Why did you decide to undertake a masters degree?
“After studying a BA Hons Structured Textile Design at the University of Leeds and working in industry for over three years as a textile accreditor, I began to understand the emphasis and emergence of technical textiles as a future trend within the industry and academia. This prompted me to return to university to further my knowledge in technical textiles and widen my expertise.
What was it about the MSc Textiles programme which attracted you?
The MSc Advanced Textiles and Performance Clothing programme (now known MSc Textiles) was the only course I could find which covered a multitude of topic areas, including functional textile materials, fibres and technical textiles, coloration and finishing processes, medical textiles, nonwovens and performance clothing. It also had great reviews with internationally recognised research activities in this area. I was able to choose three areas in which I could specialise in by attending lectures, carrying out practical sessions, assignments and taking exams. I was also able to attend lectures on the other topic areas to gain knowledge of them as well.
All lectures were very well thought out and provided in depth information at the forefront of the particular subject area. The lectures were designed to make you think alone and interact among the group.
The course also taught me the skills required to conduct and carry out scientific research with great emphasis on the fantastic library facilities on campus and online. These skills were put into practice by carrying out an in-depth research dissertation into a topic of your interest. This required working independently in the laboratories, which were equipped with the latest machinery and equipment enabling me to become familiar with testing methods and procedures in order to carry out experimental work. This often required me to work on my own initiative and solve problems alone, a skill which has become vital for my PhD.
Great support was also given to encourage the development of presentational skills for conferences and group presentations. This was something I never felt very comfortable doing, but after completing my MSc and now approaching the end of my PhD where I have given a number of small lectures, my confidence has vastly improved.
What would you say to anyone thinking of studying MSc Textiles at the School of Design?
I’m extremely pleased that I decided to undertake this course, as it gave me the opportunity of continuing my studies into a PhD in Medical Textiles, something I would not have been able to achieve without completing the MSc. Many of the people who studied alongside me during the course have now gone to acquire jobs in the technical textile industry or pursue an academic career.
I would strongly recommend the MSc Textiles programme at the University of Leeds, which offers up-to-date facilities, knowledge, expertise and cutting edge innovations and equipment in this area. It is also a great course for those who wish to bridge the gap between textile design and technical textiles, undertake a new subject area altogether or improve upon your current knowledge in textile science.”