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Postgraduate

MA Textile Design

Close up shot of moulded shapes in a variety of pastel colours
Archontoula Tsatsoulaki.,
MA Textile Design, Chelsea College of Arts, UAL
College
Chelsea College of Arts
Start date
September 2023
Course length
15 months (full time)

MA Textile Design at Chelsea College of Arts is underpinned by sustainable and responsible approaches to design.

Course overview

MA Textile Design at Chelsea is focussed on sustainable and socially responsible design. It aims to inspire you to be architects of future design practice. The content and structure of the course supports you to explore, contextualise and deeply embed creative approaches to sustainable design into your research and practice. You will place yourself at the heart of debates around environmental and societal issues and the changing roles and responsibilities of the designer in relation to these.

The course offers you an opportunity to explore a broad range of textile design contexts and possibilities in relation to your future ambition. You will look at how you can make a positive impact and help to shape the future of the industry through research and textile design practice.

You will explore key strands of textiles such as:

  • Circular design systems and product lifecycles
  • Environmental processes and impacts of sourcing
  • Production and use of materials
  • Technical and scientific innovations
  • Patterns of consumption and behavioural change
  • New approaches to user-centred design
  • Social impacts and ethical labour
  • Community engagement and environmental issues
  • Designer as activist

What to expect

  • A research-led and practice-based course, underpinned by critical design thinking, where the textile studio is the creative heart of the course’s design community, a forum for discussion, study and collaboration and presentation
  • A range of learning opportunities that are informed by current and emerging debates and professional practice in the field of sustainable design futures
  • Online teaching activities which include seminars, workshops, group and individual tutorials as well as peer presentations and briefings
  • On campus self-directed learning time and teaching including workshops, community building activities
  • A course which places an emphasis on each student’s Major Project Proposal, which underpins your learning journey and spans the whole course. You will write your own project brief during the first term of the course, through a process of examination and exploration of your research and design interests
  • The Centre for Circular Design (CCD) is a research unit based at Chelsea whose focus investigates materials, models and mindsets for a circular economy and the role designers play in sustainable futures. CCD principles are firmly embedded within the course ethos
  • Smaller projects and opportunities which entail collaborative peer-learning.
  • Opportunities to engage in national and international competitions each year
  • A learning context that offers you the opportunity  to develop the skills you need to become a confident, agile designer who can embrace and embed sustainable and responsible design thinking  into your creative practice
  • To advance your knowledge and understanding of current and emergent textile design issues and debates taking account of local and global contexts
  • Opportunities for the development of transferable and professional skills relevant to employment and further study
  • Design research methodologies

Mode of study

MA Textile Design is offered in full-time mode and runs for 45 weeks over 15 months. You will be expected to commit an average of 40 hours per week to your course, including teaching hours and independent study.

Contact us

Register your interest to receive information and updates about studying at UAL.

Contact us to make an enquiry.

Course units

Unit 1 - Exploring and understanding research-led textile design practice

This unit is an introduction to your course, the college and the university.

  • Online inductions to learning resources and workshops
  • To explore research and practical methodologies for developing an integrated approach to theory and practice
  • To explore key strands of sustainability and socially responsible design and thinking to support you to define a direction for your research-led creative practice and develop a Major Project Proposal

Unit 2 - Contextualising research-led textile design practice

This unit is about situating your work relative to socially responsible design contexts and other practitioners.

  • To refine and develop your Major Project Proposal
  • To define a clear direction for your practice and writing
  • To produce practice based developmental work and a 2000 word Critical Research Paper written document
  • To take part in a postgraduate design school collaborative activity

Unit 3 - Realisation of research-led textile design practice

The final unit of the course will focus on the realisation of your Major Project.

  • To demonstrate how you have developed your practice as a model for exploring and reflecting on contextual and theoretical perspectives
  • To present work in the postgraduate design school event
  • To submit a final design outcome with supporting developmental design work

And either:

Option A (default option) - 3000-5000 word Critical Research Paper.

Or

Option B (by negotiation only) - 6,000-8,000 word Critical Research Paper.

Note: 120 Credits must be passed before the final unit is undertaken.

