This unique one-year Graduate Diploma is a two-semester pre-Masters course in jewellery and related products.
The course gives you the opportunity to develop your portfolio, specifically in the field of contemporary jewellery, to better enable progression onto MA or other higher-level study.
The Graduate Diploma will encourage creative jewellery and related product studio practice that develops confidence in self-directed study and independent learning skills. You’ll acquire the professional and academic development needed for progression onto MA and into industry.
As part of BCU’s commitment to providing excellent student experience, the content and structure of this course is being refreshed to ensure that it continues to meet the highest educational standards. This page will be updated with the revised course documentation by 30 June 2019.
You will gain knowledge and understanding of industry through visits to industry, locally and nationally.
You will develop your understanding of historical and theoretical underpinnings of contemporary jewellery with regular lecture and seminar sessions.
The course requires a significant amount of technical and studio based teaching to help you gain an understanding of materials and processes. You will gain hands-on experience of technical processes through the demonstrations and use of machinery available within the school.
The course will help you develop modelling and prototypes skills and design thinking, as well as communication skills through presenting your work and ideas to your peers and tutors. Participating in critical feedback sessions and recording reflections of your progress and development is core to this course and will help prepare you for future desired progression.
You are encouraged and challenged to identify and develop your own specific interests. You will be guided through developing critical reflective skills whilst enhancing your competence in sustaining an in-depth studio material practice within the specifics of jewellery and related product studio techniques and processes.
The course finishes with an exhibition of your final collection. This usually takes place in the School of Jewellery alongside other final year undergraduate students. This gives you the experience of completing and showcasing a professional body of work as well as being a part of the end of year celebrations.
Come along to one of our upcoming events where our staff will be on hand to answer your questions.
Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:
Undergraduate honours degree, first or upper second, in an Art and Design related subject with portfolio.
Candidates may be admitted without an Art/Design degree via APEL/APL subject to agreement of Academic Registrar, for example if they have a high level of educational, industrial or professional experience.
|You must hold a qualification recognised as graduate status and agreed by Academic Registry and English IELTS 6 (average) or GCSE English 4 (C) or above.|
Don't meet our entry requirements? You could apply for courses at our International College.
|GradDip||Sep 2019||FT||1 year||£6,940 per year|
|GradDip||Sep 2019||FT||1 year||£15,500 per year|
If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead. Fees for 2019/20 will be published as soon as possible. The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.
Students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.
Your postgraduate personal statement is going to shine a light on your personal experience, academic success, personal skills and any other factors that will support your application for further study.
Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:
Studying a postgraduate course usually means you want to specialise in something. So what’s driving you?
Show that you’ve researched the course offering. What is it about this particular course that appeals to you? Is it the lecturers? The modules? Etc.
Tutors want to know that you can handle postgraduate study, so show them how your undergraduate experiences or work life has equipped you for a more advanced level of study. Key areas to address are research and group work but this can vary depending on your chosen course.
Add anything relevant that relates back to your chosen course and shows how your skills will contribute towards your learning. What extra-curricular activities have you taken part in? What awards have you won? What employment or voluntary experience do you have that has helped you develop transferable skills? How do these specifically relate to the course you are applying for?
You should also mention your future plans and how a postgraduate qualification fits in. Try to look beyond your postgraduate study – do you plan to jump straight into a specific career or follow your studies with a research degree? Lastly, use plain, professional English and, where possible, utilise the language of your chosen industry.
Get more information on writing personal statements.
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 information below gives you an estimate of the possible costs associated with key activities on your course. 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.
If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our pdf application form instead.
On receipt of your application form, your application will be considered and you may be called for interview. After interview, if you are considered suitable for the course you will receive an offer of a place.
We offer further information on possible postgraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.
Did you know that you will soon be able to apply for a postgraduate loan of up to £10,000 for some courses and options?
Contemporary Studio Practice
In this practical workshop module you will be given a number of demonstrations on the use and application of Jewellery and Related Products techniques and processes.
You will be expected to record notes that will then enable you to apply these techniques and processes independently. A range of creative project briefs will be introduced through which you will experiment and explore the design and making process from two-dimensional design through to three-dimensional realisation.
Contextual and Professional Practice
This module runs concurrently with the studio modules and support your studio and practical learning experience. You will develop a contextual understanding, be introduced to research methods, and gain confidence in critical reflection, evaluation and presentation.
This module will include information literacy learning supported through library sessions, with staff to support you in accessing and assessing relevant information for group work and your independent research.
This module is designed to develop your ability and confidence to research material and processes and apply design development and project management to your own initiated project proposal.
It is an opportunity for you to apply and consolidate the learning gained through the previous modules.
A variety of different learning and teaching approaches are employed on your course to support your continuous learning throughout your time here.
These approaches include the following activities:
The course generally continues the undergraduate and School’s philosophy of teaching through a practical “hands-on” learning experience called “Experiential Learning” This means that you will be learning by “doing”, and designing via making. Experimenting with materials, process and techniques is encouraged. This enables you to actively engage with and solve three-dimensional problems, whilst developing your designing, making and craft skills.
Visits to local industry in the Jewellery Quarter such as Cooksonsgold, one of UK’s largest jewellery suppliers and bullion dealers, is included in the course. Additional visits to galleries and exhibitions and taking advantage of cultural opportunities within the city and the UK is an important part of the enrichment of the course.
Successful students can apply for our Master's level jewellery course, Jewellery and Related Products - MA.
Alternatively, graduates may be interested in MA Luxury Jewellery Management.
You'll be encouraged to visit local and national galleries and recommended exhibitions, along with industry visits where and when appropriate.
Graduates from the School of Jewellery are highly employable and are familiar with the latest industry skills and techniques.
You’ll have the knowledge and skill to work with the materials, processes and techniques to create innovative 2D and 3D design.
The course will have enabled you to demonstrate independent thinking and the ability to prepare and realise a successful self-initiated project.
You’ll have a collection of work, completed to a high standard of professionalism, which shows your creative identity.
You’ll also develop a range of transferable skills, such as how to communicate ideas and solve problems, as well as developing negotiation and planning skills.
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.
We have an excellent success rate for graduate employment. Our graduates find roles as jewellery designers and designers or secure positions in retail and marketing or academia.
They go on to work for companies such as Cartier, H&M, Domino and Bicknells, or set up their own successful businesses, with their own collections and bespoke commissions.
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:
This course is ideal for international students looking to top up their skills before taking an MA.
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.
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.
Our students come from around the world but our jewellery and silversmithing course is most popular with international students from:
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.
You’ll have access to industry standard equipment, studio workshops with specialist tools and a shared machine workshop with a wide range of powered equipment, a casting facility and an electroplating laboratory. The School’s main computer suite includes CAD design software and Adobe Creative Suite, and you’ll have access to a specialist library.
Our staff are experts in their field and support students on their journey through their chosen course into professional life.
Bridie is an experienced jewellery designer/maker and lecturer. She spent several years as an artist and academic in Australia where latterly she was Coordinator of the Jewellery and Object Studio at Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney.
Some of her work was recently included in a group exhibition, “Transplantation: British and Australian Narrative Jewellery”, that is touring UK and Australia.
Bridie worked with a Sydney colleague as co-curator of “By Example” – a significant exhibition of contemporary Australian jewellery shown at the Itami Cultural Foundation, Itami, Japan.
Her personal research interests include issues of the handmade and the digital, intersections of art and design. She considers art jewellery as a medium, an interface of the virtual (interiority, the imaginary) and the real.
She uses a variety of materials in various combinations with metal, including plastics as well as found material, minerals (non precious stones) and organics (shell, horse hair).