Textile Innovation and Sustainability BSc

Year of entry

2024 course information

Open Days 2024

Register your interest for our October Open Days. Register here

UCAS code
Start date
September 2025
Delivery type
On campus
3 years full time
Work placement
Study abroad
Typical A-level offer
ABB (specific subject requirements)
Typical Access to Leeds offer
BBC at A Level and a Pass in the Access to Leeds module.
Full entry requirements

Course overview

a tutor demonstrating a weave machine to two students

On this new course, you’ll discover and drive sustainable and innovative textile solutions to unravel the global environmental and societal challenges faced by textile and related industries. You’ll gain an advanced understanding of the role that technology plays in the development of innovative and sustainable textile materials, processes and products of the future. Through compulsory modules, you’ll gain fundamental knowledge of the topic, which you’ll supplement with a choice of optional modules that give you the chance to specialise in areas aligned to your interests and career aspirations.

You’ll investigate how textile businesses across the world are seeking new sustainable raw materials and manufacturing methods to engineer innovative products for consumer and industrial applications. With a rising demand for environmental alternatives to the current materials and methods, you’ll explore how the drive for circularity is destined to change the future landscape of the global textile industry.

You’ll become a graduate who can innovate, create, manufacture and evaluate materials, technologies, processes and products that meet the requirements of the global sector, while demonstrating a practical understanding of how to implement sustainable development in a commercial setting. You’ll gain the valuable knowledge and skills that are required to accelerate commercial developments to meet sustainability targets for retailers and consumers.

Scholarships for 2025 Entry

The UK Fashion and Textile Association Ltd (the largest network for fashion and textile companies in the UK) has worked with the School of Design to inform the creation of the BSc Textile Innovation and Sustainability and are managing 11 scholarships to support UK students undertaking study in this important field.

Additional highlights

Utilising our in-house extensive lab-scale manufacturing, testing, and characterisation facilities, you’ll put theory into practice by undertaking laboratory work. You’ll have the opportunity to gain further practical experience by taking a placement year through our Year in Industry programme - this is an ideal chance to experience the reality of the textile industry. In partnership with UK Fashion and Textile Association we have developed strong collaborations with industries across the textile manufacturing landscape to offer you placements and sponsored final year projects. Alternatively, you can choose to participate in the Study Abroad scheme.

Specialist facilities

Take a virtual tour of our facilities.

We have extensive high quality research facilities which you can benefit from to help you make the most of your time at the University of Leeds. You’ll have the opportunity to develop skills and techniques in these facilities, particularly in relation to the research you’ll undertake for your dissertation. Our specialist facilities include state of the art equipment for polymer synthesis, fibre extrusion, yarn and fabric development (including woven, knitted and nonwoven) as well as a digital printing studio and a laboratory for materials testing and characterisation. You’ll be taught by academic staff with a range of expertise and industry experience spanning performance design, sustainability, textile technology, colour technology, healthcare, and technical textiles.

Since 2013, we have invested over £9 million in upgrading our facilities including labs, workshops, studios and student spaces. The Leeds Institute of Textiles and Colour (LITAC) is also part of our School, which is a world leading institute researching the global environmental challenges in the textile, fashion and colour industries.

We also provide a range of other support to enhance the student experience and prepare students for the workplace: free dedicated software, a wide range of technical induction programmes, free access to LinkedIn Learning Tutorials, free camera and video recorder loan, supporting a Degree Show, external promotion, Yorkshire Fashion Archive, visiting speakers from industry or other institutions around the world.

Course details

The course structure is designed to provide a breadth of knowledge in a progressive development from Level 1 to Level 3, across all key areas of textile technology, innovation and sustainability. This organically follows the path of textile materials from fibres and polymers all the way into textile, fashion and industrial products, with key innovation opportunities and sustainable interventions contextualised throughout the material and process journey.

To support this, this course is built around core modules specifically developed to provide a comprehensive level of knowledge and nurture skills that are desirable to employers and transferable to many career paths. The delivery of the learning outcomes is covered by the core modules and will be reinforced by choice of optional modules. You’ll also have the opportunity to consider the 4-year course variants for completing a Year in Industry or choosing to Study Abroad.

The compulsory modules cover the core areas (textile, technology, innovation and sustainability) and are supplemented with a range of optional modules designed to promote development in a wider variety of subjects. In particular, the topic of your independent (research/industry) dissertation can be shaped in line with your personal interests and career aspirations. As with all School of Design courses, the progressive acquisition of independent research-based learning skills is supported as research activities underpin practice across all three years.

