- UCAS Code: W239
- Level: Undergraduate
- Starting: September 2021
- Study mode: Full Time (3 years)
- Location: School of Jewellery
Studying with us in 2021/22
It is possible that the 2021/22 academic year may be affected by the ongoing disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Any arrangements put in place by the University for the 2021/22 academic year will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, pandemic-related/health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.
Experiment with materials, techniques and processes on a highly respected jewellery design degree course. You are encouraged to pursue innovation, challenge conventions and push the boundaries of the discipline.
You will develop practical skills alongside intellectual engagement and inventive thinking. Creative problem solving is a continuous thread, where a questioning attitude and experimental approach to materials, perceptions, concepts and outcomes is encouraged.
Individuality is fundamental to your creative development, personal philosophy and direction. The School is uniquely positioned in the heart of the Jewellery Quarter enabling you to be fully immersed in the industry from the first day of your studies.
What's covered in the course?
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, the focus is on developing traditional processes followed by experimental materials investigation, allowing you to enter the second year with a range of skills and the confidence to explore various optional topics, live and collaborative projects.
Past 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.
Past students have also undertaken work experience with the likes of Topshop, Tatty Devine and Kath Libert.
You can be guided by your own inspiration. While studying, you will have the opportunity to host a number of jewellery exhibitions, which gives you the opportunity to exhibit and sell your pieces to the public.
You and your peers final collections span the breadth of the discipline of contemporary jewellery and objects, often relating to broader art and design disciplines such as fashion, accessories, theatre, product design and fine art.
The School of Jewellery is internationally renowned, in the heart of Birmingham’s famous Jewellery Quarter. The historical facade of our Vittoria Street building conceals a contemporary environment including workshops, a specialist library, the Vittoria Gallery and exhibition space.
Why Choose Us?
- The jewellery and objects course encourages you to develop your own personal style and enables you to design, develop and launch your own highly innovative, contemporary and thought-provoking products.
- 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.
- The course benefits from specialist technicians, academic and support staff. We also have a rolling programme of Artist in Residences (AIRs) who have diverse skills and knowledge to share with you and contribute to your learning experience.
- Sponsorship, prizes, live projects 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. With many graduates progressing to Post-Graduate study.
- Our onsite Technology Hub offers expertise in a range of industry-related techniques, including CAD and manufacturing, rapid prototyping, surface finishing, reverse engineering and project management.
Our next Virtual Open Day is taking place on Saturday 20 March. It's the perfect opportunity to virtually tour our facilities, hear from some of our staff and get a feel of what it's like to study at BCU.
This course is open to International students
Discover the School of Jewellery
Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.
Exhibiting at Chatsworth
A selection of first year BA (Hons) Jewellery and Objects students recently exhibited at the Royal Horticultural Flower Show as part of a live project with Horticulture Week.
Where our students go
Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:
- Just Trade
- Tatty Devine
- Fei Lui
And in jobs such as:
- Jewellery designer
- Business executive
We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.
112 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels.
|LEVEL 2 QUALIFICATIONS|
|IELTS||Minimum overall score of 6.0, with 6.0 in writing and no less than 5.5 in the remaining three skills.|
|Plus one of the following Level 3 (and above) Qualifications|
|A Level and Advanced VCE||
|AS and AS VCE||Considered with a maximum of 3 other Level 3 qualifications (AS Levels must be in different subject to A-Levels) to obtain 112 pts|
|Access to HE Diploma||
|Foundation Studies (Art and Design, and Art, Design & Media)||
|IBO Certificate in Higher Level||
|International Baccalaureate Diploma||
Obtain a minimum of 28 points overall
|Irish Leaving Certificate (Highers)||Pass the Irish Leaving Certificate with a minimum of 112 tariff points, achieved in five Higher level subjects.|
|OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma||DMM|
|Scottish Advanced Higher||
|UAL Extended Diploma in Art & Design||Merit overall|
|UAL Extended Diploma in Creative Media Production & Technology||Merit overall|
|UAL Extended Diploma in Performing and Production Arts||Merit overall|
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.
