Fashion Design | Four Years

BA (Hons)

2018 entry

The first year of this four-year course, Year 0, option will provide you with a broad based experience of the different areas and methods of Fashion Design. The course will explore personal development, experimentation and group working methods, involving research, fashion drawing, 2D and 3D design development, mixed media (CAD) and theoretical approaches to the subject.

Our School of Fashion has been ranked in the top 20 by The Guardian's 2017 university league table.

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Length of study:

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


September 2018


UCA Rochester

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Course overview:

Our award-winning Fashion Design course has built an international reputation for producing professional, highly talented and skilled design graduates.

Nurtured by professional design staff with abundant and varied industry experience, you’ll work in a creative, supportive environment that will help you develop your individual design identity.

On this course we’ll encourage you to tackle live briefs, working with well-known companies such as Reiss, Warehouse and Tommy Hilfiger, and give you the chance to show off your work at international high-profile events such as Graduate Fashion Week, where we excel every year.

We pride ourselves in having no house style – so you’ll have the freedom to establish your own creative approach, supported by a community of like-minded peers from disciplines across the creative industries.

With access to the latest technology in fully equipped dedicated studio spaces, you’ll master all the skills needed to make it as a successful fashion designer.

Situated on London’s doorstep, you’ll also have easy access to one of the world’s biggest fashion capitals, where you can benefit from our extensive industry connections for work experience opportunities and for enhancing your career prospects after graduation.

Open Days

Register for an Open Day to find out more about this course in person.

Course content - 2018 entry

The Year 0 option will provide you with a broad based experience of the different areas and methods of Fashion Design. The course will explore both personal development, experimentation and group working methods, involving research, fashion drawing, 2D and 3D design development, mixed media (CAD) and theoretical approaches to the subject.

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change.

Course modules

  • Creative Beginnings

    You'll be introduced to the Fashion Design subject, exploring approaches to research and design and developing methods to express and communicate ideas and information through a range of visual techniques.

  • Design Exploration

    You'll be introduced to a range of skills and techniques to explore and express creativity and design ideas through methods of three-dimensional shape and silhouette development along side techniques of surface design and fabrication.

  • Design Focus

    You'll be encouraged to employ a range of research methods to initiate design ideas. You'll be expected to explore these ideas through sketchbook development and creative studio practice, developing problem solving techniques and time management strategies to arrive at informed and innovative design outcomes.

You are introduced to fashion design through lectures, seminars and practical workshops where emphasis is placed on developing core skills and a sound awareness and understanding of your chosen subject. The focus is on developing practical design and study skills and contextual awareness. These foundational tools will enable you to apply and express your creativity through a variety of methods.

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change.

Course modules

  • A Cut Above

    You'll expand on your understanding of the importance realisation plays in the design process. The focus will be on the designer market, allowing you to start to explore and understand fashion market awareness.

  • Capturing The Market

    Extends your knowledge of Fashion by looking at another aspect of the Fashion market and how design is applied to it. The mass market or high street fashion component within the structure of the fashion industry has both increased in importance and developed greater power in recent years.

  • History and Theory

    A series of lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials, will establish a foundation for the evaluation and discussion of fashion, dress and textiles in both written and oral form. It will draw on seminal works and the latest academic research to explore the production and consumption of fashion and textiles in their historical and theoretical context. In so doing you will gain an understanding of the methodology of fashion research for both the historical and recent past.

  • Tools of The Trade

    You begin to explore different methods of communication through the introduction of drawing skills and the sketchbook as a tool for recording and communicating information. The application of drawing skills into portfolio presentation techniques is explored, both manually and through computer software programmes. Communication of product management information through Computer Aided Manufacture (CAM) is introduced.

You become more independent in your approach to your learning. You are encouraged to challenge tried and tested approaches to design and pattern cutting in order to stimulate fresh and innovative ideas which you can continue to build on into your final year.

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change.

Course modules

  • Company ID

    You produce a design statement in the development of a capsule collection of prints/garments ideas for a specific market/company. The unit focuses on a live project scenario in which a selected company profile, product lines, promotion and branding as well as future market are researched.

