British Horological Institute

The British Horological Institute (BHI) is the largest organisation for horologists, both professional and non-professional, in the UK.

Associate membership of the BHI gives access to a range of training resources. The Distance Learning Course, with or without tutor feedback, allows people to study from home or their workplace. Alternatively, the BHI has its own workshop facilities and residential accommodation at its headquarters in Upton, Nottinghamshire, for a range of short courses offering intensive training opportunities.

Distance Learning Course (DLC)

Over the last century, the Distance Learning Course model has enabled hundreds of students to learn clock and watchmaking in a structured way. There are two courses: the Technician Grade, and the Combined Intermediate and Final Grade (with a clock or watch pathway) In recent years, the Technician Grade course has been revised to include much new material, meeting the needs of a new generation of students, many of whom cannot easily attend a college course in person.

The best approach to begin your studies with the BHI is to purchase the Technician Grade DLC in practical clock and watch servicing. This is the first year of a three-year course of instruction. This grade of the course has been completely re-written to teach the basic knowledge and skills in horology. This sound foundation prepares the student for further learning and prepares the candidate for the first-year examinations arranged by the BHI for the awarding body EAL. 

The Intermediate and Final Grades each contain twelve lessons. The content and presentation of these grades currently lacks colour but includes excellent diagrams and clear descriptions. They are priced at a lower figure to reflect the difference in presentation. 

Distance Learning Courses are only available to BHI members.

Short Courses

The BHI runs a programme of courses throughout the year at its Upton Hall headquarters in Nottinghamshire. These are generally two, three or five days in duration. The Institute also runs taster courses which offer the chance to discover the appeal of working with clocks and watches and can be followed by specialist courses.

BHI short courses cover a range of skill-levels, from introductory-level courses to those directed towards the student seeking to build on some previous knowledge. They often supplement the information provided in the Distance Learning Course by providing practical sessions taught by experts.

BHI qualifications

BHI training courses can lead to Diploma qualifications. Candidates in the UK attend the examination centre at Upton Hall for some units and undertake certain practical exercises using their own workshop or that of a college or university. Examinations are arranged for May–June each year. Overseas candidates may complete some units in their country of residence but attend UK centres for the final examinations. The Clockmakers' Company awards an annual prize for excellence.

There are three Diploma qualifications:

·        Diploma in Clock and Watch Servicing (Level 3)

·        Diploma in the Servicing and Repair of Clocks/Watches (Level 4)

·        Diploma in the Repair, Restoration and Conservation of Clocks/Watches (Level 5).

Candidates who gain the Level-4 diploma meet the technical competence and experience requirements for becoming a qualified Member of the BHI (MBHI). Candidates with the Level-5 diploma meet requirements to become a Fellow of the BHI (FBHI).

These qualifications are Ofqual-accredited by the awarding body EAL. The BHI worked closely with industry and EAL to ensure these awards reflect current employment requirements within the industry.

To find out more about BHI training opportunities, visit or telephone 01636 817604.