Furniture Design & Making BA (Hons) (top up, part time)

Develop a career in Furniture Design and Make with this Honours top-up progression route. This degree is awarded by Oxford Brookes University.

  • Study Mode


  • Duration

    2 Years

  • Location

    City of Oxford College

  • Pathway


Learning in the Rycotewood Furniture Centre, our students develop skills as creative thinkers and makers, who innovate furniture craft through the exploration of materials and skills.

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

It consists of two key elements, focusing 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.




Tuition Fees

Home/EU* Fee for September 2023 entry: £3,785 per year

Please note: Tuition fees are published for the first year of entry only and may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students in line with an inflationary amount determined by the Office for Students.

*Fee information for European Union (EU) students: If your course starts on or after the 1st August 2021, you will no longer be eligible for financial support from Student Finance England unless you meet one of the following criteria:

  • you are able to benefit from the citizens’ rights agreements
  • you are an Irish national living in the UK or Republic of Ireland: benefits of Irish nationals under Common Travel Area guidance arrangement will continue

If you are interested in this course and would like an informal chat for more details, arrange an on-site visit to our facilities, learn how to sign up, or anything else, please get in touch and we’d be happy to help!

The main aim of the programme is to develop graduates who are highly equipped 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 20 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.

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


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

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

You will develop critical thinking as well as practical, professional and research skills. Alongside the academic study in the programme, you will advance your communication expertise, which will equip you to respond to evolving environments and 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 our advanced resources.

You will be provided with a suitably equipped place to work when attending college, including assistance from 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.

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
  • proofreading 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.

All assessment is coursework or project-based. You will be asked to participate in formative assessment procedures which require you to consider your own work against the agreed criteria. This allows you to reflect upon your own practice, with tutors, and to take responsibility for acknowledging areas of strength and for further development in your work.

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.

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.

Oxford Brookes offers accommodation for new and existing full-time students who wish to live in our halls and shared houses.


 Materials fee of £200 per year. 

Your materials fee covers most everyday consumables, such as adhesives, domino and dowel joints, screws, wood finishes, sanding belts, machine blades/knives/cutters and sharpening, mini-bus and coach travel, paper for sketchbooks, printing credit, etc.

Certain sundries such as mitre bond, epoxy resin, fixings, components, are allocated within budget to a fixed yearly quantity.

Specialist items which are specific to students’ own projects such as timber, catches, magnets, hinges are not included within your materials fee.

All students are supplied with a starter pack at the beginning of each year that includes:

  • 1” roll masking tape 
  • 1 metre of 120 grit Mirka abrasive paper
  • 1 metre of 180 grit Mirka abrasive paper
  • 1 metre of 240 grit Mirka abrasive paper
  • 6 Mirka sanding discs (120, 180, 240) 
  • 6 cotton rags 
  • 3 pairs disposable gloves 

You should be aware that accommodation and day-to-day living costs are not included in our fees. 

We strongly recommend purchasing a laptop to support you in your studies on the course. 

We recommend that you budget c£100 a year for additional costs such as for stationary to undertake your studies. You can borrow textbooks and access journals from the recommended reading lists as these are available from the Learning Resource Centre.

Applicants should apply online through the Oxford Brookes University website.

Explore your career progression options

If you are considering applying for this programme, why not explore your potential career progression routes using our handy tool.

You can explore live job vacancies, next level qualifications and apprenticeship standards in your local area. Not only this but you can also watch videos of real people talking about their experiences of working in your specific industry or occupation of interest.

Why not visit us at an Open Event and find out more about this pathway.

Why Bracknell and Wokingham College?

  • Clear routes of progression with qualifications ranging from foundation level to degree level!
  • Industry experienced teaching staff give you the responsibility and independence you need to take charge of your own future.
  • 150+

    Courses available

  • 95%

    of our graduates go into work or higher education 

  • 60+

    years of teaching experience

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