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BA (Hons) Textile Design

BA (Hons) Textile Design

Institution code: N39
Course UCAS code: W231
Course length: 3 years

Challenge conventional thinking about textile design. Work across disciplines and push boundaries through experimentation and the skilful use of technique and process on our BA (Hons) Textile Design degree course.

Learning from expert staff with an extensive range of skills in textile design and manufacture, you’ll also meet many of the leading practitioners from the contemporary textile industry.

You’ll be encouraged to build a network of professional contacts that are relevant to your areas of interest, while work placements, visits to design studios and exhibitions will broaden your experience and help you establish your future career as a textile designer.

Your textile design skills

Follow your creative and professional interests and build a comprehensive skills base in textile design throughout this undergraduate textile design course as you explore and master contemporary and traditional tools, techniques and approaches.

Experiment with print, dye, constructed textiles, drawing, laser cutting and digital design in workshops staffed by skilled technicians. Your studio space will provide the perfect environment to experiment as you develop your practice, building a portfolio of work relevant to the industry in which you want to work.

Your textile design future

As your skills evolve you’ll gain unique insight into the industry through lectures and workshops with guests like Orla Kiely, Sarah Angold (Sarah Angold Studio), Sally Ann Wood (Cath Kidston) and Margo Selby. Trips to studios and trade fairs in cities such as Paris and New York will expose you to diverse cultural perspectives and influences.

Opportunities for exposure at national and international showcases, contests and events during your degree will give your work a wider audience. In recent years, NUA Textile Design students have celebrated success at the Bradford Textile Society and i-dott Design Competitions.

Graduates work in a broad range of careers including

  • Textile Designer
  • Designer Maker
  • Pattern Designer
  • Product Designer
  • Buyer
  • Stylist
  • Materials Producer
  • Interior Designer
  • Researcher
  • Stationery Designer
  • Branding Executive
  • Conservator
  • Trend Forecaster
  • Weaver

You’ll also get specialist creative careers advice from our Careers Team in the Ideas FactoryNUA to help support you as you plan your career.

Course content

  • Year 1
  • Learn a variety of key skills, which may include screenprinting, weaving, hand and machine knitting and stitching, digital imaging and printing
  • Examine the history and theory of textiles, and associated aspects of design and culture
  • Develop your drawing, visual research and design development skills
  • Engage with the contemporary textile industry through lectures and seminars from a range of visiting lecturers, visits to trade shows and field trips.
  • Year 2
  • Broaden your understanding of traditional techniques and explore advanced applications of digital and CAD tools for design and manufacture
  • Examine contemporary textile design topics including ethical and sustainability issues
  • Collaborate with other students on projects exploring a variety of textile related contexts
  • Continue your engagement with the textile industry through placements, national competitions, visiting professionals and field trips.
  • Year 3
  • Undertake self-negotiated projects offering opportunities to showcase your design and technical skills
  • Develop a Research Report around a topic of your choice and underpinned by individual studio practice
  • Consolidate your professional portfolio of work and create promotional material targeted towards future employment and career opportunities.
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Typical UK offers

A / AS Levels – GCE
GCE A/AS Levels 3 A-level qualifications at grades BBB, at least one of which must be in an art, design or media related subject. Where candidates are not taking 3 A-levels, NUA will consider combinations of A-level/AS-level and other Level 3 qualifications.

BTEC Extended Diploma (QCF or RQF)
Distinction, Merit, Merit in an art, design or media related subject

UAL Extended Diploma

UAL Level 3 Foundation Diploma in Art and Design

UAL Level 4 Foundation Diploma in Art and Design

Foundation Diploma in Art and Design

Access to Higher Education Diploma (Art and Design)

International Baccalaureate Diploma
A minimum of 32 points

NUA welcomes applicants of all ages from all backgrounds. Your application will be primarily assessed through interview and portfolio review so even if you have no formal qualifications or do not meet our typical offers it can still be worth applying.

If you are studying at the time of your application and your interview is successful, it is likely that you will receive a conditional offer.

If the qualification that you are studying is not shown, do not worry as we are able to accept other pre-entry qualifications as well as combinations of different qualifications. Please do contact our Student Recruitment Team if you have any queries.

International applications

We accept qualifications from all over the world, to find our entry requirements from a specific country, please check our dedicated international pages.

