Our Jewellery Design and Related Products course is one of the most respected in the country.
Based in the heart of Birmingham’s thriving Jewellery Quarter, you’ll benefit from unrivalled expertise and facilities as you gain everything needed to be a successful designer maker.
We have outstanding industry connections and chances to work on live briefs. That’s why our jewellery graduates have gained international recognition and undertaken commissions or exhibited work at Royal Mint, V&A, Goldsmith Hall, Saatchi Gallery, Sieraad, Inhorgenta Talente and Galerie Marzee.
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.
This practical degree is an internationally-respected jewellery design course.
It gives you the freedom to develop your own creativity by encouraging you to experiment with a variety of ideas, materials, processes and techniques.
You’ll be supported and encouraged to create innovative designs to a high standard of professionalism and have the chance to enter competitions and awards.
In your first year of study a professional collaboration gives you the chance to work on a live design brief.
Student Ruth Hallows was chosen to produce an exclusive jewellery collection, to be sold in Argos nationwide and online. She gained the opportunity to work alongside Argos' jewellery buying team and manufacturer Optima, spending time learning the process of how her collection would be developed from design through to production.
Students also undertake design work experience with the likes of Topshop, Tatty Devine and Kath Libert.
You can be guided by your own inspiration. While studying, students have the opportunity to host a number of jewellery exhibitions during the second year module entrepreneurial design, which gives students from the School the opportunity to exhibit and sell their pieces to the public.
Our students’ final collections span the breadth of the discipline of contemporary jewellery and silversmithing and related products, often relating to broader art and design disciplines such as fashion, accessories, theatre, product design and fine art.
You will study at our internationally-renowned School of Jewellery, in the heart of Birmingham’s famous Jewellery Quarter where much of today’s jewellery is still made. The historical facade of our Vittoria Street building conceals a contemporary environment including workshops, a specialist library, an atrium gallery and exhibition space.
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.
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.
In addition to qualifications, applicants will also need a good portfolio.
|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|
|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/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).
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 2017||FT||3 years||£9,000 per year|
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2016||FT||3 years||£12,000 per year||Apply via UCAS|
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2017||FT||3 years||£12,000 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.
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.
During your first year, you’ll be introduced to techniques and ways of working.
A professional collaboration gives you the chance to participate in live projects and competitions set by companies. Students recently transformed a bag of second hand ‘jumble’ into an inventive and desirable piece of wearable art in aid of children’s charity Barnado’s.
Introduction to Specialism
Contextual Study 1
Design for Production
The second year explores employability, and setting up a business as a designer maker. You form a company to develop and sell your products to the public in the run-up to Christmas.
You also research possible career directions, prepare your professional portfolio and secure work experience as part of our professional experience module.
Contextual Study 2
Personal Development 1
In the third year, you’ll develop your own personal brief to guide your decisions, the area you wish to pursue, and the materials and process you wish to investigate.
Ultimately you design and make your own final collection to exhibit within our Graduate Show and to launch your career. Isabella Liu won the ENJOIA’T Contemporary Jewellery Awards in Barcelona, one of the most prestigious awards for contemporary jewellery making in South Europe, showcasing a piece from her graduation collection, ‘Mending’. She created wearable pieces of art from broken objects.
Two graduates have also been selected for The European Prize for Applied Arts and another four graduates were successfully selected for Talente, a prestigious exhibition part of the contemporary jewellery festival “Schmuck” in Munich.
Personal Development 2
Contextual Study 3
Personal Development 3
This is a design-based jewellery course which gives you the opportunity to be creative and experimental within the design process, enabling you to design and make highly innovative, contemporary and thought-provoking work.
Primarily you will learn jewellery design through a practical 'hands on' learning experience called 'Experiential Learning'. This means you will be learning by 'doing' and designing jewellery 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 jewellery concepts and outcomes is encouraged. Being open minded will help you to embrace the philosophy and aims of this jewellery course, as studies are intended to stretch and challenge your perception of the subject area, enabling you to develop practical jewellery skills alongside intellectual engagement.
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 approach to studying jewellery design is strongly underpinned by theory and research into the field and its related disciplines.
A variety of learning and teaching methods are employed on this 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.
The course is assessed on 100% course work. We feel this best mirrors the way you’d work in the real world and so better prepares you for a career in the design industry.
