Textile Design BA (Hons)

UCA Farnham - 2020

Length of study:

Three years full-time


UCA Farnham

Start date:


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Entry year(s)


Entry requirements:

112 UCAS tariff points

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UCAS institution code:


UCAS code:


Course overview

Our BA (Hons) Textile Design course has a specialist approach that focuses on the handmade, combining traditional print and weave processes with experimental craft techniques and material exploration. 

You'll develop the skills to create textiles for lifestyle and luxury, art, architecture, fashion and interiors.

Offering a unique fusion of traditional skills with innovative material led practice, your creativity will be developed through research, designing, making, and contextual understanding.

With dedicated studios and personal space, you'll work with high-quality print and weave equipment, including specialist dyeing labs and textile finishing areas, where you can experiment with colour, materials and techniques.

We encourage a highly creative and agile approach, thinking beyond the textile in application, design and context. Our students work on unique collaborations, live projects, and exhibitions, as well as undertaking work placements both in the UK and abroad.

You’ll be surrounded by academics experienced in art, craft, design, fashion and interiors, who undertake commissions, international exhibitions, and work within the creative industries.

Contacts include the likes of Esquel Apparel Ltd, the John Lewis Design Studio, Zoffany Fabrics, Ratti Spa Design Studio Italy and LK Bennett Design Studio. 

We’ve built a worldwide reputation for promoting and developing the work of our graduate textile designers, offering you a springboard into a diverse range of career paths, examples of professional practice include textile designers and makers, interior designers, fashion designers, accessory designers, fabric technologists, stylists, surface and material developers, colourists, curators and textile innovators. 

As well as preparing our students to enter industry professions, we also create forward-thinking, entrepreneurial textile designers who set up their own businesses, working as designer-makers or freelance textile designers.  

As curators of our own public collection, we have an enviable on-site archive of historical and contemporary textiles. Also located on our Farnham campus is the internationally renowned Crafts Study Centre, a research centre with an impressive annual calendar of exhibitions and events. 

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Course details

  • Year 1

    In the first year, you'll learn new design and technical skills which enable you to create original textiles. The practical skills include workshops in materials, processes, techniques and visual studies complemented by contextual units introducing you to art, crafts and design. 

    Textile Practice Process 1
    The purpose of this unit is to introduce you to the act of making as a key skill and means of experimental research through the exploration of materials and processes. You are introduced to fundamental skills and knowledge that provide the subject learning foundation and inform design process.

    Contextual Studies 1
    This unit introduces you to a range of historical and contemporary contexts that serve to locate crafts and design practices within wider social and cultural frameworks, and promotes contextual research as a fundamental aspect of creative practice. Through a series of illustrated lectures and seminars, the unit will explore a range of theoretical and practice-based positions in order to demonstrate the rich diversity of existing approaches to crafts and design, and to consider specific aesthetic decisions in relation to their contexts.

    Textile Practice Process 2
    The purpose of this unit is to extend existing and develop new material knowledge and process skills. Elementary project briefs remain the primary means of learning delivery. You develop an understanding of all aspects of the design process at a fundamental level - research, ideas generation, conceptualisation, iterative exploration, design development, documentation, evaluation, resolution and communication.

    Textile Practice Process 3
    The purpose of this unit is to consolidate competency in the range of skills previously developed, and to acquire new skills that together supports increasingly confident and  accomplished responses to more complex project briefs. Cultivating an exploratory outlook is key to preparation for second year study. You'll extend your understanding of the subject context for your work and begin to explore relevant industry focus. 

  • Year 2

    In your second year, you'll continue to develop your practical and design skills through further exploration. You'll start to discover your style and establish your own creative vocabulary and individual design identity.  To stretch your concepts and enhance your skills and professional development, you'll have the opportunity to take part in industry live competitions, a work placement and a study abroad year.

    Textile Practice Exploration 1
    The purpose of this unit is for you to start developing and exploring your individual design identity and interest. This is undertaken through engagement with conceptually led textile project brief(s) including where possible, live projects, collaborations, competitions and placement to link with industry.

