Jewellery and Metal Design BDes (Hons) (and degree combinations)

  • For Entry: September
  • Duration: 3 years
  • School: Art & Design

Jewellery & Metal Design provides students with an intellectual and creative stimulus that encourages debate around perception and aesthetics. We create an awareness of the social and historical context of the discipline to encourage innovation and excellence. You will study at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design (DJCAD), part of the University of Dundee.  

Jewellery & Metal Design at Dundee

Jewellery designers create a universal symbolic language that expresses identity, distinctiveness and shared values. 

Work by Rebecca Sarah

Why study this course at Dundee?

Jewellery & metal design fuses together art, science, fashion, politics, culture and technology.

Studying the subject at DJCAD begins with material based exploration. This involves learning the characteristics and qualities of a range of materials such as wood, metal and plastics. We teach traditional hand techniques alongside new technologies. Examples of which include electroforming, laser cutting and digital processes such as rapid prototyping.

Our graduates create work for sale within the contemporary craft gallery. They also develop new markets and arenas for the knowledge and skills they have developed. For example in healthcare with medical alert jewellery, or in forensics with disaster victim identification, a jewellery classification system. Working in collaboration with different departments and courses is one of the key benefits of being part of a vibrant diverse research university.


Did You Know?

  • Our graduates work with Ortak, H&M & Topshop

At the end of the course you will be able to:

  • use a wide variety of materials
  • use workshops to design individual jewellery, fashion and small products
  • use the skills you have gained throughout the course to develop your own unique style


Who should study Jewellery and Metal Design?

You are:

  • interested in creating 3D objects
  • innovative and like coming up with new ways of doing things
  • artistic and visually aware

You want to:

  • develop your knowledge of materials
  • develop your drawing skills
  • develop your creative ability
  • learn how to use a jewellery workshop


Learn more about DJCAD

For further examples of student work, staff profiles and news visit the DJCAD website.

Related Courses

The Jewellery & Metal Design team is well established and benefits from having an international reputation, they also draw on the expertise of professional practitioners who have a strong national and international profile with interests in narrative jewellery, sustainability and personal adornment.

Learning occurs within a dynamic open studio environment where social interaction, peer and group learning and inter-year participation contributes to a stimulating environment. You will learn through a combination of workshops, lectures and self-initiated projects.

Level 1

Students can enter illustration after successfully completing our Art and Design (General Foundation) course (apply for course WW12) or on successful completion of a recognised Foundation Course or equivalent (apply for course W720). This is normal for many art and design courses.

In the Art and Design (General Foundation) course you will learn the core values which will enrich and expand your personal visual language, preparing you nicely for a further 3 years in Jewellery & Metal Design.

Level 2

  • Material Matters
  • The 21st Century Designer or Co-Design in Action
  • Border Crossings
  • Change by Design or Playful Practices

Level 3

  • Partnerships, Networks and Connections 1 and 2
  • Overseas Study Trip
  • Alternative Futures elective
  • study option (Research and creative practice, Design and the market, Design and international contexts: Made in China)
  • Elective modules such as Advertising and Branding, Critical Making, Design for a Living Planet
  • Optional one semester of exchange study at an international institution

Level 4

  • Degree Project and Mission
  • Design History, Theory and Practice

Project work is reviewed at the conclusion of modules and assessed at the end of each level. Some theoretical designs are assessed by supporting essays and exams.

Our programmes of study prepare graduates for employment in a wide range of careers or to progress into postgraduate study. Placements, live project work and participation in national and international competitions all hone the employability and aspirations of our students.

Recent graduates have been employed in a wide variety of fields of work and postgraduate activity including:

  • self-employed artist/designer
  • designer to fine or fashion jewellery manufacturers
  • designer of small products
  • management within the jewellery trade
  • designer of effects in theatre, cinema or television
  • specialist posts within museums and galleries
  • lecturing and teaching in craft, design & technology

Jane Gowans, Jewellery Maker

"My time at DJCAD introduced me to a variety of jewellery making techniques and offered a solid understanding of the craft. It also equipped me with the skills to develop pieces of jewellery from concept to design and production whilst considering overarching craft theory, cultures and market places. I have taken these skills and developed them across all areas of my business including marketing, display and product innovation.

"I currently run a jewellery brand from my studio in Dundee. In recent years we have been lucky enough to work with companies such as Harvey Nichols and The National Gallery London. Our collections have been worn by a selection of celebrities including Brit Award winning Emeli Sande, actress Emma Thompson, MTV's Laura Whitemore and BBC Sherlock star Laura Pulver. We have been nominated for a host of awards- Drapers Accessory Designer of the Year, Accessories Designer of the Year at the Scottish Fashion Awards and New Designer of the Year at the UK Jewellery Awards. In 2014, I was also named Independent Woman of the Year at the Royal Bank of Scotland Women Ahead Awards and as one of Professional Jeweller Magazine's Hot 100 in the industry." View Jane's work.


Others have gone on to freelance and establishing their own successful businesses. Extra curriculum activities such as the Enterprise Gym help students cultivate entrepreneurial skills. The Greenhouse Business Pre-Incubator facility provides ambitious students with an office space to explore their business idea.

