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BA (Hons) Printed Textile Design & Surface Pattern — Overview

Studying on our BA (Hons) Printed Textile Design & Surface Pattern programme will stimulate your entrepreneurial spirit, challenging and equipping you to be a first-class designer.

The subject of printed textile design and surface pattern is broad and dynamic, covering everything from fashion and print designs to interior upholsteries, bed linen, wallpapers, patterns for plastics, gift wrap and more.

We’ll encourage you to understand commercial opportunities and to develop your own design personality. You’ll be supported in developing and realising your creative ambitions, and equipped with the knowledge to begin your professional career in the textile and surface pattern design world.

Through sponsored industrial projects you’ll learn how to meet the needs of clients and see your designs made ready for production, gaining real life design experience – refining your attitudes towards design, style and taste. 

 

Students exhibit their work at our annual Graduate Shows.

Drawing, design research, design development, use of colour, CAD skills, technical knowledge of printing, and professional practice will all be integrated into your projects. These core skills will help you to gain greater confidence and grow as a designer. You’ll develop creative sophistication, plus an attitude of visual investigation.

You’ll work on projects from design research, through to design development and fabric printing and production. You’ll also be encouraged to be experimental with design, whilst expanding your knowledge of materials, printing techniques and processes, advancing both your design and craft skills. Opportunities for live work experience in your second year also further your career prospects. 

Student work by Kay Morgan.

Our design studio is dynamic and friendly, professional and nurturing. You’ll be taught by a team of professional designers with real knowledge of the subject, giving you the opportunity to learn all that is important for you as an emerging young designer. 

You’ll be equipped to start your career, and able to capitalise on your design skills, whether designing for large, well-known brands or starting your own enterprise.

What will I achieve?

This programme strives for students to become accomplished and inspirational textiles designers. You will learn how to design for both fashion and interiors, be able to make designs in repeat, and print on all kinds of surfaces using our screen printing and digital printing equipment.

With access to our innovative Fab Lab, you can use digital technology to challenge the concepts of materials and texture – prompting you to think about possible collaborations. We will provide you with ample opportunities to build up your own set of experiences and contacts, including a visit to an international textile design exhibition.

Created using our FabLab, student Amy Wright creates contemporary laser-cut textiles.

As part of your professional development practice, you’ll gain the skills to become confident organising your own insightful and advantageous work placements for prestigious brands and designers such as Timorous Beasties, Zandra Rhodes, Humbug Design, Bay & Brown textile design agents, Mirjam Rouden textile design studio, and British Ceramic Tile. 

You’ll benefit from opportunities to design for live, sponsored projects and we actively encourage you to enter national and international design competitions.

Opportunities for studying abroad are available at our partner institutions, click here for more.

BA (Hons) Printed Textile Design & Surface Pattern — Highlights:

  • Work on ambitious projects – designing for large, well-known brands such as Clarks, Zandra Rhodes, Mercedes-Benz, Vispring, Princess Yachts and British Ceramic Tile. The projects are diverse, and give you the chance to learn about designing textiles and surfaces for fashion, interiors and a large variety of products.
  • Learn from dedicated professionals who will nurture and develop your skills and aspirations.
  • Take a work experience placement and make the most of study opportunities in Europe with one of our partner Erasmus universities.
  • Learn about pricing and selling your designs, and how to approach customers.
  • Enjoy your own workspace and access to 32.5 metres of printing tables and large-format digital printers, sublimation printers and a large-format transfer press.

Have a question for our team? Email: PRINTEDTEXTILE@pca.ac.uk
FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM: @pca_surfacepattern

BA (Hons) Printed Textile Design & Surface Pattern is validated by The Open University.

