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BA (Hons) Textile Design

Start date
October 2020
Course length
Three years full-time or four years full-time with Diploma in Professional Studies
UCAS code

Apply to start in October 2020

This course has places available for UK and EU applicants only. We are no longer accepting applications from international students for 2020/21 entry to this course.

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, we are unable to say at this point if places will become available before the autumn intake. Please check this page regularly as places may become available later in the cycle and if they do, we will reopen applications.

Read our Guide to applying for a course starting this October. For a full list of UAL courses open for 2020/21 entry, visit the Courses with places available page.

Coronavirus updates

If you're thinking about applying, or you've applied for a pre-degree or undergraduate course starting in 2020/21, see guidance for prospective students during the Coronavirus outbreak.

Across three specialist pathways BA Textile Design explores traditional, digital and experimental approaches to textile design.

Specialising in Print, Knit or Weave, you will maximise your potential by developing an individual design philosophy, informed by historical, cultural, technical and sustainable knowledge. This course is part of the Jewellery, Textiles and Materials programme.

Why choose this course at Central Saint Martins

  • Successful alumni: Our notable graduates include Kangan Arora, Alex Gore Browne, Mary Katranzou, Derek Lawlor, Ptolemy Mann, Alice Temperley, Wallace & Sewell and Wool and the Gang.
  • Industry opportunities: Industry collaborations on the course have included work with Anthropologie, the British Library, DAKS, Dashing Tweeds, Edun, Gainsborough, Lego, Pink, Swarovski, Vanners, Vlisco, the Wellcome Trust and WGSN. The College and course team also have a range of international industrial links. These provide live projects, sponsorship and media coverage. They can also offer you an initial network of contacts.
  • Diverse careers: Our graduates have gone on to work in a variety of roles. These include designers, designer-makers, researchers, buyers, stylists, illustrators, concept and trend forecasters and journalists. Many also go on to postgraduate study.
  • Diagnostic pathway structure: You will have the chance to study two or three of the specialist areas of Print, Knit and Weave. This allows you to gradually learn which suits your talents best, before you decide which of them to study in depth.

Open days

The next round of open days will take place from October to November 2020, please check back here by mid September 2020 to book online.

Scholarships, awards and funding

Mead Scholarships and Fellowships
Fung Scholarships
Clothworkers’ Foundation Materials Fund
The Clothworkers Foundation Print Bursary

Swarovski Conscious Design Hub

Learn more about the partnership with Swarovski, and student approaches to sustainability and conscious design

Talking textile careers: Nadia Ricketts, Founder of Beatwoven
Talking textile careers: Sian Zeng, Founder of Sian Zeng London
Talking textile careers: Derek Lawlor, Designer
Edun capsule collection project
Caroline Broadhead talks about the Jewellery and Textiles Programme

Student work

Course catalogues

BA Textile Design stories

What is it like to live with Parkinson's?

A cross-disciplinary collaboration, Patterns of Perception aims to help us better understand life lived with Parkinson's. In this ongoing project, a group of individuals with Parkinson’s collaborated with practitioners from Central Saint Martins

Material matters

What does a sustainable material revolution look like? Billie Coxhead, Co-ordinator of the Materials and Products Collection, talks through some recent acquisitions from algae blooms and bacteria to abattoir waste.

Designing Alternatives

We talk to Elissa Brunato, a recent MA Material Futures graduate exhibiting in Designing in Turbulent Times, about designing an alternative sequin

BA Textile Design on Instagram


Course overview

Textiles are all around us – in what we wear, in the products and surfaces in our home, work, leisure and travel environments. In the current industry climate, rich with innovation and collaboration, the future of textiles has never been so exciting. Now, graduates need to be more ingenious than ever. They must be able to embrace the opportunities presented by constant changes in media and technologies. They also need to address the growing demand for sustainable practice and responsible design.  

BA Textile Design will teach you how to thrive within this complex working environment. You will be introduced to a wide range of professional contexts and the skills they demand. This will be addressed through project work, technical workshops and the professional practices and research of the staff team. You will also benefit from a programme of cultural studies, careers and business awareness, as well as the expertise of visiting speakers. 

