The National School of Furniture is an exciting partnership between Bucks New University in High Wycombe and Rycotewood Furniture Centre at Oxford & Cherwell Valley College (OCVC) in Oxford. Industry and education work together across both centres to train and educate people who wish to learn skills needed by the furniture industry.
We offer a vast range of courses from basic skills development and industry training, through to bachelor and master's degrees, up to PhD research. We offer general and specialist courses in furniture design, conservation, restoration, wood carving, cabinet making, kitchen design, upholstery and interior design. Visit the furniture department page to find our full list of courses available.
Strong links with industry
We are supported by a unique Industry Advisory Board consisting of key industry players, together with The Furniture Makers Company. Their expertise and advice is used to ensure that we monitor and update both the content of our courses and develop new courses where industry identifies a need for further up skilling of the workforce.
Past projects have included work with both local and global companies such as Dwell, Vitra, Burgess Furniture, The Contract Chair Company, M&S, Hands of Wycombe, Ercol, Contrax Furniture, St Giles Furniture, JLP, KI, Isokon, BDP, Lago, and the British Contract Furnishing Association. Group projects have been undertaken to design and install outdoor school furniture, and sculpture trails for the National Trust.
Bucks EYeS 2013 Show
New Designers - Summer 2012:
MA End of Year Show - Winter 2012:
We have won several prestigious competitions year on year such as The Student Furniture Designer of The Year; New Designers Best In Show; NADFAS; New Forest Show; The Habitat Design Award, and our students are regular winners of awards at The Annual NEC Furniture Show and decoration, product design and more.
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. This unique 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 impressive workshops and studio spaces to discover more, or join us for a tour on Open Day.
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.
o City and Guilds in Furniture (level 1 to 3)
o Furniture apprenticeships (level 2 and 3).
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:
o FDA Design and Make for Interiors
o FDA Kitchen Design.
Delivered at Oxford & Cherwell Valley College:
o FDA Furniture Design and Make
o BA (Hons) Furniture Design and Make (Top-up)
The master's programmes are delivered by an unrivalled team of leading industry and academic experts.
o MA Art and Design Practice
o MA Conservation of Furniture and Decorative Arts
Knowlege 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.
For more information on the furniture department at Bucks, visit our furniture department to discover more. If you are interested in a visit or a course, please email us and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
Julie Catlow (Bucks New University)
Chris Hyde (OCVC)
We would like to give our special thanks to the following companies and organisations that have links with The National School of Furniture: