Textile design is about the development of all kinds of textile materials for use in a wide variety of ways, from textiles for fashion to interior design and from decorative products to paper-based products, such as greetings cards, gift-wrap and wallpapers. Whatever the medium, a textile designer will have a creative vision and the commercial awareness to turn it into a finished product, starting with a design concept and evolving through creative experimentation.
The curriculum is designed for you to gain a confident understanding and intellectual awareness of the nature of textile materials, a working knowledge of elected technical skills in print, stitch and embroidery, and the opportunity to engage with contemporary design practice.
With core subjects of drawing, colour workshops, traditional studio design techniques and high-end CAD/CAM technologies, understanding materials and digital media will lay the foundations for specialisations in both hand-based and digital applications.
Added to these, an integral part of your experience will be gaining commercial and industrial awareness, as well as an understanding of business practice. You will learn about the prediction of trends and, from this, shape your own practices, enabling you to be in advance of trends, rather than simply responding to them. Our emphasis is on developing your individual and creative flair alongside a working understanding of the commercial and professional textiles industry.
“I love being creative. On this course, I’m able to combine my hobbies and hopes for the future” – Sarah Morris, BA Textiles. Read more about Sarah’s first year at CSAD here.
As part of this process, you will have the opportunity to meet and learn from designers, makers and external consultants who contribute to the course, and who represent the diversity of professional pathways open to you. Exploring these is at the heart of some of the key features of the course, like its opportunities for public exhibitions and internationalism, and its exposure to international trade and craft fairs.
The structure of the course enables you to gather strong business experience, undertake a work placement within the industry, carry out research with one of our Professors and research staff, or travel to study textile design in countries where the traditions are very different. In the third year, textile students can elect to undertake a business plan or a dissertation, preparing the way for your career on graduation. The choice is yours, and it’s there to help realise your ambitions – whether that is to continue your personal development through further study, build an audience for your work, join an agency or build the beginnings of your client list.
The focus of the degree is not only to develop you as a student and critical thinker, but to inspire your growth into a skilled and intellectual designer. These attributes, which are dependent on one another, combined with practical experience and an understanding of the Textiles industry, will form the beginning of your career, and stand you in the strongest possible position to carry it forward.
The textiles programme is taught by a dedicated team of both academics and working designers and artists; staff interests and research areas range from digital imaging and print technology to traditional tribal weaving techniques, from British Fashion of the 1970s to tabletop ceramics, and from natural plant dyed textiles to sustainability and future materials.
Year One (level 4)
Material Matters: The first term will immerse you in the concepts and practices of Textile design. You will be creatively and academically challenged in your introduction to the demands of undergraduate study, whilst building upon your existing skills by taking part in workshops and studio practice.
Textiles in the City: In this module, you will be offered the opportunity to collaborate across subject disciplines. By tackling a set of concerns as a group, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of your own strengths, skills and artistic insight in relation to the broader creative field.
Concept: In term one, a series of keynote lectures will introduce you to currently emerging concepts in art and design, as well as more established ideas.
Year Two (level 5)
Making Connections: Through workshops, lectures and seminars, you will be consolidating the key skills, self-awareness and practical experience central to your continued development as a textile designer. The difference, at Level 5, is an emphasis on professionalism; how to engage these skills in a way which might inform your future plans and assist you in achieving them. Innovation and creativity is important; you will be problem-solving, building an intellectual portfolio and reflecting on your progression in becoming a confident designer, capable of a wide range of textile processes, design practice and thinking.
Project choices: You will be set a challenging project which will require you to negotiate and learn beyond the curriculum of your subject discipline. It may take you abroad for international study; to an existing company for work experience or voluntary social engagement; or result in working with School’s leading research teams or individual staff. Designed to encourage you to explore and experiment, individual projects will be graded by a common form of assessment.
Critique: Second year Constellation work is intended to equip you with the confidence and expertise to critically evaluate the ideas that you encounter – your own, as well as those of others.
Year Three (level 6)
Consultancy: Working with academics and design consultants, you will write a self-set brief that allows you to further explore and consolidate practical and creative skills alongside your professional aspirations. You may, for example, choose to explore global or local textile design opportunities, commissions or competitions.
