Discover new designs and materials, discuss the theory behind clocks and watches, and develop specialist skills with our Horology degree, one of the only courses of its kind.
You will enhance your skills of servicing and restoration to industry standard, as well as using Computer Aided Design (CAD) and rapid prototyping to explore different methods and designs.
Our unique undergraduate Horology course will enable you to study clocks and watches, both mechanical and electronic, as well as assessing the art and science of time measurement.
Combining traditional craftsmanship with the latest technology, this course looks at the theory of horology, as well as providing you with valuable practical skills. You’ll examine the history of timekeeping, how clocks and watches work, and how they are designed, providing you with the restoration skills that are in demand within the industry.
The course uses industry-standard software, such as the Solidworks CAD package, to teach design and technical drawing skills, as well as both traditional and modern niche skills of repair, conservation and restoration. Our workshops give you access to timing and testing equipment, as well as machine tools, including advanced five-axis milling and engine turning equipment.
Our reputation and staff connections mean that our professional links are outstanding. We have unique industry partnerships with luxury goods brands, such as Cartier Richemont (UK), who own the brands IWC, Panerai, Piaget, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Baume et Mercier and Montblanc.
We also boast a partnership with Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH), and have recently joined forces with established UK brand Christopher Ward. 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. Our Vittoria Street building mixes the modern with the classical, and includes workshops, a specialist library, an atrium gallery and exhibition space.
We want our students to achieve their full potential. So, if you receive a Special Unconditional Offer from BCU and then go on to Meet or Beat our published entry requirements, you could be eligible for a £1,000 scholarship.
*Term and Conditions apply - some undergraduate courses are not eligible for this scholarship.
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.
|GCE A Level/ AS Level||BBC at A-Level or 112 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 112 UCAS points|
|BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units not including early years)||DMM - 112 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 112 UCAS points|
|BTEC Diploma in Foundation Studies in Art and Design||Distinction|
|International Baccalaureate Diploma||
Obtain a minimum of 28 points overall. Students who do not complete the IB Diploma will be considered on the basis of their IB Certificates if they obtain a total of 14 points or above from three higher level subjects and alongside other acceptable level 3 qualifications to meet 112 UCAS Tariff Points.
|Irish Leaving Certificate||Pass the Irish Leaving Certificate with a minimum of 112 tariff points, achieved in four Higher level subjects.|
|Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher||Achieve a minimum of 112 tariff points. Where three Advanced Highers have been taken achieve a minimum of grades CCD. Where a combination of Highers and Advanced Highers have been taken you must achieve (grades of CD in two Advanced Highers plus grades of CC in two Highers). Where only Highers have been taken a minimum of (BBCCC) are required.|
|Welsh Baccalaureate (core plus options)||Grade Pass plus grades CC at A-Level (or equivalent qualifications) combined with 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 112 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 2018/19|
|IELTS||6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands|
|International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses).||
In addition to the above, applicants will also need:
English Group A - Grade 4 or above
International students who cannot meet the direct entry requirements can begin their degree studies at Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC).
Applications from mature students (21+) with alternative qualifications and/or considerable work experience will be considered on their merits.
From A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2019||FT||3 years||£9,250 per year||Apply via UCAS|
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2019||FT||3 years||£12,300 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. 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.
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:
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.
It is important to note that you are not required to create a portfolio as part of your application. However, bringing one along with you to your interview would be useful as a point of reference, not only to show your Horological interest but to act as a window into your mind and your ability.
Please see our portfolio guidance page for tips and advice on putting your portfolio together.
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:
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.
*Non-EU students are not required to submit a personal statement when applying for this course.
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.
If you've got no idea where to start or just want to check you're on the right track, we’ve got expert advice and real examples from our students to help you nail your personal statement. You can even download our ultimate personal statement guide for free.
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 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.
In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 100 credits):
Introduction to Horology
Horology is often described as an “Art and a Science”. This module is an introduction to the story of horology and its part in global civilisation from the pre-historic to the modern era and will help you contextualise your practice.
This module will provide fundamental “knowledge and understanding” of the principles of horology through a series of lectures, exercises, and assignments which will help you begin to develop your skill of critical analysis, essential for you future studies.
Professional horologists have a highly developed sense of precision and accuracy. This module is designed to develop your craft skills in design, manufacture and fabrication whilst acquiring an appreciation for the “pursuit of excellence” expected by the horological industry.
Through practice, investigation and evaluation you will develop your technical ability which will increase your employability. This module will also help you to develop key transferrable project management qualities ranging from personal motivation and scheduling skills to risk management and project recovery.
