Textile & Surface Design

Are you curious about the possibilities of designing contemporary textiles and surfaces? Are you motivated by imagery, colour and pattern or the creation and transformation of surface? Textile & Surface Design at NCAD aims to enable students to develop their full creative potential as designers of the surfaces that will surround us in the future.

Design outcomes are realised through the production of design samples, fabric collections, visualisations and/or products and prototypes. The college offers an excellent range of facilities for realising design work including digital print, screen print, transfer print and weaving while external manufacturing services such as laser-cutting, computer-aided weaving, multi-head embroidery, and finishing are also utilised.

Year 1

See First Year

Year 2

The focus in the Second Year is on developing a personal visual language and the skills necessary to translate this into successful Textile and Surface Design practice. You will also focus on researching and defining a specific audience and developing a market understanding through professional practice.

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 internships and industry placements on live commercial, social or community projects. Studio+ can also include a work placement abroad or a study abroad period through the Erasmus programme with internationally recognised art and design faculties partnered with NCAD.

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 and Surface Design. This will culminate in a substantial body of work for assessment and display at degree shows, exhibitions and events.

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?

Coursework, essays, practical design projects. Formal assessment results are issued at the end of each academic year.

Students can leave at the end of Year 3 with a BA (Hons) Degree; students who reach the appropriate standard may stay on for a further two years of postgraduate study and leave with an MA in Textile and Surface Design.

Years 4 and 5

The two year taught Masters programme provides a scholarly framework for students who wish to master their design discipline. A major objective of the masters is to provide an environment that is broad, yet with enough rigour and focus to enable students to engage with the challenges of contemporary creative practice. The programme encourages students to integrate research, creative practice and contemporary cultural theory within and beyond their chosen discipline, leading to a body of work that positions the student on an international stage.

Download NCAD Prospectus

As a consequence of the range of skills acquired, Textile and Surface Design graduates have a wide range of local and global opportunities open to them.

The Textile and Surface Design pathway has a proven track record in educating assured designers who follow successful careers within fashion, interior, and lifestyle product industries. Typically graduates become in-house textile designers for international fashion/interior designers and established brands, designers within textile design studios, independent designer-makers of textile products and designer-makers of bespoke textiles for corporate/interior /architectural or fashion clients.

There are also possibilities for graduates to establish their own design studio, label or brand with successful NCAD graduates including Orla Kiely OBE, and design studios Quinnconfrey and Pattern. Related graduate careers include trend-forecasters 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 supported by the Graduate School for Creative Arts and Media (Grad CAM).

The School of Design has actively participated in the EU-funded LDV (Leonardo Da Vinci) PLM (People in the Labour Market) programme since 2010 which offered recent graduates the opportunity to avail of 13 week internships in high profile design companies within the European Union. The LDV PLM  programme was designed to foster close industrial relations and collaborations in order to meet the needs of design graduates and the EU ‘creative industries’.

Over the past four years 102 graduates from across the NCAD design disciplines have successfully undertaken LDV PLM internships in many European countries. All gained a range of specific skills and work experience relevant to their sector within the 'creative industries'.  A number of participants continue to be employed on an ongoing basis by these companies, and the professional practice skills developed during the programme has had a significant impact on helping participants find employment within the creative industries in what are economically challenging times. Developing language skills, gaining inter-cultural awareness and a sense of being 'European' is in-built into the activity of going on an EU work-placement abroad. 

The hugely successful LDV / PLM programme came to an end in December 2014 and has been replaced by the EU-funded Eramus + Traineeship programme.

Please see the Study at NCAD section for full application details. 

Duration 3/4 Years BA 
Places 20

CAO Course Codes:

AD103 Textiles, Jewellery & Objects

AD101 First Year Art & Design (Common Entry)

Entry Requirements

Leaving Cert: 6 Subjects (2 X H5 and 4 X O6/H7)

Subjects must include English, Irish and one of the following: a third language or Art or Design & Communication Graphics (DCG)

FETAC: 5 Distinctions Full Award

NCAD Minimum Entry Requirements

Portfolio Requirement: NCAD Portfolio Submission
Degree Awarded BA Textile & Surface Design / BA Design & Visual Culture / BA Design (International) 
All Undergraduate applications for Year 1 entry and Advanced entry through the CAO.

For Further Information Please Contact:

School Secretary

David Bramley
E-mail: bramleyd@ncad.ie