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Course summary

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. 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. Degrees at BNU are designed to offer a broader and more flexible education by giving you the opportunity to try a range of subjects before specialising. Even if you know exactly what you want to do, with most of our courses you can choose to study additional subjects to enhance your education. What facilities can I use? 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. What will I learn? 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. 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 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.


Foundation Year Core Modules Preparing for Success: Knowledge and Creativity Preparing for Success: Self-development and Responsibility Inquiry Based Learning Introduction to Design and Development Year one Core Modules Craft Skills Materials and Processes Design Communication Sustainable Practice Critical and Historical Thinking Year two Core Modules Testing, Jig construction and Prototyping Advanced Materials and Technology Design Visualisation Professional Studies for Furniture Design Sustainable Design Year three Core Modules Furniture Design and Manufacture Professional Practice Creative and Professional Development Contextual Report on Practice Final Major Project

Assessment method

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.

How to apply

Application codes

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Buckinghamshire New University
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Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Foundation

International applicants

For information about applying to Buckinghamshire New University as an International applicant, please visit

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

Applicants who do not meet the minimum requirements for the 3-year undergraduate programme, or those who do not feel fully prepared for a Level 4 course, will be considered for the 4-year programme including a Foundation Year.

Please click the following link to find out more about qualification requirements for this course

Additional entry requirements


Unistats information

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Student satisfaction
Employment after 15 months (Most common jobs)
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The student satisfaction data is from students surveyed during the Covid-19 pandemic. The number of student respondents and response rates can be important in interpreting the data – it is important to note your experience may be different from theirs. This data will be based on the subject area rather than the specific course. Read more about this data on the Discover Uni website.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

England £9250 Year 1
Northern Ireland £9250 Year 1
Scotland £9250 Year 1
Wales £9250 Year 1
Channel Islands £9250 Year 1
Republic of Ireland £9250 Year 1
EU £15000* Year 1
International £15000* Year 1

*This is a provisional fee and subject to change.

Additional fee information

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.

Sponsorship information

Buckinghamshire New University offers a range of bursaries and scholarships. For more information, please visit

Furniture Design with Foundation Year at Buckinghamshire New University - UCAS