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A silver bowl being held, with a shiny surface on the inside Work by Louisa Katherine Thomson

Jewellery & Silversmithing - BA (Hons)

BA (Hons)


4 years
Study abroad


This programme is for curious, independent and creative individuals who like to experiment with materials. You will like drawing, making and interacting with different materials and you’ll have a passion for the ‘making’ subjects in school. 

For now, you don’t need to know how to construct in metal with any sophistication including soldering and advanced silversmithing skills as we’ll teach you this.  We just want to see creative potential in your application, you will learn the rest with us here. 

Our exciting, practical, studio-based programme teaches you to design thoughtful, fresh and exuberant work demonstrating originality and innovation. The department is small and friendly with a big international reputation as one of the UK’s leading programmes in the field. We incorporate a multitude of visual research methods such as drawing, painting and printing elements as a foundation for successful creative practice at all levels.   

We will teach you to work with, and explore the use of, a broad variety of materials, including precious metal, plastic, textile, enamel and stone. We have a reputation for maintaining a high standard of hand skills and original design work, with a commitment to helping you to develop a clear and original creative voice through your drawing and making.  

The department philosophy encourages a wide range of approaches, from the traditional Gold and Silversmiths’ trade, to the contemporary influences of art, craft, design, product, fashion, technology and science.    

We have old and new approaches to traditional craft techniques with innovation, exploration and cross-disciplinary collaboration.  The objective is to design critically informed work that integrates ‘thought’ and ‘practice’ to contribute towards the ever-evolving creative industries within and outwith the discipline.  We enable students to design and create personal, individual pieces of work that push the boundaries of the subject.   

The department is fundamentally concerned with instilling knowledge of materials and making practices.  They use materials experimentally; they express ideas through materials and seek out new ways to apply them.  

Staff do not encourage a department ‘style’, but rather challenge our students to develop their own creative voice through translating visual research into 3D forms.


Professional practice is taught throughout all year groups of the programme to ensure that our students graduate with confidence and full understanding of where they fit into the industry, or how they can carve out their own direction as an independent creative practitioner, fine Gold or Silversmith, a designer of accessories for the fashion industry, a designer of homewares etc.  

Some graduates go on to undertake teacher training or Post Graduate and Doctoral studies and have career in academia.  The skills taught on this course are very transferable allowing a graduate to work in a completely different branch of the creative industries.

Why you should choose this programme


The Programme will prepare you for working in the Design and Making Industry.


Students are taught practical and design skills in a creative studio environment with around the clock access to dedicated/specialist workspaces to make work with any materials.


The programme has strong links with industry and undertakes live industry linked projects/competitions/internships with well-known brands and manufacturers.


This programme will support you to develop your own creative voice and identity.


Our staff are highly respected in their varied fields, and all have active practices with finger on the pulse knowledge of the industry.


Amongst the many opportunities we offer our student on our programme, we have an industry linked work-based placement opportunity which is available to apply for in year 3 of studies.  The students are paid to work in a UK-leading luxury Jewellery/Silversmithing Workshop for the entirety of semester 2.   

Every year we work alongside an industry manufacturer to provide students with the experience of communicating/working with industry as well as having parts of their work produced. 

We have regular public exhibitions in the run up to the final year degree show.  

We take our final year degree show to London to showcase at New Designers, a trade show that attracts industry professionals offering opportunities including employment.

Widening Participation

ECA works with the University of Edinburgh Widening Participation (WP) team.

Widening Participation for undergraduates at the University of Edinburgh

Find out about Access to Creative Education in Scotland (ACES), a Widening Participation programme for eligible S4 to S6 students at state secondary schools in the south-east of Scotland.

ACES website

How to apply & entry requirements

If you'd like to study on an undergraduate programme at Edinburgh College of Art, you must apply through UCAS. You can find out how to do this on the University of Edinburgh website, where you'll also be able to: 

  • See the structure of the programme and what you will study each year
  • See detailed entrance requirements for each programme on the Degree Finder
  • Get information on what to expect after you apply
  • Find out about fees
  • Find out where to go for further advice and guidance.

Application process

Applicants will be asked to submit a digital portfolio to provide evidence of artistic aptitude and potential, this will form an important part of the selection process. You should begin to plan your portfolio as soon as you decide to apply.

We are looking for individual creative potential.  We want to see your own unique perspective on what inspires you alongside drawing in all forms and your ability to translate ideas through a design process and/or 3D sketches into a more resolved 3D piece of work.  This can be in any material.  We would prefer you not to include images of basic soldering/metal work etc. as this will be taught on the programme.  We are most interested in understanding your creative potential, and your creative process.

Alongside the digital portfolio, please include a film of you leafing through a sketchbook and drawings so we can get a better idea of your creative process.

Your portfolio will be reviewed in relation to the following areas of criteria: 

1. Enquiry and Visual Research 

  • What have you looked at? 
  • How have you examined your chosen subjects and why? 

2. Idea Development and Material/Technical Exploration  

  • What materials, ideas and techniques have you experimented with and how? 

3. Critical Judgement. Selection and Resolution 

  • Can you demonstrate an ability to self-edit and curate a coherent selection of works for this portfolio? 

4. Contextual/Professional Awareness 

  • What kinds of philosophical and professional awareness does your portfolio communicate to the assessors?
Portfolio advice video

Design portfolio guidance

Join Interior Design lecturer Gillian Treacy who will talk you through how to put together a competitive portfolio for our Design programmes, and what our academics look for when assessing your work.

Get in touch

College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences Undergraduate Admissions Office
+44 (0)131 650 3565

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