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.
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.