Undergraduate study
Textile Design (with Foundation Year)

Textile Design (with Foundation Year)
BA (Hons)


Course overview

Textile designers have a fascination for material, fabric, pattern and colour. Textile design at Teesside University immerses you in pattern making and design for fashion, furnishings, interiors, accessories and other decorative products including new innovative technologies such as interactive and intelligent fabrics. This course includes an integrated foundation year for you if you don’t have the appropriate subjects or grades for direct entry to Year 1 of the degree.

You can complete an optional work placement year as part of this degree course at no extra cost.

You exploit long-established synergies within design at Teesside utilising expertise in product development, decorative arts and graphic image making. You approach projects creatively embedding core skills, critical reflection and evaluation, and professional self-awareness in a broad and dynamic learning experience.

This programme encourages independent learning in a professional, creative manner. Through designing, making and evaluating textiles across the fields of fashion, interiors, surface decoration and many other decorative arts, you develop practical skills, creative judgement and professional confidence. On this degree course your personal studio work offers the chance for experimentation, building your self-reliance and enthusiasm for the expanding field of textile design.

Browse our final-year students’ work during their Design Degree Show 2018.


Course details

Key modules and themes include:

  • Visual studies
  • Pattern making and design processes
  • Colour theory for textiles
  • Print skills
  • Fabric construction skills (knit and constructed textiles)
  • CAD for textiles
  • Cultural and contextual studies
  • PDP – studio visits, entrepreneurship, high-profile visiting speakers
  • Live projects, mentoring and facilitation from industry specialists and practitioners

In Year 0 you explore the fundamental skills of design through drawing, mark-making and three dimensional workshop practices. You begin to experience the creative process and gain knowledge of art and design history and contexts.

In Year 1 you are able to experience the fundamental skills, processes and practices of textile design. You are introduced to workshop practices and experience many different forms of surface and fabric manipulation grounded in the fundamental tenets of drawing and observation.

During Year 2 you develop a distinctive body of work through your selection of project briefs. Here you are exposed to projects that look at different outcomes including fashion fabrics, furnishing fabric, surface decoration and other decorative forms. You further develop your knowledge, strengths, professional and management skills, and apply your ideas and processes to more complex creative projects with live and industry-focused projects.

In Year 3 the emphasis is placed firmly on developing your professional portfolio and future career aspirations. You are able to negotiate your own project themes and focus on the field of textile design that you feel exploits your skills and potential.

Course structure

Year 0 (foundation year) core modules

Contextual Studies

You are introduced to the contexts of creative and design history, investigating problem solving and themes to inform your current studio practice. You research and learn to analyse ideas about past British and international styles, design and theory. This develops your understanding of the role of the designer, the meanings and vocabulary of space and design, and the relationship between design, society and the environment. You develop skills in research, analysis, communication and critical thinking, and produce and present interpretations of historical material.

Final Project

Building on your skills in the design process, you develop a project portfolio directed towards your favoured design discipline, demonstrating your creative ideas, development and final concepts. You are encouraged to take a questioning, creative and innovative approach to design project work. You focus on experimental exploration, as well as challenging your ability to motivate and organise yourself to manage a design project and work to a deadline. This project culminates with a short presentation of your completed design work.

Orientation: Thinking through Drawing

You are introduced to a range of fundamental drawing approaches for a variety of purposes. Practical workshops include measured drawing, scale, composition and perspective as well as creatively using colour, materials and expressive mark making. These experiences increase your observational skills that help you visualise and realise ideas for potential design projects.

Orientation: Thinking through Making

You further develop and deepen your knowledge gained from the induction programmes, enhancing your skills in model construction, prototyping, printmaking, and production analysis. You gain greater insight into the complexities of model construction and printmaking by working in detail with various materials, developing techniques and creative skills. This module is project-based – you transfer your knowledge from lectures to hands-on demonstrations in a workshop environment. You primarily learn through producing models and prints from drawings.

Pathway Stage - Specialism Project

You take part in a range of specialist studio activities. You investigate, experiment and explore pathways in fashion, textiles, graphics, interiors and product design. You study creative processes and develop independent project skills to help identify the specialist subject which best suits your interests and abilities.

Research and Analysis - Sketchbooks and Research

You are introduced to the creative design process and methods of researching and recording inspirational ideas which you can then develop for your own project work. You gather inspiration, stimuli and precedent ideas from a multitude of sources and sketchbooks – these are key in developing and experimenting your design, helping you curate ideas and document your design activity.


