Quality Handbook




Programme Specification Template - Postgraduate


Please note:

  • Guidance notes for staff or suggestions for the design and functionality of the database are in grey highlight.  Guidance notes should be deleted in the final version.





Name  of programme:

Glass and Ceramics



Award title:




Programme linkage:






Is the programme a top-up only?




Level of award:

Level 7



Awarding body:

University of Sunderland




School of Art and Design



Programme Studies Board:

MA Glass and Ceramics



Programme Leader:

Dr Cate Watkinson


  1. How and where can I study the programme?


At Sunderland:


Full-time on campus


Part-time on campus


As work-based learning full-time


As work-based learning part-time


As a full-time sandwich course


As a part-time sandwich course


By distance learning





  1. How long does the programme take?



Min number of years / months

Max number of years / months


1 year

4 years


2 years

4 years

Distance learning



Work-based learning




For start-dates please see the current edition of the Prospectus or contact the relevant department at the University. For start-dates for programmes delivered in a partner college, please contact the college.




  1. Learning and teaching strategy

The learning and teaching strategy for this programme is aligned to the University

Learning and Teaching Plan whose aims are to:


• develop independent, active and reflective learners;

• create learning environments where teaching approaches, learning

technologies, and institutional structures and culture foster these learners;

• ensure that staff are supported and developed for their roles, and valued for

their contribution to learning and the learner experience;

• promote learning partnerships in which innovative, supportive and

challenging practice inspires students to approach their courses and careers

with curiosity, enthusiasm and creativity.

The main learning and teaching methods employed are a combination of:




to present and explain factual information and give a grounding in key theories, genres

and relevant works.



to allow guided group discussion as a means of clarifying and elaborating on aspects of

course work and thinking.




to show you practical techniques across different areas.


Group critiques

to allow you to develop the ability to feedback to others about their work and to learn

from feedback given by lecturers and your peers.



are available throughout the programme. They are either one-to-one with the lecturer

or in small groups to discuss your ideas and support your learning.


Electronic learning resources

(electronic journals, internet, DVDs, videos, VLE)

develop skills of research and analysis, and access information from different

appropriate sources.



to help with your oral and visual presentation skills, it helps you to develop the skills to

evaluate your own work and concisely identify the key points to inform your audience.



to improve your work. When you have submitted work for assessment you will receive

written feedback as well as a grade for the work. With practical work it is normal to

provide verbal formative feedback throughout the process of production, whilst written

feedback is provided on completion of an assignment or module.


Independent learning or private study

encourages you to become resourceful and self-reliant using your own initiative and

time management skills. With experience you also learn when it is better to seek

appropriate guidance. This is a core skill that employers are keen to see in any



The teaching and learning strategies used within the MA Glass and Ceramics programme

are explicitly linked to the learning outcomes of the programme. They are concerned with

students developing their practice, informed by critical and professional contexts and

current debates in art, design and the crafts, and their understanding of the processes

required to undertake innovative and engaged work. The group operates as a safe

environment for ideas and approaches to production to be tested and challenged and for

experimentation to occur. In turn, you will be able to develop your own working

philosophies that will inform future work. The opportunity to learn from different

practitioners enables you not only to question your own methodologies, but also to

understand and challenge a range of methodologies and consider the success and failure

of these within a professional environment.

The group sessions provide opportunities for you to describe, develop and explore your

area of interest and get feedback on your developing practice from lecturers and your peer

group. You will also give presentations on your research, developing your oral skills and

building confidence in pitching your work. This programme requires a significant amount of

independent learning and you will be taken through a range of research skills to enable

you to understand what is required within each module and undertake the necessary

research. It will also equip you with tools to reflect upon your knowledge base skills and

professional studies with view to develop future professional opportunities.

The contextual studies modules enable students to understand some areas of critical

theory in art, design and glass and ceramics and to position their own production within

informed critical and professional contexts. Through in-depth exploration of key concepts

you will develop confidence in thinking about your practice in an academic context and

develop an awareness of historic and contemporary debates. The contextual studies

modules combine lectures, seminars and student-led presentations and provide you with a

range of research skills required for academic research and tools for reflective upon your

own creative and professional practice.

