Fashion is a fast moving and highly diverse international industry encompassing a wide range of markets and creative, production and communication practices. It also has historical and social significance for our understanding of some of the important values underpinning our culture.
Recognition of this diversity and cultural meaning is central to the degree course's rationale and structure. By helping you develop appropriate intellectual and practical skills, BA Fashion enables you to benefit from such diversity and to rise to the challenges it presents.
This course is part of the Fashion programme. The degree course's philosophy is to create a learning environment in which innovation and originality are nurtured within a range of different but closely related pathways. We aim to produce versatile fashion specialists able to solve problems creatively while drawing on a deep knowledge of their chosen fields and a critical understanding of the social, economic and cultural factors influencing their professional environment.
BA Fashion offers a choice of five named pathways (identified by separate UCAS codes). With the study of fashion as their core subject, these options represent a uniquely synergistic combination of fashion design, historical studies and theoretical studies led by tutors who are expert practitioners. The pathway range allows you to study a specific area of fashion practice in depth, embracing different approaches to the subject and a range of creative opportunities within the industry.
The named pathways are:
- Fashion Design Menswear
- Fashion Design Womenswear
- Fashion Print
- Fashion Design with Knitwear
- Fashion Design with Marketing
The BA Fashion curriculum is flexible, providing excellent scope for networking with the fashion industry. Active learning through project-based enquiry is a cornerstone. You'll do collaborative projects that involve working together in mixed pathway groups or with external professionals and sponsors (e.g. L'Oreal Professionel, Christian Dior, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Liberty, Moda Fashion Paul Smith, Victoria and Albert Museum). This promotes interdisciplinary peer learning. It helps you develop the ability to work with others, the capacity for independent learning, and greater awareness of the skills you'll need to further your career. Visiting lecturers include Craig Green, Peter Jensen, Wakako Kishimoto, Palmer Harding, Grayson Perry, Mark Fast, Emma Cooke, Imran Ahmed and Jean-Pierre Braganza.
Length of study for all design pathways is three or four years. You can apply to interrupt your degree course after two years full time study to do a period of work placement (subject to academic approval). If you meet the approved requirements of this work placement period you'll qualify additionally for the Diploma in Professional Studies.
BA Fashion runs for 90 weeks full time over three years, and is divided into three Levels, (or Stages) each lasting 30 weeks. The whole degree course is credit-rated at 360 credits, with 120 credits at each Level.
Under the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications the Levels for a BA are: Level 4 (which is stage 1 of the course), Level 5 (Stage 2) and Level 6 (Stage 3).
There's a progression point at the end of each Level and, in order to progress, all units of the preceding Level must normally have been passed.
If you're unable to continue on the course a Certificate of Higher Education (Cert HE) will normally be offered following the successful completion of Level 4, or a Diploma in Higher Education following the successful completion of Level 5.
To gain a BA (Honours), students must successfully complete 360 credits. The final award consists of marks from Level 6 units only, weighted according to their credits.
At enrolment you need to identify if you wish to study for three years full time or take the four-year mode. The work placement takes place at the end of Stage Two. A Diploma in Professional Studies is awarded on successful completion of this year.
Monday 24 September 2018 – Friday 7 December 2018
Monday 7 January 2019 – Friday 15 March 2019
Monday 15 April 2019 – Friday 21 June 2019
This pathway is for students who want to pursue careers as innovative designers. It sets out to deliver a clear understanding and experience of generating, developing and realising a variety of creative womenswear ideas to a professional standard.
You’ll be encouraged to develop your personal design vision within the context of womenswear design and in existing and expanding national and international fashion markets that incorporate both classic and innovative design concepts. Throughout the course the focus is on achieving the professionalism, innovation and creativity to develop and realise your design ideas. Essential skills you’ll learn include research methods, flat pattern cutting, modelling on the stand, garment construction, tailoring processes and finishing, technical specification, illustration and presentation.
You’ll grow your understanding of the diversity of the womenswear industry through a varied curriculum, targeted projects and the guidance of established and visiting lecturers who are specialists in this sector.
Main study - Stage One
This stage lays the foundation for the generation and development of design ideas through practical or technical workshops. While focusing on the unique aspects of your chosen pathway, Stage One introduces you to related pathways, encouraging you to research, explore and develop individual strengths and approaches.
Main study - Stage Two
This stage carries you deeper into your pathway, allowing you to develop a variety of approaches through individual and often experimental responses while acquiring the discipline demanded by professional practice. Through a combination of studio work, formal tutorial guidance, seminars, lectures, external projects, competitions, critiques, personal research, independent study and team projects, you'll explore the breadth of your subjects and develop your individual talents in relation to them. During this stage you'll benefit from the learning experience gained from helping our final year students prepare work for the degree shows.
You may also have the opportunity to go abroad (at your own expense) during this year to visit trade shows or fashion collections relevant to your field of study.
At the beginning of the summer term, students on the four-year programme are involved in the planning and preparation for their work placement. Exceptionally, three-year full-time students may apply to transfer to the four-year mode to do a work placement. Such applications have to be made via the Placement Administrator.
Main study - Stage Three
The focus during Stage Three is on the further development of your individuality and independence as you initiate, develop and complete your final degree project. Your course work helps you locate, explore and exploit your design and communication strengths while identifying areas that may require further attention or focus.
In the summer term you complete your degree work for examination. As part of this process design pathway students participate in an assessment presentation of collections, normally in the form of a fashion show. You'll also show work in a degree examination exhibition.
The cultural studies programme is designed to enhance your communication, research, critical and writing skills. The discipline involves the study of cultural and creative processes, but goes beyond history and theory of art and design to encompass various aspects of cultural knowledge. In stage one and two you attend lectures and seminars on units relating to the city and creative culture, you explore key cultural concepts and choose from a range of elective choices such as art and fashion, postcolonialism, visual cultures, the body and sexuality. In the final stage of your degree you undertake dissertation research under the supervision of an assigned tutor who supports your research on a subject of your choice. It may be weighted at 20 or 40 credits. The dissertation is a written project where you explore an aspect of visual, textual material or spatial culture. There are many areas to explore in the cultural studies programme such as art, design, technology, concepts of taste, material culture, multiculturalism, identity politics, gender, consumerism, ethics, sustainability and media studies.
Personal and Professional Development, (PPD) helps to prepare you for employment and career development by providing you with skills to enable you to take responsibility for your own learning. The core study of all the fashion pathways also helps develop many of these transferable skills, which play their part in equipping you for a professional career and the generic activities of creative practice.
PPD is integral to BA Fashion and is embedded in many aspects of both the studio and cultural studies programmes as a planned part of their structure and learning content. PPD activities take place in all Stages of the degree course and aim to improve your capacity to understand what and how you are learning and to help you to review, plan and take responsibility for your own learning. A considerable number of the skills learned in the academic context of BA Fashion have a wider value and use in other areas of life. These transferable skills are highly valued by employers
BA Fashion all Pathways Programme Specification 2018/19 (PDF, 405 KB)
Working with paying clients on live briefs will give you valuable commercial experience which may mean your work being taken forward for production or, if so desired, in the purchase of your intellectual property. All paid projects are conducted within a carefully developed legal framework, which includes student agreements to protect your work and help you realise its commercial value.
Recent client projects in the Fashion programme include: H&M | Diadora | Pringle | Umbria Cashmere | Philips | Derry - City of Culture 2013 | Dr Martens | Dyloan | Bally | Italian Trade Commission | British Horseracing Authority.
Once you’ve graduated, you may be picked as part of a small team to work on a live creative brief, organised by our Business and Innovation department, under the supervision of an experienced tutor. This can be a valuable first step in working professionally in a chosen discipline and has resulted in graduates being hired by clients.
Programme Director: Hywel Davies
Course Leader: Sarah Gresty
Senior Lecturer, Fashion Design Knitwear Pathway Tutor: Craig Lawrence (Acting)
Senior Lecturer, Fashion Design with Marketing Pathway Tutor: Rosemary Wallin
Senior Lecturer, Fashion Design Menswear Pathway Tutor: Christopher New
Senior Lecturer, Fashion Design Print Pathway Tutor: Elisa Palomino
Senior Lecturer, Fashion Design Womenswear Pathway Tutor: Heather Sproat and Anna-Nicole Ziesche
Senior Lecturer, Garment Construction: Louis Loizou
Senior Lecturer, First Year Tutor: Sue Foulston
Senior Lecturer, First Year Tutor: Neil Smith
Cultural Studies co-ordinator: Jane Tynan