Textile Design - BA (Hons)

UCAS Code:
W234
Attendance:
Full Time (3 years)
Starting:
September 2018
Campus:

Our BA (Hons) Textile Design course gives you the opportunity to experience broad textile specialist skills combined with design and industry awareness. You will be guided and encouraged by an experienced teaching team engaged in textiles practice, helping you to explore your ambitions and skills, testing career aspirations in five focused teaching pathways, which will prepare you for graduation and beyond.

What's covered in the course?

We work with you during studio sessions in a variety of ways and you will be supported by a highly skilled technical team who manage the workshops and deliver technical demonstrations. Your timetables enable you to manage self-directed study resourcefully in relation to module deadlines.

With no house style we encourage you to embrace digital technology and traditional craft skills to enable your creativity, personal talents and professional awareness to be developed throughout the course in relation to career ambitions.

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.

Holly Lloyd Williams

Why Choose Us?

  • Students are satisfied with this course! We scored 93 per cent for overall satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2017.
  • Our graduates have taken up employment across the globe, working with leading companies such as Alexander McQueen, Liberty, Paperchase, Osborne & Little, John Lewis and many more.  
  • Work alongside award-winning academics and practitioners, who have exhibited at leading design shows and will share their extensive experience to help you achieve your ambitions. 
  • Belong in our creative community working with highly experienced academics and practitioners - award winners and exhibitors at leading design shows – who share their experiences to help you learn and achieve your ambitions.
  • Not only follow trends, but help to shape them as live briefs put you in touch with leaders in the field.
  • Benefit from our industry networks enabling you to work on exciting ‘extra-curricular’ projects, enabling you to grow your CV from your first year.
  • Study support, tutorial access and technical training exists throughout the modules, ready for you to access it when you need it.
  • The combination of workshop practice, exploring digital technology and traditional craft skills enables you to develop a personal and professionally relevant portfolio.

Textile Design overview image

Students outside Millennium Point

Open Days

Our next Open Day for this course will take place on Saturday 24 March 2018. Come and see how our campus has transformed after our £260 million investment in facilities.

Book your place

To welcome all new home and EU undergraduate degree students starting in 2017 or 2018, we're giving at least £150 worth of credit to spend in a host of ways, on books and a range of learning materials. Even better, it doesn’t have to be repaid.

Find out more

This course is open to International students

School of Fashion and Textiles

Discover the School of Fashion and Textiles

Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.

Visit the School website

Textile design career paths

Textile Design Career Paths

Graduate Sophie Hawkesford offers an insight into the wide range of career paths that are accessible with a textile design degree.

Read more 

Where our students go

Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:

  • Alexander McQueen
  • Liberty
  • Paperchase

And in jobs such as:

  • Clothing designers
  • Textile designers
  • Graphic artists
  • Print designers
  • Trend assistants
  • Illustrators
  • Buyers and procurement officers

Fashion and Textiles Feature Box

Textile Design students celebrate record number of industry-award-wins at New Designers

This year saw a record breaking number of awards for Birmingham City University students, with final year Textile Design students securing industry awards and placements at the annual New Designers exhibition.

Read more 

Entry Requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.

UK students
Essential

In addition to qualifications, applicants will also need a good portfolio.

Typical Offers
UK Qualification Requirements 2018/19
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 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 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 112 UCAS points
BTEC Diploma in Foundation Studies in Art and Design Distinction
International Baccalaureate Diploma

For students who complete the full IB Diploma: Obtain a total of 14 points or above from three Higher Level Subjects

For students who do not complete the full IB Diploma: Obtain a total of 16 points or above from three Higher Level Subjects 

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 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 112 UCAS points
Other qualifications
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/International students
Essential

In addition to qualifications, applicants will also need a good digital portfolio.

EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications Requirements 2018/19
IELTS speakers require IELTS 6.0
International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses).

For students who complete the full IB Diploma: Obtain a total of 14 points or above from three Higher Level Subjects

For students who do not complete the full IB Diploma: Obtain a total of 16 points or above from three Higher Level Subjects

In addition to the above, applicants will also need:
English Group A - Grade 4 or above
OR
English Group B and Ab Initio - Grade 5

Country-specific entry requirements and qualifications.

International Students

Entry requirements here

 

International students who cannot meet the direct entry requirements can begin their degree studies at Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC).

