Wolverhampton School of Art

Textiles and Surface Patterns with Sandwich placement

BA (Hons) Sandwich 4 years

BA (Hons) Textiles and Surface Pattern is a highly creative course designed to equip you with the skills, attributes and passion you need to work within the broad, fast paced exciting world of cutting edge textiles and surface design.

BA (Hons) Textiles and Surface Pattern is a highly creative course designed to equip you with the skills, attributes and passion you need to work within the broad, fast paced exciting world of cutting edge textiles and surface design.

  • Institute Code W75
  • UCAS Code W233
  • Entry Requirements View
  • Fees View
  • Course Specifications View
  • Start Date(s) 21 September 2020
  • Award BA (Hons)
  • Study Mode Sandwich
  • Course Length Sandwich (4 years)
  • Campus Location Wolverhampton City Campus
  • School Wolverhampton School of Art

Why choose this course?

BA (Hons) Textiles and Surface Pattern is a highly creative course designed to equip you with the skills, attributes and passion you need to work within the broad, fast paced exciting world of cutting edge textiles and surface design.

The ethos of the course is based on employability and creativity underpinned by hands on textile design processes, studio based professional practice and contextual understanding.

This course allows you to develop as an individual designer and explore innovative design approaches, take part in industry relevant practical projects that offer insight into current design practice whilst encouraging speculative and creative risk taking in the design process.

This creative and challenging programme covers design for a wide range of contexts including: Surface pattern design, textile design for interiors and print design for fashion.

As you progress through the course you will have the opportunity to develop your creative identity via a curriculum that can offer you the choice of becoming a specialist in one of these fields or explore a wider range of approaches to textiles and surface design from a commercial or conceptual perspective.

The twenty first century textile industry needs designers who have design intelligence, versatility and a range of skills incorporating both practical, hands on, material practice and the broader knowledge of product application, market awareness and innovation. This course is designed to offer that level of scope and diversity.

You will be exposed to a range of design possibilities through research, workshops, design projects, engagement with industry, personal investigation, product outcome to prepare you as designers for the opportunities the modern, global fashion and textile industry offers.

We aim to:

  • Provide an exciting, inspiring studio environment, encouraging student centred learning, creative expression and an emerging self-reliance in preparation for a career in the global fashion and textiles arena.
  • Provide opportunities for small group learning and one to one support from expert tutors throughout the course
  • Provide the opportunity to study a dynamic course that promotes individual creativity and collaborative work centred on textile design.
  • Develop creative thinking and risk taking.
  • Develop your skills in visual and contextual research, aesthetic awareness and design translation.
  • Promote professional involvement in the textiles industry via live briefs, placement opportunities and work based learning (including a sandwich option which provides the platform to integrate your personal creative expression with the needs of the industry).
  • Create an awareness of ethical business practice and design responsibility.

All courses in the School of Art are now available with a professional placement option (Sandwich Year).  A professional placement provides an opportunity for professional development in the work place and as such, greatly enhances the student’s prospects of finding rewarding and relevant employment at the end of their studies. The school assists students in securing work placements, undertaking live briefs, engaging directly with employers and developing key employability skills.  The School is committed to raising student awareness of the opportunities that exist post-graduation.

International students will need to apply for the BA (Hons) Textiles and Surface Pattern course with professional placement before joining the course to ensure visa requirements are met.

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What happens on the course?

BA (Hons) Textiles and Surface Pattern is assessed on 100% coursework.

The curriculum is delivered through a series of projects which will give you the opportunity to develop making and designing skills, conceptual ideas, contextual knowledge and understanding and experience of live industry briefs/ external projects in the public domain.

Studio and workshop culture is core to our courses and you will be encouraged to become part of the art and design community through time spent working in the studios, workshops and labs available to students across the week.

All courses in the School of Art are now available with a professional placement (sandwich year) option. A professional placement provides an opportunity for professional development in the work place and as such, greatly enhances the student’s prospects of finding rewarding and relevant employment at the end of their studies.

