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

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....

Studying with us in 2021/22 and 2022/23

The University has put in place measures in response to Covid-19 to allow us to safely deliver our courses.  Information about the arrangements for the 2021/22 academic year can be found here.  

 

Should the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic continue in the 2022/23 academic year or subsequent years of your course, any additional and/or alternative arrangements put in place by the University in response 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.

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

Overview

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.

This course is open to International students.

What's covered in this 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 with 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.

 

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

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
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.

Fees & How to Apply

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

UK students

Tuition fees shown are for the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation based on the Retail Prices Index and the additional costs we incur each year to deliver our courses, maintain and develop our infrastructure and provide a range of support services, or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: BA (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2022

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees

International students

Tuition fees shown are for the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation based on the Retail Prices Index and the additional costs we incur each year to deliver our courses, maintain and develop our infrastructure and provide a range of support services, or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: BA (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2022

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 1 year
  • £13,500 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.

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. You will also have access to all relevant creative 2D and 3D CAD software applicable to the course requirements.

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 £100 - £400+.

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 necessary hand tools to create and finish your chosen work.

Prototyping (mandatory)

Prototyping and producing product samples that utilise technology in a variety of materials is imperative to the completion of the course. In house equipment vastly reduces prototyping costs but students are encouraged to outsource additional materials and services depending on their individual designs. Items such as moulds are subsidised via the in house casting department. This cost varies greatly depending on students material and product choices.

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.

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

 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.

Interviews

Please note that the application process for this course includes an interview stage. If your application is successful, you will be contacted and invited to select a suitable interview date.

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.

Course in Depth

Year one

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

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.

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.

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.

Employability

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.

Placements

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

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.

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:

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.

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

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.

More about Claire

Andrew Howard

Lecturer

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. 

More about Andrew