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Furniture: Design and Make BA (Hons)

The programme is aimed at aspiring furniture designer-makers and provides a work-related Honours top-up progression route for holders of a Foundation Degree or HND in Furniture Design and Make.

The programme consists of two key elements focussing on independent and industry-linked projects. The independent projects are linked together to provide a holistic experience, first establishing a self-initiated brief through a significant written research project and directly linking this with a major design and make project.

Building on the reputation of the Rycotewood Furniture Centre and its industry links a combination of live projects, study visits and guest speakers will support the development of design, craft, business and enterprise skills relevant to furniture designer makers.

Upon successful completion you will be awarded a BA (Hons) in Furniture: Design and Make from Oxford Brookes University.

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Programme details
Please note that as programmes are reviewed regularly, the module list may vary from that shown here:

• Professional Design and Make – 30 Credits
• Professional Development – 30 Credits
• Personal Project (Written) – 30 Credits
• Personal Project (Design and Make) – 30 Credits

Teaching and Learning Experience

Learning is supported through close contact with a range of furniture specialist tutors with access to dedicated facilities and provides an opportunity for personally- focused learning.

Students will develop critical thinking and practical skills, as well as professional and research skills. Alongside the academic study in the programme students will develop the communication skills that will equip them to respond to changing conditions, to develop an ability to work in different environments and to seek out diverse opportunities within the furniture industries.

Contacts with the furniture industry are given a high priority throughout the programme and maintained through visiting specialists and guest lecturers, industry engaged projects and visits to relevant exhibitions, workshops and factories. You are encouraged to take an active role in your learning, utilising effective time management and use of resources.


You will be provided with a suitably equipped place to work when attending college that will include access to specialist staff, IT facilities and other learning resources which will be appropriate for the nature of work you will be required to undertake.

Additionally, the college offers a wide range of other resources and facilities which will be available to you, further details of which can found in the Higher Education Student Handbook.

Each student will be allocated their own work bench and space in the HE workshop. Students have access to a dedicated IT suite, design studio, veneering, spray finishing upholstery and wood machine workshops.

As well as being enrolled at City of Oxford College you will also be enrolled with Oxford Brookes University and so will benefit from the same facilities and services as on campus students.

Study Skills

If you do not have a recognised disability or specific learning difficulty, but feel that you require additional support with your studies, you may be eligible to access some discrete sessions in one of the following areas:
• Assistive software training
• IT upskilling
• Essay planning and structure
• Proof reading and editing written work
• Bibliographies and referencing
• Time management and personal organisation
• Revision and exam tips
• Presentation techniques

N.B. Your eligibility for any of the above support will be reviewed with your course tutors and a member of the study support team on your campus.
Skills and assessment
The main aim of the programme is to develop graduates who are highly competent individuals with proficient knowledge in the discipline and professional skills for a career in furniture designing and making.

The Rycotewood Furniture Centre at City of Oxford College has been actively engaged in the training and education of students entering the furniture industry for more than 70 years, with successful delivery of higher education for over twenty years. In this time it has actively engaged with employers with respect to placement, bespoke training and in seeking external advice in the design of its programmes. It has established a reputation beyond its local roots and enjoys a position of national pre-eminence in the field, located in Oxford and close to the UK’s traditional furniture-making industry of High Wycombe.

Assessment Methods

Students will be asked to participate in formative assessment procedures which require them to consider their own work against the agreed assessment criteria. This allows them to reflect upon their own practice, with tutors, and to take responsibility for acknowledging areas of strength and areas for further development in their work. All assessment is coursework or project-based.
Entry requirements
Students must have completed an appropriate Programme to be eligible to apply for the final year entry to the BA (Hons) Furniture Design and Make. These include:
• A Foundation Degree in Furniture Design and Make awarded by Oxford Brookes University, successfully gaining 240 credits and usually a 55% grade average
• A Foundation degree in Furniture and related disciplines successfully gaining 240 credits and usually a 55% grade average, subject to individual assessment of credit by Oxford Brookes University.
• A Higher National Diploma in Furniture and related disciplines, successfully gaining 240 credits with Merit Profile at level 5, QAA Benchmarks, subject to individual assessment of credit by Oxford Brookes University.

English language requirements
Applicants whose first language is not English, must also demonstrate that their level of English is acceptable by achieving a score in a recognised test such as:
• British Council IELTS: normally minimum level 6.0 overall with a minimum of 6.0 in the reading and writing components and 5.5 for speaking and listening.

In exceptional circumstances direct entry to the final year BA top up may be considered for applicants who do not meet the academic entry requirements, but are able to demonstrate a significant amount of relevant experience in the industry. This would normally be evidenced in the form of a portfolio and a reflective statement. Applicants who do not meet the academic entry requirements would also be expected to demonstrate evidence of an ability to succeed on the programme with particular reference to their level of academic writing.

All claims for Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) will follow the University’s procedures and will be assessed against the intended learning outcomes of the programme or module against which the credit will be claimed. Credit for prior learning can only be awarded in respect of whole modules.
Graduates have found employment in a variety of roles within the furniture industry. Typically they find employment as furniture makers, furniture designers/CAD technicians before moving into management positions and self-employment as designer-makers.

There has been regular progression from the BA (Hons) into further academic study at Masters level supported by bursaries from the Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers (WCFM) or Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (specifically at the RCA). Students have also progressed onto post graduate teacher training programmes.

An incubation unit providing supported graduate opportunities has been established through direct partnership with Sylva at their wood centre in south Oxfordshire.
How to apply
Please apply via UCAS.



As a full-time Oxford Brookes student, you will able to apply for halls of residence at the University. Once you have accepted an offer of a place, you will be sent a confirmation letter. The Accommodation Letter that will enable you to apply online for halls of residence, will be sent out shortly after that. If you require a paper application form or further details, please contact the Accommodation Office on 01865 484 660 or email hallapplications@brookes.ac.uk


Home/EU fee for 2018: £7,200

For more information please contact the HE Admissions Co-ordinator, Sue Taylor on sue.taylor@activatelearning.ac.uk

UCAS code :

Institution code :

Location :

Mode :

W260 O66 Oxford City Centre Full-time

Year of entry

Duration :

2018 1 Year
Furniture: Design and Make BA (Hons) NEWS
Furniture student empowers women in the arts and crafts
Joseph Bray announced as 2018 Churchill Fellow
Chris Hyde receives Master Certificate Award
Education and training the theme for new Furniture Makers’ Master
Summer of success for Rycotewood students
Furniture students recognised at annual awards
Master upholsterers take their seats
Furniture competition celebrates design talent
Furniture students exhibit designs at Pitt Rivers Museum
Furniture student wins City and Guilds Medal for Excellence
Furniture students learn from the best
Furniture students excel at New forest competition
Rycotewood Furniture Exhibition opens to the public
City of Oxford College Furniture student wins designer of the year award
City of Oxford College hosts MAKEIT! Wood and Furniture Awards 2015
Furniture: Design and Make BA (Hons) student exhibits at Old Fire Station
Take a seat and enjoy the show!
Young furniture designer makes his mark