From A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels

Additional Information

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.

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BA (Hons) Sep 2018 FT 3 years £9,250 per year Apply via UCAS

International Students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BA (Hons) Sep 2018 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 and equal opportunities PDF form instead. The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.

Guidance for UK/EU students

UCAS

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. You can apply until 30 June.

Applying through UCAS
 Register with UCAS
 Login to UCAS
 Complete your details
 Select your course
 Write a personal statement
 Get a reference
 Pay your application fee
 Send UCAS your application

Non-EU (International) students

There are three ways to apply:

1) Direct to the University

You will need to complete our International Application Form and Equal Opportunities Form, and submit them together with scan copies of your original academic transcripts and certificates.

2) Through a country representative

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.

3) Through UCAS

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.

Portfolio Guidance

If your application is progressed, you will be asked to submit a portfolio of your creative work. Your portfolio is your opportunity to show us examples of your work and creative interests to support your application.

If you are a UK home-based student you will need to bring a physical portfolio with you to one our portfolio review days. Please see our portfolio guidance page for tips and advice on putting your portfolio together.

If you are an EU or International student you will be asked to submit a digital portfolio as part of your application. Please see our international portfolio guidance page for guidance on how to create and submit your portfolio.

Personal statement

UK / EU students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.*

The personal statement 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:

Course choice

Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?

Career plans

If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.

Work experience

Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.

School or college experience

Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.

Non-accredited skills or achievement

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.

*Non-EU students are not required to submit a personal statement when applying for this course.

Additional costs

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 your course. 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.

View additional costs for this course

Sorry, this course is not available part-time

What's included in your course fees?

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.

Worried about personal statements?

Worried about personal statements?

If you've got no idea where to start or just want to check you're on the right track, we’ve got expert advice and real examples from our students to help you nail your personal statement. You can even download our ultimate personal statement guide for free.

Get personal statement advice

Loans and Grants

Financial Support

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.

Year one

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.

Modules include:
Visual Ideas For Design
20 credits

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.

Textile Processes
40 credits

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 design context.  

Textiles In Historical Context
20 credits

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
40 credits

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.

Year two

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.

Modules include:
Textiles In Contemporary Practice
20 credits

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.

Professional Pathways
40 credits

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 two parts, 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:

  • Styling and Trend Forecasting
  • Contemporary Culture & Craft
  • Surface Pattern and Technologies
  • Bespoke Fashion Textiles
  • Retail and Promotion

This experience will develop employability skills and identify a personal career focus relating to future aspirations.

Entrepreneurship and Design
40 credits

This module provides the opportunity to develop important interpersonal skills by working collaboratively on writing and practically undertaking an entrepreneurial design brief that relates to one of the career-focused teaching pathways. 

Working in a group, you will apply knowledge gained about the chosen sector such as product / client / routes to market / costings / marketing and promotion, in developing and communicating a viable industry facing project.  

Teaching pathways:

  • Styling and Trend Forecasting 
  • Contemporary Culture and Craft 
  • Surface Pattern and Technologies 
  • Bespoke Fashion Textiles  
  • Retail and Promotion
In your second semester you will choose one of the following 20 credit modules:
Collaborative Practice
20 credits

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. 

Work Placement
20 credits

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.

You have the option to replace all 60 credits of study in semester two by taking the following module:
 
Study Abroad
60 credits

Year three

Your final year gives you the opportunity to hone your portfolio and experience to suit your career ambitions through focused projects.

 

Modules include:
Major Project (Dissertation)
40 credits

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
20 credits

Establishing direction and personal career-focused concept/brief to drive research and development of the final major project.

Professional Project
40 credits

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.

Next Step
20 credits

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.

Course structure

In your first year you will investigate drawing and idea generation preparing you to explore design challenges throughout the course. You will be introduced to our workshops to learn and sample in key areas of woven and knitted textiles, embroidery, printed textiles and surface design, exploring experimental textiles and colour techniques. 

A contextual 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:

  • Styling and Trend Forecasting
  • Contemporary Culture and Craft
  • Surface Pattern and Technologies
  • Bespoke Fashion Textiles
  • Retail and Promotion

You will study market and client awareness, trends in both fashion and interior design sectors, commercial considerations with industry-facing projects as well as business principles, ethics and sustainability issues. You can choose to undertake a work placement or Collaborative Practice module, working alongside creative students from across the Faculty. We also have an optional international study visit.

