Gemmology and Jewellery Studies - BSc (Hons)

UCAS Code:
73J9
Attendance:
Full Time (3 years)
Starting:
September 2016, September 2017

Gain the highest level of professionally recognised gemmological skills with Birmingham School of Jewellery's BSc in Gemmology and Jewellery Studies, partnered by the Gemmological Association of Great Britain (Gem-A).

New for 2017/18

Gemmology and Jewellery Studies

If you’re looking to start this course in 2017, it's important to know that the content and structure are undergoing a substantial review and are likely to be different to what is outlined here. We’ll publish more detailed information about the changes over the next few months. If you’re starting in 2016, the course content/structure won’t be affected by the review.

Sign up for course updatesBenefits of our new curriculum

What's covered in the course?

The course has been designed so that not only will you leave with the highest level of professionally recognised gemmological skills but will also have a sound working knowledge of all relevant aspects of the jewellery trade.

Giving you ample opportunity to use the gem and diamond testing skills you will gain, the programme offers an introduction to gemmological equipment, diamond grading and jewellery valuation.

You initially study an introduction to gemmology theory and gemstone practical identification, together with diamond theory and practical diamond grading. You will also gain an overview of photography and photomicrography.

As you become more skilled and familiar with the equipment, you get the opportunity in your second year to follow the Diploma in Gemmology course as set out by Gem-A.

You will undertake a practical gemmology testing project and learn more about the gemmology and jewellery industries.

In your third year, you will study advanced gemmology practice and theory, using modern laboratory equipment for more scientific testing of gem materials. You will also explore geology theory, advanced diamond grading, pearl grading and assessment, rough diamond assessment and jewellery valuation.

There is also the option for suitably qualified candidates to study for one year to attain the degree.

We really enjoy studying on such a unique and specialised course, and find the different areas of study really interesting. We particularly like the diamond grading classes, and also the opportunity to handle so many different varieties of gemstones. Edward Ferder and Maxwell Burden

Why Choose Us?

  • This course has been designed in collaboration with the Gem-A to build on the skills and knowledge gained during the study of the Gem-A professional qualifications, and is the only degree in Gemmology in the world.
  • In addition to attaining a full BSc Honours degree, you will also gain the internationally-recognised Diploma and Diamond Diploma qualifications of the Gem-A, plus, in the third year, the National Association of Goldsmiths’ Institute of Registered Valuers Certificate of Appraisal Theory.
  • In addition to the three-year course, students with both the Gemmology and Diamond Diplomas of the Gem-A can apply to study year three only to ‘top-up’ their professional qualifications to a degree qualification.
  • You study where the industry practises – the course is based in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, where an estimated 40 per cent of British jewellery is made today.
  • Our nearby Jewellery Industry Innovation Centre (JIIC) offers expertise in a range of industry-related techniques, including Computer-Aided Design and Manufacturing, rapid prototyping, surface finishing, reverse engineering and project management.
  • Founded in 1890, our internationally-renowned School of Jewellery is the largest school of its kind in Europe.
Applying for a September 2016 full time course?

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Simply fill in our quick form and our admissions team will contact you within 2 working days about a possible place.

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Still waiting for your results?

We can offer help if you’re worried or want to explore other options. We’ll also let you know of course vacancies once you get your results.

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This course is open to International students

School of Jewellery

Discover the School of Jewellery

Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.

Visit the School website

Entry Requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.

UK students
Typical Offers
UK Qualification Requirements 2016/17
GCE A Level/ AS Level BBC at A-Level or 280 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A-Levels
Access to Higher Education Diploma Pass overall with 60 credits, 45 at Level 3 and 15 at Level 2. Must be in a relevant subject pathway
BTEC National Diploma (12-units not including early years) D*D* or combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 280 UCAS points
BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units not including early years) DMM - 280 UCAS points
BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/ National Award (6-units not including early years) D* or combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 280 UCAS points
BTEC Diploma in Foundation Studies in Art and Design Distinction
International Baccalaureate Diploma 28 points overall
Irish Leaving Certificate 280 UCAS points - Higher Levels
Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher 280 UCAS points
Welsh Baccalaureate (core plus options) 120 tariff points combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 280 UCAS points
Other qualifications
If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.

Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.
EU/International students
Essential
EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications Requirements 2016/17
IELTS Non English speakers require IELTS 6.0
International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses). 28 points overall
Country-specific entry requirements and qualifications.

