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Chelsea College of Arts

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BA (Hons) Textile Design

Start date
September 2018
Course length
3 years
UCAS code

Course summary

Applications now closed
Applications for 2018/19 entry to this course have now closed.

BA Textile Design at Chelsea College of Arts wants you to take an experimental and creative approach to textile design.

You will gain colour, design and materials knowledge within textile print, knit, stitch or weave. Through fashion, sustainability, interior and exterior design projects you will develop ideas and conceptual thinking. The course encourages a studio culture to develop alongside specialist textile workshops.

Student work

Molly Smisko.

Andrew Illman.

Amy Bairstow.

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Course details

What you can expect

  • To explore a variety of textile areas. These include design for digital print, dyeing, knit, screen print, stitch and mixed media textiles. There is also digital embroidery and weave including digital Jacquard
  • To develop your visual research skills and idea generation for design
  • To gain and improve your technical skills
  • To have support from leading practitioners in textile design
  • A critical theory programme that helps you to consider your design practice within broad social, cultural, environmental and historical contexts
  • To gain vital commercial experience through live projects. In the past we have worked with Burberry, Chinese Design Centre, Gainsborough Silks, H&M, Indesign, Iberoamericano University (Mexico), Latitude Festival,, Marks & Spencer, Wallace Collection and trend forecasting company WGSN
  • The opportunity to apply to attend international trade fairs. Students have exhibited at Première Vision Designs, part of Première Vision, Paris
  • To be able to take part in an exchange to another institution. Students have been to Berlin, Borås, Kyoto, Paris, Stockholm and Tokyo. The course also has relationships with some American colleges. These include the Fashion Institute of Technology, Parsons the New School for Design and Rhode Island School of Design
  • To have access to course specific specialist facilities. There is a print and dye lab and digital print computer suite. We also have workshops for stitch, digital embroidery, knit and weave.
  • To have access to Chelsea's shared workshops. These include ceramics, casting, laser cutting, photography, audio-visual editing suite, metal and woodwork. View the Chelsea facilities

Follow the course on Instagram - BA Textile Design

Course units

Year 1

  • 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 2

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

Year 3

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


  • Caryn Simonson - Course Leader
  • Lisa Bloomer
  • Melanie Bowles
  • Isabel Dodd
  • Morna Laing
  • Julia Pines
  • Kathy Round
  • Tomoko Yamanaka

Visiting Staff

  • Claire Angel
  • John Bently
  • Claudia Catzeflis
  • Nick Dunn
  • Sophia Fenlon
  • Kate Goldsworthy
  • Cassi Hill
  • Georgina Hodson
  • Chetna Prajapati
  • Ellen Sampson
  • Dr Jelena Stojkovic
  • Sian Weston

How to apply

Applications for 2018/19 entry for this course are now closed. Applications for 2019/20 entry will open in Autumn 2018.

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

  • University code - U65
  • UCAS course code - W231

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

Following your UCAS application to this course all home / EU applicants will be invited to choose a date for a selection event.

What is a selection event?

A selection event is similar to an interview. You will be expected to bring your portfolio, which will be reviewed by course teams. The event will also give you a chance to meet current students, take a tour of the college and see the facilities.

More details about your selection event will be emailed to you once you have chosen your selection event date.

This course does not accept entry into year 2.

Applications for 2018/19 entry for this course are now closed. Applications for 2019/20 entry will open in Autumn 2018.

There are 3 ways international students can apply to an undergraduate course at Chelsea College of Arts:

Find out more information about applying through UCAS.

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

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

This course does not accept entry into year 2.

Study Abroad

Through the Study Abroad programme international students can apply to join an undergraduate course.

For information on how to apply visit the Study Abroad section.

Entry requirements

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

The standard minimum entry requirements for this course are:

  • A Level - 2 A levels grade C or above
  • or Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art and Design (Level 3 or 4)
  • or Pass, Pass, Pass at BTEC Extended Diploma
  • or Pass at UAL Extended Diploma
  • or Access to Higher Education Diploma
  • or Equivalent EU or non-EU qualifications. For example - International Baccalaureate Diploma pass achieved at 24 points or above
  • and 3 GCSE passes grade C or above

We will also consider 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.

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:

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

Deferred entry

This course will give consideration to deferred entry application.

Fees & Funding

Home / EU fee

£9,250 (2018/19 fees).

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.

International fee

£19,350 (2018/19 fees).

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.

Scholarships and awards

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

Scholarship search

Careers and alumni

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.


  • Yemi Awosile - Textile designer
  • 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
  • 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

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

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