Jewellery and Silversmithing - HND

UCAS Code:
Full Time (2 years)
September 2017

Based within a stimulating and dynamic environment, the School of Jewellery’s HND course is unique within the UK and has an excellent reputation within the industry, with our students and graduates employed at all levels, locally and internationally.

As an HND student, you will be working on live, collaborative and customer-facing projects, broadening your experience through our industry-focussed curriculum. Working at authentic jewellers’ benches, you will develop traditional skills alongside knowledge of contemporary cutting-edge technology.

Andrew Howard

Expert help and advice

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Andrew Howard gives you his top tips on how to get ahead in Jewellery and Silversmithing and succeed in your chosen career.

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What's covered in the course?

Our course will immerse you in the world of jewellery and silversmithing as you create pieces in precious and non-precious metals. You will produce pieces by hand and by mechanical means, with a particular focus on manipulating metal.

The practical, design-led nature of the course gives you plenty of opportunity for hands-on workshop experience to hone your skills. You’ll develop practical experience of materials and tools, alongside techniques in drawing and model making to develop your design processes.

You’ll have access to the latest equipment such as laser welders and 2D and 3D CAD software packages, as well as casting and plating workshops.

Dedicated staff with professional experience will offer advice, support and industry contacts. You’ll be encouraged to enter national and international competitions, and you’ll also have fantastic opportunities to work on live projects with industry.

Field trips and study visits add colour and relevance to your studies, and support an understanding of commercial jewellery manufacturing environments.

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, a state-of-the-art technology hub, an atrium gallery and an exhibition space.

"Through a variety of exciting and challenging projects, I developed both hand and design skills enriched through an introduction to specialist techniques. Inspired by the enthusiasm, advice and support from expert tutors, I felt motivated to develop and expand my knowledge. The opportunity to participate in selling events and live projects has been an invaluable experience. Overall, this course has given me the self-confidence and skills to follow my aspirations to be a confident and independent jewellery designer-maker.” Vanessa Miller

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 here today. Being situated within this wonderful environment you will gain contacts, inspiration and experience.
  • The HND course has an excellent reputation for producing highly employable graduates with a practical understanding of the needs of the industry.
  • Our well-equipped studio workshops offer a laser welder, contemporary stone-setting equipment with magnification and a dedicated CAD facility, using the latest relevant CAD packages to enhance the traditional techniques and hand skills you will learn.
  • An opportunity to showcase your work to industry at a trade fair in Birmingham gives you the chance to get noticed, make valuable connections and even gain employment.
  • Sponsorship and support from associated companies gives the course industry relevance and insight, supporting the reputation of the HND and endorsing your qualification.
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Open Day - 19 November 2016

Our next University-wide Open Day will take place on Saturday 19 November 2016. Come along to find out more about our courses and see our facilities.

Register now

This course is open to International students

School of Jewellery

Discover the School of Jewellery

Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.

Visit the School website

Where our students go

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

  • Jewellery designers and makers, both self-employed and in industry
  • Working in retail environments at all levels
  • Management positions in retail and manufacture

Entry Requirements

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

UK students

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

Typical Offers
UK Qualification Requirements 2017/18
GCE A Level/ AS Level DD at A-Level or 48 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level with a minimum of 1 A-Level
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) MP - 48 UCAS points
BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units not including early years) PPP - 48 UCAS points
BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/ National Award (6-units not including early years) D - 48 UCAS points
BTEC Diploma in Foundation Studies in Art and Design Pass
International Baccalaureate Diploma 24 points overall
Irish Leaving Certificate 48 UCAS points - Higher Levels
Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher 48 UCAS points- two Advanced Highers grade DD
Welsh Baccalaureate (core plus options) Minimum of 48 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.
EU/International students
EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications Requirements 2017/18
IELTS Non English speakers require IELTS 6.0
International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses). 24 points overall
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).

The UCAS tariff is changing

If you're considering applying for this course to start in September 2017 onwards, it's important to know that the UCAS tariff system is changing.

