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Short Course - Foundation

This course is aimed at complete beginners to upholstery who wish to learn the basics of upholstery.

Whilst practicing on your own piece of furniture, you will develop your knowledge and appreciation of modern upholstered furniture.

This course has one study option

Mode of Attendance

  • On Campus

Mode of Study

  • Part Time

Start Date

Term One:
To be confirmed
Term Two:
To be confirmed

Course Length

40 hours (16 weeks)
1:30pm - 4:00pm

You will learn the fundamental techniques, tools and materials of modern upholstery before progressing onto personalised projects. This will commence with a seat pad project, followed by a footstool and then at least one personalised project of your own piece of furniture such as a chair or headboard (this will have to be discussed and approved by your lecturer).

Due to the potentially time consuming nature of personalised projects - furniture will have to be stripped down prior to commencing any upholstery surgery in the school. Photos should be taken during each stage of progress and you should be prepared to work from home.

Your lecturer will discuss your individual project at the beginning of the course and give advice on how to go about this.
You will learn:
  • Restoration surgery
  • Padding
  • Re-webbing
  • Final cover and gimp
We have a suite of sewing machines available if your item of furniture requires sewing machining.
You are encouraged to keep a visual diary, which reflects their personal practice, individual interests and the work of other artists. This becomes a personal journal of creative development during the course.  

The University regularly reviews its courses. Course content and structure may change over time. See our course and module disclaimer for more information.

Methods of delivery include: class talks, demonstrations, individual/group discussion and studio-based practice.

You are taught by specialist staff who will offer practical advice and instruction together with personal encouragement in discovering individual creative skills.

You will receive general instruction and one-to-one tuition tailored to suit your personal level of experience and ability.

A complete health and safety induction with take place on commencement of the course.


This course is not formally assessed. 



The Disability & Dyslexia Centre advises and supports students who disclose a sensory or mobility impairment, chronic medical condition, mental health issue, dyslexia and other specific learning differences. Applicants are encouraged to arrange a pre-entry visit to discuss any concerns and to view the facilities.



All undergraduate and postgraduate students, whether you are learning on-campus or by online distance learning, benefit from using our collaborative virtual learning environment, CampusMoodle. You will be provided with 24/7 online access to your learning material and resources, along with the ability to interact with your class members and tutors for discussion and support.



The Study Support Team provides training and support to all students in:

  • Academic writing
  • Study skills (note taking, exam techniques, time management, presentation)
  • Maths and statistics
  • English language
  • Information technology support


Library Support

The Library offers support for your course, including the books, eBooks, and journals you will need. We also offer online reading lists for many modules, workshops and drop-ins on searching skills and referencing, and much more.

University Library


This course provides an excellent introduction for beginners. There are no formal entry requirements.

If you have a pre-existing personalised upholstery project in mind you should seek advice as to whether this will be achievable on the course prior to making payment. Otherwise advise will be given at the beginning of the course.       

Required Age

All students are required to be at least 16 years of age on the commencement of course.


Course fee: £625


You are required to provide a seat pad, at least one piece of furniture to upholster and fabric to cover all of their projects. The cost of fabric and trimmings, etc. will be covered by you and depends on your choice.

You will need to bring the following:

  • A drop-in seat or dining chair seat pad.
  • Top fabric for a footstool (approx. 1m2), your lecturer can advise you of suppliers during the course.
  • An unsprung occasional chair, hall chair or nursing chair or headboard. This course is for beginners so your personalised projects will need to be approved by the lecturer during the course.

Please note: it will not be possible to store items of furniture on site. You will be required to bring in your chosen items to upholstery to the workshop each week.

All tools and equipment will be provided, including sewing machines. You are advised not to purchase any additional equipment and materials until after the induction on the first evening. A footstool kit with beech turned legs will be provided (with the exception of the top fabric).


A refund is only applicable where there has been illness with a medical certificate to support it.

Gray's Art Shop

Located within the Gray’s building, the Art Shop stocks a wide range of specialist materials, papers and equipment for all kinds of creative ventures. Open to all, both student and non-student, with very competitive prices, the staff are on hand and happy to help. Open between 9am-3.30pm Monday to Friday and a selection of dates over each term to accommodate the Short Course students.

Staff appreciate many Short Course students are busy through the day, so they are happy to take phone orders that can be collected from reception at a later/more convenient time for students.

Student ID Cards

Students enrolled on a 40/60 hour Short Course are eligible for student discounted rates around the city and at our Gray’s Art Shop. Find out more:  

Using ID and smart cards

Other Fees and Charges 


For new intakes course fees are reviewed and published annually for each mode of delivery. Tuition fees are fixed for the duration of a course at the rate confirmed in the offer letter.  For further information see:



Have a question about the course? Get in touch with the Gray's Short Course Team and we'll do our best to help.

Email the Gray's Short Course Team

Taking this course, you will have access to some of the world's best facilities. 

We've invested more than £100 million in the development of our campus, new facilities and new resources.

University Wide Facilities

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