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So you want to work in Furniture Design

So you want to work in Furniture Design

Have you ever considered a career in furniture design or manufacturing? Do you enjoy solving problems using creative techniques? GMIT Letterfrack offers unique courses in this skilled craft covering both Furniture and wood Technology along with Design and manufacturing. Read what GMIT Letterfrack graduates have to say about where their career paths took them ...

Why study Furniture Design and Manufacture?
If you are interested in learning a range of skills to design and make contemporary and innovative furniture products, then this programme is for you.



Students get an opportunity to develop skills in both traditional and advanced manufacturing techniques and learn how to apply the design process from concept right through to fully finished furniture projects using hardwoods and other materials. Student also learn design for manufacture principles using computer aided design, CNC technology, laser equipment and 3D printing using state of the art equipment in our dedicated machinehalls and computer laboratories. 

All students undertake a twenty-week full time Work Placement in third year in industry. GMIT Letterfrack has developed an international network of companies and students can choose to work in countries in the USA, UK and elsewhere in Europe. This is always a fantastic learning experience for students.
In fourth year of the honours degree students acquire professional skills enabling them to work at higher levels within companies and students undertake a design development project, learn about entrepreneurship, the design profession and project management. Student also undertake a major research project in an rea of interest to them.

Career opportunities
Graduates of this programme have a wide range of career options and have no difficulty finding employment with very strong demand for those with a blend of design and manufacturing skills. Graduates enter the segment of the industry that most appeals to them, ranging from craft-based workshops to modern furniture manufacturers. Graduates are employed directly into the creative industries in areas of design, interior architecture and bespoke furniture. Others work at senior technical or management positions or sometimes go on to establish their own businesses. Progression opportunities exist to masters programmes within GMIT or elsewhere.

Graduate Tricia Harris - Furniture Designer and Consultant
Tricia Harris runs her own furniture design business based in the Chocolate Factory in Dublin city. She also lectures in Griffith College Dublin, having started as CAD and furniture design lecturer. I always loved building things. Even at a young age I was making small projects out of wood. When I heard that a college course existed that focused solely on furniture design and making it was an easy choice for me! The wide variety of modules and projects gave a sense that this was a serious programme that would give me the skills and
knowledge for a strong foundation on which to grow a successful career. One of the most fundamental skills I learned in GMIT Letterfrack was patience and learning to approach work in a very considerate way.

Graduate Barry Liston - CEO Grasshopper Skateboards Ltd.


Barry Liston is the CEO of Grasshopper Skateboards Ltd. Ireland’s first skateboard brand and manufacturer. His company, based in Co. Kerry, uses a newly developed bio-composite material for the sustainable production of skateboards.
“My decision to study at GMIT Letterfrack was hands-down the best decision I have ever made. My skills in cabinet making and problem-solving increased over my four years at GMIT Letterfrack. I still use those skills to this day in the running of my business. Anybody who has been involved in a start-up business will know that virtually every day a new problem will present itself. The design methods and techniques studied at GMIT Letterfrack, when applied correctly, are of real benefit to thinking through these problems and coming up with viable solutions.”

Talk to us:
Programme Chair: Anthony Clare, Anthony.clare@gmit.ie; 091 742654
Administration: Samantha Flaherty; Samantha.flaherty@gmit.ie; 091 742653
Head of Campus: Dermot O’Donovan; Dermot.odonovan@gmit.ie; 091 742651

Why study Furniture and Wood Technology?
If you are interested in Construction Studies, Design and Communication Graphics, Technology or Engineering then this course will be very suited to you! A degree in Furniture and Wood Technology will offer you an exciting career combining furniture production and the most advanced manufacturing technology.


In the first two years of this very applied degree, students spend a considerable amount of time in the workshop learning to produce a variety of projects to a very high standard, guided by experienced and knowledgeable lecturers. Initially focusing on hand and power tools, soon students acquire knowledge and skills to operate CNC technology, laser equipment, digital manufacturing and even robotics. Students also learn Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) and can apply those tools using state of the art equipment in our dedicated machinehalls and computer laboratories.

All students undertake a twenty-week full time Work Placement in third year in industry. GMIT Letterfrack has developed an international network of companies and students can choose to work in the USA, UK and elsewhere in Europe. This is always a fantastic learning experience for students.
In fourth year of the honours degree students acquire professional skills enabling them to work at higher levels within companies and students learn the relevance of lean manufacturing, developing an appreciation of cost management, estimating and project management. Student also undertake a research project in an rea of interest to them.

What are my career opportunities?
Graduates are highly sought and all find employment in a variety of wood products, furniture manufacturing companies, in Ireland and overseas. Graduates work in wide range of companies specialising in furniture manufacturing, kitchen manufacture, architectural woodworking, and CAD engineering. Career opportunities include product development, project management, estimating, CAD/CAM, operations management and process engineering. Graduates work at senior technical or management positions or sometimes go on to establish their own businesses. Progression opportunities exist to masters programmes within GMIT or elsewhere.

Jamie O’Connell – CAD technician with Ganter
It wasn’t until I first started working that I realised how valuable, unique and qualified students from GMIT Letterfrack really are.
The experience I gained in my four years at Letterfrack paved the way for how I qualified to work at Ganter Interiors in Germany. For instance, learning AutoCAD, Inventor, ERP systems in addition to a
thorough understanding of furniture manufacturing was a huge bonus to me. I have no doubt in my mind that if it wasn’t for GMIT Letterfrack, I wouldn’t be a part of this global company.


Graduate Ciáran Hynes - Product Management Director, A-dec Inc.
Ciáran Hynes graduated from GMIT Letterfrack in 2000 and now resides in Oregon, USA.

Ciáran is the Product Management Director for a company specialising in furniture for the dental profession. His role involves providing vision and direction for a multi-million-dollar furniture portfolio.

My career began as a production assistant with a high-tech commercial and medical furniture company. With the tools and skills gained while in GMIT Letterfrack, I quickly demonstrated my value to the company and saw tremendous career growth and within five years had been promoted to Plant Engineering Manager.



In 2005 I moved into the Dental Furniture industry where once again my skills came into daily use. During this time, I returned to school to earn an MBA where I focused on management of innovation and entrepreneurship. My passion for lifelong learning ignited by my lecturers in GMIT Letterfrack drives me to continually find opportunities to learn and improve my skills and abilities.
As I look back on my time in GMIT Letterfrack it is always with great fondness and it was where I developed my passion for furniture.

I learned the importance of patience and precision involved in quality fine-furniture making. If woodworking and furniture making is your passion then a few short years in GMIT Letterfrack can be the beginning of a lifetime of rewards.

Talk to us:
Programme Chair: Paul Leamy, Paul.leamy@gmit.ie 091 742655
Administration: Samantha Flaherty; Samantha.flaherty@gmit.ie; 091 742653
Head of Campus: Dermot O’Donovan; Dermot.odonovan@gmit.ie; 091 742651

Read more graduate profiles ...


Explore the full range of courses on offer at GMIT Letterfrack Campus here.

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