Design Crafts BA (Hons)

About the course

This multi-disciplinary Design Crafts degree course provides opportunities for you to design and make objects using traditional and emerging technologies, reflecting developments in digital manufacturing such as 3D printing and water-jet cutting. We introduce hand, machine and computer skills to students wishing to explore craft making, drawing and design. You can experiment with a variety of materials such as; textiles, plaster, paper, glass, clay, fine metals, plastics, resin, foam, wood and veneers. The course prepares you for a career in the creative industries and is offered in a three year full-time format or six years part-time.


Reasons to study the Design Crafts BA (Hons) degree at DMU

  • Your own dedicated studio space

  • Excellent facilities including ceramics, metalwork, textiles, glass, wood and engineering workshops, includes Hot Glass workshops and glass blowing facilities.

  • Experiment with emerging technologies and/or the handmade

  • Develop entrepreneurial skills and the ability to adapt your practice

  • Opportunities to work in the craft and design industries

This course attracts students who have an ambition to develop their own personal Design Crafts practice, often with interests in entrepreneurship and a desire to determine their own creative future. During the course we enable students to develop their passion for making and to establish a personal, creative voice through a range of challenging projects.

Students and staff in Design Crafts produce a wide range of objects including; individual artefacts for galleries and to commission, small batches of similar items, limited editions, public installations and designs for industry for example. Bespoke objects are produced for domestic, interior spaces, exterior spaces, worn by the body, and can be hand-held or large-scale sculptural pieces. This reflects the range of careers accessible within the field of Design Crafts; including craftsperson, jeweller, ceramicist, textile artist, designer-maker, glass artist, designer, researcher, consultant, curator, buyer, stylist and educator.  

Key facts

UCAS course code:  W200

Duration:  Three years full-time, six years part-time

Institution code: D26

Entry and admission criteria


A good portfolio and normally:

  • Art and Design Foundation or
  • 280 points with a minimum of 180 points from 2 full A levels and including grade C in Art and Design or
  • National Diploma DMM or
  • International Baccalaureate: 28+ Points

Five GCSEs grades A* - C including English Language or  Literature at grade C or above. 

We also accept the BTEC  First Diploma plus two GCSEs  including English at grade C or above

Interview and Portfolio

UK applicants with relevant qualifications will be invited to bring their portfolio of work to an open day and interview (please see our Design Crafts portfolio advice| for full details).

Overseas applicants will be invited to send samples of their work. For further details check our international students portfolio page|.

International Students

If English is not your first language an IELTS score of 6.0 or equivalent when you start the course is essential. English Language tuition|, delivered by our British Council accredited Centre for English Language Learning, is available both before and throughout the course if you need it.

Teaching and assessment

The course is delivered through a range of activities including practical workshop inductions, lectures, seminars, group tutorials, one-to-one tutorials, practical and theoretical talks. You can expect to spend most of your time in practical workshops or studios, with staff support and working independently.

Each module has a relevant brief which challenges you to respond creatively, enabling you to learn and develop a range of skills required in your personal development. By the final year you will propose your own direction of study and final project. 


We give you continual feedback during tutorials, seminars, workshops and in more formal written feedback notes. We assess your progress and achievement throughout the course, formally through presentations and the display of coursework. Typically we assess your work in sketchbooks, design sheets, physical objects, maquettes, models and samples, portfolios and log books. We assess a small amount of written work in the form of technical notes, reports and essays. There are formative and summative assessment points during the year. We ask you to evaluate your own achievements and to comment on your own progress. 

Course modules

Year one

Design Crafts Introduction 1

Workshop and Studio Practice introduces you to the workshop environment, materials and processes, and to design studio culture. 

Professional Practice introduces you to the range of careers and opportunities for designers and makers. We introduce professional presentation methods (of practical work) and develop your verbal presentation skills. 

Drawing and Design Communication develops skills in communicating ideas through drawing, model making and 2D design development, CAD - such as Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop. 

