MA Programme Description

Ceramics & Glass

First Year

The first year consists of three main projects, one per term that will explore different intellectual themes and contexts in which you might work.

During the autumn term, students work from museum collections to explore the notion of the role that an object might fulfil. It lays the foundations of the research skills associated with developing material and process understanding and the cultural and social history embedded in an object. The cross-disciplinary AcrossRCA programme runs in the autumn term and is open to all students. The spring term presents students with the opportunity to explore the themes of contemporary lifestyle, their cultural significance, presentation and consumption. The summer term is concerned with notions space place and site.

Over the 3 terms, through project work, there will be opportunities to widen students’ skill base and material/process understanding, including such topics as:

plaster making; print; glass – hot working, cold working and casting; jigger/jolley; decorative processes – ceramics; hand forming processes; basic glaze technology; rubber moulds; digital design; digital manufacture; 3D print; laser cutting.

Second Year

Through the second year, individual programmes of study will be negotiated with Personal Tutors exploring the context and working methods that will inform an individual’s future practice. There are opportunities to engage with a range of staff and visiting lecturers, and student led discussions and seminars are encouraged to promote independent thinking.

Critical & Historical Studies

The RCA provides a unique environment for postgraduate art and design students to reflect upon their own practice, and to engage with students from their own and other disciplines. The role of Critical & Historical Studies (CHS) is to support the studio programmes in enabling these critical engagements to take place. The courses offered by CHS to first year studio-based MA students propose an intellectual framework within which they can begin to establish a coherent relationship between theory and practice.

In the autumn and spring terms there are a series of College-wide seminars and lectures. The autumn term series will relate to your particular discipline (though it is possible to elect to join a series being offered to students on other programmes) whereas the spring term series will be more broad-based and cross-disciplinary in nature.

In the spring and summer terms, a CHS tutor will give you individual tutorials to support the development of a dissertation which is submitted *at the end of the Summer Term.* The dissertation should be between 6,000–10,000 words in length – this is a major piece of work and you will be not be able to submit for the Final Examination until you have passed this assessment.


240 credits
Two-year programme
Full-time study

Elinor Portnoy, Ceramics & Glass | Photographer: Matan Ashkenazy
Elinor Portnoy, Ceramics & Glass | Photographer: Matan Ashkenazy