Overview
MA Design: Fashion and Textiles

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.

Course Structure and Content
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.

Visit Bath Spa University website page for application details

Modules

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.

Teaching Methods and Resources
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.

Employability

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.

Assessment Methods

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.

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. To help applicants – especially those from overseas – to decide if this course is appropriate for them, it is advisable to contact the Course Director prior to application.

Student Profile

What undergraduate qualifications do you have?
Postgraduate FIMLS (Fellowship of Medical Lab Studies), HNC in Histopatholgy and Cytology/Medical Lab Science. Cert Ed in Education/Biology

What were you doing before you began the postgraduate course?
Working at Hewlett Packard as global Project Manager

Why did you choose to do this course?
Having studied textiles all my life, and recently completed an Art foundation course, I wanted to gain a formal qualification to work in textile industry

Why did you choose Bath Spa University?
Local, High quality standard of work, tutors really dedicated and expert in disciplines and have worked in industry

What do you particularly like about this course?
Experienced and dedicated tutors and technical staff, good facilities, marketing module was excellent, also option to show work professionally at key trade fairs such as Tent.

What do you like most about Bath Spa University?
Ability to see staff from other disciplines, lovely site, high quality teaching

What have you done since finishing the course (if you have finished)?
Got job project managing textile charity in Bristol, set up my own textile design business, built up portfolio by exhibiting in trade fairs and high quality selected exhibitions

How will your postgraduate qualification help your career?
Has given me confidence and academic qualification to get job in industry and apply (and be selected) for high quality exhibitions

What would be your advice for graduates wishing to do this course?
Plan well ahead for all exhibitions and focus on area of specialisation as early as possible

Do you have any other comments?
Great course – I loved my time at Bath

Penny Seume

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. To help applicants – especially those from overseas – to decide if this course is appropriate for them, it is advisable to contact the Course Director prior to application.

Quotes from graduates of the course

Great course – I loved my time at Bath. Experienced and dedicated tutors and technical staff, good facilities, the marketing module was excellent, also option to show work professionally at key trade fairs such as Tent. It has given me the confidence and academic qualification to get a job in industry and apply (and be selected) for high quality exhibitions. Penny Seume

I chose Bath Spa University, as it seemed to have the best MA course in the South West for Design/Printed Textiles. I was very impressed with the knowledge and background of the tutors when I came for interview. It was a very exciting period of development within the print department at Bath Spa with funding just in place to develop the new print room and install the latest digital and laser-cutting machines and this was exactly what I was interested in. There were regular tutorials, both group and individual, which I particularly liked about the course. The library facilities are really good and I enjoyed meeting a lot of interesting and creative people. Having an MA qualification can open up more opportunities for career prospects if you are seeking employment. I am a self-employed designer/maker, running my own business after receiving a Crafts Council Development Grant in 1997. Therefore the MA was more about the development of ideas, of contextual knowledge and the further evolution of drawing and design skills, which is of great value in itself and also informs the work and perhaps can give greater credibility to it. Sam Pickard

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 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. Gill Hewitt

Staff Profiles

  • Tim Parry-Williams

    Course Leader
    MA Design: Fashion and Textiles
  • Rachael Howard

    Lecturer
    BA Hons Textile Design for Fashion and Interiors
  • Frances Turner

    Senior Lecturer in Marketing & Entrepreneurial Skills
    BA Hons Textile Design for Fashion and Interiors, MA Design Fashion and Textiles
  • Kerry Curtis

    Head of Design
  • Private: Sue Bradley

    Subject Leader in Mixed Media Textiles
    BA Hons Creative Arts and BA Hons Contemporary Arts Practice

Frequently asked questions

What qualifications do I need and should I have studied Fashion and/or Textiles before I can consider an MA?

In the ideal world we would like all students to have studied on a BA (Hons) Fashion and/or Textiles course with a good prior knowledge of Fashion and/or Textiles. However, we do interview all students who apply for the course with a portfolio of his or her creative work to assess if we can give you enough skill background to achieve your aims and objectives on the course. We are looking for students with potential for development.

How many days of the week will I have to attend University and do I get my own workspace?

All full-time students are given a workspace. Part-time students are not given an individual space but have access to tutorial rooms and general work areas. Attendance of one day per week is essential for all students full or part-time. Students have access to workshops and general University equipment on an individual basis.

Do you accept mature students?

We welcome students of all ages. We are looking for the very best students we can find.

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