Birmingham City University’s School of Jewellery is set to expand, following a new building acquisition in the city’s St Paul’s Square.
Previously home to Abbey College, the School will take on 10 St Paul’s Square in April, opening in September 2019 as a new postgraduate jewellery design and research facility with new design studios and offices for staff and doctoral researchers. The School of Jewellery’s library and computer suite will also move to the new 11,200 sq. ft building, enabling the conversion of rooms at the existing and historic core Vittoria Street site for additional studio space for undergraduate students.
Founded in 1890, the School of Jewellery celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2015 and is the largest of its kind in Europe offering unique degrees in horology and gemmology, alongside its award-winning jewellery designing, making and business full-time and short courses.
The 10-year lease at St Paul’s Square will see the School of Jewellery grow its full-time and part-time postgraduate course offering with a new research-centred building at the heart of the Jewellery Quarter. Courses to be delivered at the site include MA Jewellery and Related Products and the School’s newly validated one-year Graduate Diploma Pre-Masters, as well as the MA Luxury Jewellery Management programme.
Professor Stephen Bottomley, Head of the School of Jewellery at Birmingham City University, said: “We’re delighted to be building for the future within the historic heart of the Jewellery Quarter. It is a great pleasure to be able to announce growth, investment and support for craft and design in higher education, especially after years that have seen some significant national losses in our specialist subject. This is positive and exciting news for our students and our staff and addresses the high demand from our academic partners across the world while enabling the School of Jewellery to reach to new countries to achieve greater diversity.”
The School of Jewellery recently won the prestigious ‘College Trophy’ for the third consecutive year at the Goldsmiths’ Craftsmanship and Design Council Awards in London.
Described by English Heritage as a ‘national treasure,’ Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter is home to more than 500 jewellery firms producing around 40 per cent of British jewellery.