Our Textile Design BA course gives you the opportunity to experience broad textile specialist skills combined with design and industry awareness. You’ll get to explore your ambitions and skills, testing career aspirations in five focused teaching pathways, which will prepare you for graduation and beyond.
Guided and encouraged by an experienced teaching team engaged in textiles practice, you will investigate drawing as well as key areas of woven and knitted textiles, embroidery, printed textiles and surface design, exploring experimental textiles and colour techniques.
A lecture / seminar programme provides you with knowledge of historic textiles and supports your own research and critical thinking skills.
In your second year, you explore textiles in relation to international industry and the broad career opportunities open to you as you learn to design in relation to the five career-focused teaching pathways:
You will study market and client awareness, trends in both fashion and interior design sectors, commercial considerations with industry-facing projects and a professional experience module, and engage with business principles, ethics and sustainability issues. We also have an optional international study visit. In the third year you continue with your personal design pathway, creating a professional portfolio of design work and engaging in personal contextual research.
Our unique Next Step module prepares you and your graduate profile to bridge the gap between study and industry, whether as a designer maker, a trend Consultant, visual merchandiser, studio designer or in another relevant role.
On successful completion of the degree you will be awarded a BA (Hons) in Textile Design: Cross-Disciplinary Practice.
"Throughout the course we've learnt a variety of skills both creative and transferable. To open our minds and really 'think outside the box' is at the heart of our design work. Through our placements we undertook on the course, we have become more prepared and experienced and ready to adapt to working life and to reach the highest level of professionalism we wouldn't have acheived otherwise." Holly Lloyd Williams, Kerry Jaldevi, Pirintha Jeyarajah
* Please note this course has changed name for 2017/18. The KIS data below relates to the previous course title.
Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.
Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:
The content of this course has been refreshed and updated to make sure you graduate with the skills employers need in an ever-changing job market.
Our quality control experts are currently reviewing the content and we anticipate receiving formal approval shortly.
We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.
In addition to qualifications, applicants will also need a good portfolio.
|UK Qualification||Requirements 2017/18|
|GCE A Level/ AS Level||BBC at A-Level or 112 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A-Levels|
|Access to Higher Education Diploma||Pass overall with 60 credits, 45 at Level 3 and 15 at Level 2. Must be in a relevant subject pathway|
|BTEC National Diploma (12-units not including early years)||D*D* or combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 112 UCAS points|
|BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units not including early years)||DMM - 112 UCAS points|
|BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/ National Award (6-units not including early years)||D* or combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 112 UCAS points|
|BTEC Diploma in Foundation Studies in Art and Design||Distinction|
|International Baccalaureate Diploma||14 points overall|
|Irish Leaving Certificate||112 UCAS points - Higher Levels|
|Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher||112 UCAS points|
|Welsh Baccalaureate (core plus options)||Grade Pass plus grades CC at A-Level (or equivalent qualifications) combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 112 UCAS points|
|If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.
Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.
|EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications||Requirements 2017/18|
|IELTS||Non English speakers require IELTS 6.0|
|International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses).||14 points overall
Country-specific entry requirements and qualifications.
International students who cannot meet the direct entry requirements can begin their degree studies at Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC).
If you're considering applying for this course to start in September 2017 onwards, it's important to know that the UCAS tariff system is changing.
UCAS tariff points – the points system most universities use to compare different qualifications – will be introducing a new system on how points are calculated.
From A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels
You will be able to access printing and materials at subsidised costs and may need to purchase your own small tools. There are additional costs for national and international field trips, if you participate in these.
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2017||FT||3 years||£9,250 per year||Apply via UCAS|
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2017||FT||3 years||£12,000 per year|
If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.
The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.
UK and EU students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.
The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.
There are three ways to apply:
You will need to complete our International Application Form and submit it together with scan copies of your original academic transcripts and certificates.
Our in-country representatives can help you make your application and apply for a visa. They can also offer advice on travel, living in the UK and studying abroad.
If you are applying for an undergraduate degree or a Higher National Diploma (HND), you can apply through the UK’s Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).
You can request a printed form from your school or nearest British Council office. You will be charged for applying through UCAS. Birmingham City University’s UCAS code is B25 BCITY.
Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.
Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:
Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?
If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.
Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.
Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.
eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.
You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.
Get more information on writing personal statements.
Our courses include activities such as performance, exhibitions, field trips and production of works or artefacts which may require you to purchase specific equipment, instruments, books, materials, hire of venues and accommodation, or other items. Many of these activities are essential and compulsory parts of your learning experience.
