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Fashion Atelier & Tailoring BA (Hons)

Fashion Atelier & Tailoring BA (Hons)

Epsom

Course overview

Create beautiful bespoke, hand-crafted fashion and gain the skills to work at the highest level of the fashion industry on our BA (Hons) Fashion Atelier & Tailoring degree.

UCA's School of Fashion has an international reputation for producing talented graduates, and this course will give you the specialist skills to create extraordinary fashion pieces.

You’ll learn draping, creative pattern-cutting, machine and hand-sewing techniques and the specific creative skills and expertise needed for bespoke tailoring, couture-inspired fashion and contemporary design for the modern wardrobe.

In our fashion department you'll find the industry-standard facilities you need to expand your skills and explore your craft, and get support from a team of highly skilled staff and visiting practitioners who will help you develop a range of tangible and transferable skills with real industry value.

As well as practical learning, you'll have the opportunity to undertake a work placement that strengthens your CV and prepares you for your career after graduation.

Please note - this course is subject to updating, has previously been named BA (Hons) Fashion Atelier and will be moving from UCA Rochester to UCA Epsom for 2022 entry. If you already have credits from another university, or if you have work experience to an equivalent level, you can apply to enter directly into year 2 of the course at UCA Rochester.

Our standard three year undergraduate degree for those who meet the entry requirements for higher education.

UCAS Code for 3 year/standard: W237

A four year degree programme, including a foundation year to help develop your creativity before you embark on year one of a degree.

UCAS Code for course with Integrated Foundation Year: W23A

A four year course, specifically designed to provide international students with the English language and creative skills before they embark on year one of a degree.

UCAS Code for course with Integrated International Foundation Year: W23C

A four year programme, which sees you spend an entire year gaining valuable industry experience prior to your final year of study.

UCAS Code for course with Professional Practice: W235

A five year course, including a foundation year to help develop your creativity before you embark on year one of a degree, and a year on a professional placement gaining valuable industry experience prior to your final year of study.

UCAS Code for course with Integrated Foundation Year and Professional Practice Year: W23B

A five year course, including an international foundation year concentrating on English language and core creative skills before you embark on year one of a degree, and a year on a professional placement gaining valuable industry experience prior to your final year of study.

UCAS Code for course with Integrated International Foundation Year and Professional Practice Year: W23D

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Course details

Course Details

The content of the course may be subject to change. Curriculum content is provided as a guide.

UCA’s Integrated Foundation Year is designed to give you the skills you’ll need to start your degree in the best possible way – with confidence, solid knowledge of creative practice, study skills and more.

You’ll explore a range of creative techniques and develop your portfolio, with your chosen subject in mind. We’ll work with you throughout the year to ensure you’re on the right track and give you the tools to achieve your highest potential on your degree.

For our students coming from a non-UK educational background, UCA has an Integrated International Foundation Year to bring students from around the world to one hub of creativity. This is based at UCA Epsom and delivered by UCAIC.

This year of preparatory study is designed to give you the skills you’ll need to start your degree in the best possible way – with confidence, solid knowledge of creative practice, study skills and the English speaking and writing skills you’ll need to succeed.

You’ll explore a range of creative techniques and develop your portfolio, with your chosen subject in mind. We’ll work with you throughout the year to ensure you’re on the right track and give you the tools to achieve your highest potential on your degree.

Guest Speakers’ Series
You’ll join students across the School of Fashion & Textiles for our Industry Guest Speakers’ Series – you’ll hear from people with diverse backgrounds, skills and career paths representing the diversity of our student community, to inspire you to kick-start your thinking about your own career journey.

Atelier principles
You’ll learn to understand the relationship between the fit, silhouette and balance of a finished sample garment, and how that relates to the successful alignment of the correct pattern to body shape and the right fabric selection for the design. In this unit, you’ll learn pattern cutting and production principles, develop critical thinking skills alongside your creative and technical practice and practice your visual communication through traditional drawing methods digital media and photography.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
You’ll develop your awareness and understanding of equality, diversity and inclusion, and promote progressive values and attitudes in creative practice. You’ll learn how our social identities (such as, gender, race/ethnicity, class, disability, sexual orientation, and religion) contribute to the inclusion and/or exclusion of individuals in creative spaces.

Contour & structure
You’ll practice basic boning and corsetry skills to realise both the silhouette and functionality of a complex and highly structured garment for an international celebrity client. The development of your design responses for this unit will need to address both the interior and the exterior of the garments you conceptualise. Your portfolio will be underpinned through digital and traditional drawing skills, extensive customer profiling, thematic research and digital visual communication skills. Contextual research will expand your knowledge of past and present professional practice by investigating themes of body modification, and the shaping of the body in different historical contexts as well as the cult of “The Celebrity”.

Hackathon
In your first Opportunity Week, you’ll work with others on a high-intensity project. You’ll use a new piece of software or equipment to familiarise yourself with the technology that is becoming ubiquitous in the industry. For instance, you may be asked to design a website, an Instagram filter, an avatar, a virtual garment or digital prints.

Atelier processes
You’ll work collaboratively in a design team to create a sample range of shirts and trousers. Your team will also create its own digital branding and business plan for bringing your product to market. You’ll research the last 200 to 300 years of costume history to add context to your creative and technical thinking. You may also wish to address an aspect of sustainability e.g. through your business model or your fabric selection. Your team vision will be presented collaboratively through a combination of traditional drawing and digital visual communication techniques at a group presentation.

Fashion and cultural memory
You’ll explore methods used in the heritage sector by museum, costume and fashion professionals, to analyse objects and use a range of traditional visual, digital and written skills to communicate and utilise the findings successfully. You will be taught how to analyse and record findings for different types of artefacts using observational skills, archival resources, technical sampling or testing and applying basic material culture theory.

Business of Fashion
You’ll be introduced to the fundamental principles of fashion business and practices through a global lens. You’ll learn about how the macro environment affects the fashion industry sector and consumer groups and how it operates, introducing you to the various market levels and sectors, as well as industry structure, supply chain, distribution, marketing and commercialisation of products and services to end users.

ATOM Activities
ATOM activities are small pieces of individual learning that facilitate interdisciplinary exposure across UCA, and offer a flexible, impactful learning experience. They expand your creative horizon by accessing learning topics that would not otherwise be scheduled on your course specific timetable.

Career Week
You’ll start the second year with an intensive, interactive career preparation week. It prepares you for your work placement, through preparing your CV and cover letters, developing personal branding on professional social networks, networking and interview preparation.

Bespoke tailoring
You’ll develop your ability to use informed research, design and technical processes to apply to the cut, fit, balance and finish in the development of contemporary bespoke tailoring. As well as developing your understanding of details and finishing touches based on historic practice, such as buttons and buttonholes, you will also examine the inner workings of the jacket: canvases, felts, seam tapes and generations-old methods of pressing and hand sewing. By doing so you will expand your vocabulary of product development processes, as well as both flat and three-dimensional pattern cutting, to further inform your understanding of atelier practice skills.

The Conscious Practitioner
You’ll have the opportunity to explore global perspectives and influences on creative practice, drawing upon interactions with varied identities, cultures, politics, and histories. You’ll reflect on the development of their own creative influences, perspectives, practices, and sense of belonging as developing creative professionals in global and contemporary spaces.

Elective - Branding
In an industry based on visual communication, it is important to create your own visual communication style to set you apart from the crowd both as a graduate and prospective employee or independent brand/ freelancer. It is also important to explore and utilise the channels of communication available to you, particularly social media, in order to promote yourself/ brand either to sell your work or develop successful career networks.

Elective - Business Start-up
You’ll identify, develop and present a design, product, service or mini collection using your previous unit outcomes as a starting point for your start-up idea/ proof of concept. You will be required to research market trends, consider a more global perspective, and explore cultural, ethical and sustainable considerations. You will then explore how you could develop/refine and market your idea as a commercial product or “bestseller”.

Elective - Indigo
The focus of this unit is to enable students to immerse themselves in practice-based making by reusing and transforming materials and products. Working under a sustainable framework, you’ll be encouraged to creatively explore Indigo dyeing to develop ideas and concepts that have the potential to impact the sustainable marketplace, and influence positive social or environmental change.

Dragon's Den
Have you ever watched Dragon’s Den on the BBC? Have you ever dreamed of being one of the contestants? Have you got a business idea? Now is your chance to become the next big fashion and textiles entrepreneur. You’ll work in multi-disciplinary teams to prepare a short business plan, a prototype and pitch their ideas to a panel of industry judges.

The Flou
The drape and behaviour of cloth plays a key role within the creative cutting processes for this specialist unit. You’ll focus on “soft sewing,” where traditionally crepe de chine, georgette, mousseline, lace and other fragile or unstructured fabrics are used. They are notoriously hard to work with, but you will learn to handle these fabrics successfully as a core Atelier skill. You’ll be expected to research the work of relevant historical and contemporary designers to identify and utilise all types of bias cutting and fabric manipulation approaches to support the transition from 2D to 3D forms.

3D thinking
The focus of this unit is to position 3D sketching and creative cutting techniques at the heart of the design and product realisation process instead of designing two-dimensionally on paper first. Your technical and creative work will be underpinned with primary and secondary research exploring the relationship between geometry, form and function in clothing. This could for example utilise the cut and construction of ethnic and cultural dress as inspiration.