A number of unassessed technical workshops will be provided to allow you to further

develop your technical skills within glass and ceramics.

Programme Specification - MA Glass and Ceramics.docx v1 February 2014 Page 4 of 21

The virtual learning environment is used as a repository for a range of material and links.

Assessment is an important element of teaching and learning. You will receive oral

formative feedback to your practical and written work. There are formal assessment points

on completion of each module for which you will receive summative feedback.


  1. Retention strategy

The University has a range of strategies in place to guide and support students,

which help to maintain retention.



After enrolling on this programme you will be taken through induction activities,

introducing you to the University, the staff and fellow students. There is normally a

range of programme and library inductions, tours of facilities and social events with

MA students from Arts and Design and Students’ Union activities all designed to

help you make friends, settle in to University life, find your way around and get

ready for your studies.


Student Handbook

You will receive a student handbook that explains important things about your

academic studies, how and where to get advice and support, and directs you to

some of the wider support systems in place for students.


Student Reps

Students on all programmes elect a student representative who can speak for

them at the various committees and forums where decisions are made about how

the programme is run.



The University has a system of attendance monitoring system where students swipe

into at each contact session electronically. Any unexplained absences are noted and

student support staff will contact any students who do not attend to make sure

everything is all right and to ask if they need any support. Further unexplained

absences result in more formal letters being sent to ask for a meeting with the student

at which any issues can be resolved.


Staff Student Liaison Committee (SSLC)

Each area holds SSLC meetings at least once per term at which student reps and staff

are invited to identify things that are worth commending about the operation of each

programme, as well as things that need to be addressed. An action plan ensures that

all agreed actions are followed up and addressed.

Programme Specification - MA Glass and Ceramics.docx v1 February 2014 Page 5 of 21


Personal Tutor

All students are allocated a personal tutor who is there to turn to and who can support

them or direct them to where appropriate help may be obtained. You can request a

change of tutor without any questions asked.


Student Support Staff

The University has Student Support staff that can meet to discuss anything if you

prefer to discuss issues with someone who is outside of your immediate academic



Comprehensive Additional Support

All on-campus students have access to the University’s central support services

including Counselling, Disability Service, Health and Well-being, Chaplaincy,

financial support and advice, International Office and Careers and Employability

Service. The Students’ Union provides an independent service that offers advice and

support across the full range of personal and academic problems which students

may encounter. These services are available via the Student Gateway or directed by







  1. What is the programme about?


The MA Glass and Ceramics programme aims to:


1. encourage original ideas, creativity and imaginative thinking, based on a

student’s individual perspective of practice in glass and ceramics and in

response to a variety of contemporary issues and contexts, critical, creative and



2. encourage the individual student to identify, locate and test their own personal

working philosophy, research and ideas against the prevailing critical issues in

art and design practice.


3. develop and deepen knowledge of key concepts, issues, critical, creative and

professional approaches in glass and ceramics through an awareness of

historical and contemporary debates within the subject.


4. provide specialist technical and contextual support in glass and ceramics and,

where appropriate, related fields to enhance existing or develop new practical

skills and conceptual strategies.


5. develop research, IT, communication and other transferable skills and working

methodologies, to high professional and scholarly standards.


6. provide guidance and support in developing and enhancing the student’s

employability opportunities and professional profile.


7. offer high-level facilities for Masters-level glass and ceramics education.


  1. What will I know or be able to do at the end of the programme?


Learning Outcomes Postgraduate Certificate – Skills

By the end of this part of the programme successful students should know, understand or be able to do the following:

S1 Demonstrate ability to develop and extend their practice, in terms of both

content and technique using an effective strategy for approaching individualised

project work, particularly in terms of time-management, inter-personal and

professional art practices.


S2 Acquire an advanced and extended range of appropriate skills and methods

for academic research, including information technologies.


S3 Develop the ability to reflect and analyse their own professional practice,

knowledge and skills using a range of tools.


Learning Outcomes Postgraduate Certificate – Knowledge

By the end of this part of the programme successful students should know, understand or be able to do the following:

K1 Demonstrate an advanced understanding of critical and professional

contexts informing contemporary practice in art and design.


K2 Acquire knowledge in advanced critical discourse in Art and Design after

Modernism and relevant debate within glass and ceramics.


K3 Develop a critical understanding of the professional strategies, including

project proposals, used in contemporary glass and ceramics practice.


Learning Outcomes Postgraduate Diploma – Skills

By the end of this part of the programme successful students should know, understand or be able to do the following:


        • S4 Through the making and presentation of artwork, develop an emerging personal

perspective on professionalism.


S5 Develop materials related to professional practice.


Learning Outcomes Postgraduate Diploma – Knowledge

By the end of this part of the programme successful students should know, understand or be able to do the following:


K4 Demonstrated an understanding of the contemporary issues in glass and

ceramics and the ability to identify and research these interests in the presentation

of their own creative and professional practice.


K5 Develop a personal perspective on professionalism in their practice.



Learning Outcomes Masters – Skills

By the end of this part of the programme successful students should know, understand or be able to do the following:

S6 Develop and execute an advanced body of artwork that demonstrates an

independent and self-reflective approach in content and technique,


S7 The ability to develop and research new ideas in glass and ceramics and

identify and test their working philosophies against prevailing critical issues at the

forefront of the discipline.


S8 The ability to articulate the ideas that underpin the practical work.



Learning Outcomes Masters – Knowledge

By the end of this part of the programme successful students should know, understand or be able to do the following:


• K6 An advanced knowledge of key concepts and approaches in glass and

ceramics through an awareness of historical and contemporary debates and a high

level of critical understanding of creative and professional practices.


  1. What will the programme consist of?


Taught postgraduate programmes generally consist of a number of taught modules leading to the award of a Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits) or Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits). A Masters qualification (180 credits) usually culminates in a major piece of independent work such as a project or dissertation. All modules are at postgraduate level (level 7 in the UK’s national scheme). The summary below describes briefly what is contained in the programme. The programme structure, including a detailed list of modules, can be found in the programme regulations.


Postgraduate programmes generally consist of a number of taught modules leading to the

award of a Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits) or Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits). A

Masters qualification (180 credits) usually culminates in two major pieces of independent

work, a written research project and an exhibition of creative work. All modules are at

postgraduate level (level 7 in the UK’s national scheme). The summary below describes

briefly what is contained in the programme. The programme structure, including a detailed

list of modules, can be found in the programme regulations.


Postgraduate Certificate

The Postgraduate Certificate consists of two modules: a 30-credit module concerned with

developing an experimental body of artwork and a 30-credit module of contextual studies

exploring critical and professional contexts in art and design.


Postgraduate Diploma

For Postgraduate Diploma, students who have completed the credits for Postgraduate

Certificate undertake a 30-credit module developing practical work and a 30-credit module

exploring professional practice.


Master’s Degree

For completion of the Master’s Degree students undertake another two modules: a 30-

credit module concerned with developing practical work for exhibition and a 30-credit

module that involves a written, self-directed research project.

The Glass and Ceramics department provides the infrastructure, creative environment,

and support for independent innovative creativity. The large and diverse peer group of

other students, artists in residence, and staff aid the student to identify, locate, develop

and test their personal working approaches, skills, and ideas. Within this context the

students will plan their own learning in the practical modules through a written proposal

produced in consultation with the teaching team.

The needs and aspiration of potential students are considered at the application and

interview stage. Where possible the teaching team will focus support in response to the

precise nature of the needs and aspirations of students.

For further information about the department please see Section 30 and 31.


  1. How will I be taught?


Scheduled teaching activities


Independent study





Students take a large responsibility for the management of their own learning, supported

by a range of teaching methods. At MA level you will already have some command of the

necessary creative, organisational and research skills sufficient to support independent

learning. This is particularly important because the programme is focused on developing

your own perspective of practice, in response to the issues posed by the course. The aim

of the programme is to provide a stimulating and supportive learning environment within a

framework of critical debate and against professional contexts where ideas can be

encouraged and tested. The teaching emphasis will therefore be on encouraging self-reliance

and personal creative responsibility within a programme of lectures, seminars,

workshops, and peer reviews (critiques), supported by tutorials.


A list of the modules in the programme can be found in the Programme Regulations. Appendix 1.


A summary of the types of teaching, learning and assessment in each module of the programme can be found in the Matrix of Modes of Teaching Appendix 2.


  1. How will I be assessed and given feedback?




Practical assessments



A summary of the types of teaching, learning and assessment in each module of the programme can be found in the Matrix of Modes of Teaching.


The generic assessment criteria which we use can be found here. Some programmes use subject-specific assessment criteria which are based on the generic ones.


This programme uses the Generic University Assessment Criteria




The University regulations can be found here.


The purpose of assessment is to enable you to demonstrate the extent to which you have

achieved the learning outcomes of each module. Within this programme you are

encouraged to see the assessment as an integral part of the learning experience, and with

formative assessment being provided throughout the development of each self-initiated

piece of work, you will take on more responsibility for your learning throughout the


Each module provides different elements for assessment to enable you to evidence your

learning and develop and extend your skills and knowledge, making you better prepared to

compete within the world of work, or to continue your studies onto MPhil/PhD.

The teaching team will mark all assessment elements, and the external examiner will

sample all elements. Feedback will be provided orally throughout the programme and as

written feedback on the completion of each module. You will be required to evidence the

progress of all your self-initiated practical projects from a proposal at the start of each

module with a supporting sketch book/ research file that will document and evaluate the

process of developing the work and reflect upon the decisions that have been made.

The contextual studies modules will use assessment in written format (essays, exhibition

reviews, reflective accounts of own practice, project proposals) to evidence your ability to

articulate your ideas and use research to inform your creative and professional practice as

well as providing evidence of your knowledge and understanding of the key critical debates within glass and ceramics.


The University aims to return marked assessments and feedback within 4 working weeks of the assignment submission date after internal moderation process have been completed. If this is not possible, students will be notified by the Module Leaders when the feedback is available and how it can be obtained.


The Academic Misconduct Regulations and associated guidance can be found here. It is the responsibility of students to ensure they are familiar with their responsibilities in regards to assessment and the implications of an allegation of academic misconduct.


Students should refer to the University Regulations for information on degree classifications


Matrix of modes of teaching, learning and assessment


Postgraduate Certificate




Core / optional

Modes of T&L

Modes of Assessment

Contextual Studies: Critical and Professional Contexts in Art, Design and Photography



Lectures/seminars, tutorials,

Research skills workshops, self-directed study

Coursework: Essay and S.W.O.T analysis of Professional Practice (100%)


in Glass and






critiques, selfdirected




Coursework: Presentation

of experimental body of

work (100%)


Postgraduate Diploma




Core / optional

Modes of T&L

Modes of Assessment

Contextual Studies: Professional Practice in Glass and Ceramics



Lectures/seminars, tutorials, research skills workshops, student presentations, artists presentations self-directed learning

Coursework: Verbal/visual presentation (50%)

Distributable profile (50%)

Developing Practice

in Glass and







critiques, self-directed



Coursework: Presentation

of body of studio practice




Masters Degree




Core / optional

Modes of T&L

Modes of Assessment

Contextual Studies:

Research Project in Glass and Ceramics




Research skills seminars, workshops, tutorials, self-directed learning

Coursework:Eassay/visual essay (100%)

Synthesis Practice in Glass and







critiques, self-directed



Coursework: Exhibition presentation (100%)





  1. How does research influence the programme?


The Centre for Research in Art & Design

Research is the systematic study of particular questions, issues or problems in order to

create new knowledge that is useful for others. University lecturers undertake research, as

well as teaching, in order to advance knowledge in their subjects and importantly to

develop the curriculum for their students. In art and design subjects, research can take a

number of forms including writing articles and books, curating exhibitions, presenting ideas

at conferences and making artworks or designs. Your lecturers will use the experience and

knowledge that they gain from this in order to support you to achieve your goals.

Research in art and design at the University of Sunderland is focused through ‘The Centre

for Research in Art & Design’ part of the Institute for Research in the Arts & Creative

Industries. We have a well-established research record, especially in professional art and

design practice. This is sometimes known as ‘practice-led’ research. The centre is divided

into eight research groups and achieved 40% internationally excellent and world–leading

research in the most recent national audits of research quality - REF 2014 and RAE 2008.

