Fashion Design portfolio work

Fashion Design BA(Hons)

Turn heads and change minds as you steer the industry toward a more sustainable future.

Key details
Location
Penryn Campus
Course duration
3 years / 4 years
Attendance
Full-time / Placement year
UCAS code
W232/FY13

Course overview

This fashion degree is designed to enable and empower the next generation of fashion designers, with a focus on positively addressing the industry’s environmental and social impact. Working with expert staff, like-minded peers and industry collaborators in an inclusive environment, you’ll become an innovative and responsible fashion designer.

Tackling real world challenges with the support of expert staff and industry contributors, you’ll explore the environmental, ethical and moral contexts of fashion design; embrace the sustainable opportunities within traditional and digital practices and collaborate with students and professionals to develop innovative clothing concepts.

You will:

  • Learn design skills needed to make positive change at the forefront of the creative industries  
  • Explore the environmental, ethical and moral challenges of our time in relation to the fashion design sector 
  • Have access to resources ranging from specialist industrial sewing and knit machines and ultrasonic welding equipment to screen printing and a natural dye garden 
  • Discover the sustainable ways of working in both traditional and digital pattern cutting – including CLO3D 
  • Collaborate with students across the Fashion & Textiles Institute and the wider University to unlock new ideas, opportunities and networks 
  • Tackle live briefs from leading brands with a focus on the UN Sustainability Goals 
  • Investigate brands and business models to develop professional practice skills  
  • Have the opportunity to explore all realms of fashion design, including streetwear, sportswear and functional clothing concepts  
  • Graduate with a career-launching portfolio, lookbook, final collection and promotional materials 

The Integrated Foundation Year and placement year pathways for this course are new for entry year 2023 and subject to validation.

Course details

On this Fashion Design degree, you'll have the opportunity to gain a BA(Hons) degree over three years or the option to study Fashion Design BA(Hons) with Integrated Foundation Year and/or a placement year.

Throughout this Fashion Design degree, you’ll learn to create original and inspiring fashion proposals underpinned by a specialist knowledge of sustainable fashion practices. While developing an understanding of your responsibility as a fashion designer, you’ll gain advanced skills in research, analysis, translation, drawing, pattern cutting and construction. Working with professional facilities, you’ll also be encouraged to take risks as you experiment with new and emerging technologies and processes. 

BA(Hons) Fashion Design course video

Through design and practical projects, you’ll build an awareness of the fashion industry’s social and environmental impact and seek innovative and sustainable solutions. Through tutorials and workshops, you’ll develop core skills in research, design development, drawing, pattern cutting and construction – utilising professionally equipped studios to create original works. 

Modules

Cut and Construct

This module will help you to grow core garment production techniques. In-depth analysis of specific techniques and processes will inform your knowledge of the pattern/construction process and their application in the fashion industry.

Redesign

In the Redesign module, you’ll create original garments using circular design methods – deconstructing garments to inform design ideas that you’ll translate, pattern cut and make into three-dimensional garments. 

Belonging

In this module, you'll be encouraged to build an unbiased and progressive understanding of the ethical language of fashion. Harnessing your emerging research and design skills in the context of clothing design, you’ll engage with themes of inclusivity and diversity in the context of global histories and subcultures. 

Histories

You’ll learn to critically evaluate and position your design practice in the context of cultural, theoretical and historical concepts. Integrated with the delivery of your studio module, you’ll produce your first written piece of work. 

Colour and shape

The aim of this module is to develop your professional identity and technical skills through investigation, play and creative risk-taking. Working with companies’ deadstock fabrics and garments, you’ll experiment with silhouette and proportion, considering colour, materials and environment, while recording your design processes. 

The second year focuses on industry knowledge, responding to global challenges and exploring how digital and traditional fashion practices can invoke positive change. By investigating brands and sustainable business models, you’ll continue to build on your creative design skills and start to align with sustainable practices.

Modules

Industry Practice

You'll develop a collection in response to a live or simulated brief. Throughout the project, you’ll explore concepts of ethics and sustainability as well as brand building, market and customer theories.

Core Skills: Digital

You’ll learn to experiment with new ideas using the latest CAD technology – avoiding the fabric waste produced through traditional physical sampling. 

This module runs in conjunction with Industry Practice.  

Core Skills: Stretch

Also running alongside Industry Practice, in this module, you’ll diversify your growing garment production knowledge by learning construction skills for activewear and knitwear. 

Collaboration

Working as part of a team, you'll work on 'Challenge Briefs' that reflect the sort of assignments you could expect to be working on in industry. Developing your 'soft skills', like communication, problem-solving, critical thinking and leadership, you'll sharpen your ability to work well as part of a group to produce outstanding work. 

Innovation

Innovation is all about harnessing creative risk-taking, sustainable approaches and conceptual thinking to develop original and meaningful design outputs. 

Throughout the module, you’ll continue to fine-tune your skills in evidencing design processes, technical development and garment production, drawing and digital communication. 

Theories

In this module, you’ll produce your second written piece of work to further enhance your skills in criticality and positioning your practice in the context of cultural, theoretical and historical concepts.

You’ll also develop ideas for your final year dissertation. 

You can choose to take an optional placement year after your second year on a three-year programme, or after your third year if you’re studying for a degree with an Integrated Foundation Year. 

You’ll be responsible for finding your own placement, with support from the RealWORKS employability team. 

Choosing this option will enhance your industry experience and skills while studying. 

How you’ll study during your placement year 

You’ll spend time working in a professional context, as part of a business or organisation. This can be in one role, or up to three, and must be for a minimum of 24 weeks. 

