Textile Design - BA (Hons) Degree

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Course Type: Degree and university-level Campus: West Durrington Campus Start Date: September 2021 Duration: 3 Years

BA Textile Design course intro image

This is a creative and broad-based textile and surface design degree that aims to nurture the creative, innovative and autonomous designers of the future and equip them with the skills required for employment, freelance work in the industry, or further study at postgraduate level.

Key features

  • Personal and artistic development
  • Traditional and digital print facilities and sewing workshop
  • Open access to campus-wide facilities including laser cutter, 3D craft workshop, pattern cutting tables and photo studios
  • Technical support and regular tutorials

See student work on our course blog > 
See student work on course Instagram >

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Degree validated by UAL (University of the Arts London)

  • alumni Views Catherine Coombs Textile Design alumna who went on to be accepted for postgraduate study at the prestigious Royal College of Art
    I was attracted by the amazing facilities and the passion of the tutors and technicians for textiles, techniques and experimentation.
  • student Views Daisy Seymour Brady BA Textile Design
    The course has allowed me to grow as a designer and to find my own path for the future. The technicians are SO helpful and are always there if your ever in need of help or advice.
  • student Views Amy McDonogh BA Textile Design
    I could not recommend this university centre more. Only a few people are accepted onto the course and we get focused coaching. Individuality is encouraged and the tutors show interest in who you are. There is such a wide range of facilities and the technicians will do anything to help you.
  • alumni Views Lottie Millbank BA Textile Design
    I was lucky enough to be entered into the Bradford Textile Society awards and won second prize.
  • student Views Rebecca Fullerton McIntyre BA Textile Design
    The course has given me the confidence and technical skills I need through having constant guidance and support alongside a broad variety of in-depth industry information to help me prepare to enter Into the world of textile design.

Course requirements

Interview with portfolio. 

Individual offer conditions will vary. Normally a relevant A Level or Level 3 Extended Diploma.

Industry experience may be taken into account.

Cross-college entry guide

(including English language requirements for international students)

Click here to see our cross-college entry guide for higher education.

Portfolio advice

  • Aim to bring up to 20 sheets of work (a sheet may have more than one piece of work mounted on it) and one or two sketchbooks
  • There is no need to window mount or spend money on expensive board - flat-mounted on a good quality cartridge paper is fine
  • In textiles we like to feel and touch and to see the true colour and quality of your work - it is easier to do this if you don't use plastic sleeves. If your portfolio does have plastic sleeves we may ask you to take pieces out for easier viewing
  • Include a variety of work that shows the full range of your skills and use of media eg research artwork (drawings, paintings, collages, multimedia artwork), developmental ideas, sketchbooks and finished project outcomes
  • We like to see evidence of the whole creative process from research and initial artwork through the whole development of ideas - to help us see this ensure that at least one of your sketchbooks relates to finished work in the portfolio
  • Any large scale or 3D work should be photographed for inclusion in the portfolio

What we are looking for:

  • We are more interested in your creative potential rather than assessing what your current course has allowed you to achieve
  • Creative artwork and ideas are more important than finished textile pieces
  • Good observational drawing skills - by this we mean use of any media and in any style - showing your own personal style
  • A feel for colour, form, pattern, texture
  • An interest in your chosen area (have you been to any recent shows, events or exhibitions, whose work do you love, what do you find visually exciting - what are you passionate about?)

The first year of study introduces students to core skills and techniques through a series of creative workshops. These typically include: design development, printed textiles, knitted textiles, stitch, fabric manipulation, pattern cutting, garment construction, drawing, traditional and digital printmaking and creative IT.

Students will be encouraged to develop an exploratory and experimental approach to design underpinned by an understanding of contemporary issues such as sustainability, fabric knowledge, industry trends and extensive creative research.

Throughout the course students will produce design solutions for a range of markets including: fashion textiles, interior fabrics and surfaces, stationery, gift, craft/art applications etc before choosing their own specialist pathway, culminating in their final major project.

Students take part in Industry projects such as the Bradford Textile Society competition and complete suitable work placements during the second year. 

Students can expect to have open access to facilities following induction, resulting in a flexible working environment that supports their creative studio practice. Our bright and airy design studio is open plan and all students have their own personal desk space. 

Course units

Year 1: 

  • Research and design process for textiles
  • Materials and methods
  • Cultural and contextual studies
  • 2D and 3D
  • Ethical values in design
  • Industry practice

Year 2: 

  • Industry linked competition brief
  • Preparation for work experience
  • Work placement
  • Advanced cultural and contextual studies
  • Concept development


Year 3: 

  • Final Major project: Design concepts and synthesis
  • Exit portfolio
  • Final Major project: Realisation
  • Creative and critical research project


Video tour of our campus

See students from different courses using the facilities at our creative arts specialist campus

(5-minute video)

Potential careers

  • Freelance or studio designer (fashion/interiors/accessories)
  • Independent designer/maker 
  • Illustrator
  • Trend forecaster
  • Buying & merchandising
  • Stylist
  • Teacher training
  • Postgraduate study

In keeping with the evolving nature of the creative industries, many have flexible creative careers being involved in styling, art work, design commissions, exhibitions, illustration, buying, trend forecasting etc. Past students have gone on to MA study, eg at the Royal College of Art and at the University of Brighton. Some have set up their own businesses, some work as freelance designers for couture and high street brands, some work for furnishing textile companies and others work in education.

Potential careers

Tuition fees, student loans and bursaries

Additional course costs

The course provides materials and equipment for induction and tutor-led workshops. Personal project development will require students to provide their own art materials, sketchbooks and to source and purchase fabrics/materials. 

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