furniture design/maker's course. two-year higher diploma.

This two-year course is aimed at those who are maybe looking into the conventional furniture design and making degree course with one of the UK's universities. Our research of people leaving with a degree in these subjects shows that many feel they lack practical skills. This may be techniques, hand skills or wood machining. Here at 'robinson house studio' we aim to bridge the gap. We are the only private furniture making school to offer a dedicated two-year course. The last-two year course offered was at the renowned John Makepeace's now closed Parnham College. There appears to be a wide gap between the usual furniture design and making degree courses, and the hands-on courses run in a workshop, and our aim is to offer something that would meet the requirements of students and employers alike, bridging that gap.

Our higher-level diploma scheme gives you, and shows an employer, a real feeling of achievement, and an indication of aptitude, skill and application. Whilst it is not a degree in furniture design and making, it does carry some weight in the industry - Marc Fish has become internationally renowned due to the experimental and progressive nature of his work. He has exhibited widely in the UK, USA and Far East, and has received multiple awards for his work.

All the same elements of the 50 week course are covered. You will cover advanced subjects including mixed media making, computer aided design and machining, model making, metal working including casting and welding. You will be encouraged to use these materials and skills in the projects produced in your second year.
At least six projects are usually completed in the two years; the projects will be designed by you with guidance from Marc and his team. Our photographer will produce your portfolio, which you can use to promote your business or gain employment. Business management subjects can be covered if required - accountancy, book keeping, legislation and marketing will assist you when setting up your own business.
Design appreciation and history will be looked at and assignments are given out which will enable you to join in with our design discussions, start considering design practices and study existing designers. Unlike a degree course the subjects are largely verbal discussions and not essays. This means that if you are maybe not academic or do not like exams this is going to be a better option than the usual degree course in furniture design/making or product design at a university.

All students leave with a graded Higher Level Diploma details about this can be viewed here

two-year course extras

The extra subjects below are options for the one & two-year course and students can choose areas that interest them.

  • Steam bending, coopering
  • Power carving
  • Carbon fibre
  • Material science
  • Design history
  • Design principals & design appreciation
  • Metalworking - welding, brushing, cleaning, stainless, mild steel, powder coating, spraying, casting, lathe and milling
  • CAD one week, CNC machines
  • 3D printing and 3D scanning
  • Four projects per year
  • Outings to exhibitions
  • Setting up a workshop - machinery, legislation, dust extraction
  • Exhibiting your work - retail, galleries, internet, your own exhibition
  • Meeting clients and communication
  • Printed stationary - branding and image, designing, brochures, business cards, postcards, letterheads, drawings, photography
  • Introduction into web sites and SEO (rankings), marketing and PR


two-year course £30,000

Start dates October & April each year.

Booking deposit £3000, A payment of £3000 is due 30 days prior to start date. On first day of course £5001 then a further three payments of £6333 every 25 weeks.

Ring for details on help with funding.

A budget for tools should be allowed, also materials for your own projects. Materials are provided for small samples and test pieces.

View here to see Marc's suggested tool kit

Back to course overview or view 12 week course syllabus