Saturday 15 June 2013
This is one of the most respected jewellery courses in the UK, offering the freedom to let your inspiration guide you within a unique location in which to absorb the creative flair and business sense of some of the industry's most entrepreneurial players in Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter. Its diverse approach to the subject encourages students to develop their own personal philosophy, and final collections span the breadth of the discipline of Jewellery and Silversmithing, often relating to broader art and design disciplines such as fashion, accessories, theatre, product design and fine art.
This is a design-based course which gives you the opportunity to be creative and experimental within the jewellery and silversmithing design process, enabling you to design and make highly innovative, contemporary and thought provoking work/object/products.
Primarily you will learn through a practical 'hands on' learning experience called 'Experiential Learning'. This means you will be learning by 'doing' and designing via making. A great emphasis is placed on experimenting with a variety of materials, processes and techniques which enables you to actively engage with and solve three-dimensional problems.
A questioning attitude to concepts and outcomes is encouraged. Being open minded will help you to embrace the course philosophy and aims, as studies are intended to stretch and challenge your perception of the subject area, enabling you to develop practical skills alongside intellectual engagement.
The course is design-led and aims to balance your design, thinking and making skills. We believe the development and refinement of your craft skills are actively developed in tandem with your design skills. You will be introduced to key skills and are encouraged to translate and respond to a variety of design briefs. This approach means you decide on what techniques, materials and process you wish to explore and therefore you become a specialist in the area of work you wish to pursue. This ultimately means when you graduate you have your own personal methods and ways of working and your own individual style.
You also develop two-dimensional design skills to enable you to clearly think through your ideas and to communicate these to a wider audience. This practical approached is strongly underpinned by theory and research into the field and its related disciplines. Our contextual studies modules enable you to gain awareness and knowledge of the field, alongside helping you to develop your intellectual thinking and academic skills.
A variety of learning and teaching methods are employed on your course, such as workshop activities, demonstration and practice, lectures, seminars, critiques, team work, presentations, module briefings, tutorials with staff and Artist in residence, Online learning, self-directed study, study visits, and one-day projects.
Emphasis is placed on self-discovery; for that reason, self-directed study plays a significant role and a motivating attitude and enquiring mind is necessary to be successful. Furthermore, your individuality is encouraged through the development of your own personal philosophy and direction.
- One of the most respected creative courses in the country – no ’house style’, no rigid templates, just pursuit of innovation.
- As far as the jewellery industry is concerned, you could hardly be better placed to examine every facet.
- Plan your own final year project to design, develop and launch a new product range, either with a company or as an emerging designer/maker.
- There is the chance to design, develop and launch your own highly innovative, contemporary and thought provoking products.
- Near to the Jewellery Industry Innovation Centre (JIIC) – outstandingly equipped, with an international reputation for its ‘concept-to-prototype’ approach to new product development.
- "The course approaches design in a way that allows your work to be completely unique. You’re encouraged to be a problem solver, an attribute which can be applied in designing and beyond. The independence in thought and skill allows for innovative and exciting products at the end of each academic year." Abby Wainman, Graduate
Why Choose Us?
- Our School of Jewellery is Europe’s largest institution for training and education across this specialisation.
- A unique and prestigious learning environment - founded in 1890, the internationally-renowned School of Jewellery is the largest school of its kind in Europe.
- Based in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, where an estimated 40% of jewellery is made in Britain today – giving premium exposure to industry practice.
- Located near to the Jewellery Industry Innovation Centre (JIIC) – internationally known for its ‘concept-to-prototype’ approach to new product development.
- Strong and well-established links with national industry, including companies such as Cartier, London; and Georg Jensen, Denmark.
Download the Course Programme Specification
A good portfolio, plus one of the following:
- 280 tariff points
- BTEC National Diploma overall grade DMM
- Level 3 Diploma in Foundation Studies (Art and Design) with merit or distinction in the final stage
- International Baccalaureate with 28 points
- Equivalent qualifications or experience
Don't meet the entry requirements for this course?
Have you considered our Foundation Diploma in Art and Design in preparation for studying at degree level?
We run one of the best courses of its kind in the country, helping you be more informed, confident and effective in your study.
The Foundation Diploma gives you a wide-ranging introduction to Art and Design, leading to pathway specific projects relevant to your chosen area of study.
Successful completion could enable you to progress to one of our Undergraduate courses.
UCAS Code: W239
Search for this course on UCAS.
The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.
UK, EU and international students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.
You submit an application via the UCAS website with a list of up to five courses. All choices are confidential during the application process so universities and colleges considering an application cannot see your other choices. Applications must be completed by mid-January of the year that you wish to start university.