Each level of the course has been planned to ensure progressive learning. In summary:

In your first year the focus is about orientation, skill, concept and creative thinking. You will be introduced to the different aspects of textile design, through a combination of traditional and new technology. Design through process will be key.

Practice is underpinned by creative thinking, visual and theoretical research, CAD and drawing. Exploration of drawing is integral to the course informing skills and processes, transforming you from novice to expert.

Introduction to workshop practice is vital at this level and allows you to explore textile/surface processes as an important part of developing specific subject knowledge. Such as: dye, hand-screen print, digital print processes, CAD, rug tufting, creative stitch. You will explore design through material knowledge and experimentation.

You will also be introduced to a variety of textile areas through a series of projects incorporating design for wallpaper, furnishings, rug and carpet, print for fashion and innovative surfaces.

This will be further supported by a growing contextual understanding and the development of market intelligence.

In your second year the focus is on consolidation, translating ideas within creative professional contexts. You will examine textile design and the broader creative industries in detail and consider the developments and changes that impact on design in your chosen area in a global context.

Second year is diagnostic - you will now begin to develop a specialist approach dependent on which strand of textile practice you feel you have an affinity with and develop expertise in one of the following:

  • Textiles for interiors encompassing design and product for wallpapers, furnishing fabrics, carpet, hand-tufted rug, and hard flooring.
  • Print for fashion which covers a vast range of design outcomes and product with the emphasis on fabric, including digital and hand rendered processes such as dye, screen print, laser-cut and embellished surface.
  • Surface Pattern, focusing on designing through studio practice, CAD and innovative technology leading to a variety of design answers for multiple surface applications.

Live projects are major aspects of the course and during this year you will engage in industry focused briefs, national and international competitions and have the opportunity to collaborate on projects within the course or in collaboration with other areas including Illustration, Interior Design, Furniture Design, Product Design or Fine Art.

As a practical and theoretical course, lectures, seminars and group discussion in historical and contextual studies will enable you to explore areas of textile production, innovation and global issues. This will also help you to frame your studio practice and develop your critical thinking skills.

In your final year the focus is on defining and refining individual creativity through negotiated projects.

Your year-long Major Project will allow you to research extensively and explore in depth your chosen area of specialism, refining expertise from second year, and developing a creative and individual body of work with your future career in mind.

You will also engage with industry through live projects allowing your design expertise to flourish in a focused professional manner. In your final year high levels of independence, risk taking and innovation are encouraged alongside well developed critical analysis and mature understanding of potential fashion and textile markets.

Employability is a key aspect of the course, through lectures, seminars, visits from industry experts and specialist career advisors you will develop a sound knowledge of the career opportunities within the creative industries and focused intelligence in relation to your own specialism

In support of your practice you will prepare extensive, career focused promotional material ranging from a professional promotional portfolio, website and targeted electronic presentations as well as learning about professional use of social media platforms for promotional purposes.

Why not check out what our students got up to for their final projects at our annual Degree Show 2019

Course Modules

Potential Career Paths

Employability is core to the ethos of the School of Art’s learning and teaching. At Level 5 students will work on subject-specific briefs but with emphasis on off-site/live projects/placement that offer opportunities for trans-disciplinary collaborative practice. In addition, the university offers a Career Development Week, which is intended to provide cross-curricula activities that enable students to extend or galvanise their skill and employability goals. At Level 6 there will be more emphasis on develop self negotiated projects with considerable provision for interdisciplinary teams working together on ambitious final outcomes where appropriate and support for students to maintain placement learning and external networks established at Level 5.

All courses in the School of Art are now available with a professional placement option. A professional placement provides an opportunity for professional development in the work place and as such, greatly enhances the student’s prospects of finding rewarding and relevant employment at the end of their studies. The course assists students in securing work placements, undertaking live briefs, engaging directly with employers and developing key employability skills. The School is committed to raising student awareness of the opportunities that exist post-graduation.