UCAS tariff points – the points system most universities use to compare different qualifications – will be introducing a new system on how points are calculated.

More about the new tariff

From A/AS Level with a minimum of 1 A Level

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
HND Sep 2017 FT 2 years £6,000 per year Apply via UCAS

International Students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
HND Sep 2017 FT 2 years £12,000 per year

The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.

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 submit it 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

We invite all eligible applicants to the HND Jewellery and Silversmithing course for interview. Overseas applicants are advised to provide a digital portfolio where the opportunity to attend an interview in person is not possible. We accept four digital formats of portfolio:

Uploading either a PDF or PowerPoint document
Please include a minimum of 12 images and a statement about the work including your name and the course you have applied for. Moving image work may be included but should be in either QuickTime or mpeg format.

Online portfolios
We accept portfolios created on Go to the site and create a profile. Upload a minimum of 12 images and a statement about the work including your name and the course you have applied for. Moving image pieces can also be embedded in the blog.

Email portfolio
The file size must be below 2MB and must be generated as a PowerPoint or PDF document. Please include a minimum of 12 images and a statement about the work including your name and the course you have applied for.

Portfolios on a CD
Ensure files are mac and pc compatible, and organize files logically, ideally in a PowerPoint presentation. Include a minimum of 12 images and a statement about the work including your name and the course you have applied for. Moving image work may be included but should be in either QuickTime or mpeg format.

Your Portfolio should include work which indicates the following:

  • Creativity and imagination - sketchbooks are a useful way of demonstrating your thought process and ability to generate and communicate ideas
  • Design development - presentation sheets and design sheets demonstrate your ability to generate ideas, solve three-dimensional problems and present final proposals / solutions through any media, including drawings, models, technical working drawings, CAD development, formal renderings and the use of Photoshop
  • Experience of three-dimensional work - this may be displayed through a breadth of art and design activities and should show your ability to consider shape, form and construction of three-dimensional products
  • Knowledge of metalworking/jewellery – it is useful, but not essential, to demonstrate some familiarity with basic Jewellery and Silversmithing techniques and processes used for the manufacture of metal products
  • Evidence of a working familiarity with basic drawing and artistic concepts – exploration of colour, texture, pattern, dynamics, structure etc. Mark making techniques, observational drawings and experience in a variety of media can be useful indicators of enthusiasm for creative activity
  • An indication of enthusiasm and motivation towards, plus enjoyment of, the discipline of jewellery and silversmithing – an inquiring attitude to the creative process is likely to result in knowledge of the work of contemporary jewellers and silversmiths, designers, visits to exhibitions, personal research and evidence of work experience. Questions at interview will be asked relating to this, but logbooks and journals are a good method of evidencing your knowledge and experience
  • Evidence of research and written work - include at least one example of your written work to show intellectual engagement, ability to critically analyse information and articulate your opinions.

A few tips to consider

  • Work should be ordered so that it is easy to navigate.
  • Edit your work fully as you can be judged by the worst piece of work as well as the best. Your portfolio should contain a selection of work representative of you, NOT everything you have ever done.
  • Images of three-dimensional works should try to depict a sense of scale, texture, material, colour and context.
  • Consider the ideas/ skills that each piece of work demonstrates and how this is relevant to your application and chosen course.

Additional Costs

In addition to your student fees, it is expected that there will be some costs involved in attending the course. The most essential of these is the purchase of a toolkit, which will be around £200 and it is also likely that you will spend money on metal and gemstones for projects. You can do this inexpensively by working in base metals and synthetic stones, in which case it is likely to be around another £100. If you choose to work in precious materials, of course, it could be very much more.

We also take trips away at least once a year and while we always try to keep the costs of these trips to a minimum, there is usually some cost involved but we will always aim to keep the cost of trips to under £50.

Your personal statement

Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It 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.

This course is not available part-time

Got any questions?

Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.

