Fashion Design - BA (Hons) Degree

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UCAS code: W232 Course Type: Degree and university-level Campus: West Durrington Campus Start Date: September 2021 Duration: 3 Years

Why this course?

BA Fashion course intro

This course provides a ‘boutique’ educational experience that stimulates and nurtures individual creative talent and innovation. The course aims to equip you with a range of intellectual, analytical, practical and entrepreneurial skills in preparation for a career in the global fashion industry. 

Key features

  • Student collections have won several awards 
  • Employment-focused course
  • Purpose-built studios for fashion design and textile print
  • Dedicated Flexible Learning Area, including fashion publications, future trend resources, Apple Macs and CAD for fashion
  • Opportunity to show your final work at internal and external shows

Taught by industry practitioners, the course reflects current industry expectations and most graduates are employed in the fashion and creative sector. Excellent industry links provide work placements and competitions with high profile brands.

Watch our video about this course

Validated by University of the Arts London (UAL)

This programme is validated by University of the Arts London (UAL). UAL is a leading education provider in the creative arts, ranked second in the world for art and design (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020). They oversee the standards and quality of our curriculum, which enriches your overall learning experience.

To see our student work, check out our Instagram.

See the full list of our creative arts degrees

  • alumni Views Kirsty Taylor
    While studying at the MET, I learnt so much about myself and the methods in which I learn best. It was a really fun and creative course, being able to explore and really push your skill set through all design aspects. It taught me transferable skills such as organisation and time management.

Course requirements

Each application will be assessed individually, including a review of your grades, interview, portfolio/audition and any experience.

Typical entry requirements are below but offers may vary:

  • a relevant A-Level or Level 3 Extended Diploma

In exceptional circumstances, if you do not meet our entry requirements, your application may still be considered if you demonstrate additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might, for example, be demonstrated by:

  • related academic or work experience
  • the quality of the personal statement
Portfolio and interview

You will also be required to provide a portfolio and interview for this course. Your portfolio should consist of no more than 40 pieces of work which should include sketchbooks, colour work, drawings and some evidence of written work. We would also like to see a selection of garments you have made.

Entry guide

Entry guide for more information about the range of qualifications we accept (including English language requirements for international students).


From the beginning of this course students experience workshop skills in illustration and design, pattern cutting, sewing and garment manufacture, printed textiles and work across a broad range of design modules that include live industry projects and a full collection.

2D and 3D practice focuses on creative pattern cutting, garment construction and tailoring, and printed textiles, with students becoming confident users of CAD for design development, portfolio and presentation.

Students have won prestigious prizes including the River Island Womenswear Award and the Zandra Rhodes Catwalk Textiles Award.

Excellent industry links provide work placements and competitions with high profile brands. Students were shortlisted in the Coach and Clarks International and recent briefs include Burberry and Topshop.

Industrial placements and employers include Vivienne Westwood, Peter Pilotto, Mary Katranzou, Religion Clothing,Victoria Beckham, Cos, Marks & Spencer, New Look, Next, Ong Oaj Pairam and Marchesa.

Students are assessed via observations, completion of practical / written assignments and online tests, which will be either internally or externally set. Presentations may also be used for assessing communication skills.

"As a Fashion Design graduate, I had the pleasure of presenting in front of the British Fashion Council and Creative Skillset panel, which included designers such as Nicole Farhi, Betty Jackson and Barbara Horspool.….”
Atosa Nikkah, Alumnus (www.mybubbaandme.com)

Year One

  • Fashion techniques and processes (20 credits)

    This unit introduces you to a variety of fashion studio workshop skills, which will equip you with knowledge and skills that underpin all future projects. Key technical skills of garment construction techniques are developed through practice and logged as a future resource. Pattern cutting is explained and explored in 2D and 3D and is a firm foundation to developing designed products.

  • Research and Design (20 credits)

    This unit introduces the language of fashion and the principle of using critical analysis of primary and secondary visual sources to inform design concepts. It equips you with tools and knowledge of processes within the development of ideas and concepts which will underpin future work. It investigates fashion segments and trends which influence and support design direction. It introduces and develops ways of communicating ideas through traditional illustration and CAD methods.

  • Creative Cutting (40 credits)

    This extended unit is linked to Unit 2 Research and Design. Ideas and concepts developed in Unit 2 are translated into 3D outcomes through exploration and applying advanced pattern cutting techniques. It introduces fabric, behaviour and purpose in realising intended design outcomes. It extends the process of enquiry, exploration and realisation to deepen an understanding of the subject. Professional studio practice of testing and sampling is key.

  • Ethical Fashion Design (20 credits)

    This unit further familiarises you with alternative creative pattern cutting / CAD CAM lay planning garment construction/ illustration methods. Sessions will be linked to the context of ethical fashion production practices, organic fabric sourcing and dyeing, low waste cutting and climate friendly garment production methods.

    Research & Design development skills are further explored encouraging wide- ranging, in-depth research and design development with appropriate computer software.

  • Cultural and Contextual Studies (20 credits)

    This unit aims to encourage and develop your awareness of the historical, social and cultural context that underpins the contemporary practice of creatives in a professional and academic context. You will be encouraged to develop critical and analytical approaches through the introduction of research skills, critical examination and investigation and how to connect this to your own practice.

Year Two

  • Tailoring- Custom Design and Make (20 credits)

    This unit explores an alternative to ‘fast fashion’ by considering bespoke techniques and finishes as a key factor to longevity. Through group discussion and research, it will explore the concept of high quality durable design through custom methods and tailored garments. 

    You will consider a client’s needs, generate and develop ideas that fulfil these needs, in order to design a specialist garment or outfit for a given body shape and form in response to the set brief.

