The RSN Future Tutors Programme (FTP) is specifically designed for those who want a career in teaching hand embroidery techniques. It is a three year full-time course, based at Hampton Court Palace, which trains students in a wide variety of hand embroidery skills to the highest standard.  You will learn teaching theory to City and Guilds Level 3, as well as gain practical and commercial experience in the RSN Embroidery Studio. For more information, please read below or email [email protected] 

Book an Open Day

See the work by our 2020 & 2021 graduates


The programme provides you with:

  • Technical skills in a wide variety of hand embroidery techniques
  • Knowledge of teaching theory and practice
  • Elements of commercial practice relevant to freelance embroiderers.

On completion, you will have:

  • The skills to teach hand embroidery techniques to RSN Certificate, Diploma and Degree level
  • The skills to work as a professional embroiderer in a commercial studio
  • Some experience of restoration and conservation work
  • A broad insight into the life of a freelance embroiderer.

What techniques can I learn?

Jacobean Crewelwork, Blackwork, Canvas Stitches, Silk Shaded Botanical, Basic Goldwork, Appliqué, Coronation Goldwork, Silk Shaded Animal, Canvas Shading, Stumpwork, General Whitework, Box Making, Fine Whitework, Beadwork, Both-Sides-Alike, Quilting, and Silk Shaded Figure.

Where can I learn?

Students are based at Hampton Court Palace, South West London. They may spend time at public shows around the country, assisting with classes, exhibitions and demonstrating at events.

Your tuition week includes:

  • Two days technical stitch instruction for First and Second Year students and training in the RSN Embroidery Studio for Third Years
  • Two days self-directed work on teaching files and assessment pieces. (Each completed module is assessed and requires a high standard of achievement to demonstrate full understanding of the skills learned.)
  • One day of Art, Business Skills, off-site study trips

You will have eight weeks off during the year: two weeks at both Christmas and Easter and four weeks during the summer.

Future tutors courses at the royal school of needlework
the wall of wool at the rsn embroidery studio

Entry Qualifications

A good level of education to ‘A’ Level or equivalent, including a high standard of written and spoken English. No previous experience of embroidery is required but some knowledge of art and design is useful. Good communication and motor skills are required and the ability to pay attention to fine detail.


The full fees are £13,000 per annum (for September 2022 intake) however we continually seek to bring this cost down as part of our overall fundraising activities. Some partial funding may therefore be available to assist with fees, along with student bursaries. We are always happy to discuss the level of support that might be available.

How do I apply?

Please complete the application form and send it with your CV and a covering letter listing two personal references by email to: [email protected] or by post to:

Royal School of Needlework
Apartment 12a
Hampton Court Palace,
East Molesey

To book a place on an Open Day please click here.

The deadline for submissions for the next academic intake (starting September 2022) is 6 May 2022.

For all enquiries about the Future Tutors programme please contact:

Joanna Hart, FTP Course Leader
Tel: +44 20 3166 6948
Email: [email protected]

Below are the bursaries that were awarded in 2018-19. The actual bursaries may change for each year and past support is unfortunately not a guarantee of future support.

Future Tutor Bursaries 2018-19

The Worshipful Company of Gold and Silver Wyre Drawers’ Bursaries

This Worshipful Company, one of the ancient City Livery Companies, has a strong affiliation with the RSN as we are one of the few organisations which continue to use gold and silver wire in our work. For this year, in addition to their Degree bursaries, they gave a bursary of £1,000 to one UK-based Future Tutor.

The Worshipful Company of Needlemakers

The Worshipful Company has long been a supporter of the RSN. They support us as we are one of two organisations that make good use of needles: embroiderers and surgeons. This year there was a bursary of £2000 for one UK based Future Tutor.

The Girdlers' Company

The Girdlers’ Company is one of the 110 Livery Companies of the City of London and has a strong affiliation with the RSN.  This year they awarded a bursary of £1666 to one UK based Future Tutor.

Coats Foundation Trust

The Coats Foundation Trust is the charitable arm of Coats Crafts from which we get Anchor thread and many other stitching accoutrements. We have used their materials since our founding. This award is for a Future Tutor student,who must be UK-based, and able to show financial need. The award given was £3,000.

Eva Stokes

Eva is an RSN supporter who is 90. She says that all her Friends are either ‘falling off their perch’ or going on Cruises, she wants to do neither and instead wants to make something happen while she is still alive so she has donated a pot of money which gives us a bursary of £1000 a year.

Headley Foundation

This is part of the Sainsbury family of Foundations and funding comprises support for the course and a bursary.  This year a Future Tutor student received a bursary of £1000.

Barbara Whatmore Charitable Trust

The Barbara Whatmore Charitable Trust has previously supported the RSN with materials for display and conservation.  They provided a bursary of £3000.