Specialist Horological Skills
The purpose of this employability driven module is to develop professional attributes, and subject related skills. You will develop the practical and professional skills which you will need in your future employment. Course content will be delivered at Practice-led, knowledge-applied teaching sessions, with emphasis on the link between theory practice.
In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete at least 20 credits from the following list of OPTIONAL modules:
CAD for Bespoke Production
In this module, you will learn how to use Computer Aided Design (CAD) as a tool for supporting and supplementing traditional bench skills. This module will introduce you to the very basics, quickly building up your skills and allowing you to design and develop sophisticated 3D digital models which are suitable for production through the myriad of new technologies becoming increasing available in Computer Aided Manufacture.
Introduction to Gemmology
The science of gemmology is inextricably linked with jewellery, and an understanding of gemstones is essential for anyone involved in the manufacturing, repairing, buying or selling of fine jewellery. Today’s professional gemmologists face constant challenges as advances in synthetic gemstones and gemstone treatments become ever more sophisticated.
Please note list of optional modules is indicative only. Students’ choice will not be guaranteed for optional modules but a fair and transparent process will be adopted and shared with students.
During your second year, you will be introduced to further theoretical study of horological mechanisms, and advanced design and technical skills.
In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 80 credits):
Commercial Servicing Skills
In line with the program philosophy of pursuing excellence, this module will enable you to develop the practical & professional skills alongside the knowledge & understanding required to become a professional horologist, by practicing and mastering skill based competencies and requirements of the global industry and so enhance your employability potential.
Advanced Production Techniques
This module will introduce you to various techniques and processes that have particular relevance to the production and/or finishing of horological components, whilst enhancing your knowledge and understanding, the module will also develop the key transferable skill of acquiring new competencies Traditional and emerging technologies will be explored through a series of exercises, enhancing workshop skill based practise and so employability.
In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete at least 40 credits from the following list of OPTIONAL modules.
This module will introduce you to various techniques and processes that have particular relevance to the production of a Business Plan, a key planning tool both in terms of understanding or developing a business but also with relevance to day to day life skills.
Luxury Jewellery Branding
This module allows you to start thinking about the idea of luxury and how it can be defined. You will consider the luxury sector of the market and explore the global significance of luxury jewellery brands. You will consider the significance of brand heritage and observe visual merchandising and customer behaviour associated with British luxury culture.
This module provides an opportunity for you to apply your knowledge and skills to an external, professional brief. The brief will be set by an external client/ agency, in consultation with your supervisor, and it could be a ‘real life’ problem to be solved, or a simulation.
It is an opportunity for you to engage in a professional manner with an aspect of your subject area, which contributes to the development of employability skills within the supportive infrastructure of the University. Where appropriate, the project may involve interdisciplinary collaboration with students from other courses. In this way, it reflects the collaborative, flexible nature of employment within the Creative Industries.
The purpose of this module is to enable you to develop professional attributes and subject skills through experience in the work place, and to critically reflect upon your learning in that context. You will normally be expected to arrange your own placement, with support from academic staff and ADM Careers+.
Please note list of optional modules is indicative only. Students’ choice will not be guaranteed for optional modules but a fair and transparent process will be adopted and shared with students.
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 and skills acquisition.
In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):
The purpose of the module is to enable you to undertake a sustained, in-depth and theoretically informed research project exploring an area that is of personal interest to you. It is important that we can support you appropriately, so you will be guided towards choosing a research topic which is relevant to your discipline and in which your lecturers have expertise. The outcome may take the form of a written dissertation or a practice-based portfolio.
This module will enable you to further develop the practical & professional skills required to become a professional horologist, by practicing and mastering complex skill based competencies required by the global industry, and so enhance your employability potential.
Studied full-time over three years, the course is practice-led, with the majority of your assessment via coursework. You will also undertake exams, some of a practical nature to align with industry experience.
Taught by practising horologists, you’ll study 10 modules, enabling you to secure a degree-level Horology qualification, as well as providing you with the specialist skills that the horology industry actively seeks.
In your first year, we will guide you through a series of exercises that will develop your practical competency, as well as the understanding of the evolution of horology mechanisms. You will also develop CAD design skills to assist you with your projects.
The second year of the course builds on your knowledge and skillset by gradually increasing the complexity of servicing and manufacturing techniques.
For your final year, you will produce a student ‘masterpiece’ that will showcase the skills you’ve learnt across the Horology course. This will help you unite your theoretical understanding in a physical object, as well as enabling you to build a portfolio of restoration and repairs, showcasing your skills.