Most international students are required to hold an English language qualification. Applicants are required to have a minimum UKVI approved IELTS exam score of 6.0 overall, with a minimum of 5.5 in each section. Equivalent English language qualifications are acceptable such as, IB English language syllabus A or B/English Literature (Grade 4).

You can email us on international@nua.ac.uk if you’d like to discuss your application individually.

BA (Hons) Textile Design degree portfolio guidance

Your interview

After you apply to study BA Textile Design at NUA we’ll invite you to an interview on campus or by skype or telephone, depending on your circumstance.

If you apply by the UCAS deadline of 15 January your interview will usually take place in February. We’ll ask you to prepare your portfolio ready to bring with you or submit online ahead of your interview.

Read our tips for interviews at NUA.

Your portfolio

This is your chance to show us what you’re all about. Choose pieces that reflect your creativity and personal interests, as well as demonstrating your technical skills.

How much work should I include?

Choose at least two projects that show the steps you took to develop an idea. This might mean you include experiments, drafts or variations that demonstrate the progression of a project from the earliest stages through to completion. Don’t worry if they’re not perfect drawings, paintings or renderings – we want to understand how you think during the creative process.

What type of work should I include?

Finished projects that you’re excited about! Remember, we’re interested in you. What motivates your choice in discipline? What shapes your creative identity? You can submit assessed projects and coursework, but we recommend including independent work where possible. Self-initiated projects showcase your ability to generate ideas and tell us more about you and your ambition.

Things to consider

Take your time choosing pieces for your portfolio

You should be confident and passionate talking about each piece. You may not be able to talk us through everything in your portfolio at the interview, so be sure to present the work in a logical way. Choose a layout that tells the story of each project and use a structure that gives a full picture of your creative practice.

Show us the full range of your creative experience and interests

Tell us about contemporary creatives that have influenced your practice. Exhibitions, shows or festivals that have inspired you or influenced your work. Competitions you’ve entered and prizes you’ve won. If you can, avoid too much repetition in style and subject matter.

Your portfolio should be relevant to the course you’re applying to, but you can include a wide range of work that shows your creativity, technical competence and understanding of space.

You may wish to include some of the following:

  • Drawings, painting and/or illustrations that demonstrate your skills, including life drawings, still life, images drawn from observing people and landscapes or from your imagination
  • Designs for surface, fashion, textiles and interiors
  • Accessory, jewellery or shoe design
  • Collages and mixed media
  • Models or sculptural work relevant to the subject, for example wallpaper or fashion garments, costume designs, installations, set or interior designs
  • Mood boards
  • Work created using Adobe Creative Suite or other appropriate design software package
  • Photography
  • Examples of experimental uses of fabric, colour, shape and styles
  • Examples of experiments with print making processes

Hardcopy portfolios

  • If you’re only submitting hardcopy materials you should aim to submit 20-30 pieces. Portfolios should be ring bound or loose boards between A4 and A1 in size.
  • Avoid using plastic sleeves whenever possible, especially when your work is tactile
  • Include 2-3 sketchbooks with the portfolio to demonstrate idea development, contextualisation and your work strategies.
  • Large, intricate or fragile pieces should be shown as good quality photographs.
  • If you’re submitting a showreel you should also present 10-15 images of other work (see digital portfolios guidance below).
  • Labels should be discreet, neat and used in a consistent manner for clear navigation.
  • Ensure your name is on the portfolio.

Digital portfolios

  • Include up to 30 images, including images from sketchbooks, research, experimental work and finished pieces.
  • If your work is of a tactile nature, think about how this might be compensated in digital submissions. This could include close-up photographs, suitable sketches, anecdotes on your process and outcomes
  • If you’re presenting a showreel, your work should be no longer than five minutes, but you can include 10-15 accompanying images.
  • Ensure photographs and scans are in focus and in large enough format to see clearly.
  • Digital work should be presented on an online platform such as your own website, Tumblr, Flickr, Prezi, MeMyArt, YouTube, Vimeo or a personal blog. The link should then be submitted through the Applicant Portal or by emailing the relevant address below.
  • Ensure your digital portfolio is accessible before you arrive for interview, as your interviewer will load it in advance of the interview.
  • UK and EU applicants should send their link to admissions@nua.ac.uk
  • Non-EU and EEA applicants should send their link to international@nua.ac.uk

Written submission

As part of your offer you may be asked to submit a piece of written work in addition to your application, usually after your interview.

