BA (Hons) Musical Instrument Craft (Violin Making and Repair)

By Newark College
World class craftmanship at Newark
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The BA (Hons) Musical Instrument Craft (Violin Making and Repair) is designed to give students the opportunity to learn professional techniques for the repair and restoration of stringed instruments covering the main requirements of the violin trade, including bow repair. All of these skills are as much in demand today as they were 300 or 400 years ago.

The success of the course lies in its combination of enthusiastic and experienced tutors, comprehensive course materials and practical demonstrations complemented by ample workshop time. The emphasis is on allowing the student to gain as much practical experience as possible.

The School of Violin Making and Restoration has strong links with the international violin trade. Experts in the field act as advisors to the course as well as visiting to give lectures. Graduates can be found in many of the top workshops around the world as makers and restorers of the violin, viola and cello.

Situated in its own building in the centre of historic Newark on Trent, the School is itself an international community with many social and cultural opportunities. 

Full-time students should apply directly through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). It may be possible to study on a part-time basis, consult with the College at the time of your application.

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Typical Course Structure

  • Year 1
    • Anatomy and Design

    • Basic Techniques

    • Workshop Practice

    • Making Specialist Tools 1

    • Historical and Contextual Studies

  • Year 2
    • Applied Acoustics

    • Problem Solving

    • Making Specialist Tools 2

    Optional Modules:

    • Violin Making Techniques (Viola)

    • Basic Repair Techniques

    • Advanced Repair Techniques

    • Bow Repair                                                                  

    • Finishing Techniques

  • Year 3
    • Business Practice

    • Advanced Craft Techniques

    • Professional Standards Test

    • Final Major Project Preparation

    • Final Major Project Realisation

Validated by the University of Hull

Additional information

  • Entry Requirements

    A minimum of 48 UCAS Tariff points from the following: GCE A and AS Levels with at least one subject at A Level. BTEC National (Diploma or Extended Diploma) in a relevant subject. Scottish Higher / Advanced Higher with at least one subject at Advanced Higher. We consider experience and practical skills in lieu of A Levels/BTECs.

    Plus: GCSE English – grade C/4 or above and GCSE Maths – grade C/4 or above (Level 2 Functional skills is not taken as an equivalent). 

    EU and International applicants: NARIC confirmed equivalent of 48 UCAS points IELTS with an overall score of 6.0 and a minimum of 5.5 in each component. Equivalent English language qualifications may be acceptable for applicants requiring a visa.

    Other Entry Requirements

    Successful interview

  • Assessment & Progression

    The assessment methods typically used throughout the programme include: assessment of practical work supported by a portfolio of notes and research.

    Following completion of this programme students may wish to pursue further academic study in music or seek employment or self-employment in the industry. Students can be introduced to these opportunities throughout their undergraduate programme.

  • Course Fees

    Full-Time Per Academic Year Home Students - £8,500

    Full-Time Per Academic Year International Students - £9,500 

    Tuition fees will remain unchanged for the duration of a student’s continuous enrolment. Additional compulsory course costs can be paid for using the Career Degree Bursary.

  • Career Degree Bursary

    The Career Degree bursary was established in order to enhance our Higher Education students’ academic programme and support their studies - helping to make our students more employable, industry prepared and equipped for life as a graduate.

    The Career Degree bursary is made up of two components:

    1. A bursary of up to £500 for full-time students and up to £250 for part-time students over the course of their higher education programme to support any aspect of independent study, such as equipment, books etc.

    2. In addition, course coordinators will be allocated an additional payment to spend each academic year on enhancements that will support the development of employability skills and progression to graduate level employment. Students are encouraged to discuss ideas on how this can be spent with their tutors.

    There is no cash alternative. Students who wish to access opportunities in excess of the Career Degree Bursary may do so at full cost to themselves. Please see the full ‘HE Terms and Conditions’ for details of additional library and printing costs associated with this programme.

  • The Graebner Crisford Prize

    A cash prize of £1,000 will be offered to one outstanding graduating student in each pathway on the Musical Instrument Crafts degree.

    The prize is from a generous donation from The ACH Crisford Charitable Foundation who set up the scheme to support our learners and recognise the unique nature of these courses. The award will be judged by staff.

    Newark College are grateful to the Trust for this new collaboration and hope our learners will benefit hugely from this.

  • The Hiscox Prize for Violin

    Hiscox Cases kindly sponsor our annual celebration event held to recognise the achievements of the graduating violin and guitar students. The Hiscox Prize for Violin recognises and rewards outstanding craftsmanship by a graduating Violin making student with a prize of a standard violin case.

  • What Our Students Say

    Becky Houghton | Graduate of Violin Making and Repair, 2008

    "I had always wanted to be a violin maker from the age of 13. I asked the maker who I bought my viola from at age 13 what I had to do to become one and he told me that it was “no job for a young lady”!

    I then continued to get a music degree and went on to have a family because at the time I didn’t think to question him or that he might be wrong. It wasn’t until my husband was passing Newark School of Violin Making one day and picked up the paperwork that I applied. The rest is history!

    What I enjoyed most about the course is that I instantly felt that the other people who were on the course were just like me. It takes a certain sort of person to study lutherie I think! The tutors were all fantastic and I loved working with wood. 

    My advice to someone looking to studying the same course would be to go for it. Put in the hours, learn as much as you can from the tutors and your fellow students and make as many connections as you can. 

    Overall, Newark School of Violin Making is a jewel nestled away in the UK’s education system. It’s reputation is world renowned and due to the passionate staff and wonderful teaching it must be preserved. I had a wonderful time and I hope it will always be there for subsequent generations of makers and restorers. "

    Read more alumni profiles on our Alumni page, here.

  • Terms and Conditions

    This course is validated by the University of Hull. The validating institution is responsible for awarding the qualification at the end of the programme. Students on validated courses are OfS registered, funded and taught at Lincoln College and it is the responsibility of the College to manage all aspects of this provision. The validating institution maintains an oversight of the programme throughout the academic year and must be satisfied that students are being taught in line with the required academic standards of the awarding institution.

    For full details and information of the responsibilities and conditions of study of both Lincoln College and the validating partners please see the T&Cs and Policies sections which can be found here.

  • Attend An Open Day

    Attend one of our Career Degree Open Days to find out more about our degrees. To register please click here.

  • Lincoln College University Centre

    The School of Musical Instrument Crafts degree programmes, part of Lincoln College University Centre.

  • James Lister
  • Manuel Aragon Gimeno

Meet Our Skilled & Experienced Tutors

Our tutors bring considerable skills and experience as well as their understanding of current business practice and techniques, making our courses highly valued to students.