Your core subjects will be drawing, colour workshops, traditional studio design techniques and CAD/CAM technologies – to give you a strong foundation in both hand-based and digital skills. As you progress, you’ll begin to be drawn towards one of the following specialties:
- Digital embroidery design and software technology
- Traditional hand and machine stitch & embroidery techniques, hand and machine embellishment, including fabric manipulation, beading and finishing skills
- Traditional silk-screen printed and hand applied textiles techniques, hand and machine embellishment
- Digital textile and paper designs using Mimake industrial digital printers and laser cutters
- Photoshop & Illustrator software
- Creative drawing & colour theory
- Design development and repeating-image pattern-making
- Key research skills, to include field trip visits to exhibitions & trade fairs
- Fabric identification
- Chemical & natural dye techniques
- Analytical & evaluative skills with ability to record and disseminate
- Professional presentation skills – oral and exhibition
From the beginning, you’ll plan for your future career – and the course is structured to give you plenty of industry exposure. There are opportunities for work experience, research projects, public exhibitions and travel. You’ll have regular contact with designers, makers and consultants who will give you a unique insight into the variety of career paths you could take – like further study, joining an agency or building a client list.
In your final year, you can opt to complete a dissertation or a business plan. The choice is yours, depending on where you want to take your career.
Subject: material matters - 30 credits
Subject: digital matters - 30 credits
Your first term is an immersion in the concepts and practices of textile design – and it will challenge you both creatively and academically. You’ll spend your time in workshops and in the studio, developing your existing skills and exploring new approaches.
Field one: collaborate - 20 credits*
Widen your horizons by joining students from other courses to collaborate on a project. You’ll take inspiration from other disciplines to build on your experience and expand your creativity – and use your skills and artistic insight to apply them to your work.
Constellation: concept - 40 credits
This module introduces you to the wider world of ideas, theory and contextual studies to help you develop your academic research skills and critical thinking. You’ll focus on particular areas of interest in study groups and you’ll become familiar with the exciting trans-disciplinary research and expertise in Cardiff School of Art & Design.
Subject – making connections - 40 credits
The difference at Level 5 is an emphasis on professionalism; how to engage with 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.
Field two: explore - 40 credits*
You’ll expand your experiences with challenging projects designed to encourage you to explore and experiment outside your immediate discipline. This transformative opportunity leads to new thinking and innovation – and opens up all kinds of future possibilities. You’ll take on exciting projects that challenge you in new ways. You can also choose to travel, take a work placement, start your own business or try something new.
Constellation: critique - 40 credits
By critiquing literature, journals and exhibitions, you’ll hone your ability to put your design practice into context. You’ll also have opportunities to interact with students and staff and delve deeper into your areas of interest.
Subject – consultancy - 40 credits
Work alongside academics and design consultants to create a self-set brief. You’ll continue exploring and strengthening your practical and creative skills while working on your professional development. For example, you could explore global or local textile design opportunities, commissions or competitions.
Field three: exposure - 40 credits
Your final term is dedicated to a major project and an exhibition of your work. This is where you draw together everything you’ve learned during the course and is the launch pad to your future career.
Constellation: contribution - 40 credits
Your practice is underpinned by your knowledge. Demonstrate your research and analysis skills in your final constellation submission, where you’ll explore ideas in both written and practical forms.
*modules available through the medium of Welsh
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.
During their first year of study each student can expect to receive between 14 and 22 hours of contact time per week via lectures, seminars, tutorials and practical workshops.
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.
Entry Requirements & How to Apply
Applicants should have a strong art and/or design portfolio and demonstrate a commitment to art and/or design, and preferably five GCSEs to include English Language (or Welsh First Language) and Mathematics* at grade C or above / grade 4 or above (for applicants holding newly reformed GCSEs in England)
Following an interview and assessment of portfolio, our typical offers can range between:
96 - 120 points from a successfully completed Art & Design Foundation Diploma or/and
96 - 120 points from at least 2 A Levels; Welsh Baccalaureate – Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate will be considered as a third subject
RQF BTEC National Extended Diploma / Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma: Merit Merit Merit / Distinction Distinction Merit
96 - 120 points from a combination of Scottish Highers and Scottish Advanced Highers
96 - 120 points from the Irish Leaving Certificate at Highers to include 2 x H2 grades from any subject (minimum grade H4 considered)
96 - 120 points from the Access to HE Diploma within a relevant subject
*For Welsh applicants sitting the reformed Mathematics GCSE, we will accept either GCSE
Mathematics or Mathematics – Numeracy.
For applicants only undertaking 2 A Levels or equivalent, or applying with other life experiences, other qualifications and/or art & design achievements will be considered along with the rest of the academic profile and we may issue a graded offer in lieu of an offer using the UCAS Tariff.
If you are studying combinations of the above, or if your qualification isn’t listed please either contact Admissions or refer to the
UCAS Course Search for the entry requirements. Further information on our entry requirements, including qualifications from the EU can be found by clicking
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
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 click here.
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. Part-time applications should be made direct to the University at www.cardiffmet.ac.uk/selfservice
For further information please visit our How to Apply pages at
Recognised Prior Learning (RPL) and Credit Transfer into year 2 & 3
If you are interested in transferring credit from another institution to study at Cardiff Met for a course which accepts entry for year 2 and/or 3, you can find further information on this and information on how to apply on the RPL page. Please contact Admissions for any queries that you have on RPL.
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
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.