We also have research students, who are studying PhD and MPhil degrees in most

subject areas. These students are undertaking a training in research and this is something

that you may wish to consider after your masters degree.

The eight research groups are:

• CRUMB (Curating New Media)

• National Glass Centre (Glass)

• Ceramic Arts Research Centre University of Sunderland (CARCuos)

• North East Photography Network (NEPN)

• Space/Social Space (Fine Art)

• Digital Design IIRC (Calligraphy)

• WALK (Fine Art, Landscape, Walking)


The University has a long-standing special interest in new media art, and this is

showcased through the Curatorial Resource for Upstart Media Bliss (CRUMB). CRUMB

aims to help those who ‘exhibit’ new media art, including curators, artists and technicians.

Since 2001, CRUMB has brought together academics, research fellows and research

students and has successfully realised projects through partnerships with the BALTIC, The

Banff Centre in Canada, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Harris Museum

Preston, and Eyebeam New York.

Based in the National Glass Centre research is undertaken in both glass and ceramics and

is primarily concerned with developing creative practice at a national and international

level. The Institute for International Research in Glass (IIRG) established in 1998 (now

renamed National Glass Centre Research) and, in 2011, the Ceramics Arts Research

Centre University of Sunderland (CARCuos) are both involved with the creation of new

artworks, techniques and approaches to creative practice, as well as contextual and

historical issues. We also have a strong track record of research students with graduates

now working around the world.

The Northern Centre of Photography, based at City Campus, is home to photography

research at Sunderland. The centre is made up of academics and research students

involved in research around critically engaged photographic practice working across both

practice and theory, which seek to question the role of the photographer in modern

society. Academics operate within an intellectual and creative territory which actively

engages in a conscious dialogue with contemporary society; works are enquiry-driven,

research-led and challenge the viewer to see the world differently. The centre has

developed the North East Photography Network, which works with photographers, artists,

curators and a wide range of cultural partners. Its aim is to create a lively and informed

context for photographic activity and to encourage new audiences for photography. This

team was recently awarded a ‘Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence from the

Higher Education Academy which likely to create more opportunities for both Masters and

undergraduate students to work on live projects.

Fine Art forms a significant area of research in Art & Design primarily concerned with art

practice. Space/Socialspace brings together practitioners specifically interested in issues

of space in relation to audience whilst WALK (Walking, Art, Landskip and Knowledge) has

developed through an increased interest (both practical and theoretical) in ‘art walking’ and

the relationship of ‘art walking’ to the practice of painting, sculpture, music and


The Design area brings together a number of research threads, from contemporary

calligraphy to the use of computer code as a creative practice, to environmental design.

We are highly ranked for the quality of our research and have a range of PhD students

carrying out cutting edge research. Staff exhibit their work internationally and publish

widely. Design research hosts international conferences, exhibitions and symposia. The

International Research Centre for Calligraphy (IRCC) is dedicated to promoting and

facilitating the development of calligraphy in both National and International Contexts

through conferences, master-classes, exhibitions and publications. The main aims of the

centre are to promote Calligraphy and generate an understanding of the different cultural

roles it has.

As an MA student you are likely to benefit from research in a number of ways. Examples

might include:

• Publications by your lecturers in your module reading lists

• Lecturers giving presentations on their artworks and projects and discussing them

in seminars

• Invitations to visit exhibitions by lecturers

• Opportunities for you to work alongside your lecturers on research projects

• Presentations by external contacts made by your lecturers through their research

• Presentation by PhD students about their research


Glass and Ceramics is a high-profile department within Europe and internationally, with 9

academic and technical staff, and circa 70 BA, MA and Postgraduate research students.

The department has two professors. Of the core staff, four have Doctorates, and all have postgraduate qualifications. The Glass and Ceramics staff is engaged with the wider academic community as external examiners on undergraduate and postgraduate programmes at other institutions. The academic team is research active and are all professional artists, working in the field of art and design. They contribute internationally to the subject through exhibitions, commissions, conference presentations, writing and curation/jurying. Specific areas of research include:

Ceramics theory (Prof Andrew Livingstone), ceramics/glass and print Prof Kevin Petrie, architectural glass and design (Dr Cate Watkinson), water-jet/print/kiln forming (Dr Jeffrey Sarmiento), and digital craft (Colin Rennie).

