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Diploma in Fine Furniture

Diploma in Fine Furniture

Level 5

Take your skills and understanding of furniture design to the next level with UCOL's Diploma in Fine Furniture.

A photograph of two side tables made by UCOL students
Quick info

Level: 5

Locations: UCOL Manawatū in Palmerston North

Duration: 2 years, full-time

Dates:
24 Feb 2020 -27 Nov 2020

Domestic Fees: *
$6,574.00 for first year students, $6,729.00 for second year studentsScholarship info

International Fees:*
$20,500 for first year students, $21,500 for second year students

Additional Fees
Compulsory course costs may apply.

* Fees are indicative only, and are inclusive of the student services levy and GST (goods and services tax). The fee shown is for one year of study.

UCOL's furniture design qualification is comprised of three qualifications. You must study these in order as follows:

First year of study

New Zealand Certificate in Arts and Design (Furniture Design & Making) (Level 4)
New Zealand Certificate in Creativity (Furniture Design & Making) (Level 4)

Second year of study
New Zealand Diploma in Creativity (Furniture Design) (Level 5)

UCOL's furniture design offering is unique to New Zealand and offers students a practical, hands-on experience with lecturers who are qualified furniture makers. 

 Career & Study Outcomes

  • Furniture design and making
  • Custom made furniture making
  • Furniture manufacturing
  • Furniture restoration
  • Furniture retailing
  • Design drawing
  • Pattern making
  • Stage set design
  • Marine cabinet making
  • Joinery
To find out more about possible job prospects and salaries, see Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's Occupation Outlook for Cabinet Makers.

 Course Information

New Zealand Certificate in Arts and Design (Furniture Design and Making) (Level 4)

Art/Design History (15 Credits)
Gain an introduction to national and international art/design practice including key historical principles, contexts and conventions related to furniture design.

Creative Practice (30 Credits)
Develop technical and conceptual creative skills through the selection and application of tools, techniques and processes appropriate to a directed art/design brief. The course will cover:

  • Creative processes, ideation and implementation 
    • Joint making, tool making, furniture making
  • Composition, shape, lighting
  • Single form ideas
  • Drawing from the model
  • Thumbnails and conceptual development 
  • Critiquing
  • Multimedia creative processes
  • Safety – techniques, equipment
  • Workshop health and safety
  • Timber – kinds, uses, selection
  • Hand tools – uses, techniques
  • Portable and fixed machinery – uses, techniques
  • Components – joints and their qualities
  • Creating a workshop visual diary
  • Workshop Health and Safety 
  • First Aid

Visual Arts Studio (15 Credits)
Gain knowledge and experience of working in two and three-dimensional forms and, through a variety of visual arts mediums, explore physical, and conceptual space. The course will cover 

  • Technical construction: a range of drawing approaches, including, but not limited to; orthogonal, auxiliary, pictorial and geometric construction 
  • Sketching – 2D, 3D and rendering
  • Mannequin – scale and proportions

New Zealand Certificate in Creativity (Furniture Design and Making)

Visual Communications (15 credits)
Explore new ways of thinking, visualising and communicating, and developing students’ skills presenting in two and three-dimensional forms. The course will cover:

  • Furniture design – research, ideation, scale models
  • Sketching – 2D, 3D, line, texture, composition, rendering, colour
  • Orthogonal drawing – layout, scale, title blocks, borders, dimensions, sections, line work, auxiliary views, 3rd angle
  • Pictorial – isometric, oblique, isometric circles, 2 point perspective
  • Geometric construction – polygons, ellipses, tangent points, compass work
  • Mannequin – scale and proportions
  • Computer Aided Drawing (CAD)

Creative Practice (30 credits)
Gain technical and conceptual skills in furniture design. The course will cover:

  • Creative processes, ideation and implementation 
    • Joint making, tool making, furniture making
  • Composition, shape, lighting
  • Single form ideas
  • Drawing from the model
  • Thumbnails and conceptual development 
  • Critiquing
  • Multimedia creative processes
  • Plan and construct furniture items
  • Identify the steps of the design process
  • Safety – techniques, equipment, OSH legislation
  • Timber – kinds (exotic, indigenous) uses, conversion, qualities, selection
  • Hand tools – uses, techniques, care and maintenance
  • Portable and fixed machinery – uses, techniques
  • Components – joints and their qualities, construction techniques, hardware variety and usage
  • Finishes, restoration, abrasives
  • Calculations and costings for timber

Creative Theory (15 credits)
Collaborate with classmates to examine the role of creativity to change or improve outcomes in furniture design and making. Consider transferrable creativity skills in relation to career options and self, including time and working space management and engaging with others.

New Zealand Diploma in Creativity (Furniture Design and Making)

Visual Arts (15 credits)
Develop effective drawing techniques as a specialized form of visual communication while working with a variety of visual art media and exploring physical and conceptual space. 

