Furniture: Design and Make Foundation Degree

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Furniture: Design and Make Foundation Degree

City of Oxford College
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Description

The Foundation Degree: in Furniture Design and Make concentrates on the craft aspect of the subject, helping students to develop their making skills and realise their own designs. This is a direct response to the needs of the Craft Furniture Industry and employers looking for furniture designer makers of excellent ability.

You will also be encouraged to engage in College life and to become mentor/ambassador in our marketing and other functions. The programme will culminate in a professional public exhibition for the industry and networking opportunities.

Upon successful completion you will be awarded a Foundation Degree in Furniture: Design and Make from Bucks New University.

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The Foundation Degree: in Furniture Design and Make concentrates on the craft aspect of the subject, helping students to develop their making skills and realise their own designs. This is a direct response to the needs of the Craft Furniture Industry and employers looking for furniture designer makers of excellent ability.

You will also be encouraged to engage in College life and to become mentor/ambassador in our marketing and other functions. The programme will culminate in a professional public exhibition for the industry and networking opportunities.

Upon successful completion you will be awarded a Foundation Degree in Furniture: Design and Make from Bucks New University.

Please note that as programmes are reviewed regularly, the module list may vary from that shown here:

Level 4
• Technical and Visual Communication
• Furniture Craft
• Design and Make
• Manufacturing and Material Culture

Level 5
• Advanced Technical and Visual Communication
• Professional Practice
• Advanced Design and Make
• Advanced Manufacturing and Culture

Teaching and learning experience

Throughout the programme, you will be given opportunities to participate in:
• Lectures which provide essential concepts, principles, knowledge and case studies necessary to support self-directed investigation and practical application
• Seminars to discuss less formally, in an open session, issues and work that relate to the subject
• Demonstrations of practical techniques prior to personal reflection and practice
• Practical studio sessions under tutor guidance to ensure the relevant and successful progression of project work
• Critiques or formative assessment which provide feedback through discussion, reflection and the evaluation of learning outcomes with both tutor and peer groups
• Self-directed study involving investigation and practical assignments to further knowledge and understanding
• Written evaluation of learning outcomes which develops the ability for objective self-reflection and assessment of response

You will receive work schedules and guidance on how to effectively manage any self-directed learning. References will be made to case studies to illustrate and explain concepts and theories of taught content.

Contacts with the creative 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.

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, veneer room, spray finishing workshop, design studio and wood machine workshop.

As well as being enrolled at City of Oxford College you will also be enrolled with Bucks New University and so will benefit from the same facilities and services as on campus students. These include: use of Bucks’ libraries, Student Centre and Students’ Union, study support and mentoring and professional advice and information from Bucks’ Careers and Employment Service.

Study support

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
• 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.

The programme is delivered in the Rycotewood Furniture Centre for Excellence, which is part of the National School of Furniture in partnership with Bucks New University. 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 opportunities

The learning experience is complemented by integrated visits to exhibitions, institutions, museums and workshops in order to put the role of the designer-maker in the wider context. Visiting lecturers and speakers are scheduled throughout the year and industry partners are linked closely with projects in the design and make modules at levels 4 and 5.

You are encouraged to engage in live projects and national competitions. Current examples are New Forest Trust Wood Competition, ‘One Oak’ project and school seating projects.

During the second year, there is the opportunity for you to take part in the Gordon Russell Project with a tour of Museums and Makers, sponsored by Hands and The Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers.

Assessment methods

There are four main overarching generic criteria for the assessment of any given brief, and these trace the development of the design process. They are:
• Intellectual content – assessed through collected information, sketchbook notation and written research reports
• Creative content – assessed through sketchbook development work via drawings and writing, CAD work, sketch and professional model making, full size workshop prototypes
• Quality of outcome – assessed through the link between original brief, research, and development toward an effective solution as shown by all work on display
• Transferable skills – assessed through the presentation and clarity of writing in reports, the quality of production and intention behind sketch models, prototypes and 2D visuals, and the verbal presentation to the tutors or students on the day of assessment.

Entrants to the Programme should normally possess the following:
• Art Foundation course
• (Extended) General Art and Design or Design Crafts
• City & Guilds technical practical course,
• Access to Art and Design – Mature students over 21 years of age
• Advanced Diploma in Manufacturing and Product Design
• A Level 3 qualification, such as National Diploma merit profile in a related subject, Art and Design Foundation or A-level, City & Guilds in Furniture Crafts

Students should have a strong GCSE profile, including English at Grade C, or equivalent.

All applicants to the programme will be interviewed and their portfolios reviewed. This will enable the course team to assess the candidate’s suitability and compatibility to the programme in a comprehensive way. It also allows flexibility in pre-requisite qualification requirements given the variety of entry points to the programme. As a minimum, the portfolio interview should be able to demonstrate that the applicant can do the following:
• Read, write and converse in English, to a standard necessary for academic study; normally this would be IELTS Level 5.5 or equivalent
• Show that they have an understanding of the chosen programme
• Demonstrate that they have the necessary (or required) academic, artistic and practical skills, as appropriate, to enable them to embark upon their chosen programme of study
• Show that they are motivated to undertake the chosen programme of study
• Show an awareness of, and interest in, creative ideas

City of Oxford College welcome 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 programme 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 programme 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 or experience taken into consideration. Such applications are considered by the Faculty CATS committee and must be supported by the Course Leader.

What you can progress to

Upon successful completion of the Foundation Degree in Furniture: Design and Make, graduates will also be able to upgrade their qualification to an honours degree through one more year of study on the BA (Hons) Furniture: Design and Make which is also delivered at Oxford and Cherwell Valley College. Alternatively Foundation Degree graduates can also progress to the BA (Hons) Furniture at Bucks New University.

Most students will aspire to become independent designer-makers, but many find it useful first to gain experience working in established workshops. Other graduates are employed as designers for firms in furniture and associated industries, or become freelance designers.

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.

Full-time applicants should apply via UCAS. Please log on to: www.ucas.ac.uk

UCAS code: W261

Institution code: B94/O

Accommodation

The College does not have the facility to arrange accommodation for individual students. To help you in your search for accommodation we have provided information on our website, which hopefully you will find useful. We would advise that before you begin your enquires you visit www.direct.gov.uk and using their site search facility type in “Student Accommodation”. This will give you valuable information about how to get the best from your accommodation.

Fees information

Home/EU Fee: £6,900 per year (Full time)/ £4,600 per year (Part time)
International Fee: £7,800 per year

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