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

You’ll be given an introduction to the industry and the tools, materials and processes used. The course is based around traditional techniques and projects, with hands-on workshops.

Each project involves a new jewellery or silversmithing technique or process. You’ll work on both large and small scale metalwork and related design processes.

Demonstrations from experts, as well as field trips, will help you understand the techniques and processes and gain networking opportunities.

Modules explained:
Fundamental Hand Skills
40 credits

In this module you will learn the fundamental hand-skills required for a career in the jewellery industry. Throughout the hands-on learning processes you will cover the key elements of traditional jewellery techniques, including the cutting and forming, soldering, cold fixing and finishing and polishing of metal. You will also develop an understanding of some of the technical aspects and working properties of precious metals. 

At the end of the module, you will have a portfolio of completed jewellery pieces, alongside a knowledge of the range of catches and clasps specifically manufactured for jewellery.

Fundamental Production Processes
40 credits

In this module you will be introduced to the techniques used for batch and quantity production in metal. You will learn the principles of the casting process and will explore the creative potential offered by the lost-wax casting technique.

In addition, you will learn how new products are developed using CAD and rapid prototyping. You will experience using 3D CAD software packages and understand how these files are transformed into jewellery.

Fundamental Silversmithing Skills
20 credits

In this module you will learn the basic principles and techniques of making larger-scale silverwares including raising, spinning and sinking. You will develop an understanding of the design principles behind making fine silverwares. At the end of the module, you will have a portfolio of designs, samples and at least one finished large-scale piece.

You will have a choice of one of the following optional modules:

Introduction to Gemmology
20 credits

This module is designed to provide you with an introduction to the most regularly-encountered gem materials, and a basic knowledge of their properties, together with the correct terminology to use when dealing with these materials.

These fundamental principles will be expanded to give you an overview of the most commonly encountered gemstone synthetics, simulants and treatments. You will develop this knowledge to help you understand how gemstones and gem-set jewellery should be handled in the workshop environment, and how they should be cleaned, stored and maintained.

CAD for Bespoke Production
20 credits

In this module, you will learn how to use CAD as a tool for supporting and supplementing traditional bench skills. This module will introduce you to the very basics, quickly building up your skills and allowing you to design and develop sophisticated 3D digital models which are suitable for production through the myriad of new technologies becoming increasing available in CAM.

Fine Jewellery Techniques
20 credits

In this module you will be introduced to fundamental hand-making skills through the production of samples, test pieces and finished jewellery. You will develop an understanding of traditional jewellery techniques and finishes that represent the term fine jewellery. This terminology is associated with bespoke, handmade jewellery, including mounts for precious gemstones, often referred to as diamond mounting.

The module is designed to broaden your knowledge of the techniques and processes that are fundamental to the skills of a crafts person. You will learn how to use the tools and materials that have been used by traditional jewellers throughout history, through hands-on experience at the jeweller’s bench. 

Year two

You’ll develop your skills in CAD work and build up your professional portfolio. This year also develops your advanced jewellery skills relating to traditional diamond mounting and diamond grading.

A live project forms a compulsory part of your studies this year. Birmingham-based precious metal casting and rapid-prototyping company, Weston Beamor submit a brief to create jewellery and give you the chance to gain recognition, prizes and valuable work experience.

Awards are presented at a prestigious trade fair in Birmingham providing great publicity and networking opportunities.

Modules explained:
Advanced Production Processes
40 credits

In this module, you will develop a more in-depth understanding of manufacturing techniques, which will include laser technology and advanced CAD. There will be a greater focus on the commercial applications of lost-wax casting as a means of multiple batch production.

You will also learn how to use the laser-welder. Laser technology opens up unique creative possibilities within the design process and this module provides you with the opportunity to combine production processes, in order to create a collection for sale in a real-world commercial environment.

Professional Context
20 credits

The purpose of this module is to provide you with an overview of the industry context, in order to prepare you for employment post-graduation.  It will ensure that you have an awareness of the complex nature of the jewellery industry and you will be encouraged to begin to develop networks of contacts in order to raise your profile as you identify a career path and launch your career as an industry graduate.  It will also assist you to develop the transferable skills that will ensure you can function successfully within this professional context.

