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.
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.
Subject - 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.
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.
Constellation - Concept:
This module will develop your ability to contextualise your practice by introducing historical and theoretical perspectives to assist in the development of ideas. We offer a series of keynote lectures that will introduce you to staff areas of interest and expertise and you will participate in study groups that allow you to specialise in particular areas of interest. Through interdisciplinary working, the focus will be on developing your academic and research skills to enable critical reflection on your practice.
Subject - 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.
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.
Constellation - Critique:
In terms one and two you will engage in a diverse range of topics where you will be able to put your academic skills into practice. This will include critiquing current literature as well as contemporary journals and exhibitions. Further contextualising of your practice will be nurtured at this level, with an opportunity to specialise in areas that reflect on your own interests.
Subject - 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.
Constellation - Contribution:
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. Your final dissertation submission can take the form of a 10, 000 word essay or a business plan, a technical report, conference paper and presentation, a 6000 word paper and accompanying practical piece.
Field 3 - 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 & 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, environmental and ethical issues and will often be explored in your 'Theory and Context' 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 written work, as well as being evident in your practical progress.
Each of these criteria is given equal weighting during the assessment process. That is to say that they are seen as equally important and critical to your development; an emphasis which is designed, for example, to enable a more well-rounded skill set from a student who may be skilled technically, but weak in generating ideas, or a student with much creative flair who may struggle to hone a broad concept into a strong, individual design.
We provide a number of ways for you to track your progress en route to submitting your work for marking. Understanding that the emphases will revolve around the core areas of skills, context and ideas, you will also become familiar with the structured assessment form used by your tutors and learn to relate to your work back to the intended learning outcomes of each brief.
The main types of formative assessment are; academic (feedback from your tutors); peer (from your course-mates or project partners); and self-assessment (which is your own critique, in light of other forms of feedback). You won't just be receiving feedback at the end of a brief, however – your tutors will often assess your progress as your work develops, providing formative feedback at crucial moments where it is hoped to encourage you to take risks, maintain your motivation or shape-up your ideas ahead of deadline.
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.
Entry Requirements & How to Apply
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
- 300 points from the Irish Leaving Certificate at Highers to include 3 x B1 grades from any subject (minimum grade C2 considered)
- Access to HE Diploma with 45 credits at Level 3 within a relevant subject
- Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma considered along with grades CC at A Level within any subject, General Studies excluded
- Qualifications equivalent to the above
If your qualification isn't listed above, please refer to the
For applicants only undertaking 2 A Levels or BTEC equivalent, or applying with other life experiences, other qualifications and/or art & design achievements will be considered.
Selection Procedure and Interview Days:
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:
For more information about Art & Design Interview Days, please
Personal enthusiasm for and immersion in the practice and theory of Art & Design
Academic achievement and ability
Quality of work, ambition and skills demonstrated in a portfolio
How to Apply:
Applications for this course should be made online to UCAS at
www.ucas.com/apply. For further information please visit our How to Apply pages at
Place of Study:
Cardiff School of Art & Design
Three years full-time.
Before making an application, international students (those outside of the EU), should contact the International Office at Cardiff Met to discuss the necessary procedures in relation to studying with us. For further information visit
Tuition Fees, Student Finance & Additional Costs
For up to date information on tuition fees and the financial support that may be available whilst at university, please refer to www.cardiffmet.ac.uk/fees.
Undergraduate costs of study in CSAD
CSAD provides a variety of basic materials. These enable students to develop their competence in a range of skills and demonstrate their technical ability. Materials needed in unusual quantities, or those that are specialised, expensive or unusual are at the student’s expense. Advice will be given about how ‘unusual’ is defined, which materials are deemed to be ‘expensive’, and examples given of what is viewed to be ‘unusual’. CSAD students often elect to spend on materials they prefer to work with, including sketchbooks and pens, as well as specialist equipment of their own choosing.
In the main, no charges are made for the use of equipment, with the exception of some specialist high end equipment such as the Mimaki and 3D printers. Access to Cardiff FabLab is subject to student membership; it offers reduced fees for student use.
For further information about additional course costs, including fees, equipment requirements and other charges for each undergraduate programme, please visit www.cardiffmet.ac.uk/additionalcosts.
Field trips and visits
Field trips that are part of core learning will be paid for by the School. Additional visits are occasionally arranged which are optional and where the students may be asked to share the costs. The costs of study abroad, including exchanges, placements and projects are the responsibility of the individual student.
Bursaries & Scholarships:
The university also offers a bursary and scholarship scheme to help students whilst at university. To see if you are eligible, visit