Fashion Design with a Foundation Year - BA (Hons) *

UCAS Code:
W23C
Attendance:
Full Time (4 years)
Starting:
September 2019
Campus:

This Fashion Design degree course with a foundation year will equip you with the necessary knowledge and skills to succeed in the fashion industry and have the chance to take part in exciting work placements, with companies such as Ted Baker, Mary Katrantzou, Paul Smith, Topshop and River Island.

You will learn to work with different design systems alongside staff who have valuable industry experience with a range of recognised brands. Each year, a selection of our final-year students showcase their final year work to industry leaders at events such as Graduate Fashion Week and New Designers in London.

About foundation courses

This four year programme has been specifically designed to allow you to undertake additional level 3 study, to ensure you are successful on your chosen degree programme. 

After successful completion of your foundation year, you will have the flexibility to switch (should you wish to change direction) onto a number of related undergraduate degree programmes within the School of Fashion and Textiles.

What's covered in the course?

The course equips you with the necessary knowledge, skills and attributes to succeed in a wide range of careers in the fashion industry.

Your first year will introduce you to a number of fashion topics, helping you to develop a good foundation of fashion knowledge and skills, in both design and technical areas.

Your second year helps to strengthen your personal and professional development in relation to your own career goals. You will also have the opportunity to take part in the international Erasmus exchange programme, spending a semester at an international institution.

An optional placement year takes place between years 2 and 3, providing an opportunity for an internship in industry. 

Your final year, gives you the opportunity to specialise in women’s or menswear.  You will focus on your own individual area of practice and produce garments that reflect your personal direction as a creative fashion design graduate. 

The course blends individual creativity and commercial realism, and you will be able to apply your skills and knowledge of the professional design process, from concept to product.

BA (Hons) Fashion Design, BA (Hons) Costume Design and Practice and BA (Hons) Garment Technology have a shared first year of study.

"The tutors came to know me well over my study years. I had a fantastic support base which meant I was able to find my style and work to the best of my abilities, pushing myself in the last year of my degree." Thomasin Gautier-Ollerenshaw

Why Choose Us?

  • We have excellent links with regional and international brands such as Burberry, John Lewis, Adidas, Karen Millen and Rab, which give the course colour and contemporary relevance.
  • You can enjoy a vast archive of fashion publications dating back to the 1930s and also develop skills within Abobe Photoshop and Illustrator computer aided design (CAD), essential tools within the global fashion industry.
  • You will have the chance to showcase your final-year work to industry leaders looking for new talent at events such as Graduate Fashion Week in London.

Students outside Millennium Point

Open Days

Our next Open Day for this course will take place on Sunday 25th November 2018. Book your place to see our facilities and speak to our staff and students.

Book your place

This course is not open to International students
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Discover the School of Fashion and Textiles

Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.

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School of Fashion and Textiles Blog

Our blog is the online home for our community of aspirational, innovative and creative individuals. It’s for sharing our experiences and visionary ideas with each other, the industry and the world.

Read our blog

Where our students go

Our students have gone on to work in jobs such as:

  • Clothing designers
  • Textile designers
  • Buyers and procurement officers

Subject to approval

This course is in the final stages of approval to ensure it meets the very highest standards of quality, creativity and applied learning.

Entry Requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.

UK students
Essential

80 UCAS tariff points.

Typical Offers
UK Qualification Requirements 2018/19
A level  CDD. Minimum of 2 A Levels required although Other 6-unit qualifications can be considered in lieu of one A-level subjects. Applicants with 2 A Level qualifications or equivalent can combine with AS levels to achieve required points.

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma

MMP. Subjects exclude - early years.
Access to HE Diploma 60 credits overall. Minimum of 45 credits at level 3. In a relevant pathway.

Scottish Advanced

DDD

International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme

Obtain a total of 10 points or above from three higher level subjects. Students who do not complete the IB Diploma will be considered on the basis of their IB Certificate. Students must have grade 5 in Maths (Standard Level) and English Group A – Grade 4 or above or English Group B and Ab initio – grade 5. A combination of GCSEs, A-levels and IB certificates will be considered on a case by case basis

OCR Cambridge Technical Certificate

Must be offered along with either A-levels,AS-levels or BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/BTEC 90 credit diploma/ OCR Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma qualification/Foundation Diploma in Art and Design/ UAL extended diploma to achieve a minimum of 80 tariff points.

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma

DM. Will be considered in combination with either A-level, AS-levels or BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/BTEC 90 credit diploma/ OCR Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma qualification/Foundation Diploma in Art and Design/ UAL extended diploma to achieve a minimum of 80 tariff points.

Scottish Advanced Higher

80 points, minimum DDD from 3 advanced higher level passes.
Must include English Language at Standard Grade
Maximum of three Advanced Highers can be considered together.
Other qualifications
If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.

Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BA (Hons) Sep 2019 FT 4 years £9,250 per year Apply via UCAS

International Students

Sorry, this course is not available to international students.

Fees for 2019/20 will be published as soon as possible. The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.

Guidance for UK/EU students

UCAS

UK and EU students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

Applying through UCAS
 Register with UCAS
 Login to UCAS
 Complete your details
 Select your course
 Write a personal statement
 Get a reference
 Pay your application fee
 Send UCAS your application

Portfolio Guidance

You are not required to submit a portfolio for this course.

Additional costs

Our courses include activities such as performance, exhibitions, field trips and production of works or artefacts which may require you to purchase specific equipment, instruments, books, materials, hire of venues and accommodation, or other items. Many of these activities are essential and compulsory parts of your learning experience.

The link below gives you an estimate of the possible costs associated with key activities on your course. Please bear in mind that these are only estimates of costs based on past student experience and feedback. The actual costs could vary considerably (either greater or lower than these estimates) depending on your choices as you progress through the course.

All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

View additional costs for this course

Additional costs

The additional costs listed at the bottom of the page are to be used for indicative purposes only and are based on the additional costs for the 2018/19 academic year. The additional costs for 2019/20 will be published as soon as possible.

Foundation year

During your foundation year you will be taught in small classes where active participation is part of the teaching methodology.

Your study will involve reading and analysis, discussion and debate, and practical activities which allow you to test and implement your skills and knowledge. In addition to attending classes you will be required to complete preparation and follow-up tasks and activities to support your learning.

In order to complete this course you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):

Fashion and Textile Skills and Processes
40 credits

Fashion and Textiles are two very large and interrelated global industries, they encompass many different job roles. The two disciplines also support a variety of related approaches and activities ranging from business to art practices.

This module will provide an overview of processes and skills that are essential to fashion and textiles and also give you the opportunity to develop the skillset and knowledge that interests you. You will be allowed to develop personal approaches that can incorporate one or a mixture of making, business analysis or communications.

Download the full module specification

Trends Research
20 credits

This module will focus on techniques and strategies for identifying and researching trends, documenting them and how trend analysis can be used in professional practice. In response to seminar discussions and workshops you will experiment with layout and physical compositions to produce a visual interpretation of your findings. You will analyse past, present and future trends using a variety of primary and secondary sources. You will evidence ongoing reflective practice which includes written and visual analysis.

Download the full module specification

Lifestyle
20 credits

This module will allow you to develop an understanding of how the world and lifestyles are changing and how fashion and textiles respond to these changes. Through lectures and workshops, you will be introduced to a range of themes, discussion topics and techniques for future gazing and predicting social and industrial changes, and the development of subcultures and innovations as a result of this and the impact back on to society.

Download the full module specification

Signature Project
40 credits

This module you will allow you to plan, develop and deliver a project that draws on your own, personal creative strategies to facilitate the realisation of ideas appropriate for progression on your BA course.

Download the full module specification

Year one

In your first year you are introduced to a broad range of fashion studies theory and technical skills, building a sound base for further study in years two and three.

You will learn design skills such as CAD, live fashion drawing, fashion illustration, fashion flats, styling and photoshoots. Alongside this, you will gain theoretical skills, such as contextual studies in fashion and related art and design.

You will also gain the skills that you need to solve practical problems and create presentations.

BA (Hons) Fashion Design, BA (Hons) Costume Design and Practice and BA (Hons) Garment Technology have a shared first year of study.

In order to complete this course you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):

Design Development And Realisation
40 credits

This module aims to provide you with the essential skills and knowledge as a holistic learning experience that will form the building blocks for the course and underpin further study. We use this module to ‘create a bridge’ between your prior study and the start of the course by introducing you to the basic visual research, design and technical knowledge needed to professionally construct a garment of your own design. We employ small workshop groups to induct you into studio practice and the appropriate and safe usage of industry standard sewing and garment construction machines.

