Student using the table saw

Start dates: January, May, September

The one year course is aimed at those who are looking for a big change in their life. Do you wonder if you have the creativity and the ambition to run your own business? We’ll be with you every step of the way! Don’t worry if you have no experience as this is the case with most of our students, and we can help you explore your creativity and learn key skills from our award winning tutors.

This one year course covers all of the basics you’ll need to know, listed in the syllabus below, and there are plenty of other topic options available, depending on what interests you most. Design appreciation and history will be looked at and assignments are given out which enable you to join in with our design discussions, start to consider design practices, and study existing designers. If you are less interested in the design side then our one year making only course may be better suited to you. We also take trips to exhibitions and have guest lecturers to teach additional topics.

Three or four projects are usually completed in the year and will be designed by you with guidance from your tutors. our photographer will produce your portfolio which you can use to promote your business or gain employment. All of our students also leave with a graded diploma, which can also help you to gain employment. If your dream is to start your own furniture making business once you finish your course with is, we can also cover subjects on business management, including accountancy, legislation, and marketing.

Our year course lasts a full 50 weeks, with 2 weeks off in December, so you can get as much practical experience as possible during your time here.

Hand tool selection – New, old, tuning and sharpening. Use of hand tools and accurate measuring

Glues – Different types, strength comparison, and correct uses.

Abrasives – Different types and correct uses

Machinery – Maintenance, identification, and applications

Health & safety

Hand power tools – Routers, router tables, biscuit jointers, domino jointers, sander, drills

Joints – Cutting, assembly, identification, construction


Jigs and small batch runs

Drawing – Sketching, working drawings, rods, introduction to CAD

Cutting lists

Ordering timber – Costing and estimating waste

Timber study – Movement, moisture content, drying, defects, and conversion

External timber yard visit

Veneering – Selection, storage, preparation, vacuum bag

Laminating – Cutting, thicknessing, invisible glue lines

Curves – Steam bending (subject to availability), laminating

Finishing – Types, applications, polishing oils, bleach, colouring


These topics may be studied in addition to core topics, subject to availability and schedules


Steam bending

Power carving

Material science

Carbon fibre

Design history

Design principals & appreciation


CAD, CNC machines

3D printing and 3D scanning



Setting up a workshop – machinery, legislation, dust extraction

Meeting clients and communication

Exhibiting your work – retail, galleries, internet, your own exhibition

Introduction to websites – SEO, marketing, PR

Printed stationery – branding, designing, brochures, business cards, letterheads, drawings, photography

Course cost

50 week course cost: £19,000

Deposit: £3,000

Please contact us for details on the instalments for the remainder of the cost

Other costs

A budget for tools should be allowed, we can advise on what is needed

A budget should also be allowed for materials for your own projects. Materials are provided for small samples and test pieces


Our student intakes are in January, May, and September. Occasionally we can accept students outside of these dates, please email us to enquire about this

Teaching is 9am until 4.30pm

Some out-of-hours and weekend practice time may be available, subject to terms and conditions

50 Week Furniture Design & Makers’ Course