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Jewellery and Objects - BA (Hons)

Currently viewing course to start in 2023/24 Entry. Switch to 2022/23 Entry

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....

  • School School of Jewellery
  • Faculty Faculty of Arts, Design and Media

Overview

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.

Professional Placement Year

This course offers a professional placement year. This allows you to spend a whole year with an employer, between the second and third years of your degree, and is a great way to find out more about your chosen career. Some students even return to the same employers after completing their studies.

The University will draw on its extensive network of local, regional and national employers to support you in finding a suitable placement to complement your chosen area of study. If you do not find a suitable placement, you will be automatically transferred back to the standard, non-placement version of the course.

Please note that fees are payable during your placement year, equivalent to 20% of the total full-time course fee for that year (£1,850 for UK students).

This course is open to International students.

What's covered in this 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. 

The BA Hons Jewellery and Objects programme empowers its students to create innovative jewellery and objects which challenge the boundaries of the discipline, enabling our graduates to be uniquely positioned to lead and contribute to the wider professional field.

Beaulagh Brooks - Course Director

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.

Studying with us during the Covid-19 pandemic

The University has put in place measures in response to Covid-19 to allow us to safely deliver our courses. Should the impact of the pandemic continue in future years, any additional or alternative arrangements put in place by the University will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.

Open Days

Join us for an on-campus Open Day where you'll be able to explore our campus and facilities in person. You'll be able to hear more about your chosen subject area in our course talks.

Next Open Days: Autumn 2022

Register your interest

Entry Requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.

Essential Requirements

112 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels.


In addition to qualification applicants will also need a good portfolio.

LEVEL 2 QUALIFICATIONS
IELTS 6.0 overall with no less than 5.5 in each band.
Plus one of the following Level 3 (and above) Qualifications
A Level and Advanced VCE
  • BBC / 112 UCAS points
  • A maximum of 4 subjects are considered. These can be other A/S Levels (as long in a different subject) A-Levels or Level 3 equivalents.
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
  • Pass with 60 credits overall. At least 45 credits at Level 3.
  • BA (Hons) Product and Furniture Design & BA (Hons) Landscape Architecture - Construction, Planning, Built Environment and Art and Design subjects preferred but other subjects also considered.
  • BA (Hons) Art and Design, BA (Hons) Fine Art, BA (Hons) Jewellery and Objects, BA (Hons) Horology - Arts, Media and Publishing subjects preferred but other subjects also considered.
  • BA (Hons) International Jewellery Business - Arts, Media and Business subjects preferred but other subjects also considered.
  • BA (Hons) Graphic Communication, BA (Hons) Illustration, BA (Hons) Photography, & BA (Hons) Design for Performance - Arts, Media and Publishing subjects preferred but other subjects also considered.
  • Pearson BTEC National Extended Diploma (2016 – present)
  • Pearson BTEC Extended Diploma (QCF) (2010 - 2016)
  • BTEC Level 3 National Diploma (2002 – 2010)
DMM
Foundation Studies (Art and Design, and Art, Design & Media)
  • Distinction
  • Can be considered alongside other Level 3 qualifications (AS Levels must be in different subject to A-Levels) to obtain 112 pts
IBO Certificate in Higher Level
  • 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
  • Considered with other acceptable level 3 qualifications to meet 112 UCAS Tariff Points
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
  • Achieve a minimum of 112 tariff points achieved in either three Advanced Highers or from a combination of two Advanced Highers plus two Highers.
  • 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).
T-Levels
  • Merit overall
  • Design, Surveying and Planning T Level considered for BA (Hons) Product and Furniture Design & BA (Hons) Landscape Architecture courses
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
Other qualifications

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
Essential

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
IELTS

6.0 overall with no less than 5.5 in each band.

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).

Country-specific entry requirements and qualifications.

 

International students who cannot meet the direct entry requirements can begin their degree studies at Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC).

Mature Applicants

Applications from mature students (21+) with alternative qualifications and/or considerable work experience will be considered on their merits.