In the third year you continue with the design journey in relation to your chosen career pathway, creating a professional portfolio of design work and engaging in personal contextual research. In depth academic research and practical modules enable you to test and resolve creative briefs in relation to your professional ambitions.

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.

Find your direction. Learn a range of textile skills, including print, then specialise in your second year.


The learning environment

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.

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 course actively fosters links with organisations (including museums and galleries) and industry, providing a continuously updated contemporary educational experience.

Teaching breakdown

valuelabelcolor
21 Time in lectures, seminars and similar MidnightBlue
75 Time in independent study RoyalBlue
4 Time on placement LightSkyBlue

Assessment breakdown

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86 Coursework FireBrick
14 Practical exams #fece5a

Studio activities

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.


Student Work

Jess Boynton, BA (Hons) Textile Design

Jessica Boynton textile work

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 Marriott, BA (Hons) Textile Design

Laura Marriott student work

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.  


Amber Littleford, BA (Hons) Textile Design

Amber Little textile work

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.

View more examples of student work...

Study and work abroad

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.

Find out more

Further Studies

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).

Trips and visits

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.

Student stories Jas Gilhooly

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.

Nader Nazari

Trendy’ Birmingham student has IKEA covered

Final year student Nader Nazari has had his design brought to life through a partnership between Birmingham City University and IKEA. Nader's POÄNG chair can be found proudly on display in IKEA’s Birmingham Central store.

Read more about Nader 

Enhancing your employability

Our BA (Hons) Textile Design degree is designed 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 knit. 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.


Our Graduates

Emma J Shipley, graduated in 2008
Award-winning Luxury Textile Designer and Graphic Artist

Emma J Shipley is an exceptionally talented and creative textile designer and graphic artist specialising in fine drawing, luxury scarves and cushions. Emma’s eponymous label launched at London Fashion Week in 2012 and Emma has gone on to win the Emerging Brand prize at the WGSN Global Fashion Awards and the Newcomer Award at the UK Fashion & Textile Awards.

Emma J Shipley products are stocked in some of the most prestigious department stores and boutiques around the world, including Liberty and Fortnum & Mason in London. Emma has also collaborated with brands including Disney - on a Star Wars and Beauty and the Beast collection - as well as Aspinal of London on a collection of printed leather bags. Emma gave an inspirational talk to our current students - find out more on our school blog.


Hannah Malein, graduated in 2009
Colour Trend Consultant Manager at Colour Hive

Hannah secured a placement with trend company Global Color (now the Colour Hive) in her second year and following her degree show was offered a job as a junior trend assistant. She is now a Colour & Trend Consultant Manager at Colour Hive where she presents the latest trends at trade shows across the world, as well as working with leading companies to develop their brand in relation to trend information. Hannah still works closely with the University, leading collaborative trend projects for our third year students.


Adriana Gentile, graduated in 2013
Co-founder and Woven Textile Designer at Adriana Homewares

Adriana graduated in Constructed Textiles in 2013. Shortly after, Adriana joined The Prince’s Trust Enterprise scheme. Receiving financial and mentoring help, she set up her studio and bought her first loom. In 2016, inspired by her passion for colourful interiors and homewares, Adriana set up Adriana Homewares. Adriana Homewares design and make luxurious fabrics using 100% British Wool from Bluefaced Leicester sheep.

Adriana's ideas and experimentation start out as hand woven pieces on her traditional loom in their Leeds studio. Once satisfied with the results the specifications are sent off to mills to be created and then each piece is hand finished before being sold. To read more about Adriana's story and business head to our blog.


Bronagh Teague, graduated in 2014
Home Furnishings Textile Designer / Developer for Jim Thompson

Since graduating in 2014, Bronagh has gone from strength to strength establishing an exciting international career in the silk weaving industry. Following her degree Bronagh moved to Laos, to work as a Textile Designer and Business Development Consultant at Soie De Lune, a silk hand-weaving business that provides luxurious textiles to interior designers. Bronagh now works in Bangkok, Thailand, as a Home Furnishings Textile Designer / Developer for Jim Thompson – the largest hand-weaving company in the world. Bronagh’s role involves managing the textile collections, developing fabric designs, proposing design and colour concepts as well as material sourcing. To find out more about Bronagh’s work you can read our blog.