BA (Hons) Printed Textile Design & Surface Pattern — Modules

Year 1

BAPX101 Drawing and Visual Research

In this module, you will develop your existing drawing skills by experiencing a wide variety of different materials and techniques (both traditional and contemporary). You will learn ways of depicting complex 3 dimensional objects in two dimensions and explore 2D design skills. You will develop ways of seeing, looking, thinking and discovering. You will develop your visual language skills and an appreciation of the different ways in which an understanding of drawing in its widest sense can assist in this process. You will approach drawing as a means of designing decorative and repeat pattern layouts. You will explore a variety of repeat pattern formats and be encouraged to use repeating patterns in the drawing process

Practical experience will be augmented by field trips and study of the use of drawings by historical and contemporary artists, designers and makers.

At the end of the module, you will be better equipped to visually explore, record and communicate your ideas. You will understand the importance of drawing in relation to the design process and the importance of repeat structures to the skill base of the textile designer.

BAPX102 Workshop, Materials and Digital Practices

In this module, you will be taught how to work safely and responsibly in the various workshops.

You will have an opportunity to experience working with a range of materials. You will be presented with design problems through a series of short projects in which you will be asked to provide solutions and put these into practice in the workshops.

You will be asked to undertake research into the work of established artists, designers, manufacturers and retailers to inform and support the exploration and application of your ideas. You will maintain sketchbooks and technical journals to record your design process.

BAPX103 Design for Industry

In this module you will undertake project(s) that will introduce you to the complexities of designing for industry. You will develop your approach to research, trend forecasting and design development, giving consideration to a specific product or end use. You will study historical and contemporary designers, design movements and relevant industrial models. You will learn all the different parts of the process from design to manufacture and selling a product. As part of this you will also develop project management and communication skills with internal and external clients.

BAPX104 Professional Practice & PDP 1

This module is designed to help you explore the shape and patterns of employment in your chosen field and to enable you to start to match your current skills knowledge and creative portfolio to those that you will require to successfully compete for work in your intended career. Having identified areas for development you will work with the module leader to update your Professional Development Plan (PDP) enabling you to identify those experiences and skills you will need to acquire during your degree course. The module will cover a wide range of general skills including personal SWOT analysis, effective professional communication with employers, CVs, applications, looking at freelance working, including issues of contracts, copyright and working with agencies etc.

BAIS300 Interdisciplinary Studies

This module provides an opportunity to expand and develop students’ skills and knowledge, through the introduction of new approaches and methods that broaden and extend their understanding of practices both in their subject area, and the wider creative context in which they work.

The module will introduce students to interdisciplinary approaches and methods in their subject, and open up possibilities for engagement with practices both within and outside their immediate subject area. As such, this Module complements all of their study to date, and contributes to their wider knowledge and understanding of creative practices.

The module will encourage students to explore new skills and knowledge, develop team working skills, and above all encourage a reflective understanding of their own skills and contribution within an interdisciplinary context.

BCOP100 Contexts of Practice

This module will introduce you to key theories and will provide a range of critical approaches supporting the investigation, interpretation and analysis of contemporary Printed Textile Design and Surface Pattern. You will study a range of concepts that have shaped the way that we understand Printed Textile Design and Surface Pattern in its wider historical and cultural contexts. You will develop core research and communication skills to help you to articulate and contextualise your understanding of the themes covered in this module. The knowledge gained in this module will support your creative practice by developing an understanding of the relationship between thinking and making.

 

Year 2

BAPX201 Design Team

Working in a team you will be challenged to produce a large volume of designs organised and focused towards presenting the design collection at an international design show such as Heimtex in Frankfurt, Germany / Surtex, New York, USA and importantly with the intention of selling the designs to a professional market.

You will be required to identify your research area and understand your potential clients.

You will be required to work collaboratively with your contemporaries, making pragmatic decisions about the development of the design collection, identifying trends and themes with the aim of ensuring the designs coordinate together to form a dynamic collection, which is commercially relevant.

You will be required to use and further develop your skills in visual research, trend forecasting and market awareness. This module offers you the opportunity to consider your own design vision and orientate yourself as a designer relative to the commercial / client based world of design.

BAPX202 Personal Project

This module will reflect the entrepreneurial creativity of the programme and encourage you to develop knowledge of appropriate professional contexts as they explore self-initiated, independent and authorial approaches to Printed Textile Design and Surface Pattern.

