Professional Furniture Making Course

Our Professional Furniture Making Course is aimed at those who want to make fine furniture design their career, or to learn a professional skill in retirement.

This intensive course, covering skills from practical cabinet making to design, restoration and commercial skills, is the equivalent of at least three years at college. Our syllabus is designed to be more effective than other furniture courses in both the UK and internationally.

We provide a friendly, supportive learning environment, where students can learn at their own pace, secure in the knowledge that they are receiving the best technical and design education.

Our Professional Course gives you up to 1400 hours bench time, one-to-one tuition with highly-experienced tutors, teaching a broad base of skills, collaborative, peer-to-peer learning, and one-to-one creative and skills tutoring.

Skills Development

We teach the complete spectrum of woodworking and furniture making skills, often bringing in world-renowned external experts, to fully equip our students for life as a professional furniture designer and maker.

Among the subjects our course includes are:

  • Timber identification and timber technology
  • Tool and machinery induction
  • Sharpening
  • 3D/Perspective drawing
  • CAD
  • The fundamentals of joinery
  • Woodturning
  • Cabinet making
  • Carcass construction
  • How to make a dovetailed drawer and hang a cabinet door
  • Fitted furniture
  • Kitchen carcassing
  • Restoration/conservation of antique furniture
  • Steam bending and Laminating
  • Veneering techniques
  • Marquetry and parquetry
  • Inlaying (brass, ivory and mother of pearl)
  • Woodcarving
  • Gilding
  • Windsor chair making
  • Finishing techniques (oil, wax, shellac, spray lacquer, staining and colour matching)
  • The history of furniture design
  • Business skills, pricing and customer care
  • Branding, PR and Marketing
  • Machinery maintenance
  • How to set up a workshop

Furniture design

Understanding furniture design is fundamental to the success of becoming a successful woodworker. The subject of design is studied throughout the course, so that students can incorporate their own designs into their projects.

We also encourage students to develop their own “signature style”, enabling them to express their individual ideas and creativity.

Business skills

Business and marketing skills are an integral part of our professional course, giving students the confidence to turn their passion for furniture making into a business. From advice on website design to marketing and business development, we aim to help students make the transition into the commercial world as easy as possible. Every student also has a business lunch with the principal every term.

Practical application

After the first five weeks when students will have mastered basic techniques and the safe use of machinery, students are given greater creative freedom to find their own “signature style” and to design and make their own pieces of furniture.

Furniture made by students is their own to keep, although they are expected to offer their pieces for sale at the end of course Graduate Exhibition.

Unlike other schools, all timber and veneers used are part of the overall fee, so students need not worry about additional costs.

Students will normally be expected to make:

  • A small cabinet
  • A solid wood piece of furniture
  • A piece of veneered furniture
  • A Windsor chair (as part of a team of four students)
  • A carved mirror frame which is then gilded (optional)


In introducing students to aspects of business and marketing development, the Chippendale International School of Furniture recognises that commercial skills are also an important part of the success of any woodworker.

We go one step further and offer graduating students the opportunity to move into incubation space, Myreside Studios, on our campus. This gives graduates the chance to set up in business without the immediate overhead costs of investing in a fully-equipped workshop.

Successful graduates are also entitled to join the Fine Furniture Guild, an association exclusively for graduates of the School. It provides a way of putting potential customers in contact with a woodworker near to them.



October 2023 – June 2024

Autumn Term (1) – 10 weeks

9 Oct 23 – 15 Dec 23

Half term: 10-13 November 2023

Spring Term (2) – 10 weeks

8 Jan 24 – 15 Mar 24

Half term: 9-12 February 2024

Summer Term (3) – 10 weeks

8 Apr 24 – 14 Jun 24

Half term: 10-13 May 2024


The fee for the 2023/24 professional course is £21,000 (subject to Early Bird discounts or travel bursaries). This fee covers:

  • All tuition
  • The use of hand and machine tools
  • All materials (within reason)
  • Entrance fees to museums and private houses

A deposit of £3,000 is payable to secure your place, with the remaining balance payable due one month before the start of the course.

Application Form

If you are looking to pursue a career in woodworking, have a look at what successful graduates enjoyed most about the course or get in touch to arrange a visit.

Read about other courses

Chippendale International School of Furniture
May 2021  Photo Phil Wilkinson

Professional Course

Our professional course is aimed at those who want to make fine furniture design and make it their career, or to learn a professional skill in retirement.

Chippendale International School of Furniture
May 2021  Photo Phil Wilkinson

Introductory Course

For anyone looking for an introduction to woodworking, we run one-week Introductory courses several times a year. These short courses are run over a five-day period, Monday to Friday and provide an introduction to a whole range of woodworking skills and techniques.

Chippendale International School of Furniture
May 2021  Photo Phil Wilkinson

Intermediate Course

Our one-month intermediate course is aimed at anyone wanting to take their woodworking skills to a whole new level.

Chippendale International School of Furniture
May 2021  Photo Phil Wilkinson

Complementary Courses

In addition to our professional, intermediate and introductory courses, we offer a selection of short courses for those with a keen interest in furniture making.

Get In Touch

If you are looking to embark on a career change or you have an interest in the art of woodworking and furniture design, get in touch and arrange in a visit.