Download the full module specification

Individual aesthetic
20 credits

This module aims to provide you with the underpinning skills to enhance the visual articulation of your design processes and output. A broad exploration of 2 & 3 dimensional, and multimedia, techniques will be undertaken; fostering appropriate, innovative, and individual approaches to be developed and applied to future design tasks throughout the course.

Download the full module specification

Creative Direction
40 credits

Creative Direction aims to help you develop your skills for your chosen exit award, Garment Technology, Costume Design and Practice or Fashion Design. The module provides you with a technical option and a design option to enable you to develop a cohesive portfolio of work to support the securing of potential work placements or internships within your chosen discipline.

Download the full module specification

Context and Theory
20 credits

The module will introduce you to the broader context of fashion through a series of contextual lectures covering the theoretical context of fashion and its wider industries. These will allow you to frame your own aspirations develop your knowledge of your chosen industry, be that fashion, costume, or garment technology. The module will also introduce you to writing techniques, a range of respective research methods and resources in the planning of your research proposal. You will also analyse your strengths and weaknesses to allow you to identify a range of career opportunities.

Download the full module specification

Year two

In your second year, you will develop more advanced research, design development, presentation and technical skills, with a view to gaining work experience that will enhance your skills and employability upon graduation.

In order to complete this course you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 100 credits):

Creative Realisation
40 credits

This module is an opportunity to develop your creative and technical exploration skills aligned with your chosen exit route. Building on the enquiring skills and ability gained at level 4 to progress your ideas and professional practice, in readiness for your final year of study.

Download the full module specification

Critical Studies
20 credits

This module aims to build on your knowledge of academic writing. You will be encouraged to discuss, argue and critically analyse the lectures, this will be further supported with research, academic writing, referencing and essay structure sessions.

Download the full module specification

Advanced Practice
40 credits

This module aims to expand the knowledge and skills required to progress your particular career aspirations Providing an opportunity for you to focus on a specified brief that will prepare you for your final year. Advanced practice should evidence your capacity to work at a professional level within your selected discipline, whilst being supported by both the academic and technical teams.

Download the full module specification

In order to complete this course you must successfully complete at least 20 credits from the following list of OPTIONAL modules.

Work placement
20 credits

The purpose of this module is to enable you to develop professional attributes and subject skills through experience in the work place, and to critically reflect upon your learning in that context. You will normally be expected to arrange your own placement, with support from academic staff and ADM Careers+.

Download the full module specification

Collaborative Practice
20 credits

The module is an opportunity to learn and critically reflect on the skills of collaboration by enabling you to create an interdisciplinary project with students from complementary disciplines, or with academic staff. Collaboration is a vital employability skill within the Creative Industries and this module allows you to develop these skills, making use of University facilities and with the support of academic staff. Within this module framework, several kinds of collaborative opportunities are available. For example, with the approval of your supervisor, you can determine a project based on your own interests; your supervisor may set you a predetermined project to enable you to work with other students in a way that is appropriate to your subject area; or there may be opportunities for you to collaborate with staff on research projects. In all cases, you must apply your subject skills to an interdisciplinary project which will be agreed in advance with your supervisor.

Download the full module specification

Year three

In order to complete this course you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):

Independent Project Research
20 credits

Within this module you will research, establish and consolidate your ideas, which will provide the foundation for the development of outcomes within your Independent Practice module. The project will focus and cultivate your ability to experiment, collate, organise and present your work to achieve your own professional direction within your specialist area.

Download the full module specification

Major Project
40 credits

The purpose of the module is to enable you to undertake a sustained, in-depth and theoretically informed research project exploring an area that is of personal interest to you. It is important that we can support you appropriately, so you will be guided towards choosing a research topic which is relevant to your discipline and in which your lecturers have expertise. The outcome may take the form of a written dissertation or a practice-based portfolio.

Download the full module specification

Independent Practice
60 credits

The Independent Practice project is the culmination of your studies, during the course you will have identified and developed your own personal goals. This project provides an opportunity for you to create a portfolio of work that will demonstrate your skills and potential to employers or clients.