The course offers three pathways: Print, Knit and Weave. These are taught alongside digital, non-traditional and sustainable approaches to textile design, concept creation and presentation. You will also have access to workshops in alternative surface treatments, media and technologies. During your first year, you will study two or three pathways to learn which most suits you. Early in your second year, you will select one to study in depth, with help from the staff team. By specialising at this stage in the course, we will encourage you to become an expert but flexible designer.  

BA Textile Design will encourage you to engage with different contexts, materials and technologies, to give a rich, diverse design education. This approach provides a broad basis of experience and an awareness of the totality of textile practice. The course will maximise your creative and intellectual potential, exploring your own creative identity alongside learning professional and practical skills. You will have the opportunity to work with students from BA and MA FashionBA Jewellery DesignMA Material Futures and MA Biodesign. You will also have the opportunity to enjoy College-wide, multidisciplinary events throughout your studies. 

Course units

Stage 1 

Unit 1: Textiles: Introduction to Study in Higher Education
Unit 2: Investigation, Exploration and Process 
Unit 3: Research, Concept, Design and Communication 
Unit 4: Cultural Histories and Theories (Textiles) 

Stage 1 begins by introducing you to the three principal areas of Print, Knit and Weave, alongside visual research and colour skills. You will build design development skills and will be introduced to experimental ways of working and thinking. By developing collections of designs and fabrics, exploring two of the pathways in more depth, you will learn specialist processes associated with each area. This will help you to form the beginning of your own design direction. 

Stage 2 

Unit 5: Research Methods and Approaches (Textiles) 
Unit 6: Speculation, Fabrication, Visualisation and Professional Context  
Unit 7: Textile Design Experimentation and Innovation  
Unit 8: Design, Context and Professional Development

During Stage 2 you will develop your research, practical and critical skills and focus your specialist interests and design strengths. Spring term marks the point where you begin to focus your studies on Print, Knit or Weave. Projects in this stage place a strong emphasis on personal expression, risk-taking and professional context. During this stage you will develop your professional and employability skills. 

Stage 3 

Unit 9: Major Project Research and Development: Identity, Proposal and Context 
Unit 10: Dissertation 
Unit 11: Major Project: Realisation and Presentation

Stage 3 allows you to push and refine the skills you have learnt so far. You will focus your personal design direction, developing innovative and resolved outcomes for a more focused design context. From the spring term, you will concentrate on your degree collection. For the dissertation unit, you are free to choose an area of study within art, design, media or popular culture. 

Cultural studies 

An important part of the course is cultural studies. This offers a range of ideas, skills and learning resources to analyse objects, images, spaces and practices in art, design, popular and media culture. Here you also work with students from other courses.  

Cultural studies takes place in Stages 1, 2 and 3. You will explore key research methods and approaches. These include topics such as visual culture, material culture, social identity, modernity and postmodernity, consumption and taste, design activism, ethics and sustainability, race and the postcolonial, gender and sexuality.  
Cultural studies enhances communication skills and provides a deeper understanding of the social and political contexts for creative work in design. The research and communication skills you will acquire in this part of the course are key skills expected of graduates.  

Diploma in Professional Studies 

Between Stage 2 and Stage 3 of the course there is an option to take a year out and complete a Diploma in Professional Studies. This separate qualification (rated at 120 credits) involves researching, undertaking and reflecting on a 20-week (minimum) placement/s related to your professional interests and aspirations. The Diploma provides a valuable opportunity to make professional contacts and to develop your personal employability skills.  

Exchange opportunities 

Students enrolled on this course have the opportunity to spend time studying outside of the UK at a partner institution. Studying overseas provides students with the chance to experience a new culture. It also allows for an alternative perspective on your course’s subject discipline and different learning and teaching methods. The application process for these opportunities is competitive. Alongside this, the course is actively engaged in the University’s Study Abroad scheme, with the incoming international students bringing an important additional dynamic to the course.  

Mode of study 

BA Textile Design runs for 90 weeks in full-time mode. It is divided into 3 stages over 3 academic years. Each stage lasts 30 weeks.   

You will be expected to commit 40 hours per week to study.   

Credit and award requirements 

The course is credit-rated at 360 credits, with 120 credits at each stage (level).  

On successfully completing the course, you will gain a Bachelor of Arts with Honours (BA Hons degree).  

