BA (Hons) Textile Design

BA Textile Design explores the three main textile design practices – print, knit and weave – alongside digital and non-traditional approaches to textile design, trend prediction and presentation. It also offers workshops in alternative surface treatments, media and technologies.

This course is part of the: Jewellery & Textiles Programme

Scholarships and Awards available:

Clothworkers' Foundation Material Fund
Charlotte and Dennis Stevenson Awards
Foundation for Essex Arts Scholarships
Mead Scholarships and Fellowships
Yat Malmgren Bursary
Fung Foundation Study Abroad Scholarship

Talking textile careers: Nadia Ricketts, Founder of Beatwoven

Talking textile careers: Sian Zeng, Founder of Sian Zeng London

Talking textile careers: Derek Lawlor, Designer

Talking textile careers: Susan Campbell, Junior Designer at a high street brand

Bee Line, Victoria Umansky, BA Textile Design. Photo: John Sturrock

Bee Line, Victoria Umansky

Taslima Sultana
Taslima Sultana

Taslima Sultana

Ben Short

Ben Short

Lorna Smith

Lorna Smith

Stephanie Rolph

Stephanie Rolph

Salah Ud Din

Salah Ud Din

Pere Bruach

Pere Bruach

Verena Kan

Verena Kan

Elisabeth Ashdown

Elisabeth Ashdown

Daniela Fairchild

Daniela Fairchild

Caroline Broadhead talks about the Textiles and Jewellery Programme

Natalie Jones

Natalie Jones

5 great reasons to apply

  • Our notable graduates include Alice Temperley, Ptolemy Mann, Alex Gore Brown, Lisa Stickly, Wallace & Sewell, and Mary Katranzou.
  • Our current industry collaborations include work with Gainsborough Silk Weaving Co Ltd, WGSN, Worshipful Company of Weavers, Ballantines, Gianfranco Ferré, Vanners. Polartec, Timothy Everest, Pure, Muraspec, Stoll, Anthropologie, Next and The Wellcome Trust.
  • Our graduates work in a wide range of careers as designers, designer-makers, researchers, buyers, stylists, illustrators, in concept and trend forecasting, in the theatre or in journalism, and many go on to postgraduate study.
  • You'll take part in active collaborations with key cultural institutions, venues and commercial enterprises to introduce you to London's networks of creative practice.
  • You’ll have the chance to study two or three of the specialist areas, print, knit and weave, gradually learning which suits your talents best, before you decide which of them to study in depth.


Course Leader

Anne Marr

Course Location

King’s Cross, London

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

£9,000 per year (2016/17).

Please note that fees are subject to inflationary increase.

Use our Fees and Funding Calculator to estimate how much your studies may cost you in your first year, and what funding may be available to you.

International Fee

£17,230 per year (2016/17).

Please note that fees are subject to inflationary increase.

Use our Fees and Funding Calculator to estimate how much your studies may cost you in your first year, and what funding may be available to you.

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


Application DeadlineApplications for 2017/18 entry will close on 15 January 2017.
UCAS CodeW235
University CodeU65

Content and structure

BA (Honours) Textile Design explores the three main textile design practices - print, knit and weave - alongside digital and non-traditional approaches to textile design, trend prediction and presentation. This course is part of the Jewellery and Textiles programme.

BA Textile Design also offers complementary workshops in the use of alternative surface treatments, media and technologies. During your first year you'll study two or three of the specialist areas, gradually learning which suits your talents best. Early in the second year you'll decide which of them to study in depth.

The degree course aims to maximise your creative and intellectual potential by developing your individual strengths and design philosophy. You'll gain an understanding of the professional context and practice of textile design. You'll also build a personal creative identity and aesthetic vocabulary informed by historical, cultural and technical knowledge, and by the practical experience of making textiles.

BA Textile Design graduates are equipped to pursue a wide range of careers such as designers, designers / makers, researchers, buyers, stylists and illustrators. They work in concept and trend forecasting, in the theatre or journalism and are able to embrace a wide variety of opportunities presented by the global textiles and design industries, and postgraduate study. You are introduced to this complex professional context and the skills it demands through your project work, workshop practices, the international professional practice and research experience of your staff and the Visiting Speakers, Careers, Business Awareness, and Cultural Studies programmes.

Students on BA (Honours) Textile Design work alongside those studying textiles at postgraduate level as well as students on the BA and MA Fashion Courses.

BA Textile Design runs for 90 weeks full time over three years, and is divided into three Levels (or Stages), each lasting 30 weeks. The whole degree course is credit-rated at 360 credits, with 120 credits at each Level (Stage).

Under the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications the Levels for a BA are: Level 4 (which is stage 1 of the course), Level 5 (Stage 2) and Level 6 (Stage 3).

There's a progression point at the end of each Level and, in order to progress, all units of the preceding Level must normally have been passed.

If you're unable to continue on the course a Certificate of Higher Education (Cert HE) will normally be offered following the successful completion of Level 4, or a Diploma in Higher Education following the successful completion of Level 5.

To gain a BA (Honours), students must successfully complete 360 credits. The final award consists of marks from Level 6 units only, weighted according to their credits.

Course outline

BA Textile Design has three specialist pathways - Knit, Print and Weave. Regardless of pathway, learning is student-centred with a focus on development of the individual. There's no set formula for success. You're expected to take responsibility for your own ideas and to become increasingly independent in your learning as you progress.

Main study - Stage One

Stage One introduces you to the three principal areas of print, weave and knit, and to areas of visual research.

In these first three terms you'll progress from introductory design workshops to a series of structured projects developing your research, drawing, colour, design and technical skills in two or three of the textile specialisms. You'll also explore digital and non-traditional approaches to design, structure and surface.

Main study - Stage Two

During this stage you'll do further research and begin to develop ideas into textiles and textile products. Your substantial research helps you to apply all the knowledge and skills you gained in the first year and to meet the challenges of turning your ideas into finite textiles or textile products.

Spring term marks the point where you begin to focus your studies on Knit, Print or Weave. The three specialisms have distinctive requirements and characteristics in terms of their subject knowledge. Aims and learning outcomes, however, are shared - they involve extending your professional and contextual knowledge of textile design for fashion, accessories, interior, exterior and product applications while continuing to develop your design experience and identity. You'll also continue to explore digital technologies and non-traditional approaches to design for structure and surface.

During this stage you'll be introduced to professional working practices in areas such as market research, range building and promotional presentation. And you'll continue to carry your own expertise and knowledge towards more independent judgment.

Main study - Stage Three

Your final year allows you to target strengths and weakness before embarking on your final degree project. You'll start developing your personal interests, focusing on designing textiles and surfaces for fashion, accessories, interior, exterior or product contexts.

The degree course's project-based structure is replaced increasingly by a more self-directed progress towards the realisation of your major project. With the support and guidance of academic and technical staff you'll develop your portfolio and collection towards the degree examination and public show.

Cultural Studies

The cultural studies programme is designed to enhance your communication, research, critical and writing skills. The discipline involves the study of cultural and creative processes, but goes beyond history and theory of art and design to encompass various aspects of cultural knowledge. In stage one and two you attend lectures and seminars on units relating to the city and creative culture, you explore key cultural concepts and choose from a range of elective choices such as art and fashion, postcolonialism, visual cultures, the body and sexuality. In the final stage of your degree you undertake dissertation research under the supervision of an assigned tutor who supports your research on a subject of your choice. It may be weighted at 20 or 40 credits. The dissertation is a written project where you explore an aspect of visual, textual material or spatial culture. There are many areas to explore in the cultural studies programme such as art, design, technology, concepts of taste, material culture, multiculturalism, identity politics, gender, consumerism, ethics, sustainability and media studies. 

Personal and Professional Development (PPD) helps to prepare you for employment and career development by providing you with skills to enable you to take responsibility for your own learning. The core study of Textile Design also helps develop many of these transferable skills, which play their part in equipping you for a professional career and the generic activities of creative practice.

PPD is integral to BA Textile Design and is embedded in many aspects of both the studio and cultural studies programmes as a planned part of their structure and learning content. PPD activities take place in all Stages of the degree course and aim to improve your capacity to understand what and how you are learning and to help you to review, plan and take responsibility for your own learning. A considerable number of the skills learned in the academic context of BA Textile Design have a wider value and use in other areas of life. These transferable skills are highly valued by employers.

Developing your skills - external activities

BA Textile Design maintains active collaborations with key cultural institutions, venues and commercial enterprises to introduce you to London's networks of creative practice.

Current collaborations include work with Gainsborough Silk Weaving Co Ltd, WGSN, Worshipful Company of Weavers, Ballantines, Gianfranco Ferré, Vanners. Polartec, Timothy Everest, Pure, Muraspec, Stoll, Anthropologie, Next and The Wellcome Trust.


Course Leader: Anne Marr

Weave Pathway Tutor: Philippa Brock
Knit Pathway Tutor: Theresa Rarer
Print Pathway Tutor: Jo Pierce
First Year Tutor: Linda Florence
Cultural Studies co-ordinator: Jane Tynan 

Technical Coordinator: Becky Wharmby 
Senior Dye and Digital Print Techinician: Tansy Hamley
2D Specialist Print Technician: Laura Baker 
Specialist Print and Dye Technician: June Fish
Specialist Technician for Constructed Textiles: Linsay Robinson
Specialist Weave Technician: Ayse Simsek


BA Textile Design graduates are equipped to pursue a wide range of careers as designers, designer-makers, researchers, buyers, stylists and illustrators.

They also work in concept and trend forecasting, in the theatre or in journalism, and are able to embrace a wide variety of opportunities presented by the global textiles and design industries. Many go on to postgraduate study.

The Course encourages a culture of ‘flexible specialists’ with a wide range of transferable design skills. Graduates have embarked into successful careers working with companies such as: Calvin Klein, Mark Fast, Alexander McQueen, Paul & Jo, Givenchy, Nissan Europe, Gainsborough, Vanners, Fiorette, Mascioni, H&M, Ford, Nokia, M&S, Ted Baker, Oasis, Dazed and Confused, Anthropology, Lyle & Scott, Liberty and others.

Recent BA Textile Design alumni activity demonstrates the breadth of student activity within the subject, with these names among others achieving prominence: Alice Temperley, Ptolemy Mann, Alex Gore Brown, Elaine Ng, Leutton&Postle, Sian Zheng Terence Coran, Lisa Stickly, Wallace & Sewell, Mary Katranzou.


Recent graduates have been awarded:

  • British Fashion Council Award
  • Vauxhall Fashion Scout Award
  • Texprint Colour, Pattern and Lululemon
  • Shortlisted for Designer of the Year 2013, Elle Decoration
  • TED Fellowship
  • Surface Design Award Finalist
  • Peter Collingwood Trust Award
  • Worshipful Company of Weavers Award
  • Worshipful Company of Framework, Knitters Award
  • Clothworkers’ Foundation Print Bursary
  • Clockpit Arts/ Clothworkers’ Foundation

Entry requirements

This degree course requires portfolio evidence

Entry to BA Textile Design is highly competitive. Selection is determined by the quality of the application, indicated primarily in your portfolio of work and written statements. A very high proportion of successful applicants complete a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design. Applicants are normally expected to have achieved, or be expected to achieve, the course entry requirements detailed below:

  • Foundation Studies in Art and Design
  • A pass in 1 GCE A level
  • Passes at GCSE level or equivalent in 3 subjects (grade C or above).


  • BTEC National Diploma
  • Passes at GCSE level or equivalent in 3 subjects (grade C or above).