The link below gives you an estimate of the possible costs associated with key activities on specific courses. Please bear in mind that these are only estimates of costs based on past student experience and feedback. The actual costs could vary considerably (either greater or lower than these estimates) depending on your choices as you progress through the course.
All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.
To support your design studies you will have access to our fabulous textile workshops, kitted out with both traditional and digital, industry standard industry-standard equipment, including jacquard looms, computerised sewing machines, silkscreen and digital printer facilities, and dye labs.
There are further workshops onsite at Parkside Building, that incorporate that our students regularly use including photographic studios, 3D workshops, a printmaking workshop and CAD suites, all helping to shape your individual style and working methods.
Whether you’ve not started yet, or just making final tweaks, we’ve got advice from students and experts on how to nail your personal statement by 15 January. You can download a free checklist too!
We offer further information on possible undergraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.
Guided and encouraged by an experienced teaching team, engaged in current research or practice, and through workshop experiences supported by e-learning, you investigate key areas of constructed textiles, embroidery, printed textiles and surface design before following your own specialist route in the first year of the course.
Visual Ideas For Design
This introduces students to the initial stages of the design process, focusing on the importance of original image generation and self-expression. Students will explore diverse approaches to generating visual information and apply this to begin to build design compositions.
This module introduces students to four core design processes: print, weave, knit and embroidery, through extended workshop technical delivery and personal creative expression through making. There will be a strong focus on materiality and fabric properties, which will be related and applied to a specific context.
Textiles In Historical Context
This module provides an introduction to historical and cultural contexts to provide a foundation of design knowledge and understanding, to support studio practice. Alongside developing stylistic (visual and linguistic) vocabulary this module also encourages the development of critical thinking in relation to the place of textiles within society and the emergence of style within specific cultural contexts.
Client and Colour
In this module, you will experience a client focused design journey, building experience of working with colour and extending your technical knowledge. Colour will be explored through research, drawing, material investigation and technical development. There will be an emphasis on CAD and digital technologies in the development of a targeted, coordinated collection and visualisation of ideas in relation to a specified context.
In your second year, you explore trends and predictions in fashion and interior design, see the realities of the working world through a live project and a professional experience module, engage with business principles and have the option of an international study visit.
Textiles In Contemporary Practice
The lecture programme and participatory workshops / seminars encourage you to think broadly and critically about recent and current social and philosophical ideas in relation to the place of textiles within international society, preparing you to consider key agendas in relation to your own career path interests. This module is fundamental in providing the framework for the career-focused teaching pathways and provides a forum for reflection in relation to career progression.
This module has been designed to test and explore potential career pathways within the textile industry. It builds on the theoretical understanding gained in the Textiles in Contemporary Context module, through a practical design experience.
This module is split into Part One and Part Two, offering two separate learning experiences and choice points where you can test and build your textile design skills in relation to two of the following career pathways:
This experience will develop employability skills and identify a personal career focus relating to future aspirations.
Entrepreneurship and Design
Work Placement or Collaborative Practice
The module is an opportunity to learn and critically reflect on the skills of collaboration by enabling you to create an interdisciplinary project with students from complementary disciplines, or with academic staff. Collaboration is a vital employability skill within the Creative Industries and this module allows you to develop these skills, making use of University facilities and with the support of academic staff.
The purpose of the work placement module is to enable you to develop professional attributes and subject skills through experience in the work place, and to critically reflect upon your learning in that context. You will normally be expected to arrange your own placement, with support from academic staff and BCU Careers.
Optional 60 Credit Study Abroad
Your final year gives you the opportunity to hone your portfolio and experience to suit your career ambitions through focused projects.
Major Project (Dissertation)
The purpose of the module is to enable you to undertake a sustained, in-depth and theoretically informed research project exploring an area that is of personal interest to you. It is important that we can support you appropriately, so you will be guided towards choosing a research topic which is relevant to your discipline and in which your lecturers have expertise.
Research For Professional Project
Establishing direction and personal career-focused concept/brief to drive research and development of the final major project.
This module enables you to develop a professionally focused body of work appropriate to your career ambitions, supported by the previous research module, and the dissertation. Your practical and contextual expertise in the field of textiles will be established in dialogue with academic staff to showcase your strengths and interests.
This module supports the process of exhibiting and promoting the final project, with a reflective and evaluative emphasis aiming to initiate a viable and continued creative journey.It has been designed to help bridge the gap from academia into industry, and offers support with developing personal promotion, branding and marketing material and building a digital presence. This is also an opportunity to engage in supporting theoretical research to confirm the viability of their proposal/direction, and confirm future goals and career aspirations.
This course provides an intensive experience circulating through constructed textiles, embroidery and printed textiles, followed by a personally chosen specialist focus.