Typically an essay, report or completed log of between 500 and 1,000 words, your submission should demonstrate your ability to think critically, make informed analysis and communicate confidently in a subject area related to your proposed course of study.       

Fees and Funding

The cost of your course is determined by your status as either ‘UK/EU’ or ‘International’, so it’s important to check your fee status. If you’re unsure, the UKCISA website will help you determine whether you’re eligible to pay a UK/EU fee (also called a ‘home’ fee). If you’d prefer to speak to NUA directly, please contact student.finance@nua.ac.uk

UK/EU students are eligible for a tuition fee loan from the UK government, meaning you won’t have to pay your fees up front. Further details about tuition fee loans are provided below. International students are not eligible for the UK government tuition fee loan.

2018/19 Tuition Fees For New Entrants

Citizen status



UK/EU nationality

Undergraduate degree (full-time three and four year degree)


International (non-EU)

Undergraduate degree (full-time three and four year degree)


Fees will remain the same for each year of your course. 

International students

Find out more about 2018 fees for international students and the support available.

Financial support for UK/EU students in 2018

Tuition fee loans and loans for living costs are available, as well as non-repayable NUA bursaries that take into account family income. Find how to apply for funding.

Tuition Fee Loan for Undergraduate study

Tuition fee loans are available for UK and EU students.

  • Available to cover the full cost of your tuition
  • You don’t have to pay for your course up front yourself
  • Only start paying back when you are earning over £25,000 per year

Maintenance Loan for Undergraduate study – 2018/19

Student Maintenance Loans are available for UK and eligible EU students to help with living costs such as accommodation, food, clothes, travel and course expenses. The amount students receive is dependent on household income and any maintenance grant received.

  • A loan of up to £8,700 may be available if you live away from home.
  • A loan of up to £7,324 may be available if you live with your parents.

How can you find out more?

To learn more about loans, repayment calculations and other financial support, visit Student Finance. If you have any questions about fees, please email student.finance@nua.ac.uk


Find out about scholarship programmes available to NUA applicants.


NUA offers bursaries to new students whose household income is £42,875 or less.

NUA alumni, staff and feeder staff discount

All NUA alumni are eligible for a £1,000 discount on NUA postgraduate degree fees. All NUA staff and staff from feeder institutions are eligible for a £500 discount on NUA postgraduate degree fees.


photo of alum Brandon Tan leaning over a desk and holding a spoon and smiling at camera with swept black hair and a denim buttoned shirt in a design studio with white walls and a window

Brandon Tan

"Clocking-up hours in the workshops is absolutely essential. From the beginning of the first year, having hands-on workshop experience has been the best way for me to develop new skills but also make mistakes, learn from them and have fun."

BA (Hons) Textile Design

Portrait photo of alum Ches Young smiling at camera with long hair and patterned long sleeved top

Ches Young

"Our workshops give you more confidence, insights and understanding of materials, colour theory and market audience – it’s prepared me for what to expect in industry."

BA (Hons) Textile Design

portrait photo of alum Lillie Turner smiling at camera with medium tied back hair and a white loose neck top

Lillie Turner

"The course doesn’t pin you down to one specialism, I can experiment in knit, weave, print and digital outcomes. I love the freedom I have to explore my practice."

BA (Hons) Textile Design

portrait photo of alum Michael Bartley smiling at camera with curly hair and blue and yellow striped jumper

Michael Bartley

"Having supportive tutors on the course has enabled me to push my practice further and I’ve become much more confident with my drawing and Photoshop skills."

BA (Hons) Textile Design


  • Sarah Angold

  • William Crisp

  • Jane Eastwood

  • Robert Hume

  • John Macaulay

  • Louise Richardson

  • Daniel Harris (Visiting Lecturer)

    London Cloth Company
  • Lucy Keeler (Visiting Lecturer)

    Director/owner at Keeler Gordon

Need help? Chat to our friendly recruitment team

Book a place on an Open Day, or to find out more about how to apply for a course at NUA, please contact Lynne, Sam, Tom, or Tori:

Call: +44 (0) 1603 610561

Email: studentrecruitment@nua.ac.uk

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