Jewellery and Metal Design BDes (Hons)

  • For Entry: September
  • UCAS Code: W720
  • Duration: 3 years
  • College: Art, Science & Engineering
  • School: Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design

The Jewellery & Metal Design course at Duncan of Jordanstone aims to provide an intellectual and creative stimulus which encourages debate concerning aspects of perception and aesthetics; to create an awareness of the social and historical context of jewellery and metal design; to encourage innovation and excellence.

Why study Jewellery and Metal Design at Dundee?

Jewellery designers are the creators of a universal symbolic language that expresses identity, difference, distinctiveness and shared values. As such it fuses together art, science, fashion, politics, culture and technology.

Studying jewellery & metal design at Dundee begins with material based exploration - learning the characteristics and qualities of a range of materials e.g. wood, metal, plastics etc. Traditional hand techniques and new technologies such as electroforming, laser cutting, and digital processes including rapid prototyping are thoughtfully integrated. Critical thinking and debate is encouraged, creating a dynamic and vibrant environment in which to generate new ideas and material processes. You are encouraged to think about your ideas and ways of working in order to push the boundaries of the discipline. Consequently jewellery and metal design is often not worn on the body, and does not have to be made of metal!

In addition to creating work for sale within the contemporary craft gallery our graduates are also creating new markets and arenas for the knowledge and skills they have developed, for example in healthcare (medical alert jewellery) and forensics (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.

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

  • confidently and creatively 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

New Designers

Final year students are given the opportunity to showcase their work at New Designers in London along with over 4,000 other design graduates from around the UK.

New Designers brings the design industry together, helping to launch the careers of the attending design graduates. With over 18,000 visitor 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.

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

For examples of student work, staff profiles, and news from Jewellery & Metal Design, 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

Student Blogs

Some of our current students write blogs which explain what they are studying, and show images from the course:

Sarah Finnigan uses her blog to display some stunning images of her project work.

Catherine McLaughlin's work is very contemporary and she finds inspiration from things such as claws, fish fins, teeth, fire and paper models.

You can read more blogs on our 'what they say' webpage.

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

Enterprise/Freelance

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.

The following are the minimum requirements, please note qualifications have to be obtained at the first sitting of examinations.

Please note that the entry requirements in our printed prospectus may be subject to change. The entry requirements listed below are up to date and should be referred to in case of any discrepancy.

Courses starting September 2015

Advanced Entry (to Level 2)

Qualification Grade
SQA Advanced Higher BB (Advanced Higher) + BB (Higher) in different subjects
GCE A-Level ABB
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 Applicants with alternative overseas qualifications should visit the relevant country page on our International website.
Other Qualifications
SQA A recognised Foundation Course or a relevant HND with BB in the Graded Units
Scottish Baccalaureate Pass with BB at AH
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, in most cases, depend on your current country of residence.

The fee shown is annual, and may be subject to an increase each year.

Fee categoryFees for students starting September 2015
Scottish students £1,820 per year of study (for Sept 2014 entry). Fees for September 2015 will be confirmed by the Scottish Government in early 2015.
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.
EU students £1,820 per year of study (for Sept 2014 entry). Fees for September 2015 will be confirmed by the Scottish Government in early 2015.
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 Loan Company.

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.

Please apply via UCAS