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This course is validated by: Lancaster University

Contemporary Textiles BA (Hons) (Top Up)

Location: University Centre at Blackburn College
UCAS Code: W232
Code: IA3550A16
Fees: View fees and financial information
Validated by: Lancaster University
Study Mode: Full Time
Start Dates: september 2020
Term Dates: View term dates

This Contemporary Textiles (Top Up) BA (Hons) course is for those who have studied FdA Contemporary Textiles at University Centre at Blackburn College. It allows you to turn your foundation degree into a full BA (Hons) qualification. Our degree puts the emphasis on finding creative solutions to challenging design concepts using drawing, print, surface pattern, stitch, embellishment, fabric manipulation and visualisation in combinations that suit learners and the nature of the brief/requirements of the client. Possible solutions could be for wall-coverings, fashion fabrics, furnishing/interior fabrics, bed-linen, greeting cards/wrappings, panels, one-off artefacts or products. Our exciting Contemporary Textiles (Top Up) BA (Hons) puts the emphasis on finding creative solutions to challenging design concepts using drawing, print, surface pattern, stitch, embellishment, fabric manipulation and visualisation in combinations that suit learners and the nature of the brief/requirements of the client. Possible solutions could be for wall-coverings, fashion fabrics, furnishing/interior fabrics, bed-linen, greeting cards/wrappings, panels, one-off artefacts or products.

You'll build on the experience already gained in the Foundation Degree, but at this higher level will be able to specialise much more in a particular area of textiles. This final year is your opportunity to practice at a high level in an area that interests you, building on the skills and knowledge that you have acquired throughout your Foundation Degree. Rather than following a core scheme of work, the course offers a great deal of flexibility. Smaller course numbers mean that you will be able to choose a particular area of interest, with personal directed support from your tutor. This approach is unique locally. With the support of our highly-qualified team, you'll be able to identify the direction for your own particular career path; this may be art, craft or industry-related and then explore the area relevant to you.

What will I study?

You'll study four modules in order to complete your top-up programme. In the module Creative Business Studies you'll develop further business skills and knowledge in order to function as a professional designer and practitioners in a competitive environment. You will be expected to identify your own career goals and personal development as a graduating designer. The module highlights the core themes of Creative Business Initiative setups, entrepreneurship, technological advances in social media and marketing to facilitate integration into an established business environment or to set up your own business. In the Academic Dissertation module you'll have the opportunity to produce a body of written work focussing on an area that really interests you. This will start with the production of an initial dissertation proposal. You'll be encouraged to approach the dissertation in a creative and individual way. It may take the form of a visual notebook with annotations and supplementary text, an extended essay or case study, or may also include video and oral presentations. During the Research and Proposal module you'll produce a brief negotiated with the Course Leader. In preparation for the Final Integrated Assignment, you will be required to plan, negotiate and prepare your final body of work by submitting a written proposal and design brief that is supported by a practical and theoretical design portfolio. This process will help you learn about pitching areas, coming up with creative solutions and researching the direction for your artwork. Towards the end of the course, you'll complete the Final Integrated Assignment, the culmination of your programme. You'll work on design briefs (resulting from the Research and Proposal module). These will be industry-led and may take the form of national competitions, live projects or your own negotiated commissions. You'll then display your artwork in an exhibition context.

All students take a total of 120 credits per level.

Level 6 Modules (all modules are mandatory) include:

  • Academic Dissertation
  • Studio Practice 1
  • Professional practice
  • Studio Practice 2


Entry Requirements

In order to join this BA (Hons) Contemporary Textiles (Top Up) programme you will need to have successfully completed Contemporary Textiles Foundation Degree FdA. If you have received less than a Merit grade overall in your Foundation Degree you will be required to attend a guidance interview first to ensure you are fully prepared for the Top Up programme. Additional preparation for study at the Top Up programme may be required.  

How will I be assessed?

You'll be assessed by through presentations, portfolio building, assignments/briefs, self-assessment, peer assessment, an assessment of your final exhibition and your dissertation.

Each module is formally assessed through, for example, examination, open-book test, individual and group presentation, essay, observation of practice, assessment of course work e.g. art portfolio, written report, reflective practice and portfolios of evidence.  This formal assessment will count towards your module mark and feedback is usually given within 3 weeks following the submission of your formal submission of work.

Additionally, some lecturers will provide informal feedback, for example, following an examination they may choose to work through the exam paper in a tutorial. It should be noted that feedback is part of the ongoing learning cycle which is not limited to written feedback. Other forms of feedback include one-to-one meetings with a personal tutor, dissertation and project supervision meetings, a lecturer responding to learner questions or responses during topic or situation discussions. 

Feedback is intended to help you learn and you are encouraged to discuss it with your module tutor.

Teaching and Learning

The learning environment and facilities could include lecture theatres, classrooms, technology suites, laboratories and workshops, library and skills labs, art and photography studios, small group and quiet zones. Learning methods will vary according to the programme of study but will include lectures and group tutorials. In addition, seminars, field trips, work placements, role play or scenario activities, laboratory and workshop practical, demonstrations, guest lectures, discussions and debates all contribute to the learning experience to support the acquisition of subject specific skills and knowledge and the development of transferable and employment related skills.

You should typically expect to have around 15 contact hours per week if you are studying full time.

In addition, you will have timetabled meetings with your personal tutor.  

You will be taught by an experienced teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course.  The team could include senior academics, professional practitioners with industry experience, demonstrators and technical officers.  You can learn more about our staff by visiting our staff profiles.


We endeavour to make timetables available one month before you start your course.  Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week.  Part-time classes are normally scheduled on one or two days per week. 

Overall Workload

You overall workload consists of class contact hours, around 15 hours of independent learning and assessment activity and any field trips which may take place.

Academic Support

We have a dedicated Student Engagement Team who will be able to provide support in the following areas;

  • Study Skills (including reading, note-taking and presentation skills)
  • Written English
  • Academic Writing (including referencing)
  • Research Skills
What can I do next?

Through first hand engagement with our extensive textile industry contacts, you'll develop an awareness of this fast changing professional environment and the roles and opportunities that will become available after graduation. Career destinations may include in-house textile studio print and embroidery designer, creative designer/maker for fashion fabrics, interior fabrics and applied textiles arts & crafts, freelance designer in various materials including wallpaper design, surface pattern design, freelance interior designer, in-house interior designer, freelance fashion. 

Supplementary Information

Download the Programme Specification for BA (Hons) Contemporary Textiles (Top Up). The Programme Specification will give you further information about the course structure, learning outcomes and detailed information about the assessment you can expect during the course.

Career Options

Textiles Production Manager

Textiles production managers are in charge of all stages of the textiles manufacturing process. They make sure that the process runs smoothly, is profitable, and delivers products to the right standard and on time.

If you’re interested in fabrics, and improving quality while reducing waste, this job could be ideal for you.

In this job you’ll need to be a strong leader with a good understanding of modern manufacturing methods.

To get into this job you’ll usually need to have a foundation degree or degree, although you may be able to work your way up while taking further qualifications or an Apprenticeship.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

Fine Artist

Fine artists create original works of art using a variety of methods such as painting, drawing, sculpture, engraving, printmaking or media like computer graphics. If you are a very creative person with original ideas, and you have talent in one or more artistic areas, this job could be for you.

You’ll need a good appreciation of colour and shape. You will also need self-motivation to work alone and the business skills to promote your own work.

Most fine artists have training in art and design, and qualifications like an HND, degree or a postgraduate award. If you are exceptionally talented and can produce work that there is a demand for, you may be able to sell your work without any formal qualifications.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

Secondary School Teacher

As a secondary school teacher you will  help to prepare young people for a fulfilling life after school. You will also have plenty of opportunities to develop your career.

To be a secondary school teacher you will need excellent communication skills and the ability to inspire and motivate your pupils to learn. You will also need to work well with people from a wide range of backgrounds, and have patience and a good sense of humour.

There are several way to train as a teacher but before you can start, you will need GCSEs in English and maths or equivalent qualifications. You will also need clearance by the Disclosure and Barring Service.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire