Our undergraduate horology course is the only one of its kind, designed to train and create employable students in horology. The course is tailored to meet the growing global demand for watchmakers and clockmakers who are qualified to the industry standard.
Taught by industry experts with professional experience, you’ll have the opportunity to simultaneously gain Professional Membership from the British Horological Institute.
The skills of our graduates are highly sought after. That’s why they secure roles with prestigious companies such as Cartier, Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH), Omega, Swatch and the British Museum.
Horology is the art and science of time measurement, and the study of clocks and watches, both mechanical and electronic.
Our unique undergraduate course combines traditional craftsmanship with the latest technology. It looks at the theory of horology with the practical skills to back this up.
You’ll examine the history of time keeping, how clocks and watches work and how they are designed. The course gives you the techniques for clock and watch restoration which are in demand in the industry.
The course uses industry standard software including the Solidworks CAD package to teach design and technical drawing skills alongside traditional and modern niche skills of repair, conservation and restoration. Our workshops give you access to timing and testing equipment and machine tools including advanced five-axis milling and Engine Turning Equipment.
Our reputation and staff connections mean that our professional links are outstanding and our graduates are highly employable.
We have unique industry partnerships with luxury goods brands such as Cartier Richemont (UK), and Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy (LVMH). Cartier Richemont (UK) owns the brands IWC, Panerai, Piaget, Jaeger le Coultre, Baume & Mercier, Montblanc amongst others and LVMH Watch & Jewellery UK has a portfolio including the likes of TAG Heuer, Zenith and Bulgari. More recently we have joined forces with Christopher Ward, an established UK brand. All these offer work placements, one-to-one mentoring and the chance to develop technical skills in a commercial environment.
You’ll study at our internationally-renowned School of Jewellery, in the heart of Birmingham’s famous working Jewellery Quarter. The historical facade of our Vittoria Street building conceals a contemporary environment including workshops, a specialist library, an atrium gallery and exhibition space.
“My time spent studying provided me with an excellent foundation skillset and knowledge that I was able to build upon professionally in an Haute Horology brand service department.” Thomas Mason
Our next University-wide Open Day will take place on Saturday 11 June 2016. Come along to find out more about our courses and see our facilities.
Please note: we are currently reviewing our entire course provision for 2017/18. Details will be included in your registration email.
Want to join us in September 2016? UK undergraduates can receive up to £4,000* in non-repayable financial support.
International undergraduate students can receive scholarships worth up to £1,500*
*(criteria will apply)
Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.
Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:
We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.
|Typical UK Qualification||Requirements 2016/17|
In addition to qualifications, applicants will also need a good portfolio.
|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)||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|
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.
If you are a full-time undergraduate applicant for the 2015/16 year, and show particular potential, we may be able to make you an unconditional offer if you make us first choice and satisfy certain criteria.
To be considered you must hold, or be predicted to achieve:
You will also be required to attend an interview.
|Typical EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications||Requirements 2016/17|
|IELTS||6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands|
|International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses).||28 points overall
Country-specific entry requirements and qualifications.
International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.
From A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels
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.
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2016||FT||3 years||£9,000 per year||Apply via UCAS|
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2016||FT||3 years||£12,000 per year||Apply via UCAS|
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.
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.
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.
There are three ways to apply:
You will need to complete our International Application Form and submit it together with scan copies of your original academic transcripts and certificates.
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.
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 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:
Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?
If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.
Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.
Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.
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.
Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.
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.
Want to join us in September 2016? Undergraduate students can receive up to £4,000* in non repayable financial support.
*(criteria will apply)
During your first year, you will be introduced to a broad range of horological studies, theory and technical skills, building a sound base for further study in years two and three.
Contextual Studies 1
A series of lectures on the history and evolution of horological mechanisms.
Design Drawing 1
An introduction to engineering drawing to latest standards using traditional (pencil) and digital techniques, to produce design drawings of individual components through to complex escapement drawings.
Horological Theoretical Studies
An introduction to principle constructs underlying simple horological mechanisms and escapements. This module covers their evolution, design and operation.
Professional Practice 1
Service and portfolio presentation of a variety of simple mechanisms.
Applied Studies 1
A series of practical projects making items out of ferrous and non-ferrous metals, assessed for accuracy and finish, followed by more advance projects as you progress.
During your second year, you will be introduced to further theoretical study of horological mechanisms, and advanced design and technical skills.
Contextual Studies 2
Further exploration and in-depth evaluation of a chosen topic, relevant to your discipline culminating in a written piece demonstrating academic ability and written communication.
Manufacturing and Finishing Techniques
This module explores various production and repair techniques, both traditional and modern, alongside advanced surface finishing skills.
Advanced Horological Theoretical Studies 1
Further study of complex horological component design and development including complex escapement design and evaluation.
Professional Practice 2
Development and evidencing of analytical and problem solving skills associated with horological repair and servicing via portfolio presenting relevant research, appraisal, approach and outcome.
Applied Studies 2
A series of more complex practical projects designed to develop critical thinking, production and finishing techniques.
Specialist Studies 1
This is your design proposal for the final year 'Masterpiece', uniting the skills and techniques developed across all other modules.
During your final year, you will be introduced to further theoretical study of horological mechanisms, and advanced design and technical skills. Greater employability skills are developed, alongside the production of a 'masterpiece' that will summarise and demonstrate your knowledge/skills acquisition.
An introduction to a range of skills necessary for vocational practice, designed to increase employability and potential career progression.
Horological Theoretical Studies 2
Further study of complex horological component design and development. More complex escapement design and evaluation.
