August 5, 2021
Students of the Foundation Degree (FdA) in Kitchen Design at Buckinghamshire New University can now take an additional year to earn a full bachelor’s degree.
The additional year of the course will be offered to all core degree students or other students of other relevant courses who wish to specialize in kitchen design. The FdA is run for three years on a part-time basis, and to earn a bachelor’s degree, students must complete an additional fourth year, which would be more in-depth and intensive.
The Basic Diploma has been around for six years and begins its seventh in September. The initial plan was for the additional bachelor’s degree to begin with the 2022/23 academic year. However, due to increasing demand, the course may start to run for the following academic year.
Course leader Jayne Hall Cunnick said: “Rather than developing a new bachelor’s degree, which if it was part-time would be a five-year course – and that’s a big investment – we decided to maintain ToT. So someone could come in and do three years part-time and come away with a basic degree – or they can go for another year, quite intensive, and they get a top-up to go on to a BA.
University credits leading to a BA or a Basic Diploma are earned at different levels. A ToT has credits towards levels 4 and 5, the equivalent of first and second year at university in a full-time course. A BA has credits at levels 4, 5 and 6. For example, the BA in Kitchen Design will have credits from the three years of part-time study at the basic level, then there will be an intensive fourth year which will give the level 6 credits towards the diploma.
Because of the way most universities count credits, a student who has done a first and second year in a related field, such as cabinetmaking or interior design, can then focus on kitchen design. . The student will have enough credits to be successful and earn a bachelor’s degree in kitchen design.
Hall Cunnick explained the effect this course has had on his students and the cooking industry as a whole: “We are starting to get the attention of people in the industry by realizing that our graduates are people. whose thinking is above the norm and can apply a creative approach. to solve the problems of those who try to buy kitchens.
“On a smaller scale, one of our third year students who has a showroom said she brought in a customer in a wheelchair who wanted a new kitchen. Because they could confidently and knowingly speak about the products available on the market, this person immediately signed up and said they were confident in their abilities. Now she finds out that she is the go-to showroom for all access needs, which is fantastic.
The course covers a range of topics, from materials and project management to design principles. Other key modules are kitchen contracts, carried out in collaboration with Symphony, marketing and communications and theory, including the history of kitchens.
The final year of the BA includes a variety of projects, such as a thesis and a design project, with modules comprising a professional industry background, which examines the business side of the industry. Then there are the Speculative and Critical Design Futures – a module on challenging the industry and examining end goals in terms of business, materials, and design principles.
The course is part-time and most students will also be working in a kitchen store while attending. The course is distance learning and the emphasis is on team learning with residential weekends where the entire course comes together to learn as a group in person.
The course has speakers from across the cooking industry, chosen, says Hall Cunnick, for their enthusiasm and knowledge. She said: “We try to make sure the team is positive. My reason for being is that I want people to teach what they are most passionate about. I teach in teams and on the administrative side, leaving the teachers enthusiastic about ergonomics. This is the least that students deserve from their studies, and we have to make sure that each of the modules is exciting.