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Furniture - FdA

Why study this course?

Furniture has long been designed and made at The Cass, launching many internationally renowned practitioners. The Furniture foundation degree explores the methods of designing and crafting furniture using traditional methods as well as investigating how cutting edge digital technologies can be used as a tool to support the practice. The course aims to equip you with the skills to compete in today’s world. This course is part a suite of the University's London-based furniture courses. We also offer a Furniture and Product Design BA, which FdA students can progress directly into the third year of after successfully completing their course. In the most recent (2014-15) Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey, 100% of graduates from this course were in work or further study within six months.

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If you want a satisfying and stimulating career as a furniture designer or maker, this is the course for you. Our experience in the sector and our industry contacts are a result of 150 years of teaching high quality furniture courses and preparing graduates for employment.

There's a strong emphasis on traditional and contemporary making skills across a range of techniques and materials, supported by drawing, technology, ethics and design learning. The teaching team includes international furniture and product designers, professional cabinet makers, CAD/CAM specialists, materials scientists, and upholstery and textiles experts.

During the course, you'll have the opportunity to develop your knowledge and understanding whilst working on real-world creative briefs set by professional design bodies and there will be considerable emphasis on the professional presentation of project ideas. Recent live projects have included work with Heal's and Ligne Roset.

A range of year-long thematic studio options are available for Year 2 students. Studios contain design and realisation modules, and are an opportunity for you to work with staff and explore new ideas and stretch your imagination with experiment and discovery at the heart.

The Faculty is bustling with creativity and energy with state-of-the-art digital and professionally equipped traditional workshops in which you can develop your practice. Life-long learning and professional development are encouraged with opportunities to join professional and trade associations. You'll be considered for recognised industry prizes and awards each year with opportunities to enter designated professional competitions.

We have long established professional connections to trade bodies such as the Worshipful Companies of Furniture Makers and Upholders), as well as Furniture Works and Metropolitan Works' Digital Manufacturing Centre.

The Cass offers the only hands-on higher education courses in furniture in Greater London and our location means we have future clients, employers and commissioning agencies on your doorstep.

Assessment

You'll be assessed via project work, essays, individual and group design practice, and a major final project and dissertation.

In addition to the University's standard entry requirements, you should have:

  • for entry into the 2016-17 academic year: 200 or more UCAS points, including at least 180 from two or more A levels (or equivalent, eg Level 3 qualifications in relevant art and design, art history or design and technology subjects
  • for entry in the 2017-18 academic year: a minimum grade C in three A levels or minimum grades BC in art and design, art history or design and technology subjects (or a minimum of 96 UCAS points from an equivalent Level 3 qualification, eg BTEC National, OCR Diploma or Advanced Diploma)
  • English Language and Mathematics GCSEs at grade C (grade 4 from 2017) or above (or equivalent)

We encourage applications from international/EU students with equivalent qualifications.

We also accept mature students with diverse backgrounds and experiences. We're proud that many of our students are career changers, finding their calling later in life. Formal qualifications are not always necessary as life and work experience can also be considered. In such cases, we ask for a CV and supporting letter. Commitment and enthusiasm are key factors when considering applications.

Suitable applicants living in the UK will be invited to a portfolio interview. Applicants living outside the UK will be required to submit a portfolio of work via email.

Portfolio advice

Your portfolio should be well edited but have enough work to show the range of your interests and talents. We're interested in seeing how you develop a project from beginning to end, not only finished work.

Furniture makers work in both 2D and 3D, so bring examples of both. If you can't bring some of your work to portfolio interview, please bring photographs.

For makers, we always want to see traditional drawing whether observational, life or concept generating, so even if you have good CAD skills already, do include this.

Finally, be ready to talk about your work and how you see your future as a furniture designer or maker.

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa may need to provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

Concentrating on learning through making and doing, this foundation degree course combines working with both your mind and your hands. In responding to set and individually directed briefs, materials and time constraints, you'll be working in a way that reflects the successful contemporary workplace.

Year 1 (Level 4) topics include:

  • Industry drawing practice
  • Handcraft and machining skills in wood and metal
  • Material technology
  • Software
  • Cultural and historical studies

Year 2 (Level 5) topics include:

  • Individually designed furniture projects
  • Specialist skills
  • Business studies

"I decided to return to higher education after running my decorating business for six years. I was looking to further develop my carpentry and design skills… there is a real emphasis on training in the workshops with both machines and hand tools. I believe a sound knowledge and understanding of how things can be manufactured is essential to good design.

"The workshops at London Met are amazing and it’s great to have access to the facilities and expertise in other departments. The work I produced on the course attracted a lot of attention from manufacturers and the press. Furthermore, the close proximity of Metropolitan Works and the opportunities it offers, including contact with practising designers and manufacturers, is an invaluable asset."
Tom Price

This Furniture FdA prepares you to enter the furniture profession in a wide range of occupations within manufacture and design. Graduates successfully progress to careers designing or making furniture; working freelance, in small and medium size companies, in museums or in the modern industrial environment. Roles can be as diverse as buyers and technology and design journalists. 

You can also progress to Year 3 of the Furniture and Product Design BA (Hons) course.

If you have any academic questions, please contact Cathy Stack: c.stack@londonmet.ac.uk

Between 2016 and 2020 we're investing £125 million in the London Metropolitan University campus, moving all of our activity to our current Holloway campus in Islington, north London. This will mean the teaching location of some courses will change over time.

Whether you will be affected will depend on the duration of your course, when you start and your mode of study. The earliest moves affecting new students will be in September 2017. This may mean you begin your course at one location, but over the duration of the course you are relocated to one of our other campuses. Our intention is that no full-time student will change campus more than once during a course of typical duration.

All students will benefit from our move to one campus, which will allow us to develop state-of-the-art facilities, flexible teaching areas and stunning social spaces.

Please note, in addition to the tuition fee there may be additional costs for things like equipment, materials, printing, textbooks, trips or professional body fees.

Additionally, there may be other activities that are not formally part of your course and not required to complete your course, but which you may find helpful (for example, optional field trips). The costs of these are additional to your tuition fee and the fees set out above and will be notified when the activity is being arranged.

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How to apply

UK/EU students wishing to begin this course studying full-time in September 2016 should apply by calling the Clearing hotline on .

Applicants from outside the EU should refer to our guidance for international students during Clearing.

Part-time applicants should apply direct to the University online.

If you're a UK/EU applicant applying for full-time study you must apply via UCAS unless otherwise specified.

UK/EU applicants for part-time study should apply direct to the University.

Non-EU applicants for full-time study may choose to apply via UCAS or apply direct to the University. Non-EU applicants for part-time study should apply direct to the University, but please note that if you require a Tier 4 visa you are not able to study on a part-time basis.

All applicants applying to begin a course starting in January must apply direct to the University.

When to apply

The University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) accepts applications for full-time courses starting in September from one year before the start of the course. Our UCAS institution code is L68.

If you will be applying direct to the University you are advised to apply as early as possible as we will only be able to consider your application if there are places available on the course.

Fees and key information

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