Learning and teaching methods

  • Independent research
  • Individual and group tutorials
  • Peer presentations
  • Research methodology workshops
  • Seminars
  • Talks and lectures
  • Technical introductions

Student work

  • Chelsea-College-of-Arts-MA-Textile-Design-EMMA-MCGINN-2.jpg
    Emma McGinn
    , Chelsea College of Arts, UAL | Photograph: Chelsea College of Arts.
  • Chelsea-College-of-Arts-MA-Textile-Design-XIAOHAN-LIU-2.jpg
    Xiaohan Liu
    , Chelsea College of Arts, UAL | Photograph: Chelsea College of Arts.
  • Chelsea-College-of-Arts-MA-Textile-Design-SARA-KELLY.jpg
    Sara Kelly
    , Chelsea College of Arts, UAL | Photograph: Chelsea College of Arts
  • Chelsea-College-of-Arts-MA-Textile-Design-ZIYI-FANG.jpg
    Ziyi Fang
    , Chelsea College of Arts, UAL | Photograph: Chelsea College of Arts

Staff

  • Bine Roth - Course Leader
  • Bridget Harvey
  • Sophie Gorton
  • Katherine May
  • Chetna Prajapati

Fees and funding

Home fee

£12,700

This fee is correct for 2023/24 entry and is subject to change for 2024/25 entry.

Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students on courses lasting more than one year. For this course, you can pay tuition fees in instalments.

Home fees are currently charged to UK nationals and UK residents who meet the rules. However, the rules are complex. Find out more about our tuition fees and determining your fee status.

International fee

£25,970

This fee is correct for 2023/24 entry and is subject to change for 2024/25 entry.

Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students on courses lasting more than one year. For this course, you can pay tuition fees in instalments.

Students from countries outside of the UK will generally be charged international fees. The rules are complex so read more about tuition fees and determining your fee status.

Scholarship search

Entry requirements

The standard minimum entry requirements for this course are: 

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

Entry to this course will also be determined by the quality of your application, looking primarily at your portfolio of work and personal statement.

APEL - Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning 

Applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered in exceptional cases. The course team will consider each application that demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might, for example, be demonstrated by: 

  • Related academic or work experience
  • The quality of the personal statement
  • A strong academic or other professional reference
  • A combination of these factors 

Each application will be considered on its own merit but we cannot guarantee an offer in each case. 

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: 

Selection criteria

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 

Apply now

Apply

Home students apply by direct application.

Apply

Personal statement

This should be about 500 words long and include:

  • Your reasons for choosing the course.
  • Your current creative practice and how this course will help you achieve your future plans.
  • Any relevant education and experience, especially if you do not have any formal academic qualifications.

Portfolio advice

  • A maximum of 30 images or other files showing 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.

For more support, please visit our Portfolio advice page and PebblePad advice page.

Video task

  • We'd like you to submit a 2-3 minute video to help us learn more about you
  • Please speak clearly in English and face the camera
  • Your video task is submitted along with your portfolio. Read our guidance for how to submit your video task and which file types we accept.

As part of your video task please respond to the following direction:

Describe your practice and explain how your work will challenge the field of textile design.

What happens next

Communicating with you

After you’ve submitted your application, you’ll receive a confirmation email providing you with your login details for the UAL Portal. We’ll use this portal to contact you to request any additional information, including inviting you to upload documents or book an interview, so please check it regularly.

Initial application check and selection

We check your application to see if you meet the standard entry requirements for the course. If you do, you will be invited to submit a digital portfolio through UAL’s online portfolio review system. These will be reviewed by the academic team.

Following the review of the digital portfolio, a small number of applicants will progress to the interview stage. All interviews are held online and last 15 to 20 minutes. For support with your interview, visit our Interview tips page.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

You will receive the final outcome of your application through the UAL portal.

Applicants for this course may be given an alternative offer. This decision will be based on our assessment of your creative and potential interests.

Feedback requests:

If you would like to request feedback please contact us through the UAL Portal using the Contact Us button in your My Application(s) tab.

Deferring your place

Read our Admissions Policy for details, and request your deferral by contacting us through the UAL Portal using the Contact Us button in your My Application(s) tab.

Transfers

If you are currently studying at another institution and if you have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units/modules on your current postgraduate course and wish to continue your studies at Chelsea College of Arts, you can apply to transfer. The Admissions Tutor will consider applications on a case by case basis, subject to places being available. You must apply directly to the course via the course webpage as early as possible. Please check our Student Transfer Policy for more important information and be ready to provide us with your current course handbook and transcripts.

Please be ready to provide an official document (translated into English if necessary) from your current university, explaining the learning outcomes of the units you have completed.