You will also have the opportunity to engage in freelance work, sell design work through agents and design studios, and work to commission

We encourage entrepreneurial development and access to business start up schemes, enabling you to run your own business and sell through retail or within other design, arts and crafts outlets.

Additional Information

Everything you need to know about this course!

The BA (Hons) Textiles and Surface Pattern Course is distinctive because it offers:

Traditional and New Materials and Processes

You have daily access to an impressive range of materials, processes and technologies related to the creative development of textiles and surface pattern design. The department has screen print facilities for fabric and paper, a dye lab, textile digital printers and presses for synthetic and natural fabrics, a stitch room and comprehensive hand-tuft facility for rug. Alongside this you have access to a wide range of workshops which could include printmaking, glass, ceramics, laser-cut and 3-D printing, wood, metals and plastics, allowing you to be highly exploratory and inventive in your use of materials to arrive at product outcomes.


Due to the extensive specialist workshops, kit and technical expertise, students with an innovative forward looking approach to surface pattern can experiment and develop work that explores alternative surfaces and mediums to a highly professional standard

Independence and Creative Risk Taking

You will engage in self-directed research, work on exciting assignments and group projects with your own cohort and with other international clients, markets and professional agencies. Innovative approaches, newness and exploration are encouraged to fulfil these briefs to make these professionals take notice of your design solutions.


Preparing you for a dynamic creative career is a priority. Our course is designed to provide you with the best possible creative education centred on employability and student support. Live projects, industry focused briefs, guest speakers, bespoke career development sessions, creation of targeted promotional material, relevant portfolios and electronic resources all allow you to develop entrepreneurial attributes alongside possessing a highly appropriate skill base for careers in the creative industries

At each level, our yearlong modules allow you to experience and engage with projects of increasing complexity and varied timescales that reflect the breadth and flexibility of the commercial design world.

Staff Team

You will be taught by a friendly academic team who are practicing designers with extensive international industry experience and renowned researchers, professionally involved in a range of fashion and textiles related practice, exhibition and publication.

The member of academic staff who leads this course is Sharon Watts


The unique curriculum structure in the School of Art allows many opportunities for you to collaborate with other students. In your second year you will be encouraged to make creative collaborations with students from complimentary courses such as Interior Design, Illustration, Fashion or Furniture Design. You will be also able to liaise with the photography department in order to stylishly showcase your work in a photographic portfolio.

Studio Culture

Studios in the School of Art are open all week. You will have your own dedicated studio desk space within a warm friendly studio atmosphere. Alongside workshops and adjacent seminar spaces this is where you will be taught. Click here to see our facilities gallery.

External Facing

This course keeps pace with the fast moving creative industry offering opportunities to exhibit professionally, attend and exhibit at trade events, participate in national and international competitions and catwalk shows promoting exposure of your work to an international audience.
Work placements, national and international study visits and live briefs help you to establish skills that are essential to the needs of a global fashion and textiles industry. The option of a placement year will give you extended understanding of a global fashion and textiles industry.


The course was originally established to service the regional flooring/carpet industry and many graduates have established successful careers globally within this sector.

The global flooring market is highly competitive and driven by technology and new trends in innovative floor designs and construction solutions. The textile and surface pattern course at Wolverhampton continues to engage in the flooring market and offers students a unique textile opportunity to develop work for this sector supported by expertise and traditional and new technologies. Long established relationships with Industry partners, for example, John Lewis, expose student’s work to a live audience. Students work in hand tufting, carving, peg boarding and use specialist carpet software. A specialist tutor ensures a rich and varied exposure to this fascinating area of interior textiles

The aim of the course is to produce graduates who are professional, skilled and dynamic. All of our students have the opportunity to engage with an additional ‘Employability Award’ associated with their degree, and a high percentage of our students achieve the gold standard as a result of our employment-focused curriculum.

You will have the opportunity to develop the skills to the relavant to the following career paths:

Textile Design
Textile design for fashion, including all facets of Women’s wear and Children’s wear, Babywear, Menswear, Swim, Scarves, Lingerie, Active wear
Textile design for interiors including Furnishing Fabrics, Wallpapers and flooring.
Textile/Surface design for Table Top and Lifestyle products
Employment within specific textile areas, for example design for the rug carpet and hard flooring industry
Design for contract spaces/ Interiors
Interior Designer
Write for textile publications, blogs magazines


Art Director, design Studio
Studio Manager
Styling, for national and global brands
Fashion or Furnishings Retail Buyer
Visual Merchandising
Colour/ Trend Forecasting and Market prediction
Interior Styling
Fashion, Textiles, home wares retail manager

Surface Pattern/ Design

Surface Pattern Design for the card and gift wrap industry
Book Illustration
Design for paper products
Branding and packaging


Teaching-Secondary, Further Education or Higher Education
Textile Historian
Write for academic journals
Gallery curator
Textile Technician
Community workshops and Specialist master classes
Study to postgraduate level on our MA programme or other postgraduate cours


Textile Artist
Art Therapy
Print Maker
Designer/makers: entrepreneur
Community Artist
Arts and crafts administration
Theatre costume and set

Location Mode Fee Year
Home/EU Sandwich £9250 per year 2019-20
Home/EU Sandwich £9250 per year 2020-21
International Sandwich £12000 per year 2019-20
International Sandwich £12250 per year 2020-21

Additional Course Costs

Additional materials - £200 - per semester - prices vary according to fabric/medium choices

Additional Field trips - £300 - Annual European gallery and cultural trips, previous destinations: Amsterdam, Berlin, Madrid, Venice. Price will vary according to location

Additional Events/Performance - £300 - All Students participate in the final year Degree Show. Costs will vary according to the medium and mode of your practice but considerations will be around materials, installation and presentation

Further information on these additional costs will be provided prior to the start of your studies

The University is committed to a transparent fee structure, with no hidden costs, to help you make an informed decision. This includes information on what is included in the fee and how fees are calculated and reviewed

2019 Entry

  • BBC from ‘A’ levels
  • BTEC QCF Extended Diploma grade DMM; BTEC QCF Diploma grade D*D*
  • UAL Extended Diploma in Art & Design grade M
  • Foundation Studies (Art & Design and Art) grade D
  • Successful completion of a Foundation Course in Art and Design
  • Access to HE Diploma full award (Pass of 60 credits - of which a minimum of 45 credits must be at level 3 including 18 at Merit or Distinction)
  • If you've got other qualifications or relevant experience, please contact The Gateway for further advice before applying.
  • International entry requirements and application guidance can be found here
  • Successful completion of the International Foundation Year in Arts guarantees entry on to this course

Other Requirements

Those meeting the entry requirements may be shortlisted for a Portfolio Review. Applicants will also be required to provide satisfactory reference.

Students must have studied a minimum of two years post GCSE level. However, it is expected that some applicants will be mature students with work experience, who wish to further their career development. These applicants will be processed through standard procedures, which may involve an interview as part of the process. Please see http://wlv.ac.uk/mature for further information.

Applicants who do not meet the entry requirements may be offered an alternative course.


The University also offers a range of Bursaries and Scholarships in addition to other financial support packages

Tuition Fees Loan: If you wish, you can take out a Government Student Loan which covers the full course fee. You pay it back once you’ve left university and your income is more than £25,725 (from April 2019). More information on repayments can be found at: repayments.
It’s available to eligible full-time higher education students and does not depend on family income.

The amount of the Tuition Fees Loan is paid directly to the University of Wolverhampton by the Student Loan Company.

Visit student finance on the gov.uk website to find out more.

Self-funding: If you don’t want to take out a loan to pay your fees, you might want to take advantage of the University’s scheme to pay by instalments: see How to Pay.The funding available to you depends on when you started your studies and if you have been to University previously.

For more information please contact the Gateway.

Financial Hardship: Students can apply to the Dennis Turner Opportunity Fund (https://www.wlv.ac.uk/study-here/money-matters/financial-support/dennis-turner-opportunity-fund/) for help with course related costs however this cannot be used for fees or to cover general living costs.


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