The module will require you to explore the relevance of the practical skills acquired in Level Four, with a particular focus on how they can be applied to careers within industry. Insights into the industry will be acquired through visits, and you will gain first-hand experience of different market sectors, modes of production, use of technology. 

Specialist Practice
40 credits

This module gives you the opportunity to develop your own unique product range, where you will identify your chosen direction and target market within the specialist field. This is a culmination of your learning experience by bringing together all of the knowledge and expertise you have gained on the course. The ultimate aim is to design and manufacture a market ready product range realised to a high professional standard.

This module aims to develop self-confidence and is an opportunity to promote your products and showcase your personal achievement, professionalism and suitability for employability or further study. 

You will have a choice of one of the following optional modules:

Luxury Jewellery Branding
20 credits

This module allows you to start to think about the idea of luxury and how it can be defined. You will expand your thinking to encompass the luxury sector of the market and explore the global significance of luxury jewellery brands, particularly how celebrity endorsement impacts on the perceptions of what luxury is.

You will consider the significance of brand heritage and examine whether reliance on loyalty to a brand can be maximised. You may also investigate how luxury brand extensions can be utilised. You need to understand how an emerging brand can find their identity through innovative and luxury marketing strategies.  

Live Project
20 credits

This module provides an opportunity for you to apply your knowledge and skills to an external, professional brief. The brief will be set by an external client/ agency, in consultation with your supervisor, and it could be a ‘real life’ problem to be solved, or a simulation.It is an opportunity for you to engage in a professional manner with an aspect of your subject area, which contributes to the development of employability skills within the supportive infrastructure of the University.

Where appropriate, the project may involve interdisciplinary collaboration with students from other programmes. In this way, it reflects the collaborative, flexible nature of employment within the creative industries. 

Practical Stone Setting
20 credits

In this module, you will learn how to set gemstones. Using traditional workshop skills, you will develop an understanding of the principles of stone setting, giving you the ability to set a range of gemstones into a variety of settings. You will also learn about the specialist tools required for stone setting and how to prepare, sharpen and maintain them. This practice will enhance your workshop skills and develop your knowledge of the working properties of gemstones.

You will develop an understanding of the commercial applications and constraints of stone setting and you will understand the variety of readily available commercial mounts on the market and gain an insight into the importance of material tolerances

This practice-based course will introduce you to techniques and processes associated with the traditions of the jewellery industry, enabling you to construct pieces in both precious and non-precious metals.

The knowledge and skills of jewellery-making are developed through ‘hands-on’ experience in the workshop and you will benefit from demonstrations given by experienced practitioners in the field. These practical experiences help you to decide on your preferred scale of working, whether that is jewellery or silversmithing.

Our uniquely well-equipped studio workshops offer a range of equipment from traditional Victorian fly-presses to cutting-edge laser-welding and advanced CAD CAM technologies, enabling you to not only learn about the traditional techniques of the bench jeweller but to enhance those skills with the most contemporary processes, through projects which incorporate new jewellery technology.

The course is assessed via coursework, and you will undertake practical and written modules. Alongside workshop practice and demonstrations you’ll learn through a mix of lectures, seminars, critiques, team work, presentations, tutorials, online learning, and self-directed study.

A design focus encourages you to be creative within structured projects. Each project involves a new technique or process, and Ideas are developed and problems solved through drawing, model making and practical experience of materials, tools and techniques.

The practical focus of the course is balanced with personal research to develop intellectual thinking.

Hours in the classroom

You will be expected to attend on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, between 9.30am and 4.30pm, with the occasional event being planned in on a Wednesday.