The course combines personal choices available at each level with a structured specialist approach. Embracing digital technology and traditional craft skills, your creativity, personal talents and professional awareness will be developed throughout the course, leading to a textile design degree in one of four exit pathways – Constructed Textiles, Embroidery, Printed Textiles and Surface Design, or Textile Retail Management.
Supportive tuition in specialist and combined groups throughout the course fosters the interchange of ideas. The diverse experience of the academic staff reflects the course ethos – all are practising designers/visual artists, many working internationally.
The learning environment includes a wide range of learning and teaching methods, an experienced teaching team engaged in current research/practice, and studio/workshop experiences supported by e-learning. There is access to both digital technology and traditional textile craft workshops. Equipment includes a Mimaki digital printer, jacquard loom, computerised AVL studio looms, digital embroidery machines and laser cutting equipment, in addition to traditional facilities including print tables, transfer press, knitting machines, looms and rug tufting guns.
The course actively fosters links with organisations (including museums and galleries) and industry, providing a continuously updated contemporary educational experience.
|21||Time in lectures, seminars and similar||MidnightBlue|
|75||Time in independent study||RoyalBlue|
|4||Time on placement||LightSkyBlue|
Practical drawing sessions help to get design projects underway in a friendly and supportive environment, building your skills and confidence by sharing and learning as part of a peer group.
We help to prepare you for the real world by running design projects as if in a commercial studio. With role-play sessions, reviews and critiques, you get the opportunities to test your professional networking skills, ready to take to your perfect job.
Working alongside friends to learn and understand the subject of textiles in relation to the wider industry you will participate in seminars to discuss contemporary design issues, such as ethical fashion, global trends and international manufacturing, while working out what makes you tick.
Jess’s work shows her interest and commitment to drawing and pattern making, using both traditional and digital skills. She has developed a great commercial design sense, working on live trend briefs throughout the course, and even selling one of her final designs to Osborne & Little.
Laura learned her digital embroidery skills in her second year and has practised ever since! Her final project demonstrates her fabulous colour sense and personal style. Commitment to design development and technical know-how she is setting up her own studio to keep on stitching.
A study which aims to be an exemplar for the future of our planet and how humans might develop urban environment that is less destructive and more embracing of systems of plants and animals. A design project by example, designing a bespoke urban green network that is responsive to diverse urban design requirements of Reading city centre.
If you are interested in undertaking part of your studies abroad, the Erasmus scheme may be of interest to you. It allows higher education students to study for part of their degree in another European country.
It is open to undergraduates in their second year (or above) and offers a unique opportunity to enhance your CV and experience new cultures. If you study with us you will have access to an Erasmus co-ordinator, who can provide information about which institutions we have links with.
We have a great record of students progressing to postgraduate study, with two alumni graduating from the Royal College of Art in 2016. Others study Master’s courses in Fashion and Textiles at Birmingham City University, as well as teacher training (PGCE).
Our course is perfectly placed to get out and about across the country. You’ll visit local venues such as Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, and the Botanical Gardens, as well as the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester and Uppingham Yarns.
International travel includes a visit to Paris, taking in the trade show Premiere Vision, retail and cultural venues. We currently participate in the Erasmus scheme welcoming overseas students.
Entrepreneur Jas graduated from Birmingham City University in 2012 with a First Class BA (Hons) in Textile Design. She is currently making handmade bags for her own brand J D’Cruz handmade leather handbags.
After graduating, I got to exhibit at New Designers which was an invaluable experience where I gained extensive industry knowledge and contacts.
We have developed the Textile Design programme to ensure you have the skills, vision and creativity to appeal to a range of employers.
With strong understanding and skills in traditional and digital design, you will become adept at a number of textile processes, including print, embroidery, weave and kit. You’ll also gain a clear vision of where you fit in the industry in order to build a strong personal and professional portfolio, using promotional and marketing skills you’ll be prepared to take to future job roles.
You will have the opportunity to carry out a placement in industry lasting a few weeks as part of the second year experience. We have a great track record and invaluable networks to support students.
Students have previously gained work experience with Selfridges, Liberty, Alexander McQueen, Brintons, Monsoon, Dash and Miller, Burberry, Ted Baker and many more.
Our students’ design work has been sold in NEW York and Paris, while graduates still get in touch to offer valuable opportunities to current students.
We really value our close relationship with industry and invite guest speakers recently including Tracy Kendall, Michael Angove and Mockbee & Co. Being based in the Midlands enables us to work with regional key players such as Brintons, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Selfridges and the RBSA gallery as well as London-based companies such as Colorhive and Tektura Wallcoverings. For the last 10 years we have exhibited in leading trade shows either in London or Birmingham’s NEC, showcasing our students’ work in collaboration with British manufacturers. We run live projects and engage with design competitions to provide students with different design experiences.
OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.
It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.
Emma Shipley is an exceptionally talented and creative textile designer and illustrator who has already achieved great things in the four years since she graduated from the University with her BA (Hons) Textile Design.
Hannah secured a work placement with Global Color in her second year, and following her degree show was offered a job as a junior trend assistant. She now presents the latest trends at trade shows across the world, works with leading companies to develop their brand in relation to trend information and still finds time to lead our collaborative trends project.
Through our courses we give you the skills and experience needed to get a head start when applying for jobs. But we offer something extra too – Graduate+.
Our unique programme gives you the chance to develop valuable skills outside of the more formal classroom learning. We award points for Graduate+ activities (including firewalking!) and these can be put towards a final Graduate+ award.
Textile Design study provides fabulous career opportunities, with highly transferable skills making you desirable to employers. As well as securing jobs in textile design studios in Britain and overseas (Alexander McQueen, Circleline and Hallmark), our graduates are working in international trend companies such as WGSN, working as trend reporters and consultants.
Our experience of training students for jobs in retail, including roles in visual merchandising, styling and buying has resulted in graduates working with companies including John Lewis, Paperchase, Sainsbury’s and Selfridges. Some choose to work in manufacturing with companies like Brintons as designers and in sales.
Others set up businesses as designer makers, some teach, or work in cultural centres such as museums and galleries.
Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.
The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.
Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:
Our course is perfectly suited to students from around the world as we approach textiles from an international viewpoint. Students share experiences and learn from each other, and the teaching focuses, where possible, on the international design industry, from trends to manufacturing contexts, preparing graduates for jobs in the global market. Graduates from the course have worked overseas including USA, Saudi Arabia, France, Laos, Sweden and Finland.
International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.
BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.
We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities.
The Parkside Building is part of our new multi-million pound City Centre Campus development in the heart of Birmingham's Eastside development.
Home to the Birmingham School of Architecture and Design, School of Fashion and Textiles, and School of Visual Communication, the five-floor site is packed with fashion design workshops, studios and social 'collision spaces.'
The campus also provides extensive workshop space, and the very latest in industry-standard equipment reflecting the broad range of study opportunities on offer.
You will have access to Vicon 3D, an external tracking motion capture facility, and Gypsy, an exoskeleton-based motion capture system to extend the many possibilities for production of 3D animation and films.
There's also a comprehensive range of tools and machinery in the wood and metal workshops.
You can use the latest in high-tech digital print, plus a range of other facilities including:
We are committed to showcasing the best student concepts and collections in exhibitions and on catwalks that include London Fashion Week, London Free Range, New Designers and Birmingham Made Me.
Kate Farley, our Programme Leader maintains an active design practice creating print designs for key brands including Barbican Centre and David Mellor Design, as well as working in collaboration with manufacturers including Formica.
Senior Lecturer Zoe Hillyard has developed award winning ‘Ceramic Patchwork’, combining ceramics with textile mending to create highly collectible pieces. With previous international craft development experience and commercial studio practice she works across the years and manages our presence at New Designers, London.
Graduating in Embroidery from The Nottingham Trent University Zoe Hillyard's career has combined part-time lecturing with a range of other roles; initially producing embellished knitwear for the fashion industry and later designing tailored knitwear collections for Marion Foale.
An interest in the role of craft production as a livelihood strategy overseas saw Zoe developing research interests in the dynamics of rural craft production and the use of design as a strategy within an international development context. This led her to spend a sabbatical year developing design education provision at the Textile Institute in Mongolia with the charity VSO.
A thesis exploring the potential of yak fibre for rural development in Mongolia followed as part of an MSc in Applied Development Studies at Reading University. This experience laid the foundations of her current craft based practice called Ceramic Patchwork. Using the tradition of hand-stitched patchwork as a mending process, the work uses textiles to revive discarded and broken ceramics, creating a new tactile aesthetic for familiar forms. Pieces can simply be the result of an interesting combination of unconnected salvaged items; equally they can be the re-working of imagery, textiles or ceramic possessions which have sentimental value.
As a result of being selected to participate at a number of nationally recognised craft fairs, commission based opportunities have led to; the development of a body of work inspired by the Spode factory in Stoke on Trent, a collection reworking oriental ceramic imagery for the British Museum, another collection to accompany their Shakespeare: Staging the World exhibition and a number of private commissions.
Facebook business page: Zoe Hillyard Ceramic Patchwork