You will design your own textile/surface pattern collection with emphasis on a particular area of personal interest.

This module will allow you to pursue research and develop personal design ideas and also extend practical knowledge. With greater individual responsibility for your work, and under tutor guidance you will learn to examine more personal and special references to your chosen medium. The opportunity to work freely and to explore personal issues will demonstrate personal strengths and your individual position.

You will effectively begin your professional design career while still at college. An important element will be the ability to think ‘outside the box’ and find creative solutions in the design process.

By undertaking a self-directed project that supports creative direction, investigation and exploration should lead students to critically analyse their own personal visual language. Students will be encouraged to develop their entrepreneurial skills as they take responsibility for the whole process from concept to final product, taking design, manufacture, marketing and distribution into consideration.

To support this outward-looking approach to dealing directly with audiences and markets, students will also research a range of self-promotion and presentation strategies. They will experiment with formal or informal creative self-promotion marketing material pertinent to their career aspirations and they will develop and realise their own concepts as they consider strategies for raising their profile and setting their design studio practice apart from the competition.

BAPX203 Professional Practice & PDP 2

This module extends skills acquired during Level 4 allowing you to further explore professional Printed Textile Design and Surface Pattern practice alongside an investigation into in-house employment, commercial freelance design and entrepreneurial opportunities. Running across level 5, it will inform an understanding of the level of professionalism, creativity and adaptability required to negotiate a career in Printed Textile Design and Surface Pattern and associated professional industries.

You will learn basic organisational techniques, costings, the basics of marketing and be introduced to the appropriate legal requirements and issues such as intellectual property rights. There will be an emphasis on development of appropriate skills in an employment context.

Throughout the module, you will also consider business and practice skills required to plan for a career in Printed Textile Design and Surface Pattern, including the skills and attributes required in contemporary practice alongside developing an understanding of ethical responsibilities.

Continuing on from the good practice set up in the level 4 Professional Practice module, reflection will also be an ongoing, continuous process recorded and archived through your PDP blog and further developed to create your own online design portfolio and presence. Industry placements/internships and visits will be encouraged.

GCOP200 Contexts of Practice

This module extends and develops the themed ideas, concepts and critical discourses introduced in Contexts of Practice 1. Students will attend core lectures and participate in a themed seminar series designed to deepen their understanding of Printed Textile Design and Surface Pattern practice in its wider contexts. This themed approach encourages students to make considered and appropriate links between their area of practice and wider contextual and interdisciplinary discourses. You will continue to develop critical approaches to research, which will inform your understanding of the relationship between context and practice. You will undertake a contextual research project that links the thematic focus of their particular seminar series to your area of creative practice, which culminates in a research project.

 

Year 3

BAPX301 Research and Experimentation

This module will stipulate the overarching direction and outline research methodologies that will provide a platform from which your Creative and Professional Conclusion module may develop.

It is a period of reflection on past creative outcomes and the success of their commercial application. The questioning of theories and experimentation in practical processes will allow you to plan your final project and negotiate a course towards its conclusion considering future career or learning aspirations.

Negotiated proposals for outcomes must evidence indicative inclusion of contextual studies subject matter and creative intent for the final year must be clearly definable at the end of this module.

BAPX302 Creative and Professional Development

This module will enable you to use personal career ambitions to position yourself for progression to employment, self-employment or to post-graduate study. It will provide multiple opportunities for you to assimilate previous industry experiences and research into both contextual subject matter and creative outcomes of the final year modules.

The module will encourage you to consider audiences, end-users and relevant markets. Relationships with appropriate external agencies, individuals and professionals will be explored and interactions with the creative, commercial and cultural environments will be investigated.

BAPX303 Creative and Professional Conclusion

This module represents the culmination of the knowledge, skills and understanding acquired throughout the entirety of your study on the programme through the engagement in a project that is the result of your self-initiated or self-selected brief.

