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MA Design: Fashion and Textiles

Course Description

Fashion and Textiles aims to develop the creative process for designers in conjunction with valuable marketing and business skills. The course is aimed at ambitious designers, designer-makers or textile artists who wish to develop opportunities within the profession and who may wish to set up on their own or with others in small teams.


The course is offered in both full and part-time modes. It is normally one year (3 trimesters) in duration in full-time mode or 6 trimesters in part-time mode. The first two trimesters comprise taught sessions and assessed projects, while the Master’s Project in the final part of the course is by negotiated project only. Completion of the first 2 modules on the course lead to the award of the Postgraduate Certificate, and completion of the first 4 modules leads to the award of the Postgraduate Diploma. Subsequent completion of the MA double module leads to the award of MA Design: Fashion and Textiles.

You will be introduced to research skills and methods, product development, design management and methods, with marketing and business skills. The emphasis of the course is learning how best to present ideas, and where and how to place them in the market.

The course is developed through seminars, lectures, tutorials, visiting speakers, group critiques, market research and personal research. You are encouraged to trial a product in the market. This may be through first hand experience, or through working with studios and agents for designers, shops and craft markets (for designer makers), or with galleries or public spaces (for textile artists). Students propose a route of study through the course to explore and research a chosen area of textiles in knit, print, weave, or embroidery for fashion or interiors, or in fashion design.


Research Methodologies - Part One introduces generic methodologies with Part Two considering subject specific data retrieval analysis and evaluation techniques.

The Development of Product, Market Research and Product Ideas - Developing ideas technically and aesthetically, in-depth investigation into techniques and researching to market.

Marketing Skills - Marketing and Business skills – developing an understanding of marketing requirements for textile designers and artists.

Product Sampling and Development and Research - Initial product sampling techniques and investigation. Developing and progressing ideas to enable the creation of new products. Range planning.


The first trimester (PGCert) consists of two modules. Research Methodologies consists of a taught programme of lectures, seminars, group critiques, and assignments. You will also negotiate a programme of study for the Product, Market Research and Product Ideas module. The emphasis at this level is on ideas. During the second trimester (PGDip) you will take two further modules: Marketing Skills comprises of lectures, seminars and research; the Development of Product and Product Ideas is negotiated by each student. The final trimester, leading to the MA, involves a negotiated study which you will propose. The study will be research based resulting in a body of work for assessment.

Specialist facilities include computer studios with over 70 Macs, as well as flatbed and transparency scanners. There is a recently re-equipped digital media studio. Fashion and Textiles students benefit from specialist studio spaces for both digital and screen printing, knitting, weaving, embroidery, laser cutting and pattern cutting, using the latest digital technology for CAD/CAM. All students have access to workshops in photography, sound and video, etching and litho, as well as the specialist Art and Design library.


The main aim of the course is for students to identify their own employment opportunities. Other possibilities may include textile design, product or fashion design, retail or sales and marketing opportunities, teaching, trend prediction and promotion, or further research in industry or education, and exhibiting in galleries as a textile artist.


The PGCert is assessed by studio exhibition and/or portfolio presentation with a marketing report. The PGDip involves a written report including market analysis of your chosen product field. Practical work is presented by studio work and/or portfolio. For the MA you will present a cohesive body of creative work, supported by written work.

Visit the MA Design: Fashion and Textiles page on the Bath Spa University website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Gill Hewitt

768.jpg This course has enabled me to further research and experiment with ideas developed during my first degree in Surface Design. The facilities at the university are first class; the studios are well equipped with all the latest digital technology and the level of personal support from tutors and technicians is fantastic. The course is particularly good for product development and I have developed a product that combines textile art with high performance sound absorption. I received an Innovation Award from the University that enabled me to complete further in-depth testing of the performance of my product before launching it during London Design Week at Tent London in 2007. I exhibited my acoustic panels at ICFF New York with the British European Design Group in May 2008 and again at Tent London in 2008.

Completing this MA has enabled me to launch a credible well-tested product into a well-researched market. Studying part-time gave me the time to also set up my own design practice, Gill Hewitt Textile Art, which I have continued on a full time basis since finishing the course. I am currently focusing on finding new applications for textiles within contemporary architectural interiors and have undertaken commissions for Pizza Express and [email protected]

(Student Profile)

Caroline Ritchie

By the end of my undergraduate degree in Creative Arts I had only just worked out a way that I wanted produce work, so I chose to do the MA Design: Fashion and Textiles course to help develop my skills and establish a good working practice.

Bath Spa University has a great textiles department and is in a fab location. There are excellent facilities, a wealth of knowledge in the department, and a friendly and supportive student body and atmosphere.

I did the course part-time, which was a real benefit to me. The first year I mainly concentrated on establishing my working routine. During the second year I feel that I had time to explore new techniques and skills in order to give another dimension to my work.

Since finishing my MA I have set up my business, Corita Rose, which specialises in fabrics and furniture. The knowledge gained during the course, and the time to hone my skills, was more important to me than the postgraduate qualification as I am running my own company. However, later in life the qualification may be of more significance.

(Student Profile)

Penny Seume

This course was fantastic and gave me invaluable skills, confidence and authority to embark on my career as a textile designer for interiors. All the staff were really knowledgeable and totally dedicated, and having worked in the industry had invaluable insights as well as practical advice which greatly enriched the course experience. The standard on the course and across the department as a whole was outstanding and being surrounded by such high quality and amazing work was a total joy.

I would like to emphasise that the marketing module was a vital part of the course for me. It greatly aided my professional approach as well as making useful contacts in the industry, of which I am still in touch with today.

Since exhibiting at Tent in 2010 and finishing the course I was one of four finalists in the New Design Britain competition at Interiors UK in January 2012, winning a stand to show my New York collection in the Designers Block arena. I received a highly commended award for my fabrics and also had a lot of interest from the industry. My work was selected for the New Brewery Arts "Crafted" exhibition in December 2011. At New Designers in June 2012 my work was selected by the Society of Designer Craftsmen and invited to show at the prestigious annual exhibition at the Mall Galleries, London in January 2013. The whole body of work was given a Distinction award by the Society.


Entry Requirements

Admission is normally based on a good undergraduate degree in a design or media discipline together with an interview. Applicants with a good honours degree in a related discipline and/or with relevant work experience will also be considered.

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