Textiles HNC

UCAS code 124J

What is special about this course?

The HNC Textiles is a creative design-led course which offers experience in surface decoration, creative textile development, drawing and design development relating to the production of fashion, interior and accessory design. It is a portfolio-based course which encourages the exploration and experimentation of materials, media and techniques to provide a broad range of skills and knowledge in textiles and fashion design.

The course offers a balance of practical skills, core skills and a programme of units that will help you prepare for progression to degree programmes, or to employment or self-employment. You will have the opportunity to explore these subjects by producing a portfolio of work and creating a textile and fashion collection.

Throughout the course you will be encouraged and guided to develop your own practice and area of specialism. Exploring a broad range of subjects such as drawing and design development, you will gain skills that will be applicable to a variety of creative career pathways.

Studying in our specially equipped fashion and textiles department at West Highland College UHI, you will work on projects from the initial planning and research stages through design and development, to the production of final outcome.

Special features

The course covers a wide range of study areas including:

  • Machine embroidery
  • Fabric manipulation and surface decoration
  • Mixed media
  • Garment design
  • Garment construction
  • Digital imaging
  • Sketchbook development
  • Portfolio creation
  • Observational drawing

Visiting lecturers and industry visits will ensure that you gain exposure to the latest trends within the sector.


We offer modern student accommodation at a number of our locations.

Entry requirements

  • 1 Scottish Higher at grade C or above OR
  • 1 A level at grade D or above OR
  • NC in a relevant subject area.
  • Prospective students without the standard entry requirements as listed above are encouraged to apply. We will consider individual competence in textiles-based skills evidenced by a portfolio of work.
  • You will also be required to attend an interview.

Year 1 - HNC

Mandatory units are:

  • Surface decoration for textiles: an introduction
  • Digital imaging
  • Professional design practice
  • Textile techniques: an introduction
  • Observational drawing
  • Design semantics
  • Textiles: Graded Unit 1

Option units include:

  • Concept garment design: an introduction
  • Designing and producing fashion garments: advanced
  • Preparing to start a business
  • Portfolio production
  • Fashion forecasting: research and development
  • Garment construction techniques: an introduction

How will I study my course?

  • Full-time

You will learn face-to-face, with practical and theory work taking place in our dedicated, specially equipped fashion studios at West Highland College UHI, Fort William. 

Personal access to a variety of art and craft materials such as cutting and sewing equipment, paint, brushes and pencils will be required. An equipment list will be provided on application.

How long will my course last?

  • Full-time: 1 year

Where can I study my course?

  • West Highland College UHI

Start date

  • September


For students normally domiciled in Scotland or the European Union/EEA (outside of the UK) and with a term time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

Higher National Awards (HNC, HND)2018-192019-20
Full-time per year £1,285 £1,285

Rest of UK students

For students normally domiciled in the rest of the UK (England, Wales and N. Ireland) and with a term time address in Scotland studying this course, the following fees apply:

Higher National Awards (HNC, HND)2018-192019-20
Full-time per year £6,720 £6,720

Fees are payable in advance each academic year unless otherwise agreed.

There are a number of funding options available to UK and EU students to help you pay for your studies and your cost of living whilst studying.

International students

For students who do not normally reside in the UK or European Union and with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

Higher National Awards (HNC, HND)2018-192019-20
Full-time per year £6,720 £6,855


External scholarships and financial support may be available. Contact the relevant UHI partner college for more information.

What can I do on completion of my course?

On successful completion of the course you may wish to consider a career as a:

  • Junior designer
  • Print production operative
  • Retail sales assistant
  • Machinist
  • Merchandiser

Can I progress into further study?

You may be able to progress on to an HND Textiles or BA Textile Design, or to our BA (Hons) Fine Art Textiles or BA (Hons) Contemporary Textiles programmes.

Is there more information available online?

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What our students, graduates and staff say

I was first drawn to this course by the prospect of working with textiles creatively. The highlight for me is designing and making clothes: last year I made a denim jacket with patchwork from my dad’s old jeans. Pattern cutting is something I’m good at and you get to apply that experience to making a piece of clothing from start to finish. There's also a business element to the course, which is useful, as I'd like to work in fashion in the future.

My project for the final graded unit reflects on my childhood, using old photographs as inspiration. I'm creating portraits as well as making a garment, so there is an art element involved as well as using the technical skills I've acquired through the course.

Taylor Black studies HNC Textiles at our West Highland College UHI campus.

I first joined the fashion and textiles department to learn how to sew, but as I started to learn about textiles my interest in that direction really grew. Without this course, I would never have developed the passion I now have for textiles! I’ve learnt all of the basic skills and have also benefited from the relaxing and creative side of these studies. There's a lot of practical work and it’s very individual: you get introduced to different techniques and go on to use those to develop your own projects.

There have been unexpected opportunities already: my earring designs have been popular so I started selling them online on Etsy. Creating something that somebody else likes really boosts your confidence: selling it is just a bonus.

Gintare Alexander studies HNC Textiles at our West Highland College UHI campus.

Apply for Textiles HNC

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2020

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI). UHI operates a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.