BAPX304 Contexts of Practice 3

This module provides you with two pathways. Each pathway supports the development of independent critical thinking and requires you to consider and contextualise your practice by situating it within a wider set of discourses and contexts. Pathway One is an opportunity to conduct a substantive piece of independent research, which is focused on an area related to your creative practice. Pathway Two is a practice-led research project, with critical commentary.

 

Module details listed above are indicative content only.

BA (Hons) Printed Textile Design & Surface Pattern — Staff

Cathy Freeman

Cathy Freeman
Programme Leader

"For me Design, and particularly Textiles, enriches our everyday life. It incorporates the fantastic sensual qualities of pattern, colour and touch and it can provide an exciting career for any student who enjoys drawing, making and has a discerning eye.

As a tutor my role on the course is teaching both practical aspects of design and integrating contextual studies – it’s really all about having a curiosity and a desire to produce intelligent beautiful designs.

I have a BSc (Hons) in Textile Design and Design Management and a BA (Hons) in Fine Art Practices, as well as industry experience working with clients such as Conran Pacific, Pentagram, American Express, Conde Naste, Mandarin Oriental and designing everything from ceramics, wetsuits, watches, textiles, magazines to packaging."

Emma Gribble

Emma Gribble
Lecturer

Emma is a textile designer who has developed a successful interior textiles brand which is sold on-line and in retail outlets all over the UK. She has worked with globally renowned agencies designing printed textiles for the fashion and interior design markets. She regularly produces one-off commissions and has exhibited work all over the UK and in Europe.

For the past eight years Emma been teaching and sharing her extensive technical knowledge and passion for printed textile design. She is constantly striving to learn more, innovate her ideas and loves to work with tomorrow's designers.


Vicky Putler
Lecturer

Vicky has been working within the field of textiles for eight years and in art practice generally for 25 years, since graduating from Goldsmiths College. She has a broad range of art and design interests as well as experience in a range of professional contexts.

In 2010 Vicky founded printed textiles company Thorody with Theo Sykes. They produce hand screen-printed linen for interiors and have exhibited at several key London trade shows including designjunction and Home, and they count major retailers, such as Heals, among their stockists. They also supply fabric and products to high end interior designers/architects, Waldo Works, JR Design, Stuart Barr. Thorody has operated successfully in the design and craft world and Vicky has developed good relationships in various parts of the textile, design, education and business world both here and abroad.

Since 2017 Vicky has been a Short Course and Young Arts Tutor at Plymouth College of Art, and since Jan 2019 she has been a part-time lecturer on our BA (Hons) Textile Practices, BA (Hons) Printed Textile Design & Surface Pattern & MA Textile Design programmes.

As an artist Vicky has exhibited widely both in the UK and Europe. She was shortlisted for the Jerwood Drawing Prize in 2001 and Art Futures in 1999. Vicky holds a 1st class degree in Fine Art & History of Art, Goldsmiths College, University of London, an MA in Fine Art, Goldsmiths College and a PGCE in Art & Design 14-19, Institute of Education, University of London.

The staff listed on this programme are correct at the time of writing. Students will be notified if there are any changes to key staff (i.e. Programme Leaders and Lecturers).

BA (Hons) Printed Textile Design & Surface Pattern — Student Work

Amy Wright

Kay Morgan

Abbey Partridge

Sustainable design by Hannah Webb

Jenny Jefferies

Ildiko Hurley

Amy Wright

Savannah Wiley

Bobby Plows

Clare Elbrow

Gabi Millar

BA (Hons) Printed Textile Design & Surface Pattern — Students Say

We asked some of our first year students what the thought of our BA (Hons) Printed Textile Design and Surface Pattern programme in one sentence...

‘Staff are industry professionals’, says Ailsa Borland.

‘The design studio is bright and spacious, a joy to work in’, says Sarah Court.

‘The program expands your creativity’, says Lewis Stewart.

‘Gives you freedom to discover’, says Chloe England.

‘Access to good quality equipment’, says Zoe Woodford.

‘Repeat patterns….they’re like magic’, says Lily Cumming.

‘I feel like I will get a job at the end of the programme’, says Winona Flay.