Year 1 core modules

Contextual Studies

Covering the period from the late 17th century to the present day you look at how the evolution of culture through industrialisation, technological change, social movement and political transformation has informed the changing face of fashion and textiles. You examine key changes, movements and issues that have changed the landscape of fashion, textiles and the fashion retail environment.

Design and Make 1

Textile Design Project 1 allows you to interpret design briefs within the textiles fields of both design for apparel and homewares. Design studio practice takes you through some of the important landmarks in developing a personal print and pattern proposal such as understanding the brief, research, reporting trends, generating concepts, developing designs, creating samples and presenting final concepts.

You advance your textile production skills developed in Technical Rotation 1, applying them within a design scenario. You experience the interrelationship and dynamic created between designing and making textile samples, applying ideas to a product and presenting a cohesive package of work.

Professional Skills 1

This module helps you apply creative ideas and innovative methods to turn ideas into action. You explore and investigate fashion and textiles as a space for innovating, experimenting and initiating inspiration arising from guided workshops and interventions – these instil the notation of creative thinking as applying creative ideas that are not limited by current thinking or beliefs. This module explores the concept of the studio as the iterative lab through active and experiential learning.

This module introduces you to key skills within the design and creative project planning process including research, trends analysis, critical and visual evaluation, and digital processes, equipment and the fundamentals of key software applications used in the fashion and textiles industry. You develop technical knowledge across a range of platforms with the potential for visualising and generating creative ideas, research and storyboarding, developing designs, managing projects and presentations.

Professional Skills 2

Following on from Professional Skills 1 you develop a range of skills that include being able to communicate clearly and effectively to different audiences (both orally and in writing), making an effective contribution as a member of a team, working independently or on your own initiative when required, tackling problems without all the necessary knowledge, understanding ethics and how ethical considerations underpin all professional processes within fashion and textiles, locating information and assessing its usefulness, making efficient and effective use of the latest information technology within a unified specific guided project. You also learn to assess your own performance – recognising and building on your strengths, identifying and improving your weaknesses.

In this module, key skills are explicitly developed and assessed by means of a series of learning activities. You need to use different skills while also learning key aspects of your chosen subject.

Textile Design Skills 1

The key skills to be developed in any textile practitioner are expression and communication – through drawing, works on paper and the diverse range of techniques and processes using multimedia techniques. You explore and experiment with textile manufacture using a hands-on, workshop-based approach. You also explore the discipline of drawing and visual analysis for exploratory processes in two dimensions and low relief. In turn and through interpretation, this will lead you to find your signature in the textile works you produce.

You begin to keep a regular sketchbook and draw in large and small formats. Beginning with black and white dry media such as pencil and charcoal, this module advances to using coloured media and wet techniques in watercolour and gouache. You are introduced to technical and visual experimentation which allows you to combine a number of processes together, innovating and discovering new practices.

Textile Design Skills 2

This module builds on skills learnt in the module Textile Design Skills 1 and further develops your expression and communication through drawing, works on paper and a diverse range of techniques and processes.

The discipline associated to this activity leads you to find your signature in the textile works you produce. You use experimental and non-standard drawing and mark-making techniques. Textile and drawing skills are delivered in craft-driven workshop sessions. You observe studio-based demonstrations by academics and technical support staff, where each technique is introduced before your independent exploration.

Technical experimentation allows you to combine a number of processes together, allowing you to innovate and discover new practices. You learn skills from a traditional viewpoint as the basis for further exploration allowing you to understand the boundaries of each textile technique.


Year 2 core modules

Commercial Opportunity

Developing your awareness of commercial design and real-world scenarios, this module enables you to explore textile design using an externally set brief. This may take the form of a live brief from a company or manufacturer, a design competition such as from The Royal Society of Arts or a unique brief set by an external body. You develop a personal response to the brief by first thoroughly analysing the requirements and then by research, creating mood boards, analysing and forecasting trends, developing visual studies, developing designs and producing final solutions. You experience the demands of working within the schedules of a professional textile scenario.

Contemporary Issues

You examine professional practices, knowledge, attitudes and understanding required to successfully compete in the contemporary fashion and textiles industries through an understanding of the macro perspective on global trends and future thinking in fashion and retail.

You develop contemporary themes from the fashion and textiles theory and examine issues of fashion as identity, economic shifts and change, omni channel retailing the individual, social and gender identity, representation, the 'erotic', consumption and clothing as communication.

