The RSN Certificate in Hand Embroidery course enable you to develop solid skills and become part of a long tradition of maintaining the highest standards in hand embroidery. Classes are taught by our team of expert tutors, all professionally trained at the RSN.

The programme is flexible with a range of dates and days available to complete the courses allowing you to fit the course around current work or family commitments.Organised consistency is the key with this course.

Students who have completed our Certificate and Diploma Courses in Technical Hand Embroidery have gone on to use their skills as designers and embroiderers on private and public commissions including community textile projects, work for churches, cathedrals and religious buildings as well as in fashion.

Certificate Course Structure

There are 4 modules to complete:

  • Jacobean Crewelwork (this module must be done first)
  • Blackwork or Canvas Stitch (choose your preferred technique)
  • Silk Shading
  • Basic Goldwork
Technique Duration Training Days
Jacobean Crewelwork Minimum 8 days Mon-Sun
Blackwork or Canvas Stitch                           (choose your preferred technique) Minimum 8 days Mon-Sun
Silk Shading Minimum 8 days Mon-Sun
Basic Goldwork Minimum 8 days Mon-Sun

For each module you will need to completed a minimum of 8 days tuition.

Allow roughly the same days of homework in between, so there is a minimum of 32 days needed to complete the Certificate.

The classes are mixed ability so you can start whenever is convenient for you within the term. The course has assessment slots for students’ work at the end of each term.

Course Duration

You have 4 years to complete the Certificate or 5 years if you are doing it via the intensive route. Then a following 5 years to complete the Diploma. You can mix and match how you complete the course as well. The average time to complete the course is usually 2 years. We recommend that you commit to doing a class at least once every two weeks (dependent on your satellite) to get the maximum benefit from your training. Consistency is what will give you best out of the programme.

You can manage your time by booking online (on Bookeo), and it is highly advised to book in advance, to allow tutors to give you the most realistic homework in the time frame when you return, and to make sure you get the days you want. Jacobean is the first module, and needs 3 lessons as close together to build up to getting ready to stitch! The further you book in advance, the more you get out of the course.

There is also an option to do a summer intensive at Hampton Court which runs from June – August and can complete one or several modules at once – but they are very intense! We also offer an intensive course in Williamsburg, Virginia. (Please note that due to Covid-19 the Intensive Courses will not be running)

Alternatively you can also complete the course using normal C&D tuition or with our intensive programmes. We run these at Hampton Court & in Williamsburg or you can do a mixture of teaching methods to complete the course. The course is flexible to be able to let you make the most of it.


You can opt to pay per day, per module or for the whole course in full.

  • Per day: £139
  • Per Module: £1,112 (total of 1 module)
  • Payment in full: £4,448 (total of 4 modules)

Some modules have starter kits which you will also need to purchase:

  • Jacobean starter kit: £120 (this includes the 24″ slate frame).
  • Blackwork starter kit: £21.50
  • Goldwork starter kit: £37.00
  • Not all modules have starter kits. Everything will be ready for you in the classroom and includes everything that you need to get started. All additional materials that you may need throughout your course can be purchased from the Education department.

Next Steps

The first thing we do is invite you to attend one of our Open Days.

If you are interested in joining our Certificate & Diploma courses then our Open Days are the perfect opportunity for you to experience the academic setting at the Royal School of Needlework at Hampton Court Palace or at one of our satellite locations around the UK. We’ll introduce you to the programme and some of the tutors as well as giving you the tour of our rooms at Hampton Court and prestigious embroidery studio for some inspiration!

Book onto a Certificate & Diploma Open Day

Sign up for the Course

Or Contact the Education Team to discuss your options: E: [email protected]