2022/23 Full-time Undergraduate course
Bachelor of Arts with Honours
Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Belfast School of Art
The UCAS code for Ulster University is U20
The course provides diverse learning experiences ensuring you have the confidence and skills for a future in textiles and fashion.
BA Hons Textile Art, Design and Fashion explores the breadth of skill, technology, knowledge, heritage and cultural significance associated with contemporary Textiles and Fashion. Through the five specialist areas, embroidery, knit, garment construction, print and weave you will be challenged to explore both tradition and innovation supported be expert technical and academic staff. In well equipped workshops we support you to work ambitiously and creatively, selecting the pathway most suited to your strengths and future ambitions as either a Textile Artist, Textile Designer or Fashion Designer. Employability is very important to us so we support you to make the right decisions throughout the course by identifying clear career goals and strategies in professional practice modules, placement opportunities and competitions. The Course also provides the (optional) opportunity to take a placement year due to our excellent industry connections.
A foundation diploma year gives you the opportunity to explore a range of art and design approaches and disciplines to help you choose your undergraduate specialism.
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The course provides excellent learning opportunities through practical workshops, challenging lecture programmes, discursive seminars, digital technologies, history and theory modules, with an emphasis on professional practice throughout. You will be encouraged to take creative risks, be ambitious and pursue professional opportunities throughout. We offer the opportunity to experience both low and high tech approaches to both an art and design practice to ensure confidence in selecting the right pathway. After a broad based first year learning the fundamental skills associated with each specialism, visual literacy and cultural contexts, second year explores two and three dimensional thinking and processes through the specialist skills modules. It is at this stage, you start to refine and select your specialism and pathway to focus your studies to ensure confidence and expertise. Support and guidance is given as you develop your practice in one pathway as either a Textile Artist, Textile Designer or Fashion Designer. In final year you write your own project, directing your study in areas of specific interest and the year has an additional graduate skills focus to ensure you are ready for graduate life in the creative industries.
The course has a strong practical focus with workshops at its heart, so in order to support a wide range of practical activity we buy specialist materials to produce workshop quality materials packs for an annual consumable materials charge of £100.
Diploma in Professional Practice DPP
Diploma in International Academic Studies DIAS
Diploma in Professional Practice International DPPI
Three/ four years (with placement).
While the Course has specified times for contact teaching for Lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials you are expected to be in their studio's and workshop's engaging in studio practice and project development outside those specific contact teaching times.
Throughout year 1 and 2 of the course each semester is made up of one 20 credit point module and a 40 credit point module. Each credit point equals 10 effort hours, so for a 20 credit module there should be 200 effort hours over the 12 weeks in a semester. For a 20 credit point module you would be timetabled for 3 hours a week with further support on Blackboard Learn. 40 credit point modules have contact teaching for a minimum of 6 hours per week with significant additional support in the workshops from specialist technicians. This supervised workshop experience means students can access help and advice 5 days a week. To support the ambition and criticality required in final year the final practice based module is worth 80 credits.
The Course is full-time so we expect students to work independently in studios and workshops in their independent study time
The knowledge, understanding, ideas and skills needed to succeed in textiles and fashion are developed through a combination of practical workshop and studio experience supported by history, theory and research. Lectures, seminars, workshops and individual tutorials based around recommended reading and direct experience offer a variety of settings and styles in which you can develop ideas and gain the confidence to articulate your ideas to peers and tutors. A comprehensive range of demonstrations, workshops and master classes are core to delivery as are workshops and lectures supporting placement, live projects and self-directed study. Transferable graduate skills are developed through engagement with all elements of the course and are fundamental to undertaking coursework and to future success in textiles and fashion and the creative industries.
Assessment is based on 100% coursework which can take a range of formats including artworks and design collections, practical and contextual research, essays, statements, presentations, reports and digital portfolios.
Feedback is central to teaching, learning and assessment and offers essential guidance throughout the course. Summative feedback in written and verbal forms encourages you to reflect on progress and achievement and to consider suggestions for future direction.
The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.
Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:
As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until close to the start date and may be subject to some change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days and periods of attendance will be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.
Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10- or 20-credit modules (more usually 20) and postgraduate course typically 15- or 30-credit modules.
The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.
Postgraduate Master’s courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.
Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.
Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be a combination of examination and coursework but may also be only one of these methods. Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes. You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessment. The precise assessment will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification and the assessment timetable. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Normally, a module will have 4 learning outcomes, and no more than 2 items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised.
Calculation of the Final Award
The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6, (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).
Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Master’s degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.
All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study. In Master’s degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.
The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 59% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.
Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (25%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (18%) or Lecturers (57%).
