Jewellery and Silversmithing - Design for Industry - BA (Hons)

  • UCAS Code: W790
  • Level: Undergraduate
  • Starting: September 2019
  • Study mode: Full Time (1 year)
  • Location: School of Jewellery

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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?

  • 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 nearby Jewellery Industry Innovation Centre (JIIC) 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 for this course will take place on Saturday 28 September 2019. Register your interest and we'll send an email update nearer the time. Visit us to see our facilities and speak to our staff and students.

Book your place

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£150 free credit for undergraduate students

We're offering new Home and EU undergraduate degree students enrolling in the 2019/20 academic year £150 credit to spend, giving you the best possible start to life at BCU. It can can be spent on a wide range of items from an online shop stocking books, clothes, art supplies, medical/nursing equipment and more.

*Term and Conditions apply - some undergraduate courses are not eligible for this scheme.

Find out more 

This course is open to International students

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

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

Typical Offers

Higher National Diploma in Jewellery & Silversmithing

112 Tariff points

Foundation Degree Course FdA in Jewellery & Silversmithing

Equivalent qualifications or experience

International Baccalaureate: 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.

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.

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 or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BA (Hons) Sep 2019 FT 1 year £9,250 per year Apply via UCAS

International Students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BA (Hons) Sep 2019 FT 1 year £12,300 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/EU students


UK and EU 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

Non-EU (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. 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

Additional costs

The additional costs listed at the bottom of the page are to be used for indicative purposes only and are based on the additional costs for the 2018/19 academic year. The additional costs for 2019/20 will be published as soon as possible.

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):

Advanced Digital Technology
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.

Download the full module specification

Design for Production
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.

Download the full module specification

Graduate Entrepreneurship
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.

Download the full module specification

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.

Download the full module specification

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 Design and Related Products course.

Student stories

Katy Tromans

Katy's story

Katy Tromans created a collection of decorative jewellery rings and holders inspired by popular children’s stories and fairy tales for her final year project. She was inspired by a fascination with coins as a teenager to create a selection of intricate jewellery artworks. "When I began the Design for Industry course, I started to think about stories that were more personal to me, that also reminded me of my childhood and might do the same for other people. My work is all about inducing memories and my customers being able to relate to it," she said.

Katy Tromans work

Amy's story

Student Amy Roberts tells us why she chose to study Jewellery and Silversmithing (Design for Industry) at the School of Jewellery. The facilities at Vittoria Street particularly stood out.

Trip and visits

Visits to manufacturers and businesses add relevance to your studies and give you the opportunity to see the industry at work and make vital connections.

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 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.

Student stories Jack Row

Award-winning Craftsperson and Designer

Jack Row is an award-winning craftsperson and designer. He has won a number of awards for his collections of luxurious precious metal fountain pens and cufflinks, including the coveted British Jewellers Association prize for his precious metal fountain pen design and a gold medal prize by the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths.

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.

Rachael Briggs

Rachael Briggs specialises in CAD design. She said: “The flexible course structure allowed me to tailor projects to gain experience in my chosen career path. I created a multimedia CV throughout the year, which helped me to go straight into a job on completion. I now work as design manager in a manufacturing company.”

Richard Vinten

Graduate Richard Vinten said the course reputation is highly regarded: “I’m now working within the jewellery trade where I’m involved with employment decisions. Anyone with a Design for Industry qualification really stands out especially when applying for a CAD and 3D printing role.”

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.