 

International students who cannot meet the direct entry requirements can begin their degree studies at Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC).

The UCAS tariff is changing

If you're considering applying for this course to start in September 2017 onwards, it's important to know that the UCAS tariff system is changing.

UCAS tariff points – the points system most universities use to compare different qualifications – will be introducing a new system on how points are calculated.

More about the new tariff

From A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels

Stressed about exams?

Stressed about exams?
We’ve got your back.

We’ve created a range of advice from experts and our students, including next steps if your exams don't go that well.

Get exam help

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BSc (Hons) Sep 2016 FT 3 years £9,000 per year Apply via UCAS
Sep 2017 FT 3 years £9,250 per year Apply via UCAS

International Students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BSc (Hons) Sep 2016 FT 3 years £12,000 per year
Sep 2017 FT 3 years £12,000 per year

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.

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.

Additional costs

Our courses include activities such as performance, exhibitions, field trips and production of works or artefacts which may require you to purchase specific equipment, instruments, books, materials, hire of venues and accommodation, or other items. Many of these activities are essential and compulsory parts of your learning experience.

The link below gives you an estimate of the possible costs associated with key activities on specific courses. Please bear in mind that these are only estimates of costs based on past student experience and feedback. The actual costs could vary considerably (either greater or lower than these estimates) depending on your choices as you progress through the course.

All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

Find additional costs for your course

Guidance for UK/EU students

UCAS

UK and EU students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

Applying through UCAS
 Register with UCAS
 Login to UCAS
 Complete your details
 Select your course
 Write a personal statement
 Get a reference
 Pay your application fee
 Send UCAS your application

Non-EU (International) students

There are three ways to apply:

1) Direct to the University

You will need to complete our International Application Form and submit it together with scan copies of your original academic transcripts and certificates.

2) Through a country representative

Our in-country representatives can help you make your application and apply for a visa. They can also offer advice on travel, living in the UK and studying abroad.

3) Through UCAS

If you are applying for an undergraduate degree or a Higher National Diploma (HND), you can apply through the UK’s Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

You can request a printed form from your school or nearest British Council office. You will be charged for applying through UCAS. Birmingham City University’s UCAS code is B25 BCITY.

Your personal statement

Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Course choice

Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?

Career plans

If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.

Work experience

Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.

School or college experience

Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.

Non-accredited skills or achievement

eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.

You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

This course is not available part-time

Got any questions?

Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.

Loans and Grants

Financial Support

We offer further information on possible undergraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.

Year one

Industry Studies 1
Introduction to Gemmology
Gemstone Properties
Coloured Stones 1
Diamond Theory 1
Diamond Grading Practical

Year two

Diamond Theory 2
Industry Studies 2
Gemmology Theory
Coloured Stones 2
Professional Practices
Pearls

Year three

Advanced Gemmology 1
Advanced Diamonds
Valuation and Appraisal Theory
Geology of Gemstones
Research Project
Advanced Gemmology 2

Course Structure

The Gemmology and Jewellery Studies course has been designed so that not only will you leave with the highest level of professionally-recognised gemmological skills but will also have a sound working knowledge of all relevant aspects of the jewellery trade.

Giving you ample opportunity to use the gem and diamond testing skills you will gain, the programme offers an introduction to gemmological equipment, diamond grading and jewellery valuation.

You initially study an introduction to gemmology theory and gemstone practical identification, together with diamond theory and practical diamond grading. You will also gain an overview of photography and photomicrography.

As you become more skilled and familiar with the equipment, you get the opportunity in your second year to follow the Diploma in Gemmology course as set out by the Gemmological Association of Great Britain. You will undertake a practical gemmology testing project and learn more about the gemmology and jewellery industries.

In your third year, you will study advanced gemmology practice and theory, using modern laboratory equipment for more scientific testing of gem materials. You will also explore geology theory, advanced diamond grading, pearl grading and assessment, rough diamond assessment and jewellery valuation.

This course provides a fascinating opportunity to put gem materials under the microscope, from natural and synthetic gemstones through to imitation.

A highly practical gemmology and jewellery course, with a a fully equipped gem lab enabling you to carry out a range of standard gemmological tests used in the identification of gemstones.

This also runs alongside a series of complementary subjects such as jewellery design and production, giving you a blend of skills the jewellery trade values.

