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National School of Furniture

The National School of Furniture is a partnership with City of Oxford College which is founded on our long histories of design and manufacturing in Buckinghamshire and South Oxfordshire.  It is supported by a wide range of industry supporters and the Furniture Makers Company, who elect an industry Advisory Panel to oversee development of courses and opportunities for students.

The benefits of this partnership are direct links to important industry players who provide advice and expertise, and identify new course development areas, which result in updated curriculum activities, or for example, in new courses like the FdA Kitchen Design blended learning part-time course.  These close links also offer students, tutors and technicians the latest technical advice and companies have given training and machinery to support learning and teaching in the colleges. Students have opportunities to visit a range of design and manufacturing companies, have live projects to help their employment prospects and are often snapped up through our NSF network on graduating!

Recent projects have included work with Ercol, Herman Miller, BDP, Gloster, Lago, John Lewis, Argos, Futurecity and Stowe House.

We are proud to have won several awards and prestigious competitions. These include:

  • Student Furniture Designer of The Year,
  • New Designers Best In Show,
  • New Forest Show,
  • The Habitat Design Award, and
  • The Annual NEC Furniture Show and decoration.

Take a look at the virtual tour of the 2014 End of Year Show:

Students enjoy a high standard of facilities and workshops at Bucks, which feature industry-standard equipment, an excellent range of traditional and state-of-the-art resources, and dedicated study spaces and areas for public exhibitions.

Our environment enables students to explore new and traditional craft-based skills and technologies in the areas of printmaking, wood, metal, fine metals, ceramics, mould-making and restoration, and technologies ranging from traditional to digital with dedicated computer suites, laser cutter, rapid prototyping and 3D scanning facilities. Take a virtual tour of our workshops and studio spaces to discover more, or join us an Open Day.


Undergraduate degrees
The undergraduate degree courses combine work-related learning with traditional academic teaching, leading to sector-orientated awards that are current and valuable to employers and individuals alike.

Delivered at Bucks New University:

Delivered at the City of Oxford College:

  • FDA Furniture Design and Make
  • BA (Hons) Furniture Design and Make (Top-up)

Professional training courses and short courses
A range of short courses have been designed to meet the needs of industry and those interested in the furniture sector.

From leisure courses to more academic courses, learning in a real workshop or design studio environment offers students an experience second to none.

Master's degrees
The master's programmes are delivered by an unrivalled team of leading industry and academic experts.
Vocational Courses
  • City and Guilds in Furniture (level 1 to 3)
  • Furniture apprenticeships (level 2 and 3).

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships
We have run several successful Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) with companies leading to new product innovation for companies such as DuPont Corian and SoundSorba.
The School has a growing and vibrant postgraduate community that includes KTP associates, PhD and MPhil research students, as well as students from our related master's courses.

We are the proud home of The High Wycombe Furniture Archive, founded on the expertise, knowledge and passion of people who believe in the saving and recording of rare archival material about the industry from around the UK and beyond. As an educational resource this provides an endlessly fascinating, useful and growing bank of information about furniture.

Our academic team has extensive industry and research experience and can provide support to businesses and organisations who require specialist knowledge, advice and training across and within the furniture industry.

We would like to give our special thanks to the following companies and organisations that have links with The National School of Furniture: