BA (Hons) Textile Design

BA Textile Design at Chelsea College of Arts allows students to take an experimental and creative approach to textile design. Ideas and conceptual thinking are developed through fashion, sustainability, interior and exterior design projects. Students will gain colour, design and materials knowledge within textile print, knit, stitch or weave. The course actively encourages a studio culture to develop alongside specialist textile workshops.


Course Leader

Caryn Simonson

Course Location

Chelsea College of Arts, John Islip Street

Study LevelUndergraduate
Study ModeFull time
Course Length3 years
Home/EU Fee

£9,250 (2017/18).

Tuition fees for undergraduate degree courses have been set at £9,250 per year for full-time study. This applies from the 2017/18 academic year, subject to changes in the law. Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students, in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Please visit our Undergraduate tuition fees page for more information.

Use UAL’s fees and funding calculator as a guide to how much your studies may cost in your first year.

International Fee

£17,920 (2017/18).

Fees are subject to an inflationary increase as students progress through their course.

Use UAL’s fees and funding calculator as a guide to how much your studies may cost in your first year.


Start DateSeptember 2017
Autumn Term DatesMonday 25 September - Friday 8 December 2017
Spring Term DatesMonday 8 January - Friday 16 March 2018
Summer Term DatesMonday 16 April 2018 - Friday 22 June 2018
Application Route

Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS)

Application Deadline15 January 2017
UCAS CodeW231
University CodeU65

Content and Structure

Content: what students can expect

  • To develop their visual research skills and idea generation for design and technical skills, supported by leading practitioners in textile design
  • A bespoke critical theory programme that supports students considering their own design practice within broad, social cultural, environmental and historical contexts
  • The opportunity to explore a variety of textile areas including design for digital print, dyeing, knit, screen print, stitch and mixed media textiles including digital embroidery and weave including digital Jacquard
  • To gain vital commercial experience through live projects. These vary each year, but in the past students have worked with Burberry, H&M, Indesign, Iberoamericano University (Mexico), Latitude Festival,, Marks & Spencer, Wallace Collection and trend forecasting company WGSN
  • To have access to course specific specialist facilities including a print and dye lab, digital print computer suite and workshops for stitch, digital embroidery, knit and weave. View the textiles workshops image gallery
  • To have access to Chelsea's shared workshops including ceramics, casting, laser cutting, photography, metalwork and woodwork. View the Chelsea facilities section
  • The opportunity to participate in international trade fairs, with recent year’s having exhibited at Première Vision Designs (formely Indigo), part of Première Vision, Paris
  • To be able to take part in an exchange to another institution. The course enjoys positive relationships with institutions in Berlin, Stockholm and Paris, as well as American colleges including the Fashion Institute of Technology, Parsons the New School for Design and Rhode Island School of Design


Year One

  • Unit 1: Introduction to study in Higher Education
  • Unit 2: Practice - Concept and process
  • Unit 3: Practice - Textile contexts
  • Unit 4: Theory - Key concepts

Year Two

  • Unit 5: Expanded practice
  • Unit 6: Practice - Design and innovation
  • Unit 7: Professional communication
  • Unit 8: Theory - Contemporary contexts

Year Three

  • Unit 9: Practice - Design identity and synthesis
  • Unit 10: Theory - Context and dissertation


Caryn Simonson - Course Leader

Caryn Simonson maintains a diverse practice and has exhibited work across photography, video, sculpture and installation within the context of contemporary textiles.

View Caryn Simonson's research profile


Visiting Staff

  • Claire Angel
  • John Bently
  • Claudia Catzeflis 
  • Kate Goldsworthy
  • Cassi Hill
  • Georgina Hodson
  • Charlotte Mann
  • Chetna Prajapati
  • Michael Robinson 
  • Vanessa Rolf


Our graduates have gone on to work in international fashion or interior design studios, trend-forecasting companies and magazines. Others have set up their own businesses or gone on to postgraduate study on Chelsea's MA Textile Design, Central St Martins MA Fashion, as well as courses at other renowned institutions such as the Royal College of Art.

Some of the course’s most successful graduates have joined design teams and are working within couture and high street production for fashion companies including Anthropologie, Burberry, Céline, Chloe, H&M, Liberty, Stella McCartney, Nike, Zac Posen, Jonathan Saunders and Alexander Wang.