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.
|55||Time in lectures, seminars and similar||MidnightBlue|
|44||Time in independent study||RoyalBlue|
|1||Time on placement||LightSkyBlue|
Student Peter Clark chose to study jewellery rather than another art and design subject because of being able to wear jewellery and carry his art around with him.
Creative Director of Nest Creates Ltd
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.
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.
Jewellery design student Chris Yu is on an exchange in Dusseldorf. He said: “The reality and cultural differences did not strike me as hard as I had expected. In fact, studying in Germany is even closer to where I am originally from, Hong Kong, geographically speaking. I have met and interacted with people from all different year groups and I did enjoy having to freedom to plan my own timetable and taking the classes that I truly find useful.”
The School of Jewellery offers a range of postgraduate courses, all of which involve innovative research and provide vocationally valuable experience. More information on the courses section of the website.
Visits to manufacturers and businesses add relevance to your studies and give you the opportunity to see the industry at work and make vital connections. Students are encouraged to be independent and visit the places they prefer in relation to their personal projects.
Employability is embedded throughout the course and our graduates develop skills that are in demand for the creative industries or as creative entrepreneurs.
A strong portfolio shows your product range and creative style. You’ll also develop essential networking, communication and presentation skills that are required in a competitive industry.
You’ll have the chance to learn technical skills such as laser welding and cutting as well as 2D and 3D CAD design software The course also helps you develop creative thinking, problem solving and research skills, critical thinking and technical solutions.
By working on live briefs you’ll learn how to generate a range of potential ideas and apply this to the production of creative work. Our students have previously created pieces of jewellery for a variety of companies including Argos and Birmingham Children’s Hospital. This has given them invaluable connections and career development.
You’ll understand how to promote yourself to potential employers, as well as developing creative entrepreneurial skills.
The course also helps you to develop a range of transferable skills, such as how to communicate ideas and solve problems, as well as developing negotiation and planning skills.
Students undertake three days of taster experience research. We have a number of participating companies including Fellows, Kath Libbert jewellery and Tatty Devine.
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.
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.
Our jewellery graduates are gaining international recognition through exhibitions and awards. Work is shown at, or commissioned for, Royal Mint, V&A, Goldsmith Hall, Saatchi Gallery, Sieraad, Inhorgenta and Galerie Marzee.
Career opportunities for graduates of the Jewellery Design and Related Products course exist within the creative industries including artist-jeweller and designer-maker.
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:
The international reputation and outstanding location in the heart of the Jewellery Quarter attracts students from all over the world. Our course is particularly popular with students from the Far East who want to study advanced design techniques from top professionals. We also have students from as far away as Australia.
International student Annie Huang said: "As a South African- Taiwanese student, I flew half way around the world to the UK because the School of Jewellery has one of the best jewellery design courses in Europe.
"A historical building dedicated to jewellery and being located in the famous Jewellery Quarter of Birmingham were some of the selling points for me. I received a good amount of support from well experienced tutors and lecturers. My favourite year was my final year, where the entire creative experience culminated in our graduate show to be professionally presented to the industry.
"As an international student, I've been able to absorb English culture through the friends that I've made and the work opportunities given. It’s been the experience of a lifetime, one where the building blocks to my future have been solidly set."
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. Students can use these rooms between 8am and 8pm (5pm on Fridays), independent of staff supervision.
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.
The School of Jewellery 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. The School also benefits from a rolling programme of Artist in Residences (AIRs) who have a diverse range of skills and knowledge to share with you and contribute to your learning experience.
The BA (Hons) Jewellery Design and Related Products team are all active practitioners and between them they have a diverse range of expertise across the jewellery discipline. The team exhibit their work nationally and internationally as well as contribute to publications, academic papers and conferences.
Anna works freely across the disciplines of Jewellery, Silversmithing and Sculpture. The work is diverse and multi layered, developed through a ‘thoughtful spontaneity’ with a minimalist aesthetic. Her studio practice is process based and the work investigates space, absence and presence and aims to transcend pure materiality to be open for individual interpretations and associations.
The process of cutting and repetition serves as a tool for crossing the boundaries from the material to the immaterial; from the purely aesthetic exploration of form to the notion of reaching personal freedom through creative engagement.
Anna is a part time lecturer on the course and has her studio in the Jewellery Quarter where she works as a self-employed designer/maker.