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Jewellery and Silversmithing - Design for Industry (Level 6 | Top-up) - BA (Hons)

  • UCAS Code: W790
  • Level: Undergraduate
  • Starting: September 2021
  • Study mode: Full Time (1 year)
  • 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.

If you want to be a designer within the contemporary jewellery industry, our Jewellery and Silversmithing – Design for Industry degree course will help you succeed.

Focusing on new technology but building on existing traditional skills, you’ll receive the support, facilities and expertise to enhance your jewellery design potential.

Our graduates are highly successful and go on to work for prestigious names such as Tiffany & Co, Cartier and De Beers, as well as setting up their own successful design businesses.

What's covered in the course?

This leading design course is a one-year top-up, shaping contemporary designers for the jewellery and silversmithing industry. Emphasising new technology, it builds on existing traditional skills to enhance your potential.

Whether you want to work as a designer within a company or as a creative entrepreneur, our dedicated staff will help you develop a successful career.

Live projects give you a chance to test your skills and creativity, and exhibit work with the chance to be awarded student prizes. You will create several products throughout the course to develop your portfolio.

You’ll use the latest CAD software packages and work towards a project to design, develop and launch a new product range.

Visits to trade fairs, exhibitions and companies give you an understanding of commercial manufacturing environments and help you decide which aspect of the jewellery trade you want to work in.

Our students benefit from outstanding industry links and you’ll also have the chance to enter awards and competitions to help you get noticed.

Graduate Clive Taylor won the gold award in ‘Technological Innovation’ at the Goldsmiths’ Craft and Design Council Awards ceremony for his elegant LED desk lamp. Made from sterling silver and operated by proximity sensors and a mobile phone app, it’s an example of our student innovations.  Clive now creates elegant functional objects incorporating traditional silversmithing and modern technology.

You’ll study at our internationally-renowned School of Jewellery, in the heart of Birmingham’s famous Jewellery Quarter where much of today’s jewellery is still made. The historical facade of our Vittoria Street building conceals a contemporary environment including workshops, a specialist library, an atrium gallery and exhibition space.

Why Choose Us?

  • BA (Hons) Jewellery and Silversmithing - Design for Industry recently received the best jewellery course provider’ prize at International Jewellery London’s Leading Lights Awards.
  • 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.
  • You’ll have access to industry standard studio workshops with laser cutting, marking and welding, and a dedicated CAD facility. You also receive a laptop for the duration of your course, loaded with up-to-date, relevant CAD software.
  • 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.


Open Days

Our next Open Day is taking place in Summer 2021. It's the perfect opportunity to tour our facilities, hear from some of our staff and get a feel of what it's like to study at BCU.

Register your interest

This course is open to International students

School of Jewellery

Discover the School of Jewellery

Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.

Visit the School website

Where our students go

Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:

  • Tiffany & Co

And in jobs such as:

  • Quality Assurance and Valuation Specialist (Gemmologist)

Entry Requirements

Essential Requirements

240 credits equivalent following the study of a relevant and compatible course at Levels 4 and 5

In addition to qualifications, applicants will also need a good portfolio

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
Diploma in Higher Education (Dip HE) Students will be required to have successfully completed both Level 4 and Level 5 in a relevant and compatible course and achieved 240 credits.

Foundation Degree (Level 5)

Students will be required to have successfully completed a relevant and compatible course e.g FdA in Jewellery & Silversmithing and achieved 240 credits.

Higher National Diploma (HND)

Students will be required to have successfully completed in a relevant and compatible course and achieved 240 credits.
Transfers from other courses or universities?
Entry onto year three
  • Comparable module content required
  • Minimum 60% overall achieved
  • Must pass 120 credits at level 4 and 120 credits at level 5, and accepted Level 3 qualifications (112 UCAS points)
  • A transcript of modules studied and satisfactory portfolio will be required
  • All students will have previously achieved 240 credits at Level 5, achieved a pass or higher, or achieved a Higher National Diploma (HND) in a relevant and compatible subject, or achieved a pass or higher at the BA Level 5 equivalence, with the appropriate skills and experience.
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.

Mature Applicants

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

Level 6 Top-up course

Students will have completed Level 4 and 5 in a comparable course.

Don’t meet our entry requirements?

You could apply for a foundation course or a course at our International College. These routes have lower entry requirements and act as the bridge to a full degree. To find out more, please select your status:

Home student International student

  • UK students
  • International students

Award: BA (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2021

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees

Award: BA (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2021

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 1 year
  • £13,200 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

International students

There are three ways to apply:

1) Direct to the University

You will need to complete our International Application Form and Equal Opportunities Form, and submit them together with scan copies of your original academic transcripts and certificates.

2) Through a country representative

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.

3) Through UCAS

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.

Portfolio Guidance

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.

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.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

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

Additional costs

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?