Teaching breakdown

51 Time in lectures, seminars and similar MidnightBlue
49 Time in independent study RoyalBlue

Assessment breakdown

Classroom activities and projects

We are proud that the HND course is highly practical and workshop-based. As a student on the course, you will be in the workshop for the majority of your time and will be learning by actually making real jewellery and silverwares in a real jewellery workshop. Within a few days of starting, you will have created your first piece of jewellery!

The course is designed to give you the chance to work with industry and in your  ‘Live Project’  module, you will get the chance to design work in collaboration with a commercial jewellery house, making pieces which will be showcased as part of their presentation at the International Spring Fair in Birmingham.  Previous students who have taken part in this project have sold their work through the company and have been employed to create further collections.

We want the workshop to feel as similar to the real-world as possible and you will be invited throughout to engage with the relaxed but focused environment which we try to create. As part of the course, we have informal chats about all aspects of the industry and we welcome your thoughts and feedback at all times about your work and the work of your colleagues, which includes the staff.

As part of creating this nurturing environment, we have occasional informal lunches, evening events and visits from a wide range of people, including stone-dealers, famous jewellers and booksellers. The workshops are open for you to use from 8am in the morning to 8pm at night and you will have the opportunity to make your own work.

The course is taught through a wide range of methods but mainly by demonstration and by hands-on experience. The staff at the School of Jewellery have enormous experience of all aspects of making and where specific expertise is needed, we bring in Visiting Tutors. This could mean that you find you are being taught silversmithing by Kevin Grey or enamelling by Jane Moore. 

Student stories - Daisy Grice

Student Daisy Grice tells us why she loves studying the HND Jewellery and Silversmithing at the School of Jewellery. She says: "It's so full of energy and you can really tell that people here have a passion for what they do."

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

Our HND course has been designed to allow for the natural progression to the BA Design For Industry course which builds your skills by enhancing the specific areas that you are interested in. Many of the students at this point decide to explore the world of CAD/CAM but you would be able to direct the focus of this course in any direction in which you are interested.

It is also possible for our HND graduates to progress through the School to complete the MA in Jewellery Design and Related Products.

Trips and visits

We organise at least one major trip every year as well as many smaller trips. As the School of Jewellery is within the historic Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham, we take the opportunity to introduce you to the many companies, makers and suppliers who are about the area. You will also have the chance to visit the enormous  ‘Spring Fair’ ” at the NEC and the New Technology ‘TCT’ show in Coventry, both of which keep you informed with developments in the jewellery world.

Major trips in the past have included visiting the legendary jewellery gallery at the V&A in London and Hatton Garden, Yorkshire Sculpture Park and research trips to places of historic interest.

Enhancing your employability skills

We have designed the course to make you the most employable jewellery graduate possible.

In addition to all the basic metalworking skills, you will learn about hallmarking, the history of jewellery and silverwares, gemstones and gem-setting, CAD software, and all about the newest types of digital production technologies. We pride ourselves on the fact that you will learn most of this in a practical way, by actually doing the work and our many connections to the jewellery industry support us in this.

Many of our graduates are now prestigious makers and designers in their own right. Kevin Gray was recently the highlight of the Silver Speaks exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum, and Agnieszka Maksymiuk runs her own successful company. Naomi Newton-Sherlock has become the director of casting company Weston Beamor, while Jack Row runs his own bespoke pen company, which is sold through prestigious outlets such as Harrods. 

Hilary's story

Hilary Ogden graduated in 2015 and has set up her own workshop in the garage at home. She's now starting to sell her jewellery from her business 'His, Hers, Ours Jewellery'. "The course gave me the confidence to set up my own business because it made you feel like you could make stuff that would sell."


You will be encouraged to take up any opportunities which are available to you, and the jewellery industry frequently contacts us when they are looking for employees. It is not uncommon for our students to be working in the industry part-time while studying with us, and we have put people into companies as diverse as Weston-Beamor (casting) and Thomas Fattorini (medal-making,) as well as into smaller workshops doing repairs, commercial stone-setting and small-scale manufacture.

Our students are also in demand for retail work as their experience in handling jewellery and their knowledge of gemstones and other materials is helpful in the retail environment. 


