Course Content

BA Fashion Design (3 Years)

Offering the freedom to develop your own creative style whilst gaining essential practical and research skills, this degree will put you on the path to a successful career in fashion design. Specialising in menswear or womenswear, you’ll practise traditional skills alongside innovative digital techniques, benefitting from unrivalled studio access and state-of-the-art facilities. These include industry-standard pattern-cutting equipment, a range of digital printers and the latest laser-cutting and 3D print technology.

In the 2nd year there are exciting opportunities either to spend a semester working on live company briefs or studying fashion design in Europe or overseas. In addition, an innovative Fashion Futures module will give you a comprehensive understanding of emerging issues and innovations in the fashion industry. You’ll learn from tutors with extensive fashion design experience and strong industry connections; they are well placed to advise on your portfolio of work and how best to pursue your future goals. In addition, external industry speakers and study visits will give you professional insights and enable you to build your own networks.

We have a strong track record when it comes to employability; our alumni work at places like Alexander McQueen, Burberry, Stella McCartney, Vivienne Westwood, Urban Outfitters, Topshop and Net-A-Porter.

On this mostly studio-based course, we set creative projects to develop your research skills as well as your technical proficiency, preparing you for the workplace.

This is a full-time three-year degree course. Each year is divided into two semesters.

The programme enables you to specialise in either menswear or womenswear after exploring both areas in year one.

Year One

In your first year you’ll be introduced to core fashion design principles and processes in menswear and womenswear, and learn practical skills such as pattern cutting and garment construction.

You will develop visual research skills that will underpin your work throughout the course. In the second semester you’ll look more closely at the role of materials and textiles in fashion. You will also take the distinctive Fashion Futures module, which looks at emerging issues such as innovation, digital technologies, ethics, sustainability and responsible practice in manufacturing, giving you a more rounded understanding of the latest issues facing the industry.

Year Two

In year two you will gain in-depth traditional pattern cutting and construction skills alongside digital skills that are essential for today’s workplace and learn how they can be used in combination for the most creative forward looking fashion. For example, you will cover:

  • traditional pattern cutting, draping and construction
  • digital printing, laser cutting and 3D printing
  • zero waste pattern cutting processes
  • learn specifically about menswear or womenswear 
  • Gain industry experience or study abroad

The second year also includes the exciting opportunity to studying overseas. You can also choose one of two options:

  1. Taking the specially designed Fashion Industry module: This involves working on company briefs – for example, designing garments for a particular brand identity – and provides invaluable experience for your CV. You will learn from visiting designers and receive professional feedback on your work.
  2. Spending a semester studying abroad at a partner university: An opportunity for academic, creative and personal development, studying abroad will enable you to gain a different perspective on fashion design and make new friends and contacts while immersing yourself in another culture. Students have studied in Paris, New York and Barcelona (teaching is in English).

Optional modules

There is another opportunity to personalise your course in year two by choosing from a range of modules on different aspects of creative and professional practice. You can select a topic that suits your interests and career goals, such as creative writing, visual culture, entrepreneurship, design futures or marketing.

Year in Employment

The Year in Employment is a great opportunity to complete a work placement between your second and third year as part of your degree. This placement year will help you develop fantastic skills and successful students will graduate with the Year in Employment on their degree transcript. You choose to undertake a placement in the industry of your choice. More information can be found on our Year in Employment page.

Year three

In the third year you will consolidate your learning, producing a pre-collection that demonstrates your creative talents to help you identify a style and direction for the future. You will also take a Professional Planning and Employability module, in which you will plan your next steps, develop your professional profile and learn how to present yourself to prospective employers.

The programme culminates in the production of your final collection, which you will present to industry at shows in Winchester and London. 

Research-led practice

Throughout the course we emphasise the power of research and its importance for good design. We will equip you with the research skills you will need in industry, where fashion design companies are looking for graduates who are technically accomplished, but who also have the ability to think creatively and find inspiration for new collections.

In addition, you can benefit from being part of a research-intensive Russell Group university by participating in interdisciplinary projects that bring together cutting-edge science and creative design. For example, our students have worked with neuroscientists, learning about current research into neurological conditions and using this to spark ideas for a design project.

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