A NEW course supported by industry experts is starting at Buckinghamshire New University.

The Foundation Degree in Kitchen Design has attracted widespread industry support and its first intake of students will start with a residential study weekend at the university’s Missenden Abbey Conference Centre in Great Missenden from September 19 to 21.

Developed in response to the need for more training in the area of kitchen design, the industry-led foundation degree aims to increase the skills and knowledge of those working in the sector, as well as recognising the professionalism of those holding a formal qualification.

It is a three year blended learning foundation degree and includes three long-weekend residential sessions where students will have the opportunity to meet fellow students, tutors and industry supporters and be introduced to key concepts and theories.

Students will also learn online and benefit from internet contact with lecturers.

The course is aimed at giving students an in-depth understanding of how to undertake design projects from start to finish, and includes modules on topics such as kitchen marketing and kitchen design worlds.

Scholarships for the qualification have been pledged by leading firms Blum, Bosch Siemens Home, Miele, Hettich, and Mereway Kitchens.

Bucks New University is also working with other major players that have pledged support for the course, including Callerton Kitchens, Counter Production, Dupont Corian UK Ltd, Mark and Cynthia Wilkinson, Roundhouse Design, and Sensio.

Professor Alison Shreeve, head of school - design, craft and visual arts at Bucks New University, said: "We are very excited to meet our first group of students.

"I am delighted with the support the kitchen design industry has given and look forward to ensuring our students get the most from this as the qualification develops over the next few years."

Applications for the foundation degree can still be made. The closing date is Friday, September 5. Further details are at www.bucks.ac.uk.