The Birmingham School of Jewellery will welcome its first raft of students to its newly created honours degree in horology in September.
The university already has a small horology department in place but this will be expanded in the new term as it launches the BA (Hons) degree in horology course. Previously, the highest qualification in horology that the school only offered was an HND course.
The Birmingham School of Jewellery has already signed up 12 students for the first intake for the three-year horology course in September.
During the planning phases of the course the Birmingham School of Jewellery consulted with a number of industry bodies including members of the British Horological Institute and the British Museum. It has also enlisted the support of the Richemont Group.
Jon Parker, who will be a lecturer on the horology course, said: “We’ve formed a good working relationship with the Richemont Group and they have supported us with funding to get equipment. They have done this as they are aware of the fact that in order to supply their watches they need a good group of skilled technicians.”
The course has also attracted funding in the form of scholarships from organisations including the George Daniels Trust and the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers, and Parker said that the school is hoping to attract further scholarships. He added: “We are hoping there will be sponsorship opportunities and grants. It is still in its infancy and we would welcome and interest from people to sponsor students.”
In order to get approval for the course, the staff at the Birmingham School of Jewellery had to submit a proposal to its parent organisation the Birmingham City University. This was then subject to rigorous checks that the course would be academically up to scratch before it was signed off.
Parker said: “From an academic point of view you have to write a pretty detailed brief about what you are going to teach and how. It goes through an approval board then they ask you questions about whether it is worth its academic qualifications – questions about academic rigour and learning outcomes.”