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.

Our Graduates

Naomi Newton-Sherlock - Director, Weston Beamor
Naomi studied at the School of Jewellery in the mid 2000s, having already graduated with First Class Honours in languages. Education, work experience and networking have been valuable investments for Naomi, from the practical bench experiences with jewellers Cellini and James Newman, to studying additional courses to gain further skills such as gemmology.

After winning prestigious competitions, and working with both luxury and high street jewellers, she applied for a design position at Domino. Evolving the bridal and diamond ring mounts and growing the business, her professional and creative aptitude soon had her promoted. In 2015, she became Director of the brand’s sister company Weston Beamor.

Nicole Iredale - Company founder, Nicole Iredale Designs
After graduation, Nicole started her own business, Nicole Iredale Designs, sharing a workshop as part of the Design Space scheme. In order to fund her business, she took a part time job at Kokkino. This proved invaluable, from the cash flow injection to the experience of assisting at trade and retail shows, giving her confidence to take her own jewellery to the British Craft Trade Fair (BCTF). The success from exhibiting at the BCTF resulted in a number of shops and galleries stocking her jewellery.

Joseph Jackson - CAD Designer, Shaun Leane
Joseph worked as Shaun Leane’s CAD designer in London for 18 months straight after University (2014) and learned a lot about the bespoke process, getting to work on multi million pound pieces. Joseph studied first on the HND course before being accepted on the DFI top-up year, giving him dedicated access to new technologies. Joseph is also exhibiting at this year’s Goldsmith Fair and has recently completed a commission for a £34,000 diamond bracelet.

Jack Row - Award winner
Following successful graduation in 2007 and winning a number of awards, Jack entered employment for one of Europe's leading jewellery manufacturing companies. Experimenting with the application of CAD technology, Jack became fascinated with its potential for the creation of innovative, exciting products. He returned to study the DFI course, combining his traditional skills with the innovative application of CAD and RP (Rapid-Prototyping) technologies. Graduating with a First Class Honours degree a year later, Jack won the coveted British Jewellers Association prize for his precious metal fountain pen design concept. Six months later, he was awarded a Gold Medal prize by the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths, one of the established Livery companies of London, for his 'Architect' prototype fountain pen.


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 fulfil many roles in the jewellery industry and at all levels, from bench-work in small companies to directors of big companies and throughout the course it is possible to specialise in areas of work which will direct your future employment.

Many of our graduates are self-employed as designer/makers but for those who are not interested in self-employment, opportunities exist for setters and mounters, medal-makers, finishers and polishers, casting technicians, CAD designers, repairers and fine-jewellers, as well as opportunities in retail, both customer-facing and as  buyers for retail companies. 

Links to industry

Every year we partner with Weston Beamor to provide a live project competition, in which you will be given the chance to design and make a commercially-viable product which will then be showcased at the International Spring Fair.

The first year of the HND course has sponsorship from both Allied Gold and from Cookson’s Precious Metals, which allows you the chance to work in precious materials without having to worry about the costs. 

International Students

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:

Our international students

We pride ourselves on our international reputation and the School of Jewellery was rated one of the top three places to study jewellery anywhere in the world. The HND course is all about skills and learning to make fine jewellery and silverwares and, as such, fits into the tradition of European schools where a foundation of craft-skills is paramount.

Over the years, we have had many students from all over the world, and in 2016 our classes were made up with people from China, Taiwan, Korea, Norway, Poland, Iran, Russia and, of course, the UK.

We love the international mix of students on the course and it makes for an exciting dynamic. The staff are experienced in dealing with students from around the world and we will do everything we can to make you feel welcomed and at home.

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 course is most popular with international students from:  


Vittoria Street building

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.

Equipment and Machinery

The Basement contains machinery and equipment that requires higher levels of supervision. As well as conventional tool room machines such as lathes and milling machines, this area includes rooms for casting and electro-plating, and a tool and material store.


