Undergraduate study - 2025 entry
Edinburgh: Extraordinary futures await.

BA Textiles

UCAS code: J420

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Edinburgh College of Art

College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Study abroad

Introducing BA Textiles

Textiles offer a rich exploration of materials in their broadest sense for a wide range of contexts and outcomes.

We encourage you to take a very experimental approach towards materials and processes to produce innovative, contemporary and questioning design work.

This may include textiles:

  • for fashions, interiors or products
  • as communication or for alternative contexts

What you will cover

You will explore combinations and compositions of:

  • imagery
  • drawing
  • materials
  • texture
  • colour
  • pattern

You will look at textiles in two and three dimensions. We support a wide-ranging approach to drawing and personal research and encourage you to:

  • embrace new technology
  • develop new ways of working
  • study traditional and foundational textile techniques in print and mixed media
  • consider sustainability and develop your material awareness

Project work

Our collaborative work and industry-driven projects will:

  • help you to contextualise your place within the current textile industry
  • give you insight into addressing current markets and challenges
  • offer you a rich and stimulating education that prepares you for future employment

You will develop strong presentation and computer-aided design (CAD) skills. This will ensure your designs are presented competently and with clear intentions.

Our graduates

Our graduates are renowned for their:

  • excellent drawing skills
  • clear understanding of the requirements of the industry
  • innovative and professional approach to the discipline

Design and Screen Cultures courses are integrated with your practical studio work. These provide a contextual and theoretical underpinning of the holistic nature of contemporary design.

A distinctive aspect of your study is the flexibility in the courses you can choose in Years 1 and 2, in addition to the core textiles offering.

We believe innovation within design practice will not solely originate within discipline-specific study but instead design will develop through its relationship to other fields of study and inquiry.

Year 1

We will introduce you to the theoretical and practical concepts of textile design, initially through a series of creative drawing and exploratory projects.

Design and Screen Cultures

In Design and Screen Cultures you will address key histories and theories of design.


Textiles projects will incorporate:

  • research and concept development
  • drawing
  • materials exploration
  • technical skills workshops

You will begin to get a sense of where the textile discipline sits within the design world. You may participate in collaborations and group work that will help to expand your creative ability.

Optional courses

You will be able to take up to 40 credits of option courses.

These can be either within ECA or the wider University. Your choices will be subject to availability and discussion with relevant course organisers.

You will be able to select courses that reflect your interests and enhance your main study, in addition to your textiles core courses.

Year 2

This year you will cover:

  • basic principles, theories and working practices
  • CAD approaches
  • technical instruction and presentation methods

You will gain confidence in your ability as a designer, by developing skills in:

  • drawing
  • research
  • design development
  • mixed media approaches
  • textiles processes

You will consider and address issues within contemporary design, the textile industry and contexts.


Collaborative opportunities and external projects with partners (where appropriate) will help you to develop your specialism and interests within textiles.

We will increasingly introduce you to:

  • a widening palette of ways of developing your design process
  • ways of addressing and communicating your ideas for further design contexts

Alongside Design and Screen Cultures courses, you will be able to choose optional courses, subject to availability.

Year 3

Undertaking a series of design briefs, you will develop:

  • personal research concepts
  • creative responses

This will be done through:

  • industry-linked projects
  • national and international competitions

You will take an experimental approach towards developing a range of relevant textile techniques and responses. We place a strong focus on:

  • the intended context for your design work
  • your ability to present and communicate your ideas coherently and professionally

You will:

  • develop approaches towards the presentation of your work
  • build your CV and folio to help secure internships within the field of textiles and design

You will also be encouraged to take part in appropriate competitions and activities and to work on live external projects.

Optional courses

Alongside Design and Screen Cultures courses, you can choose option courses from ECA or the wider University.

Study abroad and work placement

This year you can also apply for study abroad and work-based placement opportunities. These offer a chance to broaden your understanding and awareness of the discipline.

Year 4

This year, through utilising both your practical and theoretical work, you will strengthen your ability to express:

  • creative ideas
  • techniques
  • aesthetics

Year 4 theoretical work includes a written dissertation.

The development of your own body of personal research and interpretation is brought to the forefront, while still identifying and exploring specific and targeted design contexts for textiles.

You will also:

  • consolidate and refine your textile practice through the design and production of your final developed project and textile solutions
  • have the opportunity to exhibit your work in the ECA Degree Show and at New Designers, London

  • [ECA]: Edinburgh College of Art

Programme structure

Find out more about the compulsory and optional courses in this degree programme.

