- UCAS Code: 1025
- Level: Undergraduate
- Starting: September 2021
- Study mode: Full Time (3 years)
- Location: City Centre
Studying with us in 2021/22
It is possible that the 2021/22 academic year may be affected by the ongoing disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Any arrangements put in place by the University for the 2021/22 academic year will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, pandemic-related/health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.
Our BA (Hons) Textile Design degree courses nurture fresh thinking and industry-ready creatives through a dynamic and carefully structured three year programme.
Our Retail, Business and Marketing option typically appeals to students who are excited about the practical aspects of textile design but have skills and interests in the business side of the creative industries and love working as part of a team. The focus on the course is on gaining a broad practical understanding of textile design and complement this with specific knowledge and experience of research, report-writing, planning, management and communication approaches.
Studying with us will provide you with the skills, insights and experiences required to succeed in a broad scope of professional textile related roles. Students secure placements within buying, marketing and visual merchandising departments within the retail sector, as well as work at magazines, with arts organisations and for trend prediction agencies.
By the end of your degree you will have a clear vision of where you fit in the industry and a tailored professional portfolio to take with you. Our BA (Hons) Textile Design: Retail, Business and Marketing graduates find employment as a Buyer, Visual Merchandiser, Design Director, Journalist – and find that the combination of having both practical and business skills invaluable.
Our brand new hub for the arts in the thriving Eastside of the city has been purpose-built to stimulate creative minds within an open-access, contemporary studio environment. You will become a part of our lively and close-knit student community and be guided by an experienced and passionate team of staff who value the importance of getting to know you as an individual.
What's covered in the course?
The programme reflects the diversity of contemporary textile practice. We pride ourselves not only on the quality of our graduates, but also the diversity of their work. We want you to be you!
Find your direction
With creativity at the heart of learning, you will develop core design and technical skills while gaining vital professional and industry awareness. The course is brimming with choice points to help you focus your experience as you clarify your personal interests.
You will be introduced to wide-ranging textile processes within the core technical areas of print, weave, knit and embroidery and embrace both digital technologies and traditional craft skills. The exciting potential of cross-disciplinary practice is supported and encouraged, giving you the option to either specialise or combine disciplines to take forward as your means of expression.
Career-focused teaching is designed to support you in identifying professional aspirations from the breadth of opportunity within textile design, and help you to further tailor your learning and portfolio towards them.
Having developed a distinctive and career-focused portfolio through the course, our unique Next Step module at the end of the final year bridges the gap between study and industry, allowing you time to put relevant strategies in place to help you achieve your ambitions with the support of the university network.
Why Choose Us?
- 96% of our students were employed or in further study (DLHE 2017).
- Our experienced and award-winning lecturers have extensive and broad insights to share with you, gained from key roles in industry or their experience working as practitioners.
- Live briefs expose you to leaders in the design field and help you develop important collaborative skills.
- Module timescales are aligned with industry pace, to ensure our students are fully prepared to step into the world of work.
- We support you in entering key national competitions such as Texselect, the Bradford Textile Competition, Hand and Lock and iDott to get your CV looking sharp from the get-go.
- We invite esteemed and influential guest speakers to come along and inspire you, from broad areas of the industry from Couture Embroidery Design to Trend Forecasting!
- Our cutting-edge facilities comprise of industry-standard technology and equipment to ensure you are developing professionally relevant skills and awareness.
- We know the importance of peer relationships and design fun, collaborative group learning opportunities to help you learn with and from each other.
- It’s easy to feel at home within our lively creative community. Joining clubs and societies and getting involved with other rewarding volunteer, mentoring and leadership roles will give you a taste of true university living, and you’ll make ‘friends for life’ along the way!
- Interested in travel? We run study trips that you can get involved with, and offer overseas university exchange opportunities through the Erasmus programme which could see you completing some of your degree overseas in places like Barcelona or Milan.
- Exhibit your work in your final year at our degree show, the ‘Inspired Festival’, with the opportunity to also be selected for New Designers, London.
Image credit: Loren Evans
Our next Open Day is taking place in Summer 2021. It's the perfect opportunity to tour our facilities, hear from some of our staff and get a feel of what it's like to study at BCU.
This course is open to International students
Discover the School of Fashion and Textiles
Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.
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.
We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.
112 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels.
Applications taken to the next stage must attend a 'portfolio review' in person in order to receive offer.
|LEVEL 2 QUALIFICATIONS|
|Irish Leaving Certificate (Ordinary Level)||See level 3 entry under Irish Leaving Certificate for full details|
|Scottish National 5||
|IELTS||Minimum overall score of 6.0, with no less than 5.5 in each band.|
|Plus one of the following Level 3 (and above) Qualifications|
|A Level and Advanced VCE||
|AS and AS VCE||Considered with a maximum of 3 other Level 3 qualifications (AS Levels must be in different subject to A-Levels) to obtain 112 pts|
|Access to HE Diploma||
|Foundation Studies (Art and Design, and Art, Design & Media)||
|IBO Certificate in Higher Level||
|International Baccalaureate Diploma||
|Irish Leaving Certificate (Highers)||Pass the Irish Leaving Certificate with a minimum of 112 tariff points, achieved in five Higher level subjects. This must include English Language and Maths taken at either Ordinary Level (minimum grade O1-O4 (or A-C/A1-C3)) or Higher level minimum grade H1/H7 (or A-D / A1-D3 up to and including 2016.|
|OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma||DMM|
|Scottish Advanced Higher||
|UAL Extended Diploma in Art & Design||Merit overall|
|UAL Extended Diploma in Creative Media Production & Technology||Merit overall|
|UAL Extended Diploma in Performing and Production Arts||Merit overall|
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.