Professional Practice 3
Development and evidencing of analytical and problem solving skills associated with the repair and servicing of clocks or watches via portfolio presentation evidencing relevant research, appraisal, approach and outcome with greater emphasis on conservation, repair and restoration techniques.
Specialist Studies 2
You will produce your 'masterpiece' during this module - a significant horological mechanism that will showcase your combined workshop and employability skills. The mastery of practical/technical and project management skills, alongside a critically reflective and self-evaluative report professionally presented via a variety of media.
The majority of your assessment is via coursework but you will also undertake exams.
The course is designed to deliver traditional horology skills and explore developing horology technologies to meet modern standards, while preparing for vocational practice.
Taught by practising horologists, you’ll study 15 modules, to enable you, to secure a degree level academic horology qualification as well as develop a highly sought after specialist skillset.
Your final year sees you produce a student 'Masterpiece' that showcases the skills you’ve learnt across the horology course.
Our final year graduate show and awards are a chance to get your work recognised by industry professionals. Merlin Baker-Whitelaw who received the Fellows Horology Prize is currently working for Carlton Clocks.
The course is studied full-time over three years.
|31||Time in lectures, seminars and similar||MidnightBlue|
|69||Time in independent study||RoyalBlue|
Student James Harris tells us how he first became interested in Horology and why he chose to study at the School of Jewellery.
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.
The School of Jewellery offers a range of postgraduate courses, all of which involve innovative research and provide vocationally valuable experience.
The course gives you the chance to take field trips to a variety of interesting companies. We have visits to the British Museum, Science Museum, Greenwich Royal Observatory, the Annual Dingwall Beloe horological lecture, British Horological Institute at Upton Hall, and specialist clock restoration companies and watch service centres like LVMH & Cartier. These add context and relevance to your studies, offer you the chance to make connections and give real life examples to theory.
Our graduates are highly employable, with skills that are in demand for industry.
The course will enable you to design, construct and restore significant horological mechanisms using fine hand and machining skills.
You’ll have practical, theoretical and technical skills, both traditional techniques and modern technology. The course gives you the skills to use industry standard software and tools. You'll be confident with technical drawing, the Solidworks CAD package and timing and testing equipment.
We also equip our students with the business and marketing skills to set up their own businesses.
Our proximity to Jewellery Quarter, where there are skilled professionals and many stores which sell to the watch and clock industry, allows you to develop intimate knowledge of sales and manufacture.
Success in professional exams helps you get noticed by industry. Laura Turner won a bronze model from the British Horological Institute after she completed her studies with us and now works as Curator of Horological Collections at the British Museum.
You’ll develop a range of transferable skills, such as how to communicate ideas and solve problems, as well planning skills and time management. And thanks to the unique nature of the course, you’ll learn how to work effectively and efficiently either on your own or as part of a team.
Although we don't offer a formal placement year as part of this course, our students are offered a range of opportunities, thanks to the outstanding industry links our respected staff have nurtured.
Our relationships with LVMH, Cartier and Christopher Ward mean that they are always interested to hear about our students and there are opportunities for summer work experience.
Third year Horology student Rosie Kirk is specialising in clock repair. She did a summer placement at London’s British Museum and hopes to one day own her own clock restoration business.
"I think the inner-workings of clocks are beautiful," said Rosie. "My time at the British Museum was fascinating, I even got to help with the conservation of some of the clocks, which is such a delicate process."
Andrew Law completed a seven-week placement with Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy, which services TAG Heuer watches. "It was an amazing experience. They let us experience every aspect of the workshop. I found it really inspiring."
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.
During their time at the University, husband and wife Craig and Rebecca started their own watchmaking company, called Struthers London, using traditional skills to create 21st century designs. Rebecca said:
Rebecca and Craig went on to Master's courses with the School of Art before securing a prestigious contract with Morgan Motor Company to make bespoke watches. They have recently been named as Alumni of the Year.
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.
We have an excellent employment rate, with graduates working all over the world in the vibrant clock and watch industry.
At the UK Cartier service centre, approximately 50 per cent of specialist service staff are horology graduates.
Our graduates are employed with global watch brand leaders such as Patek Philippe, Cartier, Rolex, Swatch, Tag Heuer, and Richard Mille. They also have roles with significant specialist restoration/repair businesses such as Robert Loomes & Co., Time in Hand and Steven Hale Watch Restoration.
As well as setting up your own repair business, employment destinations exist away from the bench with auction houses like Fellows Auction House in Birmingham, and Bonhams of London.
Graduate Thomas Mason is currently working for Richard Mille watches. He said: “As soon as I finished the course I started working for a major watch brand in their servicing department and am really using the skills I learned on the course; in fact people ask me how things work!"
Student James Harris says: "A lot of companies are very interested in this course; there’s Cartier, TAG Heuer, Christopher Ward and other smaller brands. If you go for a job and say you have been to Birmingham City University they’ll definitely be very interested in you."
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:
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
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Our atrium area is a lively exhibition space with a frequently changing range of shows and displays.
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 provide cut-out work benches with lights and gas torches plus design work stations.
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.
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 have over 35 years of experience between them.
Course leader Jeremy Hobbins was a student here 25 years ago and then worked for himself and other employers, including a musical box restoration company. He returned to the School of Jewellery as an academic in 2008 and is well respected throughout industry.
Jon studied at the School of Jewellery in the mid-1990s and then went into practise as a professional horologist, opening his own shop near Stratford upon Avon.
He was always interested in passing on the craft of horology and was delighted to join the School of Jewellery four years ago.
Horology was not his first career, though has always had an interest in crafts. Horology contains such a blend of subjects, technical, practical, historic scientific and artistic that he finds it an excellent platform on which to base his teaching. Gaining particular enjoyment from linking the science and mathematics elements.