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

Loans and Grants

Financial Support

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.

Year one

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

40 credits

You will explore the potential that 3D Cad software offers a designer/manufacturer within the industry. You will work with the technology hub to appreciate the variety of software available commercially and the practicalities of using this for production. You will learn and develop advanced modelling skills to fulfil a range of set tasks, from commercial client briefs to leading industry competitions.

20 credits

You will explore the potential for technological process used in the production of jewellery and allied products. You will work with the technology hub and equipment provided within the school’s extensive facilities to explore and appreciate the technological processes available commercially and the practicalities of using these for production.

20 credits

This module of work utilises your portfolio of products to showcase your skills, building on your Personal Development Plan and your future career aspirations. It runs concurrently with your final major project, using the new product range you are developing to promote your skills to the industry.

40 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.

Course Structure

The course is assessed through 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.

The course enables you to begin developing a collection of work to start a business with or towards creating a professional and relevant portfolio for your intended career.

You’ll develop a strong portfolio of work - each practical module leads to you creating a jewellery product, ready for market, constructed from precious metals or other materials.

You’ll also have the chance to enter competitions like the annual Charles Green awards, which is organised in partnership with the Birmingham-based jeweller. Marketing and Design Manager at Charles Green, Phillip Beale, is one of our graduates. He launched the competition after deciding he would like to give something back to the University and help current students.

The final stage of the course is an exhibition of work to promote you to future employers and industry professionals.

A variety of different learning and teaching methods are employed on the course. These include Lectures, Seminars, Critiques, Team Work, Presentations, Tutorials, Online Learning, and Self Directed Study.

If you wish to the push the boundaries of jewellery and silversmithing, challenge traditional conventions, and create experimental objects in materials other than metal then we suggest you visit our Jewellery and Objects course.

Further Study

The School of Jewellery offers a range of postgraduate courses, all of which involve innovative research and provide vocationally valuable experience. 

For further information on courses Tel: +44 (0)121 331 5595 or go direct to the courses section of the website.

Enhancing employability skills

The course has an excellent reputation for highly employable graduates with an in-depth understanding of the latest technology and the manufacturing industry.

You’ll have creative ability, commercial awareness and technical skills, using the latest CAD software packages. This will be complemented by essential networking, communication and presentation skills that are required in a competitive industry.

A strong portfolio shows your product range and creative style. You’ll also know how to create business plans, explore brands and market new products.

Our graduates have been exposed to industry and are quickly noticed by professional contacts.

By working on live briefs you’ll learn how to generate a range of potential ideas and apply this to the production of creative work.

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.


Although we don’t offer a formal placement year as part of this course, our students are offered a range of opportunities thanks to the outstanding industry links of our respected staff.


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.


BCU Graduate+

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.

More about Graduate+

Graduate jobs

We have an excellent reputation for producing highly employable graduates with the skills needed within the jewellery industry today.

Our graduates find roles as CAD designers and technicians, jewellery designers, independent designers and manufacturers and production technicians, or work in retail and marketing positions.

Career opportunities exist within the jewellery and silversmithing industry, including:

  • CAD designer/technician
  • Designer
  • Independent designer/manufacturer
  • Production technician
  • Retail
  • Marketing.

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

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.

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.

Learn more about BCUIC

Popular home countries

Our students come from around the world but our jewellery and silversmithing design for industry course is most popular with international students from:

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

Our staff are experts in their field and support students on their journey through their chosen course into professional life.

Claire Price

Claire Price

Senior Lecturer / Programme Leader

Claire is programme leader on the Jewellery and Silversmithing Design for Industry course. Working as a jewellery designer within the industry allowed Claire to explore the capabilities of Computer Aided Design (CAD) and develop skills and knowledge of production processes used for the manufacture of precious jewellery.

Computer Aided Design / Manufacturing and laser technology allowed Claire to implement new product development processes and create products that achieved recognition through industry awards. Working as a jewellery designer has allowed Claire to bring her knowledge and experience to the course providing students with the reality and expectations that the jewellery industry demands. Ensuring the course develops and maintains links with industry is imperative and she strives to collaborate with a variety of companies to enhance the student experience. Claire continues to develop work inspired by the endless possibilities created by CAD and laser sintering technology.

Andrew Howard


Andrew has been lecturing on the Design for Industry Course since January 2016.  He has strong links to the Jewellery Industry and uses these to his student’s advantage from organizing group visits to allow students to see behind the scenes in large companies to sign posting them to the best setters, finishers, casters etc.  Andrew has a passion for both Jewellery & Teaching and thrives on seeing his students’ progress into the Industry.  The DFI Course has a high post-graduation employment rate and excellent credentials within the Industry.  The DFI course is tailored to the individual rather than to the masses meaning no two days or projects are the same and with an ever increasing field this helps to keep Andrew at the forefront of the CAD Based Jewellery Industry.