Textile Design

BA (Hons) - UCA Farnham - 2019

Our BA (Hons) Textile Design course works across both print and weave, offering a unique fusion of traditional skills with innovative material led practice. Your creativity will be developed through research, designing, making, and contextual understanding - all in dedicated textile studios with high-quality equipment.

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.

Our fashion and textiles courses are ranked sixth in the UK by The Guardian University Guide 2018.

We aim to create the next generation of thinkers and innovators in textiles for fashion, interiors, art and architecture.

Your creativity and practical skills are developed through research, designing, making and contextual understanding – all in dedicated textile studios, where you’ll have your own personal space and naturally lit workshops packed with facilities.

Our students work within industry networks on unique collaborations, live projects and exhibitions, as well as undertaking work placements both in the UK and abroad. 

These 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. 

Length of study:

Three years full-time


UCA Farnham

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Entry requirements:

112 UCAS tariff points

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Next event

20 Feb 2019

Open Day - all campuses

Course details

  • Year 1

    You’ll develop a thorough grounding in both print and weave, including an understanding of materials, design practices, processes and techniques. Visual studies will support your studio practice. 

    Textile Maker and Materials Lab
    Introduces you to the act of making and embed it as the most fundamental skill requirement and means to experimental research. All Crafts & Design students are Makers for whom thinking and doing are mutually informing processes.

    Textile Practice Process 1
    Quickly orientates you within the Textile practice context by introducing the fundamental discipline specific making skills and knowledge that provide your learning foundation and informs the design process.

    Textile Practice Process 2
    Introduces further fundamental discipline specific Textile skills and knowledge and to test and develop this learning within given Textile practice design brief contexts.

    Contextual Frameworks
    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 to promote contextual research as a fundamental aspect of creative practice. Through a series of illustrated thematic lectures, the unit will articulate a range of theoretical and practice-based positions in order to expose the rich diversity of approaches to crafts and design, and to consider aesthetic decisions in relation to wider contextual fields.

  • Year 2

    This year will see you deepen your knowledge of a specialist area. External briefs and competitions will be introduced. You’ll also have the chance to undertake a work placement at a major textile design studio, textile manufacturer, or fashion house, with a textile designer-maker or artist, or an associated textile company.

    Textile Ideation and Insight
    Enables you to activate your creativity and stimulate a fluent output of ideas and insights. This is undertaken in an abstract context to encourage a freer and more speculative approach.

    Textile Practice Exploration 1
    You'll explore and develop individual design identity and interest through engagement with Textile design project briefs within set topical themes. Briefs require engagement from inception to resolution incorporating all stages of the design process.

    Textile Practice Exploration 2
    You'll extend and develop your exploration of individual design identity and interest. This is undertaken through engagement with industry facing Textile design project briefs, set within specific topical themes. Live competition brief options will feature, with organised industry collaborations and work placement possibility also available subject to confirmation.

    Contextual Perspectives
    Introduces you to a range of contextual, theoretical and critical perspectives that encourage an involved and insightful appreciation of crafts and design practices as expressions of meaning and value. With an emphasis on crafts and design as discourse, and drawing on a range of research methods and thematic content, the unit will seek to highlight relationships between creativity, production, mediation and consumption, promoting analysis and evaluation as essential aspects of creative research and resolution, and encouraging a positional approach to studio practice that identifies objects as experiences.

    Study Abroad (optional)
    This optional unit is designed to broaden your educational experience and deepen your understanding of cultural diversity.

  • 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

    Supported by a personal project brief, you’ll negotiate an individual learning pathway with your tutor, undertaking creative practice that prepares you for a future career within the contemporary textiles market, or for further study and applied research. We’ll continue to support your industry design projects, helping you to develop a broader insight into the sector. You’ll have the opportunity to exhibit alongside your peers at a London venue.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    Contextual Research and Critical Reflection
    You 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.

  • Fees

    Find out all about the fees for studying with us, as well as the grants, loans and other financial support you may be entitled to:


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.

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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.


How to apply - 2019 entry

I am a UK or EU citizen ...

I am not a UK or EU citizen ...

When to apply:

If applying via UCAS the application deadline is the 15 January. If 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.

More information:

Go to 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

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.

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