Contemporary Crafts BA(Hons)

Penryn Campus
3 years full-time
Direct line
01326 213730

At Falmouth, learning through making is the core focus of what we do. You'll learn about what it takes to design objects for display and exhibition, and explore the creative intersection between traditional making and new technologies.

Contemporary Crafts at Falmouth will help you acquire the skills to explore the infinite possibilities of making in glass, ceramics, wood, metals and plastics.

With a staff of practising designer-makers, you will develop an understanding of historical and theoretical contexts, and materials and processes, alongside critical thinking, problem solving and professional practice skills for graduate employment.

How is the course taught

This full-time course is delivered through modules. Project work is supported by lectures, field trips, professional experiences, seminars and tutorials. You'll also have the opportunity to work on a number of collaborative projects.

What you'll do

Year 1

In the first year you'll engage with the fundamental principles of learning through making. You'll be introduced to ideas about creativity and the design process, taking your concepts forward from initial idea to production stage. You'll also be introduced to core skills in drawing and computer-aided design and learn to record your making journey, from the development of sketchbooks to photo archiving. You'll learn about core materials and processes. Through project briefs, you will learn about making, from one-off pieces to batch production, culminating in an end-of-year exhibition.

Theoretical studies are also part of your first year and you'll look at the role of contemporary crafts in the wider context of the creative and cultural industries, as well as the social and economic value of makers in society. You'll also explore the functional and emotional relationship between people and objects.

  • Introduction to Crafts: Process and Materials 1
  • Craft Foundations 1
  • Introduction to Crafts: Process and Materials 2
  • Craft Foundations 2

Year 2

In the second year you'll develop your professional identity as a maker. Students experience professional practice through community-based projects with clients, cross-disciplinary projects, live briefs, site-specific work, exhibitions, competitions and work placements. There is also a biennial overseas study visit.

Learning about costing and fees, self-promotion, networking and potential audiences for your work will also inform part of your second year, and you'll be encouraged to experiment and develop your materials knowledge, skills and strengths. You'll also learn about social media skills, create a website and/or blog relevant to your practice, and develop your knowledge of the histories and theories of craft, with specific emphasis on socially engaged craft practice.

  • Designer-Maker 1: Audience and Identity
  • Craft Connections
  • Designer-Maker 2: Professional Engagement
  • Professional Contexts (opportunity for international/ Erasmus exchange and/or negotiated placements)

Year 3

In the third year you'll develop your professional portfolio for two exhibitions and as preparation for your intended career after graduation. You'll also complete a dissertation. The emphasis in your final year is on the professional application of creative endeavour, materials knowledge and technical skills.

  • External Brief
  • Dissertation
  • Self-Negotiated Project: Studio and Professional Practice


The Design Centre facilities include:

  • Comprehensive ceramic and glass workshops
  • High-specification wood, metals and plastics workshop
  • CAD/CAM equipment including laser cutters, CNC milling and rapid prototyping
  • A range of digital printing capabilities


Our staff are craft practitioners, working and exhibiting internationally as ceramicists, glass-makers, designers, journalists, historians, researchers and curators. You will be taught by people who are experts in their field and understand the practices of craft as part of the creative industries.

Experience you'll get

  • Live projects with businesses, galleries, cultural organisations, museums and community groups
  • Collaborative design with fellow undergraduate design students in our innovative Design Centre workspace
  • Opportunity to experiment with industry-standard technology including the much envied CNC milling and rapid prototyping machines


  • Continuous assessment with no formal examinations
  • A combination of visual, verbal and written assignments including project work, essays and seminar presentations
  • A dissertation and two exhibitions in your final year of study


  • Self-employed crafts practitioner: ceramicist, jeweller, assemblage artist
  • Social enterprise: community arts
  • Commissioned crafts practitioner: National Trust
  • Work in art galleries, museums and other spaces: curator, exhibitions officer, education officer

Interview and selection process

Interview dates will be published soon.

Student mentor scheme

Falmouth's student mentor scheme matches new starters with a second year student, to help you settle in and find your feet. Our student mentors are now on Facebook. To chat to a mentor about the course, living in Cornwall or what to expect at Falmouth, check out the Contemporary Crafts Facebook group. You'll need to join the group before you can post.

If you don't have access to Facebook please email your name and proposed course to:

For more information about the application process, portfolios, interviews and selection days, please contact our admissions team: