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Textiles in Practice

BA (Hons)
Textiles in Practice
3 years (full-time)
4 years (with placement year and/or overseas study)

The Textiles in Practice course enables you to experience textiles as a flexible and diverse subject. You will be taught from within core pathways offering the opportunity to specialise or combine the disciplines of print, weave, knit, embroidery and mixed media. We promote and encourage the interdisciplinary nature of contemporary practice where processes and techniques combine and complement one another. Specialist workshop provision offers hands-on traditional machinery and the latest digital technologies, supported by expert academic and technical staff who are actively engaged in research and are professional designers and artists. Emphasis is placed on the development of personal interests and ambitions that reflect the breadth, versatility and potential of textiles within contemporary art and design contexts.

Special Features

  • Through project options, students can work towards their area of specialist interest.
  • Access to extensive traditional and digital workshops.
  • Teaching staff are practising textile practitioners and researchers.
  • You will have the opportunity to take part in Unit X, an innovative unit offered to students across Manchester School of Art that encourages interdisciplinary study and collaboration on an external-facing project.

Course Content

You will be taught from within core pathways offering the opportunity to either specialise or combine the disciplines of print, weave, knit, embroidery and mixed media. Emphasis is placed on the development of personal interests and ambitions that reflect the breadth, versatility and potential of textiles within contemporary art and design contexts.

Live project briefs and work placement opportunities allow you to develop these personal skills collaboratively and for external clients.

Year 1

In Year 1 you will develop a broad understanding of textile contexts and the visual research, technical tools and skills the programme requires. You will be introduced to creative attitudes to learning, working and thinking.


You will explore and identify individual approaches to practice within the broad domain of textiles. Further development of specialist textile skills and techniques will increase confidence in sampling to articulate ideas. Through experimentation with process and methods you are encouraged to apply gained knowledge, analytical and reflective skills through a series of thematically directed projects.


This unit engages the students in a practical introduction to the specialist textile workshop areas of weave, print, knit, embroidery and mixed media. Through a series of process led tasks students will begin to understand and explore the translation of drawing and colour into a collection of textile related material samples.

Contextualising Practice 1: Critical Reflection

This unit is delivered and assessed by individual programmes and relate directly to students’ personal practice and the contexts that inform making in professional art, design and/or craft practices. The unit asks students to begin to form a critical understanding of their own practice.

Contextualising Practice 1: Critical Analysis

Students are allocated to a pathway according to their programme to introduce ideas relevant to their studies. The unit introduces some of the broad over-arching themes and concepts – historical, cultural, social, political, and economic – that affect and inform the production of art, design and/or craft.

Unit X

At Level 4, this unit encourages some collaborative, interdisciplinary practice and shared experience. There are lectures and talks from key research staff, students and external experts. Teaching will be in the form of tutorial groups, weekly meetings and presentations. The set projects will vary from year to year and are designed to be responsive to current creative opportunities. 

Year 2

In Year 2 you will be able to determine your specialist pathway through the programme and develop the skills to articulate your ideas. There will be opportunities to engage with external partners (including studios, manufacturers, galleries, external projects) and collaborate with students and staff from across the faculty.

Contextualising Practice 2: Critical Analysis A

For ‘Contextualising Practice 2: Critical Analysis A’, students can choose to study up to two thematic sub-units to develop their contextual studies in new directions. The CP2 Critical Analysis units encourage students to develop their critical analysis skills gained in Level 4 to further investigate the broad over-arching themes and concepts – historical, cultural, social, political, and economic – that affect and inform the production of art, design and/or craft.

Locating Live (Part 1)

This unit engages students in the development of their own practice through outward facing opportunities, such as, competitions and live projects. Professional platforms are explored across commercial, sustainable and new areas of textile fabrication enabling the application of creative thinking, textile knowledge and innovation in real-world situations.

Unit X

This unit explores collaborative and interdisciplinary art and design practice. You will have the opportunity to engage in a range of external-facing learning opportunities which will encourage collaborative, interdisciplinary practice and shared experience; this may take the form of spending time outside of the University and working within the creative community and the public domain. 


You will move towards defining their work's concept, process and context. Underpinned by rigorous research, you will use projects to take risks and experiment to develop fluency and a distinctive voice in the field of textiles in practice.

Year 3

In Year 3 you will create a portfolio of work that showcases your practice, developing a deep understanding of the context of your work, and creating products and artefacts that reflect your specialism.

Unit X

On the third year Unit X, there is a student authored final project leading to a showcase of finished work. The unit includes a brief generated by the student, which leads to the presentation of a significant body of final work. Collaborative and interdisciplinary work can be incorporated into the project in relation to the professional context and ambition of the student.

Contextualising Practice 3: Critical Reflection

Students are allocated to a pathway according to their programme. The unit asks students to draw upon key ideas and methods encountered in their Contextualising Practice studies, as well as other aspects of their programme teaching and individual research, to support the development and critical understanding of their own practice as they approach graduation. 


Through a range of textile related projects, you will develop an in depth understanding of individual context, market and practice. You will build a portfolio that articulates ideas to support your career aspirations.  You will produce a series negotiated projects that focus on professional portfolio building, fluency of textile practice, honing research skills and rigorous reflection.  Once your project is complete you will then present your work to an audience of peers and professionals.


You will be supported and encouraged to take advantage of work-based learning opportunities, with established links across a wide range of creative and commercial organisations.

Assessment Methods

Continuous formative and summative assessment with feedback and discussion on completion of all units. The programme ends with a School of Art exhibition.

Assessment Weightings & Contact Hours

10 credits equates to 100 hours of study, which is a combination of lectures, seminars and practical sessions, and independent study. A three year degree qualification typically comprises 360 credits (120 credits per year). The exact composition of your study time and assessments for the course will vary according to your option choices and style of learning, but it could be—

  • Year 1 30% lectures, seminars or similar; 70% independent study
  • Year 2 30% lectures, seminars or similar; 70% independent study
  • Year 3 25% lectures, seminars or similar; 75% independent study
  • Year 1 100% coursework
  • Year 2 100% coursework
  • Year 3 90% coursework; 10% practical

Student Work

Visit our online Degree Show galleries to view the work of students from the course.


Winners of student awards announced

Leading textile artist Professor Alice Kettle announced as winner of the prestigious Brookfield Properties Craft Award


Past textile graduates hold key creative positions in organisations such as Habitat, Paul Smith, Aardman Animations and ASOS or are self-employed as designers and practicing as artists. Some are in postgraduate education at the Royal College of Art, London College of Fashion and at Manchester Metropolitan University. Many are teachers in schools and academics in universities and art schools in the UK and overseas.

Making an Application

How to Apply

Apply through UCAS.

We will ask you to provide a Digital Portfolio to support your application.

You will be notified of our decision through UCAS.

Entry Requirements

UCAS Tariff Points/Grades Required


GCE A levels - grades BCC or equivalent

Pearson BTEC National Extended Diploma - grade DMM

Access to HE Diploma - Pass overall with a minimum 106 UCAS Tariff points

UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma - grade of Merit overall

OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma - grade DMM

T level - We welcome applications from students undertaking T level qualifications. Eligible applicants will be asked to achieve a minimum overall grade of Merit as a condition of offer

IB Diploma - Pass overall with a minimum overall score of 26 or minimum 104 UCAS Tariff points from three Higher Level subjects

Other Level 3 qualifications equivalent to GCE A level are also considered. 

A maximum of three A level-equivalent qualifications will be accepted towards meeting the UCAS tariff requirement. 

AS levels, or qualifications equivalent to AS level, are not accepted. The Extended Project qualification (EPQ) may be accepted towards entry, in conjunction with two A-level equivalent qualifications.

Please contact the University directly if you are unsure whether you meet the minimum entry requirements for the course.

Learn more about MMU's Foundation Diploma in Art and Design.

Specific GCSE Requirements

GCSE grade C/4 in English Language or equivalent, e.g. Pass in Level 2 Functional Skills English

International BaccalaureateIB Diploma with minimum 26 points overall or 104 UCAS Tariff points from three Higher Level subjects. If you plan to meet the Level 2 course requirements through your IB Diploma you will need to achieve Higher Level 4 or Standard Level 5 in English Points

International Students

A minimum IELTS score of 6.0 overall with no individual element below 5.5 is required.

There’s further information for international students on our international website if you’re applying with non-UK qualifications.

Tuition Fees 2024 Entry

The fees for 2024 entry are still to be confirmed.

See Funding your studies for further information and advice.

Additional Costs

Specialist Costs

£600*  plus optional £600* At Level 4 the department subsidises many of the initial workshop costs as part of the induction process, if students wish to expand on some processes additional costs will be incurred. At Level 5 and Level 6 costs will be determined by the areas students choose to work in and by the quality of the materials they choose, for example choosing to work in silk fabric as opposed to cotton is an individual choice but these costs will be met by the students. At all levels students will pay for their own drawing materials and printing costs. At all levels students have access to equipment in workshops and can borrow and sign out additional kit where applicable.

Trips and Placement Costs

Optional £1,700* At Level 4 there is an optional study trip to London that we strongly recommend students to engage with At Level 5 and Level 6 there are several study tours to eg New York, Florence, opportunities to attend trade fairs in Paris and Milan. All home students receive a stipend from the University this can be used to offset study trip costs. Placements are encouraged but are not part of the programmes curriculum so if undertaken they will usually be in vacation periods.

* All amounts shown are estimates.