Course specification and structure
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PMJWLSVR - MA Jewellery and Silversmithing

Course Specification

Validation status Validated
Highest award Master of Arts Level Masters
Possible interim awards Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate, Advanced Diploma in Professional Development
Total credits for course 180
Awarding institution London Metropolitan University
Teaching institutions London Metropolitan University
School School of Art, Architecture and Design
Subject Area Design
Attendance options
Option Minimum duration Maximum duration
Full-time 1 YEARS  
Part-time 2 YEARS  
Course leader  

About the course and its strategy towards teaching and learning and towards blended learning/e-learning

The course is intended to encourage independent and innovative design thinking in the fields of jewellery and silversmithing. The curriculum focuses in an advanced and systematic way on aspects of the profession and practice that will enable students to question and enrich their practice, engage in meaningful research to further or refocus their professional specialism, and graduate with a high quality sector-leading portfolio of work.

There is an emphasis upon situating students in a real, complex and demanding context for their project work, with parameters that cover the social, political and economic as well as the creative and physical contexts. The course recognises that theory of material culture connected with an understanding of individual and societal identities, needs and desires can enrich practice and further professional opportunities. The embrace and interrogation of instability and ambiguity in design problems is what will enable graduates to become flexible, resilient and successful jewellers or silversmiths.

Students will benefit from a teaching and learning strategy centred around project-based learning, experiential learning and the principles of active learning. Students are challenged and guided to develop a distinctive personal voice and to understand and situate their practice in a global professional context. Students are supported to engage in discourses about the nature, practice and problems of design and to engage actively in the industry and research community of their practice area. They are expected to develop a practice that makes a genuine and impactful contribution to society.

Working with a core team of academic teaching staff who have strong links to industry, students will grow their understanding of professional practices and opportunities, working on ‘real-world’ projects. Their studio practice is supported by formal delivery of supporting theory and research methods in dedicated modules.

The course runs from LMU’s Aldgate campus, situated in the heart of London’s creative community, with easy access to East London’s many galleries, studios and thriving design culture. Students will have access to the School’s excellent on-campus facilities and the opportunity to meet other students from a wide range of creative disciplines.

Course aims

The course aims:

to encourage students to recognise the power and therefore the responsibility of design and its contribution to global culture and society;

to develop students in their understanding of and contribution to the discipline of jewellery and silversmithing by engaging in debate and making their work public;

to embed thorough and effective research skills that will ensure the value and validity of designs and enable original thinking;

to deliver design skills that are at the leading edge of contemporary practice and to encourage students to challenge accepted thinking, and to test the boundaries of convention;

to equip students with the skills, resilience and desire to constantly review their understanding of their present and future contexts and practice as jewellers and silversmiths;

to ensure that graduates are ‘future-proofed’ in respect of their career ambitions and prospects.

Course learning outcomes

Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:

Knowledge and Understanding

1. acquire, assimilate and apply processes of investigative, analytical and speculative research and design methodologies drawn from a range of disciplinary sources in design;
2. apply to the design process deep knowledge and sophisticated critical understanding of historical and theoretical frameworks and cultural traditions relevant to design for jewellery and silversmithing, and the various and diverse forms of design and practice through which it is informed;
3. identify and develop through project work a specific set of interests in jewellery and silversmithing design that can become the basis for professional and career development;

Cognitive Intellectual Abilities

4. develop designs through a designed iterative process that tests and communicates ideas, concepts and propositions through critical, collaborative and self‐reflective processes of evaluation;
5. critically reflect and engage in discourse on the practical, economic, social and ethical implications of design propositions;
6. propose a design that responds convincingly to complex conditions and demands; that navigates a feasible route through competing commercial, cultural and ethical issues, articulating a coherent intellectual position;

Subject Specific Skills

7. collate, document and present sophisticated, complex and extensive research material to produce a cogent body of persuasive supporting work;
8. direct and project manage a design process, including with collaborators, to achieve a convincing and well‐worked proposition to set or self-set targets in relevant sector-specific professional ways of working;
9. communicate in an ambitious and effective way, the ideas and intentions behind a jewellery and/ or silversmithing design project proposal through an appropriate range of design and related techniques;
10. give verbal and visual presentations of research findings and design proposals to an appropriate standard, in a range of formats, appropriate to the audience;