You can monitor the progress of your application using the UCAS Apply system.
Fees and Finance
Fees for students from the UK or EU countries?
|Sep 2013||FT||3 years||BA (Hons)||£9,000 per year|
Fees for students from non-EU countries?
|Sep 2013||FT||3 years||BA (Hons)||£10,100 per year|
The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.
You may need to purchase materials, small hand tools and pay for professional fees, where appropriate.
BIAD Loyalty Bursary 2013/14
For BIAD students studying BTEC Level 3 Foundation Diploma in Art & Design
Birmingham Institute of Art and Design is offering a loyalty bursary of £500 to students currently studying on the BTEC Level 3 Foundation Diploma in Art & Design who progress to a BIAD undergraduate programme.
The bursary payment will be made on successful completion of 120 credits at Level 4 of the chosen undergraduate programme and is for Level 4 studies only.
It is in addition to any grant / tuition fee funding that you may receive from Student Finance England.
All applicants must meet the criteria set out below:
1. You must have studied and been awarded a BTEC Level 3 Foundation Diploma in Art & Design from Birmingham City University.
2. You must be progressing without interruption directly from the Foundation Diploma in Art & Design to a BIAD undergraduate programme.
3. You must have a Home or EU fee status.
4. You must have successfully completed 120 Level 4 credits on the BIAD undergraduate programme.
5. If you withdraw from or interrupt your studies on the undergraduate programme you will not be eligible for the bursary.
6. The loyalty bursary is not available to students entering any part-time undergraduate programmes in BIAD.
This loyalty bursary will be reviewed each year and can be withdrawn by the Faculty at any point in time.
For further details please contact our Admissions team on +44(0)121 331 5150
Financial Options and Advice
We have deliberately tried to set fees that reflect the cost of course delivery in order to help our students avoid debt.
Full-time students won't have to pay for tuition fees until after their studies - there are government tuition fee loans available. If you are a full-time student, after leaving university you will start to pay back your loan once you are earning over £21,000 a year, at a rate of nine per cent on any income above £21,000. So if you were earning £25,000, you would pay back nine per cent of £4,000, or £30 per month.
Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis offers key facts on fees, loans and grants:
We offer further information on possible financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.
University Approach to Employability
Expertly woven into our curriculum and work experience opportunities, and underpinned by a diligent approach to career preparation and the close involvement of professional bodies, the University views employment as one of the principal rewards for a student's ambition, application and academic achievement. It's why the University is one of the country's top 30 universities* for placing students in graduate-level employment.
Our close links with business and the professions mean that our courses are always relevant, up-to-date and meet the exact needs of the current marketplace. Wherever possible, we involve employers in planning the curriculum, while many of our lecturers come from and maintain their links with industry, ensuring they are up to speed with the latest developments.
Employability will be an integral outcome of your studies.
* Sunday Times University Guide 2012
Career opportunities exist within the creative industries including artist-jeweller and designer-maker. Our aduates are gaining international recognition through exhibitions and awards. Alternatively there is an opportunity within the School to progress your study to Master's research level.
Throughout the course there is a strong emphasis on the development of transferable and employability skills. These include skills such as problem solving, clearly communicating and presenting your ideas, working as part of a team, managing your time effectively, developing your personal opinions, critically evaluating your work, plus many more. There are many opportunities to practice these during the course as we feel they are important life skills to utilise upon graduation.
Your future employability and forthcoming careers are important to us, we make sure that this is embedded into your course and that there are many opportunities for you to consider this during your studies. Each level has a key module which addresses aspects of professional practice and potential employability. We aim to help you to understand the breadth of the field and related possibilities to help you determine the direction you wish to take upon graduation.
The course is aimed at students who wish to follow a career as designer makers. This is summed up as:
“The term ‘studio jeweller’ means jewellery produced by individual’s, working in their own studio, usually alone, at most with one or two assistants, who deliberately control every aspect of producing a piece of jewellery from original idea to finish piece” Amanda Game, Elizabeth Goring Jewellery Moves.
However, this is not the sole career path, and if you look at our graduates' success you will see that their careers span the breadth of the discipline. Our graduates are able to utilise their design skills across many aspects of the field, and related art and design practices. Some work as designers, others as makers, others as designer makers, some work in retail, some in the trade, some progress to further studies, some to MA courses, some to train as teachers, and some apply to other business start-up programmes such as Design Space and Bishoplands.
For further information on courses Tel: +44(0)121 331 5595 or go direct to the courses section of the website.
