Jewellery and Related Products - GradDip
This unique one-year Graduate Diploma is a two-semester pre-Masters course in jewellery and related products. The course gives you the opportunity to develop your portfolio, specifically in the field of contemporary jewellery, to better enable progression onto MA or other higher-level study....
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.
This unique one-year Graduate Diploma is a two-semester pre-Masters course in jewellery and related products.
The course gives you the opportunity to develop your portfolio, specifically in the field of contemporary jewellery, to better enable progression onto MA or other higher-level study.
The Graduate Diploma will encourage creative jewellery and related product studio practice that develops confidence in self-directed study and independent learning skills. You’ll acquire the professional and academic development needed for progression onto MA and into industry.
What's covered in this course?
You will gain knowledge and understanding of industry through visits to industry, locally and nationally.
You will develop your understanding of historical and theoretical underpinnings of contemporary jewellery with regular lecture and seminar sessions.
The course requires a significant amount of technical and studio based teaching to help you gain an understanding of materials and processes. You will gain hands-on experience of technical processes through the demonstrations and use of machinery available within the school.
The course will help you develop modelling and prototypes skills and design thinking, as well as communication skills through presenting your work and ideas to your peers and tutors. Participating in critical feedback sessions and recording reflections of your progress and development is core to this course and will help prepare you for future desired progression.
You are encouraged and challenged to identify and develop your own specific interests. You will be guided through developing critical reflective skills whilst enhancing your competence in sustaining an in-depth studio material practice within the specifics of jewellery and related product studio techniques and processes.
The course finishes with an exhibition of your final collection. This usually takes place in the School of Jewellery alongside other final year undergraduate students. This gives you the experience of completing and showcasing a professional body of work as well as being a part of the end of year celebrations.
Why Choose Us?
- A unique course preparing you for Masters study.
- All graduates with distinction from the course are automatically accepted onto our MA in Jewellery and Related Products.
- Hands-on experience of technical processes.
- Ability to identify and develop your own creative practice.
- 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 School of Jewellery has strong and well-established links with national jewellery industry, including companies such as Georg Jensen, Denmark.
- Sponsorship, support and strong collaborative links with industry will help you to develop an entrepreneurial outlook and an insight into the professional world.
- We have an excellent reputation for highly employable, creative graduates with an in-depth understanding of the latest technology and the manufacturing industry.
- Our Technology Hub offers expertise in a range of industry-related techniques, including CAD and manufacturing, rapid prototyping, surface finishing, reverse engineering and project management.
- 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.
Undergraduate honours degree, first or upper second, in an Art and Design related subject with portfolio.
Candidates may be admitted without an Art/Design degree via APEL/APL subject to agreement of Academic Registrar, for example if they have a high level of educational, industrial or professional experience.
|You must hold a qualification recognised as graduate status and agreed by Academic Registry and English IELTS 6 (average) or GCSE English 4 (C) or above.|
Skills we'd like to see in your porfolio
- Use of a visible design process for idea development
- Willingness to experiment using a range of media, materials and technologies
- Any relevant work you’ve created outside of academia
- Innovation and enquiry
Fees & How to Apply
- UK students
- International students
Starting: Sep 2021
- Full Time
- 1 year
- £7,700 per year
Starting: Sep 2021
- Full Time
- 1 year
- £17,100 per year
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.
You will receive £5 print credit in each year of your course, available after enrolment.
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.
You will be able to download SPSS and Nvivo to your home computer to support with your studies and research.
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.
Free access to LinkedIn Learning, which offers over 5,000 in-depth and bite-sized courses.
Free Adobe Creative Cloud licence
Students studying on this course can request a free licence to install the entire suite of applications on up to two personal devices.
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 £100 - £1,500.
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 a jewellery tool box and specialist handtools (from £350).
Excess printing (optional)
Once you have spent your £5 credit, additional printing on campus costs from 5p per sheet.
Field trips (optional)
This course includes the option of additional trips that may enhance your experience, at extra cost.
You may wish to join a union or professional body related to this course.
Students may incur application costs if submitting to compettions or extrnally organised exhibtions.
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.
Students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.
Your postgraduate personal statement is going to shine a light on your personal experience, academic success, personal skills and any other factors that will support your application for further study.
Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:
Your passion and motivations
Studying a postgraduate course usually means you want to specialise in something. So what’s driving you?
Why this course?
Show that you’ve researched the course offering. What is it about this particular course that appeals to you? Is it the lecturers? The modules? Etc.
What makes you a good postgraduate candidate?
Tutors want to know that you can handle postgraduate study, so show them how your undergraduate experiences or work life has equipped you for a more advanced level of study. Key areas to address are research and group work but this can vary depending on your chosen course.
