Course Information

Where is the course delivered?

  • Bridgwater Centre

Who is the course for?

This course is ideal for students who are passionate about Furniture making or fine woodworking as a career and would like to earn while you learn. This is the course for you if you like working with timber & creating timber based projects with a hands on approach.

The Bridgwater College Construction Centre is a dedicated facility for construction craft training. The furniture making workshop is very well equipped with an excellent range of hand tools, power tools and woodworking machinery. Well-appointed classrooms and computer facilities enhance the workshops and provide a link between the practical and knowledge aspects of the course.

What does the course involve?

Currently National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ’s) are offered to Level 2 in Furniture Manufacturing. Students following the apprenticeship route will study on a day-release basis.

The qualification is split into individual units that you will need to complete andfunctional skills in English & Maths.

You will develop your techniques of making quality furniture. You will use modern machines and hand tools to produce practical tasks as well as your own furniture. You will also be taught all of the associated knowledge required for this subject.

Topics studied include:

 

  • Safe working, including using hand tools, power tools and industrial machinery
  • Developing your hand skills to produce furniture components
  • Develop understanding, care of and use of Power tools
  • Learn techniques for working efficiently and professionally within the workshop environment
  • Develop an understanding of the design processes used in Furniture Making.

Currently National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ’s) are offered to Level 2 in Furniture Manufacturing. Students following the apprenticeship route will study on a day-release basis.

 

The qualification is split into individual units that you will need to complete andfunctional skills in English & Maths.

 

You will develop your techniques of making quality furniture. You will use modern machines and hand tools to produce practical tasks as well as your own furniture. You will also be taught all of the associated knowledge required for this subject.

 

Topics studied include:

  • Safe working, including using hand tools, power tools and industrial machinery
  • Developing your hand skills to produce furniture components
  • Develop understanding, care of and use of Power tools
  • Learn techniques for working efficiently and professionally within the workshop environment
  • Develop an understanding of the design processes used in Furniture Making

What makes this course special?

  • Reputation for excellence within the industry
  • Past Gold student award in the National Skill-Build final
  • Purpose built and fully equipped workshop
  • Opportunity to display at the Somerset Guild of Craftsmen annual furniture exhibition
  • Dedicated, enthusiastic and knowledgeable industry experienced staff
  • Opportunities to develop transferable skills

The College has an excellent reputation for its furniture courses as students are encouraged to work towards the highest possible standards in craftsmanship and design. The overall standard of students' work is consistently high and achievement is well above the national standard. Students from this programme regularly take part in competitions and in September 2010 one of our students achieved Gold in the national Skill-Build final.

Superb Facilities: All our practical based woodwork courses take place in fully equipped workshops. As well as gaining valuable skills on modern woodworking machines, you will also have the opportunity to experience veneering, marquetry, traditional finishing and spray finishing.

Placements/Work Placements

Apprentices must be in a trade related employment covering the relevant Furniture Making knowledge criteria for the awarding body. Students will have to find their own placement.

Entry Requirements

  • Be employed as a Furniture Maker or fine woodworker
  • Successful interview
  • GCSEs in the A* - C range or an equivalent qualification

What are the assessment methods?

An important aspect of the course is that learners will need to have employment with a furniture making company because the work that they produce will count as evidence towards their NVQ and they will not have to repeat it at College. Underpinning knowledge is assessed via internally set assignments and on-line exams; there will be a need to complete a multiple choice Health and Safety test that is externally set by the awarding body.

Learners will also be assessed using the following methods: 

  • Practical observation
  • Portfolio of work
  • Periodic reviews in both College & the workplace
  • A practical skills assessment (synoptic test)
  • An underpinning knowledge final assessment.

Functional Skills are assessed by a portfolio of evidence, and external multiple choice examination papers (exemptions may apply).

How long is the course?

Two years.

What are the College attendance requirements?

One day per week (7 hours) in both years. Students also need to allow a minimum of three hours per week for self-study.

For students who have not achieved a GCSE C grade in English and Maths there will also be a requirement to attend a 10 week block for Functional Skills one day per week in addition to the regular course timetable.

Are there any additional costs for the course?

There are some additional fees for students over 19 years old. There may be financial help through a bursary, to help with course fees, travel costs and in certain circumstances other course expenses too.

What are the progression options?

Leaners can progress onto the NVQ Level 3 in Furniture Making – traditional, together with Functional Skills at Level 2.

Destinations

Millie Richards won Gold in the regional Skill-Build Competition 2017 for new entrants.

Blake Fewster who won the National Skill-Build Competition in 2010 is now taking commissions as a self-employed furniture maker.

Paul Tout from Torquay completed Level 3 in 2011 and he won the prestigious Alan Peters OBE award in 2011 at the world renowned Cheltenham exhibition ‘celebration of craftsmanship’. He is now taking commissions as a self-employed furniture maker.

Awarding Body

Occupational Awards Limited (OAL).

Further Information