‘Everybody’s friendly’, says Natalie Blackshaw.

‘There’s always staff around the help’, says Heidi Wyett

“I definitely feel like our individuality was nurtured, and although hard work, the programme and tutors have given me the confidence I need to now start setting up my own business. The facilities are second to none, and if I had to re-do my degree, I would still choose Plymouth College of Art.” Winona Flay, 2017 Graduate

BA (Hons) Printed Textile Design & Surface Pattern — Careers & Alumni

All of our academic team work in design, professionally. We also arrange regular visits from leading artists and designers. You’ll be introduced to potential employers through sponsored live projects, where you will meet designers from industry and create designs for them to consider for production.

For example, students have collaborated with disciplines from across the college for a design competition with Mercedes-Benz smart cars to design and launch new body panel decals, with the winning design team’s work put into production.

Towards the end of your first year and into your second year, you’ll have the chance to add to your experience through a work placement with a well-known brand or design studio.

Textile designer Emma Neuberg gives masterclass to students

In your second year you’ll have the chance to visit some of the most important design events in Europe, such as Heimtextil in Frankfurt, Première Vision and Maison & Objet in Paris, and combine this with a study tour event as well as the possibility of exhibiting your work at a major international design show such as the respected London Design Fair. 

Our strong international connections allow our students to take a semester of study with one of our partner institutions within Europe and North America, and in turn, we welcome overseas students from those institutions to join us in our design studios, creating an exciting cultural exchange.

Sponsors, supporters and collaborators

Since the launch of our new Textile Studio in September 2014, our students have been working with the support of a number of textile and design professionals from industry. 

Sponsored projects, design competitions, guest presentations and work placements are very important for the students in gaining key experience, keeping connected to cutting-edge trends and techniques, and making invaluable contacts – preparing for a life ready for industry as soon as they graduate.

We thank our friends in the design profession for their valuable support – including HarlequinWrag Wrap, Zandra Rhodes, Brume, Clarks, and more.

From February 2015 we are also proud to include Harlequin in our Industry Liaison Group – a luxury interior furnishings group which design, manufacture, market and distribute wall coverings, furnishing fabrics and more and whose brands include Zoffany, Sanderson, Morris & Co., Harlequin and Scion.

Graduates from our BA (Hons) Printed Textile Design and Surface Pattern become:

  • Textile Designers for International Brands
  • Freelance Textile Designers
  • Design Stylists
  • Design Researchers
  • Trend Forecasters
  • Surface Pattern Designers
  • Lecturers
  • Textile Buyers

Careers & Enterprise in the Curriculum’ at Plymouth College of Art 

Professional practice is embedded within all of our programmes.  Throughout your studies, you will have the opportunity to develop the key professional, transferable skills for employability in the creative industries and potentially work in partnership with other sectors locally, regionally, nationally or internationally.

From writing and making the most of your CV to gaining industry experience, the acquisition of professional skills has been written into the programmes of study by our staff teams, who have ‘real world’ experience. They are also supported by our Industry Liaison Groups, who help inform the development of the higher education curriculum.

BA (Hons) Printed Textile Design & Surface Pattern — Entry Requirements

Minimum 5 GCSEs, grade C or above, from a general range of educational GCSE subjects, preferably including at least one from Art, Design, Textiles or Media.
200 UCAS Points

BTEC National Diploma - MMP grade
VDA: AGNVQ, AVCE, AVS
Access to HE Art and Design
Irish/Scottish Highers/Advanced Highers
International Baccalaureate
Other International Qualifications

Applications welcome from candidates without formal qualifications who can provide evidence of their creativity.

BA (Hons) Printed Textile Design & Surface Pattern — Resources

Based within the city centre campus, our print studios carry 32.5 metres of printing tables, a superbly equipped dye laboratory for mixing print colours, and a range of state-of-the-art digital printers and scanners enabling you to sample fabrics with immediate turnaround.

You’ll also have access to AVA software, WGSN and Future Laboratory, a large format sublimation printer and transfer press and an expansive, open, light design studio, where you will have your own workspace station to develop your ideas from digital screen through to print.

