Foundation degree

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This foundation degree includes a thorough investigation of working metal, both small and large scale, and is unique to the UK. With 24 working forges housed in a state-of-the-art workshop, the College has one of the largest forge facilities within the UK.

You will become proficient in a wide variety of forging and jewellery making techniques, with each discipline informing and influencing the other. Visual research and contextual studies underpin the design and fabrication process, enabling you to form a body of work from which to base future projects.

You will graduate confident in your skills, enabled to embrace self-employment or equally skilled enough to be readily employed within the sector. Enthusiasm and delight in the potential of self-expression through metal will be encouraged; experimentation and innovation expected.

Course structure

This course is designed to encourage the development of individual bodies of work, providing specialist tuition in technique and guidance throughout the design and fabrication journey.

Areas of study

Year one will introduce techniques in forging and jewellery making alongside workshop skills such as welding. Small projects, including responses to live briefs, will culminate in an end of year, self-directed project, exploring individual approaches to the design and fabrication process. Year two centres on self-directed projects, including batch production. A placement combined with professional studies will guide you as you approach the end of the course. Both years are underpinned by modules investigating visual and contextual studies.

Student metal workingStudent working by a forgeDecorative metal workingStudent working on an anvil
Entry Requirements:

The minimum entry requirement is 2 A Levels (grade D) or equivalent. Mature students may be considered if they can provide evidence of prior learning.

Applicants will also be required to show a portfolio of work at interview. 

Duration:

Full-time: 2 years 
Part-time: 4 years 

UCAS Details:

The UCAS code for this course is 37VK.

Facilities

Our metalworking facilities provide everything you need for your degree level studies. 

If you're working with hot metal, we've got 29 forges within our new purpose-built workshop to use and you'll be able to use our comprehensive range of hand tools and anvils alongside power hammers. 

You'll be able to use our excellent steel preparation equipment which includes a band saw, CNC plasma cutter and steelworker. 

If you're looking to specialise in jewellery, you'll find our workshops fitted out with superb individual workstations. The three jewellery specific workshops include access to enamelling kilns, rolling mills and a fume cabinet for use with resins and acid etching. 

We have extensive welding facilities which include low pressure gas (LPG) soldering and brazing, metal inert gas (MIG) welding, manual metal arc welding (MMA) and tungsten inert gas welding (TIG). 

You'll also be able to make use of our metal finishing facilities which include a grinding room with downdraught benches, polishing and sandblasting equipment. 

These facilities are coupled with a dedicated workshops area for our degree students with lockers and jewellery benches. 

Future Opportunities

We have strong links to the blacksmithing and jewellery world, regularly facilitating exciting placements and employment with artists at the top of their field.

The South East is rich in Arts-based industries with an increasing demand for handcrafted objects, so graduates will be well placed for self-employment and free-lance designing.

Graduating students may choose to apply to the University of Brighton or Hereford College in order to continue their studies with a top-up year and complete a full BA (Hons) degree.

Modules

Year 1

  • Blacksmithing Techniques & Processing
  • Jewellery Techniques & Processing
  • Welding & Metallurgy
  • Design/Make Project 1
  • Visual Research
  • Contextual & Historical Studies 1

Year 2

  • Batch Production
  • Design/Make Project 2
  • Professional Practice and work placement
  • University of Brighton Level 5 Options
  • Contextual & Historical Studies 2

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