Our atrium area is a lively exhibition space with a frequently changing range of shows and displays.

Horology facilities

Horology students also have dedicated areas, as well as the latest CAD equipment. You’ll also have access to specialist equipment, a subject specialist library, seminar rooms and lecture theatre.

Studio Workshops

Studio Workshops provide cut-out work benches with lights and gas torches plus design work stations.

Process workshops

Process workshops contain larger soldering hearths under extraction hoods with pickling and cleaning facilities. These workshops also have polishing machines and other bench mounted powered equipment. Each studio workshop has access to one of the process workshops.

Assay Office

Assay Office

Our gemmology students are based in new, state-of-the-art premises at 1 Moreton Street in the Jewellery Quarter with access to the highest specification of equipment available for gemmological education within the UK. You'll use diamond-testing equipment at Assay Office Birmingham's AnchorCert Gem Laboratory.


We have a small staff team of Jo Pond, Dauvit Alexander and Kate Thorley. Jo and Dauvit have strong international reputations as makers and Dauvit has a background in the practical jewellery industry. Kate is known for her experience in business and enterprise, and is well-known and well-respected throughout the industry. Additionally, you will be taught by a number of highly experienced subject experts, including Jane Moore, Kevin Grey and Sam Chilton and you will be supported by our team of expert technicians, Paul, Alan, Karen, Pete and Abbie, all of whom are practical makers. 

Jo Pond

Course Director

Discovering jewellery during her formative years at South Hill Park Arts Centre, Jo Pond progressed through Berkshire and Loughborough Colleges of Art and Design, establishing her design process some years later during her Master's at The School of Jewellery, Birmingham.

Her work has been exhibited internationally, showcased at selected exhibitions such as Schmuck in Munich, the V&A Museum London, Price Tower Arts Centre Oklahoma, Galerie Rob Koudijs Amsterdam, Velvet da Vinci Gallery San Francisco and Contemporary Applied Arts in London.

"Employing symbolic references of form, material and technique, I dabble in the potential for wearable items to become vehicles for communication; whether through sense, nostalgia, or knowledge".

Born in Chiswick, London, Jo is now based in rural Staffordshire. Alongside her practice as a studio jeweller, she is employed as a full-time lecturer at The School of Jewellery.

Dauvit Alexander


A chance invite from a family friend introduced Dauvit to the world of fine jewellery making at the age of 14 and he has worked as a bench jeweller ever since.

His work has been exhibited around the world. Known as 'The Justified Sinner', Dauvit combines the skills and materials of traditional jewellers with found iron and steel objects, and making extensive use of CAD/CAM technologies, he creates works of dark narrative which still manage to be playful.

Kate Thorley


Work experience with Blue John Jewellers in Derbyshire cultivated Kate’s interest in jewellery, but until completing a six-week module on the Art Foundation course at Chesterfield Tech, Kate had not discovering metalsmithing. She studied BA (Hons) Three Dimensional Design, specialising in Silversmithing and Jewellery at School of Jewellery, Birmingham.

Her formative career took place in Birmingham’s manufacturing Jewellery Quarter, and she continued working with the industry and designer makers when she joined Birmingham City University’s Jewellery Industry Innovation Centre. Kate’s designs have been sold in multiple retailers on the High Street, and had sell out shows on the QVC shopping channel. She has collaborated with companies to create viable design solutions and prestigious international awards, worked in manufacturing overseas, taught short courses at BCU and at BIFA University in Thailand. Kate also won the World Gold Council’s Gold Virtuosi competition. In 2009, Kate set up her own jewellery design and consultancy business.

Born and bred in the Peak District, Derbyshire, Kate moved to Birmingham 20 years ago. Now a mother of two, she lives on the outskirts of the city finding a balance between city and country life. Kate is employed as a part-time lecturer at School of Jewellery and conjointly runs her own design business.

UK prospective students:

UK enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5595

EU / International prospective students:

International enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5389

Already applied?

Email the applications team

+44 (0)121 331 6295