All of our students bring a wealth of experience to the course, with all year groups working in a shared workshop environment to develop key communication and groupwork skills.
Individual projects begin with the acquisition of essential competencies in the first and second years of the course and culminate in range from bespoke designed timepieces in the final year.
You will work on practical projects that are all horologically themed, and you’ll be encouraged to explore different design and production techniques while maintaining the essential qualities of horological production.
Students have produced numerous prize-winning pieces of work. For example, Rosie Kirk and James Harris have had their work exhibited at the Science Museum in London.
Rosie went on to win a Young Talent Prize at Baselword 2016 for her clock, which she made during her final year.
James Harris’s created an 8 day timepiece with tourbillion.
The British Horological Institute (BHI), the body that represents UK Hhorologists alongside the British Watch and Clockmakers Guild, has acknowledged the significance of the degree education and will now confer professional membership status on Birmingham City University CU graduates in Horology a minimum of a 2.2, provided they can meet the BHI standards for servicing.
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.
We are currently designing an MA pathway for Horology for those that wish to continue their studies in the subject, and hope to have this in place for 2017-18.
We have an excellent relationship with key members from industry who visit the show on a yearly basis, awarding prizes and giving students an excellent opportunity to create key contacts for your career.
We undertake numerous trips throughout the year to significant horological exhibitions, particular sites of horological interest and to specialist employers, gaining insight into the real world of employment. Importantly, we are very open to suggestions! Previous destinations have included The Great Clock of Westminster, the British Museum, the Museum of the History of Science, Cartier workshops, Sinclair Harding and the LVMH Service Centre.
The course is not just about the acquisition of a set of specialist skills; we also develop key transferable skills, all of which will enhance your employability prospects.
With a degree-level qualification, you’ll be able to enter the employment market at graduate level, with essential skills in communication, presentation and problem solving.
The course is delivered through a variety of formats, including e-learning, formal lectures, tutorials and self- directed studies. One-to-one staff contact and group work enables the free exchange of knowledge and experience.
Following extensive negotiations we are delighted to state that the servicing centres run by LVMH, Cartier UK and Christopher Ward all offer opportunities for our Horology students to gain 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.
Our course was designed in close collaboration with the BHI, with the Service Centres run by Cartier UK, LVMH and through constant ongoing conversations with specialist restoration and manufacturing businesses, like Sinclair Harding, as well as the Clock Clinic in Putney, where the owner, an alumni of the University, regularly appears on ‘Antiques Roadshow’.
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.
A wide range of employment is available in the horological world. Graduates go on to positions with major watch brand servicing centres, small bespoke restoration businesses, museums and specialist auction houses.
We are proud of our graduates’ achievements. Our graduates work with Richard Mille, Omega, Roger Smith and the British Museum, all using their degrees and their knowledge to full potential.
As part of the School of Jewellery Employability Week, Horology students across all years were given the opportunity to take part in a mini symposium focused on the role of conservation in modern horology.
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 UK remains one of the world's leading study destinations for international students.
The first-class experience offered by universities are reflected in the world’s largest survey of international students. International students are more likely to recommend the UK than any other leading English-language study destination.
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.
Horology is an international subject, our graduates have gone on to work all over the world. Our students have come from as far afield as the Far East, or as close as Northern Europe. We try to support students from all over the world and even recently received applications from Western Samoa and Alaska.
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.
Horology students also have dedicated areas, as well as the latest CAD equipment. The School’s main computer suite includes CAD design software and Adobe Creative Suite, and you’ll have access to a specialist library.
Our Centre for Design and Digital Manufacturing (CDDM) situated within the heart of the School of Jewellery offers expertise in computer-aided design and manufacturing, rapid prototyping, and has a state-of-the-art precious metal laser sintering facility.
The Head of Horology, Jeremy Hobbins, has been a practising horologist for 25 years, is a professional member of the BHI and was selected by Watch Pro magazine for their top 100 Watchmakers Award twice in the three-year history of the awards.
Originally graduating with a Business background, Jeremy transferred his skills into the horology world following his study of HND Horology at the School of Jewellery.
Jeremy worked as a professional horologist for others, and himself, for 20 years before returning to the School to share his love of the subject and train a new generation of horologists.
Jeremy created the BA (Hons) Horology course to develop the horological education and training offered by Birmingham City University. The course was developed following close collaboration with the British Horological Institute and various leading industry partners.
He is now a Fellow of the British Horological Institute and a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers.