Looking at the value of accredited courses

Accredited Courses: Worth the Money?

Updated July 2023

At the risk of being crass we wanted to talk to you about money! With never-ending talks of the impact of Brexit Coronavirus, and now the cost of living crisis, the Great British Pound seems to be weakening by the day. It’s no wonder that many of us are either tightening the purse strings or being more cautious about spending our hard earned money.

Let’s face it, things don’t really feel that great at the moment. However, there is one benefit to all this uncertainty that we’re really feeling excited about. Crafting, as a less expensive form of entertainment, seems to be on the up. People across the nation are embracing their talents, reigniting those traditional skills passed down through the generations and often making a success of selling their creations.

For several years now Creative Industries have been the backbone of the UK economy and it is reported that craft businesses contribute nearly £1.9bn in turnover a year. And, in the advent of the 2009 financial crash, consumers started seeing the benefit in buying bespoke and buying local. Whether you’re a serious artist or crafting enthusiast there has never been a better time to get hands on again and get creative.

Why are we telling you this? Many of our students studying with us already have plans to get better at what they love doing. Some aspire to become an exhibiting artist, a teacher, or an author. They want to be able to design their own unique creations or simply find something that will provide them with the creative confidence they need to take the next step on their journey. Whilst we’re happy to report that these are things we look to nurture on our accredited courses, it is an investment that requires some clarity during these uncertain times ahead.

Why an accredited course?

There are A LOT of tutorials, books, and classes available online and within local communities. While some of these resources can be OK for learning a particular technique or getting started they do not form a structured, complete course and can frequently give misleading information. Knowing which one to trust can be a nightmare. However, accredited courses have many benefits, especially when they are accredited by a learning institution like City & Guilds. For 140 years they have continued to ‘believe in the power of skills to build successful careers, businesses, and economies.’

Take a look at the full list of benefits of our accredited courses now and why they are a much better option for anyone with any personal or professional crafting ambition.

Example of advanced skill stage 4 patchwork and quilting piece featuring turquoise floral birds, outlined in gold

What do you get for your money?


1. A comprehensive course that can be studied for the next 1-2 years.  


What a lot of prospective students don’t realise is that our courses sure pack a punch. Each of the accredited courses we offer have a minimum of 4 modules (which all take on average 6-8 weeks to complete), however, since it’s virtually impossible to do each module back to back, especially when you factor in existing commitments, families and holidays, the amount of time allowed for full course completion is around 1-2 years (depending on the study level). Definitely not for the faint hearted.


2. A serious test of your creative abilities. 


That’s right, there are tasks to complete and assessments to pass, and to achieve this you have to be able to demonstrate your ability to put what you’ve learned into practise. If the thought of assessments has you running for the hills, never fear: throughout your course you’ll receive full support from your tutor who will be privy to your progress and will provide constructive feedback to help you progress your studies to a successful conclusion and achieve your final certification.

More importantly if you’re looking for a course that will challenge you, push you out of your comfort zone and force you to experiment with new creative ideas then an accredited course will certainly do all of that. Also, there are plenty of studies proving the impact of crafting on mental health and mindfulness. 


3. Access to Experienced Tutors.

Our tutors work tirelessly behind the scenes, to support each and every student. They are responsible for personally assessing the work of every individual student. Not only do they look through personal folios and creations, they also provide comprehensive feedback to our students and all within 10 days of submission. To do this they must have a good understanding and working knowledge of the City and Guilds assessment criteria and curriculum and be able to adequately steer students in the right direction while enabling them to fulfil their own potential! What a skill.

Needless to say it’s a time consuming process which takes knowledge, passion, commitment and above all, a unyielding love for what they do best.

Tutors of our beginner patchwork & Quilting Course

4. Extensive course materials and online content.

When students enrol onto an accredited course they receive a detailed course handbook containing a wealth of general information about studying via distance learning, how to submit work and all of the obligatory Health & Safety info which we have to cover to ensure the wellbeing of staff of students. Modules are delivered periodically after each successful completion of the previous module. With each module you’ll receive a detailed module booklet which is accessed online.

Sample of course materials from our accredited courses

Modules typically contain a number of tasks, exercises, and projects that need to be created and submitted. Since these usually take around 6-8 weeks to complete you can image how comprehensive they are. These materials also contain videos to watch online, detailed ’how-to’ instructions and structured introductions to help you get the most from each module. We have a whole team of tutors who are responsible for updating, filming, and constructing these materials to ensure these are accurate, and optimised for your learning pleasure.

5. Access to rapidly growing creative communities.

We’re proud of our online channels, networks and reputation because it attracts creative individuals from around the world. We have been especially privileged to gain the attention of high-profiled and experienced artists who are coming forward to share their individual success stories with us which we love sharing with you.

We have also recently established a new Podcast – Textile Talk – where we speak to industry professionals, artists and SST tutors, to help you get the most out of your course.

Screenshot of the School of Stitched Textile's Facebook account

6. Quality Assurance


Throughout every stage of establishing and delivering a course we have to ensure that everything adheres to City & Guild’s stringent quality standards. An external verifier assesses our work, materials, delivery and feedback to ensure that our students are receiving the best possible support and guidance. Student’s work is also assessed by an Internal Verifier as well as a course tutor and then ultimately by an External City & Guilds examiner prior to a completion certificate being issued. If you’re interested in all the ins and outs of putting together an accredited course then take a look here.   

For this very reason City and Guilds accredited courses are acknowledged globally and industry wide high standards. Additionally, many find that a City and Guilds accreditation is a requirement for teaching or going onto to further education.


7. City and Guilds Certificate.


After successful completion of your course you’ll be the proud owner of your very own certificate bearing the City & Guilds accreditation mark to reward you for all your commitment and hard work and recognition of the skills and knowledge you have gained along the way.


Final Thoughts

Although the cost of living crisis is a real uncertainty this has led to a huge increase in consumers making the choice to buy local and  independent sellers are rejoicing. With a weakened pound it has also meant that SST have many more students studying from further afield than just the UK. Since the GBP has dropped against other currencies this has made the current exchange rates a very attractive proposition for foreign students. In addition, creative industries are continuing to boom in the UK and crafting is on a continual rise.  If there was ever a good time to join this crafting movement, now is the time.

If you’re toying the idea of doing one of our accredited courses but can’t quite justify the money then remember that our courses are a unique opportunity to learn from best. They even have the City and Guilds’ official stamp of approval to prove it.

Each of our different study levels have been carefully constructed in accordance with City and Guilds exacting criteria. This ensures they meet the needs of each individual student’s abilities. So, whether you’re looking to learn a new craft, or really develop your ability to design your creations and become more creatively confident, there is no other course that compares.

Since our courses are the only courses that can provide you with the technical skills, knowledge and creative flair, we believe they have an ability to nurture students, enabling them to go and reach their full potential. You can be confident that you’re money is going to a worthy investment; an investment towards your future success, whatever your goal. In short, an accredited course is definitely worth the money. 

Because we’re passionate about what we do and believe in the benefits of lifelong-learning, we’re committed to making our courses accessible to everyone. Periodically we offer Creative Bursaries throughout the year so make sure you’ve subscribed to our newsletter for the latest information. 

Joan Harrison Bursary

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Apply for a bursary to study one of our skill Stage 2 accredited courses for FREE!

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  1. Really interested in enrolling on Textile course. Have been putting this of for years. Love a variety of crafts knitting, embroidery, crochet, felting. Been a carer for Mum and Dad until they passed away, both in their in 90’s. They passed away within three weeks of each other in 2017. Mum skilled in embroidery, crochet, knitting, dressmaking. Dad a toolmaker, skilled in maintaining the family home, upholstery. Both so resourceful. In the same year my older brother taken into hospital with organ failure. I am now caring for him. Need to make 2019 my time to learn, create and just go for it.!

    1. Hi Teresa. Wow, you really have been through a lot and it sounds like you’re from a very creative family. If the time is right for you we’d love to have you on board. Being creative is the very best therapy for wellbeing and self fulfillment. Thank you for your comment Teresa. x

    1. Hi, All of our payment options can be found at this link: https://newstaging.sofst.org/payment-options/
      If you have any more questions, just let us know.

  2. I have done cross stitch and tapestry for years and wish to learn more advanced skills to broaden my horizons. I really like the look of stump work and hand embroidery I am not sure which would be more suitable

    1. Hi Luiza. Many thanks for your question. If you’re undecided perhaps our hand embroidery course would be a good option for you, as it will cover a range of techniques and embroidery skills, including stumpwork which could be a nice introduction for you. If you’d like to reach out to a tutor please do so by emailing info@sofst.org
      Many thanks Sarah.

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