Course Overview

Building on Bradford’s world-renowned textile heritage and expertise, this specialist course is taught in a traditional Art School environment. BA (Hons) Textiles and Surface Design will develop your expertise in surface pattern, constructed textiles and experimental material surfaces. It focuses on developing independent and creative thinking and has been designed to be challenging both artistically and practically. The fundamentals of craft processes are taught alongside industry standard digital software and techniques essential for fashion and interior textiles.

Strong links with the local and regional textile industry will provide you with opportunities to take part in live briefs, competitions and visits. The importance of employability and commercial awareness throughout the course, means you will be well placed to launch a career as a textile designer or to work in the wider fashion and textiles industries.

Areas of study may include:

  • Constructed Textiles (weave and knit)
  • Surface pattern and print
  • Digital textile design
  • Fashion and interiors
  • Live briefs with industry
  • Laser cutting and materials innovation.

Course Structure

Level 4:

You will be introduced to the fundamentals of design briefs as well as a broad range of textile skills in constructed textiles and surface pattern design. A strong emphasis is placed on creative experimentation, sampling, visual development and research skills. A broader contextual awareness of the design world is also supported through lectures and seminars.

Level 5:

You will build upon and develop new skills in textile processes, digital design and materials manipulation, learning how to apply this to real design briefs for specific fashion or interiors markets. Development of career awareness and preparation for employment is key to study at this level. You will also explore the important role of trends research and textiles innovation.

Level 6:

During the final stage of your degree the emphasis is on developing your practice towards your chosen career aspirations.  Individually negotiated projects and career plans will culminate in a final graduate collection and showcase, typically at New Designers, London.

Modules Covered

Level 4 modules include:

  • Creative Practice - Introduction
  • Creative Practice - Experimentation
  • Professional Development
  • Design Context.

Level 5 modules include:

  • Creative Practice - Market Focus
  • Creative Practice - Trend and Innovation
  • Professional Development
  • Design Matters - Historical and Contemporary Issues.

Level 6 modules include:

  • Creative Practice - Making and Projects
  • Major Design Project
  • Design Focus (Dissertation)
  • Design Your Futures 3 - Promotion, Planning and Appraisal.

Learning Methods

Over the duration of the course, you will be encouraged to become increasingly independent, and conduct self-led learning with the support of your tutors, in order for your individual creative potential to flourish. The opportunity for work experience placements, use of professional quality equipment and the support of our diverse team will also aid your creative output.

Teaching Methods

Our experienced programme team boast a diverse range of expertise, from practising designer-makers, to trend forecasting consultants and retail professionals. Our valuable connections with local and national businesses will allow you to access exclusive design resources and a wide range of work experience opportunities. The diversity of teaching will enable you to acquire a wide range of skills associated with textile design, surface pattern and decoration.


In keeping with the challenges and pace of the course, you will be assessed through a combination of formative and summative assignments, in order to maintain a level of creative input and develop skills. The majority of assessable work is practical, and will often be assessed through the presentation of an exhibition or portfolio. The remainder of the course will be based on theory, the assignments for which will be delivered through essays, reports or journals.

Work Placement/Fieldwork

You will have the opportunity to work on live projects from industry, win sponsorships and participate in a work experience scheme. You will benefit greatly from visits by practising designers, textile artists, designer-makers and business professionals. Visits to professional trade fairs for fashion and interiors and the opportunity to study abroad in beautiful cities such as Florence, Barcelona, Paris, Venice or Frankfurt all provide you with a realistic and broad knowledge of the subject and help you prepare for your future employment.

What's Next?

Our programme has an excellent track record of successful graduate careers in design-related industries. As a versatile and independent graduate you will be able to pursue a career within any of a wide variety of textile and surface design-related professions. Recent graduate destinations have included designers, marketing assistants, merchandisers, costumer makers and gallery management. Alternatively, the versatility of the degree also lends itself to postgraduate study, or to teacher training.

Did You Know?

You will have the opportunity to learn from both practitioners and experienced professionals. You will work with artists and designers a well as local and national galleries, museums and exhibitions.

You will develop your creative ability within a well-resourced learning environment which offers excellent studio and workshop facilities.


Fashion and Textiles Workshops:

Bradford School of Art boasts a wealth of traditional and digital resources. Our specialist fashion and textiles workshop facilities include industrial sewing machines, specialist machines, pattern cutting, industry standard mannequins and garment construction. Specialist industrial embroidery machines, including Irish and Cornelly machines are used widely across our fashion and textiles courses. Pleating and embellisher machines are also popular with our students.

Constructed textiles workshops include traditional eight-shaft weaving looms and our wonderful ‘George Wood’ floor looms dating back to the 1800’s, but also include an industrial power jacquard loom and computerised Louet looms. Knitting machines cover a range of gauges, from fine to chunky knits, and also have digital knit capabilities.

Our dedicated textile print room includes full-length silk-screen printing facilities in addition to dye mixing facilities. Our two digital textile printers also allow our students across the art school to see their digital designs come to life, while wallpaper designs can also be printed to scale. A large format laser cutter offers the opportunity to develop surface pattern and 3D ideas in a wide range of materials from plastics and paper to leather and textiles.

Specialist technicians will work closely with you to support you in the technical aspects of your design projects and final collections.


Entry Requirements

80 UCAS tariff points and GCSE English and mathematics at a minimum of Grade C.

For UCAS tariff points grade combinations click:

Admission is normally based on your portfolio and interview. 

Applications are encouraged through non-traditional routes. An appropriate level of study will be identified through a portfolio presentation and evidence of professional practice experience at interview (APEL).

Applications are also encouraged from those who have completed an Art & Design Access Certificate course.

For mature candidates, we require appropriate work experience supported by a demonstrated commitment to pursue a specialist area of study.

Information, Advice and Support

Careers Guidance

Help with choosing the right course and with thinking about where this might take you in the future.
Tel: 01274 433043
Email: [email protected]

Learning Support

Support for applicants with a learning difficulty, disability, illness or other learning need.
Tel: 01274 433133
Email: [email protected]

For all other queries call 01274 088088

Fees Information

We believe that quality degrees should not cost the earth. That's why our competitive tuition fees provide you with a quality experience that includes more taught hours than those at most universities, good levels of tutor access, and support with small teaching groups. More information on our competitive tuition fees

Programme Specification