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Gemmology and Jewellery Studies - BSc (Hons)

Clearing places available

104 points required

Work out your points with our UCAS points calculator

  • UCAS Code: 73J9
  • Level: Undergraduate
  • Starting: September 2020
  • Location: School of Jewellery
Waiting for results? Download Clearing Guide Got your results? Apply online now

104 points

(or equivalent) is the minimum you will need to be considered for this course in Clearing.

Use the UCAS Tariff Calculator to work out your points.

Got your results?

If you've already received your results and have enough points for this course you can apply online now.

Apply now

Waiting for results?

Download our guide to Clearing to prepare ahead of results day and get your results day 2020 questions answered.

Get advice

Please note: the entry requirements listed below are relevant for main cycle applications and may not be applicable during Clearing.

Our BSc (Hons) Gemmology and Jewellery Studies degree is one of the only courses of its kind in the world. This gemmology course will enable you to gain the highest level of professionally-recognised gemmological skills.

Based in the heart of Birmingham’s thriving Jewellery Quarter, you’ll benefit from unrivalled expertise and facilities as you explore precious gems and all relevant aspects of the jewellery trade.

What's covered in the course?

Our highly practical Gemmology and Jewellery Studies degree offers an introduction to gemmological theory and testing, diamond grading and jewellery valuation.

With our fully-equipped gem labs at your disposal, you’ll be able to carry out a range of standard and advanced gemmological tests used in the identification of gemstones.

You’ll have the chance to put gem materials under the microscope, from natural and synthetic gemstones through to imitation. There will also be a chance to learn complementary skills such as photography.

You’ll study at our brand new purpose-built facilities at the Assay Office, just a few minutes’ walk from the School of Jewellery and in the heart of Birmingham’s famous Jewellery Quarter, where much of today’s jewellery is still made. Our staff team are all experts in their field, and have extensive industry experience. Our graduates go on to work in a wide variety of roles in the jewellery industry throughout the world.

Why Choose Us?

  • This Gemmology and Jewellery Studies degree is one of the only courses of its kind.
  • Students are satisfied with this course! We scored 91 per cent for overall satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2019.
  • It is taught by industry experts and leading academics in their field.
  • You’ll work in state-of-the-art, purpose-built facilities, with an extensive range of both standard and advanced gemmological equipment.
  • You will have the opportunity to continue your study at postgraduate level with our ground breaking research team.
  • Our department has extensive links with industry, and sponsors include Garrard and Fellows.
  • You study where the industry practices – the course is based in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, where an estimated 40 per cent of British jewellery is made today.
  • Founded in 1890, our internationally-renowned School of Jewellery is the largest school of its kind in Europe. 

This course is open to International students

Gemmology graduate image

Gemmology graduate lands job in Africa

Graduate Max Lamb has secured a job at Gemfields, at the Kagaem Emrald Mine in Zambia, the world’s largest single producer of emerald.

Read more 

Where our students go

Our students have gone on to work in jobs such as:

  • Sales accounts and business development managers
  • Product, clothing and related designers n.e.c.
  • Further education teaching professionals

Entry Requirements


(or equivalent) is the minimum you will need to be considered for this course in Clearing. Use the UCAS Tariff Calculator to work out your points.

Got your results?

If you've already received your results and have enough points for this course you can apply online now.

Apply now

Waiting for results?

Download our guide to Clearing to prepare ahead of results day and get your results day 2020 questions answered.

Get advice

Alternative options

If you do not have 104 points, you may like to look at our:

Or explore your options if you don’t have enough points for any of our courses.

Please note: the entry requirements listed below are relevant for main cycle applications and may not be applicable during Clearing.

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

Essential Requirements

112 UCAS tariff points.

GCSE English Language and Maths at gradate 4/C or above. Must have been achieved at the point of application. Equivalent qualifications can be considered in lieu of GCSE subjects as long as the required subject are covered.

