BA (Hons)

2018 entry

Our School of Fashion has received global recognition in the Business of Fashion Global School Rankings 2015, where it was ranked in the top 20. It has also been ranked in the top 20 by The Guardian's 2017 university league table.

With an emphasis on art-based thinking, our BA 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 a 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.

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Length of study:

Three years full-time


September 2018


UCA Epsom

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Course overview:

Based in our fashion studios – which are kitted out with industry-standard facilities for design, drawing, 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 vibe.

Our course will also 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. An emphasis 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.

Open Days

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

Course content - 2018 entry

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. You'll be introduced to the contemporary design process.

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

Course modules

  • 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.

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. You'll 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.

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

Course modules

  • 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 Practices

    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.

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.

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

Course modules

  • 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.

  • Dissertation

    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.

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

Course modules

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

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.

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.

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

How to apply - 2018 entry

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Entry requirements - 2018 entry:

As a leading creative arts university, we want to attract the best and most creative minds in the country – so we take a balanced approach to candidate assessment, taking both individual portfolios and exam results into account. 

That’s why your portfolio is an especially important part of your application to study with us – and we can help. Our academics can offer you expert advice on how to showcase your creative work and build a portfolio that will make your application stand out. More advice on how to create an exceptional portfolio is also available here.

Entry requirements

Along with your portfolio, the standard entry requirements* for this course are:

One of the following:

  • 112 new UCAS tariff points (equivalent to 280 old UCAS tariff points), see accepted qualifications
  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4)
  • Distinction, Merit, Merit at BTEC 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.

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

Your portfolio

For this course, we’ll ask you to attend an Applicant Day and bring your portfolio for assessment. Further information on how to compile a portfolio, and the specific requirements for examples of work to be included, will be provided on the Applicant Portal after you’ve applied.

More portfolio advice

Fees & finance

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

Student regulations

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