Jewellery and Silversmithing - Design for Industry - BA (Hons)

UCAS Code:
Full Time (1 year)
September 2017

If you want to be a designer within the contemporary jewellery industry, our Jewellery and Silversmithing – Design for Industry degree will help you succeed.

Focusing on new technology but building on existing traditional skills, you’ll receive the support, facilities and expertise to enhance your jewellery design potential.

Our graduates are highly successful and go on to work for prestigious names such as Tiffany & Co, Cartier and De Beers, as well as setting up their own successful design businesses.

What's covered in the course?

This leading design course is a one-year top-up, shaping contemporary designers for the jewellery and silversmithing industry. Emphasising new technology, it builds on existing traditional skills to enhance your potential.

Whether you want to work as a designer within a company or as a creative entrepreneur, our dedicated staff will help you develop a successful career.

Live projects give you a chance to test your skills and creativity, and exhibit work with the chance to be awarded student prizes. You will create several products throughout the course to develop your portfolio.

You’ll use the latest CAD software packages and work towards a project to design, develop and launch a new product range.

Visits to trade fairs, exhibitions and companies give you an understanding of commercial manufacturing environments and help you decide which aspect of the jewellery trade you want to work in.

Our students benefit from outstanding industry links and you’ll also have the chance to enter awards and competitions to help you get noticed.

Graduate Clive Taylor won the gold award in ‘Technological Innovation’ at the Goldsmiths’ Craft and Design Council Awards ceremony for his elegant LED desk lamp. Made from sterling silver and operated by proximity sensors and a mobile phone app, it’s an example of our student innovations.  Clive now creates elegant functional objects incorporating traditional silversmithing and modern technology.

You’ll 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.

Why Choose Us?

  • Founded in 1890, our internationally-renowned School of Jewellery is the largest in Europe, located in the heart of Birmingham’s famous Jewellery Quarter. An estimated 40 per cent of British jewellery is still made there today and you’ll gain contacts, inspiration and experience.
  • You’ll have access to industry standard studio workshops with laser cutting, marking and welding, and a dedicated CAD facility. You also receive a laptop for the duration of your course, loaded with up-to-date, relevant CAD software.
  • Sponsorship, support and strong collaborative links with industry will help you to develop an entrepreneurial outlook and an insight into the professional world.
  • We have an excellent reputation for highly employable, creative graduates with an in-depth understanding of the latest technology and the manufacturing industry.
  • Our nearby Jewellery Industry Innovation Centre (JIIC) offers expertise in a range of industry-related techniques, including CAD and manufacturing, rapid prototyping, surface finishing, reverse engineering and project management.

* Please note this course has changed name for 2017/18. The KIS data below relates to the previous course title.

This course is open to International students

Drew Markou

Expert help and advice

Our graduates are shaping the world, achieving things they never imagined.

Drew Markou gives you his top tips on how to get ahead in jewellery, silversmithing and succeed in your chosen career.

Drew's Top Tips

Where our students go

Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:

  • Tiffany & Co

And in jobs such as:

  • Quality Assurance and Valuation Specialist (Gemmologist)

Entry Requirements

UK students

A good portfolio plus one of the following:


Higher National Diploma in Jewellery & Silversmithing

112 Tariff points

Foundation Degree Course FdA in Jewellery & Silversmithing

Equivalent qualifications or experience

International Baccalaureate with 14 points

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

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BA (Hons) Sep 2017 FT 1 year £9,250 per year Apply via UCAS

International Students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BA (Hons) Sep 2017 FT 1 year £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.

Guidance for UK/EU students


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.

Personal statement

UK / EU students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.*

The personal statement 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.

*Non-EU students are not required to submit a personal statement when applying for this course.

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 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.

View additional costs for this course

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

CAD CAM Acquisition

This introduces students to a range of CAD applications appropriate to the jewellery industry. A collaborative project with a manufacturing company gives you the chance to apply your knowledge and creativity. This involves a new product development process taking into account timescales, costing, CAD and Rapid Prototyping, marketing and promotional material. Products created are judged, exhibited and prizes are awarded.

Business and Entrepreneurship

This enables you to identify a career path and write a business plan in preparation. Workshops are led by a jewellery industry entrepreneur. The development of an online portfolio promotes you to a worldwide audience and provides you with an invaluable tool to take your career forward.