Additional information for EU/International students
Please see your country page for further details on the equivalent qualifications we accept.
In addition to the academic entry requirements listed above, international and EU students will also require the qualifications detailed in this table.
|EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications||Requirements|
Speakers require IELTS 6.0.
If you do not meet the required IELTS score, you may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English courses. Please note that you must have a Secure English Language Test (SELT) to study on the pre-sessional English course. More information.
|International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses).|
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
- UK students
- International students
Award: BA (Hons)
Starting: Sep 2021
- Full Time
- 3 years
- £9,250 per year
- Apply via UCAS
Award: BA (Hons)
Starting: Sep 2021
- Full Time
- 3 years
- £15,900 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.
Guidance for UK students
UK 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
If your application is progressed, you will be asked to submit a portfolio of your creative work. This can be submitted digitally or you can physically bring it in. Your portfolio is your opportunity to show us examples of your work and creative interests to support your application.
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.
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.
Included in the fees is the cost of all teaching and facilities pertaining to the programme, including access and use of a range of new technologies, IT support, library resources, workshop access and other learning equipment.
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.
Based on the past experience of our students, you might find it helpful to set aside about £50 for each year of your studies for your personal stationery and study materials. All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.
Accommodation and living costs
The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.
Worried about personal statements?
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’ll be introduced to techniques and ways of working as well as materials exploration and experimentation.
Contextual study modules will encourage a wider discussion and awareness of the field and allow you to develop a further understanding of the discipline.
In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 100 credits):
The purpose of this first contextual studies module is to provide you with an introduction to the ideas that are important to the discipline. It will also enable you to begin to develop your research, writing and critical thinking skills and to communicate your ideas and learning effectively. The learning you engage with here will inform your studio practice and enable you to participate in academic research, reading and writing throughout your course.
This module introduces you to a range of techniques, processes and materials core to the discipline of Jewellery and Object making through exploration and practice. You will observe demonstrations and participate in a series of inductions to equipment, processes and techniques, which you will then be expected to explore and experiment with further in order to develop independent learning, alongside problem solving skills and attain an appropriate level of craftsmanship.
This module will continue to develop your knowledge of materials, techniques and processes, and challenge your understanding of the breadth and depth of possibilities within the field of jewellery and objects. You will be introduced to explorative methods that focus on developing ideas and design. You will explore research topics and be introduced into identifying personal lines of inquiry and appropriate individual methods of development. You will explore a range of methods to enable you to reflect, solve problems and evaluate your creative practice.
In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete at least 20 credits from the following list of OPTIONAL modules:
This modules is designed to introduce you to a range of ornamental surface techniques, processes and materials within the discipline of Jewellery and Objects through demonstration and practice. It will encourage exploration and experimentation with techniques and processes to develop an innovative approach to surface and ornament, whilst demonstrating high levels of craftsmanship.
In this module you will be introduced to the fundamental techniques and processes used in metalwork for creating non-wearable objects through demonstrations and practice.
You will participate in a range of set exercises to expand your developing knowledge of materials, technical ability and skills through the production of technical samples and final outcomes.
In this module you will be introduced to fundamental hand-making skills through the production of samples, test pieces and a finished piece of jewellery. You will develop an understanding of traditional jewellery techniques and finishes that represent the term fine jewellery.
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.
Diamonds are the most commercially important gem material with a huge global market. The history and market value of this precious gem material influences consumer attitude towards jewellery, and provides a subject for ethical debates around the world.
This module allows you to gain an insight in to the luxury end of the jewellery retail market through developing detailed knowledge and understanding of the grading systems used to determine the value, categorisation and certification of diamonds.
The second year explores further awareness of the breadth of the discipline, experimentation and risk taking, with introduction into more specialist pathways and optional modules, as well as exploring employability and collaborative practice.
In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 80 credits):
In this module you will be required to engage with a range of practice methodologies and carry out sustained, in-depth exploration of different materials, processes and techniques through the development of your own ideas.