Year 1

At Level 1, you’ll be introduced to the basics of good academic research skills, as well as methods of subject-specific research. Through core modules, you’ll quickly grasp a wide understanding of the textile industry and its relationship with sustainability.

Year 2

At Level 2, the Research Methods module enables you to learn vital research methodologies, tools and analysis skills that inform your research practice and dissertation. You’ll deepen your understanding of how the industry functions, always being conscious of how sustainability is impacted.

Year 3

During your final year, the development of your autonomous practice and research is promoted through self-directed and self-initiated study: you’ll be required to produce a textile innovation and/or sustainability-based dissertation or a project. You’ll engage in further core modules to consolidate your industry knowledge.

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

Year 1
Compulsory modules

Sustainable Textile Manufacturing and Industry (20 credits) - This module will enable you to fundamentally understand the key terms, technologies and global supply chain behind the production of textile materials. You’ll be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and laboratory demonstrations. This will encompass the full manufacturing chain (fibres, yarns, fabrics, coloration, finishing, apparel manufacturing), and the complex global geographical spread and emerging trends. You’ll also identify the key innovation challenges and the desired interventions to develop a sustainable and circular textile ecosystem.

Textile Fibres (20 credits) - In this module, you’ll learn about various types of fibre materials that are used to make textiles: how they are grown or made, as well as their structure, properties and performance. You’ll investigate the qualities and value that the different textile fibres bring to the textile product, and gain an understanding of their standing from a sustainability viewpoint. Later in the module, you’ll investigate some recent innovations in the field focussed on improving sustainability and facilitating a circular economy.

Sustainable Fashion (20 credits) - This module considers the changing dynamics of the fashion system driven by the pressure for greater sustainability. The module will introduce the fashion system, and will explore sustainability theories and concepts as they apply to fashion by considering the perspectives of different stakeholders within the system.

Yarn Manufacturing (20 credits) - This module will cover material parameters, process steps and technologies employed to convert fibres (staple/filaments) into yarns, in the context of global environmental, social, and economic impacts. You’ll be able to classify yarn in reference to intended application, demonstrate methodical understanding of the manufacturing process, and explore the key methods to assess yarn quality and its implications on product performance. This module will also cover the technological innovations and the future direction of the research/industry.

Fundamental of Fabric Manufacturing (20 credits) - This module will introduce you to the principles and processes used in the manufacture of knitted and woven textiles. You’ll gain a broad understanding of the relationship between fabric characteristics and the various manufacturing parameters. In addition, you’ll learn about some of the key commercial criteria: factors that determine the cost of fabrics and the sustainability impact of knitting and weaving.

You must take one module (20 credits each) in a defined area of study based on staff specialisms. These may include modules in areas such as: 

  • The Fashion Industry 

  • Colour in the Design Process

  • Design for Change

  • Creative thinking

Year 2
Compulsory modules

Design Studies: Exploration (20 credits) - The purpose of this module is to introduce you to a range of critical issues, theories and methods pertinent to textile research today. This will enable you to identify a research area and test potential methodologies for the Level 3 Dissertation. This module equips you with the skills to become independent researchers by inspiring them to understand how research shapes material/processes and introducing them to a wide variety of theoretical resources and research methods. This module will be delivered using a blend of in-person lectures and seminars and online workshops.

Advanced Fabric Manufacturing (20 credits) - In this module, you’ll learn about the properties and production processes of more complex knitted and woven textile constructions. You’ll deepen your understanding of the relationship between fabric characteristics and the various manufacturing parameters. In addition, you’ll gain an understanding of more advanced commercial criteria with a particular focus on the sustainability impact of the production of knitted and woven textiles.

Textile Coloration and Finishing (20 credits) - In this module, you’ll learn how textiles are coloured (including the impact of preparation steps) and how specific physical, aesthetic and performance properties are provided through finishing. A key focus is to gain a full understanding of the sustainability issues associated with textile preparation, coloration and finishing. You’ll then learn about emerging technologies that are likely to impact positively the current challenging sustainability profile of textile preparation, coloration and finishing.

Performance Evaluation and Quality Control (20 credits) - Ensuring that a textile fulfils both the expectations of the consumer, and its legal compliance are key components of a successful product. In this module, you’ll learn about the quality control and quality assurance processes and how they can be applied in textile manufacturing. You’ll also learn about the principles of performance evaluation and quality testing, then move onto gaining a deeper understanding of testing protocols for prevalent properties (such as fabric strength, fabric breathability, water repellence) as well as how to effectively communicate quality parameters through the supply chain, with a particular focus on effective colour communication.