Under the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications the stages for a BA are: Stage 1 (Level 4), Stage 2 (Level 5) and Stage 3 (Level 6). In order to progress to the next stage, all units of the preceding stage must normally be passed: 120 credits must be achieved in each stage. The classification of the award will be derived from the marks of units in Stages 2 and 3 or only Stage 3, using a dual algorithm.  

If you are unable to continue on the course, a Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE) will normally be offered following the successful completion of Level 4 (or 120 credits), or a Diploma in Higher Education (DipHE) following the successful completion of Level 5 (or 240 credits). 

Learning and teaching methods

The primary means of learning is through studio practice. This is supported by: 

  • Workshop and studio tuition 
  • Project work 
  • Interdisciplinary group and teamwork 
  • Briefing documents and briefing meetings 
  • Seminars, lectures or studio talks 
  • Presentations, group or peer critiques 
  • Studio demonstrations 
  • Field study visits 
  • Peer learning and feedback 
  • Independent study 
  • Self-evaluation, individual and group tutorials. 

Assessment methods

  • Project outcomes  
  • Oral and visual presentations 
  • Portfolio reviews 
  • Essays, written assignments, reports, dissertation 
  • Self-evaluation 


Anne  Marr

Anne Marr

Programme Director, Jewellery and Textiles; Joint Course Leader, BA Textile Design

Caitlin  Hinshelwood

Caitlin Hinshelwood

Joint BA Textile Design Course Leader

Philippa  Brock

Philippa Brock

Woven Textile Pathway Leader, BA Textile Design

Theresa  Rarer

Theresa Rarer

Knitted Textiles Pathway Leader, BA Textile Design

Joanna Pierce

Pathway Leader Print

Kangan  Arora

Kangan Arora

Lecturer in Textile and Jewellery Design, BA Textile Design

First Year Tutor: Linda Florence (Maternity cover: Derek Lawlor)
Cultural Studies Co-ordinator: Dr Jane Tynan
Technical Coordinator: Becky Wharmby 
Senior Dye and Digital Print Technician: 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

How to apply

Opportunities for all

We are committed to making university education an achievable option for a wider range of people and to supporting all of our students in achieving their potential both during and after their courses.

We welcome applications from people with disabilities. If you have a disability (e.g. mobility difficulties, sensory impairments, medical or mental health conditions or Asperger’s syndrome) we strongly encourage you to contact us on or +44 (0)20 7514 6156 so that we can plan the right support for you. All enquiries are treated confidentially. To find out more, visit our Disability & Dyslexia webpages.

Entry requirements

The standard entry requirements for this course are as follows:

120 UCAS tariff points which can be made up of one or a combination of the following accepted full Level 3 qualifications:

  • Three A Levels at grades ABC (at least one subject must include Art, Art and Design or Design and Technology)
  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art and Design (Level 3 or 4) and one A Level at grade C or above
  • Distinction, Merit, Merit at BTEC Extended Diploma (preferred subjects include Art, Art and Design or Design and Technology)
  • Merit at UAL Extended Diploma
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma equivalent to 120 UCAS tariff points (preferred subjects include Art, Art and Design or Design and Technology)
  • Or equivalent EU/international qualifications, such as International Baccalaureate Diploma

And three GCSE passes at grade 4 or above (grade A*–C).

Entry to this course will also be determined by assessment of your portfolio. A very high proportion of successful applicants complete a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design.

APEL - Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning

Exceptionally applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered. 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

Or a combination of these factors.

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

English language requirements

IELTS score of 6.0 or above, with at least 5.5 in reading, writing, listening and speaking (please check our main English language requirements webpage).

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
  • Originate ideas from personal experience or visual research and progressed through logical stages to finished design solutions
  • Evidence of handling a material or medium with sensitivity to its qualities
  • Demonstrate an awareness of planning and time management skills.

Provide evidence of intellectual enquiry within your work:

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

Demonstrate cultural awareness and/or contextual framework of your 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 course:

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

What we are looking for

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

Making your application

Please note, this course has places available for UK and EU applicants only for 2020/21 entry. Applications for 2021/22 entry will open in Autumn 2020.

