Art & Design Degree Courses
Where art and imagination come to life

BA (Hons) Textile Design

A creative and broad-based textile and surface design degree that nurtures the future's creative, innovative and independent designers.

UCAS code: W231
Duration: 3 years full-time.

Entry requirements: 2 A-Levels and 3 GCSEs in other subjects grade 9-4 or A-C (or equivalent) plus a portfolio of work or audition to demonstrate ability in the specialist area.
1 A-Level, a Foundation course (or equivalent) and 3 GCSEs in other subjects grade 9-4 or A-C (or equivalent) plus a portfolio of work or audition to demonstrate ability in the specialist area.
English requirements: Applicants who have English as a second language and do not have a GCSE in English will be asked to present an IELTS UKVI certificate or equivalent as part of their offer conditions. They will need to achieve an overall score of 6.0, with 6.0 in the writing element and 5.5 in all other sub-elements.
Tuition Fee: £16,500

The assessment of your application will include a review of your grades, interview, portfolio/audition and any experience.

Course Information

Course Content

Course Content

In the first year, creative workshops will introduce you to core skills and techniques. These typically include design development, printed textiles, stitching, fabric manipulation, drawing, traditional and digital printmaking, and creative IT.

You will be encouraged to develop an exploratory and experimental approach to design underpinned by understanding contemporary issues such as sustainability, fabric knowledge, industry trends and extensive creative research.

Throughout the course, you will produce design solutions for various markets, including fashion textiles, interior fabrics and surfaces, stationery, gift and craft/art applications, before choosing your specialist pathway, culminating in your final major project.

You’ll be equipped with the skills required for employment, freelance work in the industry, or further study at the postgraduate level.

Teaching Method

Teaching Method

We use a variety of teaching methods, including: 

  • practical and creative studio-based workshops
  • discussions
  • lectures/seminars
  • tutorials
  • small group study
  • self-directed study
  • study trips

Key Features

Key Features

  • Tailor your degree to textiles for art, fashion or interiors in year three.
  • Take part in industry projects and work placements to gain hands-on experience.
  • Your own studio space to refine your design practice.
  • Open access to campus-wide facilities, including a textile print room, laser cutter, 3D craft workshop, pattern cutting tables, sewing workshop and photo studios

Course Structure

Year One

Unit 1

Unit 1: Research and Design Processes for Textiles

This unit covers research and design methods for textile design. You'll learn to investigate historical, theoretical, and contextual sources to generate creative ideas. The focus of the unit is developing strong research practices and exploring how they inform the design process. You'll learn drawing, visual communication, and material exploration techniques to explore colour, form, scale, texture, and pattern. You'll also develop reflective practice and critical analysis to support your personal and artistic development.

Unit 2

Unit 2: Materials & Methods

A range of workshops, demonstrations, discussions and learning activities including:

  • Technical inductions to textile processes
  • Introduction to fabrics, fibres and materials
  • Introduction to traditional and digital print processes
  • Introduction to how textiles can be applied to design contexts such as fashion, interiors, wider products etc. e.g.: scale, proportion, drape, engineered prints
  • Presentation skills – visualising outcomes
  • Designing through making
  • Evaluative and reflective skills to inform personal development

Unit 3

Unit 3: 2D and 3D Textiles

This unit encourages experimentation with 2D and 3D textile techniques, using digital technologies. You'll explore a range of materials and techniques, combining them to create increasingly complex textile outcomes. Research will inform your final designs, and you'll develop your presentation skills using IT software. Reflective practice, critical analysis, and self-assessment will support your personal development plan.


Unit 4: Ethical Values in Design

This unit focuses on design ethics in the fashion/textile industry including sustainability, waste, and closed-loop systems. You will develop research and technical skills to create ethical design solutions and investigate industry standards. You will reflect on your choices and demonstrate appropriate production and presentation skills.

Unit 5

Unit 5: Industry Design Practice

In this unit, you'll work on a simulated industry brief where you'll collate relevant information to expand your thinking and develop a collection of textiles. You'll have opportunities to collaborate with peers, expand your technical skills, and present your work with appropriate industry skills. Reflective practice, critical analysis, and self and peer assessment will support your progress.

Unit 6

Unit 6: Cultural and Contextual Studies

A series of sessions and workshops that form the basis of your understanding of theoretical frameworks, cultural, historical and social contexts from a design and creative perspective and begin to develop research and investigative skills. You will engage in discussions and debate, as you explore a range of topics and be asked to communicate your response through self-initiated research and critical examination.

