Who are our Long Courses aimed at?
Our long courses are aimed at students aspiring to design and make bespoke furniture to professional standards – either for their own enjoyment or to develop a career as a professional furniture designer/maker:-
- Students training or re-training for a new career - we offer a vocational course which is an alternative to university; we take students from aged 18 upwards and we teach you not only how to design and make fine, hand-crafted furniture, but teach you the business skills needed to start your own workshop. And for those looking to earn a living as an Improver or a Designer in another workshop when you graduate, you'll develop the practical skills, plus gain the speed and confidence to get you to the professional level required to get a job - we have a 100% successful record in finding our Graduates a position should they wish to move to a workshop when they leave us.
- Or for those looking for a new direction and for their own sense of fulfilment, we nurture your skills and take you in the direction you are interested in, tailoring the course to your own needs and pace if you simply want to produce beautiful designed and constructed one-off pieces for your own enjoyment.
You don't need any experience in woodworking to join, and each year we have a variety of students ranging from school-leavers looking to start their career, through to more mature students looking for a change of direction and there is always a great mix of ages and backgrounds within the group, all sharing a common aim in making and designing beautiful furniture.
Do I learn Furniture Design as well as Furniture Making?
From cabinet making and carpentry, to bench joinery, fine woodworking and machining, Peter’s hands-on approach ensures all students develop the skills and confidence needed to become successful furniture makers. Peter was a Course Leader for Furniture and Cabinet Making courses offering NVQ, City and Guilds and BTEC National Diploma qualifications in state colleges for many years before starting his own School and his teaching is complemented by Sean Feeney, who joins us every week throughout the year as the School’s Designer/Maker in Residence. Sean teaches Furniture Design and skilfully helps students translate their design ideas into their own design projects. Sean is one of the top designer/makers in the country and has his own bespoke furniture making business Sean Feeney Furniture.
Are your courses practical and intensive?
Our purpose built workshops are open to students from 8:30am until 7:30pm every weekday allowing students to gain the necessary skills and the speed needed to fast-track their furniture making skills and Peter is in the workshop on hand for his small group of students all day, every day.
The 35-week Professional Furniture Making and Woodworking course provides over 1,575 hours of bench time and tutoring – most college courses only provide about 350 hours of tutoring and bench time a year which is why they take much longer to complete. So, 45 hours of bench time per week over 35 weeks allows a student to gain the speed, confidence and ability that they need to become a professional furniture designer/maker in a shorter amount of time.
When Peter was designing his Professional Long Course, he made a conscious decision to follow a combination of the best and most suitable elements of the NVQ, City and Guilds and BTEC National Diploma qualification Syllabuses, plus concentrate on offering an intensive course that will give the same level of technical knowledge plus plenty of practical bench time - 1,575 hours.
Which Course - 9 Month, 6 Month or 3 Month?
Our professional long course has been designed to be modular. The Syllabus is designed so students can study all 35 weeks in one block on the 9 Month course, or opt to only study for 24 weeks (6 Months) or 12 weeks (3 Months), and add 3 or 6 Months later, as time and funds allow. Our long courses run for:
• 9 Months – 35 weeks over 3 Terms (Autumn, Spring and Summer)
• 6 Months – 24 weeks over 2 Terms (Autumn and Spring)
• 3 Months – 12 weeks (Autumn Term only)
Whatever students chose to do; the same Syllabus is studied throughout, meaning they can always build on the knowledge and skills already learned