To give you an idea of what you will study on this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.

Programme structure (2024/25)

Our facilities

You will learn in the vibrant and supportive studio-based environment at our Lauriston Place campus. You will benefit from the exhibitions, activities and events associated with a lively art college.

Textiles-making facilities include our:

  • textiles printroom for screen printing, dyeing and associated processes
  • digital textiles suite, which includes CAD embroidery, sublimation and digital printing facilities

Some teaching for your Design and Screen Cultures and options courses may take place off the Lauriston campus.


We support and encourage you to undertake placements during the holiday period between Years 3 and 4.

We have many textile industry contacts and connections. We use these to connect students to relevant placement opportunities in the UK and abroad.

Placement destinations

Recent placement destinations include:

  • de Gournay
  • Voyage Maison
  • Timorous Beasties
  • Amanda Kelly
  • The Colorfield
  • Quiksilver
  • Michael Kors
  • Karen Mabon
  • Shrimps
  • Whiston and Wright
  • Isolated Heroes
  • Kalopsia
  • Owens and Kim
  • Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) Museum

You will also have the option to undertake credit-bearing work-based placement courses in Semester 2 of Year 3.

Study abroad

You can apply for various study abroad opportunities during your time as a student, including textiles-specific opportunities.

If you secure a study abroad place, you will usually go on exchange during the Semester 2 of Year 3.

What are my options for going abroad?

How will I learn?

Most design teaching and learning is through involvement in a range of experiential courses situated in a studio environment.

Conceptual, material and technical issues are explored through:

  • seminars
  • workshops
  • lectures
  • tutorials
  • critiques

Your development is influenced by research and critical thinking, as well as the following contexts that shape creative design practice:

  • visual context
  • intellectual context
  • social context
  • professional context

These elements are taught through Design and Screen Cultures courses and involve participation in:

  • exhibitions
  • competitions
  • collaborations
  • live industry projects

How will I be assessed?

We use continuous formative assessment throughout your study. This helps us give meaningful feedback and encourages experimentation in the studio and beyond.

Formative assessment for compulsory courses can include:

  • portfolio
  • presentations
  • essays against course learning outcomes

There is a mid-session review, usually at the mid-point of any course you study.

Summative assessment at the end of all courses is informed by your:

  • academic progress
  • creative progress
  • performance throughout

Your course grades are calculated through this summative assessment plus a moderation process.

Our graduates work in a range of roles across textiles, design and the creative industries, including:

  • designers
  • designer-makers
  • colour, materials and finish (CMF) specialists
  • colourists
  • illustrators
  • trend-predictors
  • stylists
  • buyers
  • design consultants
  • educators
  • researchers

Sought-after skills

Our textiles graduates are highly sought-after for their:

  • understanding and application of drawing, colour, materials, print, finish and surface
  • ability to adapt to changing demands and address ongoing concerns within textiles, including sustainability and material and manufacture traceability

They work in different contexts, including:

  • fashion and interiors
  • architecture
  • automotive design
  • the cosmetics/fragrance industry

Destinations have included:

  • Alexander McQueen
  • Cath Kidston
  • Innocent
  • Liberty
  • de Gournay
  • Jaguar Land Rover
  • Burberry
  • Ralph and Russo
  • Mini Boden
  • White Stuff
  • Adidas
  • Voyage Maison
  • Timorous Beasties

Further study options

Many graduates also go on to postgraduate study at masters and PhD level. This includes continued study at the University of Edinburgh or other institutions, including:

  • the Royal College of Art
  • Parsons The New School
  • Oxford University
  • Bath Spa University
  • University of Glasgow


Our graduates have won a range of awards, including:

  • The Liberty Fabrics Studio Award, New Designers Epson Textile Visionary Award
  • The Clothworker's Company Associate Prize
  • i-dott Cole and Son Ltd Wallpaper 1st Prize
  • Hand and Lock Prize for Embroidery 1st Prize Student Fashion Category
  • RSA Student Design Award (sponsored by GSK)
  • Worshipful Company of Dyers Colour Bursary
  • Worshipful Company of Bonnetmakers Prize
  • Marks and Spencer Texprint Fashion Textile Award

Other examples include:

  • QEST Scholarship
  • Craft Scotland Graduate Award
  • Society of Dyers and Colourists Prize (Scotland)
  • Edinburgh St James Creative Commerce Award for Textiles

Standard entry requirement

The standard entry requirement is:

  • SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S5 or AABB/ABBBB by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: ABB.
  • IB: 34 points with 655 at HL.

