Silversmithing & Jewellery

Key Facts


Programme Overview

How to Apply

Institution Name: GSA
Institution Code: G43
UCAS Code: W721


BA (Hons) Silversmithing and Jewellery Design. All GSA degree programmes are validated by the University of Glasgow. Established in 1451, the University of Glasgow is a member of the prestigious Russell Group of leading UK research universities and a founder member of Universitas 21, an international grouping of universities dedicated to setting worldwide standards for higher education.

Glasgow Clyde College Associate Student Scheme
This programme participates in the scheme supporting year 2 entry to selected programmes at the GSA - find out more here.

Range of technical processes such as hammer work, forging, precision casting, etching, spinning and other lathe work, milling, pressing and stamping, chasing and repoussage, enamelling, stone-setting, anodising, chemical colouring, finishing, CAD design, rapid prototyping, rendering applications and laser welding. Opportunity to work in various materials including hand-made paper, latex rubber, magnets, felt, plastics, photo-laminate film, woods, glass, concrete and stone as well as the more usual precious metals.

Indicative Additional Costs
Individual departments levy material fees as indicated on this page. You should budget for each year of your programme of study and should allow for costs over and above your fees and maintenance, particularly if expensive materials or projects are chosen.

Costs differ depending on the year of study, but the department charges a fixed workshop fee each term to help budget for these imbalances. Additional costs will be incurred for the one-off purchase of tools, and for study trips or workshops.

Graduate Destinations
Successful designers and makers and in demand in the retail side of the industry. Others have explored individual career paths including model-making, environmental metalworking, running a sculptural bronze foundry, or directing a craft programmes. Graduates are eligible for PG teacher training or specialist Masters level study. Recent graduate destinations including Eric N Smith Jewellers, Boodle and Dunthorne, 
Asprey's, Paul Spurgeon Jewellery, Tateossian, RCA. 

Head of Department
Anna Gordon

Marianne Anderson
Andrew Lamb
Michael Pell
Silvia Weidenbach



Programme Overview

Our reasons for decorating the body are wide-ranging and complex and the wearing of jewellery (shell beads) is the earliest recorded form of modern human behaviour, dating back over 100,000 years. Historically, people have expressed themselves through relatively superficial body adornment to extremely sophisticated symbols as a means of communicating the concept of position, rank, status, etc.

Contemporary studio jewellers continue to challenge perceived boundaries and use the artefact as a way of defining a personal response to social and cultural issues such as gender, relationships politics, and the environment. Similarly, silversmiths explore this interaction between fine metalworking and ideas, through the vehicle of the functional domestic object.

The department embraces this diversity through informed debate and discussion. It encourages students to develop a personal approach to the research and development of lively design solutions together with a knowledge of traditional and cutting edge technology and skill acquisition.

Whether they intend to enter the broad based jewellery and silverware industries, pursue personal expression through the gallery market or continue in academia, students will develop their skills in a supportive and confident Department.

The Silversmithing and Jewellery programme aims to provide a broad, balanced programme covering aspects of body adornment and fine metalworking from the development of original design concepts through to the finely crafted finished work. The course embraces as broad an approach to silversmithing and jewellery as possible, from designing for the mainstream jewellery or silverware industries to the pursuit of very personal works intended for gallery exposure.

A strong emphasis is placed on the development of individual craft and design skills that increasingly allow each student the freedom to pursue and realise ideas in appropriate media. Consequently, we actively encourage exploration of a wide range of materials through project work. The course centres its basic technical studies, however, in the area of fine metalworking, providing students with the experience of working in gold and silver as well as other metals.

The staff of the department, as practising designer/makers/researchers, continually review new developments in the field, evaluate the place of silversmithing and jewellery in changing international cultural environments, and respond to technological advances in design and manufacture. The programme is supported by guest lectures, field trips, professional practice workshops, live projects, themed department exhibitions, and seminar/study groups. 

Design History and Theory

An element of the programme is delivered by the department of Design History and Theory. For most of the four years of undergraduate programmes in design, one day per week of the student timetable is allocated to Design History and Theory. It is an externally linked critical mass of diverse research expertise in broad-based critical studies for contemporary creative practices in design. More information on the department and staff profiles can be found here.

The First Year Experience
The First Year Experience is a new course for all first year student at The Glasgow School of Art, across the Schools of Architecture, Fine Art, Design, Innovation and Simulation & Visualisation.

The course seeks to ensure creative collaboration is at the heart of learning, simultaneously strengthening disciplinary practices and inspiring radical forms of interdisciplinarity. New first year students to GSA will experience the integration of research, practice, and theory through the course, which will  foster transitions into disciplinary expertise through exposure to the wider creative context in which their chosen department and school belongs.

Design Domain
Design Domain is a 20-credit course for all Year 2 and Year 3 students in Fashion, Textiles, Communication Design, Interior Design, Interaction Design, and Silversmithing & Jewellery.

During Design Domain, you explore your design process by relating it to ideas and practice within your own design subject discipline and to ideas and practice beyond your own discipline in the wider ‘domain’ of design, including the cross-disciplinary cultural ideas and critical thinking that inform it.

Each year, Design Domain is given an overall theme, and there are four related sub-themes, with useful key words. These themes are designed to be thought provoking and open.