If your application is shortlisted you will be invited to attend an interview. This will give us the opportunity to ensure a good fit between you and the course in terms of your interests and aspirations.

Typical Offers (UK students)
UK Qualification Requirements
GCE A Level/ AS Level BBC at A-Level or 112 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A-Levels
Access to Higher Education Diploma Pass overall with 60 credits, 45 at Level 3 and 15 at Level 2. Must be in a relevant subject pathway
BTEC National Diploma (12-units not including early years) D*D* or combined with 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 112 UCAS points
BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units not including early years) DMM - 112 UCAS points
BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/ National Award (6-units not including early years) D* or combined with 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 112 UCAS points
BTEC Diploma in Foundation Studies in Art and Design Distinction
International Baccalaureate Diploma

Obtain a minimum of 28 points overall. 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 and alongside other acceptable level 3 qualifications to meet 112 UCAS Tariff Points.

Irish Leaving Certificate Pass the Irish Leaving Certificate with a minimum of 112 tariff points, achieved in four Higher level subjects.
Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher Achieve a minimum of 112 tariff points. 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). Where only Highers have been taken a minimum of (BBCCC) are required.
Welsh Baccalaureate (core plus options) grade Pass plus grades CC at A-Level (or equivalent qualifications) to achieve a minimum total of 112 UCAS points
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

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).

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.

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/EU students
  • International students

Award: BSc (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2020

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees

Award: BSc (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2020

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 3 years
  • £12,800 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.

Places available to start in September 2020

If you'd like to start this course full-time this September, you can apply through Clearing.

Got your results?

If you've already received your results and have enough points for this course you can apply online now.

Apply now

Waiting for results?

Download our guide to Clearing to prepare ahead of results day and get your results day 2020 questions answered.

Get advice

International and part-time students can apply online as normal using the links above.

Want to start in September 2021?

You can apply via UCAS from September 2020.

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. Many of these activities are essential and compulsory parts of your learning experience.

The link below gives you an estimate of the possible costs associated with key activities on your course. Please bear in mind that these are only estimates of costs based on past student experience and feedback. The actual costs could vary considerably (either greater or lower than these estimates) depending on your choices as you progress through the course.

All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

View additional costs for this course

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):

Introduction to Gemmology and Jewellery Studies
60 credits

This module is designed to introduce you to the theoretical study of gemstones and the techniques used for their identification which is key knowledge that is highly valued within the industry. The module starts with you studying the physical properties of natural and synthetic gemstones and gemstone simulants, to familiarise you with a representative suite of gem materials. You will study the science and theories that underpin our understanding and interpretation of the physical properties used within gem testing. In addition, the module introduces you to the most commercially important gemstone, diamond, as a distinct and separate specialism. You will also study basic concepts of geology and how these may apply to the formation of gemstones and gem deposits.

Gemmology and Diamond Practical
60 credits

This module introduces you to the skills and techniques of practical gemmology where you will develop stone testing experience through the use of a range of standard gemmological instruments, and gain familiarity with a representative suite of gem materials, utilising the learning which you gain in the gemmology theory module. These are the crucial abilities that will underpin your future career within gemmology, and vital to your future employability. Additionally, once you have gained confidence in using the basic gemmological equipment, you will be introduced to advanced spectroscopic testing equipment, and will run experiments designed to apply the scientific concepts taught in the associated theory module.

Year two

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

Applied Gemmology
60 credits

This module is designed to build on the Level 4 modules to further expand your knowledge of gemstone properties and characteristics, and to increase the range of gemstones that you are familiar with.

On completion of the module, you will be able to describe a wide range of gemstone phenomena and properties, and build further on the knowledge gained at Level 4 to explain more advanced gemmological concepts and theories. You will develop your basic gem testing abilities so that you can undertake critical analysis of testing techniques on a wide variety of organic, non-organic, ornamental, natural, artificial and treated stones, in rough and fashioned forms, both loose and mounted in jewellery.

