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Arts University Plymouth: Craft and Material Practices

Institution Arts University Plymouth View institution profile
Department Critical and Cultural Studies
Study type Taught


Plymouth College of Art has been granted full university status and formally recognised with the new title of Arts University Plymouth, following approval by the Privy Council. This makes us the City of Plymouth’s first specialist arts university.

The title of Arts University Plymouth signifies a change to the way that the world will see us, our position within the sector and the mobility of our graduates; but not a change in the way that we see ourselves or what we do. Arts University Plymouth will build upon the existing strength of our unique culture and incredible community; we have no plans to change the specialist focus of the work we do together. The name Arts University Plymouth will appear on our qualifications, making it easier for employers and peers to recognise that our students were taught at a leading specialist arts university.

In May we were awarded the Best Small or Specialist University at the 2022 WhatUni Student Choice Awards, coming top in a list of well-respected specialist UK universities, based on unbiased and honest reviews from students across the UK, in a category that highlights the quality of our provision as a specialist creative university.

Our MA Craft and Material Practices programme encourages the development of the individual designer-maker, with an emphasis on material knowledge and design innovation.

Ethos Our MA Craft and Material Practices programme focuses on experimentation with materials and contemporary approaches to making, finding new design outcomes by critical engagement with the needs of the twenty first century. The programme offers a cross-disciplinary approach to designer-makers who understand and the value of material knowledge within the design process and wish to explore this further. By exploring design thinking and material processes in an experimental context you will respond to contemporary debates around sustainability, material life cycles and approaches to developing new markets.

Outline You will be encouraged to explore your current position in relation to design, materials and making through a broad range of craft practice, and contextual and critical frameworks. You will have the opportunity to test approaches to materials and processes, and establish your particular focus within the expanded field of design, crafts and manufacturing. We pride ourselves on offering traditional craft processes alongside the latest in digital technology. Taught delivery within the programme provides a mix of discipline-specific methods and cross-disciplinary approaches that can be applied across creative and commercial sectors.

Our shared module structure allows you to develop a dialogue with creative practitioners across the Graduate School.

Supported practices This programme supports designer-makers, including those interested in linking material exploration to the kinds of neo-artisanal practice made possible by new technologies.


Arts University Plymouth


Winner of Best Small or Specialist University at the 2022 WhatUni Student Choice Awards.

Voted as the top Arts University in the UK in the National Student Survey (NSS 2022). Overall student satisfaction is 81% at Arts University Plymouth, significantly above the national average of 76%.

Founded in 1856, the institution has been granted full university status and formally recognised with the new title of Arts University Plymouth following approval by the Privy Council, becoming the city of Plymouth’s specialist arts university. Arts University Plymouth is a specialist arts university offering a comprehensive range of undergraduate and …

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