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.
The programme balances design, craft and theory to nurture furniture designers and makers of excellent ability who can progress to employment or further study with a broad understanding of the processes involved in the design and craft of furniture.
Upon successful completion, you will be awarded a Foundation Degree (FdA) Furniture: Design and Make from Oxford Brookes University.
Home/EU* Fee for September 2022 entry: £7,570 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 need any further information or guidance, please contact us at HE@activatelearning.ac.uk
What you'll learn
The programme is delivered in the Rycotewood Furniture Centre of Excellence. You will be taught by highly professional furniture designer /makers who have been in industry and are kept up-to-date with current practices.
Work related experiences are fully integrated into the programme and include regular guest speakers, live project briefs, competitions and visits. The programme will culminate in a professional public exhibition for the industry and networking opportunities. You will be encouraged to engage in live projects and national competitions. Current examples are New Forest Trust Fine Furniture Competition, Alan Peters Award and Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers Young Furniture Maker Awards.
Please note that as programmes are reviewed regularly, the module list may vary from that shown here:
- Technical and Visual Communication
- Furniture Craft
- Design and Make
- Manufacturing and Material Culture
- Advanced Technical and Visual Communication
- Furniture Production
- Advanced Design and Make
- Advanced Manufacturing and Culture
How you'll learn and be assessed
Students will be able to enjoy the advantages of working and learning in a creative Design Studio environment together with their peers. This provides the opportunity to pool experiences, research and ideas; to brainstorm on projects together; give and receive encouragement and advice and develop a group ethos.
Students will have the opportunity to use their own dedicated workbench and access to the wood machine and veneering workshops to develop their learning through three dimensional exploration, testing, evaluation of their design proposals and subsequently making high quality practical outcomes. Students will be supported during the making stage of the projects through practical guidance by teachers and supervision in the workshops by dedicated workshop supervisors.
Students of the FdA share the same workshops with final year BA students allowing opportunities for shared peer learning and collaboration.
Contacts with the furniture industry are given a high priority throughout each level of the programme and maintained through visiting specialists and guest lecturers, industry engaged projects and visits to relevant exhibitions. 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.
If you do not have a recognised disability or specific learning difficulty, but 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.
At each level of study you will be asked to participate in formative assessment procedures which require you to consider your own work against the agreed assessment criteria. This allows you to reflect upon your own practice, with tutors, and to take responsibility for acknowledging areas of strength and areas for further development in your work.
Normally the requirement would be:
a minimum of the equivalent of two years’ full-time relevant work experience and a current role in an appropriate workplace setting
evidence of ability to study at academic Level 4
evidence of support from their employer and recommendation;
a minimum of one A-level at grade C plus the equivalent of 5 GCSE passes at C grade or above normally including Mathematics and English Language – or a recognised equivalent vocationally related qualification, or;
A National Diploma in General Art and Design or;
An Art Foundation course, or;
Level 3 City and Guilds Diploma in Furniture, or;
Access to Art and Design,
Each application will be considered on an individual basis following the university principle of widening access to those who might not have the traditional academic entry criteria to degree level awards. It is anticipated that applicants will be drawn from a variety of backgrounds. Some practical experience of cabinet making is preferred. We also welcome applications from mature students with design or woodworking experience who may not have formal qualifications.
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.
All applicants to the course will be interviewed and their portfolios reviewed. This will enable the course team to assess the candidates suitability and compatibility to the course in a comprehensive way. It also allows flexibility in pre-requisite qualification requirements given the variety of entry points to the course. As a minimum, the portfolio interview should be able to demonstrate that the applicant can do the following:
– Show that they have an understanding of the course
– Demonstrate that they have the necessary (or required) academic, artistic and practical skills, to enable them to embark upon their chosen course of study.
Activate Learning welcomes applications from mature students without formal qualifications, who now want to take the opportunity for some practical skills development. It also welcomes those who wish to place their experience and knowledge within a formal educational framework. We are happy to support them through the application process. We see our interview process as an opportunity to get to know students and we will give an applicant a course presentation, tour of facilities and an opportunity to meet staff and students as part of this process.
Students are normally expected to start at Level 4, but can be admitted to any level of the course which is considered suitable, after portfolio review and interview using the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS). Under this arrangement, a student may apply to have previous academic credits or other learning (APL) or experience (APEL) taken into consideration.
Such applications are considered by the Faculty CATS committee and must be supported by the Programme Coordinator.
How to apply
Applicants should apply through the UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) website. All courses will be listed under Activate Learning on the UCAS website.