Minimum entry requirement

The minimum entry requirement for widening access applicants is:

  • SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: ABB.
  • IB: 34 points with 655 at HL.

More information for widening access applicants

Required subjects

The grades used to meet our entry requirements must include:

  • SQA: Highers: no specific Higher subjects required. National 5s: English at C.
  • A Levels: no specific A Level subjects required. GCSEs: English at C or 4.
  • IB: HL: no specific subjects required. SL: English at 5.

Additional requirements


Applicants will be asked to submit a digital portfolio to provide evidence of artistic aptitude and potential, this will form an important part of the selection process.

For more information about the portfolio, visit the Edinburgh College of Art website at the link below and scroll to the section titled ‘Application Process’.

Textiles application process

Portfolio technical support and specification

Important dates

  • 1 December 2024: portfolio submission site opens.
  • 29 January 2025: deadline for all applicants (including international applicants).
  • 4 February 2025 at 12 pm (midday) GMT: portfolio submission deadline.

BTEC/UAL Diplomas

Applicants studying Pearson BTEC Level 3 Nationals in Art and Design will be considered for entry with the following:

  • Pearson BTEC Extended Diploma with DMM.
  • Pearson BTEC Diploma with MM plus one A Level at A (or DM plus B at A Level).
  • Pearson BTEC Extended Certificate / Subsidiary Diploma with D plus two A Levels at B (or M plus AB at A Level).

Applicants studying the University of the Arts London Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art and Design will be considered with Merit.

Find out more about entry requirements

International applicants

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.

Entry requirements by country

International Foundation Programme

If you are an international student and your school qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to the University you may be eligible for admission to this degree programme through our International Foundation Programme.

International Foundation Programme

Mature applicants

We welcome applications from mature students and accept a range of qualifications.

Mature applicant qualifications

Entry to the second year is available. Successful completion of a Foundation Diploma (at Merit grade), a relevant HND or equivalent is required. Applicants with a Foundation Diploma will normally be expected to have undertaken these qualifications in addition to having met the first year entry requirements (Highers, A Levels, IB, relevant HNC, etc). In some of our less competitive degrees it may be possible to consider applicants presenting ABC (or equivalent) or above at A Level. These must have been achieved in one set of exams, at first attempt.

A list of accepted HNDs, along with further information for adult returners, can be found on our adult returner page:

Adult returner applicants

Regardless of your nationality or country of residence, you must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies.


For SQA, GCSE and IB students, unless a higher level is specified in the stated entry requirements, a pass is required in English at the following grades or higher:

  • SQA National 5 at C
  • GCSE at C or 4
  • Level 2 Certificate at C
  • IB Standard Level at 5 (English ab initio is not accepted for entry)

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 with at least 5.5 in each component.We do not accept IELTS One Skill Retake to meet our English language requirements.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 92 with at least 20 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • C1 Advanced (CAE) / C2 Proficiency (CPE): total 176 with at least 162 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: total 65 with at least 54 in each component. We do not accept PTE Academic Online.*

We also accept a wider range of international qualifications and tests.

Unless you are a national of a majority English speaking country, your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start of the month in which the degree you are applying to study begins. If you are using an IELTS, PTE Academic, TOEFL or Trinity ISE test, it must be no more than two years old on the first of the month in which the degree begins, regardless of your nationality.

English language requirements

(*Revised 24 May 2024 to change PTE Academic requirement from total 62 with at least 54 in each component, and to clarify that we do not accept PTE Academic online.)

This information is part of a government initiative to enhance the material that higher education institutions provide about their degree programmes.

It is one of many sources of information which will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.

Please note that some programmes do not have Discover Uni data available.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for BA Textiles

Additional costs

There are likely to be additional costs for materials, including:

  • dyestuffs
  • screen exposure
  • fibres
  • materials
  • printing costs

We estimate the following costs for each year on the programme:

  • Year 1: £200
  • Year 2: £300
  • Year 3: £300
  • Year 4: £450, plus around £400 to £450 for New Designers Exhibition, London


For more information on how much it will cost to study with us and the financial support available see our fees and funding information.

Fees and funding