Buckinghamshire New University has launched its innovative Foundation Degree in Kitchen Design, with the first group of students spending a residential weekend at the university’s Missenden Abbey Conference Centre, in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire.
The course is the first of its kind in the UK and follows two years of discussions with individuals from key companies in the kitchen industry. The age range covered by the successful candidates is from 22 to 45 years old.
The course is led by David Gillett and also taught by well-known kitchen industry professional Johnny Grey, a visiting professor in design and kitchen culture at Bucks New University. Gillett and Grey are supported by experienced design tutors from the university.
In press announcing the new degree course, Buckinghamshire New University gave thanks to the various project partners and notable sector leaders including lighting brands, furniture manufacturers, and design software brands including companies and organisations such as AFG Abingdon, ArtiCAD, Blanco, Blum, BSH Home Appliances Limited, Callerton Kitchens, DuPont Corian, Hettich UK, Howdens, Johnny Grey Design, KBB National Training Group, Mascari, Mark and Cynthia Wilkinson, Mereway Kitchens, Miele, NTG, Podesta Design, PWS, Roundhouse Design, Sensio Lighting, Worshipful Company Furniture Makers
Whilst some partners have helped shape the course, generous fee bursaries are also avaliable for this new course courtesy of some industry partners such as Hettich UK, Miele, B/S/H, BLANCO and Mereway Kitchens, and it is understood that the scholarships are expected to make a significant contribution to the £5,000 annual fees
In other press mentions, Blum’s sales and marketing director, David Sanders, said: “At Blum, we have a culture of sponsoring apprentices and this course is another way of investing in the future of our industry.”
Hettich UK however has agreed this support in the form of a bursary to cover the full course fees over three years for one student. Tim Leedham, Managing Director of Hettich UK, said: “We are extremely pleased to offer this bursary to one of Bucks New University’s Kitchen Design students, and to support the University in running this professional qualification, which will undoubtedly attract fresh talent to the industry as well as boost skills of those already part of it”.
Professor Alison Shreeve, Head of Design, Crafts & Visual Arts at Bucks said: “The great news that Hettich UK is endorsing our foundation degree in this way is a fabulous achievement for the University. We are so pleased to have welcomed our first students. They have already been hard at work looking at materials, looking into sourcing and sustainability issues, and developing visual design awareness. The students are a fantastic group who will be ones to watch in the future.”
“Not to mention extremely good for the lucky student who will be the recipient of a fully funded place on what we are sure will prove a very popular course. Employability and opportunities for progression in kitchen design are certainly strong in a buoyant market which only shows signs of growing still further”.
Developed in response to the need for more training in the area of kitchen design, the industry-led Foundation Degree aims to increase the skills and knowledge of those working in the sector, as well as recognising people’s professionalism by awarding a formal qualification. It is a three-year blended learning Foundation Degree and includes three long-weekend residential sessions per year. On these, students have the opportunity to meet fellow students, tutors and industry supporters and be introduced to key concepts and theories. Students also learn online and benefit from working with lecturers via the Internet. The course is aimed at giving students an in-depth understanding of how to undertake design projects from start to finish with a greater understanding of client needs and design influences.
For more details on the course visit www.bucks.ac.uk.