Fashion | Four Year

BA (Hons) - UCA Epsom - 2019

The Year 0 course is taken before the three-year BA (Hons) Fashion degree and is a preparatory course aimed at students who want more time before Year 1 to further develop their creative, drawing and portfolio skills. With a thorough introduction to the fashion design process, Year 0 is highly creative, offering you the opportunity to explore many areas of fashion, design, fashion drawing, illustration, portfolio presentation, image making and styling.

After Year 0, you'll begin to build a wide portfolio of creative and practical skills and discover your own design identity on our Fashion course. You’ll graduate fully prepared for a career in the fashion industry, with business knowledge and your own unique design identity.

Our School of Fashion was ranked sixth in the UK by The Guardian's 2018 university league table.

With an emphasis on art-based thinking, our BA (Hons) Fashion course will help you to build a wide portfolio of creative and technical skills as well as nurturing your own professional design identity, fully immersing you in the fashion world and preparing you for a career in this fast-paced industry.

We’ll encourage you to explore new ways of thinking, giving you the freedom to explore and express your individuality within fashion design, whilst also developing an intellectual and critical view of the fashion industry.

Based in our fashion studios – with industry-standard facilities for design, illustration, pattern-cutting, pressing and sewing – you’ll be working within a close-knit hub of like-minded creative individuals, simulating the industry’s collaborative workroom atmosphere. 

This fashion course will equip you with a firm foundation in fashion history and theory, so you’ll learn about a range of fashion and design concepts and understand how these relate to your own work and creative thinking.

A focus on drawing and illustration will help you professionally communicate your ideas to industry professionals, and the compulsory work placement during your second year will give you the opportunity to put it all into practice and discover the area of fashion that most appeals to you. 

Above all, this highly creative course will develop you professionally and teach you a range of transferable skills that can lead to careers in many different areas of the creative industries.

Length of study:

Four years (Year 0 + three-year degree) full-time


UCA Epsom

Start month:


View term dates

Entry year(s):


Entry requirements:

64 UCAS tariff points

click here for full details

UCAS code:


UCAS institution code:


UCAS campus code:


Next event

20 Feb 2019

Open Day - all campuses

Course details

  • Year 0

    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.

    Discovering Design
    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.

  • Year 1

    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.

    Visual Communication
    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.

  • Year 2

    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.

    Professional 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.

  • Year 3

    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.

    Professional Portfolio
    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.

  • Study abroad

    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:

  • Fees

    Find out all about the fees for studying with us, as well as the grants, loans and other financial support you may be entitled to:


This course has extensive fashion studios with sewing facilities where you are supported by our dedicated technical staff. There are also campus screen printing facilities and photographic studios with professional quality lighting rigs, green screen and set up.

Course leader

What our students say

Course connections

On this course, you'll be exposed to a world of opportunities

  • Industry links

    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
    • Burberry
    • Christopher Kane
    • Erdem
    • Hardy Amies
    • Julien Macdonald
    • Michiko Koshino
    • New Look
    • Paul Smith
    • Peter Jensen
    • Ralph Lauren
    • Red or Dead
    • Ted Baker
    • The Future Laboratory
    • Topman
    • Vivienne Westwood
    • Warehouse.
  • Careers

    The flexibility of the BA (Hons) Fashion course helps our graduates to secure a range of positions at different levels of the industry, and for many high street, luxury and sports brands. Graduates have gone on to work all over the world for some of the biggest names in the fashion industry, including:

    • Ralph Lauren 
    • Matthew Williamson
    • Kenzo
    • Julien Macdonald
    • Gareth Pugh
    • Henry Holland
    • Givenchy
    • TopMan
    • Charles Philip
    • Diane von Furstenburg 
    • Hunter Gather
    • Arena International UK
    • Store Twenty One
    • Artefact Fashion
    • Bagir
    • Tim Soar
    • Puma
    • Adidas
    • John Lewis
    • Fat Face
    • River Island
    • Cos
    • French Connection
    • Ben Sherman.
  • Further study

    You may also like to consider further study at postgraduate level.


How to apply - 2019 entry

I am a UK or EU citizen ...

I am not a UK or EU citizen ...

When to apply:

If applying via UCAS the application deadline is the 15 January. If applying directly to us, you can apply throughout the year but we recommend you apply as early as possible so you have time to arrange accommodation and visas.

More information:

Go to our how to apply pages

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

The standard entry requirements* for this course are:

One of the following:

  • 64 new UCAS tariff points, see accepted qualifications
  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4)
  • Merit, Pass, Pass at BTEC Extended Diploma
  • Pass at UALAB Extended Diploma
  • 64 new UCAS tariff points from an accredited Access to Higher Education Diploma in appropriate subject
  • 24 points from the International Baccalaureate, see more information about IB entry requirements.

And four GCSE passes at grade A*-C and/or grade 4-9 including English (or Functional Skills English/Key Skills Communication Level 2).

Other relevant and equivalent Level 3 UK and international qualifications are considered on an individual basis, and we encourage students from diverse educational backgrounds to apply.

*We occasionally make offers which are lower than the standard entry criteria, to students who have faced difficulties that have affected their performance and who were expected to achieve higher results.

International entry requirements

To view the equivalent entry requirements for your country please select it in the list below.

Pick Your Country

Non-UK equivalent qualifications

English language requirements

Your portfolio

No formal portfolio is required for this course, as the first year of the course (Year 0) provides you with the skills required to start the three-year BA (Hons) degree. However, if you do have a portfolio you'd like to bring with you, we'll be able to provide you with some helpful feedback and also advise you on whether the four-year degree option (Year 0 entry) or three-year degree option (Year 1 entry) will be best suited to your strengths and interest. We'll require you to attend an Applicant Day which will include an interview. This will also give you the opportunity to visit us, meet the course team and see the facilities.

More portfolio advice

Get in touch