Extra information for EU/International students
In addition to qualifications, applicants will also need a good digital portfolio.
|EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications||Requirements|
|IELTS||Minimum overall score of 6.0, with no less than 5.5 in each band.|
|International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses).||
In addition to the above, applicants will also need:
English Group A - Grade 4 or above
International students who cannot meet the direct entry requirements can begin their degree studies at Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC).
Applications from mature students (21+) with alternative qualifications and/or considerable work experience will be considered on their merits.
From A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels
Worried about teacher assessments?
However you're being assessed this Summer, it can be a stressful time. We've got a load of tips on revision skills and time management to help you feel as prepared as possible.
- UK students
- International students
Award: BA (Hons)
Starting: Sep 2021
- Full Time
- 3 years
- £9,250 per year
- Apply via UCAS
Award: BA (Hons)
Starting: Sep 2021
- Full Time
- 3 years
- £13,200 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 up to a maximum of five per cent.
Guidance for UK students
UK 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.
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
There are three ways to apply:
1) Direct to the University
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.
If your application is progressed, you will be asked to submit a digital portfolio of your creative work. Your portfolio is your opportunity to show us examples of your work and creative interests to support your application. Please see our portfolio guidance page for tips and advice on putting your portfolio together.
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:
Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?
If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.
Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.
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.
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.
Based on the past experience of our students, you might find it helpful to set aside about £50 for each year of your studies for your personal stationery and study materials. All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.
Accommodation and living costs
The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):
This introduces students to the initial stages of the design process, focusing on the importance of original image generation, drawing and self-expression. Students will explore diverse approaches to generating visual information and apply this to begin to build design compositions.
This module introduces students to four core design processes: print, weave, knit and embroidery, through extended workshop technical delivery and personal creative expression through making. There will be a strong focus on materiality and fabric properties, which will be related and applied to a specific design context.
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, co-ordinated collection and visualisation of ideas in relation to a specified context, simulating a commercial design project.
This module provides an introduction to historical and cultural contexts with international influences for students undertaking level 4 of the BA (Hons) Textile Design degree in order to provide a foundation of design knowledge and understanding, to support studio practice.
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.
In order to complete this course you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 100 credits):
This module provides a professional and cultural context for students undertaking level 5 of the BA (Hons.) Textile Design course. The lecture programme and participatory workshops / seminars encourage you to think broadly and critically about contemporary social and professional issues 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 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 provides the opportunity to develop important interpersonal skills alongside career pathway knowledge and understanding. The module will include working collaboratively and independently on writing and practically undertaking design briefs that relates to one of the career focused teaching pathways. You will apply knowledge gained about the chosen sector such as product / client / routes to market / costings / marketing & promotion, in developing and communicating a viable industry facing project.
In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete at least 20 credits from the following list of OPTIONAL modules:
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.
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. Within this module framework, several kinds of collaborative opportunities are available. For example, with the approval of your supervisor, you can determine a project based on your own interests; your supervisor may set you a predetermined project to enable you to work with other students in a way that is appropriate to your subject area; or there may be opportunities for you to collaborate with staff on research projects. In all cases, you must apply your subject skills to an interdisciplinary project which will be agreed in advance with your supervisor.
Your final year gives you the opportunity to hone your portfolio and experience to suit your career ambitions through focused projects.
In order to complete this course you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 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. The outcome may take the form of a written dissertation or a practice-based portfolio.
This module enables you to reflect and synthesise previous projects in order to establish a creative direction and career-focused concept / brief to drive personal research and development of the Professional Project. As a creative practitioner, it is an important skill to be able to evaluate successes and evolve ideas from one project to another.
The module builds and demonstrates a personal focus of study as a culmination of the knowledge, understanding and career aspirations of the individual in relation to textile design contexts. Practical and theoretical study combine to explore design concepts answering a personal brief with a professional focus. The direction the project takes will be in relation to your experiences of career-focused teaching and immediate professional plans on graduation.
This module supports the process of exhibiting / 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 a proposal/direction, and confirm future goals and career aspirations.
The first year is all about experimentation! You will engage with different approaches to drawing and idea generation, learn in depth about colour, composition and materials in relation to textile design, and be challenged with working to your first client brief. You will be introduced to our workshops to learn and sample in the areas of woven, knitted, embroidered and printed textiles, identifying the technical language (or languages) that best suit your skills and interests.
A contextual lecture/ seminar programme builds knowledge of historical textiles which provides the vital reference points needed within contemporary design as well as critical thinking skills.
