramic Design Industry
  • Craft NI - Flowerfield Centre
  • Ceramic Research Centres
  • Museums and Gallerys
  • Silversmithing and Jewellery Design companies
  • SME's

Job roles

Graduates from this course are employed in many different roles. Here are some examples:

  • Ceramic Artist Designer
  • Jewellery Designer
  • Silversmith
  • Studio technican
  • Art Teacher
  • Community Artist
  • Curator

Career options

A majority of our graduates establish small workshop-based businesses that have developed national and international reputations. These graduates are supported by several programmes such as the UK Crafts Council’s Setting-Up and Next Move, the Crafts Council of Ireland’s Building Craft Enterprises and Developing Craft Enterprises and their Future Makers and Craft Northern Ireland Making IBusiness Start-Up programme. The University’s Applied Arts workshops host a maker on the Making It programme. Graduates can also develop their skills on short courses at the Crafts Council of Ireland’s Ceramic Design and Skills Course and Jewellery and Goldsmithing Training Skills Course.

Ulster provides a number of progression routes to further education which are the PGCE (Primary and Post-Primary), MA, MFA, MDES and PhD opportunities. In addition there are progression opportunities for students to study in the United Kingdom, such as the Ceramics and Glass courses at the Royal College of Art, London, the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff and the University of Staffordshire at Stoke-on-Trent and the Goldsmithing, Silversmithing, Metalwork and Jewellery courses at Royal College of Art, London, Sheffield Hallam University and the Bishopsland Educational Trust.

Work placement / study abroad

After successful completion of Year 2, some students opt to undertake a placement year leading to the award of a Diploma in Professional Practice (DPP) which may involve workshop experience in Europe and abroad, or a Diploma in International Academic Studies (DIAS) which involves the Business Enterprise Initiative (BEI) in the United States.

This has proved a major feature of the course with long term placement exchanges in place with venues in the UAS, Ireland, China, Denmark, Spain Croatia and Finland. CAA Research Active Staff work within an international context allowing the interchange between research and teaching to create new placement opportunities for students.

Students interested in Placement attend induction and information sessions and are assigned a Placement Tutor. Crucial to this is an information and discussion seminar where returning placement students discuss their experiences with outgoing placement students.

The Placement Tutor maintains contact with the student throughout the placement year.

Academic profile

CAA Staff are Fellows and Senior Fellows of the Higher Education Academy.

CAA Staff are Graduates of Ulster University, The Royal College of Art and The National College of Art and Design.

CAA staff are members of The Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths, The International Academy of Ceramics and The Association of Art Historians.

CAA Staff are registered makers with the UK Crafts Council and the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland.

CAA Staff have been selected for the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland 'Portfolio' and The Irish Craft Bursary.


Applications to full-time undergraduate degrees at Ulster are made through UCAS.

How to apply

Start dates

  • September 2016

Fees and funding

In this section

Fees (per year)

Northern Ireland & EU:
England, Scotland & Wales:

Scholarships, awards and prizes

Edge Award UK.

Dagenhart Prize (Ulster University).

Project Network (EU).

Additional mandatory costs

Materials are provided for workshop demonstrations. Students purchase materials for course work. Workshop charges (of no more than £60 per semester) may apply.

Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel and normal living are a part of university life. 

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them in the online prospectus. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.

We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.

There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course. 

Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees. 

Please contact the course team for more information.


Course Director: Clive Fiddis

T: +44 (0) 28 9536 7220


Student Services Centre

T: +44 (0) 28 9536 7202