You extend your skills in research, analysis, critical reading and thinking, independent study and communication as you investigate topics for your assignment work. You are encouraged to develop a high standard of written and oral communication skills in preparation for employment or further career development.

Design and Make 2

This module provides you with an understanding of the processes, methods of working and design communication involved in producing textile proposals for either a clothing, homeware or stationery collection. You negotiate a personal identified field of specialism within textile and print design which brings together visual realisation, design development, sample manufacture and presentation skills. You translate initial ideas into finished design proposals, and are exposed to textile and print design from concept to completion in your selected market and area of specialism.

Illustration and Digital Technology

This module extends your emerging experience of digital processes associated to designing on screen, and explores the important interrelatedness between drawing and CAD for the textiles specialist. You digitise original works on paper and motifs for creating repeat patterns, developing them into realistic formats in preparation for outputs such as digital printing and laser cutting.

You use industry-standard software to enhance and improve your professional visualisations, research boards, mood and trend board, and presentation pieces. You will also use important imaging, drawing, illustration and presentation software such as Photoshop, illustrator and InDesign.

Professional Skills: Entrepreneurship

You examine the enterprise agenda and the transitional process from study to entrepreneurial career goals and aspirations required to turn your business and commercial ideas into reality. You look into consolidation of business, management and marketing theories and strategies and applying this knowledge to your business and career goals and the production of a commercial real world scenario.

You look at professional practice and career development and encompass a range of skills including identification of opportunities, developing teams for project implementation, project planning and management, self and practice promotion, advanced verbal presentation skills and leadership abilities to dispel the notion of the cult of the creative genius through the realisation of strategic planning and analysis. You carry out self reflection so you can develop and enhance your learning and recognise and consider effective strategies for personal achievement. Individual portfolio reviews and a variety of class and VLE based exercises will be used to help you enhance your personal and educational development.

Technical Skills: Specialism

Covering a specialist range of digital and technical skills and processes relevant to the textiles specialist, you explore the commercial practices of making and producing textiles samples. Delivered using studio and workshop-based sessions, you are encouraged to actively participate in producing a personal, largely machine-manufactured textile design portfolio with a fashion, interior design or designer maker focus. You use research skills by referencing the work of professional and commercial designers in relation to digital outputs, applications, and machine and hand-craft processes.


Final-year core modules

Design and Make 3: Final Collection

This module extends your technical excellence and application of textile and print design within a defined aspect of the market. Whilst working towards creating a final collection of work for your portfolio, you develop your own personal interests and negotiate a personal programme of study. You are encouraged to develop a questioning, creative and innovative approach to textiles, focussing on conceptual and experimental exploration.

The module culminates with the presentation of your design work in a graduate show, preparing you for advancement into the professional field.

Dissertation for Textile Design

This module focuses on independent research on a topic of personal interest within the broad field of textile design, encouraging in-depth understanding through research and critical analysis. You develop the ability to present logical, balanced and supported arguments in written form. Formative feedback is given through individual tutorials and tutor-facilitated peer-led seminars relating to agreed areas of study, including research aims, structure and plan, research sources and literature, theories and context, and progress to date. Summative assessment is through a dissertation, a PowerPoint illustrated essay or journal, or an editorial piece on an agreed subject.

Professional Practice: Making Yourself Visible

Due to the dynamic and continuous evolution of the creative and cultural industries, you can expect to experience a broad range of employment opportunities upon graduation. The identification of, and knowledge relating to these opportunities is essential.

This module highlights opportunities for enterprise and collaborative working within the creative fields, supporting you to initiate employment opportunities, target individuals, creative bodies and companies to aid you in your goals.

Technical Skills: Advanced

This module allows you to continue to specialise in an advanced textile skill or technique. A hands-on, skills based module this allows for specialisation and expertise within a defined area of the practice of textiles.

You develop your chosen technique or process using specialist equipment and taking a fashion, interior design or designer maker focus. You research, develop and produce highly finished textile outcomes which relate your particular areas of interest, technique and market.


Year 3 optional placement year

Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

You have access to a full range of digital resources and workshop facilities. Up-to-date equipment and processes support the studio environment. Independent and student-centred learning is encouraged in addition to taught sessions with staff. Theoretical work is delivered through illustrated lectures and seminars where you have collective discussions with other students.

The work produced is the work assessed; there are no examinations and the production of design projects is a key feature. Assessment is undertaken against carefully defined criteria and project-based assignments involve a critique. The critique is a reflective process allowing for both staff and peer group appraisal.

