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Course content

Students base their study in one of the four Textiles specialisms: knit, mixed media, print and weave and orientate their study in the context of 'body' or 'space'.

- Body – involves fabric design for fashion, accessories and clothing, incorporating issues such as health, well-being and smart wearables
- Space – incorporates textile and material design for the built environment, interiors, furnishings and transport.

Both pathways will take relevant contemporary issues into strong consideration such as market knowledge, sustainability and manufacture.

Textile students employ traditional and innovative skills, while exploring constantly evolving materials and technology to create diverse and surprising results. The interface encourages a dynamic and challenging environment, frequently employing multidisciplinary and collaborative methods to express the breadth of textiles, and pushing the boundaries of current textile practice.

During the first year, students are required to take part in induction programmes using our equipment and technology, to ensure that they have adequate specialist skills. Practical instruction in dyeing, fabric and fibre technologies is provided. Industrial projects are included to introduce students to a great variety of design experiences. Collaborative work is strongly encouraged in the School and across the College.

Progress is monitored through tutorials, group critiques, work reviews and seminars. All students must pass a formal Interim Exam to progress to the second year, when they are expected to direct their work towards a specified context. The staff team work within the specialisms and interact with all the textile students. They are all involved in external professional practice and research.

Critical & Historical Studies

The RCA provides a unique environment for postgraduate art and design students to reflect upon their own practice, and to engage with students from their own and other disciplines. The role of Critical & Historical Studies (CHS) is to support the studio programmes in enabling these critical engagements to take place. The courses offered by CHS to first year studio-based MA students propose an intellectual framework within which they can begin to establish a coherent relationship between theory and practice.

In the autumn and spring terms there are a series of College-wide seminars and lectures. The autumn term series will relate to your particular discipline (though it is possible to elect to join a series being offered to students on other programmes) whereas the spring term series will be more broad-based and cross-disciplinary in nature.

In the spring and summer terms, a CHS tutor will give you individual tutorials to support the development of a dissertation which is submitted at the start of the second year. The dissertation should be between 6,000–10,000 words in length – this is a major piece of work and you will be not be able to submit for the Final Examination until you have passed this assessment.

Visit the Textiles page on the Royal College of Art website for more details!





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