Surface Pattern Design (Maker) (Swansea College of Art)

University of Wales Trinity Saint David

Degree level: Undergraduate
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Course summary

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Our Surface Pattern Design degree course at Swansea College of Art UWTSD is a vibrant, multidisciplinary programme where we explore textiles, materiality, pattern and making in the far-reaching contexts of fashion, interiors, object and design led galleries. The programme sits in a cluster of courses within Surface Pattern Design– this is a great benefit to our students who can thrive on the collaborative, interdisciplinary study that is possible. The course is academically challenging, contemporary in outlook, and students are taught a wealth of practical and technical skills, enjoying the design potential of our extensive digital and more traditional facilities. The Surface Pattern Design course offers the best training and facilities to prepare our graduates for creative job roles such as designer makers, exhibiting makers, print designers, print makers, entrepreneurs and stationery designers. We are a materials-based course with textiles at the core, we don’t limit ourselves by material discipline! Students explore cloth, paper, metal, wood, plastics, ceramics, glass – then they decide where they take it. We encourage student individuality across our flexible pathway structure rather than enforce a house style. Demands for originality, innovation, professionalism and relevance are paramount in steering the individual to identify their own distinct voice within a highly competitive graduate market. The four pathways – Maker, Textiles for Interiors, Textiles for Fashion, and Fashion Object, are all housed within our fantastic studio space allowing a great platform for learning and collaboration. A rigorous and lively approach to design process is fostered across our excellent facilities. Students are given the freedom to innovate, explore the boundaries of what is on offer and encouraged to play, supported by a structured programme of workshops and tutorial engagement. Drawing and primary research is an important aspect to our programme and is taught from the beginning to the end of the course in so many different ways. Every student is encouraged to find their own personal language through these experiences. Our graduates know how to contextualise their work. Over the course of their three years this is something that becomes more individual and our graduates are fearless in terms of where they will go, who they will ask and what they discover. Over the past couple of years there have been foreign study trips to the Netherlands, Italy, India and Paris. Our graduates know how to facilitate research to inform their studio practice. We believe in handling creativity and employability in equal measure - often these elements will be separated in the HE learning experience, but not here in Surface Pattern Design. You will find them intertwined through every project that you work on, it becomes second nature. Our students graduate as designers and makers ready to flourish in a wide range of creative employment, having had significant live projects, exhibition experiences and industry liaisons embedded in their studies. Surface Pattern Design is well staffed with highly experienced designers, artists and lecturers delivering a finely tuned programme that is highly relevant to current creative industry practices. Live projects are built in where opportunities allow, in many instances with long held industry liaisons, and in other cases in an ad hoc nature reflecting trends that are happening in the design industry and invitations from the outside world. These are built in from year one. Recent live projects have been undertaken with Jan Koen Lomans and Object Rotterdam, H&M, Eley Kishimoto and the National Museum of Wales portfolio to name but a few. As a programme we are driven to ensure that you graduate doing something that you love, something that you are brilliant at and something that you can sustain and carry on growing in to, earning a living through a fulfilled and creative life!

