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, you’ll choose a pathway in year one, with modules in subsequent years encompassing both pathways.

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’ll develop visual research skills that will underpin your creative work throughout the course and as you progress in your career. In the second semester you’ll look more closely at the role of materials and textiles in fashion. You’ll 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’ll 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’ll cover:

  • traditional pattern cutting, draping and construction
  • digital printing, laser cutting and 3D printing
  • zero waste pattern cutting processes
  • learn specifically about menswear and 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:

There are two options: 

Taking the specially designed Fashion Industry module, which involves working on company briefs – for example, designing garments for a particular brand identity – and provides invaluable experience for your CV. You’ll learn from visiting designers and receive professional feedback on your work.
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 three

In the third year you’ll consolidate your learning, producing a pre-collection that demonstrates your creative talents and helps you identify a style and direction for the future. You’ll also take a Professional Planning and Employability module, in which you’ll 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’ll present to industry at shows in Winchester and London. 

Outstanding facilities

Our studios and workshops are equipped with state-of-the-art, industry-standard equipment, including:

  • complete pattern cutting and construction facilities
  • a broad range of industry standard sewing machines
  • digital fabric printers
  • laser cutters
  • 3D printers
  • computer suites with the latest software used in industry
  • high-end photography studios and equipment

In addition, you’ll be able to access a wealth of resources in the School’s library. One of the UK’s longest established art schools, we have built up an impressive collection that includes a vast amount of  books, magazines, publications and private collections.

Additional learning opportunities 

We run optional study trips in the UK and overseas. Destinations have included Berlin, Barcelona, New York and Paris, where students visited studios, museums and other places of interest to support their research and their understanding of the fashion world. Study visits are often run in conjunction with other courses, enabling you to get to know your peers in textile design, graphic design and fashion marketing.

You can sign up for optional workshops to learn new techniques, from embroidery to 3D printing. You could also learn to make your own textiles using traditional or digital methods. 

Research-led practice

Throughout the course we emphasise the power of research and its importance for good design. We’ll equip you with the research skills you’ll 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.