Garment Manufacturing (20 credits) - This module will cover the manufacturing steps that are required to turn textile materials into apparel. You’ll learn about the key factors that affect the garment’s manufacturing cost and quality, and how to best select garment construction specifications to meet specific cost and quality criteria, with a particular attention to sustainability criteria. The complex relationship between manufacturing costs and social and environmental consideration will be discussed, including design for disassembly. You’ll also discover emerging technologies that promise to enable improvements in sustainability from the perspective of the triple bottom line (people, planet, profit).

You must take one module (20 credits each) in a defined area of study based on specialisms. These may include modules in areas such as: 

  • Strategic Fashion Management 

  • Sustainable Product Development

  • Marketing Creativity and Innovation 

Year 3
Compulsory modules

Nonwoven Products and Processes (20 credits) - Nonwoven fabrics constitute a large family of textile materials used particularly for technical and healthcare applications. They offer a very wide range of properties depending on the manufacturing process and can fulfil the needs of numerous applications. They have found niches in terms of low-cost/sustainable disposable textile items, hygiene and technical textile applications. The market for nonwoven textile continues to expand and, in this module, you’ll learn about the manufacturing (web formation and bonding methods) and functionalisation of these essential textile materials. You’ll also explore how nonwoven textiles offer particularly sustainable solutions in certain market applications and be introduced to emerging technologies likely to further positively impact the manufacture and sustainability profile of these textiles.

Technical and Innovative Textiles (20 credits) - Technical textiles, for which function and performance are the most important criterion, are essential to our modern society. Incidentally, the UK is renowned worldwide for its innovation in this field. In this module you’ll gain specialist knowledge and understanding of technical and innovative textiles. You’ll study the structure and properties of high performance and functional fibres and the structure-property-performance relationships in technical and innovative textiles.

Major Research Project (40 credits) - In your final year, you’ll carry out an academic research project, building on the research and analytical skills developed throughout your studies. The project can be conducted in collaboration with industry. You’ll select from a range of project types, enabling you to focus on a subject of specific interest, developing the skills required for your future career. 

You must take one module (20 credits each) in a defined area of study based on specialisms. These may include modules in areas such as: 

  • The Sustainable Business Case

  • Sustainable Product Development

  • Digital Design and Printing

  • Fashion and Textile Innovation

  • Healthcare Materials and Products

Learning and teaching

Creative problem solving and design thinking methods are central our teaching in the School of Design. Your learning will be enhanced by a range of contemporary teaching methods which encourage active learning and are underpinned by inclusive and authentic learning activities, including team working, mini projects and industry- facing scenarios.

Collaboration with staff and your peers is the foundation of our teaching and learning, giving you input into your learning journey.

The systemic approach for the course learning outcomes will be delivered through the use of multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary teaching across the modules. This builds on a fundamental understanding of textile materials, manufacturing and application but also offers a breadth of knowledge to contextualise learning in innovations and sustainable practices in the sector.

In each major area of the discipline, we have in-house expertise to deliver the teaching and embed their research in the programme. Practical sessions, laboratory demos, and industrial visits will be embedded throughout the course. You’ll develop fundamental understanding at Leeds and experience the industrial context in the frequent visits, and the input of industry professionals would be included in the programme delivery.

We follow a campus-based blended learning approach; you’ll have a range of resources in the virtual learning environment which are accessible at all times, including videos and pre-work to help you prepare. The course will employ a variety of learning and teaching methods including lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical demonstrations, industrial visits, and group discussions. Theoretical concepts will typically be delivered in lectures and online resources, followed by seminars in the context of cutting-edge research and developments in textile innovation and sustainability. Discussion and interactive sessions will encourage you to critically examine key elements of textile innovation and sustainability further. External academic and professional speakers from other universities, research organisations, public organisations, fashion, textile and related industry and non-governmental organisations will contribute to the course through lectures and seminars and offer an insight in the subject of their specialism.

The modules are taught by tutors with a wide range of research experiences, including technology, cultural, industrial and policy expertise grounded in both quantitative and qualitative methodologies. A number of the teaching staff also have extensive industrial experience. The final year Major Research Project will allow you to opt for a research project briefed by an industrial partner to address an existing challenge faced by the industry or explore an innovation and/or sustainable area.