Fees & How to Apply

Please select your student status to view fees and apply
  • UK Student
  • International Student

UK students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: BA (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2023

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees

International students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: BA (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2023

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 3 years
  • TBC
  • Full Time
  • 4 years (with Professional Placement)
  • TBC

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.

Access to computer equipment

You will require use of a laptop, and most students do prefer to have their own. However, you can borrow a laptop from the university or use one of our shared computer rooms.

Printing

You will receive £5 print credit in each year of your course, available after enrolment.

Field trips

All essential field trips and associated travel costs will be included in your course fees.

Access to Microsoft Office 365

Every student at the University can download a free copy of Microsoft Office 365 to use whilst at university and for 18 months after graduation.

Key software

You will be able to download SPSS and Nvivo to your home computer to support with your studies and research.

Key subscriptions

Subscriptions to key journals and websites are available through our library.

Free access to Rosetta Stone

All students can sign up to the online learning language platform for free through the Graduate+ scheme.

Project materials (mandatory)

This course includes project work that requires you to develop and produce a portfolio or collection. You'll be expected to provide the materials for use in your individual major projects; costs will vary depending on the materials selected, but are likely to be in the region of £300 - £500 per year and an estimated cost of up to £300 for the material for your Final Year Major project.

Clothing and safety equipment (mandatory)

This course requires the purchase of safety equipment in order to use the workshop facilities.

Media consumable items (mandatory)

This course requires the use of consumables.

Specialist equipment (mandatory)

This course requires the purchase of specialist equipment, including additional tools depending on your field of interest.

Excess printing (optional)

Once you have spent your £5 credit, additional printing on campus costs from 5p per sheet.

Books (optional)

All module key texts will be in the University library, but in limited numbers. You may choose to purchase a copy.

Placement expenses (optional)

If you choose to undertake a placement, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst living or working away from home.

Field trips (optional)

This course includes the option of additional trips that may enhance your experience, at extra cost.

Memberships (optional)

You may wish to join a union or professional body related to this course.

Software (optional)

You may wish to purchase Rhino software for 3D modelling.

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.

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

  1. Register with UCAS
  2. Login to UCAS and complete your details
  3. Select your course and write a personal statement
  4. Get a reference
  5. Pay your application fee and submit your application

Portfolio Guidance

You will be required to submit a portfolio to complete your application.

A digital portfolio can be submitted via your applicant portal, and we ask that this is submitted within four weeks of making your application. Please see our portfolio guidance page for tips on putting your portfolio together.

Applicants from selected locations in the West Midlands may also be offered an opportunity to present a portfolio in person. If this option is available to you, you will receive an email with further details once you have submitted your application.

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.

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.

Get personal statement advice

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

Course in Depth

Year one

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):

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 Design 20 credits

Core modules are guaranteed to run. Optional modules will vary from year to year and the published list is indicative only.

Year two

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 order to complete this course a student must successfully complete at least 40 credits from the following list of OPTIONAL modules.

Core modules are guaranteed to run. Optional modules will vary from year to year and the published list is indicative only.

Year three

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):

Download course specification

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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. 

Employability

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.

Placements

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

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.

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.

International

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.

Facilities & Staff

Jewellery facilities gallery image

Our Facilities

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

Beaulagh Brooks

Course Director/Senior Lecturer & School Lead Academic

A highly experienced Educator, Academic, Manager and Designer-Maker, with a passion for Teaching & Learning focusing on the Creative Industries and Applied Arts. Beaulagh is especially interested in Studio Practice and developing students employability and Graduate enterprise skills, alongside creative research and practice. Her current...

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Rebecca Skeels

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...

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Anna Lorenz

Lecturer on the BA (Hons) Jewellery & Objects Course

Anna works cross disciplines in a practice-based way and teaches part time on the BA (Hons) Jewellery & Object course at the School of Jewellery. Originally from the South of Germany, Anna apprentice trained with a Master Goldsmiths, gained a BA (Hons) First Class Degree in Jewellery and Silversmithing from the School of Jewellery and completed...

More about Anna