This educational level may be demonstrated by possession of equivalent qualifications; e.g. International Baccalaureat or High School Diploma.

Applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered if the course team judges the application demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might be demonstrated by, for example: related academic or work experience; the quality of the personal statement; a strong academic or other professional reference; or a combination of these factors.

English language requirements

All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language you will be asked to provide evidence of your English language ability in order to apply for a visa, enrol, and start your course. The standard English language requirement for entry is IELTS 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in any one paper, or equivalent. For further information visit the English Language requirements page.

Applicants who will need a Tier 4 General Student Visa should check the Visa and Immigration page which provides important information about UK Border Agency (UKBA) requirements.

International applicants can download the International Application For Admission PDF below:

What we look for

We are looking for lively, energetic, committed, creative people who are hard-working and adaptable; those for whom fabrics, colour, pattern and form have a special fascination.

Selection criteria

Applicants are selected according to their demonstration of potential and current ability to:

  • Work imaginatively and creatively in two and three dimensional visual media
  • Engage with experimentation and invention
  • Show imagination and ambition in proposals for your work
  • Take informed risks

Demonstrate a range of skills and technical abilities

  • Through your portfolio, demonstrate a range of approaches to design development, material manipulation and sensitivity to colour riginated from personal experience or visual research and progressed through logical stages to a finished design solutions
  • Evidence of handling a material or medium with sensitivity to its qualities
  • Demonstrate engagement and improvement in a recently learned technical skill
  • Demonstrate an awareness of planning and time management skills

Provide evidence of intellectual enquiry within their work

  • Demonstrate relevant research
  • Evidence your ability to critically reflect and evaluate your achievements

Demonstrate cultural awareness and/or contextual framework of their work

  • Evidence an interest in contemporary art and design
  • Identify social and/or cultural influences on your work

Articulate and communicate intentions clearly

  • Discuss your work in individual and group situations
  • Present your work appropriately and effectively

Demonstrate commitment and motivation in relation to the subject and the degree course

  • Develop your own ideas and address both set and personal project briefs
  • Show willingness to collaborate
  • Show initiative

Portfolio and interview advice

Your portfolio should demonstrate creative development, whether for a college project or in your personal work. By creative development, we mean ideas that have originated through your own experience and research and progressed towards potential visual proposals. Ideas, visual research and experimentation are more important than finished design solutions and can be shown in two-dimensional work, or through material experimentation, three-dimensional manipulation and the production of models and maquettes. It is important that the creative work you include reflects and demonstrates your thinking, initiative and personal commitment to a particular project, theme or idea.

Both in your portfolio and at the interview we are interested in you as an individual, your personal interests, your creativity and initiative in finding out about your proposed area of study. We would also like to know about your favourite designers and artists, where you have seen their work at first hand and how you have acquired more information about the work that interests you.


2017/18 entry

Home / EU applicants

Apply to BA Textile Design through the University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) website. From the UCAS home page go to 'Apply', where you’ll be able to register and create a password that gives you unique access as you complete your application form.

The University UCAS code is UAL. The University code is U65. The course code is W235 BA/Texdes.

International applicants

If you are from outside the European Union, you have three options to apply for undergraduate courses:

  • Apply through UCAS. The deadline for equal consideration is 15 January
  • Apply directly to Central Saint Martins. Choose this option if you are only applying to undergraduate courses at UAL. (Application form below)
  • Apply through one of our overseas representatives.

Visit the undergraduate application page for full details of these options.

If applying direct to Central Saint Martins, please complete the form below and sent it along with copies of supporting documents (such as previous qualifications / references) by mail to: International Office, Central Saint Martins, The Granary Building, Granary Square, London, N1C 4AA, UK.

International Undergraduate application form [PDF, 185 KB]

Study Abroad

For information on applying to Study Abroad please visit the Study Abroad section.

We're here to help

Our website includes all the information you need to successfully apply. However, if you still have unanswered questions about the admissions process, please contact us by email:

The University has a dedicated team to help prepare you for your studies. For help on visa requirements, housing, tuition fees and language requirements visit the University's International section.

The Language Centre offers international students quality language training from qualified and experienced teachers. The Pre-sessional Academic English Programme is available to all international (non-EU) students who have been offered a place on a full time course at the University of the Arts. For further information visit the Language Centre website.

We also offer a number of short courses that enable students to improve their portfolios and English skills before applying to their chosen course. For further information visit our Short Course section.

Deferred entry

Entry can only be deferred in exceptional circumstances. Please contact us before submitting your application if you're considering applying for deferred entry.

What happens next?

Home/EU applicants

We read and consider all application forms and personal references. If you meet the entry requirements, you may then be invited to upload, as part of an initial selection process, a mini portfolio. If you are selected you will receive an email requesting this to be done by a deadline date.

Your mini portfolio should contain no more than 15 images in total of the following:

Primary and secondary research, ideas development and experimentation with a different range of materials, techniques and media as well as photographs of finished pieces.

Your work could be the result of set projects and self-initiated work. We like to see images from sketchbooks or notebooks, working drawings and 3D work.

Demonstrate your ability to tackle problems such as usability and viability and find inventive and creative solutions.

It is useful to organize your portfolio into categories to make it easier to view. Avoid repetition and demonstrate a wide range of your skills. The mini portfolio should comprise images of your best work showing your skills and thinking. It should include:

  • Drawings
  • Two and three-dimensional work including experimentation and development
  • Material, colour and design language
  • Inspiration and research material
  • A 200 word statement about the mini-portfolio

Following assessment of your mini-portfolio, you will either be invited to attend with a full portfolio or your application will be rejected. If you are based outside of the UK and unable to attend full portfolio review you may submit your portfolio by post.

If you are sending your portfolio by post you should send either a non-returnable A4 portfolio or a non-returnable USB documenting your recent progress and resolution of ideas. Work. Please refer to the portfolio advice above in preparing your postal portfolio, but also remembering:

  • The quality of the work is more important than the quantity.
  • Please supply title, media and dimensions of each piece, bottom left of the image.
  • Where possible, scan rather than photograph work. Large or 3-dimensional work should be photographed.
  • Please organise your work by project, with supporting work presented alongside final outcomes.
  • Make sure you label your A4 portfolio or USB with your name.

If presenting your work on USB:

  • All portfolio images should be arranged in a single PDF file
  • Individual images imported into PDF files should be no larger than 1024 x 768 pixels.

International applicants

When you have submitted your application you will be asked to upload a portfolio containing a number of images of your work for consideration.

Your portfolio should contain up to 30 images of artwork. Include images from sketchbooks, rough work and finished pieces. Show us the development of your ideas and your research and arrange the images so that the admissions tutors can easily follow how you developed your ideas from initial research through to the finished piece.

Receiving results of your application

If you applied through UCAS the result of your application will be communicated to you via UCAS track.

If you made a direct application, the result will be emailed or sent by post.

If you applied through one of our overseas representatives, they will tell you the result of your application.

Industry collaborations

Working with paying clients on live briefs will give you valuable commercial experience which may mean your work being taken forward for production or, if so desired, in the purchase of your intellectual property. All paid projects are conducted within a carefully developed legal framework, which includes student agreements to protect your work and help you realise its commercial value. 

Recent client projects in the Textiles and Jewellery programme include: Cool Diamonds | Swarovski | Nissan | Avakian | Topshop | Chow Tai Fook | Legle. Find out more about the Roche Bobois client project. 

Once you’ve graduated, you may be picked as part of a small team to work on a live creative brief, organised by our Business and Innovation department, under the supervision of an experienced tutor. This can be a valuable first step in working professionally in a chosen discipline and has resulted in graduates being hired by clients.

Enquire about this course

If you haven’t found the information you’re looking for or want to ask us a question about this course, please fill out our enquiry form.

Make an enquiry