AMUSF Modern and Traditional Upholstery (short course)

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Why study this course?

Furniture has been designed, made, upholstered and restored at the School of Art, Architecture and Design, London Metropolitan University (formerly the London College of Furniture), for nearly 50 years. This course continues that tradition, and is part of the Association of Master Upholsterers and Soft Furnishers (AMUSF) professional qualification programme.

More about this course

Here at the School of Art, Architecture and Design, we offer a unique learning experience encouraging excellence and creativity within the University environment, with expert tuition by experienced professionals recognised within the industry along with technical support, professionally equipped workshop facilities and an extensive library.

Our class sizes are kept small – with a maximum of nine students – so that every student is able to benefit not only from a peaceful and productive working environment but also from more one-to-one time with their tutor.

The University has strong links with the upholstery industry and livery companies. For the last 25 years, the Worshipful Company of Upholders has awarded prizes for outstanding student work at its annual awards ceremony.

This AMUSF-accredited course is designed to give you an excellent grounding in the skills, techniques and materials of the traditional and contemporary upholsterer, both practical and in business, preparing you for employment or self-employment within the furniture industry.

The course comprises three stages and for the 2020/21 academic year we offer the following:

  • Option 1: three years duration: two days per week, completing one stage per year

We can also offer evening study options (covering one stage over two years). Please get in touch for further details about this. 

Why study upholstery at the School of Art, Architecture and Design?

Collectively, our tutors have over 100 years experience in upholstery skills and teaching. You will learn from industry practicing professionals. Additionally, as part of your curriculum, you will be taught by an experienced soft furnishing tutor on Sewing Skills and, on Finishes, by a professional finisher. You will also benefit from a four-hour professional workshop, giving you guidance on what to do once you’ve qualified and offering advice on starting your own business.

During each of your three stages with us your work will be entered for a professional award by the Worshipful Company of Upholders – an excellent start to your career and giving you recognition within the industry. At stage 2 you will also be eligible to enter an industry-sponsored competition for a chance to win a substantial prize and to have your work exhibited at the NEC Furniture Show.

To mark the culmination of a year’s hard work, your work will also be showcased in our School of Art, Architecture and Design Summer Show during, which celebrates the work and achievements of our BA and upholstery students. We will end the year with an awards presentation where you will receive your certificates and which is attended by the AMUSF and followed by a reception.

Our students also have access to and lending rights with our well-stocked University library as well as a number of services our degree students have available to them, including Accelerator, our business incubator which provides you with all the advice, support, networks, knowledge and resources you need to get started. You will also be eligible for a Student Card, giving you discounts where available.

Our dedicated upholstery workshops are well equipped and you will also be supported by our technician, Emma Meadows.

Upholstery students who have completed their training at the School of Art, Architecture and Design have gone on to teach, work as technicians, start their own businesses and collectives, curate acclaimed exhibitions and much more.

Fees and key information

Course type
Short Course
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Who's this course for?

The course is suitable for those seeking a career in upholstery. This is likely to include both beginners and those who already have a working knowledge within the industry.

Course structure

The AMUSF course follows a progressive three-stage programme:

  • stage one: Craft Certificate – 210 hours
  • stage two: Intermediate Craft Certificate – 210 hours
  • stage three: Diploma – 210 hours

The programme progresses through three stages, each stage taking 210 hours, leading to a diploma in stage three (a pass will be required at each stage before you can progress to the next stage). It is a practical course requiring a degree of manual dexterity.

There is no obligation to complete all three stages but a pass is required at each stage in order to progress.

Working through each stage, you will advance the skills already learnt whilst being introduced to new materials and techniques. The course is heavily practical in nature, concentrating on learning through making with opportunities for group discussion as well as lectures and visits by industry experts. The practical and physical nature of the course requires a degree of manual dexterity.

Tutor profiles

What our students say

"The course is excellent, the teachers are outstanding and I learned beyond my expectations. The teachers transmit the love they have for a beautiful craft and profession." 

"A really excellent course with experienced and motivating tutors."

"A fantastic three years!"

"I loved the course. My tutor, Rachael South, was wonderful; incredibly patient, very knowledgeable and communicated the content in an easy to understand way."

"The level of teaching is second to none."

"Amazing, course that surpassed my expectations. Matthew Gates is an incredible teacher."

"Excellent teachers and course. I enjoyed it and learnt a lot."

"I cannot recommend this upholstery course highly enough. The tutors are hugely experienced at their craft – standards are very high and classes are small – you'll be learning from the best. They are lovely, patient people, and are keen for you to succeed. I can't believe I've learnt so much in such a short space of time."

"Highly skilled and experienced tutors left me completely reassured I got the best possible training. The whole workshop had a happy atmosphere and was always well resourced. I thoroughly recommend this course to anyone interested in upholstery."

Course dates

Course dates

1 February 2020 – 18 June 2020


Two days a week for 18 weeks

Day and time Various: 9.30am – 4.30pm
Maximum class size 5
Contact hours 210 to 420

What's included in the price?

In addition to the course fee there are additional charges for some materials.

Terms and conditions

Please read our terms and conditions before booking.

Further information

Students are able to pay an initial 10% deposit and then the remainder of the fees in full or in three equal instalments via our direct debit scheme. 

How to apply

If you are a returning student, please get in touch.

For information on course content, please email Rachael South at

We are organising a virtual Open Day on Wednesday 18 November 2020. Please book your tickets here.

The event will give you the opportunity to find out more about the curriculum, the accreditation and the study options as well as ask any questions you might have. 

We do recommend you attend but if you are unable to do so, please contact Rachael South, Upholstery Course Organiser at

When to apply

Please note, the deadline to book a place on one of our short courses is one week before the start date. If you have missed the deadline, please get in touch and we will do our best to accommodate you.


To find out when teaching for this degree will begin, as well as welcome week and any induction activities, view our academic term dates.