Year Two

Unit 7

Unit 7: Industry/Competition Linked Project

This unit builds on skills and knowledge developed at level 4.  You will develop specialist skills within an industry-facing context (briefs set by industry or national/international competitions).
Imaginative visual research continues to form the basis of project work, which will be developed through design outcomes linked to either fashion or interiors. You will explore and develop your use of new media applications, and build digital skills in the production of textiles outcomes and presentation materials.
You will be encouraged to experiment and be inventive with materials, techniques and processes to explore innovative surface design outcomes in response to the set brief.
You should continue to explore industry trends and to continue to consider issues of sustainability and environmental impact.
Ongoing PDP will underpin all aspects of learning to support individual decision-making and progression.

Unit 8

Unit 8: Advanced Cultural and Contextual Studies

A series of sessions that continues to develop your understanding of theoretical frameworks, cultural, historical and social contexts. You will engage in discussions and debate, and be supported in the continued development of academic and research skills. You will engage in self-directed research and critical examination of a topic, presenting your response in an academic format.

Unit 9

Unit 9: Preparation for Work Placement

A range of workshops, demonstrations, discussions and learning activities including:

  • Development of professional, interpersonal and organisational skills
  • Building knowledge of appropriate industry contacts for use in selecting and targeting future career pathways
  • Equipping with essential skills in self-promotion, with particular attention to emerging self-promotion technologies
  • Development of technical design solutions communicated on digital platforms with a focus on business forums
  • Further development of technical skills, independently and/or collaboratively.
  • Essential skills in reflection and evaluation for personal development.

Unit 10

Unit 10: Optional Unit

This is an optional unit. You will choose to complete either part A or part B.

Unit 10a Work Placement
Unit 10b Industry Research and Report

Unit 11

Unit 11: Concept Development

A range of workshops, demonstrations, discussions and learning activities including:

  • Trend awareness and concept development
  • Colour prediction
  • CAD workshops: presentation
  • Bookbinding, presentation craft skills
  • Design industry ethics

Year Three

Unit 12

Unit 12: FMP: Design Concepts and Synthesis

This unit will inform and develop design concepts for the final major project (FMP).
In this project, you'll need to create a statement of intent that outlines your purpose and identifies the market level, customer and end use, as well as the core ethics and values that inform your design practice. You'll also need to engage in technical prototype testing through 2D and/or 3D investigation and sampling to produce technical and resolved design samples. Sourcing materials, trims, finishes, technical materials, and production methods are a part of practical problem-solving. Work produced in this unit will inform the second stage of the FMP and design work can be taken forward to produce lengths, objects, and artefacts.

Unit 13

Unit 13: Creative and Critical Research Project (Dissertation)

This unit supports a self-directed, detailed research examination of a topic, which takes the form of a critical investigation. An initial series of sessions will support you in your proposed choice of topic, which is then presented in the form of a proposal and includes an overview of research sources and resources that have informed your choice of research activity.
The second part of the unit will be carried out through self-directed research where you will critically investigate and form a response to a negotiated research area topic, supported by individual feedback and tutorials as the investigation is undertaken.
The final presentation of the results of the research will use academic convention in its layout and identification of research sources and include a detailed critical commentary offering a perspective of the research and investigation into the topic. The presentation style will be informed by the type of research undertaken could include a dissertation, report or case-study for example.
All submissions will be Harvard-referenced.
A formative presentation of a proposal for a detailed research investigation which includes:

  • Outline of proposed topic for investigation
  • Presentation of, not less, than 10 research sources to support investigation of topic
  • Identification of additional resources required in support of the research activity
  • Rationale in the choice of presentation style for the chosen topic to be investigated
  • Bibliography of research sources

Unit 14

Unit 14: Exit Portfolio and PDP

A range of workshops, demonstrations, discussions and learning activities including:

  • Portfolio development
  • CV Building
  • Awareness of opportunities for employment, education, funding streams and further training in the design sector
  • Interview techniques
  • Self-promotion and branding
  • Preparation for the transition from student to professional designer



Worthing Quicklinks

Northbrook is in the seaside town of Worthing, just a short train ride from the City of Brighton.
Northbrook College, in Worthing, is home to our creative arts degree programmes.
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