Their work underpins National Glass Centre Research and CARCuos, institutes for the

development of practice and theory. Collaborative projects include work with Oxford,

Cambridge and Durham Universities, and a Centre for Doctoral Training with Northumbria

Univerisity Newcastle. Exhibitions include the International Festival of Glass in Tianyuan

China, Collect at Saatchi Gallery London, Cheongju International Craft Biennale, Korea,

Glasstress Gotika at the Venice Biennale. Public art commissions include Cathedral of St

Mary’s Newcastle, Southsea, Portsmouth and other UK city centres. Glass and Ceramics

research is engaged with issues of pedagogy and critical studies. Publications include a

new Ceramics Reader (2017), and the team co-authored a chapter in Masters Level

Teaching, Learning and Assessment. Staff have also presented at Glass Art Society

conferences as well as the Minkoff Symposium in Glass Education at UrbanGlass, New


MA critical theory and professional practice are enriched by a programme of visiting artist

talks, demonstrations, residencies and the exhibition programme at National Glass Centre.

Visiting artists and presenters have included Mark Angus, Martin Janecky, Anna

Mlasowsky, Helen Whittaker, Stine Bidstrup, Einar and Jamex De La Torre, Garth Clark,

Scott Benefield, Michael Endo, Sylvia Levenson, David Cushway, Paul Scott, Steve Dixon,

Neil Brownsword, and Phoebe Cummings.

Students are encouraged to work alongside members of staff in terms of their research for

example, in the role of interns. Staff members have engaged the assistance of students

not only in the fabrication and installation of their research work for both commissioned

pieces and exhibition work both in the UK and abroad, but also in the design and

development processes. Staff research into use of cutting edge digital design and

manufacture has led to the development of innovative ways of making which students

have had the opportunity to see and learn about at first hand.

This involvement in on going staff research also offers ‘real world’ experiences for the

student, extending their learning out of the studio, offering opportunities for networking and

exposing them to new creative experiences.




  1. How will the programme prepare me for employment?


The programme gives you the opportunity to develop advanced skills and knowledge which you can use in the future. Some postgraduate programmes are associated with a particular career path but most skills can be applied to a range of employment situations. The skills which this programme is designed to develop are listed below.


A strength of the MA programme is the exhibition of student work in real gallery space in

Sunderland that is the main gallery of the National Glass Centre. This opportunity gives

you professional exhibiting experience, opening, your work to a broad audience and

enhancing your employability opportunities. It has often been the case that within the

context of this exhibition graduating students have been approached with view to further

exhibition of their work, collaborations or professional opportunities. This experience also

equips MA graduates with knowledge and confidence to pursue their careers further and

MA Glass and Ceramics graduates have been particularly successful in disseminating

their work nationally and internationally.

Research, exhibition and work opportunities are offered through an extensive regional,

national and international network of contacts and partnerships. Collaborating

organisations have included Locus+ (Newcastle), Traidcraft (Gateshead), Northern Gallery

of Contemporary Art (Sunderland), North Lands Creative Glass (Scotland), Creative

Scotland, Contemporary Glass Society, Pilchuck Glass School, UrbanGlass and Glass Art

Society (USA). The National Glass Centre has also hired students both as interns on work

experience as well as others being taken on as gallery and education assistants. Several

students have progressed to full time jobs both in front of house and in the working hot

glass workshop facilities.


Students are encouraged and supported, wherever relevant and practical, to work on ‘live’

projects. The department has also initiated a programme of learning opportunities for

students who are interested in teaching. This includes supporting members of staff in

teaching outreach programmes for local schools and colleges. National Glass Centre also

offers a number of opportunities for volunteering and paid employment with their

educational, exhibition and demonstration teams.

Graduates from MA Glass and ceramics have gone on to a varied range of creative

occupations, including: professional glass and ceramics and arts practice; exhibition and

design work; and academic occupations such as further research and teaching.

The industries that employ graduates of this course include:


Small and Medium Business Enterprises (SMEs)

Higher Education Institutions

FE Colleges


Arts Institutions and Museums

Community Arts Organisations




For information about other opportunities available to our students who study on campus, click here.