How you are assessed

Our Disability Services team helps students with additional needs resulting from disabilities such as sensory impairment or learning difficulties such as dyslexia
Find out more about our disability services

Find out more about financial support
Find out more about our course related costs


Entry requirements

Entry requirements

A typical offer is 32-88 tariff points from any combination of recognised Level 3 qualifications or equivalent.

Offers will be made on the basis of your UCAS application, portfolio of work and interview for selected applicants.

Applicants are normally invited for interview and will be asked to submit a portfolio of work which will be reviewed during the interview. The interview is to determine each applicant’s potential to succeed and help set appropriate entry conditions matched to your personal circumstances and the demands of the course. The interview also enables you to see our excellent facilities, meet staff and students.
We encourage applicants to attend an interview, but if you are unable to attend we may consider your application based on your portfolio of work which you will be required to submit electronically.

English language and maths requirement
Entry to a degree programme requires you to have a good command of spoken and written English and numeracy skills. Normally GCSE English language and maths at grade C, or 4 under the new grading system. Key Skills Level 2 may be used in lieu of GCSE English and mathematics.
Non-EU international students who need a student visa to study in the UK should check our web pages on UKVI-compliant English language requirements. The University also provides pre-sessional English language courses if you do not meet the minimum English language requirement.

Alternative progression routes
If you are not eligible to join this course directly then we may be able to help you prepare for admission by studying appropriate pre-degree Summer University modules.
Please contact us to discuss the alternative progression routes available to you.

Unconditional offer scheme
You may be eligible for an unconditional place on this course if you already have at least five GCSEs at grade C or above (minimum 4 in the new grading scheme), including English language and mathematics, any combination of Level 3 qualifications and a good portfolio of work.

Please contact our admissions team to check your eligibility. 

Mature applicants
We welcome applications from mature students (aged over 21) who can demonstrate, through portfolio/written work and relevant experience, that they have developed cognitive and technical skills through their life experiences.

For additional information please see the entry requirements in our admissions section

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country

You can gain considerable knowledge from work, volunteering and life. Under recognition of prior learning (RPL) you may be awarded credit for this which can be credited towards the course you want to study.
Find out more about RPL



Career opportunities

Professional connections to industry include international London fashion PR agencies, international fashion media, publishing, on-schedule designers, high street design studios, fashion business agencies and key advocates of the industry.

The starting salary for a textile designer is between £15,000 and £20,000 a year. More experienced designers could earn around £28,000 a year. A senior designer or design director may earn in excess of £40,000 a year. The salary of a freelance designer will depend on their workload and the market level they design for.

Graduates have a wide range of employability opportunities ranging from freelance designers working with international studios and agents to studio designers within production capacity including fashion, furnishing textiles, floor coverings, surface pattern for interiors and wall coverings, illustration, greetings cards, freelance artists, trends, forecasting, design consultancy.

Work placement

We produce graduates with the problem-solving and leadership skills necessary to forge successful careers.

This programme allows you to spend an optional year - in-between your second year and final year - learning and developing your skills through work experience. You have a dedicated work placement officer and the University's award-winning careers service to help you with applying for a placement. Advice is also available on job hunting and networking. Employers are often invited to our School to meet you and present you with opportunities for work placements.

By taking a work placement year you gain experience favoured by graduate recruiters and develop your technical skillset. You also obtain the transferable skills required in any professional environment. Transferable skills include communication, negotiation, teamwork, leadership, organisation, confidence, self-reliance, problem-solving, being able to work under pressure, and commercial awareness.

Throughout this programme, you get to know prospective employers and extend your professional network. An increasing number of employers view a placement as a year-long interview and, as a result, placements are increasingly becoming an essential part of an organisation's pre-selection strategy in their graduate recruitment process.

Potential benefits from completing a work placement year include:

  • improved job prospects
  • enhanced employment skills and improved career progression opportunities
  • a higher starting salary than your full-time counterparts
  • a better degree classification
  • a richer CV
  • a year's salary before completing your degree
  • experience of workplace culture
  • the opportunity to design and base your final-year project within a working environment.



Entry to 2018/19 academic year

Fee for UK/EU applicants
£9,250 a year

More details about our fees

Fee for non UK/EU applicants
Find out more

What is included in your tuition fee?

  • Length: 4 years (including a foundation year) or 5 years with additional work placement year
  • UCAS code: W237 BA/TDFY
  • Typical offer: Offers are tailored to individual circumstances

Apply online (full-time) through UCAS



  • Not available part-time

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