You will be encouraged to demonstrate an increasingly critical and analytical approach to your practice as well as to establish inquisitive and experimental attitudes to self-generated ideas that illustrate your developing personal artistic language.
This module further develops students understanding of research methodologies and the ways in which research approaches and methods inform and support studio practice across a range of outputs.
You will be supported in developing independent research and studio practice with the view to identifying and applying your learning to an individual project in preparation for ongoing Study.
In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete at least 40 credits from the following list of OPTIONAL modules.
This module aims to widen your studio practice and deepen your engagement with the chosen discipline. You will explore larger scale and broader ranging work beyond the context of wearability, to produce outcomes which convey a sense of themselves to the viewer and you will also communicate a developing personal aesthetic.
The purpose of this module is to enable you to explore a range of ideas and concepts that relate to our identities, and the degree to which these can be said to reside in our physical bodies.
You will be introduced to key ideas in seminars, where you will have the opportunity to discuss the concepts themselves and explore how they find expression in a broad range of artefacts from the expanded field of jewellery and objects. You will be encouraged to extend your knowledge of this research context through independent research, and to build up your own bank of examples, artefacts and performances that exemplify the material covered in the seminars.
This module will introduce you to a range of materials encouraging you to undertake your own exploration of how a chosen material can be manipulated to achieve a variety of aesthetics. Alongside developing your knowledge of materials you will also develop critical thinking skills about how materials are/can be used to convey meaning in the field of Jewellery and Objects and within the broader context of art and design.
This module allows you to start to think about the idea of luxury and how it can be defined. You will expand your thinking to encompass the luxury sector of the market and explore the global significance of luxury jewellery brands, particularly how celebrity endorsement impacts on the perceptions of what luxury is.
You will consider the significance of brand heritage and examine whether reliance on loyalty to a brand can be maximised. You may also investigate how luxury brand extensions can be utilised. You need to understand how an emerging brand can find their identity through innovative and luxury marketing strategies.
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.
The module is an opportunity to learn and critically reflect on the skills of collaboration by enabling you to create an interdisciplinary project with students from complementary disciplines, or with academic staff. Collaboration is a vital employability skill within the Creative Industries and this module allows you to develop these skills, making use of University facilities and with the support of academic staff.
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+.
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 enables you to undertake a sustained, in-depth and theoretically informed practical Studio project exploring an area that is of personal interest to you. This will take place within a studio group context relevant to your chosen specialism and under the tutorage of a BA Tutor. You will work alongside like-minded peers to further enrich your enquiry. The outcome will take the form of a practice-based portfolio of Artefacts, Research and Design Development.
The overall aim of this module is to enable you to develop communication skills with which you may articulate your work to a high standard of professionalism, it will enable you to identify potential career opportunities which span the breadth of the discipline. This module you will explore key transferable skills which will enhance your employability and entrepreneurial skill sets. This module prepares you to launch a career within the creative industries as an industry graduate.
This is a three-year full-time design-based course exploring contemporary practice in the field of Jewellery and Object making. It 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 through a practical hands-on learning experience called experiential learning. This means you will be learning by doing, and designing your work and collections 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 the discipline concepts and outcomes is encouraged. Being open-minded will help you to embrace the philosophy and aims of this course, as studies are intended to stretch and challenge your perception of the subject area, enabling you to develop practical skills alongside intellectual engagement.
We deliver rich, world-leading learning through making and doing. You’ll work on industry briefs set by external companies and have the opportunity to understand jewellery on an international scale through a study trip.
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 3D 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 per cent 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.
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.
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.
Erasmus opportunities are available during the second year of study and will account for a 60 credit module. This scheme permits a successful student to study for up to one semester in a partnering institution overseas.
Applications are made by portfolio to partner institutions via a designated member of faculty staff and under the guidance of your Personal Tutor.
Many of our graduates progress to further studies, both within the School of Jewellery as well as farther afield, both nationally and internationally.