About KIS data
From September 2012, all universities and colleges are publishing standardised information for all undergraduate courses in the form of a Key Information Set (KIS). The KIS data is designed to meet the needs of prospective students and allow for informed decision-making when choosing a university course.
Putting our students first
We pride ourselves on our student satisfaction levels which have risen from 73 per cent to 83 per cent between 2010 and 2012. Our dedication to improving the student experience is illustrated by our award-winning student engagement, our close links with business and industry and our £180 million investment in new facilities.
90.8% of leavers from the School of Jewellery who responded to our survey went into employment (and/or further study), initially earning an average full-time wage of £18,100. Employers hiring graduates from the School include Cartier and Goldsmiths, offering positions such as watchmaker and diamond specialist.
Working with your Students’ Union
Improving student satisfaction is a priority commitment shared by both Birmingham City University and its Students’ Union. In its strategic planning, the Union has pledged to be more accessible, more relevant and provide more opportunity to engage with a diverse student community.
The Students’ Union is already a key stakeholder in supporting an excellent teaching experience at Birmingham City University, through joint projects such as the Extra Mile Teaching Awards and the Student Rep scheme, which allows students to share their ideas on how they are taught.
As Birmingham City University moves towards a two campus strategy where it can better support enhanced learning and student support facilities across a two-mile radius, the Students’ Union will also be better able to implement its commitment to improve communication and engage with its valued student membership.
Level 4 (Year 1) introduces you to many aspects of the discipline. You will be introduced to a variety of techniques, design approaches and methods of working, and will gain knowledge and understanding of the field. You will be asked to question “What is jewellery and silversmithing?” and will utilise your new design and craft skills in response to a variety of design briefs. Modules include Introduction to Specialisation, Design for Production, Contextual Study 1 and Live Project.
What is Jewellery and Silversmithing? First year work from 2011 challenge traditional conventions of the discipline:
Photographs of work achieved during Term 2 for the Design for Production module which introduces production techniques and the idea of designing a collection of work.
During term 3 you will participate in our Live Project module. This introduces aspects of professional practice and possible career directions.
Please visit the following links to see some of our collaborations:
Birmingham Children's Hospital Heart Appeal (images courtesy of Birmingham Children's Hospital)
Jacob Kimmie (images courtesy of Jacob Kimmie)
The Furies (images courtesy of Kindle, Furies, Forest Fringe, Alex Brenner)
Watch this Space (images courtesy of Watch This Space)
Level 5 (Year 2) This year broadens and develops your learning. Employability and transferable skills are at the forefront of our Entrepreneurial Design module, which introduces aspects of setting up a business as a designer maker. Students form a company to sell their products to the public for Christmas time. This module gives you the opportunity to experience the many different skills required for launching a business. Each student designs and makes a collection of work alongside playing a vital role within the company. These range across fundraising, finding venues to sell, developing a brand, accounts, pricing, publicity, stock control etc.
For further information please visit the following links:
‘Obscura’s Opening Night- An Intriguing Success!’
Aura 34 2009
Other modules include Contextual Design, Personal Development 1, Professional Experience and Contextual Study 2.
Level 6 (Year 3) This year consolidates and synthesises your learning experience with particular emphasis on developing your own visual identity and personal approach. You develop your own personal brief which then acts as a guide to your experimental enquiry. This enables you to make decisions, decide the area you wish to pursue, and the materials and process you wish to investigate. Self-discovery and developing transferable skills such as independence, self-reliance, self-motivation, critical evaluation and problem solving - all help you to develop the necessary life skills you will need to start your career upon graduation.
Modules include Personal Development 2, Final Essay, Professional Practice and Personal Development 3.
The course concludes with you designing and making your own final collection for exhibition at our graduate exhibition.
Graduate work 2011:
Graduate Show 2011
Graduates at New Designers, Business Design Centre, London
Our Creative Community
We like to celebrate our creative community. Please follow the links below for more information about past events, social activities and secret projects:
BA Banquet, February 2011
BA Banquet, November 2010
Good Enough to Eat, Secret Project- May 2011
Cheers! Secret Project, May 2010
Connections- Secret Project, September 2010
What is a Spoon? Secret Project, February 2010
Eggtravaganza! March, 2010
Brilliantly Birmingham, 2009
Bijoux Bionyx, 2008
Brummie Barumba, 2007
The BA (Hons) Jewellery and Silversmithing team are all active practioners and between them they have a diverse range of expertise across the discipline and regularly exhibit their work nationally and internationally.
Zoe Robertson is the Course Director and a jewellery designer maker.
