Year 3

This is an exciting and challenging year and an opportunity to take your work to new and innovative levels of production. It is a synthesis and culmination of your learning on the course. You have the opportunity to develop a personal collection of exhibitable works, which you will develop from an approved project proposal. The first term is the key time to research, plan, prepare, prototype and test your ideas, with critical support, prior to embarking on the double Unit: Major Project in terms two and three.

Your Dissertation / Critical Reflection Unit spans terms one and two and is divided into two sections: firstly – Dissertation and secondly – Critical Reflection.

Your Dissertation topic will be approved by the academic staff and you will be tutored and guided through your research and writing phases from first draft through to final submission, by your supervisor. The choice of subject should ideally follow your practice to create academic links between the two components of the syllabus. The Critical Reflection component relates directly to your own practice, which is contextualised with external reference points. This Unit also aligns with the works that you are producing for the Major Project.

The third year culminates with the UCA Degree Shows at the UCA Farnham Campus. We will have exhibition meetings prior to the degree show and information will be disseminated through your Course Reps. This is a showcase for your work with a Private View whereby family, friends and potential employers are able to view your work in context.

The RSN Degree proudly hosts an annual Awards Day, where students from all three years, family, friends and members of the RSN Council and sponsors are invited to this celebratory event. We invite a guest speaker and there are a number of Awards presented, all donated by City Livery Companies, Societies and Trusts.

New Designers at the Business Design Centre, Islington hosts the annual graduate showcase, an important part of the academic calendar. Having visited it in your first and second years you will be aware of the standard necessary to exhibit. New Designers attracts thousands of visitors each year. The RSN allows students who have successfully passed all Units to put a proposal forward for consideration for the event. Key works which fulfil the criteria and established standards of the event may be selected for this prestigious showcase to launch your career.

The following quote exemplifies the learning experiences gained from studying a specialist course.

Specialist courses offer immersion in a single material specialism as the basis for critical enquiry… However, we also believe that it is vital that the craft HE sector retains a critical mass of specialist teaching capacity delivering the levels of knowledge and skill that lead to success as a maker. It is imperative that students learn enough about techniques and materials, and develop a high enough level of skill, to support their development as materials-led practitioners capable of combining intellectual and practical innovation. Above all, students need a high quality learning experience which can spark the creative engagement with materials and processes needed to drive and sustain a career in making.
Rosy Greenlees, Executive Director, Crafts Council