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Textile & Surface Design

Textile & Surface Design at NCAD will help you to develop your full creative potential as a designer of the surfaces and textiles that will surround us in the future.

What will I study?

The programme focuses on designing and creating fabrics and materials for use in fashion, accessories, interiors and the broader design field. Throughout the programme you will develop your knowledge and expertise through the use of traditional and new design and production processes for printed and constructed textiles. The programme is driven by design briefs and producing design outcomes for fabrics and other materials and surfaces. NCAD offers a range of facilities for realising textile design work including digital print, screen print, transfer print, loom-weaving, knit, embroidery, laser cutting and 3D printing.

Year 1

The first year experience for BA students at NCAD begins with a foundational semester of interdisciplinary Art and Design creative practice and research. In the second semester all Design students undertake projects spent within selected de-sign programmes. This is to give you a working taste of your chosen discipline and/or those that you are interested in and would benefit from experiencing. The second half of Semester 2 introduces students to key processes and practices in your chosen design discipline, encouraging the creative and critical development of a personal practice and introducing fundamental disciplinary design and technical methods.

Year 2

The focus in the second year is on developing a personal visual language and the skills necessary to translate this into a successful textile and surface design practice. The focus is on designing textile surface designs for fashion, lifestyle and the living environment. These involve intensive skills-based workshops that explore processes in visual research, digital design skills, and the making of textiles through screen-print, construction, and digital print. The programme is underpinned by group seminars, tutorials and critiques. You will also focus on researching and defining a specific audience and developing a market understanding through engagement with secondary research and collaborative projects. In Semester 2 students specialise in constructed or printed textiles with multi-disciplinary approaches encouraged.

Year 3: Studio+ & International

Studio+ is an optional year open to all Design students allowing you to engage with the world beyond NCAD by gaining practical work experience in the form of working within the NCAD Design Bureau on live commercial, social or community projects and/or undertaking approved internships and industry placements. Studio+ can also include a work placement abroad or a study abroad experience through the Erasmus programme with internationally recognised art and design faculties partnered with NCAD. Students who choose Studio+ will complete a 4 year BA in Textile & Surface Design or a 4 year BA Textile & Surface Design (International).

Final Year

In the final year, students are ready to develop their own programme of study, which reflects each individual’s skills and interests within Textile & Surface Design. This will culminate in a self-set design project and the production of a collection of textiles and surface design prototypes that will form the basis of a professional portfolio. Each year is supported by a series of lectures by leading creative practitioners and theorists, collaborative interdisciplinary opportunities, live industry projects, field trips, and study visits.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment throughout the programme, in both your studio practice and in Critical Cultures, will be on a continuous basis, at the end of each completed module and at the end of each semester (half-year). Formal assessment results will be issued at the end of each academic year. Modes of assessment will include practical and written assignments, oral and visual presentations, portfolios and exhibitions.

Critical Cultures

A key component of your curriculum in every year is the study of Critical Cultures. This is where you study the connections between history, theory and practice in modern and contemporary contexts in order to become a critically engaged, reflective and effective practitioner.
Find out more on the Find out more

Opportunities after graduation

Textile & Surface Design graduates have a wide range of local and global opportunities open to them. The Textile & Surface Design pathway has a proven track record in educating assured designers who follow successful careers within the fashion, interior and lifestyle product industries. Graduates have become in-house textile designers for national and international fashion and interior textile design companies. There are also possibilities for graduates to establish their own design practice working freelance or establishing their own design studio or brand. Related graduate careers include trend forecasting, creative directors, design agents and buyers, colourists, illustrators, visual merchandisers, design researchers, and educators. Increasingly graduates progress to further study at postgraduate level to refine their creative abilities and approach. The School of Design offers a range of innovative masters programmes, as well as a practice-based PhD programme.

Textile & Surface Design

BA Textile & Surface Design
NFQ Level 8

3 or 4 Years


Course code/s:
Textile & Surface Design and Jewellery & Objects
AD101 First Year Art & Design (Common Entry)

Entry Requirements:
Leaving Cert: 6 subjects, 2xH5 and 4xO6/H7
Subjects must include Irish, English and one of the following: A 3rd Language or Art or Design Communication Graphics (DCG)

QQI/FETAC: Level 5 or Level 6:
5 Distinctions, Full Award

A Level/GCSE: 2x A Levels at C+ and 4x GCSE Ordinary or AS level
Subjects to include English and Art or a second language

Portfolio Requirement:
Portfolio submission by Friday 10th February 2023 in line with NCAD Portfolio Submission Guidelines. For further details please go to:

Degree awarded:
BA Textile & Surface Design/BA Textile & Surface Design (with Critical cultures)
BA Textile & Surface Design (International)

Find out more on the Critical Cultures Pathway
Find out more about Studio+