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Gemmology Association short courses - Diamond Diploma / Diploma / Foundation Certificate

  • Course Code: N/A
  • Level: Short Course
  • Starting: October 2020
  • Study mode: Diamond Diploma - Part Time (9 months)
    Diploma - Part Time (9 months)
    Foundation Certificate - Part Time (9 months)
  • Location: Assay Office

Following the syllabus of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain (Gem-A), these courses offer a choice of introductory and/or further specialised education, covering the study and identification of gemstones and gemmological materials, whether natural, synthetic or artificial.

Leading to a globally respected award, you can register for Fellowship of Gem-A on successful completion.This is a highly regarded and prestigious gemmology qualification, recognised both in the UK and worldwide.

Gem-A Foundation Course

This course will introduce you to the basic principles in the science of gemmology. Through the use of specialised tools and training, you will gain an understanding and appreciation of natural, synthetic, imitation, and treated gemstones.

The course provides the basic information for gem identification, and is the first year of the Gem-A Gemmology Diploma course.

Gem-A Diploma Course

This course will build on the knowledge gained in the Gem-A Foundation course and will lead to a greater understanding of gemmology, and it’s use in professional testing environments. Successful completion of this course will allow you to apply for Gem-A’s membership status, which then allows use of the FGA post-nominals.

Gem-A Diamond Diploma Course

This course will introduce you to all aspects of diamonds, both in theory, and in practical. Through the use of gemmological equipment and training, you will gain an understanding and appreciation of natural, synthetic, imitation, and treated diamonds.

The course follows the Gem-A Diamond Diploma syllabus, leading to the Gem-A Diamond examinations. If you successfully complete the examinations, you will become eligible to apply for Gem-A membership, which will allow you the use of the DGA post-nominal letters.

Why Choose Us?

  • You can take the Foundation Certificate before progressing to the more scientific study of the Diploma, then the prestigious Diamond Diploma – or choose the course that best suits your abilities and interests.
  • Gem-A’s Gemmology Diploma is the most prestigious gemmological qualification in the gem and jewellery trade, while the Diamond Diploma is the ultimate education in diamonds.
  • Following a step-by-step approach, the course covers both theory and its practical application, using a specialist laboratory with the most advanced equipment available.
  • Based in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, you get a chance to study where the industry works, picking up inspiration, contacts and entrepreneurial examples to follow.
  • Our internationally-renowned School of Jewellery is the largest of its kind in Europe and has been delivering outstanding training since 1890.
This course is not open to International students
School of Jewellery

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Fees

Gem-A Foundation Course

Fees are in two parts, £1250 payable to BCU, and £1172 payable direct to Gem-A.

Gem-A Diploma Course

Fees are in two parts, £1850 payable to BCU, and £1882 payable direct to Gem-A.

Gem-A Diamond Diploma Course

Fees are in two parts, £1350 payable to BCU, and £1612 payable direct to Gem-A.

  • UK/EU students
  • International students

Award: Diamond Diploma

Starting: Oct 2020

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Part Time
  • 9 months
  • TBC

Award: Diploma

Starting: Oct 2020

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Part Time
  • 9 months
  • TBC

Award: Foundation Certificate

Starting: Oct 2020

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Part Time
  • 9 months
  • TBC

Sorry, this course is not available to International students.

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.

Fees

Gem-A Foundation Course

Fees are in two parts, £1250 payable to BCU, and £1172 payable direct to Gem-A.

Gem-A Diploma Course

Fees are in two parts, £1850 payable to BCU, and £1882 payable direct to Gem-A.

Gem-A Diamond Diploma Course

Fees are in two parts, £1350 payable to BCU, and £1612 payable direct to Gem-A.

Additional costs

Depending on your course, you may need to pay for professional examination fees. Information will be available at the start of the course.

Apply for the Gemmology Diploma course direct to School of Jewellery, Vittoria Street: 

Tel: +44 (0)121 331 6477

Email: jewellery@bcu.ac.uk

Payment and Enrolment

To confirm a place on the course, you must pay the course fees in full during enrolment before the course starts. 

Gem-A Foundation Course

This course is taught by experienced BCU lecturers, and covers the Gem-A Foundation in Gemmology syllabus. As a requirement of the course, all students must purchase the Gem-A Foundation course notes (details provided upon application to the course).