Kate Hollowood, graduated in 2014
Company Director and Designer Maker at Kate Hollowood Designs

Kate Hollowood is an award-winning designer who developed her composite material ‘Matrix’ during her final year of studies. Kate was commissioned to create a statement lampshade for the collaborative Global Color Research (now the Colour Hive) stand at the Interiors Show NEC, Birmingham. Since graduating Kate has successfully set up her business Kate Hollowood Design, as company director and designer maker. She has exhibited and attended multiple trade shows and recently won Gold at the Driven x Design, London Design Awards. To view more of Kate's work check out our blog.

Placements

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.


Links to industry

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

OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

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.

Firewalking

BCU Graduate+

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.

More about Graduate+

Textile design career paths

Textile Design Career Paths

Graduate Sophie Hawkesford offers an insight into the wide range of career paths that are accessible with a textile design degree.

Read more 

Emma Shipley panel image

Graduate Emma J Shipley has collaborated with global brands including Disney, Camira Fabrics and Swarovski

Read more 

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 international students

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.

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

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

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.

Learn more about BCUIC

Popular home countries

Our students come from around the world but our textile design course is most popular with international students from:  

Parkside and Curzon Buildings

Our Facilities

You’ll be based in our School of Fashion and Textiles, within The Parkside Building. The Parkside Building is part of our new multi-million pound City Centre Campus development in the heart of Birmingham's Eastside development.

External Parkside Building and Water Feature
Parkside building from Curzon building
Parkside Interior
Textiles Screen Printing WS 1
ADM_FAS_Screen Print Extra
Textiles Print Room Kelly Marie WS
Textiles Dye Mixing 1
ADM_FAS_Dye Mix Extra
Textiles Dye Burners 1
ADM_FAS_Dye Mix Extra 2
Textiles Epson F2000 1
Textiles Epson F2000 2
Mimaki TX2 WS 1
Textiles Weave Room WS
Textiles Jacquard Loom 3
Textiles Jacquard Loom 4
Textiles Jacquard Loom 2
Textiles Jacquard Loom 5
ADM_FAS_Jacquard Extra 1
Textiles Multi Head Embroidery WS 1
Textiles Multi Head Embroidery CU 1
Textiles RugTufting 1
Textiles RugTufting 2

Our staff

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. 

See a full list of our staff

Kate Farley

Programme Leader of BA Textile Design, Senior Lecturer in Textile Design

Kate uses drawing and printmaking processes as well as digital software to develop commercial design work for diverse projects. Recently she has been commissioned by London Transport Museum to produce four posters on the theme of Parks and Gardens for London underground. She has created bespoke patterns for the Barbican Centre and David Mellor Design as well as public art projects, for example artwork on a hospital roof in Birmingham and public conveniences in Essex. Kate has also collaborated with companies such as Formica and The Window Film Company to enable her designs to be available on a range of surface materials, recently winning gold at the House Beautiful awards 2017 for window film collection in the best home improvement product category.

Kate has launched her own ranges of products including wallpaper, fabrics and giftware, working with British manufacturers and create unique artworks exhibited in galleries.

With an MA in Book Art and a BA in Printed Textiles & Surface Design Kate enjoys the diverse opportunities her skills and interests enable her to take on.

Read Kate's full profile

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Zoë Hillyard

Senior Lecturer

Graduating in Embroidery, Zoë 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 saw Zoë undertake an MSc, developing research interests in the use of design as a strategy within International Development. This led her to spending a sabbatical year developing design education provision at the Textile Institute in Mongolia with the charity VSO.

This experience laid the foundations of her current craft-based practice called ceramic patchwork.  Zoë has developed a new application for the tradition of hand-stitched patchwork, using it as a mending process to revive broken ceramics.  Her work explores concepts of fragility, imperfection, impermanence and resilience.

Zoë exhibits widely and has undertaken private and public commissions, including bespoke ranges for the British Museum and site-specific work for the National Trust.  She exhibited in COLLECT17 at Saatchi Gallery this year and to coincide with her solo show Balancing Tensions at The Anthropologie Gallery in September, held a public stitch event as part of London Design Festival.  Zoë is a member of Contemporary Applied Arts and the Society of Designer Craftsmen.  