  1. Professional statutory or regulatory body (PSRB) accreditation.


PSRB accreditation is not relevant to this programme 






Name of programme: Glass and Ceramics

Title of final award: Master of Arts

Interim awards: Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma


University Regulations

Postgraduate Academic Regulations: Assessment of modules: 4.2.1 and 4.2.2

Student Progression: 5.1 and 5.2

Requirements for Awards: 6.1

Postgraduate Awards: 6.4.1










Postgraduate Certificate






Experimentation in

Glass and Ceramics




Contextual Studies:

Critical and Professional

Contexts in

Contemporary Art and





Postgraduate Diploma





DevelopingPractice in

Glass and Ceramics




Contextual Studies:

Professional Practice in Glass and Ceramics




Masters Degree





Synthesis of Practice in

Glass and Ceramics




Contextual Studies:

Research Project in Glass and Ceramics






  1. What are the admissions requirements?



Entry Point

Standard Entry requirements

Entry with advanced standing


Level 7 (Masters awards) – start of programme

BA(Hons) 1st,2:1 or 2:2 at the discretion of programme leader and in a relevant subject


Portfolio of creative work

Level 7 (Masters award) – after Certificate stage

PG Certificate


Portfolio of creative work

Level 7 (Masters award) – after Diploma stage

PG Diploma


Portfolio of creative work


The University’s standard admissions requirements can be found in the university regulations.


Can students enter with advanced standing?




  1. What kind of support and help will there be?
  1. in the department:


All students are allocated a personal tutor who is there to turn to and who can support

them or direct them to where appropriate help may be obtained. You can request a

change of tutor without any questions asked.


The University has Student Support staff that can meet to discuss anything if you

prefer to discuss issues with someone who is outside of your immediate academic




  1. in the university as a whole:

The University provides a range of professional support services including wellbeing, counselling, disability support, and a Chaplaincy. The Students’ Union provides an independent service that offers advice and support across the full range of personal and academic problems which students may encounter. These services are available via the Student Gateway or directed by tutors. Click on the links for further information.



  1. What resources will I have access to?


On campus




On campus

Tick all that apply

General Teaching and Learning Space












Performance space


Other specialist


Technical resources 




The Glass and Ceramics department at the University of Sunderland is one of the best equipped

purpose-built facilities of its kind housed within National Glass Centre.

The range of specialist resources include:

• Large hot glass studio space including two furnaces and four gloryholes

• Large mould making/plaster area

• Kiln area with 17 electric kilns of various sizes

• Architectural glass studio equipped with worktables, bonding facility, painting room and

edge grinders

• Coldworking studio housing equipment including flat bed grinders, sandblasting booth,

engraving wheels, diamond saw, linishers and air grinding tool.

• Throwing area with 15 wheels including disability access, slab roller, extruder and pugmills

• Studio area with individual workspaces

• Slip casting workshop (porcelain and earthenware)

• Plaster mould-making workshop with lathes and whirlers

• Glaze Lab with facility for mixing glazes plus wet back spray booth

• Raku equipment and kiln building area

• Screen printing facility for glass and ceramics

• Large Water-jet cutter

• 3D printer and ceramic decal printer

The University’s Priestman Gallery is another valuable resource providing a rolling

programme of exhibitions and events. Several gallery spaces within National Glass Centre

house exhibitions specifically for research, collections, special projects and survey and

solo exhibitions.

Academic staff are available during contact periods and encourage students to access

them for tutorial support as and when it is required during designated office hours.

Students have information about all staff internal office numbers and email addresses and

have easy access to academic staff.

Glass and ceramics technicians are available.

The first port of call for support in student matters is the Gateway (Prospect and Edinburgh

buildings), which is open 9:00 am to 5:00pm every weekday.


University Library resources

University Library Services offer a range of resources, both in print and online, in support

of University learning, teaching and research activities. The two site libraries provide

information collections, a variety of study spaces, IT facilities and experienced library staff

during core hours, with online services and support available at any time off-campus. In

addition, both the Murray and St. Peter’s libraries offer 24/7 access during main teaching


On joining the University, all students attend a Library Induction session and library staff

are available to help with enquiries during library opening hours. In addition, library staff

are experienced in working with academic colleagues in designing and delivering

customised Information Skills workshops, either timetabled sessions embedded into core

modules or individual sessions provided on request. These workshops provide students

with the skills they need to identify and evaluate information from both print collections and

electronic sources, including subject specific databases and gateways, online journals and

other quality sources available on the Internet. Students can also access subject specific

help sheets, online tutorials, FAQs and many more sources of information on the Library


Information about the University’s facilities can be found here.


40.Are there any additional costs on top of the fees?


Yes (essential) All students buy some study materials such as books

and provide their own basic study materials. In addition there are

some are essential additional costs associated with the programme

(see below).







The department supplies some basic materials as well as use of equipment. The

basic materials include: Float glass, plaster, clay, basic printing and painting

materials, and glaze materials. Students do not pay for firings. Students contribute

to the above through the payment of a studio contribution of £200 per stage.

Therefore, £600 for the programme. This is payable on-line at the beginning of each

stage. You will be briefed on how to do this at the beginning of each stage. This

contribution is not linked to a set quantity of materials but should be seen as a

contribution basic materials and studio access.

It is likely that students may wish to purchase additional specialist materials. This

will vary considerably depending on the scale and nature of the work created. Tim

Betterton – Senior Technician has suppliers’ details and catalogues in his office,

which are available for students.

We would encourage students also to document their work in accordance with

professional practice. This may incur costs. For example, a professional glass

photographer charges about £65 per hour.



  1. How are student views represented?


All taught programmes in the University have student representatives for each programme who meet in a Student-Staff Liaison Committee (SSLC) where they can raise students’ views and concerns. The Students’ Union and the faculties together provide training for student representatives. SSLCs and focus groups are also used to obtain student feedback on plans for developing existing programmes and designing new ones. Feedback on your programme is obtained every year through module questionnaires and informs the annual review of your programme. Student representatives are also invited to attend Programme and Module Studies Boards which manage the delivery and development of programmes and modules.  Faculty Academic Committee, also has student representation. This allows students to be involved in higher-level plans for teaching and learning. At university level on Students are represented on University level Committed by sabbatical officers who are the elected leaders of the Students’ Union.


The University’s student representation and feedback policy can be found here.


Every two years we participate in the national Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES) which is run by the Higher Education Academy.








  1. National subject benchmarks


The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education publishes benchmark statements which give guidance as to the skills and knowledge which graduates in various subjects and in certain types of degree are expected to have. They do not cover all subjects at postgraduate level but those which exist can be found at here.


Are there any benchmark statements for this programme?



The subject benchmark(s) for this programme is/are:


The QAA also publishes a Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ) which defines the generic skills and abilities expected of students who have achieved awards at a given level and with which our programmes align. The FHEQ can be found here.


  1. How are the quality and standards of the programme assured?


The programme is managed and quality assured through the University’s standard processes. Programmes are overseen by Module and Programme Studies Boards which include student representatives. Each year each module leader provides a brief report on the delivery of the module, identifying strengths and areas for development, and the programme team reviews the programme as a whole. The purpose of this is to ensure that the programme is coherent and up-to-date, with suitable progression through the programme, and a good fit (alignment)  between what is taught and how students learn and are assessed - the learning outcomes, content and types of teaching, learning and assessment. Student achievement, including progress through the programme and the way in which the final award is made, is kept under review. The programme review report is sent to the Programme Studies Board and the Faculty in turn reports issues to the University’s Quality Management Sub-Committee (QMSC).


External examiners are appointed to oversee and advise on the assessment of the programme. They ensure that the standards of the programme are comparable with those of similar programmes elsewhere in the UK and are also involved in the assessment process to make sure that it is fair. They are invited to comment on proposed developments to the programme. Their reports are sent to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) as well as to the Faculty so that issues of concern can be addressed.


All programmes are reviewed by the University on a six-yearly cycle to identify good practice and areas for enhancement. Programmes are revalidated through this review process. These reviews include at least one academic specialist in the subject area concerned from another UK university. Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) review reports for Sunderland can be found here.


Further information about our quality processes can be found here.