New Designers 

We give final year students the opportunity to showcase their work at New Designers in London. They join with 4,000 other design graduates from around the UK at the show. New Designers brings the design industry together, helping to launch the careers of the attending design graduates. With more than 18,000 visitors throughout the duration of the exhibition there is a great opportunity to be discovered.

86% of exhibiting courses had graduates receive offers of work, placements or commissions.



The following are the minimum, up-to-date entry requirements.

You have to obtain your qualifications at the first sitting of examination.

Courses starting 2016

Advanced Entry (to Level 2)

Qualification Grade
SQA Advanced Higher BB (Advanced Higher) + BB (Higher) in different subjects
IB Diploma 34 points (including 6, 6, 5, at Higher level)
Essential Subjects Art and Design, or related subject (at SQA Advanced Higher, GCE A-Level, IB Higher Level), an appropriate literate subject (at SQA Advanced Higher, GCE A Level, IB Higher Level) and one other subject outside art & design subjects (at SQA Higher, GCE A Level, IB Higher Level).
EU & International Visit our EU and International webpages for entry requirements tailored to your home country"
Other Qualifications
SQA A recognised Foundation Course or a relevant HND with BB in the Graded Units
Scottish Baccalaureate Pass with BB at Advanced Higher
SWAP Access
EDEXCEL A recognised Foundation Course or a relevant BTEC Extended Diploma with DDM
Advanced Diploma Grade B with ASL A-levels in appropriate subjects at AB
Welsh Baccalaureate Pass with A-levels in appropriate subjects at AB
European Baccalaureate 75% overall with 7.5 in an Art & Design subject and 7.5 in a literate subject

There have been many changes to the arrangements for funding students entering higher education in recent years, yet a degree from the University of Dundee, with its high rate of employment success, remains a cost-effective option.

The fees you pay will depend on your fee status. Your fee status is determined by us using the information you provide on your application. Find out more about fee status.

Fee categoryFees for students starting 2016
Scottish and EU students £1,820 per year of study (for Sept 2015 entry). Fees for September 2016 will be confirmed by the Scottish Government in early 2016.
Rest of UK students £9,000 per year, for a maximum of 3 years, even if you are studying a four year degree. See our scholarships for rest of UK applicants.
Overseas students (non-EU) £12,950 per year of study. See our scholarships for international applicants.

Scottish and EU students can apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have tuition fees paid by the Scottish Government.

Rest of the UK students can apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of the tuition fees, from the Student Loans Company.

Tuition fees for Overseas (non-EU) students are guaranteed for the length of your course. This means that the tuition fee you pay in your first year (shown above) is the same fee you will pay for each year of your course. We guarantee that this will not increase while you are studying with us. The only exceptions to this are our MBChB Medicine, BSc Medical Sciences and BDS Dentistry degrees which charge a different tuition for the clinical years.

Students applying for Jewellery and Metal Design must successfully complete our 1 year Art and Design (General Foundation) course. In this instance you should apply using the UCAS code WW12.

Alternatively, if you have already completed a recognised foundation course or equivalent elsewhere then apply directly to Jewellery and Metal Design.

All applicants must submit a comprehensive portfolio of art and design work. The qualifications listed may be modified for an applicant presenting an exceptional portfolio.

Students are selected by assessing the contents of a portfolio of work that should convey a measure of creative, practical skill and intellectual/enthusiastic engagement in the practice of art and design.

Candidates should be passionate about a career in Jewellery and Metal Design. This dedication and enthusiasm for the subject is essential. We are looking for students who have an understanding and an appreciation for design and who are eager to learn new skills and develop their own personal creative voice.

Communication skills are important as students will have to contextualise their design ideas and discuss them with staff and their fellow peers. The portfolio of work presented continues to play a crucial role in determining a candidate's suitability for the course. We look for originality and evidence of creative thinking and exploration. It is not essential to have previous metalwork experience; we are looking for individuals who have an innovative approach to design and who can translate their ideas into a third dimension.

Candidates should not feel that they have to include evidence of any finished pieces in their folio. We are more interested in the design process than finished pieces at this stage. There should be a clear thought process, and evidence of research and development is essential. We are looking for design concepts that have potential for further development. Be selective about your folio and only include what you consider to be your best work.

Yes this is an option, our learning programme is very flexible and we endeavour to accommodate individual needs wherever possible.

Yes in exceptional circumstances this is possible depending on relevant qualifications and previous experience.

No, although our course is popular with girls, historically this has not always been the case. Ultimately we aim for a diverse cohort of students in each year group, boys and girls, school leavers and mature students, ethnic backgrounds etc

Places on the course are in great demand and you may have to apply several times before gaining entry.

There is both studio and workshop accommodation. Our workshop is the biggest in Scotland and it is where you will learn to create your designs. The workshop is also the space where the work you create also shapes your identity.

Traditional hand skills and workshop practice form the foundation for jewellery & metal design. These are continually renewed and refreshed through the inclusion of new technologies such as laser cutting and computer aided design and manufacture.

The flexibility that the course offers allows for a diverse range of career opportunities. The majority of our graduates aim to become self-employed designer makers or work in the jewellery industry but we also equip students with the skills they need to flourish in a variety of design related fields, such as exhibition curation, teaching, arts management and much more.

  Degree UCAS Code KIS Data
Apply NowJewellery and Metal Design BDes (Hons)W720