20 credits

Organic materials are amongst some of the earliest gem materials used by man. This module is designed to develop your specialist knowledge of a range of organic gem materials (pearls, coral, shell, jet, tortoiseshell, ivory, horn, and amber), to learn methods of identification, treatments, simulants, and methods of pearl culturing. Additionally, you will explore and debate the ethics surrounding the use of various materials, protection of endangered species, and restrictions in dealing and shipping of organic materials. The practical element of this module will teach you to detect organic gems by observational features, and the principles of pearl grading.

20 credits

Jade is a gem material with huge commercial and cultural importance. Its history stretches back for thousands of years, and has not only been used in jewellery, but for ornamental purposes, religious artefacts, and even weaponry. This module is designed to enable you to explore jadeite and nephrite in greater depth, their history, geological origins, treatments, and common simulants, and to analyse and understand the cultural significance of these unique gem materials.

Industry Studies
20 credits

This module invites you to reflect on your intended position within the industry post-graduation, and to engage in a cycle of experiential learning to ensure that you capitalise on the opportunities available once you have left the programme.

Year three

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

Advanced Gemmology and Analytical Techniques
60 credits

Advanced gemmology and analytical techniques is designed to equip you with both the theory, intellectual context and application of the ‘state of the art’ scientific testing techniques utilised in both the gem and diamond industries. It will also provide you with the intellectual skills and confidence required to tackle challenges you will encounter in your future career. The module is designed to encourage you to explore, investigate and research as inherent aspects of the learning process. To allow you to develop the transferable skills of problem solving and self-reliance.

Valuation Science
20 credits

In commerce value is an intrinsic and fundamentally important aspect, therefore the skills and knowledge you gain within this module can find useful application in many aspects of the industry.

This module builds on your knowledge of the concepts of valuation covered in modules from level 4 and 5 of the degree Your knowledge and understanding of gemstones, jewellery, metals and their relative valuations introduced at levels 4 and 5 will be enhanced in both breadth and sophistication.

Major Project
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

Gain the highest level of gemmological skills, as well as knowledge of all relevant aspects of the jewellery trade, with our Gemmology and Jewellery Studies course. Our highly-practical course will give you the professionally-recognised attributes and experience you need to enhance your employability prospects.

You will work in our fully-equipped, purpose-built gem labs, carrying out a range of gemmological tests, as well as learning advanced-level analytical techniques, diamond grading and jewellery valuation.

You will be introduced to a range of gemmological testing equipment, as well as diamond theory, jewellery valuation and appraisal. You will also learn to grade diamonds to a professional standard, while sharpening your skills in photography and photomicrography.

As you become more skilled and familiar with the equipment, you get the opportunity in your second year to continue your gemmological studies to a greater depth. This will also include greater knowledge of jewellery valuation and appraisal, an extensive practical gemmology testing project, and specialist modules in Jade and organic gem materials.

In your third year, you will conduct advanced scientific testing of gem materials, as well as applying the use of spectroscopy to advance your study of diamonds. The knowledge of jewellery valuation and appraisal that you have commenced in your first two years will be further strengthened, and your increasing skills in analytical techniques will then be demonstrated in a research project of your own choosing.

You’ll study in our industry-standard facilities in the Assay Office. You’ll also undertake national and international field trips to gain a wider understanding of the gemmology field.

Classroom Activities and Projects

Around 50% of our work is practical, and is based in our purpose- built gem testing labs. You will work with a wide variety of precious gem materials, including rough crystals, cut stones and gems set into jewellery. 

Trips and Visits

Our trips vary each year, depending on what events are being held. They range from attending talks, conferences and museum visits, to field trips both in the UK and abroad. Examples are visits to the London museums, the annual Gem-A Conference, the Blue John mines in Derbyshire, geology field trips to Cornwall and Scotland, a week-long laboratory visit to the University of St Andrews, a three-day visit to the Antwerp Diamond District and a recent third-year trip to Cambodia and Thailand. 

Study and work abroad

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.

