Key facts

Entry requirements

112 or DMM

Additional entry requirements apply to this course Full entry requirements

UCAS code

W231

Institution code

D26

Duration

3 yrs full-time

Three years full-time, four years full-time with a placement. Six years part-time.

Fees

2024/25 UK tuition fees:
£9,250

2024/25 international tuition:
£15,750

Additional costs

Entry requirements

112 or DMM

Additional entry requirements apply to this course Full entry requirements

UCAS code

W231

Institution code

D26

Duration

3 yrs full-time

Three years full-time, four years full-time with a placement. Six years part-time.

Fees

2024/25 UK tuition fees:
£9,250

2024/25 international tuition:
£15,750

Additional costs

Employability skills are embedded into the curriculum, alongside opportunities to work on live briefs set by industry experts

Textile Design at DMU gives you the practical, digital and professional skills you need to become a designer in the contemporary global textile market. The course is a deep exploration of the fabric in the world around us - from wallpaper and soft furnishings to transport upholstery and luxury fashion, and is designed to equip you with a multifaceted eye for design techniques. 

You can specialise in one of four areas – mixed media, print, knit or weave – and will explore the key applications of fashion, interior and lifestyle.

  • Mixed media focuses on creating contemporary collections using embroidery and embellishment to build up surfaces.
  • Print explores the translation of imagery onto textile surfaces with the inventive use of screen printing and dyeing processes.
  • Knit and weave concentrate on developing innovative textile structures through yarn and fibres.

Employability skills are embedded into the curriculum, alongside opportunities to work on live briefs set by industry experts and take part in prestigious competitions. Our expert teaching team will encourage you to take dynamic approaches to textile design that will influence the future of the industry and you will graduate as a forward-thinking, responsible designer.

Follow Textile Design BA (Hons) on Instagram to see inspiring work by our students.  

Block teaching designed around you

You deserve a positive teaching and learning experience, where you feel part of a supportive and nurturing community. That’s why most students will enjoy an innovative approach to learning using block teaching, where you will study one module at a time. You’ll benefit from regular assessments – rather than lots of exams at the end of the year – and a simple timetable that allows you to engage with your subject and enjoy other aspects of university life such as sports, societies, meeting friends and discovering your new city. By studying with the same peers and tutor for each block, you’ll build friendships and a sense of belonging. Read more about block teaching.

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What you will study

In your first year you will experience all four specialist areas of textile design, enabling you to make an informed decision about the pathway you will choose for your second and third year.

Block 1: Inquiry

In this module you will develop your understanding of the necessity for visual investigation. You will explore a variety of methodologies for developing information gathering, drawing, photography, image making, documentation, experimentation, and conceptual development. You will explore approaches to critical reflection. In response to taught sessions you will expand skills, advancing and personalising a range of investigative techniques for use throughout the course. You will explore composition, layout, and prototyping for textile design to communicate your ideas to a variety of audiences. You will respond to a project where you will also be introduced to strategies for using contextual investigation and consider how that informs the development of your practical skills.

Assessment: 50% project and 50% coursework.

Block 2: Specialism Rotation

This module introduces you to the textile specialisms of Print, Mixed Media, and Construct, (knit and weave). You will receive an introduction to the design processes in each area by attending a series of workshops, exploring colour, pattern, image, texture, and form. These will be further developed through consideration of composition and layout, and then translated into final outcomes using materials technologies and processes relevant to each textile's specialism. You will explore practical skills in a range of specialist workshops and will record your development as part of your coursework technical file. The module includes a technical and theoretical exploration of colouration, yarns, fibres, and fabric construction. The module aims to equip you with knowledge, information and an awareness of environmental and ethical issues underlying the broader field of textiles.

Assessment: 100% coursework.

Block 3: Design Development

You will enhance your understanding of visual and contextual investigation and apply your knowledge to the development of speculative textile design ideas. Investigating a range of approaches to concept generation and design development. Consideration of layout, scale, colour, and materials will be addressed in taught sessions. You will respond to the sessions, developing the knowledge and skills that enable you to produce a collection of Textile design conclusions in response to a set brief. You are expected to communicate your project development and conclusions in a verbal and visual presentation to tutors and peers.

Assessment: 80% coursework and 20% presentation.

Block 4: Culture and Context

In this module you will reflect on the skills and knowledges you have developed in Textile Design. You will be supported in developing and executing an individual textile design project that will demonstrate your application of this knowledge to physical or digital outcomes. You will also explore techniques that can be used to critically evaluate and reflect on your learning, supporting their development in subsequent modules.

