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. These are supplemented by other short collaborative project opportunities. 

During the autumn term, students work from museum collections to explore the notion of the role that an object might fulfil. This lays the foundations of the research skills associated with developing material and process under-standing, 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, presenta-tion and consumption. The summer term is concerned with notions of space, place and site. 

Critical thinking, self-reflection, independ-ent thinking and professional development are encouraged through staff- and student-led discussions, seminars, presentations and debate. 

Over the three 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; glass – cold working; glass – casting; mould making, casting and plastic clay forming; decorative processes – ceramics; hand-forming processes; basic glaze and clay technology; rubber moulds; digital design; digital manufacture; 3D print and laser cutting 

Second Year

Through the second year, you will negotiate an individual programme of study exploring the ideas, context and working methods that will inform your future practice. There are oppor-tunities to engage with a range of staff and visiting lecturers, and to participate in collaborative projects within and outside the College. Critical thinking, self-reflection, independent thinking and professional development are encouraged through staff- and student-led discussions, presentations, seminars and debate. 

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