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Sarah Burton

Lecturer in Textile Design

Sarah graduated in 2009 with a first class honours degree in Textile Design. Her knitwear collection attracted attention at Graduate Fashion Week winning the Pringle of Scotland Visionary Knitwear Award and making the shortlist for the River Island Gold Award. She went on to study an MA in Fashion Knitwear Design where she was awarded funding through the Paul Smith Scholarship to spend two months in Tokyo, Japan. She was selected as one of 25 graduate designers for Texprint 2012, exhibiting her MA knitwear collection in London, Paris and Hong Kong.

Her personal work is technically driven and has been shaped by an appreciation of knit as a versatile design language. A love of Japanese design has also influenced her simple and functional, yet intricate aesthetic.

Sarah also has a fashion knitwear background in industry, and has worked as a Knitwear Designer with high end Italian label Alberta Ferretti, followed by a more commercial role within a fast-paced swatch design studio. 

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Sharon Bell

Lecturer in Textile Design

Sharon currently teaches on the L6 Textile Retail Management Pathway and with Constructed Textiles students on L5.  

Sharon graduated specialising in knitwear and achieved a first class honours degree in Textile design. She was a winner of the RSA student awards winning the Worshipful Company of Weavers Award. Her collections of scarves were developed into commercially viable products and sold into Liberty of London. Sharon then pursued an MA in Fashion and Textiles, research focused on knitting technology and she won a Bursary from the Worshipful Company of Framework Knitters for her research study proposal.

Sharon has over 15 years experience in the fashion and textile industry and a thorough understanding of clothing product development and retail. She has gained an in-depth knowledge of working with multiple retailers including M&S, Monsoon, Next, Jaeger, East, Boden and Hackett. Her career as a designer has progressed to design executive for a large global apparel business whose head office was based in Hong Kong. She managed a team of designers with overall responsibility for design and development in the UK for knitwear.

Sharon has current experience of the complex global fashion business and an understanding of the pressures of fashion and textile students to gain relevant work experience, insights and contacts within the industry to strengthen employability.

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Kay Bruton

Lecturer in Textile Design

Kay is a graduate of the MFA CRAFT! programme at Konstfack University College Arts, Crafts and Design Stockholm. Here she specialised in hand-knitting and carried out artistic research into the learning relationships between amateur and professional craft artists. This research was informed by a residency at the Icelandic Textile Center, Iceland and a 3 week residency at her grandmother’s home in suburban Birmingham. Extensions of this have been exhibited as part of Craftspace Made in The Middle 2016-17 touring exhibition and group exhibition Soft Strategies, Harsh Reality at RAM Galleri, Oslo 2017.

In the studios and workshops you can expect questions. Kay loves questions! Posing them, discussing them, provoking them; using questioning to develop curious and critical thinkers. Drawing is an aspect of design education that Kay approaches as fundamental and vital, working with the idea that drawing facilitates thinking and thinking facilities impactful design.

Kay has taught in institutions in Finland, Sweden and UK, across compulsory, further education and community contexts. This overseas teaching experience informs her particular interest in supporting the university experience of international students.

Kay currently teaches Level 4 and 5 Textile Design.

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Clare Langford

Lecturer in Textile Design

Clare Langford is currently third year coordinator of the Textile Design Programme and teaches Constructed Textiles on L5 (second year) and L6 (third year).

Having graduated with a first class honours in Constructed Textiles (specialising in weave) Clare went on to win a number of awards including an RSA Design Award which took her to the Kawashima Textile School in Japan. She went on to develop a career as a designer maker, exhibiting work at a number of nationally recognised galleries and craft fairs and being shortlisted for the Crafts Council British Crafts in Japan Award, before starting her career as a lecturer. She has dedicated the last 18 years to teaching in Higher Education and brings her passion for weave, material development and fun learning approaches to her teaching position.

Clare has played a leading role in developing student employability through the organisation of student work placements and the development of industry links and live project collaborations. Her lecturing experience spans across all three levels and disciplines of the textile design programme.

Within her own practice and research interests she maintains a strong focus on material exploration, transformation and the making process. Her approach often involves working with heat responsive materials in the creation of new surfaces.

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