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Chelsea College of Arts

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MA Textile Design

Start date
October 2018
Course length
1 year (full time)

Course summary

Places available 2018/19

This course has places available for UK and EU applicants only. Applications have now closed for international students.

You can apply for this course via the ‘How to apply’ section on this page.

MA Textile Design at Chelsea College of Arts explores creative approaches to sustainable textiles and surface design.

A key feature of the course at Chelsea is the focus on the debate around environmental issues and the designer's role and responsibility in relation to these. We will encourage you to look at the selecting of raw materials, the impact of production and the product life cycle.

Course Leader Lorna Bircham talks about MA Textile Design at Chelsea.

Student work

MA Textile Design Stories

Course details

What you can expect

  • A studio-based, practice-led course. View our textiles workshops image gallery
  • Opportunities for developing and collaborating on pioneering work within the textile industry
  • Study to be underpinned by a supportive theoretical framework
  • Instruction in professional contemporary practice
  • Focus and debate on environmental issues. This will include looking at the designer’s role in acting responsibly to these
  • To develop through individual and group tutorials, workshops and online resources
  • Talks designed to introduce you to a range of visiting artists, designers and other practitioners
  • To have access to Chelsea's shared workshops. These include ceramics, casting, laser cutting, photography, an audio-visual editing suite, metal and woodwork. View the Chelsea facilities

Course units

  • Unit 1: Exploring and understanding research-led practice
  • Unit 2: Contextualising research-led practice
  • Unit 3: Realisation of research-led practice

Studio practice involves evolving and developing a personal programme of studio work and related research. Theoretical Studies provides a framework for students to develop a critical research paper, enabling them to locate their ideas and practice in relation to contemporary debate on cultural and theoretical issues.

Throughout the course students participate in individual and group tutorials, developing their skills through Personal Professional Development workshops and on-line resources while the postgraduate talks are organised that introduce them to a range of visiting artists and practitioners.

Learning and teaching methods

  • Exhibition tutorials
  • General theory forum lectures
  • Independent research
  • Individual and group tutorials
  • Research methodology workshops
  • Technical support and courses

Assessments methods

  • Essays, reports and dissertation
  • Final show examination
  • Peer assessment
  • Student self-evaluation
  • Tutorials and mid-year interim reviews


  • Lorna Bircham - Course Leader
  • Bridget Harvey
  • Sophie Gorton
  • Katherine May
  • Jane Murrow
  • Chetna Prajapati

How to apply

2018/19 entry

All applicants can apply for this course using our online application form.


Application deadline

The home / EU deadline is midday, Wednesday 29 August 2018.

This course is now closed to international applicants.

Further information about the application process

You will need to enter the following information in the online application form:

  • Personal details
  • Current and/or previous education and qualification details
  • Employment history
  • Personal statement
  • CV (curriculum vitae)

Once you have submitted the form you will be emailed a link to upload your portfolio (30 images).

The course leader will review your work, may invite you to interview, and will then make a decision on your application.

Entry requirements

  • BA (Hons) degree or equivalent academic qualifications
  • Alternative qualifications and experience will also be taken into consideration
  • Personal statement
  • Portfolio of work

English language requirements

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

Personal statement

This should be about 500 words long and include:

  • Your reasons for choosing the course
  • Your current creative practice and how this will help with your future plans
  • If you do not have any formal academic qualifications please describe your relevant education and experience

Portfolio advice

Portfolios should show the following:

  • A range of work and technical skills, which represent the complete design development process, from concept to final outcome
  • Examples of professional and or industry experience if appropriate
  • A concise portfolio which demonstrates a selective approach
  • An understanding of material qualities, which may be the basis of the research question

At interview and portfolio review

We look for:

  • The necessary textile specific skills to enable you to work independently on a research project
  • The ability to creatively formulate design development concepts and to clearly organise and present ideas
  • Evidence of engagement with the critical debate surrounding contemporary textile design practice and issues relating to sustainability

Fees & Funding

Home / EU fee

£9,500 (2018/19 fees).

International fee

£19,350 (2018/19 fees).

Course fees may be paid in instalments.

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.

Equivalent or Lower Qualification (ELQ) fee - Home / EU students whose chosen course is at a level equivalent to, or lower than, a qualification that they already hold, will be charged the fees shown above, plus an additional £1,100 ELQ fee. Students in receipt of Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs) are exempt from ELQ fees and will pay the original fee, regardless of the highest qualification held.


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

Scholarships and awards

Use our search tool to find out more about the scholarships and awards available to students.

Scholarship search

Careers and alumni

MA Textile Design graduates have gone on to careers as textiles practitioners and designer-makers either working with, or establishing their own, major and independent fashion labels.

Graduates have gone on to designing prints for Ralph Lauren in New York, working on sustainable craft design projects in India as well as in-house designer for Heritage Cashmere.

Other course alumni have gone on to freelance design work, interior product design or other industry related careers, while some go on to undertake further research.


  • Katie Jones Irving - Senior Print Designer, Abercrombie & Fitch
  • Print, Tuft and Fold - Zoe Beck, Claire Alderdice and Kim Bassett
  • Ichiro Suzuki - Menswear Designer

Find out how careers and employability helps our students and graduates start their careers.

Order a college guide



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