Course details


Level 4 Semester 1 Major Studies A1 Digital and Material Process B1 Visual Studies 1 Ways of Thinking Semester 2 Major Studies A2 Digital and Material Process B2 Visual Studies 2 Ways of Perceiving Level 4 is teaching intensive, introducing you to ways of learning, material processes, visual studies, and research methods, with pathway specific projects and contextual practices, taught through an exciting range of working methods. You will experience a rich and varied programme, designed around the four pathways, enabling you to gain and develop skills in surface treatment and construction methods. Printed textiles, colouration and Adobe creative cloud workshops deliver the skills for the Majors. Whilst workshops designed for Making give you the opportunity to explore harder materials, enabling you to work both two and three dimensionally. During your 1st year of study you will undertake contextual practices (Ways of Thinking & Ways of Perceiving) which are designed to underpin your studio practice. Level 5 Semester 1 Major Studies A3 Digital and Material Process B3 Visual Enquiry 1 Research Practices Semester 2 Major Studies A4 Enterprise and Employability for Designers B4 Visual Enquiry 2 Creative Research Level 5 encourages you to take risks, to analyse, to challenge conventions and to evaluate your individual approach. You are supported in the development of your ideas with an emphasis on pushing towards innovation and expansion of your own creative voice. You will continue to advance your practice through live projects, competitions, workshop activities and advanced methods in digital and material process. Contextual practices develop your understanding of historical and contemporary art and design theories and prepares you for the dissertation module in level 6. The enterprise and employability module introduces you to the professional context that you are working in and offers practical workshops in building a professional web and social media presence. An external project is carried out between level 5 and 6 giving you the opportunity to make contacts, build networks take research trips or go on a placement, giving you a flavour of future possibilities. Level 6 Semester 1 & Semester 2 Major Project and External Liaison Advanced Creative Enquiry Marketing and Self Promotion Dissertation Year 3 will be contextualising your work in response to your external project and developing a clear direction for your major practice. A dissertation contextualises your practice and offers you the opportunity to delve deeper into the ideas and concepts that you are investigating. The year culminates in a body of work or design collection that fully expresses your creative journey as a designer or maker and is exhibited in a public space and is known as the Degree Show. Marketing and presentation workshops take place to bolster the exit strategy of the individual.

Assessment method

Assessment is carried out through coursework, both written and practical. There are no exams on this course. Students are formatively assessed throughout a module, summative assessment takes place at the end of a module. A variety of teaching and learning methods are used throughout the course which include amongst others; Informal Tutorials These tutorials are held on a regular basis, across all levels. In Year 1 each student sees and discusses his / her work with a member of staff at each studio session, likewise in Year 2. Third and fourth year students tend to work more independently and sign up for tutorial when she / he feels the need arises. However, as a team we ensure that every student in Year 3 is seen by at least one member of the academic staff each week. We pride ourselves on the fact that there is the opportunity to see staff as regularly as you may require. Formal Tutorials These are held twice a term at the student’s desk with two members of staff. The work is discussed, practical and conceptual development, future intentions of the student etc. It is an opportunity for any issues / concerns by either party, to be raised. A written account of the tutorial is duplicated, one copy kept by the student the other stored in his / her records file. Group critiques These are held on a regular basis, across all levels, with one member of staff. They provide an excellent opportunity for students to share and exchange ideas with their peers in a structured manner in addition to valuable input from staff. Informal & Formal presentations The nature of the presentations varies according to the level: in Year 1 informal presentations are introduced half way through the first semester in order to help students gain confidence in talking about their work to their peers and staff it is also usually part of the assessment at the end of each project. 2nd Year students are expected to give a Formal Presentation as part of their Professional Studies Module and at the end of the year as part of their Major project. In Year 3 a Formal Presentation is part of the final assessment at the Degree Show. Exhibiting work Again the nature of this varies within the context of the projects, the work to be assessed and the stage of the programme – it can range in formality from a public venue to the individual student’s desk space.

Unistats information

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How to apply

Application deadlines

If your application is completed by the following date, it’s guaranteed to be considered:

15 January

*If you apply after this deadline, universities or colleges don’t have to consider your application if they’ve filled their spaces, so the sooner you apply, the better!

Application codes

You will need these codes when you add a choice to your application.

Course codeW790
Institution code T80
Campus nameDynevor, Swansea
Campus codeV

Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

QualificationOfferFurther information
UCAS Tariff 120 points Grades are important; however, our offers are not solely based on academic results. We are interested in creative people that demonstrate a strong commitment to their subject area and therefore we welcome applications from individuals from a wide range of backgrounds. To assess student suitability for their chosen course we normally arrange interviews for all applicants at which your skills, achievements and life experience will be considered as well as your qualifications and portfolio of work.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

EU £9000 Year 1
England £9000 Year 1
Northern Ireland £9000 Year 1
Scotland £9000 Year 1
Wales £9000 Year 1
Channel Islands £9000 Year 1
International £11500 Year 1

Additional fee information

No additional fees or cost information has been supplied for this course, please contact the provider directly.
Surface Pattern Design (Maker) (Swansea College of Art) at University of Wales Trinity Saint David - UCAS