  • Creative Identity

    You are encouraged to take a more experimental and individual approach to their design work, challenging perceived notions of design and cutting and presenting fresh perspectives.

  • Cut to Suit

    Building on your pattern cutting and production skills students, you will be introduced to a range of techniques practiced in both mass market and bespoke tailoring. Researching into historical and contemporary designer tailored garments will provide you with an invaluable knowledge of fabric choice, internal construction techniques, pattern and finishing. Using the skills acquired through studio workshop teaching, you will be able to reproduce a tailored product, testing the theory behind the taught tailored principles.

  • Industry Placement or Case Study

    You select one of the following options:

    Industry placement: enables you to undertake a five to eight week self-initiated work placement that is relevant to their potential career direction and contributes to the fulfilment of the course aims and objectives.

    Industry case study: you study an aspect of the industry that you have identified as an area of interest, through the method of case study research. You undertake fieldwork into a self-selected topic or question.

  • Modernism and Postmodernism

    After a year of looking at fashion specifically, this unit is devoted to the investigation of a broader spectrum of cultural production. This ensures a thorough understanding of the connection between fashion and culture and the relevance of clothes to modern life.

  • Developing Research and Critical Enquiry

    This unit provides space to consider the research and inquiry options available to you in the final year, and evaluate your future direction. Through exploration of a subject area related to either broader contextual issues, or a concern within the industry you aspire to work in, you will develop appropriate research skills applicable to your final year of study.

  • Study Abroad (optional)

    This optional unit will allow you to spend time studying with one of our partner institutions.

You are given the opportunity to undertake in depth, self-sustained research into an area of interest and develop skills which allow you to prepare for professional practice in you chosen career pathway.

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change.

Course modules

  • Collection

    This unit focuses on the final collection. The unit provides the opportunity for you to take an individual approach to the design and production process and to manage this efficiently and effectively.

  • Portfolio

    Provides the opportunity to demonstrate your individual creative identity aligned to your career aspirations, through the production of a signature portfolio, consolidating the knowledge and skills acquired on the course. The portfolio will typically consist of a range of research, concept and mood, illustrations, design sketches/ range development and planning as well as product management.

  • Thesis

    This unit consists of a substantial period of sustained, individually negotiated research on a subject that is likely to be related to the contextual and/ or theoretical concerns of your discipline or chosen area of practice, towards the provision of structured written argument.

  • Research for Industry

    This unit provides you with an opportunity to critically reflect on and evaluate your practice, and offers a space to conduct more in-depth research into the specific sector of the industry you aspire to work in. Considering industry from both a theoretical and practical perspective is vital in terms of understanding the complexity of the various interrelated parts of how the design world works.

Course leader

International study

Find out more about studying in the UK, or studying part of your course abroad at one of our partner institutions (study abroad option not available on all courses).

Course connections

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

Our Fashion Design degree enjoys an international reputation. We've forged strong connections with many high-profile brands, including:

  • Alexander McQueen
  • Jenny Packham
  • Jonathan Saunders
  • Reiss
  • Roksanda Ilinic
  • Roland Mouret.

UCA’s Fashion Design degree enjoys an international reputation, and our graduates have progressed into a variety of rewarding careers – from design and illustration to pattern cutting and garment technology, and with leading fashion companies all over the world. These include:

  • Comme Des Garçons
  • Balenciaga
  • Lanvin
  • Givenchy 
  • Max Mara
  • Pucci 




  • Burberry
  • Stella McCartney
  • Reiss
  • Jigsaw
  • River Island
  • Karen Millen.

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

How to apply - 2018 entry

I am a UK or EU citizen ...

I am not a UK or EU citizen ...

Entry requirements - 2018 entry:

Entry requirements

The standard entry requirements* for this course are:

One of the following:

  • 64 new UCAS tariff points (equivalent to 160 old 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.

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.

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.

Fees & finance

Uncover all the costs involved, as well as the grants, loans and other financial support you may be entitled to.

Student regulations

Find out more about the operation of our courses, student conduct, assessments and examinations.

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