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 5 years to complete the Certificate and a further 5 years to complete the Diploma. You can vary how you undertake the course with a mixture of online and onsite now on offer. The average time to complete the course is approximately 2 years. We recommend that you commit to attending a class at least every other week (dependent on your satellite) allowing sufficient time in between lessons to complete the homework set, in order to get the maximum benefit from time with your tutor.

You can manage your bookings online via Bookeo, and it is highly advisable to book well in advance to ensure you get the days you want. Jacobean Crewelwork is the first module, and needs 3 lessons close together in order to get settled into the technique and start to build your confidence.

There is also an option to do a summer intensive at Hampton Court which runs from June – August and it is possible complete one or more modules at once – however this can be very intense! We also offer an intensive course in Williamsburg, Virginia. (Please note Covid restrictions allowing we will be running HCP Summer intensives from June to August 2022)

Alternatively you can also complete the course intensively during regular C&D tuition at Hampton Court or any of our UK satellites. We do offer an intensive in Williamsburg in Spring and Autumn.


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

  • Per day: £142
  • Per Module: £1,136 (total of 1 module)
  • Payment in full: £4,544 (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. (Please note that due to current restrictions we are holding all Open Days as a virtual event)  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]