Level 4 Diploma in Jewellery Design and Manufacturing

SQA code: GN98 53
Ofqual code: 603/3190/2
Total qualification time: 1120 hours
Guided learning hours: 607

The Level 4 Diploma in Jewellery Design and Manufacturing is a new, innovative qualification which has been developed in collaboration with the British Academy of Jewellery.

Learners will develop and perfect a range of technical skills in jewellery manufacturing and design while increasing their knowledge and understanding of the wider industry. They also have an opportunity to develop 'softer skills', which will enable them to promote, position and make a living from their work and skills. This could be in their own business or working within an organisation.

The Level 4 Diploma builds on the manufacturing, design and art history skills gained in the Level 3 Jewellery Design and Manufacturing qualification and introduces gemmology and metallurgy as theory-based units. Learners will also find out about cultural identity by developing an awareness of the diverse range of cultures, the factors that shape them and how they can be promoted through design.

The two pathways make the qualification suitable for learners with a range of manufacturing skills. The units in pathway 1 enable learners to gain non-advanced manufacturing skills, while pathway 2 allows more complex and specialist production techniques to be developed.

This qualification is mainly competence based and it is the first stage of a three-year learning programme incorporating Levels 4-6.

This qualification can be delivered by employers and training providers in England and Wales.

Rationale and purpose of this qualification

The Level 4 Diploma in Jewellery Design and Manufacturing is one of the most comprehensive and practical jewellery courses in the UK. It has been developed to ensure it meets the needs of the wider jewellery sector by having substantial contact with industry specialists and professional jewellers throughout the learning process.

The opportunities for learners interested in jewellery are vast and there are many varied career opportunities available within the industry, from opportunities for makers and/or designers to careers selling and marketing jewellery. This qualification caters to learners with wide-ranging ambitions within this field.

The qualification introduces learners to complex technical skills, alongside expanding their design and creative-thinking skills. The course will cover both traditional jewellery manufacturing workshop skills as well as computer aided design (CAD) skills in order to complete and produce set and self-directed designs.

With the changing economic climate, growing trend of independent brands, and diminishing number of skilled manufacturing workers within the trade, this qualification will be of great value to the industry. It will help develop learners into well-rounded practitioners with a sound knowledge in all areas of the jewellery industry.



This qualification is supported by Creative and Cultural Skills which is the sector skills council (SSC) for the jewellery industry.

What does this qualification cover?

This is primarily a competence-based qualification in which learners will gain the required knowledge and skills through both on-the-job experience and in a learning environment.

To achieve the Level 4 Diploma in Jewellery Design and Manufacturing learners need a minimum total of 112 credits (1,120 hours of total qualification time). This comprises:

  • 70 credits from the six mandatory core units, plus
  • a minimum of 42 credits from the mandatory units in either pathway 1 or pathway 2

The mandatory core units include: Interpret the Design Brief and Follow the Design Process; Produce Advanced Designs for Precious Metal Objects Using CAD technology; Engage with the Wider Creative and Cultural Context; Art and Design: Cultural Identity; Creative Industries: Preparing for the Workplace; and Understanding Gemstones.

There are five additional mandatory units (45 credits) to complete if following pathway 1:

  • Produce Precious Metal Objects from Detailed Drawings and Specifications
  • Form Complex Jewellery Components
  • Use Mechanical Methods to Join Precious Metal Objects
  • Join Jewellery Components by Soldering
  • Apply Concepts of Metallurgy to the Production of Precious Metal Objects

Pathway 2 offers learners who may already have achieved jewellery manufacturing skills at Level 3 an opportunity to develop more complex skills and knowledge by completing the two mandatory units in this pathway:

  • Produce Advanced Prototypes for Precious Metal Objects Using CAM Technology
  • Prepare and Maintain the General Workshop Environment for the Manufacture of Precious Metal Objects

Who is this qualification for?

This qualification is suitable for a wide range of learners including:

  • those with no prior experience of the industry
  • those who have already achieved a Level 3 qualification in Jewellery Manufacturing
  • people in employment within the jewellery sector who wish to enhance their career prospects
  • individuals who wish to start their own business
  • adults wanting a change of career

Learners can build on the skills and knowledge gained from achieving this qualification when working towards another qualification or through gaining employment.


Entry to the qualification is at the discretion of the centre although it is an ideal progression route for those who have already achieved a Level 3 qualification in Jewellery Manufacturing.

Although there are no specific skills, knowledge, understanding or other qualifications that must have been achieved prior to starting this qualification, learners should have the potential and opportunity to achieve it successfully.


This qualification does not currently form a component of an apprenticeship but there is the potential for it to align with future Trailblazer programmes.


This qualification is the first stage of a three-year learning programme incorporating Levels 4-6.

Learners may progress from the Level 4 Diploma in Jewellery Design and Manufacturing to a range of qualifications at Level 5 including the Level 5 Diploma in Jewellery Design and Manufacturing, which will be available to learners from 2019.

The Level 4 Diploma in Jewellery Design and Manufacturing qualification can also lead directly into employment within the jewellery industry in a variety of roles including: jewellery designer, jobbing jeweller, goldsmith or silversmith and, with the inclusion of critical thinking, presentation and marketing skills, it is ideal for anyone wishing to start their own business.

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Qualification structure

Group award code: GN98 53 (112 credits)

The qualification requires the learner to complete six mandatory core units (70 credits) plus 45 credits from the mandatory units in pathway 1, or 42 credits from the mandatory units in pathway 2.

For detailed information on the structure of this qualification, please refer to the qualification structure (92 KB).

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How to assess

Ongoing course assessment will apply. Each unit specification gives detailed information on the evidence requirements/assessment criteria and approaches to assessment for the unit.

The qualification is assessed by completing a portfolio of evidence which details what learners have completed at work. Evidence can be gathered from observation, professional discussion and witness testimony, but must include supporting documentary evidence. The assessor can work alongside the learner to confirm that they have met the requirements of the qualification and that they are therefore competent in their role.

The assessment process will ensure that the learner can complete the tasks they have been directed to undertake and that they can interpret instructions correctly. They will demonstrate that they can select the appropriate resources for the tasks and can complete the tasks within the given timescales and specifications.

Learner portfolio