To answer some of the questions you may have about being a Degree student at the Royal School of Needlework, take a look through the following Frequently Asked Questions. If you have a specific question that are not covered below please contact us.

Visiting the RSN

Can I visit the RSN?
Yes, you are most welcome, but we do need to ask you to book first. Please see the Open Day section of the website for booking details.

I can’t make it to an Open Day, can I still apply for the course?
Yes. All applicants are offered the opportunity to tour the RSN Degree facilities at interview and we interview all applicants.

Studying with us

Can I study the Degree part-time?
At this point, the degree is only offered on a full-time basis. However, you can study with the RSN as a day-class student or study the Certificate and Diploma in Technical Hand Embroidery with more flexible attendance modes. For more information visit Other RSN Courses.

How many hours a week do I have to attend?
This is a full-time degree course and due to the specialist nature of the practice we encourage 4.5 days a week attendance. Workshops, demonstrations and lectures require full attendance but there will be the opportunity for study visits and independent / directed study.

What is my final qualification?
Our graduates are awarded the qualification – BA (Hons) Hand Embroidery for Fashion, Interiors, Textile Art, which is validated by the University for the Creative Arts (UCA).

What are the catering facilities at the RSN?
We currently have coffee and tea facilities available to degree students in the apartments. There are catering facilities available in the grounds of HCP via public cafe and restaurant facilities. East Molesey has a vibrant cafe community over the bridge – a short walk from the Palace. Some establishments outside the Palace offer special prices to RSN degree students.

Are there opportunities for Degree students to work in the RSN Studio?
We welcome the opportunity for RSN Degree students to work in the RSN Studio. This is very much dependent on the scale and complexity of the project. We cannot guarantee that all students will have this opportunity during their study. We do currently have degree graduates working in the RSN Studio as professional embroiderers.


How often do students attend UCA?
RSN students attend UCA for enrolment and induction to learning resource sessions including the University Library Resources and Gateway services. We encourage collaborative projects with other UCA degree students and courses – as and when they fulfil the requirements of the curriculum. RSN students exhibit their final degree work at the Farnham campus.

Can RSN students use the UCA Library?
Yes – this is a fundamental part of the learning resources available to you. You will have inductions at the start of the course and UCA Gateway staff are on hand to support your learning needs and welfare / wellbeing needs.

How do I get to Farnham or Epsom on public transport?
Trains run regularly to Farnham via Surbiton with a journey time of one hour from Hampton Court station. Travel to Epsom is via bus or train.

International students

Can International Students apply?
Yes, we welcome applications from international students. The Royal School of Needlework is a Highly Trusted Sponsor of the UK Visa and Immigration agency. We have been awarded the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) recognition for its BA (Hons) Hand Embroidery for Fashion, Interiors, Textile Art. This recognition of the RSN’s higher education provision now opens up the RSN degree course to applications from international students.

What are the English language requirements?
To study at the University for the Creative Arts, we require evidence of your English language ability to meet the requirements for your course. If you are a Tier 4 student, you need to take a Secure English Language Test (SELT) which is recognised by the UK Home Office. Your SELT must have been taken within two years of the start of the course.

You may be offered a place on a course on the condition that you improve your English language and study skills. We offer pre-sessional English language courses which can improve your IELTS (SELTS) score by a maximum of 1.0 and 0.5, or equivalent.

For further information on our English language requirements click here.

Please see visit the UCA for more in-depth information with regard to your application.

Accommodation & travel

Do you have Halls of Residence?
As a UCA/RSN student, you are eligible to apply for a room in UCA Halls of Residence. The nearest campus to the RSN is UCA Epsom. Unfortunately we cannot guarantee you room in Halls, so it is important that you enquire as soon as you have accepted your place on the course.

If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact the Accommodation Office either by email or telephone +44 (0) 1372 202448

If I am not in Halls – where do students live?
Most students choose to live in and around the East Molesey / Kingston / Surbiton area in private rented accommodation, which is on a regular bus and train route. We do not hold a list of private accommodation that is approved by the RSN.

What is travel like to Hampton Court Palace?
As a major tourist attraction, there are frequent public transport routes to Hampton Court Palace. Overground trains run every half an hour from Waterloo / Vauxhall / Clapham Junction. Buses to and from Kingston are every few minutes. There is an excellent cycle route from Kingston along the river. Please see the location section of our website for more travel information.

Fees & funding

How much are tuition fees for UK/EU students?
Tuition fees for UK/EU students are currently set at £9250 per year Click here for more details.

All RSN Degree students are required to pay a Studio Fee in years one and two. This is a great way of helping you to learn to use the specialist materials for technical stitch without having to source them yourself. All technical stitch units are core units. The studio fee for year one is currently £130 and approximately £60 in year two. We supply the materials to you so that you don’t have to worry about sourcing materials from specialist suppliers. You will be expected to fund costs for other specialist materials for your practice and theory units / trips and visits during the course. Costs for this will vary according to project and subject and UCA have included the following information here.

Where can I get support for funding?
There is a range of financial support and funding available from both UCA and the Government to assist you with your study expenses. If you have any queries regarding tuition fees, please email the UCA enquiries service or call them on +44 (0) 1252 892883.

Does the RSN offer Bursaries?
Thanks to generous supporters each year the Royal School of Needlework is able to make bursary awards to some of its Degree Programme students. In the five years the Degree has been running 73 awards have been made to 50 students amounting to over £90,000. The most common award is £1000.


What qualifications do I need to apply?
All applications to courses are assessed against the course entry requirements and criteria, irrespective of age. Applicants are considered on a case by case basis and by their ability and readiness for university study.

For UK applicants – the following qualifications and minimum requirements will be considered:

  • Minimum entry criteria of 112 new UCAS tariff points (equivalent to 280 old UCAS tariff points), see list of accepted qualifications for further details. Please note that the new UCAS tariff system is in place for courses with September 2017 entry. OR pass at UALAB Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3)
  • OR pass at BTEC / UALAB Level 3 Extended Diploma/Diploma
  • OR Access Diploma


  • Four GCSE passes at grade C or above, including English or Key Skills Communication Level 2.

Other relevant and equivalent UK and international qualifications are considered on an individual basis.

If you are an EU student applying, please see our typical entry requirements for your country.

Your interview

What happens at interview?
All applicants to the RSN Degree course are interviewed with their portfolio of current work. You will be shown round the degree rooms at Hampton Court Palace and you will have an opportunity to ask questions. You may bring a partner, parent or guardian to HCP but the interview will be conducted with you individually.

What should my portfolio contain?
Your portfolio should be a compilation of your best work and include drawing and design development from your own original ideas including sketchbooks, practical samples and finished pieces.  These may include hand embroidery but this is not essential if you have not had the opportunity to study specific techniques in depth. Please include a copy of one of your essays or pieces of written work.

Supporting your learning

How do I declare an additional support need?
The first step is to formally notify us that you have a disability. In most cases, this is done on the application for admission. However, you may declare a disability once you have accepted a place, enrolled and at anytime during your course.

If you have already started your course, you should contact the UCA Library & Student Services via the Gateway desk located in the UCA campus University Library, to arrange an appointment with a member of the Disability Team. Your Course Leader at the RSN will help you with this.

What about funding for my additional support needs?
In many cases UK students applying for higher education courses may be able to apply for the Disabled Students Allowance Students applying for further education courses may have their needs assessed at the University and we will in turn provide support where possible, using funding from the either the Young Persons Learning Agency (if you are under 19) or the Skills Funding Agency (19-24). If you are in any doubt about financial arrangements or funding please visit the Equality & Diversity section of the UCA website.