You can achieve the internationally recognised Gemmology Diploma (FGA) and Diamond Grading Diploma (DGA) awarded by the Gemmological Association in London.

We provide a unique and prestigious learning environment - founded in 1890, the internationally renowned School of Jewellery is the largest school of its kind in Europe.

Study and work abroad

If you are interested in undertaking part of your studies abroad, the Erasmus scheme may be of interest to you. It allows higher education students to study for part of their degree in another European country.

It is open to undergraduates in their second year (or above) and offers a unique opportunity to enhance your CV and experience new cultures. If you study with us you will have access to an Erasmus co-ordinator, who can provide information about which institutions we have links with.

Find out more

Further Study

For information on further study options after the undergraduate degree course in Gemmology and Jewellery Studies call +44 (0)121 331 5595 or go direct to the courses section of the website.

Employment Opportunities

Our proximity to one of the UK’s principal area for jewellery sales and manufacture allows you to develop intimate knowledge of what it takes to achieve career success in the gemmology and jewellery industry.

You could find openings with wholesale and retail buyers of coloured gemstones and diamonds, as well as with diamond graders, valuers, auction houses, or jewellery designers, manufacturers and retailers.

OpportUNIty

OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.

Firewalking

BCU Graduate+

Through our courses we give you the skills and experience needed to get a head start when applying for jobs. But we offer something extra too – Graduate+.

Our unique programme gives you the chance to develop valuable skills outside of the more formal classroom learning. We award points for Graduate+ activities (including firewalking!) and these can be put towards a final Graduate+ award.

More about Graduate+

Careers

The advanced gemmology and diamond grading skills you will gain are required by laboratories worldwide, and there is currently a UK-wide shortage of suitably qualified jewellery valuers.

International Students

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

Studying in the UK is better

Overseas students studying in the UK are happier and have a better learning experience compared to those studying in other countries.

The International Undergraduate Students: The UK's Competitive Advantage report asked 365,754 international students studying outside their home country to give their feedback on what it's like to study in this country. And the UK scored top in every aspect.

So if you're looking at studying with us, you'll be making a good choice.

Overall measures: ranked positions
UK
Australia
Canada
NZ
US
Undergraduate 2014 2014 2014 2013 2014
Recommendation 1 4 3 5 2
Overall satisfaction 1 4 3 5 2
Arrival overall 1 2 4 5 3
Learning overall 1 4 3 5 2
Living overall 1 2 5 3 4
Support overall 1 4 5 3 2

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.

BCUIC

BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.

Learn more about BCUIC

Popular home countries

Our students come from around the world but our gemmology and jewellery course is most popular with international students from:

Facilities

Vittoria Street building

The School of Jewellery's Vittoria Street building is inspirational and functional. A blend of traditional historic and cutting-edge contemporary, it is light, spacious and extremely well-resourced.

Refurbished

An extensive refurbishment programme integrated the Victorian Gothic building of 1863 with the adjacent 1912 extension and a site further down the road. The architects’ success in doing so resulted in awards from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the Civic Trust.

Equipment and Machinery

The Basement contains machinery and equipment that requires higher levels of supervision. As well as conventional tool room machines such as lathes and milling machines, this area includes rooms for casting and electro-plating, and a tool and material store.

Atrium

Our atrium area is a lively exhibition space with a frequently changing range of shows and displays.

Horology facilities

Horology students also have dedicated areas, as well as the latest CAD equipment. You’ll also have access to specialist equipment, a subject specialist library, seminar rooms and lecture theatre.

Studio Workshops

Studio Workshops provide cut-out work benches with lights and gas torches plus design work stations.

Process workshops

Process workshops contain larger soldering hearths under extraction hoods with pickling and cleaning facilities. These workshops also have polishing machines and other bench mounted powered equipment. Each studio workshop has access to one of the process workshops.

Assay Office

Assay Office

Our gemmology students are based in new, state-of-the-art premises at 1 Moreton Street in the Jewellery Quarter with access to the highest specification of equipment available for gemmological education within the UK. You'll use diamond-testing equipment at Assay Office Birmingham's AnchorCert Gem Laboratory.

Our staff

Our staff are experts in their field and support students on their journey through their chosen course into professional life.

UK prospective students:

UK enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5595

EU / International prospective students:

International enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5389

Already applied?

Email the applications team

+44 (0)121 331 6295