Design Crafts Introduction 2

Contextual and Cultural Studies introduces Design Crafts as a subject; historical and contemporary practices and a range of issues surrounding broader contexts in art, design and craft. Research skills are introduced in this module.

Design and Making for Audiences: In this module students can work towards a commission, a design brief or competition, a collaborative or community project. 

By the end of the first year students focus on their strengths and can select one material to develop much further in year two. All materials and processes continue to be available, usually in combination with their main choice.  

Year two

Design Crafts Development 1 

Design Crafts Studio Practice is a practical module based in workshops and studios. You continue to develop practical work in materials, processes, technical skill and design.

Contextual and Cultural Studies develops your knowledge of Design Crafts’ range of contexts and practices and begins to place the student’s own practice within the field.

Design Crafts Development 2 

Professional Practice guides you through organising and setting up an exhibition or event, setting up a placement, writing your CV and artists statement, and begins building your own professional portfolio. Visiting speakers introduce you to their personal practice and to many practical skills required for success in the Design Crafts profession.

External Projects/ Professional Experience This is a practical module based in workshops and design studios. Live competitions and briefs run throughout this module. Opportunities for collaboration or exchange are developed and can be undertaken.

Year three

Design Crafts Major Project 1

Design Crafts Studio Practice This practical module runs in workshops and studios. Personal projects are developed to a high standard and produce work which is fit for public exhibition. 

Design Crafts Major Project 2 

Contextual and Cultural Studies The Extended Essay underpins the critical thinking of your practical work.

Design Crafts Professional Practice This module prepares you for your professional debut within the field of Design Crafts. You exhibit your work professionally at the DMU Degree Show and present a professional portfolio relevant to your chosen direction. Students are selected to show at New Designers, the graduate show in London.

Note: All modules are subject to change in order to keep content current.

Academic expertise

Design Crafts lecturers are all practising designer makers, from a wide spectrum of arts and crafts disciplines.

Work experience and placements

Design studio residencies in Sainsbury’s and Next, Tiger Print Design, Yorkshire Artspace, and experiences as workshop assistance in small craft businesses such as Brighton-based ceramicist Alice Walton and as gallery assistants in museums and craft galleries.

DMU is involved in the Crafts Council’s ‘Firing Up Scheme’ where our students can volunteer to work with clay in local schools. Many of our students test their suitability to teaching during a placement in a school and go on to Post Graduate Teaching Certificate courses.

Students have been involved in practical craft workshops. For example second year student, Megan Strickson assisted with short courses at the famous West Dean College.

Graduate careers

Design Crafts graduates often combine employed and self-employed careers, while some students go on to postgraduate study. Flexible Design Craft practices are also common as part of a traditional studio craft practice, which include working collaboratively and with a range of clients; community, corporate, public and private.

  • Our students have gone on to set up their own studio workshops as small businesses and ‘sole traders’. For example, ‘Katie Almond Ceramics’, Emma Kelly trades as ‘Duck in a Bucket’. Glass maker Samantha Donaldson RCA won the Royal Overseas League of Music Trophy 2012 and is selling her glass work in Selfridges.
  • Many graduates work in design studios such as; Sainsbury’s, John Lewis and Next.
  • Many of our graduates have been selected as members professional industry organisations such as; Association of Jewellers, Design Factory, The Society of Designer Craftsmen, The Studio Potters Association and Embroiderers Guild

Our graduates exhibit and sell their work at prestigious events and galleries such as: 

  • ‘Fresh’, British Ceramics Biennale, Original Spode Site, Stoke-on-Trent,  
  • ‘Designer Crafts’ at the Mall Galleries, London. 
  • ‘Lustre’, Lakeside Arts, Nottingham, 
  • ‘Islington Art & Design Fair’, Candid Arts Trust, London
  • ‘Made’ Brighton
  • ’50:50’ Harley Gallery, Welbeck, Nottingham
  • ‘British Craft Trade fair, Harrogate
  • ‘Summer Showcase’, Cambridge Contemporary Crafts, 
  • ‘The Contemporary Craft Fair’, Bovey Tracey, Devon, 
  • ‘The British Craft Trade Fair’ (BCTF) 
  • ‘The Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair’, GNCCF, Manchester. 