Our graduates are well versed in critical thinking and independent research practice, as well as being competent practitioners and designers, thus enabling them to explore their chosen practice further through MA, MfA and MPhil programmes.
Trip and visits
Study trips are not compulsory but encouraged in order to provide you with a wider understanding of professional practice. You can attend both national and international industry events in order to gain a wider contextual awareness of the field, including, but not exclusive to:
- Goldsmiths Fair - London
- International Jewellery London
- Inhorgenta – Germany
- Basel - Switzerland
- Schmuck – Germany
Enhancing your employability skills
Upon completing this programme, you will have gained an understanding of a range of materials, their properties and the processes used to create jewellery and objects. Your appreciation of the breadth of the discipline will permit innovative creative practice beyond the boundaries of jewellery and objects.
Graduates demonstrate critical thinking skills, and are confident and able to challenge concepts and make judgements in order to enable personal directions to be followed, as well as bring new opportunities to companies and industry practice.
Using a range of techniques to communicate and realise design ideas, you will develop a professional level of promotion and articulation suitable for a range of situations.
Self-directed study and applied project management skills throughout your studies allows you to utilise time efficiently in your graduate activities and professional roles.
You will be encouraged to take up any relevant opportunities which are available to you, and we have numerous opportunities for live projects which may lead to part-time employment and more. It is not uncommon for our students to be working in the industry part-time while studying with us.
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.
Links to Industry
The School is uniquely positioned in the heart of the Birmingham Jewellery Quarter, and has over 125 years of history training jewellers and silversmiths for the industry and later for the arts.
It proudly maintains its links with the surrounding industry and receives generous sponsorship through prizes and competitions. This includes The Birmingham Assay Office, Cookson Gold, Weston Beamor, The Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths, Royal Birmingham Society of Arts and numerous others.
Within the School are a number of other specialist courses which further enhance the industry connections from which collaborative practice and related activities can emerge, allowing for a wider range of associated links for our graduates.
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.
The course delivers a wide range of skills, through critical thinking to materials investigation and design development skills, allowing the participant to develop their own unique voice and forge an individual path for their onward careers.
Graduates are able to progress into a number of associated fields within the creative industries, including work as creative directors, gallery owners, curators, studio-based designer-maker practitioners, free-thinking entrepreneurs, educators and researchers.
Many also progress on to further study and associated industries.
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:
Our international students
Due to the prestigious history, reputation and positioning of the School of Jewellery, it is undoubtedly a popular destination for International applicants. The Jewellery and Objects Programme is therefore host to a number of international students.
Chinese students are attracted to the course as it offers a very distinct blend of European education married with traditional British design and craft skills.
There are also a number of European communities within the student profile, including Lithuania, Denmark and France, among others.
The cultural richness offered by this diverse student body offers unparalleled opportunities to our students and alumni in the form of global connections, awareness and opportunities for collaborations both while studying and also upon graduation.
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.
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.
Senior Lecturer, BA Hons Jewellery & Objects
Rebecca Skeels started her business in 1994 after graduating from the University of Wales. Since 1994, Rebecca’s thirst for knowledge and her passion for sharing has led her to graduate from Central Saint Martin’s (MA Project by Design) and achieving a PGC in Higher Education from the University for the Creative Arts. Rebecca is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
As a designer maker, Rebecca’s work has exhibited across Europe, in the US and in China. She continues to explore ideas and work collaboratively with like-minded designer makers of different disciplines utilising different materials. In parallel, Rebecca’s enthusiasm to encourage others to learn and to be creative led to her position as Senior Lecturer at the School of Jewellery at Birmingham City University.
Rebecca’s position as a design maker, leader of craft courses and as an active member of the UK’s craft industry, provides her with a unique perspective on education and requirements for the future of ‘the crafts’. Her interests allow her to continuously develop craft education to enable more inclusive learning experiences which are adaptable to the students’ abilities, and her exploration of ‘other’ materials and processes from different craft disciplines provides an extensive view of the industry.