In addition to all our printing facilities, we offer you the use of knitting machines, digital embroidery machines and tufting guns for making carpets.

We aim to encourage your creative education, and help you to develop your career through your studies and after. Our Careers & Enterprise office provides support from a dedicated team who are purely focused on developing creative opportunities. And this doesn’t stop when you graduate – we want to keep in contact and help support you through the first two years of your career.


Facilities at the college include:

Animation, Film and Photography Studios

Our students make full use of our industry-standard dedicated studio spaces – including our infinity cove, green screen, and specialist sound studio (with Foley pit and vocal recording booth) – plus our stop-motion suite, our darkrooms, and plenty of individual edit suites, all up-to-date with the latest industry-standard software.

Ceramics and Glass Workshops

With a glass furnace that works at 1,100 degrees, 10 potters wheels, resources for hot, warm and cold glass processes, a plaster room for mould making, 16 kilns, a well-stocked glaze mixing area and individual studio space, our Ceramics and Glass Workshops have a real ‘wow’ factor, rivalling any art school around the country.

Drawing Studios

With north-facing windows, a ‘methods and process’ area, individual studio space and a specialist life-drawing studio, our impressive, open-plan, triple-height Drawing Studio is a huge space, perfect for many different activities and specialisms.

Fab Lab

Our ‘fabrication laboratory’ is kitted-out with the latest in digital design technologies – from 3D printers to 3D scanners, a vinyl cutter, CNC milling machine, CNC router and laser cutter. It adds a whole new level of opportunity for students across all creative walks of life.

Fashion Studios

This large professional studio offers a real-life fashion experience in a fabulous space with sea views. Specialist industrial and domestic sewing machines, a range of knitting machines and a wide stock of fabrics and knitting yarns sit alongside a media and marketing Mac suite, a fully operational CAD cutting facility, and a library of designer garments to inspire.

Sewing machines.

Fine Art Printmaking Studios

A fantastic facility supporting fine art printmaking, our dedicated space caters for a wide range of programmes and processes. You’ll get access to a 150-year-old Columbian press, an Albion press, an historic and rare wallpaper press, and an automatic FAG proofing press, plus a broad selection of metal and wood type, vacuum screen-printing beds, and four etching presses.

Jewellery Design Studio

Housed in our fantastic new Craft, Design and Fabrication Workshops, this stunning space provides everything for contemporary and traditional techniques in jewellery design, including benches supplied with gas and oxygen, in-house metal casting resources, hand and machine-forming tools, facilities for vitreous enamelling, and a separate chemical room for etching, anodising and patternation. We also have larger metalwork equipment for welding, brazing, cutting and grinding.

Textile Studios

With views out to sea and 35 metres of print tables to encourage experimentation, our Printed Textile Design Studios also boast a fantastic Mimaki fabric printer, digital embroidery resources, industrial sewing machines, sublimation printers, a dye lab, heat presses, a tufting gun and a Mac suite. It’s got to be one of the best printed textile workshops in the UK.

Our Textile Studios.

Digital Print Bureau and Equipment Resource Centre

Our Digital Print Bureau offers affordable and quick print services for all our students who are looking for anything from large-format or solvent printing, to photo printing, scanning or vinyl cutting, and a wide range of finishing services. Our highly experienced Equipment Resource Centre staff can advise you on which of our 6,000 pieces of industry-standard kit – from underwater cameras to traditional large format cameras and all free to hire – will best meet your needs.

Woods and Plastics Workshop

Alongside the latest in new technology, we value the long-standing traditions of making in wood and plastics – and have developed an excellently-resourced workshop that is open to all our students. It boasts a wide range of kit, including an impressive CNC router, plenty of saws and lathes, and strip-heaters, as well as greenwood-working facilities.

Our Fine Art Printmaking Studio.

Mimaki Digital Fabric Printer.

BA (Hons) Printed Textile Design & Surface Pattern — Interview

UCAS Code: W231 Full Time
Part Time

UNISTATS

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