The course will cover all aspects of gemmology, and can be taken with no prior experience, or educational requirements. A variety of gemstones are covered, both in rough and fashioned form, along with the geological processes by which they are formed. Optical, physical, and chemical properties are explained, along with the effects these have on the gemstone in terms of colour, hardness, and optical phenomenon. The course also covers a range of methods for producing gemstones synthetically, under laboratory conditions, and the methods by which these can be identified. Common treatments are also explained, along with the relevant identification features.

The course also contains a high percentage of practical work, during which you will learn to use a range of hand-held gemmological tools, from loupes to refractometers (and the principles underlying each test).

During the course you will be required to complete 4 online quizzes, which will count towards your final examination grade. Gem-A examinations are held in June, with the results being made available approximately 8 weeks later.

Successful completion of this course will enable you to progress to the Diploma year.

Gem-A Diploma Course

This course expands on the knowledge you gained in the Foundation course, and covers a greater range of gemstones. Additional testing methods, including laboratory techniques are introduced and explained, as well as an increased selection of synthesis methods and treatment techniques. Practical testing gains a greater emphasis during this course, with a dedicated practical examination being held in June, alongside 2 theory papers.

The course again follows the Gem-A syllabus, and so requires the purchase of the Diploma section of the Gem-A course notes. This also allows access to the Gem-A’s online learning resources, and a further 4 online assessments, which, as with the Foundation course, count towards the final examination grade. Students are also required to complete a gemmological project (on a choice of titles), and this again counts towards the final grading in the theory examination.

By completing this course you will be able to identify a range of gemstones, in both rough and cut forms, and be proficient in using a range of gemmological testing tools, which will enable you to test numerous other stones. You will also be able to talk confidently about the science of gemmology, treatments, and synthetic gemstones.

Gem-A Diamond Diploma Course

All aspects of diamonds and diamond grading will be covered in this course, which follows the Gem-A Diamond Diploma syllabus. The history of diamonds and diamond discoveries is covered, followed by an insight into the geological conditions necessary for diamond formation, and the techniques involved in diamond mining. Diamond cutting and the science behind diamond’s optical properties is outlined, along with the causes of colours, both natural and treated. Detection of these treatments, by standard gemmological tools and advanced lab equipment will also be explained. You will also learn how to differentiate diamond from it’s many simulants, such as cubic zirconia and synthetic moissanite, as well as an understanding of the processes involved in growing synthetic diamonds, and their detection.

On the practical side, you will learn to grade diamonds for all aspects seen on professional laboratory reports. Colour and clarity grading are the most commercially important features in the course, but grading for polish, symmetry, proportions and fluorescence are also covered. You will also receive training in the practical differentiation of diamond from similar stones, and the identification of certain treatments. Both theory and practical will be assessed by way of Gem-A’s trade examinations, which are held in June.

Gemmology Facilities Image

Facilities

Our Gemmology students are based in new, state-of-the-art premises at Moreton Street in the Jewellery Quarter, within the Assay Office Birmingham building.

The purpose-built workshops are spacious and superbly well-equipped with equipment, samples and books. Within the department, there is access to some of the highest specification of equipment available for gemmological education in the world. Our students also have access to the further advanced equipment housed within the Assay office’s AnchorCert laboratory. 

Workshops

Jewellery and Horology workshops are located on the main School of Jewellery site complemented with a Technology Hub including state of the art digital manufacturing equipment.

Gemmology

The Gemmology department is furnished with high specification interactive lecture facilities and is situated within the working environment of Birmingham’s Assay Office.

IT and library

Computers and laptops have the latest Adobe software and you will be given access to Lynda.com as a source of great tutorials and advice to support your studies. The School of Jewellery has its own specialist library with a comprehensive range of international periodicals and access to the Mintel Report.

Exhibitions

Our students love the friendly, welcoming atmosphere of the School and return year on year to our annual exhibitions.

Our staff

All diamond courses are taught by specialist gemmologically qualified tutors, with many years experience in the diamond trade.

Andrew Fellows

Lecturer - BSc (Hons) Gemmology and Jewellery Studies

Apply for the Gemmology Diploma course direct to School of Jewellery, Vittoria Street: 

Tel: +44 (0)121 331 6477

Email: jewellery@bcu.ac.uk