Undergraduate study - 2021 entry

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

We offer a rich exploration of textiles in their broadest sense for a range of contexts. You will be encouraged to take an experimental approach to materials and processes to produce innovative and contemporary design work. This may include textiles for fashion, interiors or alternative contexts for designs, exploring combinations of materials, texture, colour and pattern.

Textile students explore materials, colour, pattern, texture and image manipulation through a wide-ranging approach to drawing and personal research. You will be encouraged to embrace new technology and develop new ways of working, alongside the study of traditional textile techniques in print and mixed media approaches.

Cross-programme collaborations combined with industrial projects will help you to contextualise your place within the textile industry, offering you a rich and stimulating education and preparing you for future employment.

Textiles graduates from Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) are renowned for their excellent drawing skills and clear understanding of the requirements of industry alongside an innovative and professional approach to the discipline. Integrated with the practical studio work, Design and Screen Cultures courses provide a contextual and theoretical understanding of the holistic nature of contemporary design.

A distinctive aspect of your study here is the flexibility of choice of pathway which you can choose in Years 1 and 2. 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

You will be introduced to the theoretical and practical concepts of textile design, initially through a series of creative drawing projects, leading to more focused, textiles outcomes. In Design and Screen Cultures you will address the key histories and theories of design.

Projects will incorporate research and concept development, drawing, materials exploration, and technical skills workshops. As part of the School of Design, you will participate in interdisciplinary collaborations and classes that will help to expand your creative ability.

You will be able to take up to 60 credits of option courses, either within ECA, or across the wider College, subject to availability and discussion with your Personal Tutor and relevant course organisers.

This offers you the flexibility to construct a suite of courses that reflects your interests and enhances your main study.

Year 2

Basic principles, theories, working practices and technical instruction will be covered at this level. You will gain confidence in your ability as a designer, by developing skills in drawing, research, design development, mixed media approaches, dye techniques to silkscreen printing.

Collaborative opportunities across the School of Design and with external industry partners (where appropriate) will also help you to develop your specialism.

Again, alongside Design and Screen Cultures courses, you will be able to choose option courses, subject to availability.

Year 3

Undertaking a series of design briefs you will develop personal research concepts and creative responses through industry-linked projects and national and international competitions. You will continue to experiment and develop a range of relevant textiles techniques with a strong focus on the intended context for your design ideas.

You will develop approaches to professional presentation of your work, while building your CV to help secure internships within the field of textiles and design. You will be encouraged to take part in appropriate competitions and study visits and to work on live external projects.

Alongside Design and Screen Cultures courses, elective courses are available from within the wider College and opportunities for study abroad help broaden an understanding of the discipline.

Year 4

You will strengthen your ability to express creative ideas, techniques and aesthetics through your practical and theoretical work, the latter in the form of a written dissertation.

Live industry briefs and external competitions will complement the development of your personal research.

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

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 (2020/21)

Our facilities

Design students benefit from studio-based learning at our Lauriston Place campus, along with the exhibitions and events associated with a vibrant art college. Some Design and Screen Cultures and Elective Courses teaching takes place off the Lauriston campus.


Students are supported and encouraged to explore internships during their holiday period. We have a broad palette of industry contacts and connections and use these to connect students to relevant opportunities in the UK and abroad. There is also the possibility to undertake credit-bearing Work Based Placement courses in Semester 2 of Year 3.

Study abroad

There are various Study Abroad opportunities available to apply for during your time as a student. Textiles-specific opportunities are available to apply for. Students who are successful in securing an Exchange place usually go out on exchange during the second semester of Year 3.

What are my options for going abroad?

How will I learn?

The majority of 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 and critiques.

Research, critical thinking and study of the visual, intellectual, social and professional contexts that shape creative design practice are regarded as essential to your development, elements of which are taught through Design and Screen Cultures courses. This also involves participation in exhibitions, competitions, collaborations and live industry projects.

How will I be assessed?

Formative feedback and assessment is continuous throughout the year, aiming to give you meaningful feedback against learning outcomes, and to encourage experimentation in the studio and beyond.

Formative assessment for courses is through a mix of verbal and written modes such as portfolio, presentations and essays against course learning outcomes. There is a mid-session review, usually at the mid-point of any given course you study.

Summative assessment at the end of all the courses you take is informed by your academic and creative progress and performance throughout. Your course grades are arrived at through this summative assessment plus a moderation process.

Programme details

Find out more about this programme's aims, what you will learn, how you will be assessed and what skills and knowledge you will develop.

To give you an idea of what to expect from 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 details (2020/21)

Graduates go on to employment in a wide range of careers across the creative industries. These include disciplines more traditionally associated with textiles, such as fashion-related and interiors-related careers, as well as careers in illustration, graphics and even architecture.

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 mini-portfolio to provide evidence of artistic aptitude and potential, this will form an important part of the selection process.

Portfolio guidance

Important dates*

  • 1 December 2020: mini-portfolio submission site opens
  • 29 January 2021: UCAS has extended their application deadline to 6pm UK time on Friday 29 January. We have therefore moved our deadline for all UK applicants to the 29 January as well.
  • 9 February 2021 at 12 pm (midday) GMT: mini-portfolio submission deadline. This deadline has been extended in line with the UCAS date.
  • 30 June 2021: final deadline for UCAS applications from applicants from outside the UK and Ireland.

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.

*(Revised 25 September 2020 to add mini-portfolio deadlines. Revised 12 January 2021 to extend application and mini-portfolio deadlines.)

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 will normally be expected to have undertaken these qualifications in addition to having met the entry requirements (Highers, A Levels, IB 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.

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


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
  • SQA Standard Grade at 3
  • SQA Intermediate 1 at A
  • SQA Intermediate 2 at C
  • GCSE/IGSCE at C or 4
  • Level 2 Certificate Grade 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 module overall 6.5 with 5.5 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Special Home Edition) 92 or above with 20 in each section. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • Cambridge English: Advanced or Proficiency overall 176 with 162 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with a distinction in all four components.

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

English language qualifications must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the degree you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

English language requirements

*(Revised 27 April 2020 to include TOEFL-iBT Special Home Edition.)

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, which will include dyestuffs, screen exposure, fibres and printing costs. The costs below are estimated bills for each year group.

  • Year 1: £100
  • Year 2: £225
  • Year 3: £250
  • Year 4: £350, plus approximately £350 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