Course Information

Who is the course for?

For those who are interested in furniture making or fine woodworking, this enjoyable and stimulating course has a strong emphasis on the practical woodworking skills. The course will prepare learners with the essential skills needed for employment in the furniture or fine woodworking industry, this may eventually lead onto setting up a woodworking business.

What does the course involve?

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

The course is two-thirds practical work, with the remainder being theory studies. 

  • Prepare drawings and cuttings lists, select, prepare and maintain tools and equipment, produce patterns and jigs, identify and select timbers and safely use woodworking machinery
  • Use all workshop tools to undertake practical tasks, construct a range of joints, and use methods to produce shaped and veneered parts, construct and assemble furniture projects
  • Fit a range of drawer and cabinet hardware, apply mouldings and finishes and make necessary adjustments to finished pieces

Over the year learners will be given set practical tasks to teach making processes and help to gain confidence with practical skills. Learners will increasingly be encouraged to develop their own ideas in their work which reflect their own sense of style. In the design studio learners will learn background theory to working in wood and constructing furniture, alongside drawing and design skills. At the end of the year learners will have completed at least one well finished piece of furniture along with numerous other practical tasks and exercises.

What makes this course special?

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.

Superb Facilities

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


During the year learners will have the opportunity to be involved in a number of visits ranging from furniture exhibitions, museums and galleries, through to professional furniture workshops. These include the NEC Furniture Show, the Devon Guild and the local craft studios.

Experienced Staff

All staff involved in the programme have excellent backgrounds within the furniture industry. Both full-time and visiting lecturers have successfully worked in the field of high quality commissioned furniture and are enthusiastic in sharing their vast experience and knowledge.

Entry Requirements

Learners' abilities will be assessed at the interview. Leaners will also need a desire to learn about furniture making and a love of working with wood. All of the tools and equipment will also be provided, but we do encourage students to obtain a basic set of tools and drawing equipment for their own use. All the materials for set projects are provided, however, learners will be expected to finance their own final major project.

What are the assessment methods?

Assessment on all of the practical projects and tasks that are set and the production of a portfolio of evidence that will include written worksheets and theory assignments. There is also a multiple choice theory examination.

Are there any additional costs for the course?

The cost of materials for any extra projects that a student undertakes will be an additional cost. Students will also need to purchase steel toe capped footwear, a carpenters apron, a four ring binder and note pad etc.

What are the progression options?

Higher level furniture courses (at Levels 2 and 3), or seek employment in a variety of career opportunities in furniture making and woodworking.

Alternatively a foundation degree in Furniture Studies at a specialist furniture college/university, a BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art, Design and Craft, or any other design or construction based subject dependant on achieving an appropriate level of qualification.

Course Details

Further Information