  • Georgia Dorey - Print designer. Clients include Agnes B, Anthropologie, Marc Jacobs, Kenzo, Calvin Klein and Diane Von Furstenburg
  • Finchittida Finch - Jewellery label set up by twin sisters Lisa and Tida Finch. Worn by FKA Twigs and Lianne La Havas
  • Bridget Harvey - Designer, maker and activist
  • Henry Hussey - Artist
  • Helen Lawrence - Knitwear designer who has shown at Fashion East and London Fashion Week
  • Margo Selby - Woven textile design company making fabrics, rugs and accessories
  • Flo Spurling - Designer specialising in hand crafted and embellished textiles
  • Hsiao-Chi Tsai - Mixed media textile designer who creates installations and bespoke fashion accessories. She has been commissioned by Harvey Nicholls, Kew Gardens and the South Bank Centre

Entry Requirements

We select students based on the quality of their applications, looking primarily at their portfolio of work and personal statements.

Applicants will have, or are expected to achieve, either:

  • A Foundation Diploma in Art and Design
  • 1 GCE A Level
  • 3 GCSEs grade C or above


  • BTEC Extended Diploma or NVQ Level 3
  • 3 GCSEs grade C or above


  • University of the Arts London level 3 Pre-University Diploma and Extended Diploma in Art and Design
  • 4 GCSEs grade C or above


  • International Baccalaureate Diploma pass achieved at 28 points or above 
  • An equivalent level of performance in other internationally recognised national school leaving or university entrance qualifications


  • Other evidence of prior learning and experience via Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning - AP(E)L and / or alternative qualifications assessed as offering the same level as the above requirements 

In exceptional circumstances, applicants may be considered if they present a portfolio of equivalent standard to a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design and have:

  • 2 GCE A Levels
  • 3 GCSEs grade C or above

Where conditional offers are made to GCE A Level applicants these will normally be at grade C or above.

If English isn’t your first language

All classes are taught in English. If English isn't your first language you must provide evidence at enrolment of the following:

IELTS Academic Test for UKVI is approved by the UK government for your UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) application. No other test can be accepted. It is accepted as proof of your English language ability. 

Portfolio advice

Portfolios should show the following:

  • Visual research in colour, as well as black and white, using a variety of media
  • Evidence of an interest in surfaces, textural qualities and mixed media
  • Enthusiasm for colour, variety of scale and sketchbooks
  • Awareness of a contemporary context and ideas
  • Evidence of design orientated research - not necessarily textiles
  • An individual response to ideas and critical awareness, showing your design development process
  • A concise portfolio that shows a selective approach
  • Larger scale work can be presented through photographs

At interview and portfolio review

We look for:

  • Ability to research a variety of concepts and arrive at a design solution
  • Enthusiasm for colour, texture and imagery
  • Awareness of textile design within contemporary contexts
  • A portfolio demonstrating personal responses to project briefs
  • Ability to present critical reflection of the subject in discussion
  • A concise portfolio indicating a critical engagement with design ideas
  • Ability to select and organise work

Home / EU applicants

All applicants for this course will be invited to submit a mini-portfolio of 15 images using the University’s Electronic Portfolio Review Tool (EPRT) following the 15 January UCAS deadline.

Shortlisted applicants will be invited for interview and should bring their full portfolio.

International applicants

Interviews and portfolio reviews - applicants can be interviewed in a number of different ways: 

  • By phone or Skype
  • In their country, if your application was made though one of our official representatives 
  • At our international office based at Chelsea College of Arts


Use UAL’s scholarship search to find out what funding may be available to you.

How to apply

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) application deadline is 15 January.

Home / EU applicants

You must apply through UCAS, where you’ll need the following information:

  • University code - U65
  • UCAS course code - W231

International applicants

There are three ways international students can apply to an undergraduate course at Chelsea College of Arts:

Find out more information about applying through UCAS

Deferred entry

This course will give consideration to deferred entry application from Home, EU and International applicants.

Study Abroad applicants

Through the Study Abroad programme international students can apply to join an undergraduate course for a period of up to three terms. 

For information on how to apply visit the Study Abroad section

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