Transferable Skills

11. communicate complex design concepts and propositions effectively;
12. demonstrate effective self-management including in roles as leader or member of a team;
13. plan, manage and audit time, progress and resources effectively;
14. learn independently, demonstrating attributes of critical enquiry, lateral thinking, the ability to deal with complex and unstable problems, and developing strategies for continuous self-development.
15. demonstrate confidence, resilience, ambition and creativity and will act as inclusive, collaborative and socially responsible practitioners and professionals in their discipline.

Principle QAA benchmark statements

QAA Subject Benchmark Statement Art and Design, December 2019

Assessment strategy

Assessment is 100% coursework requiring a mix of varied portfolio design work that proposes designed artefacts with evidence of ongoing reflective practice. Assessment practices are rehearsed and a shared understanding of assessment developed through regular student presentations of work in progress, when verbal feedback is provided. This also supports an understanding of professional practices in presenting and articulating ideas and defending a position.

Self-directed project briefs are developed by students through a process of research, negotiation, reflection and agreement with tutors, who expect to be challenged with ideas that demonstrate deep subject knowledge and critical challenges to conventional practice in the discipline. Students are encouraged to actively foster and engage in a community of practice, proposing and sharing work in progress in the School through activities and events and the School’s research community calendar.

At a formative feedback point, students engage in a live assessment process including a display of work in progress. This feeds forward to summative assessment ensuring that processes for marking and moderating marks are made transparent to staff and students.

Throughout the year regular reviews, tutorials and 1-to-1s provide feedback opportunities. Students are asked to respond reflectively and to create action plans for progressing work in response to feedback. Feedback is timely, constructive and developmental, delivered verbally and/or in written form. Students are thus provided with opportunities to develop an understanding of and the necessary skills to demonstrate good academic practice.

The MA is concluded with a major project in which students select an area of study, formulate their own argument or theoretical position and produce an independent body of work. The project challenges students to study a topic of personal interest, and tests creative ambition. This work will be exhibited at the MA graduation show in the School’s central London location.

Organised work experience, work based learning, sandwich year or year abroad

Work-related learning is embedded in the course through live projects, industry visits, visiting speakers and extracurricular opportunities.

The majority of tutors and lecturers on the course are practitioners and share their knowledge and experience with students throughout their course of study. The studio delivery of the course means that opportunities for work-related learning through collaboration with external companies, agencies, institutions, competitions and professionals can be taken up as they arise, if appropriate to the individual programme of study. Students, when working with or for external partners, are supported to meet expectations of professional standards, conduct and delivery and the major project portfolio is designed as a work-ready professional document.

Course specific regulations

Part-time (24 months)
Year 1
Autumn semester
Alternative Core 20 credit module DN7012 Democratising Luxury, or
Alternative Core 20 credit module DN7023 Charismatic Objects
Spring semester
Alternative Core 20 credit module, or DN7013 Design for Change, or
Alternative Core 20 credit module DN7014 Material Thought
Autumn and Spring semester
Core 40 credit module DN7017 Design Research for Practice

Year 2
Autumn and Spring semester
Core 40 credit module DN7018 Design Project Development
Summer semester
Core 60 credit module DN7P08 Project as Professional Practice: Jewellery and Silversmithing

Alternate sequencing of the other modules may be considered with academic consent.

The course will undertake a formal academic review of student performance at the end of each semester. Students performing below threshold standard will be recommended and/or required to revise their programme of study.

DN7P08 Project as Professional Practice: Jewellery and Silversmithing module must be taken in the final year of MA study, DN7018 Design Project Development must have been completed and passed before the module is commenced.

Subject specialism (20 credit) modules:

The School maintains a portfolio of MA (level 7) 20 credit alternative core modules, two of which will be core to this course in any particular year. Prior to the start of the course each September, the course team, with Head of School approval, shall determine which of the modules should be the core 20 credit modules for the following academic cycle, based on the project opportunities arising and the balance of students across the portfolio of MA Design courses. All of the modules have been determined to make the required contribution to achievement of the course learning outcomes.