Your module tutors have dedicated office hours, which means there’s always the opportunity to ask questions.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.


We use authentic, diverse and inclusive assessments. Within each module, assessments will take the shape of more than one strategy. Key strategies include coursework assignments, laboratory reports, group work, verbal presentations, standard examinations and the Major Research Project. The coursework assignments will be designed to enhance and develop skills of the students and will address latest developments and outlook, in context of innovation and sustainability, of the textile, apparel and technical textile industry. The course will also integrate live assessment briefs by industry.

Formative feedback will be provided to you through a combination of self-reflection, peer group and tutor feedback. Summative assessments will provide a measure of the extent to which students have achieved the learning outcomes of the modules.

Authentic assessment means relevant assessment; in terms of contemporary contexts and relevant to your personal interests and your future aspirations. The authenticity of assessment is an important consideration in how we design assignments and project briefs. This means that we think carefully about the relevance of assessment outcomes; not only in academic terms but also in terms of your chosen career path, skill development needs and the future of work in your chosen discipline. Where appropriate, there will be an element of choice in your assessment. Some projects will allow you to choose the focus and format of your submission.

Entry requirements

A-level: ABB Preferably including one Maths or Science subject (with a pass in the science practical). Excluding General Studies and Critical Thinking

GCSE: 5/6 A-C (or 4+) including English.

Alternative qualification

Access to HE Diploma

Pass diploma with 60 credits overall, including at least 45 credits at level 3, of which 30 credits must be at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit or higher. An interview and a piece of written work may be required.


DDM in maths or science.

Cambridge Pre-U

M1, M1, M2 including maths or science.

International Baccalaureate

34 points overall with 16 at Higher Level including 5 in maths or science and 4 in English.

Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)

H2, H2, H2, H3, H3, H3 including maths or science.

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

BB in Advanced Highers and AABBB in Highers OR B in Advanced Highers and AAABB in Highers OR AABBBB in Highers including a maths or science subject.

Welsh Baccalaureate

Please note that we don’t currently accept the Welsh Baccalaureate.

Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the School’s Undergraduate Admissions Team.

Alternative entry

We’re committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.

Access to Leeds is a contextual admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.

Find out more about Access to Leeds and contextual admissions.

Typical Access to Leeds offer: BBC at A Level and pass Access to Leeds.

Arts and Humanities with Foundation Year

If you would like to study arts, humanities, and cultures at university, but don't currently meet the typical entry requirements for direct entry to a degree, you might be eligible to apply for the Arts and Humanities with Foundation Year course.


We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For more information, contact the School of Design Undergraduate Admissions team.

International Foundation Year

International students who do not meet the academic requirements for undergraduate study may be able to study the University of Leeds International Foundation Year. This gives you the opportunity to study on campus, be taught by University of Leeds academics and progress onto a wide range of Leeds undergraduate courses. Find out more about International Foundation Year programmes.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English
If you're an international student and you don't meet the English language requirements for this programme, you may be able to study our undergraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.


UK: To be confirmed

International: To be confirmed

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2024/25
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students are set by the UK Government and will be £9,250 for students starting in 2024/25.

The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation only, as a consequence of future changes in Government legislation and as permitted by law.

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2025/26
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students starting in 2025/26 have not yet been confirmed by the UK government. When the fee is available we will update individual course pages.

Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2024/25 and 2025/26
Tuition fees for international students for 2024/25 are available on individual course pages. Fees for students starting in 2025/26 will be available from September 2024.

Additional cost information

There are additional costs of study that students need to cover. We estimate that these additional costs could be as described below, but this amount may vary depending on how you decide to respond to university briefs and the range of materials and techniques you decide to adopt.

Computers and digital equipment

To ensure you can make the most of your studies at Leeds, you’ll need to make sure your laptop meets the system requirements for your course.

Some of our courses require the development of work using industry standard specialist software. As/if required by your course, the School will provide this to you when you arrive. We also use a blended learning model where you’ll need to access course materials and video conference using a computer or mobile device (eg laptop, tablet, smartphone). Costs for a laptop will vary depending on the exact specification. You should expect to pay between £1,000 - £2,500.

If you’re buying a new laptop for your studies, then we recommend that you wait until you’re registered as a student so that you take advantage of discounts given to university students. Delaying purchasing also allows you to find out from your programme leader what you need. Depending on your circumstances you can benefit from a laptop loan or further support from our Financial Assistance Fund.