Contribution (Dissertation): Your final Constellation module will demonstrate your ability to produce a dissertation of significant value to your field, with a sense of authority stemming from thorough research and academic rigour.
Exhibition: Your final term is dedicated to a major project and exhibition of design work within your degree subject; this being the culmination of your creative practice and, often, the launch-pad for a final year student’s future career.
LEARNING AND TEACHING
From the outset, you will gain hands-on experience in practical studio sessions and workshops – developing your core material skills. Lectures, lead by members of the academic staff, will broaden your theoretical understanding of your field, whilst smaller, targeted seminars are designed to provide guidance for meeting more individual intellectual and practical demands.
Throughout the duration of your studies, you will be evaluated on three main criteria which underpin all of the disciplines being taught at CSAD:
Skills The practical, technical and conceptual skills you acquire during your course.
Context Your understanding and knowledge of broader intellectual context within which your discipline and work is located. This includes historical, theoretical and social issues and will often be explored in written or theoretical work, known as your Constellation modules.
Ideas Your understanding of intellectual and creative ideas from within and beyond your discipline; plus your ability to acquire new concepts and form new ideas. Ideas will be explored in your Constellation assignments, as well as being evident in your practical progress.
EMPLOYABILITY & CAREERS
Whilst your learning is designed to develop you into a rounded and capable artist/designer and intellectual, your curriculum is similarly structured with your potential in mind.
As such, the emphasis that will have been placed upon your work ethic, both creatively and academically, is matched with significant focus on real world experience; from building contacts and undertaking placements to live briefs and, should you choose so, support in forming your own business.
You can elect to take a route through your second and final years of studies where you can engage with businesses or launch your own for the moment you graduate. In your final year, rather than submit a dissertation, you have the option of devising a detailed business plan.
Throughout your time at CSAD, you will be meeting and hearing from professionals within your industry, honing your skills and ideas for commercial and professional advantage. Cross-disciplinary projects will prepare you for teamwork later on, whilst live briefs will prepare you for deadlines and the demands of tight specifications.
Click here to read more about the wide range of careers our graduates choose when they complete their studies at CSAD.
Click here to read an interview with BA Textiles graduate Charlotte Duffy, discussing life as a freelance designer, on the CSAD Magazine website.
Applicants should have a strong art and/or design portfolio and demonstrate a commitment to art and/or design, five GCSE passes including English and Maths at grade C or above plus:
• 300 points from a successfully completed Art & Design Foundation Diploma or/and
• At least 3 A Levels / Scottish Advanced Highers from any Subject, (General Studies excluded)
• QCF BTEC Extended Diploma: Distinction Distinction Merit to include 12 Distinctions overall within a relevant subject
• 300 points from the Irish Leaving Certificate at Highers to include 3 x B1 grades from any subject (minimum grade C2 considered)
• Pass Access with 45 credits at Level 3 to include 15 credits with Distinction within a relevant subject
• 300 points from the Welsh Baccalaureate to include grades BB at A Level within any subject, General Studies excluded, Core counted as fourth subject
• Qualifications equivalent to the above
If your qualification isn’t listed above, please refer to the UCAS website.
For applicants only undertaking 2 A Levels / 12-unit BTEC or equivalent, or applying with other life experiences, other qualifications and/or art & design achievements will be considered. If you are a UK or EU student intending to enter the first year and are confident you will meet the academic level (the tariff points) for your preferred undergraduate course, then you should apply through the usual means (UCAS in the UK) as detailed on the applications page of the Cardiff Metropolitan University website.
Selection is based on the receipt of a completed UCAS application and attendance at a School of Art & Design Interview.
Acceptance at interview is based upon a balance of three criteria.
(i) Personal enthusiasm for and immersion in the practice and theory of Art & Design.
(ii) Academic Achievement and ability.
(iii) Quality of work, ambition and skills demonstrated in a portfolio.
UCAS code: W231
Course length: Three years full-time.
Subject Leader and Admissions Tutor: Dr Keireine Canavan; email@example.com