The practical content is further underpinned by theoretical content delivered by the Design Cultures department to contextualise current practice within an historical framework. You will consider origins and influences - how traditions develop and evolve in response to social and political contexts - as well as research methods, visual literacy, and the skills for academic writing.

Assessment: 50% project and 50% written assignment.

Block 1: Specialism Technical

The focus of the module is practical skills building and engagement with workshop facilities as a creative resource. You will investigate the processes, materials, and techniques of your chosen specialist area. There will be a range of technical workshop sessions to enable students to become effective practitioners in their field of study. You are also required to experiment and explore specialist processes in directed studies to develop your understanding and skillset. Sourcing and selection of materials and yarns, as well as in the combinations of processes and techniques is expected as part of your self-directed learning. You will also be supported in developing colouration skills, along with knowledge of fibres, yarns and fabrics and textile testing which will inform your approach. You will be supported in developing their reflection and analytical skills throughout the module.

Assessment: 70% technical development and 30% coursework.

Block 2: Communication

Design Cultures contextual teaching is included in this module. At Level 5 you will engage with issues and debates including sustainability, gender, and cross-cultural awareness. You will research and explore relevant historical, theoretical, critical, and global concepts to underpin your understanding of contemporary issues in the fashion industry.

You will undertake several tasks that will develop your skills in investigating, interpreting, and communicating design developments that are informing contemporary textile design practice, including trend research. Through seminars and practical workshops, you will test ideas and discuss contemporary approaches to realising design ideas.

Assessment: 50% presentation portfolio and 50% written assignment.

Block 3: Industry

You will respond to at least one industry brief. Through engaging with industrial practices, you will develop an awareness of customer, branding and market points which is fundamental to the textile design process for industry. The module will support you in continuing to develop textile design skills and knowledge of specific technologies and processes within the specialism areas.

You will develop an understanding of the need to conduct market research and develop greater awareness of the use of trend information as part of the design process. Lectures and practical workshops will support the development of the skills required to acquire, collate, and present this information to a range of audiences.

Assessment: 50% market investigation and 50% project.

Block 4: Global Contexts

In this module you will be tasked with developing a body of work that is targeted at a non-western centric market. In lectures and seminars, you will explore a variety of global markets and contexts for textile design. You will explore issues relating to cultures, beliefs and ethical practice and consider the impact on your design practice

You will be asked to consider your work in and how it is situated within a global context. You will be expected to develop your understanding of the challenges faced in protecting and improving the world we live in and consider how your practice can potentially have a positive impact and contribute and solve problems.

You will develop a range of design conclusions based on investigation and consideration of non-UK markets. You will evaluate your findings and construct a presentation that communicates this to a range of audiences.

Assessment: 50% project and 50% presentation.

Block 1: Exploration

This module provides the opportunity for you to create an individual textile design collection of work for fashion, interiors, or lifestyle. Through investigation and design development you may also propose design solutions for other contexts. This module represents the development of a personal design direction, which may be refined further in subsequent modules towards more detailed and resolved conclusions.

Writing your own brief for a context of choice, you will focus on creating an original body of work, exploring their design interests whilst conducting investigation focused on concept, design development and technical development. This will conclude, with a collection of design concepts. You will be supported in developing working practices that enable you to investigate and develop concepts to design conclusions. Throughout the module you are actively encouraged to compete in national competitions and live projects to further your career prospects and enhance your creative skillset.

Assessment: 50% investigation file and 50% design development.

Block 2: Design and Culture

For Design Cultures, you will consolidate your skills of research, organization, critical analysis, and communication to develop and agree a self-directed title for an extended essay or alternative assessment. A link between the written assignment and studio projects is encouraged to demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between theory and practice.

You will be supported in developing a collection of textile design conclusions that should be informed by the knowledge and skills that have been developed in prior modules. You will be supported in applying design development techniques that give them the opportunity to generate textile design conclusions. CAD workshops will inform digital design and presentation processes and you will negotiate specialism workshop access should you wish to produce physical textile design work.

In conclusion you will present a resolved collection of work that is informed by an iterative approach to design development and informed by relevant global and cultural issues.

Assessment: 50% project and 50% coursework.

Block 3 and Block 4: Major Project or Dissertation

Major Project represents the opportunity to consolidate individual practice and independent thinking. You will explore your own negotiated project and will be supported in creating a design collection to a professional standard. Through exploration of complex concepts and themes you will explore your design interests throughout the module

The module challenges you to expand existing skills and acquire new ones, which will facilitate the transition to industry. You will be supported in developing an understanding of the context within which you are designing and demonstrate awareness of market level in the form of extensive investigation. Outcomes will be resolved into a collection of textile designs or product.