We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic staff (81%) are accredited fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.
The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise. The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff. This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.
Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.
Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.
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Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.
Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.
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Cultural Contexts is a lecture, seminar and study-visit based module that introduces you to the broad cultural contexts of textiles and fashion, and to the essential study skills for undergraduate learning. It encourages reflective practice and supports you as you conduct independent research and explore ways to source, organise, analyse and present the thinking behind your developing practice.
This module is the first practical module on the BA Hons Textile Art, Design and Fashion Course and introduces the fundamental skills in textiles and fashion. You will develop core skills by exploring approaches to drawing, idea development, colour theory, computer aided design, fabrics and their functions. Workshop practice is experienced in small groups and project work will be created in embroidery, print, fashion, knit and weave. Ideas can be developed for fashion garment, accessory, sample collections, interiors, costume or artwork.
This Research and Writing module is lecture and seminar based, it introduces you to key ideas, developments and debates in Textile art, Design and Fashion. You will learn of the broad artistic, cultural and economic contexts in which textiles and fashion have been made and used. Coursework supports you in establishing best practice in critical thinking, research and writing skills.
This module builds on fundamental skills 1 in the Textile Art, Design and fashion Course. You will continue to develop core skills in visual investigation, ideas and development, colour theory, Computer Aided Design (photoshop and illustrator) fabrics and function. There is an introduction to employability in textiles and fashion. Workshop practice is experienced in small groups in embroidery, fashion, knit, print and weave. Ideas developed in the workshops could be for fashion garment, accessory, sample collections, costume, interiors or artwork.
Specialist Skills 1 enables you to build on the skills and knowledge gained during the Fundamental Skills modules in first year and is your first opportunity to establish an individual pathway though the course. You will choose two of the five specialisms offered by Textile Art, Design and Fashion and will develop ideas and concepts appropriate to your decision to be an artist or designer. You will be expected to take an exploratory and experimental approach to the development of your work throughout the semester.
This module encourages the development of the creative and critical thinking and supports decision-making and self-evaluation in skills based studio and workshop environment.
Professional Practice will introduce you to the professional aspects of being an artist/designer in a rapidly changing society. It investigates the role of an independent creative artist/designer and also explores other fields where their attributes and skills are increasingly acknowledged, needed and valued as having wider application.
This module consolidates critical skills development and prepares you for the final year essay/ market report. It fosters independence and self-direction and peer-learning, using theoretical models and case studies so you develop an understanding of the ways in which ideas, issues and discourses are constructed and articulated in relation to textile art, design and fashion.
This module enables you to build upon the skills acquired at level 4 and the advanced skills gained in the first semester of level 5 and to firmly establish your own direction by choosing to specialise in one discipline, either embroidery, weave, knit, print or fashion and approach that discipline as either an artist or designer. The module emphasises the development of creative and critical thinking and supports decision-making and self-evaluation. It encourages you to link your ideas and concepts with appropriate material processes and take a challenging exploratory and experimental approach to textiles and fashion.
This module is optional
This is an optional placement year for students on the Ba Hons Textile Art, Design and Fashion Course who have completed Level 5 prior to the final year of study. The placement must be a minimum of 25 weeks duration and can be in a broad range of Art/Professional practice. A programme of work is agreed by the student, the Placement Tutor and the Placement Partner and usually takes place in Europe with respect to the relevant health and safety and disability regulations.(SENDO). The placement is designed to increase experience of workshop/studio/communal and technical practice, while broadening and enhancing the student's social, personal and professional development. Upon successful completion of the placement year the student is awarded, on graduation from the course, a Diploma in Professional Practice (DPP) or a Diploma in Professional Practice (DPPI) International if they complete the module outside the UK and Ireland.
This module is optional
This module provides an opportunity to undertake an extended period of study outside the UK and Republic of Ireland. Students will develop an enhanced understanding of the academic discipline whilst generating educational and cultural networks.
This stand-alone 20 cps research and writing module lasts for 6 weeks in the first semester of final year, and delivers two options of coursework (see below). This means that the 80 cps practice module (TDF505) starts in week 7 and runs until the end of the second semester. Students can then concentrate solely on both the research module and the subsequent practice module with no conflict between learning, research or time management in either. With TDF501 concluded, its results can then more profitably and efficiently be fed into, and contribute to, TDF505.
The Essay: This strand is text-based and facilitates a broader understanding of the context of textiles and fashion practice, both historical and contemporary, and the broader practices of art and design using theoretical debates, factual information and analytical methodologies in a written, academic outcome.