Download the full module specification

This course is ideal if you intend to pursue a creative career in fashion design and related industries. Our previous graduates work within companies including H&M, Victoria Beckham, Marks & Spencer and Erdem, as well as many other international brands.

Within the first year you will be introduced to the fundamental skills needed to work within the fashion industry including fashion theory, commercial and conceptual design, trend research and garment development.

During your second year, you will develop these skills to a more focused and advanced level before applying for work experience within your chosen sector of the industry, with the option of a sandwich year between the second and third years of study.

In your final year, you will design and produce a collection of garments plus associated portfolio work for your major project, with a focus on either the menswear or womenswear market sectors.

On successful completion, you will graduate with a portfolio-based final outcome relevant to your individual career aspirations.

Download our lookbook to see examples of student work

Student stories

Rebecca Short

Fashion design graduate Rebecca Short had the surprise of a lifetime when one of her experimental outfits was worn by pop icon Lady Gaga in front of a worldwide audience.

Cleo McColgan

Cleo McColgan gained a prestigious graduate position with world-famous fashion label Abercrombie and Fitch after graduating. She was one of a handful of elite graduates recruited by the company each year, alongside fellow graduate Phoebe Stonehill. They both took up their new roles at Abercrombie’s Head Office in Ohio in February 2014.

View more examples of student work...

Our BA (Hons) Fashion Design course currently benefits from its active Erasmus Exchange partnerships with the following institutions:

Student stories Betty Jackson CBE

Internationally Renowned Fashion Designer

Betty Jackson is an internationally renowned fashion designer who is well known for developing bold and imaginative textile prints and translating them onto clothing.

Betty first launched her own collection in 1981. She introduced the Betty Jackson for Men collection in 1986, and opened her flagship shop in London's Brompton Road five years later.

In 2008, she was asked by the Lord Chief Justice for help with modernising the gowns of the civil judiciary, and she also designed costumes for the characters Eddy and Patsy in the 1990s hit TV comedy 'Absolutely Fabulous'.

Placements

A requirement of the optional sandwich year within our course is to gain valuable experience to enhance employability within our students. Our students can be found gaining experience in may major fashion brands including; H&M, Next, Amanda Wakeley, Mary Katrantzou and Iris Van Herpen.


Links to industry

Throughout our course we actively encourage collaboration sponsored and live projects with the fashion industry. We have worked with Paul Smith, Burberry, George and Rab. These collaborations underpin our delivery and add value to the curriculum within the course.

OpportUNIty

OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.

Student stories - Holly Jayne Smith

BA (Hons) Fashion Design graduate

Holly Jayne Smith, secured the British Council International Residency Award for her bold and colourful creations.

Holly’s striking collection included high hats and bold prints, patterned with monochrome stripes, and was featured on the catwalk at Graduate Fashion Week 2014.

As part of Holly’s prize, she travelled to Casablanca and spent time with winners of the Moroccan Talent Award to produce a collection, inspired by her time in the country.

Graduate jobs

Graduates from our course progress to gain jobs within many of the major high end and high street companies, both within the UK and overseas. You’ll find Birmingham City University alumni working in Adidas, Marks & Spencer, Erdem and Victoria Beckham.

Parkside and Curzon Buildings

Our Facilities

You’ll be based in our School of Fashion and Textiles, within The Parkside Building. The Parkside Building is part of our new multi-million pound City Centre Campus development in the heart of Birmingham's Eastside development.

External Parkside Building and Water Feature
Parkside building from Curzon building
Parkside Interior
Fashion Studio Image CRM March 2017
Fashion Studio WS sewing busy
Fashion Studio WS 1
dress stands 1
Fashion Studio Dress Stands 1
ADM_FAS_Pattern Cutting Extra
Costume Design and Practice Room Pattern Cutting MS 1
TECHNICIAN_Extra
Garment Tech IDigit board 2
Garment Tech IDigit board 1
Garment Tech IDigit software 1
Garment Tech Gerber 1
Garment Tech Gerber software 1
Garment Tech Plotter 1

Our staff

Our staff team have industry experience within computer aided design, pattern cutting, fashion history and design, and have worked alongside many internationally recognised brands. You will learn to work with the Adobe creative suite, widely used in the industry, alongside supportive staff who are well placed to inspire and shape your future careers.

See full list of our staff