In your second year, you will extend your technical skills while beginning to understand the scope of career opportunities open to you. You will start the year by learning about key industry sectors and developing a personal CV and creative promotional material to help you establish your areas of interest.
You will then be introduced to and choose practical design challenges from across five key employment sectors which have been designed to help you consider your place within the industry:
- Bespoke Fashion Textiles
- Contemporary Culture and Craft
- Retail and Promotion
- Styling and Trend Forecasting
- Surface Pattern and Technologies
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 then choose to end the year by undertaking a professional Work Placement or Collaborative Practice experience, building your knowledge in the workplace or working alongside other creative students from across the Faculty.
In Year 3 you will continue your design journey in relation to your chosen career pathway and through your choice of textile language, but with a much more independent and self-directed focus.
You will begin by writing your dissertation around a subject of interest. This will often kickstart themes and concepts that can form the basis of practical work to follow.
The final project is split into two modules, to help structure the experience. You will firstly engage in broad and personal contextual research to inform and inspire you in creating a professional portfolio of extended design work and resolve a creative brief that is aligned with your creative ambitions.
Our unique Next Step module then equips you with all you need to make the leap into employment, which could be anything from putting together job applications, to writing a business plan or applying for an exhibition…
Find your direction. Learn a range of textile skills, including print, then specialise in your second year.
The learning environment
Our teaching encompasses a wide range of learning and teaching methods, and immersive, interactive studio/workshop experiences are supported by e-learning to provide a holistic experience. Equipment includes a suite of digital printers, jacquard looms, computerised AVL studio looms, digital embroidery machines, V-bed Dubied knitting machines and laser cutting equipment, in addition to traditional facilities which comprise of a dye lab, screen-printing tables, transfer presses, flocking facilities, knitting machines, looms and rug tufting guns.
Studios, workshops, computer suites and library facilities operate late night access to suit night owls as well as early birds! We have professional support teams on hand to help you every step of the way – organising Disability Support, wellbeing, housing or careers.
Supportive tuition in both one-to-one and combined groups scenarios throughout the course fosters the interchange of ideas and promotes critical thinking. The diverse experience of the academic staff reflects the course ethos – all are practising designers/visual artists and many have worked internationally.
The course actively fosters links with organisations and industry, providing a continuously updated contemporary educational experience.
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 design stimulating workshops and activities to help to develop problem-solving abilities and interpersonal skills as well as subject specific knowledge and help to prepare you for the real world by setting industry-facing briefs and running design projects as if in a commercial studio. With role-play sessions, reviews and critiques, you have 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.
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.
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.
Since graduating I have interned with Next menswear in the Print and Graphics Department. My internship with them came after my work was recognised at the 2018 New Designers exhibition, a hub for textile graduates to exhibit their work and make valuable contacts within the industry. The design department at Next contacted me directly after the exhibition and offered me the place.
My current role is designer maker and company director of my company, Kate Hollowood Design. I work for myself and am currently the only employee, meaning I am responsible for everything involved in running a creative business; from making accounts to following up leads and attending trade shows as well as admin, pricing, quotes, diary bookings, product development and marketing…. the list goes on!
I was lucky to have a part time job in the fashion industry during my final year at university. It wasn’t easy to juggle work and study commitments at the same time but I was dedicated to building my career as soon as I could.
The trainee position at Outfit Fashion helped me to understand the company’s structure and the different roles I could have in the industry, but most importantly I learnt about applying the principles of buying/merchandising and design that I had been learning throughout the course. Once I graduated the position became a full time role and I was able to develop my skills within this field even further.
Assistant Editor - Stylus
Watch the video below to find out how Chloe's time on our BA (Hons) Textile Design course helped her discover her dream career.
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.
Through our courses we give you the skills and experience needed to get a head start when applying for jobs. But we offer something extra too – Graduate+.
Our unique programme gives you the chance to develop valuable skills outside of the more formal classroom learning. We award points for Graduate+ activities (including firewalking!) and these can be put towards a final Graduate+ award.
Textile Design Career Paths
Graduate Sophie Hawkesford offers an insight into the wide range of career paths that are accessible with a textile design degree.
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.
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 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.
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.
Dr. Dilusha Rajapakse
Lecturer in Textile Design
Dilusha is a Lecturer in Textile Design, and an active researcher in the areas of smart materials and dynamic textile design. Dilusha’s multidisciplinary practice-based research examine the fusion of smart materials and textile printing methods in order to integrate animated colour and pattern changing aesthetics onto fabrics without compromising the core textile characteristics.
Dilusha completed his PhD in 2017 and his research was fully funded by the Nottingham Trent University Vice Chancellor’s Scholarship. His doctoral research questioned the unexploited design potential of photochromism and contributed by articulating an approach that can be applied to design a new level of multicolour and pattern changing effects on textile surfaces. He was also a recipient of the Harold Tillman Scholarship Award and completed his MA in Digital Fashion at London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London. He also holds a BA (Hons) in Fashion Design and Product Development obtained from University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka.