More important than the paper qualifications are the ten pieces of furniture you make on the course. This portfolio of work is used to find work with designers, architects, private clients, and other makers.

In addition to putting together a professional portfolio, students are awarded three professionally recognised qualifications.

  • City and Guilds 5780 - 30 Level 3 Diploma in Furniture Making and Design
  • City and Guilds 5780 - 20 Level 2 Diploma in Furniture Making
  • City and Guilds 5780 - 22 Level 2 Diploma in Machine Woodworking

Do I need a qualification?

The short answer is no; the long answer is worth reflecting on

The path to becoming a successful furniture maker is often not a straight one, but gaining a qualification may well be helpful in ways that are not clear at the start of your career.

The advantages of having a qualification can be put under the following headings:

  • Quality and course structure
  • Working overseas and emigration
  • Attracting funding and grants
  • Teaching

Quality and structure

Before embarking on a course, you will need to have confidence in the people who are teaching you, and the quality of the training you are to receive. As well as making your own judgments about this, it is reassuring to know that this course and training centre is assessed annually by the City & Guilds external verifiers. These assessments require that standards of teaching, learning, and resources are conducive to learning, and fulfil set standards such as Health and Safety requirements.

Working overseas and emigration

I have successfully worked overseas and, in the past, and as a young man considered emigration, but could not have done either without a recognised qualification.

Attracting funding and grants

Most funding and granting agencies require that you be working towards a qualification. This is certainly true of the loan scheme which some of my students have benefitted from.


It is not unusual to find that many creative people have at some point in their careers undertaken teaching work, and most teaching institutions require a subject qualification from their staff as a minimum.