  • Fashion Design for Industry (40 credits)

    This unit will enable you to build upon knowledge of the design process gained in Level 4 and respond to a design brief set by industry or an international design competition organisation. You will be encouraged to develop critical and analytical problem-solving skills underpinned by in-depth research in order to explore and formulate design ideas in response to a set design brief. 

    You will extend drawing skills, colour manipulations and mark - making through traditional and computer aided design to develop a range of textile samples for fashion. Through a range of drawing and illustration techniques you will also demonstrate textile driven fashion outcomes that demonstrates an innovative and contemporary translation of a chosen theme. 

  • USP and Self Branding for Work Experience (40 credits)

    This unit will enhance your professional, interpersonal and organisational skills and allow appropriate industrial contacts to be made. This will assist the selection of your future career pathway and in your preparation for finding, securing and approaching work experience.

    Engagement with social media and professional platforms will secure the development of your independent learning. Confidence building seminars and forums will assist in preparation for the workplace. You will be encouraged to generate and develop design ideas in order to create promotional materials including an online portfolio. Use of Adobe software and digital experimentation will be vital in your final outcome. Social networking on professional forums will cement your future digital presence.

    With communication and support from a Work Experience Mentor, you will participate in work experience or an external industry linked project such as trade show exploration, professional interviews and trade competitions.

  • Advanced Cultural and Contextual Studies (20 credits)

    This unit aims to continue to develop your understanding of the historical, social and cultural environment in relation to your practice. You will continue to develop your critical and research skills through your examination of a topic, and develop your communication style in the presentation of the results of this investigation in an academic format.

Year Three

  • Final Collection (60 credits)

    This unit will enable you to create innovative, experimental research in preparation to realise a collection of fashion products. In this unit you will develop visual research through to design prototypes. Fabric suitability and textile design needs to be considered and developed to produce a unique and exciting collection. 

  • Portfolio (20 credits)

    This unit supports you in preparation and development of a professional portfolio for prospective employers, recruitment agencies and industry exhibitions. You will identify a relevant market to develop a bespoke portfolio appropriate to your chosen career path within the fashion industry.

    Typically, it will encompass the best of your work over the 3 years of the course and include a variety of content that reflects creative and professional ability, personal attributes and ambitions. 

  • Career Planning and Lookbook (20 credits)

    In preparation for graduation and your move into the professional world, this unit will support you to produce the written, visual and personal presentation skills to prepare you to take and create opportunities within your creative field. You will research and investigate progression opportunities (e.g.: employment, self-employment, further study or training) within your industry and prepare for your next steps. 

    You will prepare for interview by producing a CV as well as personal promotional material including a look book showing professional fashion shoots of your final collection. You will work with photographers, stylists, models and hair and make-up artists to perfect the look.

  • Creative and Critical Research Project (20 credits)

    This unit aims to consolidate your ability to develop a research informed examination of a topic through self-directed research and a detailed critical investigation.

Contact time and study hours

A full-time student can expect to have around 2 days of timetabled teaching contact per week. You will have approximately 40 hours of timetabled teaching contact for each 20 credit module. This is supported by independent self-guided study.

Teaching and assessment methods

We use a variety of teaching methods, including:

  • practical workshops
  • discussions
  • groupwork
  • lectures/seminars
  • tutorials
  • self-directed study

Assessment methods vary between units but could include:

  • journals
  • project work
  • portfolios
  • research project
  • presentations
  • look book
  • sketchbooks
  • written assignments

Video tour of our campus

See students from different courses using the facilities at our creative arts specialist campus
(5-minute video)

Potential careers

  • Fashion designer
  • Freelance designer
  • Fashion business owner
  • Trend forecaster
  • Stylist
  • Design consultant
  • Fashion illustrator
  • Pattern cutter
  • Saville Row tailor
  • Fashion marketing
  • Retail, merchandising and buying

Recent graduates

Recent graduates have, for example, gained employment with Vetigraph CAD CAM Pattern Cutting, Blacks Performance Wear, ASOS White and Louis Vuitton.

Some graduates are also working on Masters of Arts Fashion Collections.

Some of our past alumni stories

Paul Costelloe - Graduating student Kirsty Taylor was approached by Paul Costelloe after her graduate show in 2019 and secured a position with the womenswear design team.

London Fashion Week - Graduate Jonathan Miller was chosen to showcase his work at London Fashion Week.

Graduate Fashion Week prizes - On occasions when our students have participated in this prestigious event, prize-winners have included Rhea Fields who won the Best Womenswear award, Dominique Kral who won the Zandra Rhodes Textiles award, and Alex Hughes who won the Fashion Technology Award.

Stylist for Vogue - Graduate Vanessa Ofori-Boafu styled the models for a photo shoot with Kate Moss featured in Vogue magazine.

Course-specific costs

Students will need to purchase some fashion studio fabric - charged at cost price per meter.

Tuition fees, student loans, government funding and college bursaries

Watch our recent open event presentations

If you missed our degree level virtual open event, you can catch-up with recordings of our course talks.

Watch now

Fees and financial support

There are different options to cover the cost of your course, including government loans and bursaries (eligibility criteria applies).

See more details

How is this course delivered?

We have made some changes to the way our courses are taught to keep everyone safe. We will ensure that our students remain connected and involved with their course and college life.

During this academic year, students have a blend of college-based and digitally-enabled remote learning that provides lots of opportunities to interact and engage with lecturers, support teams and other students.

We will continue to respond to Government advice as we plan our curriculum delivery and will regularly update our current students and applicants in respect of course changes and opportunities.

FAQs and useful resources
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