Year 0 is taken before the three-year BA (Hons) degree and is a preparatory year aimed at students who want more time before Year 1 to develop their creativity, drawing and portfolio skills. Introducing you to the fashion design process, Year 0 gives you a sound basis in fashion and is highly creative. Upon successful completion it will secure your place on the three-year degree without further application or interview.
Introduction to Creative Practice
You'll be introduced to a range of creative practices relevant to the discipline of fashion design, which will be used to form a solid foundation for further development throughout the course.
Independent Practices 1
This is the first of two independent practice units that you'll study on throughout the year, during which you'll be introduced to the purpose and value of independent practice. There are two aspects to this unit: the first aims to introduce you to, and engage you with, a broad range of visual and related practices common to fashion design. The second aspect asks you to identify, select and use these visual practices so you can begin to find the means to articulate your own personal aesthetic.
Builds on the experience of the first term. This unit gives you the opportunity to develop your understanding of key design principles and practices in greater depth. It's designed to help you to consolidate and develop principles encountered in term one and relate them to differing areas of design activity. You'll also be introduced to wider aspects of fashion design, including fashion communication and image creation.
Independent Practices 2
You'll build on the results of Independent practice 1 to further engage with a broad range of visual and related practices. This will enable you to find further means to articulate your own personal design aesthetic.
In the first year, you'll be introduced to the University and the technical workshops and facilities available to you. On the course you’ll learn the technical and conceptual skills that will give you a solid foundation from which to explore your areas of specialist activity. In this year you'll be introduced to the contemporary design process.
Introduction to Design
We'll introduce you to a range of contemporary design practices used to stimulate creativity and innovation within the design process. You'll be introduced to a variety of research methodologies and explorative ways of recording research in a visually stimulating, appropriate and informative way, to inform experimentation and risk-taking throughout the design process. This unit will foster an integrated design approach, in which you'll develop an understanding of processes and the application of techniques, and the interrelationship between 2D and 3D development used within the design process.
You'll be introduced to a range of drawing methods to record and explore visual subject matter. We'll encourage fluid thinking to inform creativity and innovation.
Creative Cutting and Construction
In the initial stage of this unit, you'll develop basic pattern cutting and sewing skills, before progressing to more complex and inventive cutting and garment construction techniques. You'll be encouraged to extend your own technical knowledge through independent research and examination of processes and practices used within historical costumes and the work of contemporary designers.
Introduction to Fashion History and Theory
This unit establishes the basic framework of historical knowledge - vital for developing a contextual understanding. It also introduces the tools for visual and textual analysis. It's envisaged that a significant element in this unit should involve structural collaboration with relevant studio staffing, in order to demonstrate connections between theory and practice at an early stage in your student experience. You'll be introduced to a variety of key academic texts, with the aim of developing your understanding and skills of textual analysis.
The second year focus is on finding your own specialist way of working and you’ll be encouraged and supported to start working more independently. This year will extend your design practice and further develop your creativity. During this year you may also have the opportunity to complete an industry work placement or even study abroad.
Innovative Design Practice
This unit aims to extend your creative process and design innovation through the development of design concepts and engagement with related 2D and 3D experimental and exploratory practices. You'll be asked to look into the past and present, in order to shape the future and create forward-thinking design solutions.
Creative Drape Practice
This enables you to extend your knowledge of contemporary design practices learnt in the previous unit, and apply this to historical and modern cutting and drape practice.
You'll develop professional practices in relation to global industry contexts and prepare for undertaking a five-week period of work experience.
Theories of Culture, Identity and Communication
You'll encounter the key issues and academic debates which circulate in contemporary discussion of design culture. We'll provide interdisciplinary theories and methods for analysis, drawing on dominant theories of explanation and engaging in current debates.
Study Abroad (optional)
This optional unit will allow you to spend time in an overseas educational institution.
The third year will see you achieve a greater level of independence with self-managed research, study and practice, resulting in a final major project and a written dissertation. You'll choose between industry focused or catwalk design pathways to pursue in this year.
This unit will encourage you to critically evaluate your work so far, in the light of future career opportunities and aspirations. You'll be able to define your goals and demonstrate, through a personal promotional campaign and professional design portfolio, the commercial application of your creative skills and intellectual capital. You'll be able explore innovative ways to launch yourself into the next stage of your career (either employment or postgraduate study) through the formulation of a professional portfolio of work containing self-assessment, career planning, design portfolio, self-promotion and a personal website.
Final Major Project
You'll have the opportunity to reflect on your learning and future aims, and use this knowledge to inform a substantive and creative body of work.
Option 1: includes the creation of a Pre-collection and Final collection in relation to your selected design discipline. For the Pre-collection, you'll research, design and present a contemporary fashion collection, including the realisation of two fully styled outfits. For the Final collection, you can either critically evaluate and extend successful aspects of your Pre-collection further, or produce a new body of work through the realisation of an original and innovative six outfit collection.
Option 2: this option incorporates two individual projects. The focus on specific markets and subsequent brands enables you to explore a particular area of interest within the fashion subject. Industry design focus provides an opportunity to apply market research, brand analysis and concept origination in order to create a contemporary body of work for a specific brand. Brand design innovation in the second term will extend the knowledge and processes from the previous project, to produce a seasonal collection for specific brands that reflect your future career aims.
You'll undertake a period of self-directed and individually-negotiated research on a subject related to the contextual and/or theoretical concerns of your discipline/chosen area of practice.
This course offers the opportunity to study abroad for part of Year 2. To find out more about studying abroad as part of your course please see the Study Abroad section:
Fashion at UCA Epsom enjoys excellent relationships with a range of household name fashion brands, and our students work with these companies year after year. You'll especially benefit from our strong industry links in Year 2, where you'll secure your own work placement. You'll also receive the opportunity to work on live project briefs set by leading fashion companies such as Red or Dead, Warehouse and Ralph Lauren, as well as enter competitions with them throughout your degree.
Our industry connections include:
- Alexander McQueen
- Christopher Kane
- Hardy Amies
- Julien Macdonald
- Michiko Koshino
- New Look
- Paul Smith
- Peter Jensen
- Ralph Lauren
- Red or Dead
- Ted Baker
- The Future Laboratory
- Vivienne Westwood