Undergraduate study - 2022 entry
Open to the world

BA Textiles

UCAS code: J420

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Edinburgh College of Art

College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Study abroad
Placements

Introducing BA Textiles

Textiles offers 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
  • textiles 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 novel 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. These 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 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 choice of courses which 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

You will be introduced to the theoretical and practical concepts of textile design, initially through a series of creative drawing and exploratory projects. These lead to more focused, textiles outcomes. 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 textiles discipline sits within the design world. You may participate in collaborations and group work that will help to expand your creative ability.

Option courses

You will be able to take up to 60 credits of option courses. These can be within ECA or from the wider university. Your choices will be 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 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.

Projects

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

You will increasingly be introduced to:

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

Again, alongside Design and Screen Cultures courses, you will be able to choose option/elective 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 as well as national and international competitions.

You will take an experimental approach towards developing a range of relevant textiles techniques and responses. We place a strong focus on the intended context for your design work and your ability to present and communicate your ideas coherently and professionally.

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

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

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

Year 4

You will strengthen your ability to express creative ideas, techniques and aesthetics through both your practical and theoretical work. The latter includes a written dissertation.

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

You will consolidate and refine your textile practice through the design and production of your final developed project and textiles solutions. 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 (2021/22)

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
  • our 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.

Placements

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

We have many textiles 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 and Timorous Beasties
  • Amanda Kelly, The Colorfield and Quiksilver
  • Michael Kors, Karen Mabon and Shrimps
  • Whiston and Wright, Isolated Heroes and Kalopsia
  • Owens & Kim and the 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 second semester 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

We see research, critical thinking, and study of the visual, intellectual, social and professional contexts that shape creative design practice as essential to your development.

These elements 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?

We use continuous formative assessment throughout your study. This helps 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 and creative progress and 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 and researchers

Sought-after skills

Our textiles graduates are highly sought-after for their:

  • understanding and application of drawing, colour, materials, print, finish and surface
  • their 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/fragance industry

Destinations have included:

  • Alexander McQueen, Cath Kidston and Innocent
  • Liberty, de Gournay, Jaguar Landrover and Burberry
  • Ralph & Russo, Mini Boden and White Stuff
  • Adidas, Voyage Maison and 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

Awards

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 & Son Ltd Wallpaper 1st Prize
  • Hand & 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 & 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

Mini-portfolio

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

Dates for the opening of the mini-portfolio submission site, and deadlines for submission, will be posted in March 2021.

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 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.

SQA, GCSE and IB

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

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 £400-450 for New Designers Exhibition, London

Funding

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