It is open to undergraduates in their second year (or above) and offers a unique opportunity to enhance your CV and experience new cultures. If you study with us you will have access to an Erasmus co-ordinator, who can provide information about which institutions we have links with.

Find out more

Further Study

The MSc Gemmology is currently undergoing validation, and will provide a route to postgraduate study. The department also has current PhD students. For information on further study options after the undergraduate degree course in Gemmology and Jewellery Studies call +44 (0)121 331 5595 or go direct to the courses section of the website.

Enhancing Employability skills

Employability and key transferable skills are embedded within the course ethos to maximise our students’ capabilities and understanding of potential career opportunities. Each module is designed to incorporate both generic and industry-specific skillsets to give students maximum flexibility in their chosen career path.

Modules are structured to include field visits and opportunities for students to observe and develop an understanding of potential routes to employment. Additionally, the course content includes extensive training in advanced analytical techniques which are required by laboratories worldwide. 


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

All of our tutors have worked within the industry, and therefore the course has excellent links with the jewellery trade. Our course has a number of industry sponsors, and they fund a great programme of visiting lectures from a wide variety of experts in the gemmology trade. We also have a number of industry sponsored prizes for high-achieving students, and work closely with other universities and gemmological professional bodies around the world. 


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

Our graduates take on a wide variety of international roles within the jewellery industry. Examples are laboratory work, diamond grading, academic research, teaching, stone dealing, stone buying, retail, auctioneering, and valuation and appraisal.

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 gemmology and jewellery course is most popular with international students from:

Gemmology Facilities Image


Our Gemmology students are based in new, state-of-the-art premises at Moreton Street in the Jewellery Quarter, within the Assay Office Birmingham building.

The purpose-built workshops are spacious and superbly well-equipped with equipment, samples and books. Within the department, there is access to some of the highest specification of equipment available for gemmological education in the world. Our students also have access to the further advanced equipment housed within the Assay office’s AnchorCert laboratory. 


Jewellery and Horology workshops are located on the main School of Jewellery site complemented with a Technology Hub including state of the art digital manufacturing equipment.


The Gemmology department is furnished with high specification interactive lecture facilities and is situated within the working environment of Birmingham’s Assay Office.

IT and library

Computers and laptops have the latest Adobe software and you will be given access to as a source of great tutorials and advice to support your studies. The School of Jewellery has its own specialist library with a comprehensive range of international periodicals and access to the Mintel Report.


Our students love the friendly, welcoming atmosphere of the School and return year on year to our annual exhibitions.

Our Staff

All of the staff teaching on the course have an industry background.

Miranda Wells, Programme leader, was a stone dealer and buyer in the trade for 10 years before coming to the University.

Andrew Fellows, Lecturer, has been a gemmologist and tutor for many years, and before coming to Birmingham City University he worked for Gem-A for five years.

Miranda Wells

Programme Leader - BSc (Hons) Gemmology and Jewellery Studies

Andrew Fellows

Lecturer - BSc (Hons) Gemmology and Jewellery Studies

Sian Hindle

Lecturer in Contextual Studies

Sian’s lecturing work focuses on the social, cultural, historical and theoretical context to the production and use of jewellery and related products, with a student-centred approach from the outset.  Sian works across most of the undergraduate programmes within the School of Jewellery, providing Industry Studies for the vocational programmes (such as HND Jewellery and Silversmithing, and BSc (Hons) Gemmology and Jewellery Studies) and Contextual Studies for the more art jewellery-focused BA (Hons) Jewellery and Objects.

Throughout her teaching, Sian aims to provide students with the conceptual tools to be able to deepen their practice and to engage critically with the cultural field they aspire to work in.  This study may involve applying theory to the analysis of artefacts, or applying project management techniques to research projects.  In addition to her lecturing work she also convenes the School of Jewellery’s Talking Practice series of lectures, helping to create a vibrant research culture and raise the profile of the School.

Read Sian's full profile