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

Level 6

Key Facts

Level:Level 6

Full-time/part-time:Full time

Duration:105 weeks

Location:Newark Campus

Course Code:HEN0054AA1

Applications for this course are processed through UCAS, please see the course description and make a note of the Institute Code and UCAS Course Code.

Apply Online at UCAS 
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This highly specialised practical programme was established in 1984 and is situated at the heart of the college campus. It teaches the craft of making classical and steel stringed. The colleges’ position as the leading classical and acoustic guitar-making centre is recognised throughout Europe and therefore the course attracts many overseas students.
The programme consists of three years and by the end students will have built a minimum of three guitars of contrasting designs. The programme equips students with the knowledge and practical skills that will enable them to be guitar makers in their own right.
The tutors work as experienced professional guitar makers who teach part time and are able to bring their considerable skills and experience as well as their understanding of current business practice and construction techniques to the course.
The School has close links with players and other makers who visit to lead special workshops and discussions, as well as providing students with valuable feedback and comments about their work. Visitors have included the internationally renowned musicians John Williams, John Etheridge, Clive Carroll, Paul Gregory, Steve Hicks, Mark Ashford and Pierre Bensusan. Visiting guitar makers have included Paul Fischer, Gary Southwell, Peter Barton, David Reid, Stephen Sedgewick and N.K. Forster.
Newark has a lively international community of instrument-making students, most of whom are also musicians, which new students find very supportive.

We have strong links with many luthiers across Europe and have collaborated with guitar makers from Finland, Belgium, Italy, Spain and France as part of the Leonardo Guitar Research Project. Although the research into sustainable woods is now complete the connections and approaches continue to influence the way our students make their guitars.

Year 1 (Level 4)

A critical part of the Musical Instrument Craft making process is to develop manual skills ‘at the bench’ and this will be a significant component of the course structure. It is vital that students spend sufficient time experimenting, practicing and honing their skills and techniques to professional standards.
This work is covered in five modules: Anatomy and Design, Basic Techniques, Workshop Practice, Making Specialist Tools 1 and Historical and Contextual Studies

Most modules are highly practical in nature in order to develop refined techniques and realise these skills in the production of work products. The proportion of written work produced will vary throughout the programme depending on the theoretical or practical nature of the module.
The course is practically based and takes place in specialist workshops fitted with benches, specialist tools and space to store work and materials. Specialist books and journals are available in our library.
In the first year students learn to make either a classical guitar based on a design by Antonio de Torres or a steel string guitar based on a Martin 00. They do this following a given plan with given materials. This teaches them the anatomy of a guitar and the function of its various elements.
The students develop practical skills such as creating working drawings and jigs and the woodworking skills needed to make all the guitar components and assemble them.
Students are also introduced to the history, influences and development of guitar design and the woods and materials suitable for guitar design.

Students are also introduced to the history, influences and development of guitar design and the woods and materials suitable for guitar design.

During the first two years students will also learn to manufacture their own specialist hand tools for guitar making in an engineering workshop dedicated to making tools for instrument makers. Apart from learning complimentary engineering skills, students will acquire a useful selection of high quality specialist tools of considerable value.
Successful completion of year one enables progression to year two.

Year 2 (Level 5)
In the second year students can build on their understanding of guitar anatomy and make informed choices in the design of their guitars and in the materials used. At this more advanced level students learn the craft of making classical, flamenco, steel stringed or arch-top guitars. They are encouraged to develop their own design ideas and refine techniques to produce more complex rosettes, neck joints, internal construction, cutaways and other features of a professional standard instrument. Some students choose to make a guitar following the recent trends in guitar making, such as lattice-bracing, armrest bevels, wedge bodies and soundposts. In the second year they will also learn how to apply a finish – both oil and french polish – and set up and evaluate the instrument. They will also learn basic repair techniques.
This second year includes the study of acoustics relevant to the guitar.

It comprises of three core modules: Applied Acoustics, Problem Solving and Making Specialist Tools 2, along with four other modules chosen from Guitar Making Techniques, Basic Repair Techniques, Advanced Construction Techniques (Classical), Advanced Construction Techniques (Steel String) and Finishing Techniques
Successful completion of year two enables progression to year three.

Year 3 (Level 6)

In the third year students plan and execute their final project in which they draw upon the previous two years’ learning and experience to design and build a guitar to a professional standard. They will learn advanced craft techniques.
Students will also study business practice from the perspective of the self-employed artisan luthier running their own workshop.
Students keep a record of the making process by documenting everything in a journal or sketchbook. This includes problems encountered and how they are dealt with.

These skills are covered in five modules, namely: Business Practice, Advanced Craft Techniques, Professional Standards Test, and the Final Major Project Preparation and Realisation.

Applications for this course are processed through UCAS. Please make a note of the codes below, then continue to apply through the UCAS website:
Institute code: L42
UCAS Course code: J950

Study Details

You will study at the School of Musical Instrument Craft at Newark College for the duration of the course. Full Time - 3 Years Course contact hours are to be confirmed.
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.
Experience may be taken in lieu of A Levels / BTECs


GCSE English – grade C/4 or above

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 are acceptable for applicants not requiring a Tier 4 visa

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 will be introduced to these opportunities throughout their undergraduate programme.
Per Academic Year

Home and EU Students £7999.00

Tuition fees will remain unchanged for the duration of a student’s continuous enrolment.

Additional compulsory course costs will be paid for using the Career Degree Bursary. The scheme allows students to access the remainder of the bursary (up to a maximum value of £500 / £250) for additional optional courses, workshops, professional memberships and resources. 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

Applications for this course are processed through UCAS, please see the course description and make a note of the Institute Code and UCAS Course Code.

Apply Online at UCAS 

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 HEFCE 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 of the responsibilities of both Lincoln College and the validating partners please see the HE Terms and Conditions page, section 11.

Full details and information regarding terms and conditions of study, relevant policies and procedures, offers and acceptance of offers can be found at:


University of Hull

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