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Blacksmithing & Metalwork Level 3 Extended Diploma at Herefordshire & Ludlow College

Course description

During this two-year course, students will manufacture most of the hand tools required for the project work and learn about the properties of materials with which they work, including those metals less common in blacksmithing such as stainless steel, copper and wrought iron. Taught by some of the most well-recognised professional blacksmiths in the industry worldwide, students are given an excellent grounding for progression.

A blacksmith must have a good eye for form, good hand/eye co-ordination and the ability to plan work and estimate costs effectively. This course is ideally used as a progression route from the Level 2 as previous experience in blacksmithing would be an advantage.

Students will be required to develop their breadth and expertise in the technical areas of forge work, welding and fabrication. After an initial period of technical development, students will be expected to research, design, develop and make complex pieces in both contemporary and traditional styles. Students are also expected to organise work experience with a blacksmith as part of their study programme.

Course content

The course is mainly delivered in the workshop, with related knowledge sessions. Units include:

  • Forgework/Welding/Fabrication
  • Operation of Small Business/Selfemployment
  • Production of a Project/ Commission Portfolio
  • Artistic Drawing and Design/ Historical and Design Research
  • Attention to Decorative Finishes and Site Work Evaluation

Entry requirements

  • 5 GCSE passes at grade C or above (including maths and English) or a Level 2 Diploma in Blacksmithing at Merit grade or above
  • Successful interview and initial assessment
  • You will need to demonstrate an enthusiasm for this subject area
  • Previous forgework experience is advisable


Students will be assessed on their ability to produce well researched, designed and made pieces within the context of predicted and actual production time. This is to develop a professional and business-like approach, which can be measured against industrial norms.

Units are assessed by practical and written assignments. This course includes 300 hours of work experience – ideally this will take place in the vacation between years one and two.

Future opportunities

There are various opportunities for further study or employment upon successful completion of your course.

Study options may include:

  • BA (Hons) Artist Blacksmithing (Run in partnership with Hereford College of Arts)
  • Design and Forgework Skills at HLC

Employment options may include:

  • Self-employed blacksmithing
  • Contemporary design or traditional reproduction/restoration
  • Employed Blacksmith/ Metalworker/Welder

Further information

Maths and English

All students following a full-time programme of study at HLC will study English and maths as part of their studies.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Herefordshire & Ludlow College directly.

Last updated date: 23 June 2016

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