This research-led Textile Design MA addresses the needs of graduates from textile design and related discipline backgrounds, or those who wish to collaborate with professionals in the field. TheTextile Design MA is one of several postgraduate design courses that co-exist at the School of Art, Architecture and Design, offering rich opportunities for the collaborative multidisciplinary approach that is a feature of the current and future design sector and a requirement for success in the field.
The course is grounded in the understanding that design is a key driver for change in society and the environment. However, traditional roles in design are increasingly blurred and designers need to be able to negotiate complex and ambiguous problems. This means that the challenges and opportunities for design and designers are being constantly reimagined, as the unpredictability of the future tests our capacity to adapt, invent and apply creative design solutions to emerging needs.
Graduates of this course will challenge conventional ideas of what textiles are, and design textiles and textile products that have not yet been conceptualised.
Knowing that the future is largely shaped by design decisions implies a responsibility for designers to act in a manner that combines experimentation and radical thinking with care, effective research and collaboration with those who will be affected by the outcomes of designers’ work. The work of a designer is not, however, limited to ensuring that any design outcomes, including textiles, are safe and function as intended.
You’ll want to imbue your work with meaning, to use it to communicate, to engage emotions and inspire response. Textile design proposals also need to be designed to be attractive and desirable in the marketplace and relevant to consumers, meaning that you’ll need an exhaustive overview of current and forthcoming trends and developments in order to be competitive.
To ensure that designs have validity, design and research for design occupies a large proportion of the course; the research and development process of design is rehearsed through the vehicle of your project work. In parallel with theoretical research, you will generate, communicate and evaluate all kinds of innovative ideas and concepts for textiles. You will discover what design research methods will reveal the widest range of proposals for testing, how best to inform the user and producer of what you have in mind and how best to evaluate concepts that exist in virtual form only.
The School maintains a portfolio of alternative core MA (level 7) 20 credit modules, two of which will be core to this course in any particular year. Prior to the start of the course each September, the course team will decide which of the alternative core modules should be the core 20 credit modules for the following academic cycle. This decision is based on the project opportunities arising and the balance of students across the portfolio of MA design courses. Please note, students themselves do not choose which of the alternative core modules to take themselves. See the modular structure section below for more details.
Any university-level qualifications or relevant experience you gain prior to starting university could count towards your course.
The modules listed below are for the academic year 2022/23 and represent the course modules at this time. Modules and module details (including, but not limited to, location and time) are subject to change over time.
Design Project Development (core, 40 credits)
Design Research for Practice (core, 40 credits)
Charismatic Objects (alternative core, 20 credits)
Democratising Luxury (alternative core, 20 credits)
Design for Change (alternative core, 20 credits)
Interior Contexts (alternative core, 20 credits)
Material Thought (alternative core, 20 credits)
Project as Professional Practice: Textile Design (alternative core, 60 credits)
The creative industry in the UK is huge and about half of all those involved in the design sector work in London. Completing our course provides you with the expertise to forge a successful career and lead within these burgeoning fields.
Graduates of the course will often work as textile artists, freelance designers and consultants in the textiles sector, but may also work in the creative industries in London, across the UK and overseas. You could also find employment as an in-house designer for furniture and homeware companies or fashion houses, interior practices and manufacturing companies, both large and small. Career paths in art, trend analysis, retail buying & management, textile and design journalism, education and marketing are also open to you on completion of this course.
Graduates of the course often aim to work as self-employed designers and consultants in the furniture sector, but may also work for design consultancies in London, across the UK and overseas. Graduates may work as in-house designers for manufacturing companies both large and small, including for contract furniture companies and other businesses that require design input such as exhibition and event companies, cultural institutions, interior design practices. Others gain employment as independent design consultants, working as suppliers of design expertise to a variety of businesses or continue within design research. Graduates also have career paths open in design research, design journalism, cultural institutions, education and marketing.