Fees and funding

2014 entry

UK/EU Fees: £9000 per year
International Fees: £11,250 per year

Learn more about fees and funding information 2014|


Learn more about our Undergraduate scholarships and awards| information.



We have excellent workshop facilities in hot glass, kiln formed glass, cold glass, ceramics, fine metalwork, jewellery, large scale metalwork, textiles, digital embroidery, engineering, digital printing, 3d printing, CNC milling, water jet cutting, laser cutting, woodwork, plaster work, resin and plastics, print making, book making, mould making, casting and more. Our workshops are supported by highly skilled technicians.


We make possible a lively studio culture by providing each student with an individual studio space throughout the course. Tutorials, assessment and self directed study take place in the studio. In this environment DMU students support and learn from each other, and build life-long professional friendships. Many graduates continue to exhibit and work together and have formed professional groups such as ‘The Ceramic Collective’, who sold work at ‘Art in Action’, Oxfordshire. Graduate Sharyn Dunn is now a sole trader and organiser of The Collective group of craftspeople.


DMU has an extensive library facility for Design Crafts students with a range of publications, magazines, journals and electronic data bases. You can find information on all sorts of lost craft processes, current technologies, cultural and theoretical information to support your workshop practice and study. 

Learning about current issues surrounding contemporary craft, design and art is embedded in the practical modules and through Contextual and Cultural Studies. The value of craft to society, craft heritage, global and localisation, collaborative arenas, emerging technology, the handmade, new media, function and current craft research are some of the topics discussed. We run an annual school-wide study trip abroad and our students really value trips to current exhibitions and fairs.

How to apply

UK and EU students are advised to apply through UCAS at|

International students can apply to study at DMU directly using our online applications portal|.

Contact details

For more information please contact:

Online enquiry form|
Telephone enquiries:  +44 (0)116 2 50 60 70

Awards and competitions

Our graduates have won many awards and prizes including: 

  • Kirsty Whitlock - Embroiderers' Guild Scholar 18-30 2012/2013
  • Finalist for Mixed Media category 2010, Signature Art Awards.
  • UK Young Artist, University of Derby, Markeaton Street,Derby 
  • Selected for ‘Lustre’, Contemporary Crafts Fair, Lakeside Arts Centre, Nottingham
  • Selected for the Lebinski Prize for Glass ‘Stanislav Libensky Award & Cherchez la femme’ Praha
  • Goldsmith’s Precious Metal Bursary and award winners
  • Royal Overseas League of Music Trophy 2012, Sam Donaldson 
  • Silver Award from Craft and Design Magazine, Selected Maker Awards 2012. Sam Donaldson

Jenny Creasey, owner of The Itch Gallery|, Oakham, won a list of awards on graduation from Design Crafts:

  • AIR Enterprise Inc. business Development Award 2010
  • Creative Leicester Bursary 2010
  • 2012 won Creative Business Award
  • Won ‘The Unique Affordable Christmas Gift Award’, recognized by Esquire Magazine 2012

Our Design Crafts students have been selected for the Enterprise Inc programme, 

Professional practice

The Professional Practice modules prepare our students for a career in the field of Design Crafts and the creative industries. There are opportunities throughout the course for placements and exchanges, to collaborate with others and to work on live briefs and with external clients. The School of Design supports the AA2A Scheme| and Design Crafts currently has two Artists in Residence. Our graduating students can apply for this one year residency, giving access to workshops and the university facilities while setting up their own practice. The residents act as mentors for our students during the year.

Art and Design at De Montfort University|

You can also follow us| on Twitter and YouTube.

Student Work

Student work gallery|

New Designers Part I - 2012|

Portfolio advicePortfolio advice Design Crafts BA (Hons) - UK and EU applicants|

Design Crafts portfolio advice|

International applicants should refer to our School of Design portfolio advice|

Festival of CreativityDMU Art and Design Degree Show|


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