Relevant academic or work experience
Add anything relevant that relates back to your chosen course and shows how your skills will contribute towards your learning. What extra-curricular activities have you taken part in? What awards have you won? What employment or voluntary experience do you have that has helped you develop transferable skills? How do these specifically relate to the course you are applying for?
You should also mention your future plans and how a postgraduate qualification fits in. Try to look beyond your postgraduate study – do you plan to jump straight into a specific career or follow your studies with a research degree? Lastly, use plain, professional English and, where possible, utilise the language of your chosen industry.
Get more information on writing personal statements.
Course in Depth
In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):
In this practical workshop module you will be given a number of demonstrations on the use and application of Jewellery and Related Products techniques and processes.
You will be expected to record notes that will then enable you to apply these techniques and processes independently. A range of creative project briefs will be introduced through which you will experiment and explore the design and making process from two-dimensional design through to three-dimensional realisation.
This module will run concurrently with the studio modules and support your studio and practical learning experience. You will develop a contextual understanding, be introduced to research methods, and gain confidence in critical reflection, evaluation and presentation.
This module will include information literacy learning supported through library sessions, with staff to support you in accessing and assessing relevant information for group work and your independent research.
This module asks you to propose, develop and realise a personal self-directed studio-based research project focused on your own specific interests. You will be expected to evaluate appropriate methods of workings for your project work that articulates your identified field of interest. With tutorial support you will be planning your own design development, recording your progress, and reflecting on your design decisions. The expectation is that you will be working with increasing independence and will be able to reason your design decision.
A variety of different learning and teaching approaches are employed on your course to support your continuous learning throughout your time here.
These approaches include the following activities:
- workshop based demonstrations and practice
- group critiques
- team work
- group and individual tutorials
- online learning via Moodle
- industry and gallery visits
- self-directed study and one day projects
The course generally continues the undergraduate and School’s philosophy of teaching through a practical “hands-on” learning experience called “Experiential Learning” This means that you will be learning by “doing”, and designing via making. Experimenting with materials, process and techniques is encouraged. This enables you to actively engage with and solve three-dimensional problems, whilst developing your designing, making and craft skills.
Trips and visits
Visits to local industry in the Jewellery Quarter such as Cooksonsgold, one of UK’s largest jewellery suppliers and bullion dealers, is included in the course. Additional visits to galleries and exhibitions and taking advantage of cultural opportunities within the city and the UK is an important part of the enrichment of the course.
Enhancing your employability skills
Graduates from the School of Jewellery are highly employable and are familiar with the latest industry skills and techniques.
You’ll have the knowledge and skill to work with the materials, processes and techniques to create innovative 2D and 3D design.
The course will have enabled you to demonstrate independent thinking and the ability to prepare and realise a successful self-initiated project.
You’ll have a collection of work, completed to a high standard of professionalism, which shows your creative identity.
You’ll also develop a range of transferable skills, such as how to communicate ideas and solve problems, as well as developing negotiation and planning skills.
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.
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
This course is ideal for international students looking to top up their skills before taking an MA.
The international reputation and outstanding location in the heart of the Jewellery Quarter attracts students from all over the world. Our course is particularly popular with students from the Far East who want to study advanced design techniques from top professionals.
Facilities and Staff
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.
Course Leader Foundation, Course leader Graduate Diploma
Bridie is an experienced jewellery designer/maker and lecturer. She spent several years as an artist and academic in Australia where latterly she was Coordinator of the Jewellery and Object Studio at Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney.
Some of her work was recently included in a group exhibition, “Transplantation: British and Australian Narrative Jewellery”, that is touring UK and Australia.
Bridie worked with a Sydney colleague as co-curator of “By Example” – a significant exhibition of contemporary Australian jewellery shown at the Itami Cultural Foundation, Itami, Japan.
Her personal research interests include issues of the handmade and the digital, intersections of art and design. She considers art jewellery as a medium, an interface of the virtual (interiority, the imaginary) and the real.
She uses a variety of materials in various combinations with metal, including plastics as well as found material, minerals (non precious stones) and organics (shell, horse hair).More about Bridie
Lecturer - MA Jewellery and Related Products, Graduate Diploma
Rebecca Steiner is an award-winning goldsmith whose work has been exhibited across the UK and Europe. Her research interests include crafts education, professional development for practitioners and the wider benefits of crafts practice in relation to personal autonomy, agency and wellbeing.
She holds a Masters Degree in Design: Critical Practice from Goldsmiths University of London.
She currently lectures on the MA Jewellery and Object and Graduate Certificate coursesMore about Rebecca
Jeremy Hobbins BA (Hons), HND, MBHI
Head Of Horology
Professional Horologist for 20 years, both employed and self-employed in Clock and Watch Repair/Restoration. Examiner for British Horological Institute prior to joining Birmingham City University. Former life in Catering Management, Business Studies Degree.More about Jeremy