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The University of Wolverhampton

BA (Hons)Applied Arts

Why choose this course?

Applied Arts is an innovative, visionary course offers both specialist and interdisciplinary practice in applied arts for design, art and architecture.

Specialisms include ceramics, glass and metal, with additional options in wood and plastics.

You will challenge preconceived ideas and set new trends in contemporary art and design practice.

The course will prepare you for a career in individual studio practice, small batch production, site specific commissions, community arts, private and public architectural and interior installations, freelance design or design for industry producing anything from small scale jewellery to large scale architectural installations.

  • Initial exploration covers the broad arena of Applied Arts, confirming your practice and specialist approach as your studies progress. Innovation, flexibility and knowledge of specialist skills are key.
  • You will work within professional workshops and studios establishing a range of design solutions underpinned by an understanding of the contextual and professional skills that shape your discipline, ensuring you can work professionally in applied arts
  • Professional involvement through live projects, placement opportunity and work-based learning will provide you with the opportunity to integrate your personal creative expression with the needs of the market.

Watch this video showing our Hot Glass facilties:


What happens on the course?

Year One

In the first year, Applied Arts students take inductions in ceramics, glass and metal to develop their practical skills and explore the creative potential of the different materials. They gain experience in, and understanding of designing through a range of creative tasks. Underpinned by traditional and digital drawing skills, students learn to research, analyse and develop their individual design ideas through experimental and creative approaches. The creative development is informed and enriched through contextual thinking and technical, historical and contemporary research.

Year Two

The second year allows students to explore their individual strengths supported by advanced workshop skills and design practice. Ideas may be developed experimentally or as defined outcomes, varying from one-off to small batch production, and from small-scale objects to large-scale installations. You may specialise in one material or follow multi material explorations within your work. Students will develop their design ability and professional skills through live projects, competitions and commissions which prepare them for the diverse needs of the creative industries and which enable them to begin establishing their position within the contemporary applied arts.

Year Three

In the final year, students develop a personal project that reflects their very own creative ideas and that culminates in the production of a professional body of work. The focus is on the creative industries and opportunities that exist to support Applied Artists. Students define the context and audience for their work develop a professional portfolio to present their work to potential clients. Advanced making and research skills, subject knowledge and contextual understanding enable individual students to take a broader view and position themselves in the professional world.

Why Wolverhampton?

This Applied Arts course is amongst the most exciting, imaginative and wide ranging programmes of study in Art & Design. You will:

- Learn to explore your creative potential and realise ideas using a broad range of methods, media and materials.

- Be taught by renowned practicing designers, artists and researchers involved in a range of professional practice, exhibition and publication.

- Learn through studio and workshop activities, seminars, lectures, field trips, individual and/or team projects and self-directed research, designed to

promote individual strength and design expression.

- Confirm your material preference in applied arts within the second year and go forward to explore your creative practice in depth using either a single

material or a combination of materials to achieve your outcomes.

- Participate in Work placements, national and international study visits and live briefs establish skills grounded in the needs of industry and commerce.

- Benefit from links with Wedgwood, Ibstock Brick, Watsons Glass, Pearsons Glass, Thorn Lighting, Du Pont International, and others.

- have the opportunity to gain knowledge and skills of new digital technologies within Applied Artists using CAD/CAM to explore the potential of 3D modelling,

virtual presentation techniques and manufacture.

Our students have access to excellent teaching and studio spaces from hot-glass blowing studios, wood and metals workshops to computer labs with all the latest industry standard software.

We understand the importance of students engaging with industry through competitions, live briefs, projects and by taking part in work placements and by exhibiting in our annual degree shows, each June, giving students the perfect opportunity to showcase their work.

Examples of work from our Art & Design students

What our students think

The Wedgewood Museum are delighted with the response and quality of the work from students studying Applied Art at the University of Wolverhampton.

"We cannot wait to work with the university again and have already set the date for the next competition"

Career path

Possible career pathways include:

• Establishing yourself as an artist, designer or maker.

• Setting up a studio as a sole supplier or in a partnership with others

• Engaging in freelance work on architectural and interiors projects.

• Designing for industry or working in the ceramics, glass or metals industry.

• Working on private and public commissions.

• Working on art projects, community projects.

• Other opportunities include arts administration, curation, teaching and mentoring, community work and arts editorial.

• Graduates may naturally be involved in a broad range of these opportunities.

You may continue your studies to postgraduate level on our MA programmes: MA Design & Applied Art (specialist Subject), MA Digital & Visual Communications (Specialist Subject) or MA Fine Art. You may continue on to PhD study or engage in other forms of academic research.

What skills will you gain?

An Applied Arts graduate will be able to:

  • Demonstrate competence and independence in the material, technical, aesthetic and conceptual realisation of your ideas as applied artist or designer maker within a professional environment;
  • Evidence autonomous skills in contextual and visual research, a flexible approach to problem solving and creative development resulting in individual creativity, aesthetic awareness and design ability;
  • Critically generate new ideas, take creative risk and produce design outcomes within the scope of a contemporary applied arts arena with application in design, art and architectural contexts;
  • Indentify and communicate effectively with a range of external clients, markets and professional agencies;
  • Manage their own time and generate ideas independently and/or collaboratively in response to set briefs and/or as self-initiated activity.

Entry requirements

2018 Entry

  • BBC from ‘A’ levels.
  • BTEC QCF Extended Diploma grade DMM
  • BTEC QCF Diploma grade D*D*
  • Access to HE Diploma full award (Pass of 60 credits - of which a minimum of 45 credits must be at level 3 including 18 at Merit or Distinction)
  • If you've got other qualifications or relevant experience, please contact The Gateway for further advice before applying.
  • International entry requirements and application guidance can be found here
  • Successful completion of the International Foundation Year in Arts guarantees entry on to this course

Other Requirements

Applicants will also be required to provide satisfactory reference. Those meeting the entry requirements may be shortlisted for a Portfolio Review.

Students must have studied a minimum of two years post GCSE level. However, it is expected that some applicants will be mature students with work experience, who wish to further their career development. These applicants will be processed through standard procedures, which may involve an interview as part of the process. Please see for further information.

Applicants who do not meet the entry requirements may be offered an alternative course.

Course fees and finance

2018/9 Home/EU International
Full time £9,250 £11,700
Part time # £2,925

The University also offers a range of Bursaries and Scholarships in addition to other financial support packages

These fees are applicable for new entrants in 2018/9. If you have any queries regarding the fees listed please contact

These fees are for the current academic year only. Any subsequent years may be subject to an annual increase, usually in line with inflation.

# Undergraduate part-time fees for 50% rate of study

Contact us


01902 32 22 22



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