The Report: This strand requires students to make an strategic analysis of market levels and to identify and justify how their own studio practice will fit into a selected market. The analysis will take the form of a professionally-produced market research report, plus research folio.
The independent, student-led nature of this module, and its stand-alone time-frame, via sourcing and completion of an essay or report, will demonstrate intellectual confidence, independent research and communication skills, both verbal and/or written. Its 6 week schedule allows students to focus wholly on the discursive and analytical while permitting equal engagement with the TDF505 module, starting in week 7 until the final shows in May, without conflict or overlap.
This Graduate Skills is the last 20 credit module in Textile Art, Design and Fashion. The module will focus on the key strategies that will help you prepare for graduate life, career development and employment. The module will provide you with a promotional portfolio and a 5-year strategic career plan, supported by valuable resources, tools, case studies and signposts to allow you to tailor the resource material to your specific career ambitions. It will adopt a professional and entrepreneurial approach to planning a career within a broad spectrum of the creative industries.
Major Project is the final practice based module on Textile Art, Design and Fashion. Working ambitiously and critically as a self-directed artist or designer you will integrate practical, aesthetic and intellectual knowledge resulting in final artworks or collection and a professional portfolio. This 80 credit module spans two semesters and allows for ambition, risk- taking and continuity of practice preparing you for your future career.
We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.
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The A Level requirement for this course is BCC.
Applicants can satisfy the requirement for one of the A-level grades (or equivalent) by substituting a combination of alternative qualifications recognised by the University.
Overall award profile BTEC Level 3 QCF Extended Diploma DDM.
Overall award profile BTEC Level 3 RQF National Extended Diploma DMM.
104 UCAS Tariff Points to include a minimum of 4 subjects at Higher Level and 1 subject at Ordinary Level. The overall profile must include English at minimum Grade H6 or above (HL) or O4 or above (OL).
The Scottish Highers requirement for this course is BCCCC.
The Scottish Advanced Highers requirement for this course is CDD.
Overall International Baccalaureate profile minimum 24 points (12 at higher level).
Successful completion of Access Course with an overall 60% in Level 3 modules.
GCSE Profile to include English Language at minimum grade C.
English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.
Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.
Applicants may be selected through interview and/ or portfolio submission.
Only applications with appropriate prior experience and qualifications and who can demonstrate an appropriate level of art and design practice may opt for entry into Year 2 and in exceptional circumstances to Year 3.
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Graduates from this course are now working for:
With this degree you could become:
Graduates will be equipped to pursue a range of career paths within an increasingly diverse field as self employed and freelance textile artists, designers, and makers of craft objects. For those focusing on business and industry they will work as designers, buyers, product developers and design marketing executives. For those in the public and private sectors they will find careers as arts officers, educators, workshop coordinators, community artists, curators and cultural commentators. Others will choose to become freelance textile artists, designers and makers of functional and non functional artworks, selling their work through art and craft markets, online, or through agents. They will undertake private and public commissions, residencies and will adopt a portfolio approach to building a career.
These career opportunities are established through longstanding formal and informal relationships with a wide range of art, design and cultural organisations and businesses in Northern Ireland, Ireland and beyond.
Graduates from this course have gained experience and employment with a wide range of organisations, such as;Bedeck, Dunnes Stores, H&M, Marks & Spencer, Douglas and Grahame, Ulster Carpets, R A Irwins, Decora Blind Systems Ltd, Inis Meáin Knitting Co., Lululemon, Brown Thomas, JW Anderson, Alexander McQueen, House of Holland, Lizzie Agnew, Una Rodden, Studio Souk, Primark, Magee, Hand & Lock, Insignia, Avoca, HBO, BBC, Universal, Fire and Blood Productions, Opera House, Lyric Theatre, Donegal Yarns, Mourne Textiles, PortWest, Cooneen, Ulster Carpets, etc.
As part of your academic studies, you may opt to undertake a period of placement where you will be studying or broadening your experience in either a professional/industrial situation or undertaking academic studies in another institution. A successful placement year in industry or study abroad results in the following awards:
Diploma in Professional Practice (DPP)
Diploma in Professional Practice International (DPPI)
Diploma in International Academic Studies (DIAS)
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£2,000 scholarship applied as discount to your annual tuition fee.
Information provided is for guidance only as scholarship details are subject to change - please refer to the source website for up-to-date and accurate information.
Students purchase materials for their own coursework.
Consumable workshop contribution of up to £100 is optional and contributes to materials used by students.
Local field trips to museums, galleries and exhibitions may incur additional costs.
Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.
Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.
We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.
There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.
Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.
Please contact the course team for more information.
Course Director: Lucy Smyth
Admissions Contact: Christine Harbinson