This is an exceptionally rewarding course, concentrating on creative development using a strong research component. This course is tailored to students who have learned the valuable skill-set gained from their accomplishment of the level 3 course or from any other significant jewellery making experience. This course is also well tailored to students who have completed their BA degree and want to launch themselves into a career as a jewellery designer or progress onto a Master Degree course. In the case of these students, the course gives them the opportunity to experiment with and establish their own creative style, discovering the direction they wish to take as a designer. During the course, students will develop a strong collection that can be used to promote their work in the marketplace and to build a portfolio. With this experience, students can choose to pursue jewellery or more object based work.
This Graduate Diploma - Level 4 course offers a unique approach to developing and enhancing jewellery making skills, using the structure of a university degree. However, this course separates itself from a standard university degree given its strong focus on both research and development as well as technical skills. Examples of technical skills that will be covered during the course include wax carving, stone setting, experimental casting, silversmithing and hinge making.
By attending this course, you will have the opportunity to exhibit at New Designers, a well known exhibition for new graduates held each year at the Business Design Center, London or participate in our annual POP UP Shop. Participating, in either event, is an excellent starting point for a designer to kickstart their career, with endless networking opportunities available, such as establishing contacts with galleries, selling pieces, and linking to online shops.
The course is set to include 1 day in the studio and 1 study day at home, and is split into three terms. Each term runs for approximately 10/12 weeks, sharing a strong focus on creative development and a written component in which students will develop case studies that support their learning.
Running alongside each term will be the creative development which students will do during their independent study days at home. Students will be given project briefs to develop that will cover, for example, material experimentation and interpretive drawings. These creative briefs will give students the opportunity to develop their own creative practice, giving them foundation design skills. This means that when the student works on their own, they have a variety of design methods available that they can incorporate into their own work.
A breakdown of each term is shown below:
Term One (12 weeks)
This term is an introduction to the course. It has a very hands-on approach, focusing on developing technical skills such as hinge making and silversmithing. When learning silversmithing, students will experiment with vessel making, raising and fabrication as well as working with a variety of silversmithing tools and forms. The projects give each student a foundation into design that prepares them for the next stage of the course.
Term Two (12 weeks)
This term builds upon the skills learned in the first term, enhancing them so that students gain a deeper understanding of jewellery making. Looking at production methods used in the jewellery industry to create multiples of the same piece, this term has a strong focus on stone setting, wax carving, mould making, 3D modelling/Rhino and jewellery restoration (which involves learning how to restore old and broken jewellery). It also includes independent study, a course component separate from technical skills. The independent study days will be focused on designing theme-based briefs. Students will be given theme based briefs that they will research and draw some ideas from. There will be 3 project briefs throughout the term and each project will run for approximately 4 weeks. In engaging with these briefs, each student will be able to prepare for the development of their own collection.
Term Three (12 weeks)
This term brings together all the skills learned in terms one and two, enabling the student to fuse their skills with their creative outlook. Term 3 includes 2 weeks of self-directed study in the studio where students will work independently on finalising their collection.
During this term, students are able to consolidate all their skills and ideas and put together a collection that will then be showcased in a public exhibition, such as New Designers or a POP UP Shop. Students will also be able to develop professional strengths such as presentation skills and how to price their work. They will also be able to establish vital business skills such as learning how to identify their client base and carrying out market research to improve upon their marketing skills.
In learning and developing these skills, each student will conclude the course with a Level 4 Diploma. This diploma certifies your advanced skill level in jewellery making and can carry you into your next career venture, giving you recognition as a professional and proficient jeweller.
Students should have a Level 3 Qualification or the equivalent skills in jewellery making.
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Graduate Diploma - Level 4 in Jewellery