Depending on the level you wish to study, the furniture courses give students well-rounded woodworking theory and skills that enhance your employment prospects and work towards becoming a professional furniture maker or conservator. Skills such as wood carving, wood turning, hand veneering and hand finishing will be developed. You will benefit from close connections with the heritage sector, study trips, placement opportunities and visits from industry experts.
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Levels 4 & 5: Foundation Degree (FdA) specialising in furniture
The Foundation Degree Arts specialising in furniture allows our students to embark on more and more challenging projects which may incorporate your own designs. In the second year you can choose to develop your furniture making and finishing proficiency or begin to develop basic skills in furniture restoration. Ideal for those wanting a hands-on career, away from an office desk.
Level 6: Graduate Diploma in Conservation Studies
Allows you to further your interest in furniture conservation and the repair of historic objects and progress to the MA Conservation Studies.
Level 7: MA Conservation Studies
The global industry standard for conservation.
Students are provided with objects from historical and private collections to work on (from archaeological finds to decorative arts objects), to acquire and practise both established and developing techniques. Recent examples include a c.1786 ceremonial Verge from The Admiralty, oriental lacquer boxes and an 18th century chair owned by Horace Walpole from Strawberry Hill Trust. You will have the unique opportunity to undertake interdisciplinary work with students from other specialisms, for example where an object is mixed materials, to broaden your understanding of a variety of materials.
Significant emphasis is placed on developing hand skills through practical work. In conservation, your application of treatments to historic objects will be underpinned through understanding both structural and decorative materials, their properties, identification, degradation and stabilisation.
Your projects will use appropriate methods to document objects and assess their condition, discuss treatment strategies, and take part in decision-making. Outcomes are recorded, discussed and communicated as part of learning through practice. The work will increase in complexity and throughout your time you will work with increasing autonomy.
See examples of student projects in our furniture blogs