You should apply though Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) and you will need the following information:

University code:          U65

UCAS Code:                 W235


If you have successfully completed 120 credits (year 1) or 240 credits (years 1 and 2) in the equivalent units/modules on a degree course at another institution and wish to continue your studies at Central Saint Martins, you can apply to transfer to year 2 or year 3 respectively.  The Admissions Tutor will consider applications for entry to year 2 or 3 on a case by case basis, subject to places being available on the course.  You must apply through UCAS and indicate POE 2 for entry to year 2 or POE 3 for entry to year 3 on your application. Click here for important information about our UAL External Student Transfer Policy .

Deferred Entry

Central Saint Martins does not accept applications for deferred entry. You should therefore apply in the year you wish to study.

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by 15 January 2020 for equal consideration.  However this course will consider applications after that date, subject to places being available.

We are no longer accepting applications from international students for 2020/21 entry to this course.

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, we are unable to say at this point if places will become available before the autumn intake. Please check this page regularly as places may become available later in the cycle and if they do, we will reopen applications.

Applications for 2021/22 entry will open in Autumn 2020.

There are three ways international students can apply to an undergraduate course at Central Saint Martins:

  • Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) online application system
  • One of our official representatives in your country
  • A direct application.

You can only apply to the same course once per year whether you are applying via UCAS, UAL representative or using the UAL online application system. Any duplicate applications will be withdrawn.

If you are applying via UCAS you will need the following information:

University code:          U65

UCAS Code:                 W235

External Student Transfer Policy

If you are currently studying at another institution and if you have successfully completed 120 credits (year 1) or 240 credits (years 1 and 2) in the equivalent units/modules on a degree course and wish to continue your studies at Central Saint Martins, you can apply to transfer to year 2 or year 3 respectively. The Admissions Tutor will consider applicants for entry to year 2 and 3 on a case by case basis, subject to places being available on the course. You must apply through UCAS and indicate POE 2 for entry to year 2 or POE 3 for entry to year 3 on your application. Further information can be found in our UAL External Student Transfer Policy.

Deferred entry

Central Saint Martins does not accept applications for deferred entry. You should therefore apply in the year you wish to study.

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by 15 January 2020 for equal consideration. However this course will consider applications after that date, subject to places being available.

Immigration history check

Whether you are applying online via UCAS or through a UAL representative or direct application you will need to complete an immigration history check to establish whether you are eligible to study at UAL.  If you do not complete the check we will not be able to proceed with your application.

After you apply

Communicating with you

After you have successfully submitted your application, you will receive an email confirming we have successfully received your application and providing you with your login details for the UAL Portal.  We will request any additional information from you, including inviting you to upload documents / portfolio / book an interview, through the portal. You should check your UAL Portal regularly for any important updates and requests.

What happens next

Initial application check

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 mini portfolio through UAL’s online portfolio review system.

Mini portfolio

The mini portfolio should be no more than 10 pages comprising of your best work showing your skills and thinking. You can create the pages in any layout (For example: presentation boards) but they should be uploaded as jpeg images. It should include:

  • Sketching
  • 2D and 3D work including experimentation and development
  • Material and Media manipulation
  • Inspiration and research material
  • Demonstration of textile techniques and skills.

Following the review of the mini portfolio we select a small number of applicants to move on to the next stage of the process.  These applicants will be invited to a full portfolio review.

Full portfolio review – Home / EU applicants

If you have been selected you will be asked to choose a time to attend a full portfolio review at college.  Reviews include an interview and are likely to take place in the weeks beginning 17 February and 24 February, 2020.

Full portfolio review – International applicants

International applicants will be invited from January to March, 2020.

If you are unable to attend the full portfolio review in person, you will be asked to submit a FULL digital portfolio (up to 30 pages) through UAL’s online portfolio review system.  We may also interview you by Skype.

Please note that we do not accept portfolios by post.

Portfolio advice

Your full portfolio should demonstrate the following:

  • 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 and 3D manipulation
  • 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.

Please remember:

  • The quality of the work is more important than the quantity
  • Where possible, large or 3D work should be photographed and scanned
  • Please organise your work by project, with supporting work presented alongside final outcomes.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

You will receive the final outcome of your application through UCAS track.

Fees & Funding

Home/EU fee

£9,250 (2020/21).

Tuition fees for undergraduate degree courses have been set at £9,250 per year for full-time study. This applies from the 2018/19 academic year, subject to changes in the law. 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

£22,920 (2020/21).

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

There are a number of scholarships and awards available to students on this course. Use our search tool to find out more information.

Scholarship search

Careers and alumni

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

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