Birmingham City University, Birmingham Institute of Art and Design, School of Jewellery
The internationally-renowned School of Jewellery sits at the heart of the city’s famous Jewellery Quarter, creating a professional community which fully engages with issues of employability and internationalisation. The multi award-winning building is the largest school of jewellery in Europe and houses a complex array of workshops in addition to its outstanding Atrium Gallery and Exhibition Hall spaces. This unique school offers an exceptional creative environment in which to learn and study, where students are exposed to research-active staff and utilise a wide variety of precious and nonprecious metals, gems, and other materials. Offering a full programme covering all aspects of jewellery, silversmithing, horology, and gemmology, the school also has an enviable range of traditional and cutting-edge equipment and technology.
Within a unique, stimulating and dynamic environment, the School of Jewellery’s portfolio of courses each embrace the pursuit of excellence. Personal and professional identity, employability, and the student experience are core values and concerns, embedded within the school’s ethos from diploma to doctorate.
School of Jewellery staff encourage aspiration, innovation, and intellectual engagement through enquiry and investigation, underpinned by a robust and explicit learning and teaching strategy. Within a supportive atmosphere, students will develop their practical and critical thinking skills, through cognitive interaction with their chosen subject.
MA (Master of Art) Jewellery, Silversmithing and Related Products
Not only is perception of ourselves, of others and the world around us a source of inspiration, it also invites us into an active and dynamic engagement, which is deeply related to the things we make. Considerations of sculptural form, composition, material, function, and aesthetics are enhanced by contemplations of meaning, emotional investments, and intellectual content.
The creative work of the students in our MA programme addresses aspects of the most vital issues in contemporary applied arts; in their questioning of established ideas of what constitutes adornment, how decoration should be defined and executed, these works engage the eye and the mind simultaneously. They appeal to the intellect, whilst eliciting an instantaneous sensual reaction of pleasure, a desire to touch, hold, use, and wear.
MA in Jewellery, Silversmithing & Related Products is the overall title of our course. This is however a very limited and traditional description when one considers the wide variety of products that are within the province of the designer who has knowledge and expertise in the area of personal ornaments, body signification, and decorative metal objects. The variety of materials, manufacturing techniques, and processes available to an artist or designer in this field is far larger and of much greater potential than is indicated by the term "jewellery and silversmithing," and has some affinities with industrial design, fashion design, fine art, and sculpture and is often informed by intellectual engagements like general philosophy, conceptualisation, or critical theory.
Our course philosophy addresses the existing and potential relationships within this sector, and educates its students to recognize, identify, understand, and operate within this diversity. The philosophy of the course is embodied within a structured project programme that requires students to address vocational and academic research in design by applying their developing abilities and interests to a wide range of issues. Design experiences include ideas generation focused through strategies for concept development, the analysis of design problems, and reflection on the relationships between personal objectives, cultural values, market identities, prototyping techniques, and new technologies, thus enhancing knowledge and understanding, as well as facilitating the formation of professional studio methodologies.
Professor Jivan Astfalck, PhD: MA Course Director for Jewellery, Silversmithing & Related Products
RECENT GRADUATES: If you recently received a degree--BA, BFA, MA, or MFA--from this university, everything you need to know to upload your graduate portfolio can be found at this link.