Application deadline

19 December 2022 and 3 April 2023

For postgraduate courses at UAL there are 2 rounds of applications. This is to ensure equal consideration and fairness for all of our applicants. You must apply for 19 December 2022 for Round 1 or by 3 April 2023 for Round 2.

The round 1 deadline has been changed to 19 December to give you more time to make your application.

When you'll hear from us

If this course requires a digital portfolio as part of the application process, we will contact you to invite you to submit this through UAL’s online submission tool, PebblePad. For Round 1 applications, you will need to submit your portfolio by 9 January 2023 at the latest and by 20 April 2023 for Round 2.

This course receives a high volume of applications. We need to make sure that we give all applications equal consideration, so the course team will review them in 2 rounds, after each application deadline date. This means you won’t hear from us about the outcome of your application until after the relevant application deadline date. Outcomes for Round 1 will be released by (at the latest) end of March and outcomes for Round 2 will be released by end of June 2023.

Remember to check the outcome of your application in the UAL Portal. If you apply in Round 1 and don’t hear back from us, we will consider your application within Round 2.

Find out more about what happens after you apply.

Apply

There are 2 ways international students can apply to a postgraduate course:

Apply

Read our immigration and visa information to find out if you need a visa to study at UAL.

You can only apply to the same course once per year. Any duplicate applications will be withdrawn. Read the UAL international application advice for further information on how to apply.

Personal statement

This should be about 500 words long and include:

  • Your reasons for choosing the course.
  • Your current creative practice and how this course will help you achieve your future plans.
  • Any relevant education and experience, especially if you do not have any formal academic qualifications.

Portfolio advice

  • A maximum of 30 images or other files showing 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.

For more support, please visit our Portfolio advice page and PebblePad advice page.

Video task

  • We'd like you to submit a 2-3 minute video to help us learn more about you
  • Please speak clearly in English and face the camera
  • Your video task is submitted along with your portfolio. Read our guidance for how to submit your video task and which file types we accept.

As part of your video task please respond to the following direction:

Describe your practice and explain how your work will challenge the field of textile design.

What happens next

Communicating with you

After you’ve submitted your application, you’ll receive a confirmation email providing you with your login details for the UAL Portal. We’ll use this portal to contact you to request any additional information, including inviting you to upload documents or book an interview, so please check it regularly.

Initial application check and selection

We check your application to see if you meet the standard entry requirements for the course. If you do, you will be invited to submit a digital portfolio through UAL’s online portfolio review system. These will be reviewed by the academic team.

Following the review of the digital portfolio, a small number of applicants will progress to the interview stage. All interviews are held online and last 15 to 20 minutes. For support with your interview, visit our Interview tips page.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

You will receive the final outcome of your application through the UAL portal.

Applicants for this course may be given an alternative offer. This decision will be based on our assessment of your creative and potential interests.

Feedback requests:

If you would like to request feedback please contact us through the UAL Portal using the Contact Us button in your My Application(s) tab.

Deferring your place

Read our Admissions Policy for details, and request your deferral by contacting us through the UAL Portal using the Contact Us button in your My Application(s) tab.

Transfers

If you are currently studying at another institution and if you have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units/modules on your current postgraduate course and wish to continue your studies at Chelsea College of Arts, you can apply to transfer. The Admissions Tutor will consider applications on a case by case basis, subject to places being available. You must apply directly to the course via the course webpage as early as possible. Please check our Student Transfer Policy for more important information and be ready to provide us with your current course handbook and transcripts.

Please be ready to provide an official document (translated into English if necessary) from your current university, explaining the learning outcomes of the units you have completed.

Application deadline

19 December 2022 and 3 April 2023

For postgraduate courses at UAL there are 2 rounds of applications. This is to ensure equal consideration and fairness for all of our applicants. You must apply for 19 December 2022 for Round 1 or by 3 April 2023 for Round 2.

We recommend you submit your application as early as possible before these deadlines to allow the Admissions team to resolve any initial queries about your application as quickly as possible.

When you'll hear from us

This course receives a high volume of applications. We need to make sure that we give all applications equal consideration, so the course team will review them in two rounds. This means that offers won’t be sent to successful applicants until after the relevant application deadline date. Outcomes for Round 1 will be released by 31 March 2022 and outcomes for Round 2 will be released by 30 June 2022.

Remember to check the outcome of your application in the UAL Portal. If you apply in Round 1 and don’t hear back from us, we will consider your application within Round 2.

Find out more about what happens after you apply.

Careers

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.

Alumni

  • 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.