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more on our living costs and budgeting page.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.

Scholarships for 2025 Entry

Specific to this BSc Textile Innovation and Sustainability programme, the UK Fashion and Textile Association have collaborated with the School of Design to inform the creation of the BSc Textile Innovation and Sustainability and are managing a number of scholarships to support students undertaking study in this important field.

The total amount of the scholarship is £6,625 per year (for three years of study) and will be split between tuition fees and maintenance grant.

There are two scholarship routes available: Academic Achievement and Affordability. Information for each can be found on the School of Design Scholarship Directory.

The scholarships do not have to be paid back and are in addition to the financial support you can receive from the government (such as the tuition fee loan or maintenance loan).

How to apply

Applications for 2025 entry scholarships will open in late February or early March 2025.

Please check back in February for further details on how to apply, or visit the Personal Circumstances Scholarship webpage.


Apply to this course through UCAS. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.

Read our guidance about applying.

International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Admissions Policy 2025

This course is taught by

School of Design

Contact us

School of Design Undergraduate Admissions

Email: designundergrad@leeds.ac.uk

Career opportunities

The BSc Textile Innovation and Sustainability course is designed to equip you with a diverse range of knowledge and professional skills. As there will be an emphasis on the role of innovation and technology in addressing some of the key challenges the industry faces in the future, you’ll have skills that set you apart from other graduates in this field. You’ll be equipped with the skills, knowledge and practical experience that will allow you to develop your career opportunities across a diverse range of textile and fashion manufacturing roles, product research and development, and technical management. In addition, there will be opportunities to consider roles within material sourcing, technical support, and technical sales. There will also be opportunities to consider roles within sustainability with non-governmental organisations, policy and government and the expanding field of sustainability consultancies.

Your career opportunities can include sustainability management roles in the textile industry and retailors, textile innovation and/or product development, fashion buyers, textile management, technical consultancy, garment technologists, testing laboratory professionals, technical marketing and support, colour technologists, retail and supply chain management, textile technology/engineering positions, project scientists and quality assurance, quality engineer, technical sales, logistics and supply engineer, production engineer, product manager, R&D Engineer, production Engineer, and management roles in the textile sector. The roles can be in the areas of fibre/yarn spinning, weaving, knitting, dyeing, printing, garment manufacturing, testing laboratories, nonwoven industry, composites and other areas of technical textiles.

In addition, flexibility, resilience and transferable skills are desirable attributes for all professionals of the future. In the School of Design, as well as providing you with research-led, industry- informed subject-specific knowledge, we aim to equip you with the best possible skills for a variety of future careers. Problem solving skills, combined with excellent research and criticality, are increasingly valued across a wide range of sectors; therefore, your degree from the University of Leeds opens opportunities across disciplines and multiple industries.

Study abroad and work placements

Study abroad

On this course you have the opportunity to apply to spend time abroad, usually as an extra academic year. We have over 300 University partners worldwide and popular destinations for our students include Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa and Latin America. 

Find out more at the Study Abroad website.

Work placements

Practical work experience can help you decide on your career and improve your employability. On this course you have the option to apply to take a placement year module with organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors in the UK, or overseas.

Find out more about work experience on the Careers website.

Our Year in Industry is an opportunity available to all BSc Textile Innovation and Sustainability students. It’s great for your personal and professional development, and some students have even been offered permanent roles at the company where they completed their placement. We are working in collaboration with UK Fashion and Textile Association to support you in industry placements.

A Year in Industry a fantastic opportunity to gain experience of working in your chosen industry or field of expertise before you graduate and a chance for you to put the knowledge and skills you have gained during the first two years of your degree into practice. You can spend a year immersing yourself with one organisation or try a multitude of placements to explore different organisations and career paths. 

Read more about our Year in Industry in the School of Design.

Student profile: Isabel Clapham

Throughout my placement I gained valuable real-world experience, including interpersonal skills and self-confidence. I also have secured a job role at the company to return when I graduate.
Find out more about Isabel Clapham's time at Leeds

Student profile: Evie Walters

The School of Design regularly send out newsletters with job opportunities and competitions which is really helpful to expand career prospects.
Find out more about Evie Walters's time at Leeds

Student profile: Laura Sillitoe

I am surrounded by like-minded people who are passionate about textiles, sustainability and improving the impact of the textiles industry on the environment.
Find out more about Laura Sillitoe's time at Leeds