    Contextual Studies 2
    Objects and environments are fundamental to our understanding of the world. The purpose of this unit is to introduce a range of contexts that demonstrate the importance of meaning, and the ways that this meaning can be used to create and express value within crafts and design practices. The things we make and use have ‘lives’, they are conceived, designed and produced through chosen materials and processes before being mediated in public and often experienced and consumed privately.

    Textile Practice Exploration 2
    The purpose of this unit is for students to extend and further develop individual design identity and interest. Briefs incorporate all stages of the design process from inception to resolution and include live projects, collaborations, competitions and placement where possible. You are encouraged to actively explore contrasts of approach to test your individual identity and project outputs.

    Textile Practice Exploration 3
    The purpose of this unit is to enable you to define your own patterns of study and creative practice. You are encouraged to develop and refine your individual practice approaches to research, designing and making. Reflection upon the full scope of second year exploration promotes identification of potential areas of interest for further pursuit in third year study.


  • Study Abroad Year (Optional)

    Students in the School of Crafts and Design have the unique opportunity within UCA to add an additional year of study at an overseas institution (either at a higher education establishment or workplace).

    Study Abroad Year
    This optional year is designed to broaden your educational experience and deepen your understanding of cultural diversity, enabling you to study within a different cultural context and gain fresh perspectives. 

    Studying abroad can be a life-changing experience. Living in another country, you'll experience new places, people, cultures and possibilities. You'll develop initiative, independence, motivation and, depending on where you go, a working knowledge of another language – all qualities employers are looking for. You will return to complete your degree with all the benefits of the International Year experience behind you.

    To find out more about studying abroad as part of your course please see the Study Abroad section:

  • Year 3

    In your final year, we will support you to self-direct your own research. You'll develop, edit and curate a substantial body of textile work for your portfolio, whilst establishing an individual practice towards your future profession. You will finish the year by managing and participating in a public exhibition.

    Textile Practice Portfolio
    Primes you in complete readiness for constructive engagement with your future prospects upon graduation. It helps to facilitate the transition from student to early stage professional practitioner or adjacent destination. You are required to curate a bespoke, purposeful and future-facing practice portfolio reflecting their individual interest and position. 

    Textile Practice Position 1
    The purpose of this unit is for you to commence framing an individual Textile practice position. In order to achieve this two routes of pursuit are offered (i) research / exploratory prototyping and testing (ii) research to resolution.

    Contextual Studies 3
    You'll conceive, develop and construct a personally meaningful portfolio of contextual research that informs, augments and reflects upon practice, towards the provision of structured narratives that critically engage with a range of contextual and theoretical frameworks and serve to support the positioning of individual practice in relation to past, present and possible future endeavours.

    Textile Practice Position 2
    You'll finalise framing an individual Textile practice position and realise a self-initiated, graduate major project that realises individual potential.

  • Fees and additional course costs

    Tuition fees
    The course fees per year for 2020 entry are:

    • UK and EU students - £9,250 
    • International students - £16,250 (standard fee)
    • International students - £15,600 (full early payment fee)

    Additional course costs
    In addition to the tuition fees please see the additional course costs for 2020 entry.

    Further information
    Find out more about our course fees and any financial support you may be entitled to:

    These fees are correct for the stated academic year only. Costs may increase each year during a student’s period of continued registration on course in line with inflation (subject to any maximum regulated tuition fee limit). Any adjustment for continuing students will be at or below the RPI-X forecast rate.


Textiles has studio spaces for design, layout and preparation of materials, extensive weave workshops equipped with George Wood dobby looms, Countermarch looms, table looms and a computerised dobby loom. Large-scale textile printing studios with traditional screen-printing tables. Separate dye and finishing labs for Weave and Print; cone winder and skein winder for preparing yarn; large scale tenter frame for stretching fabric; chemical room for dying fabric; print finishing area.