Design in Context

This module aims to create familiarity with laser technology appropriate to the jewellery industry and the opportunity to apply knowledge and creativity in a professional context. You’ll be introduced to laser cutting, laser marking and laser sintering technologies and create your own bespoke piece.

Design in Practice

You’ll develop, produce and launch a jewellery product range to promote your business or yourself as a jewellery designer / CAD designer. You’ll present this to a panel of jewellery experts, gaining valuable feedback and advice.

Course Structure

The course is assessed through coursework. 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.

The course enables you to begin developing a collection of work to start a business with or towards creating a professional and relevant portfolio for your intended career.

You’ll develop a strong portfolio of work - each practical module leads to you creating a jewellery product, ready for market, constructed from precious metals or other materials.

You’ll also have the chance to enter competitions like the annual Charles Green awards, which is organised in partnership with the Birmingham-based jeweller. Marketing and Design Manager at Charles Green, Phillip Beale, is one of our graduates. He launched the competition after deciding he would like to give something back to the University and help current students.

The final stage of the course is an exhibition of work to promote you to future employers and industry professionals.

A variety of different learning and teaching methods are employed on the course. These include Lectures, Seminars, Critiques, Team Work, Presentations, Tutorials, Online Learning, and Self Directed Study.

If you wish to the push the boundaries of jewellery and silversmithing, challenge traditional conventions, and create experimental objects in materials other than metal then we suggest you visit our Jewellery Design and Related Products course.

Student stories

Katy Tromans

Katy's story

Katy Tromans created a collection of decorative jewellery rings and holders inspired by popular children’s stories and fairy tales for her final year project. She was inspired by a fascination with coins as a teenager to create a selection of intricate jewellery artworks. "When I began the Design for Industry course, I started to think about stories that were more personal to me, that also reminded me of my childhood and might do the same for other people. My work is all about inducing memories and my customers being able to relate to it," she said.

Katy Tromans work

Amy's story

Student Amy Roberts tells us why she chose to study Jewellery and Silversmithing (Design for Industry) at the School of Jewellery. The facilities at Vittoria Street particularly stood out.

Trip and visits

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.

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

The School of Jewellery offers a range of postgraduate courses, all of which involve innovative research and provide vocationally valuable experience. 

For further information on courses Tel: +44 (0)121 331 5595 or go direct to the courses section of the website.

Student stories Jack Row

Award-winning Craftsperson and Designer

Jack Row is an award-winning craftsperson and designer. He has won a number of awards for his collections of luxurious precious metal fountain pens and cufflinks, including the coveted British Jewellers Association prize for his precious metal fountain pen design and a gold medal prize by the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths.

Enhancing employability skills

The course has an excellent reputation for highly employable graduates with an in-depth understanding of the latest technology and the manufacturing industry.

You’ll have creative ability, commercial awareness and technical skills, using the latest CAD software packages. This will be complemented by essential networking, communication and presentation skills that are required in a competitive industry.

A strong portfolio shows your product range and creative style. You’ll also know how to create business plans, explore brands and market new products.

Our graduates have been exposed to industry and are quickly noticed by professional contacts.

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.

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.


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 of our respected staff.


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.


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+

Graduate jobs

We have an excellent reputation for producing highly employable graduates with the skills needed within the jewellery industry today.

Our graduates find roles as CAD designers and technicians, jewellery designers, independent designers and manufacturers and production technicians, or work in retail and marketing positions.

Rachael Briggs

Rachael Briggs specialises in CAD design. She said: “The flexible course structure allowed me to tailor projects to gain experience in my chosen career path. I created a multimedia CV throughout the year, which helped me to go straight into a job on completion. I now work as design manager in a manufacturing company.”

Richard Vinten

Graduate Richard Vinten said the course reputation is highly regarded: “I’m now working within the jewellery trade where I’m involved with employment decisions. Anyone with a Design for Industry qualification really stands out especially when applying for a CAD and 3D printing role.”

Career opportunities exist within the jewellery and silversmithing industry, including:

  • CAD designer/technician
  • Designer
  • Independent designer/manufacturer
  • Production technician
  • Retail
  • Marketing.

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
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 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 jewellery and silversmithing design for industry course is most popular with international students from:


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.


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.


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