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Furniture Design, BA (Hons)

Buckinghamshire New University, the United Kingdom

Buckinghamshire New University

Study options for this course

The award How you will study Study duration Course start Domestic course fees International course fees
BA (Hons)Full-time3 yearsSeptemberfind outfind out
UG:FoundationFull-time4 yearsSeptemberfind outfind out

About Furniture Design, BA (Hons) - at Buckinghamshire New University

Discover the latest innovations in sustainable furniture design and making, using the latest equipment, methods and approaches that are informed by history. On this contemporary degree, craft skills meet new cutting-edge technology. This combination means you’ll develop the practical skills you need to inspire and create future developments, whilst exploring materials and key design principles informed by cultural contexts.

Taught by industry-professionals, you’ll be supported as you discover your unique and original vision helping your portfolio of skills stand-out in the global industry of furniture design and making.

Why study this subject?

This course provides you with the practical and essential design skills and knowledge you’ll need to thrive in your furniture design career. Your portfolio of abilities will meet small, medium and large employer requirements and expectations, allowing you to become a confident creator within the industry.

As the consumer desire for one-off pieces or physical artefacts that can bring a space together grows, to have a skillset within furniture making is sought-after, not only by consumers looking to buy, but also businesses looking to commission medium to large scale operations.

This course is also offered as a four-year programme, including an initial Foundation Year. The Foundation Year will allow you to develop your academic study skills and build confidence in your abilities, identifying your own strengths and development needs for progression onto an undergraduate programme.

Why study at BNU?

With a history of delivering specialist craft, art and design education for more than 130 years, Buckinghamshire New University is the perfect place to grow into an expert pioneer and designer and start your creative career.

Situated in High Wycombe, our town’s rich history in furniture design and making influences our tradition design methods and contemporary teaching. This interdisciplinary approach, and our university Chancellor being the renowned Furniture Designer and Restorer, Jay Blades MBE, makes this course strictly unique.

Delivered by our experienced teaching team who boast a wealth of experience within the furniture design and making, product design, modelmaking and design visualisation industry. As industry-professionals, you’ll benefit from their industry insight and connections, gaining direct access to guest lectures, live project briefs, master classes, and plenty of networking opportunities.

You’ll put learnt design principles and both traditional and modern furniture design and making processes into practice in our professional-standard workshops, studio facilities and CAD suites. Here you’ll have access to state-of-art equipment and software. Here you’ll develop as a thinking-practitioner, mastering your profession and taking ownership on inventive briefs.

With London only a short journey away, and access to a range of business and organisations relevant to furniture making around Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire there are ample opportunities for visits to sites of historical and contemporary interest.

Opportunity modules are a key part of the BNU curriculum. You’ll choose modules in both your first and second year from a broad selection in areas such as sustainability, entrepreneurship, creativity, digital skills, personal growth, civic engagement, health & wellbeing and employment. Opportunity modules are designed to enable you to develop outside the traditional boundaries of your discipline and help you to further stand out from the crowd to future employers.

What facilities can I use?

Access to high standard of facilities is key to the growth and development of your practice, that’s why we have invested ample time in making your key course areas ones of excellence. We continue to develop these areas, the equipment and software you use to match current industry desires, meaning upon graduating from the course, your skillset matches what’s needed.

You’ll undertake computer-aided design within our 3D CAD suites, as well as having access to workshop facilities where you’ll produce 3D models, fully working prototypes, computer models and finished pieces.

Here you’ll be able to experiment with a range of different materials including wood, metal and mixed media, developing traditional hand skills and utilising the latest CNC techniques and machines.

We also have specialist technicians and demonstrators on site to support and share their knowledge with you as you become a confident, creative, and advanced designer.

What will I learn?

This course embeds furniture design and devising innovating approaches and practices to reflect the exciting developments that define the contemporary furniture industry today. At the core of this degree is skills and understanding of techniques, materials, historical and cultural contexts, sustainable design and developing a professional profile.

By working through sequences of contemporary and interdisciplinary projects, you will acquire a wide range of creative and technical skills which enable you to complete design projects from concept to final presentation, and help you become a ground-breaking practitioner of furniture design.

You’ll also develop your understanding of the impact of technology and the wider social, and political and environmental issues impacting the design and production industries today. As well as this you’ll learn about the requirements needed to operate as a sole trader.

In your final year you will present practical work in a range of formats to different audiences, whilst demonstrating an ethical and professional standard of practice in your design-related work. You’ll have the opportunity to exhibit your design and finished products to industry-professionals from a range of design and art focused sectors.

In your cohort you will work with other students from related 3D Design programmes where there is benefit from sharing common modules. This will enhance your learning experience and enable participation in a wide set of opportunities to strengthen your knowledge and skills, producing a versatile and responsive graduate suitable to adapting to changing future facing demands.

Upon graduation, you should have the ability to have a productive career in the creative industries and manufacturing sectors. You’ll be ready to respond to inevitable change, having the capacity to adapt as new types of requirements evolve and mature.

How will I be taught and assessed?

As a BA (Hons) Furniture Design student you’ll have to complete a series of contextual modules and projects. These are designed to present new challenges to you, helping you become a problem-solver and specialist within furniture design as you progress through the course. They involve working with varied briefs, clients, and requirements. By the end of your time with BNU, you’ll benefit from a full portfolio of work to go to employers with.

You’ll also benefit from lectures, 1:1 or small group tutorials, seminars that enable open discussions, guided research and reading, group critiques and self-directed study.

We also aim to provide industry brief opportunities for you to apply your knowledge, skills and understanding into real-world contexts. The theoretical underpinning of practice encourages the development of critical perspectives in relation to the history and language of design.

Notes about fees for this course

What are the tuition fees?


Home, Academic Year 2023 - 2024

£9,250 per year


Overseas/International, Academic Year 2023 - 2024

£15,000 per year


Most courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees.

You could benefit from financial support through a bursary or scholarship during your time as a student. For more details visit our financial support, bursaries and scholarships section.

Questions about fees?

Contact our Enquiries Team:

0330 123 2023

Entry requirements

What are the course entry requirements?

A typical offer will require a UCAS tariff score of: 88 - 112 (Full-time) or 32 - 56 (Foundation Year)

A minimum of two full A-levels (or equivalent) is required. Every application is considered on an individual basis.

Applicants will need to complete an interview and/or demonstrate portfolio work, further guidance is given on the interview and portfolio advice section.

For further details of our international English entry requirements, please visit our international pages.

Applicants who do not meet the minimum requirements for the three-year undergraduate programme, or those who do not feel fully prepared for a degree course, can apply for a four-year programme including a Foundation Year.

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Related Information

Find out more about studying in the United Kingdom

International Study Visa

As an international student you may require a valid visa to study at Buckinghamshire New University. Read more about the requirements in our Guide to the United Kingdom International Student Visa Requirements.