Reasons to choose the programme

You will study in an exciting, studio-based environment in a small and friendly department with a big international reputation.
We combine material and technical innovation with traditional craft techniques and concepts, enabling you to create boundary-challenging work in a broad variety of materials.
Unique to other craft and design courses in J&S, all four years of the programme incorporate life drawing, painting and printing elements.
Our programme is a stepping stone to events such as New Designers, London, and other international showcases.
You will graduate with the skills to establish your own business, work as an artist in residence, practice within industry or go on to further study.


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.  They 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 the students to develop their own creative voice through translating visual research into 3D forms.  


    Many of our graduates go on to establish their own studio business straight away, while others spend a year as an artist in residence on one of the many professional business development schemes available, are recruited into design companies, or pursue further study, including on our MFA programme.

    How to apply and entrance requirements

    If you'd like to study on an undergraduate programme at Edinburgh College of Art, you must apply through UCAS, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service. You can find out how to do this on the University of Edinburgh Degree Finder, 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

    Take me to the University of Edinburgh Degree Finder


    If you have any questions about the application process, your qualifications or deadlines, our Undergraduate Admissions Office will be happy to help you.

    Email the Undergraduate Admissions Office:


    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? 


    What happens next?

    We will contact you with our decision by mid-May. If you are made an offer, you will be invited to attend an Offer Holder Day.

    Offer Holder Days typically take place in April and are opportunities for successful applicants to learn more about their subject areas and life as a student at Edinburgh College of Art and the University of Edinburgh. Whether you visit us in person or attend a virtual Offer Holder Day, you will have the opportunity to meet with academic staff and current students from your programme, tour the studios and other facilities and attend general information sessions.

    Alumni profiles


    Jennifer Gray

    Lecturer, School of Design

    Programme Director of Jewellery and Silversmithing


    Tel: +44 (0) 131 651 5805

    Facilities and resources

    The jewellery and silversmithing workshops at Edinburgh College of Art are equipped to support students through all of the stages of their small- to medium-sized jewellery and silversmithing projects.

    Students at the University of Edinburgh have access to a range of library resources across the campus and online.

    The printmaking suite provides a host of facilities for traditional and contemporary printmaking processes.

    These facilities are provided for both cold and hot casting processes, allowing you to work on small as well as large-scale pieces.

    Edinburgh College of Art has well-equipped glass workshops for the blowing, cutting and casting of glass objects. The space includes hot and cold glass workshops and a plaster room.


    College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences Undergraduate Admissions Office

    Tel: +44 (0)131 650 3565