This module also develops a portfolio of professional skills in preparation for industry or further academic study. Through seminars, lectures and visiting lecturers from industry, you will assess your prior experience, achievements, and knowledge, in order to identify career pathways. You will also be supported in developing a promotional portfolio (digital and physical) of work which demonstrates the ability to visually summarise projects, from concept to final visualisations. The portfolio will include images and text suitable for relevant audiences.

Assessment: 80% portfolio and 20% presentation.

OR

A dissertation will respond to a significant research question relating to textile design, which is sufficiently, and appropriately challenging. A proposal will be submitted which enables you to explore and present knowledge and concepts of a complex nature, employing critical thinking in the analysis of texts, focussing on wider historical, cultural, contemporary, or global issues to support a written outcome. This will then support the development of the dissertation.

A structured chapter outline, and bibliography will be presented mid-project, to confirm and determine the approach to the dissertation. The results of your findings will be presented to academic standards and conventions in the form of a dissertation.

Assessment: 80% dissertation and 20% presentation.

Note: All modules are indicative and based on the current academic session. Course information is correct at the time of publication and is subject to review. Exact modules may, therefore, vary for your intake in order to keep content current. If there are changes to your course we will, where reasonable, take steps to inform you as appropriate.

Structure

During your first year, you will gain a practical grounding in textile design and digital skills, alongside a theoretical understanding of professional practice, visual research, textile history and contexts. You will then specialise in one of four areas of textile design: mixed media, print, knit or weave. Mixed media is our most three-dimensional specialism and focuses on the design and crafting of embroidery, embellishment and conceptual techniques to build up surfaces. In printed textiles, you are encouraged to explore both traditional and contemporary print processes, from screen printing to digital, underpinned by a technical understanding of dyeing in our state-of-the-art dye laboratories. In studying constructed textiles, knit or weave, you will be able to explore designing textile structures through the skilful and creative use of yarn and fibres, the mainstay of the textile industry.

You will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, practical studio sessions, tutorials, workshops and self-directed study. The assessments are designed to build on each other as you progress in your studies and you will have opportunities to receive feedback on your work throughout your learning journey. Assessment can be varied, but generally will take the form of a visual presentation either as a catwalk, or digital display.

The teaching team are experts across key fields within the creative industries, from influential textile designers, international design studio directors and specialist makers to textile technologists, scientists, historians, academic researchers and policy influencers. You will also be supported by our team of dedicated expert technicians.

Each year you will participate in various national and international competitions such as the Hand and Lock, Hallmark cards and New York SURTEX Exhibition Design competition. Students regularly win awards at New Designers and their work has also been exhibited in showcases such as The Discerning Eye, One Year On and Graduate Showcase with the Embroiderers Guild.

Contact hours

In your first year you will normally attend around 19 hours of timetabled taught sessions each week and we expect you to undertake at least 22 further hours of independent study to complete project work and research.

Textile Design in the spotlight

DMU students take top prizes at renowned textile design awards

DMU students take top prizes at renowned textile design awards

Final year Fashion and Textile Design student Penny Kowalkowski won one of the top prizes at the prestigious Bradford Textile Society Design Competition Awards, capping off a bumper competition for De Montfort University Leicester (DMU).

August 2021

Student work

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Our facilities

Fashion and Textiles studios and spaces

From 3D printing to form making, we have a range of facilities to support you.

Fashion and Textiles Studios

Vijay Patel Building

It is a major landmark on the De Montfort University campus and provides students and staff with the space and resources they need to thrive.

Explore the Vijay Patel

Our expertise

Profile picture for Nick Rodgers

Nick Rodgers

Programme Leader- Textile Design BA (Hons)

A graduate from the Royal College of Art and Glasgow School of Art, Nick has over 25 years of experience. He has designed Fashion Textiles, Interior Textiles, and gift-wrap, creating numerous textiles work for BT, The Open University, Island Records, as well as numerous national and international clients. He is passionate about equipping his students with the skills to enable them to succeed in their chosen career paths.

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Nicola Taylor

Senior Lecturer - Print

A graduate from the Royal College of Art, Nicola has had extensive experience of the fashion and textiles industry. Producing and selling designs for over 25 years to fashion labels such as Donna Karan, Givenchy, Marc Jacobs Celine and Armani via her own studio. This has given her a keen awareness of what the industry is looking for in a successful and relevant designer.

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Kate Johnson

Senior Lecturer – Print

Kate has worked as a textile designer and practicing artist since graduating from DMU’s Textile Design course. She brings a wealth of experience and technical knowledge to the course, through her practical, hands-on approach to print design and creative experimentation.

