The King's Foundation The King's Foundation
Students making furniture




This design and making programme, for a small cohort of six students, will establish an understanding of the process from woodland management to design and production. Tuition fees and materials are covered by The King’s Foundation Scholarships through the generosity of its donors.

The small cohort of graduate furniture design students will be immersed in creative exploration during their training at the workshops on the Highgrove Estate in Gloucestershire. They will be guided by a Lead Furniture Tutor renowned in their field and supported by a School Manager and Workshop Assistant. Students are given time and guidance to experiment with timber in many forms to create new and exciting concepts for exploiting this adaptable material. In addition , students will be given exercises in batch producing furniture, an introduction to woodland management; growing trees for timber, as well as experience in planking and drying wood, all of which will inform a series of design briefs, leading to made furniture prototypes.

Students will look at optimising timber as an environmentally sound material and develop and produce items of furniture that illustrate a sustainable and imaginative approach to this wonderful natural resource. The course has strong links with Woodland Heritage and their teaching facilities in Herefordshire and will involve guided visits and field trips to experience first-hand the process of managing woodland and harvesting wood.


  • Students produce a series of material experiments in wood that challenge it’s traditional uses for feedback and critique by their peers, school staff and visiting tutors
  • Students will select from a series of briefs that encourage them to think about the use of timber for furniture, and develop their experiments further
  • From day one, students will be given workshop machinery training and they will continue to enjoy open access to our making facilities throughout the course
  • Students will gain experience of making batches of furniture as a production team, to allow them to see the potential of production and to use jigs and repeat process tooling
  • Students will gain experience in a commercial sawmill and hands-on exercises in cutting experimentally with a portable sawmill
  • We will give a broad introduction into woodland management approaches and harvesting and valuing standing trees and sawn planks to gain a holistic understanding of timber production and its potential.
  • A collection of visiting tutors, all experts in their fields.

The next Create programme will run from Monday 9th September 2024 to Friday 24th January 2025, with a break week on the 21st October 2024 and three weeks over Christmas from 19th December 2024.

Find out more about the tutors and facilities, course structure, fees and how to apply here.

“This course has been invaluable - I feel much more confident about job hunting now, and even feel like quite a unique candidate with these skills added to my skill set developed during uni. Many design courses lack that hands-on element, so the skills I've learned on this course have massively complemented and advanced my design skills. I also found it helpful in determining what kind of creative career I'd like to begin with, but also feel I have more options now.” - ALUMNI STUDENT


The Create programme is delivered at Barley Court, a converted 18th century farmhouse and farm buildings which sits on the edge of the Highgrove estate, home to His Majesty The King Charles III.

How to apply

Application form link. Closing date for applications is 12noon on Monday 8th July 2024. Interviews will be held on Wednesday 24th July 2024, at Highgrove Traditional Crafts GL8 8TQ.


Will all the tools I need be provided?

We will provide all the tools and machinery required to complete this course. You are welcome to bring your own kit of favourite hand tools but please mark them clearly. Please do not bring electrical tools to the studios for Health and Safety reasons.

What materials will I need?
All materials will be provided. If you would like to bring a specific type of material with you, please email the office for advice.

Who else will be on the course with me?

Applicants will usually will have completed a degree in a related subject or have proven demonstrable experience. This is an opportunity for those wishing to develop skills to enter the furniture making profession.

Is there an age limit?

No, we encourage applications from anyone over the age of 18, as long as you have a relevant qualification, portfolio or demonstrable experience. Usually, applicants will have completed a degree in a related subject.

How accessible are the workshops and facilities?

Our buildings are accessible for those with limited mobility or in wheelchairs, including the accommodation. Please clearly state any access needs on the application form so that we can make any reasonable adjustments to allow all our learners to have an excellent experience with us.

Can I work part time whilst doing the course?

The course is full time, 5 days a week, 9am – 5pm. Tetbury is a thriving town and there may be opportunities for weekend or evening employment.

Can I invite a friend or partner to stay at the weekend in the accommodation block?

No. All our accommodation is for single use only. There are plenty of B&Bs and hotels in the area.

Is there catering on site?

No. You will have use of a shared kitchen and dining room and will need to bring your own provisions for the duration of your course.

What can I go on to do after I have finished the course?

Most students will go on to work with manufacturers, private clients and retailers. We hope their training will stay with them and inform all their future career choices.

What qualifications and experience are suitable for entry?

Applicants are expected to have already completed a degree in furniture design and making. We hope to see portfolios with relevant projects that explore sustainable issues, timber experience and evidence of good design process.

What will I learn?

Students will learn making skills, sustainable approaches to timber use, design skills, communication and presentation skills, and gain confidence in their ability to develop furniture from concept to prototype, to finished product.

Will there be access to Highgrove Gardens?

The Create programme will be inspired by the gardens and the organic and sustainable ethos that underpins it. At certain times, students will be able to explore with a guide the many inspirational built architectural elements and the garden.

Will my work be exhibited at the end?

Student work will be exhibited locally either at Highgrove or in Tetbury as well as at the Garrison Chapel in London. Students and their projects may be presented directly to relevant UK manufacturers or other stakeholders.

Is this course accredited?

No, this course is not accredited but is valued by furniture manufacturers and studios in the UK and beyond.

Can I apply if I am not a British passport holder?

If you do not hold a British passport, please email us and we will discuss your options to study with us on an individual basis.