Follow the link for more information about Zoe's work:
Sally Collins is a Full time Lecturer and creates jewellery on the theme of the 'Superfrilly', she exhibits her work internationally.
Follow the link for more information about Sally's work:
Anna Lorenz is a 0.5 member of staff and a Silversmith/ Jeweller
Follow the link below for more information about Anna's work:
Sian Hindle is our Contextual Studies lecturer, she is also a text based designer/maker.
For more information about our staff team and their work, please visit the School of Jewellery website and the following links:
Legnica International Jewellery competition
Portage: textiles, extremes of scale
Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair.
Handful of Salt
We also have a programme of exciting visiting lecturers, which has incuded the following;
Artist in Residence
The school benefits from a rolling programme of Artist in residences and the BA course has 4 AIRS which contribute to your learning experience. They have a diverse range of skills and knowledge to share.
Current AIRS include:
Liu Chi Wu
Stephanie Arm website or blog
Grace Page website or blog
Find out more about previous AIR cohorts by following links:
A breath of Fresh Air
Furthermore the school has a wide variety of people to help you during your studies and benefits from specialist technicians, academic and support staff, who work in the school and on other courses.
Please find links below which showcase our graduate successes, featured on their personal websites, exhibitions, awards, competitions and news stories.
Hannah Fewtrell – Bolton
Farrah Al- Dujaili
Farrah Al-Dujaili has also been selected for "MEDITERRANEO"
Nan Nan Liu
Our Student, Graduates and Staff Exhibitions
Transforming Brilliance 2011
Bryony Stanford and Samantha Hesford exhibit in Traces: Rust, Dust & Belly Button Fluff ‘Finding beauty in hidden places...’ 2011
Our Graduate show 2011
All Gold’s Exhibition 2011 (celebrating the School's Alumni over the last 40 years)
Goldsmiths Fair 2011
Alchemist Exhibition 2011
Mac Attack 2010
Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010
Goldsmiths Craftsmanship and Design Awards 2010
European Prize for Applied Arts 2010
Goldsmiths Craftsmanship and Design Awards 2009
From creating jewellery for the stars to designing medals for the European Indoor Athletics Championships, Kate Thorley’s degree in Jewellery and Silversmithing has proved to be the key to a range of interesting projects. She returned to the University to work in its Jewellery Industry Innovation Centre for five years, and now runs her own bespoke luxury jewellery company.
I was really into textiles and illustration, and when I was studying those at college I did a six-week course in jewellery and that changed the course of my career completely – I got absolutely obsessed with working with metal and my tutors at college advised me that there were around four places I could study it at degree level. I came to have a look around Birmingham and I thought the place was amazing – there was so much energy and lots of variety in what you could study, so I knew that was the right choice for me.
As I came from quite a rural area, moving to Birmingham was very exciting – physically, it was a very different environment to what I was used to and there was also the opportunity to take part in new activities and meet people from a wide range of backgrounds.
After leaving the School of Jewellery, I went on to work in jewellery manufacturing at Cookson Precious Metals, first on the bench and then as a designer. I helped set up a new department within the company in the UK and at a factory in Mauritius. My highlight from this employment was when I won a prestigious international design competition, ‘Gold Virtuosi 02’ – the Oscars of the jewellery industry – and guest hosted two sell-out shows on the shopping channel QVC. The talented actress Helena Bonham Carter wore my jewellery, which was amazing, and featuring in OK! Magazine was also a bonus.
Furthering my career, I joined the Jewellery Industry Innovation Centre at Birmingham City University from 2004 to 2009 where I headed the design department, working with jewellery and silversmithing companies and designer-makers across the region. It was here that I met my future business partner Zoe Phillips – we instantly became a team, creating an intuitive professional relationship and friendship. We worked on many exciting projects together, including designing the medals for the European Indoor Athletics Championships and trophies for the United Nations’ ‘World Habitat’ awards and Channel 4’s ‘Creative Class’.
In April 2009, Zoe and I left Birmingham City University to become Creative Directors of our own bespoke luxury jewellery company, ‘Nest Creates Ltd’. It was the best decision we could have made and we’re still involved in teaching as well, doing some guest lectures and short courses with the university and working as mentors to people setting up jewellery courses in their first year. We’re still keeping our hand in on the training side while also enjoying the freedom of running our own business which is a great combination for us.
The course is delivered exclusively at the School of Jewellery which is a specialist subject specific facility which provides students with an outstanding learning environment. It is Europe’s largest institution for training and education across the specialisation.
For further information visit Our Building.