Fashion + Textiles

Key Facts


Programme Overview


MDes Fashion + Textiles. All GSA degree programmes are validated by the University of Glasgow. Established in 1451, the University of Glasgow is a member of the prestigious Russell Group of leading UK research universities and a founder member of Universitas 21, an international grouping of universities dedicated to setting worldwide standards for higher education.

Studio-based with workshops for weave, print and dye knit, embroidery and CAD. Students in the department also have access to the Centre for Advanced Textiles (CAT) and digital jacquard weave.

Studios are open from 8.00am - 10.00pm weekdays, and 08.00am - 6.00pm weekends.
Workshops are supervised from 9.00 am - 5.00 pm weekdays.

Indicative Additional Costs
Individual departments levy material fees as indicated on this page. You should budget for each year of your programme of study and should allow for costs over and above your fees and maintenance, particularly if expensive materials or projects are chosen.

Programme Leader
Jimmy Stephen-Cran

Dan Fradgley
Alan Gallacher
Julia Maclean

Programme Overview

The Master of Design in Fashion and Textiles at The Glasgow School of Art is an advanced skills postgraduate programme designed to meet the ambitions of motivated fashion and/or textile graduates who wish to extend, develop and refine their design practice.

The programme welcomes two broad types of fashion design student, each of which has a characteristically different approach:

One can broadly be described as ‘Textile, or surface, led’ with a design approach considered to be from the ‘Textile-outwards’. The other can broadly be described as ‘Silhouette, or shape, led’ with a design approach considered to be from the ‘Silhouette-inwards’.

Textile-led fashion designers are more concerned with the surface (print, embroidery, decoration) or structure (weave) of the fabric in a garment and tend to think more in two dimensions when designing. Silhouette led designers are more concerned with the shape, cut, outline and construction of a garment and tend to think more in three dimensions when designing.

Knitwear is considered a hybrid activity as the structure of the knitted cloth and the shape of the knitted garment are considered simultaneously. The emphasis might be on knitted structures or fully fashioning.

Students on the programme are required to specialise in a surface or silhouette approach in order to give focus to and strengthen their individual area of expertise.

Programme structure
The 12-month (calendar year) programme consists of three equally weighted stages. Stage 1 is delivered between September to January. Stage 2 from January to May. Stage 3 from May to September. Each stage consists of different combinations of practical, theoretical or elective courses:

Stage 1 comprises of two courses:

  • Studio Practice 1: Origination and Investigation (40 credits)
  • Core Research Methods (20 credits)

Stage 2 comprises of two courses:

  • Studio Practice 2: Experimentation and Progression (40 credits)
  • Elective (20 credits)

Stage 3 consists of one course:

  • Studio Practice 3: Evaluation and Resolution (60 credits)

The Studio Practice courses are sequential. Studio Practice 1 focuses on research and formulating initial ideas. This then informs experimentation and development in Studio Practice 2. Studio Practice 3 culminates in the realisation and manufacture of a final collection and a professional exit portfolio.

As well as the Studio Practice courses, students will study Core Research Methods for Design in Stage 1 and an Elective in Stage 2. Further details are included in the course specification section of the GSA website.

Entry requirements

  1. Applicants will be considered for admission who have achieved an educational level equivalent to an Honours degree. Normally applicants will be expected to have achieved a first class or upper second class Honours Degree in Textile Design (with a strong fashion bias) or Fashion Design. Consideration will also be given to high calibre candidates from other relevant backgrounds if they can demonstrate:
  • An equivalent academic qualification
  • Professional qualifications, equivalent to an Honours Degree
  • A combination of professional qualifications and experiential learning

    2. The Glasgow School of Art expects all students to demonstrate proficiency in the English language, which for UK students is normally shown by a pass in Higher or GCSE English. International students are required to evidence their English language proficiency by completing an IELTS for UKVI (Academic) test taken at a UKVI approved test centre. MDes Fashion and Textiles requires an IELTS score of 6.5 overall, with a minimum of 6.0 in each component.

Career Destinations
Graduates of the programme set up their own label (e.g. Tommy Zhong, Juliette Botterill Millinery) or can be found at Luxury Fashion and Accessory labels such as Ralph Lauren, Celine, Roksanda and LOEWE. Others work for brands such as Tommy Hilfiger and Urban Outfitters or in fashion graphics, PR, marketing, brand development and consultancy or as costume designers, colourists and stylists. Many go on to teach in higher education institutions across the world.

Frequently asked questions
For answers to questions frequently asked by applicants please read the MDes Fashion and Textiles FAQs.  

Following the Fashion and Textiles department at GSA
We recommend following the Fashion and Textiles department on Facebook and Instagram to find out more about daily life as a fashion and textiles student at GSA, as well as hearing about our news, upcoming events and current projects.

Facebook: GSA Fashion+Textiles /// stuff to share ///
Instagram: @gsamdesfashiontextiles
Padlet: MDes Fashion + Textiles

A range of scholarships are available. More information can be found here.

Making an application?
For guidance on making an application, writing your personal statement and creating your digital portfolio please see the School of Design Applicant Guidelines

For more information you are welcome to contact:
Professor Jimmy Stephen-Cran, Programme Leader & Head of Department, or
Julia Maclean, Design Process Lecturer,


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