Placement
You’ll have the opportunity to undertake one of two options on this unit – a four-week minimum self-initiated work placement that’s relevant to your potential career direction or complete an industry case study which gives you the opportunity to study an aspect of the industry, that you identify as an area of interest, through the method of case study research. For both, you will record, critically analyse and evaluate your findings through a learning journal and present them in your learning journal and a professionally structured Placement or Case Study Report.

ATOM Activities
ATOM activities are small pieces of individual learning that facilitate interdisciplinary exposure across UCA, and offer a flexible, impactful learning experience. They expand your creative horizon by accessing learning topics that would not otherwise be scheduled on your course specific timetable.

If you opt to complete a professional practice year, this will take place in year three. You will undertake a placement within the creative industries to further develop your skills and CV.

While on your Professional Practice Year, you will be required to pay a reduced tuition fee for that year. This fee will be determined using government funding regulations. Based on current regulations, we expect this to be a maximum of 20% of the tuition fee rate that you are charged for your second year of study. You will also incur additional travel and accommodation costs during this year. The University will provide you with further advice and guidance about this as you approach your Professional Practice Year.

Please note: If you are an international applicant, you will need to enrol onto the course ‘with Professional Practice Year’. It will not be possible to transfer onto the Professional Practice Year after enrolment

Project pitch
Your final year begins with a project pitch week. This is your opportunity to share ideas that you will have developed over the summer about your degree project, receive feedback and finetune it before you start actively working on it as part of your last year at university.

Portfolio & career
Good portfolio skills are as essential in day-to-day Atelier practice as they are in the pursuit of acquiring employment as a confident creative and technical professional. In this unit you will bring together key elements of your studio practice and individual vision that demonstrate your understanding and insight into the formation of a successful visual narrative. You will have the opportunity to further develop, refine and consolidate the work produced in this unit through the Realisation & Portfolio unit in term two, as you work towards building your final exit profile in preparation for employment or postgraduate study.

Product development
You’ll extend and consolidate the core atelier practice skills developed over your first and second year, through engagement with in-depth design and product development processes. The exploration and craft of draping, cutting and constructing defined silhouettes and details, will allow you to express your creative and technical intentions. This will lead to the production of a cohesive body of work that articulates a forward-thinking design attitude across a range of considered styles, which will subsequently form the material proposition for your graduate collection developed in term two.

Graduate Career Fair
The Graduate Career Fair takes place during the first week of your second term to help your job search as you prepare for life after graduation. Companies that are actively hiring in your sector will be present to give you information about them, the kind of candidates they are looking for and their hiring process.

Realisation & portfolio
This unit will provide you with the opportunity to verify and articulate your understanding of atelier practice skills through the realisation of an atelier collection finished to the highest standards. Working in parallel to the three-dimensional realisation, your collection will be supported by the creation of a professional portfolio. With a clear focus on consolidating, refining and expressing your technical, creative and contextual learning developed throughout the first term, this Realisation & Portfolio unit is also aimed at helping you to engineer your exit profile and in doing so prepare you for your future career.

This course offers the opportunity to study abroad for part of your second year. To find out more about studying abroad as part of your course please see the Study Abroad section:

Tuition fees
2022 course fees for Year 1 entry and Integrated Foundation Year:

  • UK students - £9,250 
  • EU students - £9,250 (see fee discount information)
  • International students - £16,950

If you opt to study the Professional Practice Year, for 2022 you will be required to pay a reduced tuition fee of £1,850 (UK students) and £3,390 (International students). You will also incur additional travel and accommodation costs during your Professional Practice year. The University will provide you with further advice and guidance about this.

Additional course costs
In addition to the tuition fees there may be other costs for your course. The things that you are likely to need to budget for to get the most out of a creative arts education will include books, printing costs, occasional or optional study trips and/or project materials. These costs will vary according to the nature of your project work and the individual choices that you make. Please see the Additional Course Costs section of your Course Information for details of the costs you may incur.

Further information
For more detailed infomation about our course fees and any financial support you may be entitled to please see our fees and finance pages.

The fees listed here are correct for the stated academic year only. Costs may increase each year during a student’s period of continued registration on course in line with inflation (subject to any maximum regulated tuition fee limit). Any adjustment for continuing students will be at or below the RPI-X forecast rate.

Industry placement
offer

Preparing graduates for successful careers underpins everything we do, and all students on this course will be offered an industry placement anywhere between two weeks and a year in length, depending on their individual needs. We’ll draw on our wide range of contacts within the creative industries to ensure you’re offered opportunities that align with your interests and future career aspirations.

Course specifications

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change in line with our Student Terms and Conditions for example, as required by external professional bodies or to improve the quality of the course.

Facilities

The campus 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.

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Fashion studios, UCA Epsom

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Fashion store, UCA Epsom

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Fashion studio, UCA Epsom

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Photography studio, UCA Epsom

Course connections

Course connections

Our Fashion Atelier course at UCA has strong links with the industry, with students collaborating on projects for fashion companies including Ted Baker and Hardy Amies, and participating in high-profile competitions with organisations such as the British Fashion Council.

Our industry links are particularly valuable for the placement module in Year 2, which offers you the chance to gain authentic industry experience. We enjoy particularly close connections with companies such as:

  • Comme des Garçons
  • Marc Jacobs
  • Ann Demeulemeester
  • Aquascutum
  • Max Mara
  • Alexander McQueen
  • Hussein Chalayan
  • Céline
  • Haider Ackerman.

These companies also regularly employ graduates from our Fashion Atelier & Tailoring course.

Our graduates secure a variety of design roles, including:

  • Savile Row apprentices
  • Creative pattern cutters for high-end brands
  • Freelance or in-house design and pattern cutters
  • Production managers
  • Studio managers.

A number of our graduates have secured rewarding roles in industry areas such as:

  • Fashion design
  • Creative pattern cutting
  • Pattern technologist
  • Design consultant
  • Studio manager
  • Production manager
  • Sample maker – freelance or in-house for high-end brands
  • Savile Row apprentice.

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

Hannah Cooper
Hannah Cooper

"I chose to study this course at UCA because of its combination of couture skills, pattern cutting and garment production. I enjoyed the challenge of making beautifully finished garments, whilst focusing on minute details and high quality work"

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

BA (Hons) course
BA (Hons) course with Professional Practice Year

The standard entry requirements* for these courses are one of the following:

  • 112 new UCAS tariff points, see accepted qualifications
  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4)
  • Distinction, Merit, Merit at BTEC Extended Diploma / BTEC National Extended Diploma
  • Merit at UAL Extended Diploma
  • 112 new UCAS tariff points from an accredited Access to Higher Education Diploma in appropriate subject
  • 27-30 total points in the International Baccalaureate Diploma with at least 15 IB points at Higher level, 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.  

 


 

BA (Hons) course with Integrated Foundation Year
BA (Hons) course with Integrated Foundation Year and Professional Practice Year

The standard entry requirements for these courses 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 / BTEC National Extended Diploma
  • Pass at UAL 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. 

 


 

BA (Hons) course with Integrated International Foundation Year
BA (Hons) course with Integrated International Foundation Year and Professional Practice Year

For these courses you need to have completed 12 years* of schooling (with good grades) and show strong evidence of your ability to successfully complete the programme and progress onto your chosen degree.

 


 

*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. We consider the strength of our applicants’ portfolios, as well as their grades -  in these cases, a strong portfolio is especially important.

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

Don't meet the international entry requirements or English language requirements?

You may be able to enter the course through the following entry courses:

Pre-sessional English courses in the UK or China

UCA International Foundation courses

The UCA International College

BA (Hons) course
BA (Hons) course with Professional Practice Year

For these courses, we’ll need to see your portfolio for review. We’ll invite you to attend an Applicant Day so you can have your portfolio review in person, meet the course team and learn more about your course. If you would prefer to upload a portfolio digitally, there is also the option to submit it online via your UCA Applicant Portal. Further information will be provided once you have applied.

 


 

BA (Hons) course with Integrated Foundation Year
BA (Hons) course with Integrated Foundation Year and Professional Practice Year

These courses don't require a portfolio. If you receive an offer, you’ll be invited to attend an Applicant Day where you can meet the course team and learn more about the course.

 


 

 

BA (Hons) course with Integrated International Foundation Year
BA (Hons) course with
Integrated International Foundation Year and Professional Practice Year

These courses don't require a portfolio. If you receive an offer, you’ll be invited to attend an Applicant Day where you can meet the course team and learn more about the course.


  

More portfolio advice

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Please use the following fields to help select the right application link for you:
  • UCAS Institution

    C93

  • UCAS Code for 3 year/standard

    W237

  • UCAS Code for course with Professional Practice

    W235

  • UCAS Code for course with Integrated Foundation Year

    W23A

  • UCAS Code for course with Integrated International Foundation Year

    W23C

  • UCAS Code for course with Integrated Foundation Year and Professional Practice Year

    W23B

  • UCAS Code for course with Integrated International Foundation Year and Professional Practice Year

    W23D

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