Programme Director

What our students say

Course connections

On this course, you'll be exposed to a world of opportunities

  • Industry links

    We have strong industry connections with many leading names in the sector – our students have undertaken work placements and/or secured rewarding careers with, for example:

    • Ben Sherman Design
    • Courtaulds Textiles
    • Colefax and Fowler
    • Debenhams Design Department
    • Esquel Apparel Ltd
    • John Lewis Design Studio
    • Ratti Spa Design Studio Italy
    • Sandersons UK Designer Fabric and Wallpaper
    • Sacho Hesslein Museum
    • Savoir Beds, Mayfair
    • Zoffany Fabrics
    • Royal Opera House
    • Textile and Fashion Museum
    • Zandra Rhodes
    • Mirjam Rouden
    • Paul Smith
    • Margo Selby Designers
    • Christopher Farr Design Studio
    • Keeler Gordan Design Studio
    • LK Bennett Design Studio
    • Westcott Design Studio
    • V&A Museum
    • The Contemporary Arts Gallery, London.
  • Careers

    Our Textile Design degree offers you a springboard into a diverse range of career paths. Recent graduates have secured roles as:

    • Print designers
    • Fabric technologists
    • Public art practitioners
    • Weave interior fabric designers
    • Fabric and accessories coordinators
    • Designer-makers
    • Textile designers and stylists
    • Textile conservators and curators
    • Art educators and teachers
    • Fashion buyers and retailers
    • Arts administrators
    • Gallery directors.
  • Further study

    You may also like to consider further study at postgraduate level.


Apply now

UK/EU applications

Apply for full-time study - starting September 2019:

Apply for part-time study - starting September 2019:

Apply for full-time study - starting September 2020:

Apply for part-time study - starting September 2020:

International applications

If you are applying for more than one course in the UK please apply via UCAS, to apply direct to UCA please use the links below:

Apply for full-time study - Year 1 - starting September 2020:

Apply for full-time study - Year 2 - starting September 2020:

Apply for full-time study - starting September 2020:

Apply for full-time study - starting September 2020:

Apply for full-time study - starting January 2020:

Apply for this course and other courses in the UK - full-time study - starting September 2019:

Due to visa requirements, this course is not available to students that require a Tier 4 (General) visa

If you have another category of visa please contact us: internationaladmissions@uca.ac.uk to find out if you are eligible to study.

If you're interested in joining Year 3 of this course, please contact our Admissions Team on +44 (0) 1252 892 960 or admissions@uca.ac.uk

When to apply:

The UCAS application deadline is 15 January. If you are applying directly to us, you can apply throughout the year but we recommend you apply as early as possible so you have time to arrange accommodation and visas.

For more information visit our how to apply pages

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

Along with your portfolio, the standard entry requirements* for this course are:

One of the following:

  • 112 new UCAS tariff points, see accepted qualifications
  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4)
  • Distinction, Merit, Merit at BTEC Extended Diploma
  • Merit at UAL Extended Diploma
  • 112 new UCAS tariff points from an accredited Access to Higher Education Diploma in appropriate subject
  • 27-30 total points in the International Baccalaureate Diploma with at least 15 IB points at Higher level, see more information about IB entry requirements.

And four GCSE passes at grade A*-C and/or grade 4-9 including English (or Functional Skills English/Key Skills Communication Level 2).

Other relevant and equivalent Level 3 UK and international qualifications are considered on an individual basis, and we encourage students from diverse educational backgrounds to apply.

*We occasionally make offers which are lower than the standard entry criteria, to students who have faced difficulties that have affected their performance and who were expected to achieve higher results. We consider the strength of our applicants’ portfolios, as well as their grades - in these cases, a strong portfolio is especially important.

International entry requirements

To view the equivalent entry requirements for your country please select it in the list below.

Pick Your Country

Non-UK equivalent qualifications

English language requirements

Don't meet the international entry requirements or English language requirements?

You may be able to enter the course through the following entry courses:

Pre-sessional English courses in the UK or China

International Foundation courses in the UK

The UCA International College

Your portfolio

For this course we will require you to attend an Applicant Day and bring your portfolio for assessment. We’d like to see a carefully selected portfolio of up to 15 sheets. This should include visual studies, analytical drawing, colour and work in a variety of media, along with sketchbooks, lecture notes and at least one essay. Further information on how to compile a portfolio and the specific requirements for examples of work to be included will be provided on the Applicant Portal after you apply.

More portfolio advice

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