• CollegeCSM
  • Start dateStage 1: October - December / Stage 2: January - March
  • Course length10 weeks

Textiles Portfolio

We are accepting applications for Stage 1.

Textiles Portfolio Video by SokFok Studio. Music Credits: Walking on Rainbows by Gyom

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The Textiles Portfolio has been carefully designed to enable students to develop their textiles practice and create a rich and successful portfolio. Whether you are hoping to go onto further study or professional practice, the course will help you achieve your ambitions. Underpinned by a philosophy of experimentation, visual research and conceptual thinking, the programme will allow you to explore and expand your textiles practice while building a portfolio of work.

You will be encouraged to explore diverse areas related to textiles, fashion, costume making, or surface and jewellery design. In addition, you will be given advice on portfolio presentation and best practice for your chosen pathway throughout the course whilst engaging with exciting projects that will enhance your skills.

This full-time programme provides one day and one evening tuition per week. In addition, you will be encouraged to make use the college facilities outside of class time and to attend regular extracurricular activities.

The course is taught on a progressive basis, giving you the opportunity to build your knowledge and develop your skills for up to six months. It attracts students from all over the world and it is designed to meet the needs of international students.


The Textiles Portfolio provides students with a thorough grounding in different areas. Subjects covered include:

  • Textile design, print, weave, knit, research
  • How to contextualise work to the appropriate standard
  • Drawing and mark making
  • Media techniques, colour, layout and presentation
  • Hand knit, crochet, embroidery, off loom weave and machine knit
  • Printmaking (screen-print and digital)
  • Collage and visualization
  • Digital design (Photoshop and Illustrator)
  • Photography, personal projects and portfolio surgery

Aims and learning outcomes

  • To provide a broad diagnostic experience in Textiles Design
  • To encourage students to explore their potential within a wide range of art and design disciplines
  • To expand student’s design skills and personal practice and challenge their design ideas
  • To encourage experimentation, research and work at a fast pace
  • To enable students to discover and develop their individual style
  • To inspire students to develop confidence in their practice
  • To deliver high quality teaching and small class sizes taught by staff from a variety of CSM subject areas
  • To help students build a strong portfolio of work for application to further study or professional practice.

Course structure

Classes take place twice a week over three months. The course runs twice a year, providing you with the opportunity to prepare a portfolio for up to six months:

  • Stage 1 (October – December)
  • Stage 2 (January – March)

As the stages are taught on a progressive basis, it is recommended that you take both stages 1 and 2. We rarely accept students directly onto stage 2, as taken on its own it would not give sufficient time to prepare for BA and MA applications. However, if you already are a professional textile designer or graduate wishing to develop your portfolio, but not planning to apply, you may be accepted directly onto stage 2.

Stage 1 (Oct-Dec): Individuals of varying ability are accepted at this point as long as they are considered to have the potential to begin a BA or MA course in October the following year. They should have the potential and experience to produce a suitable portfolio of work within six months to present at interview. Some of the content of student portfolios should start to be produced during the first term.

The first term offers a broad overview of textile design and an opportunity to explore the fundamental elements and creative methods of textiles, while developing an individual approach to the subject. It includes an exciting mix of workshops and guest lectures delivered by CSM Textiles staff, alumni and professionals. Students are allowed to experiment with knit, print and weave, new materials and 3D design.

Stage 2 (Jan-Mar): Building on the ideas and skills introduced during the previous term, this stage is highly focused on allowing students to specialize their skills and finalize their portfolio. Final major projects will bring developing skills into fruition, enhancing portfolios with the depth and substance essential for applying to further study or employment.

Intense portfolio surgeries will prepare students for future applications to BA/MA and professional practice. Invaluable specialist advice will be provided for professionals looking to establish themselves in their chosen field.

Projects and workshops are designed to develop students existing skills while nurturing individual creative style. Students can expect to work through a diverse range of briefs, broadening the range of work in their portfolios.

Interview practice for future study and employment will help to shape students agenda. Students applying to a BA or MA at Central Saint Martins will have a portfolio review with the relevant BA/MA course director.

Learning and teaching

Learning and teaching methods

Teaching methods include workshops, lectures, demonstrations, external study visits and individual tuition.

The course starts with a diagnostic approach, giving students the opportunity to experiment in different areas of textile design.

Students are expected to specialize as the course progresses, culminating in a final project in their chosen area. This will provide a focus for their portfolio to support their application further study or future employment.

The small class sizes allows students get a lot of one-to-one tuition, and that lecturers can support students to develop their own particular approach to Textile Design.

Pathways and routes

We offer specialist pathways (subject specialisms) and routes (BA/MA/Professional Practice). Students can choose to specialize in one of the following subject areas: Textiles, Jewellery, Costume for Film or Theatre, Fashion Print, Fashion Knit, Fashion Accessories, Surface Design, Fine Art.

BA route: Applicants to this route will be expected to evidence their experience in art and design, and specifically Textiles. The course will allow them to explore and experiment in all elements of Textile Design and associated subjects.

MA Route: Applicants for this route must supply evidence of successful study at undergraduate level and of their past experience within their chosen subject area. Students will also be expected to have a clear idea of the course they hope to progress to and the work they wish to undertake while on this course. This should be evident in their statement when applying for the course. Students on the MA Route will follow a personalised scheme of work during the course.

Professional practice and employment routes:

  • The professional practice route is suitable for students who would like to explore Textile Design as part of professional development programme and those looking to develop a portfolio for future employment. Students will follow a personalised scheme of work whilst on the course.
  • Students looking to develop a portfolio for application to employment must supply evidence of undergraduate study or a period of professional practice within their portfolio. The course would suit students who are looking to refresh their core skills and build a new portfolio. Those who are clear about the areas of their portfolio that they wish to strengthen and their future ambitions are also welcome to apply. They should identify their study intentions and future plans in their personal statement when they apply.

Self-development route: the course welcome students who are relatively new to the textiles as it will allow them to fully explore the scope and potential of the subject area. It is also possible for students with more focused intentions to join the course but they should indicate clearly the level of their past experience, their intended areas of study and their future plans and ambitions within their personal statement.


A certificate of attendance will be granted to all students who attend 80% or more of each individual stage of the course. An assessment of work will take place for those who successfully complete the one-year course, and a certificate of completion will be awarded to students who have achieved an appropriate standard of work.

Students who have completed the Textiles Portfolio have successfully progressed to the BA Textile Design course at Central Saint Martins.

The Textile Portfolio can help prepare students for application to the following programmes:

  • BA Route - BA (hons) Textile Design, BA (hons) Fashion Print, BA (hons) Fashion Knit, BA (hons) Surface Design, BA (hons) Fine Art, BA (hons) Performance Design and Practice, BA (hons) Costume Design, BA (hons) Jewellery
  • MA Route - MA Textile Design, MA Material Futures, MA Jewellery, MA Design
  • Professional Practice Route - Professional practice, self-employment and application to future employment


Lecturer: Laura Baker

Associate Lecturer: Berni Yates

In addition, the course is taught by staff from a variety of CSM subject areas, supported by specialist creative workshops with alumni, visiting specialists and practitioners.

How to apply

To apply for this course please complete our Textiles Portfolio Application Form

We will only review completed applications, which must include:

  1. A completed application form
  2. A short statement (no more the 350 words)
  3. An up-to-date CV
  4. 10 - 20 images of your work via a flickr account. Please see the advice below for more information:
  5. Your IELTS certificate (non-native English speakers only)  

*Please note that there is no strict deadline for applications. We take enrolments until each course is fully subscribed and therefore recommend students to apply at least three months prior to the course start date to avoid disappointment. International students will need to apply for the course as early as possible to ensure they leave sufficient time for their visa application if they are accepted to the course.

We look forward to receiving your application. If you have any queries, please use our course enquiry form. After you have submitted your portfolio, you will receive an email letting you know how long you will need to wait for your result.

All international students attending portfolio preparation courses will need a Short-term Study Visa (STS) to attend the course. Students can find out more about the Short-term Study Visa (STS) from the UK Government’s Visas and Immigration (UKVI) website: https://www.gov.uk/study-visit-visa

It is each student’s responsibility to ensure they have the correct visa to study on a course, and to ensure that they have read through the immigration information on the UKVI website. If a student does not have the correct visa to study on their chosen course they will not be able to join the course.

Short-term Study Visa's allow students to study in the UK for up to 6 months in a year. This means that International students will only be able to take 2 stages of a portfolio preparation courses. We advise that student’s carefully choose which stages of the course they apply to, in consultation with our staff, to ensure they receive the maximum benefit from the course to their portfolio and development.

Students should be aware that all Visas for the UK are issued at UKVI’s discretion, and they reserve the right to refuse entry clearance to any individual.

Any student who is thinking of attending the course on a visa that is not a Short-term Study Visa (STS) should contact the portfolio preparation team immediately at portfolio@csm.arts.ac.uk

Entry requirements

In order to benefit fully from this course you should be at least 18 years old and have some form of education or work experience related to art and design. Previous textiles experience is unnecessary but a strong commitment to the subject and the course is essential for success. You must be proficient in English, both the spoken and written word, to IELTS level 6 or equivalent.

All students will be required to submit a small portfolio of work to reflect their interests in contemporary design, observation skills, and view of fashion.

Fees and funding

Home/EU fee

£2,995 per term or stage.

International fee

£2,995 per term or stage.

Additional costs

In addition to tuition fees you are very likely to incur additional costs such as travel expenses and the cost of materials. Please read the information on our additional costs page.


Find out about the accommodation options available and how much they will cost.