Craft Practices

FdA Historic Craft Practices

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Duration: 2 academic years (each 36 weeks) full time

We are still accepting applications for all subjects for 2019 entry.

Acquire the skills to set up as an independent maker, or enhance your employment prospects.

This practice-led Foundation Degree encompasses making with the option to develop basic skills in conservation and repair. You will have the opportunity to develop meticulous craftsmanship skills, within a heritage crafts and conservation environment. Students specialise in:

Programme Aims


1. A context for the development of specialist craft skills in clocks, musical instruments, metalwork or furniture making

2. The opportunity to apply traditional craft techniques in the creation of new work and/or in the restoration of historic objects


1. An introduction to the historic development of craft practices in relation to culture and technology

2. A context for the development of understanding the meaning of craft and its continued relevance


1. A context for the development of a range of verbal, writing and visual skills appropriate for employment as a craftsperson

2. Opportunities to plan and implement projects to a professional standard

3. A context for the development of research and information skills relevant to professional practice as a craftsperson

The Learning Environment

  • Interdisciplinary environment
  • Low student: tutor ratio
  • Visits from specialists from the heritage and private sectors
  • Visits to museums and active links with heritage bodies

Find out more about student funding opportunities.


Shem Mackey MA

Programme Tutor - Musical Instruments

Shem Mackey is a founder member of the British Violin Making Association (BVMA) and founder editor of its newsletter. His research into instrument construction has been published in The Strad, Early Music and various publications of the BVMA and Viola da Gamba Society.

Dr Nicholas Pyall

Programme Co-ordinator FdA Historic Craft Practices

Nick specialises in instruments inspired by Viennese guitars of the early and mid-nineteenth century, including those with extra bass strings, and the mid-twentieth-century guitars of the North American 'golden era' of acoustic guitar making. In recent years his passion has led to him studying the instrument's development and societal history.

Malcolm Archer

Malcolm's extensive experience in private practice, as well as the heritage sector/museums, lies behind his in-depth understanding of the profession. He brings a comprehensive knowledge of traditional craft skills, theory and contextual history. He also has an interest in new and innovative ways of applying conservation to mechanical objects.

Norbert Gutowski

Subject Leader, Furniture & Related Objects

Associate Fellow of the HEA

Norbert is a furniture maker - conservator with almost two decades of tutoring experience, who has also worked extensively as a fine antique furniture conservator- restorer.

Tristram Bainbridge MA ACR

Tristram works as a contract furniture conservator at the V&A and in private practice. He has lectured in conservation at the City and Guilds of London and at Camberwell College of Art.

Grant McCaig

Grant McCaig is an internationally recognised Silversmith and educator. His work is in several major collections including National Museums of Scotland, the Goldsmiths' Company, Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery and Aberdeen Art Gallery. He has taught in Japan and Colombia, is a selector for Cockpit Arts and mentor for the Crafts Council.

How to apply

If you are interested in applying for this course or would like further information please contact admissions either by enquiring online or calling the number below. To make your application you will need to download and fill out our application form.