Computer Aided Drawning (15 credits)
Gain and develop skills using Computer Added Drawing (CAD) programmes. The course will cover:

  • Computer Aided Drawing (CAD) 
  • Project design and production of technical detailed plans relating to furniture objects
  • Technical construction: a range of drawing approaches, including, but not limited to: orthogonal, auxiliary, pictorial and geometric construction, drafting/plan, perspective
  • Render quality in digital form 
  • Lighting and basic interior design for visual communication

Creative Practice (30 credits)
Develop your technical and conceptual skills related to creative furniture design elements, principles and processes. The course will cover:

  • Safety – techniques, equipment, jigs, guards
  • Creative processes, ideation and implementation 
    • Joint making, tool making, furniture making
  • Timber – properties and usage and selection
  • Hand tools – uses, techniques, care and maintenance
  • Portable and fixed machinery – uses, techniques, preparation, set-up, maintenance
  • Setout techniques and uses
  • Components – joints and their qualities, construction techniques, hardware variety and usage
  • Research – materials, hardware, construction techniques
  • Traditional and modern materials in furniture construction
  • Sketching and modeling techniques and materials
  • Ergonomics and structural design
  • Design process, elements and principles
  • Furniture specific to cabinet making, doors, drawers and jointmaking
  • Bending elements within furniture making
    • Kerf, steam, lamination, cut
Advanced Creative Practice (30 credits)
Further develop your technical and conceptual skills in creative furniture design elements, principles and processes. Learn to communicate and design in a group and with an external client. The course covers:
  • Research – materials, hardware, advanced construction techniques
  • Traditional and modern materials in furniture construction
  • Veneering tools and materials
  • Sketching and modeling techniques and materials
  • Ergonomics and structural design
  • Design process, elements and principles
  • Industry application in furniture design and making
  • Working with clients to make furniture

Creative Theory (15 credits)
Gain a range of skills surrounding art/design and creative industries in relation to creative furniture practice. The course covers:

  • Creative problem solving
  • Industry/Work Safe H&S
  • Collaborating within a group
  • Explore potential future vocational pathways
  • Furniture related context and conventions
  • Creative processes relating to furniture, 
  • Creative industries and Furniture making

Introduction to Business and Marketing (15 credits)
An introduction to marketing, small business and financial practice in the context of furniture design and making. The course covers:

  • Business identity and marketing strategies
  • Marketing environment including customer needs/demand
  • Features running a small business enterprise
  • Characteristics of a successful furniture making business
  • Criteria for evaluating success of small business operations
  • Set up costs and capital structure of a small business operation
  • Develop industry-appropriate personal and bookkeeping business records
  • Financial viability of the proposed small business operation 
  • Submitting a negotiated furniture design
  • Define the standard concepts and pricing strategies in furniture contracts

 Industry Connections

Every year UCOL students successfully participate in the National Woodskills Competition in conjunction with Kawerau Woodfest. It's an opportunity for our students to showcase their creative skills and to see what other furniture designers are doing around the country.

 Learning Facilities

A fully-equipped furniture design and making workshop.

 Domestic Entry Requirements

To be eligible for entry to New Zealand Certificate in Arts and Design (Furniture Design and Making) (Level 4) , applicants must hold at least one of the following:

NCEA Level 2

OR

Equivalent academic achievement

OR

On a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the Executive Dean.

 

For more information about NCEA Credits see UCOL's NCEA explained page.

 International Entry Requirements

In addition to the Domestic Entry Requirements, the following applies to international student applicants:

English Proficiency Entry Requirements
International student applicants whose first language is not English must have an IELTS Academic score of 5.5 with no band score lower than 5  (or equivalent including TOEFL). IELTS scores used must be taken from a single IELTS Test Report Form (i.e. combining scores from more than one test is not permissible). UCOL is a TOEFL iBT testing centre.

Under 20 years of age
For international applicants under 20 years of age who do not hold NCEA, International Academic Qualifications Entry Criteria apply.

 Advice & Guidance

UCOL's Diploma in Fine Furniture is comprised of three qualifications. You must study these in order as follows:

  1. New Zealand Certificate in Arts and Design (Furniture Design & Making) (Level 4) (60 Credits)
  2. New Zealand Certificate in Creativity (Furniture Design & Making) (Level 4) (60 Credits)
  3. New Zealand Diploma in Creativity (Furniture Design) (Level 5) (120 Credits)

Work experience
There are no work experience hours for this programme. If you choose to do part-time work, we recommend a maximum of 10 hours a week.

Application checklist
It will make the process easier if you prepare the following before you apply:

  • National Student Number (NSN) (If you don't have a NSN, you may request one from NZQA, or you can supply a verified copy of your birth certificate, passport or Whakapapa statement.)
  • Evidence of your highest level of academic achievement (and evidence of prior learning, if applicable)
  • Evidence that you meet the entry requirements of the programme
  • Check if you're eligible for additional support or a scholarship. If you're 19 years or younger, you may be eligible to enrol in one of our free Youth Transition programmes.

Note that you will need to provide any verified documents in person, via post or email.

Recognition of prior learning
Applications for Recognition of Prior Learning, including Cross Credit, Credit Transfer and Assessment of Prior Learning may be made on the Recognition of Prior Learning Form where a student believes all learning outcomes for a course or unit standards have already been met.

 Additional Costs

Please note that there are additional costs associated with New Zealand Certificate in Arts and Design (Furniture Design) (Level 4):

Steel capped boots $100 (NZ Safety Blackwoods)
Drawing instruments, eraser shield/ellipse template, coloured pencils, folder or portfolio $30

 Accreditation

The programme is approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority under the provisions of the Education Act 1989, and Universal College of Learning (UCOL) is accredited to teach it.

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