surface design hand painting ceramics

In this program, you explore clay, glazes and firing methods through working with low and high-fire materials and using gas and electric kilns. The program focuses primarily on studio production, critical discourse and self-reflection yet also permits ample time for experimentation including 3D computer-assisted design. As you progress, you learn to create clay bodies, calculate glazes using computer software and make plaster molds. In addition, you experiment with functional and sculptural forms while developing a personal aesthetic.

Through applied research, critical discourse and self-reflection, you engage in experimentation and creative problem solving. You learn about written and visual communications for artists and entrepreneurs, art history, drawing and 2D/3D design. You create a portfolio that celebrates the power of your imagination and can be used to launch your career in ceramics.

By the end of this program, you will have demonstrated the ability to create a personal body of work representing technical skill, aesthetic sensitivity and cultural awareness, and have the capacity to work within the creative economy.

Most students start with taking our Foundation Visual Arts Program (see Apply Now). If you already have a certificate in visual arts, have previous post-secondary experience or in the visual arts, you might be eligible for direct entry into this diploma program.


This 2-year studio-based diploma program introduces you to a full range of ceramic practices and can be achieved in 6 semesters of study from September to June.

Interested in finding out more?
Contact: The Registrar’s Office, toll free, 1-877-400-1107 or email nbccdrecruiting@gnb.ca

Curriculum Guide
Areas of Study
  • Throwing and Handbuilding
  • Ceramic Science
  • Designing for Production
  • Ceramic History
  • Wholesale and Retail Marketing
  • Firing Methods (Gas, Raku and Electric Kilns)
  • 3D Digital Design
  • Mould Making and Slip Casting
Course List

Fall 1

  • Throwing and Firing
  • Surface Decoration: Ceramic Materials
  • Mould Making and Slip Casting
  • Students Select 1
    • Directions in Drawing: Traditional and Contemporary
    • Life Drawing: Structure and Form
    • Watercolour: Exploring Water-Based Materials
    • Drawing: Time and Narrative
  • Computer-Aided Design: Ceramics I

Winter 1

  • Throwing Complex Forms
  • Ceramic Science
  • Surface Decoration: Tiles
  • Ceramic History and Materials Exploration: Prehistory to 1900
  • The Business of Craft: Practices and Opportunities

Spring 1

  • Production Studio

Fall 2

  • Production: Developing a Line
  • Teapots and Altered Vessels
  • Raku and Sculpture
  • Ceramic History and Materials Exploration: 1900 to the Present
  • The Business of Craft: Marketing and Sales

Winter 2

  • Designing Large Ceramic Forms
  • Off-Wheel Design
  • Surface Decoration: Advanced Applications
  • Students Select 1
    • Designing Bodies
    • Computer-Aided Design: Ceramics II
    • Painting in Acrylics
    • Imagery, Sources and Development
    • Book Art Design
    • Art for Social Change
  • Marketing and Online Promotion: Craft

Spring 2

  • Students Select 1
    • Senior Practicum
    • Senior Project
Career Possibilities

With an entrepreneurial focus, this program prepares you to establish your own small business, be employed or continue in the Advanced Studio Practice Program at NBCCD or at other leading institutions in Canada and beyond.

Professional opportunities upon graduation include:

  • Contemporary Studio Potter
  • Ceramic Designer
  • Artisan, Craftsperson or Other Visual Artist
  • Entrepreneur/Business Owner
Admission Requirements
  • $50 Application Fee (1)
  • An official transcript of marks indicating Certificate – Foundation Visual Arts (FVA) from NBCCD OR
    • An official transcript of marks indicating at least 1 year post-secondary education
    • OR equivalent experience (2)
  • Portfolio Submission
  • Interview

(1) The $50 application fee is in Canadian dollars, applies to Canadian citizens and Permanent Residents and is non-refundable and subject to change without notice. International applicants pay a $100 Canadian application fee. See International Students for more information.

(2) Equivalent experience is determined by the College assessing your combination of learning and experience through recognition of prior learning. If you are 21 years of age and have past experience, you may be assessed as a Mature Applicant.

The College may contact you for an interview, it is important to consider why you want to study with us and your future goals.

Portfolio Requirements

Direct Entry Portfolio Requirements

To ensure that you are well-prepared to bypass the Foundation Visual Arts Program (FVA) and enter directly into an NBCCD Diploma Program, we need to assess your abilities and knowledge of the foundations of visual art. Please read Direct Entry Requirements for full instructions.

All exercises must be original and created within the last 6 months. Your examples must be presented digitally and saved in either JPEG or PDF format at 150 dpi on a USB memory stick. Please be sure to carefully label your jump drive with your name and contact information. If you would like your memory stick to be returned, please provide a self-addressed envelope.

You may instead choose to submit your portfolio digitally by attaching your files to an email. Please do not send your files through Google Drive or any other file sharing program. If your submission size exceeds 9mb, please split your portfolio into multiple emails, all containing your name and contact information.

Please mail or drop off your jump drive or submit files electronically to:

New Brunswick College of Craft and Design
457 Queen Street
Fredericton, NB E3B 5H1



  • CV/Resume
  • Letter of Intent
  • Three Observational Drawings
  • Three 2D Design Exercises
  • Two 3D Design Exercises
  • Three Colour Theory Exercises
  • Compare & Contrast Essay
  • Image List


Apply Now

Go to the Admission Requirements to start the application process. This page will also provide more details and info on where to mail your transcript of marks, cash, cheques and/or money order.


Maria Guevara, Maru Pottery, Diploma in Ceramics, 2013, Winner, Heather Stone, Emerging Artist, Atlantic Craft Tradeshow.

Jun 1

Student Loans: Check your Provincial/Territorial Student Financial Assistance Website for Details on When/How to Apply for Next Year's Funding

Jun 5

Spring Term Ends

Jun 11

Return College Property/Clean out Lockers

Jun 12


New Brunswick College of Craft & Design

Visit Our Campus

The best way to find out if NBCCD is the place for you is to visit our campus for a guided tour. During your tour, you will have the opportunity to chat with instructors, meet current students, see student work and observe in-class demos. Tours are available Mondays and Tuesdays. Contact us at nbccdrecruiting@gnb.ca to schedule your tour today!

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