BA (Hons) Textiles & Surface Design - 3 years

Course Details

  • Start Date
    September 2018
  • Duration
    3 Years
  • Attendance
    Full Time
  • Awarding Body
    The Open University
  • Cost
    TBC
  • Centre Location
    Taunton
  • Course Description

    This innovative, hands-on course will encourage you to push the boundaries of textiles and surface design, to change the spaces around us as well as the way we dress. The course is about improving the quality of our designed environment and challenging preconceptions of style. You can choose to focus on interior textiles, surface design or create innovative fabrics for fashion.

    You will be taught to question the ways in which colour, pattern, image, scale and texture create style and atmosphere. You will learn to create and present your work as a professional with an emphasis on business skills and how your designs fit into the workplace.

    You will use a wide range of textile and surface design processes with state-of-the-art workshop facilities to develop a portfolio of work that is instantly identifiable as yours. That makes you a good proposition for prospective employers, many of whom you will already know thanks to our close industry links. Indeed, students on this course often have opportunities to work on live projects that develop their skills in sales and business management as well as design. 

    During the course you will: 

    • Gain a thorough insight into many aspects of textile and surface design development including printing, embroidery and
      embellishment, dyeing, digital imaging and mixed-media processes.  
    • Be introduced to a range of textiles and surface design applications for body and space which link the disciplines of textiles, fashion, graphics and product design.
    • Design, construct, embellish and manipulate materials such as fabric, metal, wire, glass, paper, plastics and ceramics. 
    • Have the opportunity to explore and examine the application and function of your concepts in a contemporary market and understand how this affects design decisions.
    • Develop the skills to bring alive both hard and soft surfaces in 2D and 3D using new and smart materials.
    • Develop complementary skills, where appropriate, in pattern cutting, draping on the stand and garment construction, so you have an understanding of how materials work on the body.
    • Develop your business and professional practice skills by working on live and site specific briefs set by the industry.
    • Complete visual culture modules that will underpin your studio work.
    • Be encouraged to enter competitions and complete projects set by leading designers. 
    • Develop an industry ready portfolio and refined business profile.
    • Learn exhibition skills which allow you to promote your work or curate shows for others.
    • Develop a professional profile including full use of social media and web site exposure.

    In your final year you will focus on creating your own personal design statement which will culminate in your work being shown at the End of Year Degree Show. We also offer opportunities for trips in the UK and abroad as well as a variety of day trips. Previous cohorts have enjoyed study visits to London, New York, Berlin and Paris, amongst others.

    Find an example of the course handbook here

    Awarding body: The Open University 

    For more information about regulations and policies relevant to studying with the Open University please visit our Wider Information Set page.


  • Teaching and Assessment

    Most of your time will be spent in our first-rate studios and workshops, although your practical work will be complemented by a programme in visual culture during your first two years. Assessment is by 100% coursework without exams. Your final Degree Show exhibition forms an essential part of assessment.

  • Career Progression

    Graduates have established varied and exciting careers in fields such as textile design, interior design, decorative product design, automotive design, style forecasting, retail management, design management, buying, trend forecasting and gallery sales.

  • Entry Requirements

    Applicants require 80 UCAS points at AS/A2 Level (minimum 32 points at A2 Level) or equivalent Edexcel qualification (Extended Diploma – MMP/Diploma - DM), or Pre-degree Access Diploma. Students also require 4 GCSEs at grade A*-C (new grading system 9-4) including English and Maths or equivalent Level 2 Literacy and Numeracy.

    You will be asked to send a digital portfolio prior to interview. The portfolio must demonstrate your creative skills, subject knowledge and enthusiasm for study. We are looking for a maximum of 20 images that demonstrate a variety of skills research, design development, progressing through to final outcomes. These must include examples of drawing, sketchbooks, idea development, digital skills and finished pieces.

    The nature of study at this level requires GCSE grade A*-C (new grade system 9-4) in English and Maths or equivalent qualification. Under exceptional circumstances, a conditional offer may be made to a prospective learner to include an expectation of working towards GCSE Maths grade C or Level 2 Numeracy alongside completing the degree programme. Mature students who do not meet these formal entry requirements are welcome to apply, if they can evidence their commitment to the subject through previous experience.

    Applicants with English as their second language must have minimum IELTS Level 6 or equivalent.

  • Costs

    £7,500 per annum