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Craft

MA/MSc/MFA
Craft
MA 1 year (full-time), 2 years (part-time)
MFA 2 years (full-time), 4 years (part-time)

This course is at the forefront of craft making practices and is for materially engaged makers who are looking to explore craft practices across a range of materials and object types. It encourages the development of craft across specialist and multi-material making, investigating and exploring definitions of contemporary craft practice.

The programme is an opportunity to pursue a making practice that might already be located within a specific material area or object definition such as glass, ceramics, textiles or jewellery, or to develop and expand the definitions and materials of craft practice. The programme supports the exploration of genre-breaking approaches to making, to develop individual and personal methodologies and philosophies, and locate these within a deep understanding of historical, contemporary and future craft making practices, and wider social and cultural contexts.

With access to the wide range of hand, machine and digital technologies at Manchester School of Art, you will work within, across and between definitions of craft, to evolve and progress a unique and personal making practice. In addition to traditional material workshops across ceramics, hot and cold glass, metal, wood, textile print, weave and embroidery, there are digital making facilities for laser cutting, 3D printing, CNC routing, and digital print for textiles and ceramics, with access to specialist academic and technical expertise from across the School of Art, to support the development of a wide range of craft making practices.

Features

  • While studying towards a particular qualification at MA/MSc/MFA level, students experience their subject in the broader context of contemporary design practice.
  • Dedicated spaces for the postgraduate community have been developed to enable the postgraduate community to flourish. These spaces, for thinking and practice, are at the heart of Manchester School of Art, allowing easy access to an extensive range of workshops where the combination of traditional and state of the art equipment opens up a world of exciting possibilities.
  • You will be taught by research active staff who are part of the Manchester School of Art Research Centre and experts in their field 
  • The University library has outstanding Art and Design holdings, including a special collection of artist's books and ephemera.

Course Content

You will undertake “Core” units delivered by craft making specialists, consisting of design theory and practice lectures, workshops in hand, machine and digital making, group seminars, individual tutorials, live external projects, and research study trips.

‘Options’ units facilitate innovative cross-disciplinary opportunities, supporting the development of collaborative working with students from within the material making and manufacturing cluster of MA/MSc/MFA Product Design and MA/MSc/MFA Textiles, and across the wider postgraduate design community.

Each student’s programme of study is managed through personal learning plans, developed in response to their individual creative and professional ambitions. The final “Synthesis” unit determines the postgraduate award, with the MSc reflecting work that has a more technically innovative focus, and the MA for work that addresses more materially creative or culturally focussed agendas. This innovative structure provides students with the opportunity to convert their practice from BA to MSc, and vice versa.

Year 1 (MA Full-Time)

The MA/MSc in Craft is composed of four core units plus one option unit, totalling 180 credits.

Design Thinking

This unit introduces an applied understanding of how design can be used as an iterative process for creative problem solving. It will enable you to understand how to apply design thinking processes to your specialist area through understanding users, challenging assumptions, redefining problems and creating innovative solutions to prototype and test. The unit will also provide a broad introduction to research methodologies, strategic research planning and research design. A range of design thinking tools will be introduced and explored before you undertake an in-depth project that provides opportunities for experimentation leading to innovative solutions.

Researching, Mapping and Locating

This unit will enable you to gain an understanding of design practices, perspectives and contexts. You will establish a substantive individual position for personal practice within the expanded field of design. During the unit you will work towards the production of a project proposal which will determine the ongoing research, mapping and locating of your position within contemporary design practice.

Colour, Material & Finish

This unit will enable you to explore the language of material making, process and enquiry. Briefs will stimulate you to generate a range of practice-based responses to questions of context, concept, making, manufacturing, materiality, visual language and sustainability.

Synthesis Project: Craft (MA)

The final Synthesis MA unit will support you to develop, resolve and present a significant body of work, located within a defined area of craft practice. The unit accommodates opportunities for external, collaborative or international learning experiences, and enables you to undertake and submit work developed within professional placements and/or live projects.

The unit synthesises the specialist craft practice which you will have developed throughout the programme. It also accommodates the opportunity to present your work in progress and to engage in interdisciplinary critiques to test ideas, gain feedback and support the development of your final body of work.

The content of your practice is negotiated with specialist craft staff and you will manage your learning via the development of a Synthesis project proposal. The unit features a flexible assessment submission process which combines written and practical elements, the weighting of which being responsive and appropriate to your individual future ambitions, be they professionally or academically focussed.

Synthesis Project: Craft (MSc)

This final MSc unit will support you to develop and resolve a significant body of specialist craft practice. Your learning journey will be synthesised by the presentation of an innovatively ambitious project, located within a defined area of technical, market orientated or advanced digital craft practice.

The unit accommodates opportunities for external collaborative, industry based or international learning experiences and enables you to undertake and submit work developed within professional placements and/or live projects. The unit features a presentation of your work in progress to test ideas, gain feedback and to engage in interdisciplinary critique to support the development of your final body of work.

The content of your practice is negotiated with specialist craft staff and you will manage your learning via the development of a Synthesis project proposal. The unit features a flexible assessment submission process which combines written and practical elements, the weighting of which being responsive and appropriate to your individual future ambitions, be they professionally or academically focussed.

Year 2 (MFA Full-Time)

The MFA Craft continues with the following two units totalling 120 credits.

Professional Practice

This unit is centred on the development of your specialist practice to enhance professional capabilities and career development. You will research suitable partners and agencies to inform a final significant body of work aligned to your chosen professional practice context. Throughout the unit you will be asked to approach, propose, negotiate and progress a plan for the establishment of a professional practice. You will be supported in the continuation of your practice via specialist practice based tutorial and professional practice support.

Realisation and Publication

This is the final unit towards an MFA award in which you are required to realize a significant body of work for a public audience. This unit builds upon practice initiated and developed in earlier units and as such will be used to realize and disseminate an ambitious and autonomous final outcome.

The aims of this unit are for you as an individual or as part of a collaborative team to realize an ambitious and significant body of work and to generate a professional launch pad suitable for its public presentation. Your final presentation of work will include the production of any necessary dissemination, intellectual property and publicity materials.

You can find further details about the curriculum for the current academic year in the Programme Specification Document

Resources

We have developed a dedicated postgraduate area occupying an entire floor of the main School of Art building, offering an exciting space to be, both intellectually and practically. The centre is located in the newly refurbished Chatham Tower with studios, design laboratories, seminar rooms and extensive workshops that form the nucleus of this vibrant, cross-disciplinary learning environment.

Find out more about Manchester School of Art's facilities.

Student Work

Visit our online MA Show galleries to see examples of recent work by our postgraduate students.

MA Show 2019 - View Work Online       MA Show 2018 - View Work Online

MA Show 2017 - View Work Online       MA Show 2016 - View Work Online


Graduates

We cultivate highly motivated, independent and creative thinkers who can transfer their skills into the creative marketplace, as entrepreneurial innovators, freelance practitioners and innovative team players. Past graduates predominantly achieve graduate-level positions or practise as sole traders, design studio artists, exhibiting artists, museum curators, archivists, researchers, academics, community practitioners, specialist technicians and filmmakers at national and international levels.

Making an Application

Entry Requirements

How to Apply

Please apply using the application form below. In your personal statement please include a web address to an online portfolio containing a selection of images or videos of your past work. You should also explain how you would like to develop your practice during the course.

Download Application Form

Fees 2020 Entry

UK and EU students

UK and EU students: Full-time fee: £9,250 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Fees for this course have yet to be confirmed and will be updated shortly.

Non-EU and Channel Island students

Non-EU international and Channel Island students: Full-time fee: £17,000 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Fees for this course have yet to be confirmed and will be updated shortly.

Additional Information

A Masters qualification typically comprises 180 credits, a PGDip 120 credits, a PGCert 60 credits, and an MFA 300 credits. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of study provided the course is completed in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Eligible alumni receive a 10% discount on their postgraduate tuition fees. Find out more about our Alumni Loyalty Discount.

Also see Postgraduate funding and financial support.

Course Leader

  • David Grimshaw
    Programme Leader MA/MSc/MFA Design: Product and Furniture, MA/MFA Design: Craft
    Senior Lecturer, BA (Hons) Three Dimensional Design