Postgraduate study

Glass MFA

Awards: MFA

Study modes: Full-time

Funding opportunities

Programme website: Glass

COVID-19

We are committed to offering a high-quality experience to all our students. We are working to minimise the impact of COVID-19, but we have reluctantly decided that we will be unable to offer this programme for entry in 2020.

We anticipate that this degree will be available again for entry in September 2021, but we are not currently in the position to confirm that. Applications for the next intake usually open in October.

You may instead be interested in the alternative MA (eca) Design for Change programme.

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Glass is a medium that crosses a range of disciplines and is used by artists, craftspeople and designers alike. This award-winning programme explores glass as a design tool that encourages process-led risk and play, in parallel with the prototyping and resolution of designed objects.

Courses cover contemporary design issues including material narratives, interdisciplinary crossover and post-digital practices, as well as studio and client-based projects. You will focus on the materiality of glass, explore new boundaries through the integrated relationship between process and theory, and be encouraged to position yourself within and beyond the disciplines of glass.

This programme is unique in Scotland and ECA is one of the few centres of excellence in this discipline in the UK. Comprehensive glass and plaster workshops are complemented by state-of-the-art digital fabrication labs, woodwork, metalwork and bronze foundry, enabling you to experience the complete design journey from conception to the production of glass at the highest level.

You will benefit from visiting professional practitioners and lecturers and will have the opportunity to participate in live projects and competitions. The curriculum combines programme and student-led activity, delivered through workshops, group seminars and individual tutorials.

You will negotiate and develop a programme of study based on personal areas of practice-based research. We foster interdisciplinary collaboration with other departments creating a unique student experience and rich opportunities for learning.

This programme combines directed and self-directed practice-based studio projects with theoretical and written studies, including professional practice elements to prepare you for employment in the industry, and a lecture/seminar series to examine the wider context of your studies.

The programme focuses on providing the tools of craft and design through comprehensive professional practice workshops, focused on the specific requirements of the designer-maker. You will produce a body of practical and written work on an agreed, self-initiated project.

As a graduate you will discover a diverse range of career opportunities. Alumni have worked within the production of individual designed objects, as lead designers within industry, as gallery representation, on commissioned major public artworks, and in teaching and leading positions within creative practices.

A UK 2:1 honours degree or its international equivalent.

You must submit a portfolio as part of your application. Your portfolio should:

  • demonstrate your ambition and individual creative language
  • clearly present your research concepts and demonstrate originality of self-initiated ideas
  • demonstrate your awareness of the contemporary glass field
  • include evidence of your design processes, for example, images of work in process, material exploration, video of techniques, annotated sketch books, iterative design process
  • include evidence of your professional design practice, for example, portfolio, website, professional networks, exhibitions and workshops

If you do not meet the academic entry requirements, we may still consider your application on the basis of your portfolio and/or relevant professional experience.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

For 2020 entry we accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified*:

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.0 in each module)

  • TOEFL-iBT (including Special Home Edition): total 100 (at least 20 in each module). We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements

  • PTE Academic: total 67 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)

  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 169 in each module)

  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

For 2021 entry we will accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified*:

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.0 in each module)

  • TOEFL-iBT (including Special Home Edition): total 100 (at least 20 in each module). We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements

  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 169 in each module)

  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

*(Revised 21 February 2020 to remove PTE Academic from 2021 entry requirements. Revised 21 April 2020 to include TOEFL-iBT Special Home Edition in 2020 and 2021 entry requirements.)

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

Find out more about our language requirements:

Read our general information on tuition fees and studying costs:

Featured funding

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments. The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on your programme, the duration of your studies, and your residency status. (Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.)

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Postgraduate Admissions Office
  • College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
  • 57 George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9JU

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible.

You must submit a portfolio as part of your application. You won't be able to submit your portfolio immediately, but you'll receive an email prompt within a few days of submitting your application that will explain how to upload your portfolio.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Postgraduate Admissions Office
  • College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
  • 57 George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9JU