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Elizabeth Scott

Senior Lecturer – Knit

A graduate from Fashion and Textiles MA at DMU, Elizabeth is also a freelance designer. Her design practice is focused on crafted hand knit process. She brings a wealth of experience with yarn use and how to transition research into practical outcomes.

Accreditations, awards or memberships

Ranked as one of the best fashion schools in the world for 2022 and 2023 (CEOWORLD, 2023) and in the top 10 in the UK for 'career after 15 months' (The Guardian University Guide 2022), our innovative and widely-respected courses help prepare students for fulfilling futures in this fast-paced industry.

Green Gown Award logo

Green Gown Award

The School of Fashion and Textiles won the Next Generation Learning and Skills Award in the Green Gowns Awards 2021 and received global recognition in the International Green Gown Awards 2022. These awards are the gold standard for sustainability in universities around the world and this puts DMU at the forefront of sustainable fashion and textiles education in the UK. Sustainability is at the heart of our curriculum and teaching, empowering our students to be agents of change within the industry.

UK Fashion and Textiles Association logo

UK Fashion and Textiles Association

We are members of the UK Fashion and Textiles Association which ensures our teaching stays up to date with the latest developments in the sector and provides valuable industry links that enhance our courses.

What makes us special

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Block learning

With block teaching, you’ll learn in a focused format, where you study one subject at a time instead of several at once. As a result, you will receive faster feedback through more regular assessment, have a more simplified timetable, and have a better study-life balance. That means more time to engage with your DMU community and other rewarding aspects of university life.

DMU students looking up at the camera on a sunny day while on a DMU Global trip to DMU. The cityscape is in view behind them.

DMU Global

DMU Global is the award-winning international experience programme for DMU students, aiming to enrich your studies and expand your cultural horizons.

Students on this course have been on DMU Global trips to Copenhagen to explore sustainability in the fashion and textiles industry, and to Berlin to discover how independent boutiques and designers run their businesses.

Where we could take you

David Bowie immersive live experience at the National Space Centre

Placements to make you work-ready

Our Careers Team can help to hone your professional skills with mock interviews and practice aptitude tests, and an assigned personal tutor will support you throughout your placement.

Previous students have benefitted from placements at both high fashion and high street brands such as Alexander McQueen, Primark, Berghaus, ASOS, Joules and Marks & Spencer.

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Your future career

DMU aims to prepare you for a career in the international textile industry, whether that be working with high street brands, high value designers and bespoke makers, or as a self-employed entrepreneur.

Our graduates are working as designers, colourists, buyers, freelancers and in production. Some of the big brands they work for include Hallmark, George at ASDA, Gilbey & Cheyne Design, Tiger Prints, Osborne & Little, H&M, Warner Fabrics and Sainsbury’s Home.

Course specifications

Course title

Textile Design

Award

BA (Hons)

UCAS code

W231

Institution code

D26

Study level

Undergraduate

Study mode

Full-time

Part-time

Start date

September 2024

Duration

Three years full-time, four years full-time with a placement. Six years part-time.

Fees

2024/25 UK tuition fees:
£9,250

2024/25 international tuition:
£15,750

Additional costs

Entry requirements

Typical entry requirements

We welcome applicants from a range of backgrounds.

  • Art and Design Foundation or
  • 112 points from at least 2 A ‘levels
  • BTEC Extended Diploma DMM
  • International Baccalaureate: 26+ Points or
  • T Levels Merit

Plus five GCSEs grades 9-4 including English Language or Literature at grade 4 or above.

  • Pass Access with 30 Level 3 credits at Merit and GCSE English (Language or Literature) at grade 4 or above

We will normally require students to have had a break from full time education before undertaking the Access course.

  • We also accept the BTEC First Diploma plus two GCSEs including English Language or Literature at grade 4 or above

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, an IELTS score of 6.0 overall with 5.5 in each band (or equivalent) when you start the course is essential.

English language tuition, delivered by our British Council-accredited Centre for English Language Learning, is available both before and throughout the course if you need it.

Interview and portfolio

Interview required: No

Portfolio required: Yes

Please see our portfolio advice page for full details.

Additional costs

Here at DMU we provide excellent learning resources, including the Kimberlin Library and specialist workshops and studios. However, you should be aware that sometimes you may incur additional costs, which for this programme could include the following:

  • Art and design materials: £145 in your first year, increasing to £265 in your second year and £430 in your third year to include your final major project. These costs may vary depending on what materials you choose to work in
  • Field trips or visits: £120 in your first and second year
  • Specialist printing: £80 in your second year and £125 in your third year

There will also be a range of optional showcasing activities that will be available to you, the costs of which will vary depending on the opportunities you choose.