Modules required for interim awards

Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits):
DN7017 Design Research for Practice (40) or DN7018 Design Project Development (40) plus any 20 credit module from the course diet.

Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits):
DN7017 Design Research for Practice (40), DN7018 Design Project Development (40), plus any two 20 credit modules from the course diet.

Masters (180 credits):
DN7017 Design Research for Practice (40), DN7018 Design Project Development (40), DN7P08 Project as Professional Practice: Jewellery and Silversmithing (60) plus any two 20 credit modules from the course diet.

Arrangements for promoting reflective learning and personal development

The School’s system of curriculum delivery embeds collaborative and reflective learning and personal development planning throughout the course.

Most summative assessment is at the end of modules, with formative assessment points formally instituted in the course of the module. At these interim formative assessment and feedback points, students reflect on their progress to date with their peers and course staff (with the benefit of feedback from professional partners where appropriate), seek help where they identify the opportunity for improvement in learning strategies and outcomes, and make recommendations to themselves for future development. The feedback and student reflection is recorded and forms an action plan for the next period of study.

This system is highly individualised, but also benefits from peer engagement in studio colloquia. The School’s programme of extra-curricular events and industry-led projects supports students’ personal development planning. Through these initiatives, students are increasingly able, as they progress through the course, to understand the professional environment of their disciplines, the various opportunities available to them, and how to shape their learning according to their ambitions.

Throughout the modules and the course therefore, in this way, students build bodies of work, including reflections on progress and achievement, and planning for their future achievement of targets.

Career, employability and opportunities for continuing professional development

Graduates from the School’s jewellery and silversmithing courses have gone on to achieve successful careers as self-employed high profile practitioners including eminent figures in the industry such as Ane Christiansen, Isabelle Busnel, Sara Gunn and Imogen Bellfield. While others have found employment in a range of design roles, working for Sean Leane, Garrards, De Beers, Crafts Council, British Jewellers Association and Fox Silver.

Roles for graduates include: Independent Practitioner, Manufacturer, Studio Designer, Studio Manager, Consultant, Journalist, Curator, Archivist, Academic, Lecturer.

Career opportunities

This postgraduate degree in Jewellery and Silversmithing could lead you onto a range of careers including:

  • jewellery designer
  • silversmith
  • designer-maker
  • educator
  • researcher
  • journalist
  • project manager
  • strategist
  • studio manager

Students and graduates from our design courses have worked for renowned brands such as Shaun Leane, Azza Fahmy, Alexander McQueen, Daphne Guiness, Harrods, Harvey Nichols, Selfridges and completed commissions for Amanda Colman, Uma Thurman, Kim Kardashian and Rita Ora.

We are delighted to see how our students flourish after graduating. Work from our alumni can be found in the V&A Museums Permanent Collection, Irish State Collection, Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths Collection, National Museum of Scotland and many others.

Entry requirements

You'll be required to have:

  • a first class or good upper second class honours degree in a relevant field (eg jewellery, silversmithing, metalwork, accessories, 3D, design craft, etc), or an equivalent EU/ international qualification.

Applicants will also be expected to present a portfolio and provide a statement demonstrating their ambition for the subject area and for studying at postgraduate level.

Official use and codes

Approved to run from 2021/22 Specification version 1 Specification status Validated
Original validation date 01 Jun 2021 Last validation date 01 Jun 2021  
JACS codes 100725 (silversmithing and goldsmithing): 100%
Route code JWLSVR

Course Structure

Stage 1 Level 07 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
DN7017 Design Research for Practice Core 40 CITY AUT+SPR MON AM
DN7018 Design Project Development Core 40 CITY AUT+SPR THU AM
DN7P08 Project as Professional Practice: Jewellery and... Core 60 CITY SUM MON AM
          CITY SUM THU AM
DN7012 Democratising Luxury Alt Core 20 CITY AUT MON PM
DN7013 Design for Change Alt Core 20 CITY SPR MON PM
DN7014 Material Thought Alt Core 20        
DN7023 Charismatic Objects Alt Core 20 CITY AUT MON PM