You’ll develop in-demand workplace skills, deepen your insight into industry and grow your network of contacts, all of which could help you get ahead in your career after graduation. 

Throughout this year, you’ll develop a portfolio of work that includes critical self-reflection on what has been learned from the experience. You’ll be required to evidence your experiences, the skills you’ve learned and your professional growth. 

In the final year of your Fashion Design degree, you'll develop a graduate collection by intensively researching, developing and exploring 2D and 3D concepts. Your collection will be underpinned by a consideration of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and supported by a dissertation. 

With sights set firmly on launching your career, you’ll also produce a professional portfolio and lookbook and have the opportunity to participate in live competition briefs set by professional fashion organisations, such as the British Fashion Council and the Graduate Fashion Foundation. 

Modules

Pre-Collection

In this module, you’ll reflect on your interests, strengths and weaknesses to help focus the direction for your graduate collection and form ideas for your final portfolio. 

Investigations

In this module, you will complete a dissertation on an agreed subject relating to your individual interests and practice. You will reflect on personal research strengths and practice and engage in considered debate and detailed discussion of the chosen topic.

Collection

Reflecting on your pre-collection, dissertation, and sustainability goals, you’ll research and develop your graduate collection. This body of work will accurately represent your professional identity as a fashion practitioner and will align with your career aspirations. 

Professional Strategies

This module will support you in developing a range of self-promotional materials relevant to your individual ambitions following graduation. Industry guests and careers/employability specialists will share advice and guidance regarding interviews, placements, contacting potential employers, and postgraduate study.

 

Why study an Integrated Foundation Year route?

If you’re taking on a new subject that you haven’t studied in depth before, have been out of education for a while or have a non-standard educational background then an Integrated Foundation Year degree may be the right choice for you. It is a four-year degree with an Integrated Foundation Year to start, which allows you to explore the primary elements of your subject before progressing on to the remaining three years of the BA(Hons) degree.

What you'll learn

If you choose this pathway, you'll study five core modules in your Foundation year. These are all designed to help you explore the foundational elements of your subject. You'll gain relevant technical skills, learn to experiment and take risks, develop an understanding of professional practice, have opportunities to work across disciplines and collaborate with other students on live project briefs.

Modules

Explore

You'll begin your foundation year by working collaboratively with others to explore themes of the future. You'll take risks, experiment through play and be supported to break through barriers.

Technique

You'll take subject-specific workshops and develop essential technical and practical skills in your area of study. You'll also enhance your analytical and organisational abilities.

Apply

You'll work with your peer group to think beyond discipline by addressing a societal or global issue. You'll then showcase your work to your peers and deliver and accompanying evaluation of your process.

Industry

You'll enhance your creative and practical skills in your subject specialism by responding to typical industry briefs, underpinned by focused research and experiments. You'll also gain industry insights through guest lectures and workshops.

Launch

You'll develop your unique identity in your specialism through the production of a self-initiated body of work. Your final project will be the bridge to your next year, fully supported by evaluative reviews and critical analysis of the work you have created.

After the Foundation year, you progress into Year One of the full three-year degree, equipped with a deeper knowledge of your subject, a clear understanding of your strengths, and develop a practical and technical skillset and the confidence to excel in your chosen subject.

 

If you apply for and enrol onto a degree with an Integrated Foundation Year, you’ll have the option to switch onto a five-year version including a placement year. That means you’ll complete the first three years of your course before completing a placement in industry in your fourth year and returning to Falmouth for the fifth year of your programme. 

The Integrated Foundation Year pathway for this course is new for entry year 2023 and subject to validation.

The modules above are those being studied by our students, or proposed new ones. Programme structures and modules can change as part of our curriculum enhancement and review processes. If a certain module is important to you, please discuss it with the Course Leader.

How you'll learn

Regular learning comes through practice-based workshops, technical demonstrations, tutorials, both one-to-one and in groups, lectures and seminars. You’ll also learn through collaborative project work, guest lectures and live briefs with real brands.

At Falmouth, we use a 'digitally enhanced learning & teaching' approach. Your experience will always be predominantly in-person, including seminars, tutorials and studio teaching, with some, more targeted elements, being online either live (synchronous) or pre-recorded (asynchronous). You can read more here.

How you'll spend your time

Year Timetabled teaching and learning activity Guided independent study

Integrated Foundation Year (optional)

Digitally enhanced learning Digitally enhanced learning
1 25% 75%
2 25% 75%
3 25% 75%

 

How you'll be assessed

Year

Written exams

Practical exams

Coursework

Integrated Foundation Year (optional)

 0% 0%  100% 

1

0%

0%

100%

2

0%

0%

100%

3

0%

0%

100%

The above percentages relate to 2019/2020 data.

Assessment methods

  • Foundation year assessments are 100% coursework based 

  • Studio-based projects, including portfolio and garments, and written assignments 

  • Final year dissertation, collections & portfolio 

What our students do

A view of the fashion department facilities at Falmouth University with tables with sewing machines.
Fashion Design 2

Why I chose to study Fashion Design

27 January 2021

When I was a child, I spent hours cutting up my clothes and trying to turn them into something else....

Why I chose to study Fashion Design
A student stands in front of a television screen and presents their business pitch to a panel of experts
Dragons' Den pitch

£6000 up for grabs as students enter the Dragons' Den

04 April 2022

RealWORKS' second annual Dragons’ Den event took place in March, and saw students compete for a sh...

£6000 up for grabs as students enter the Dragons' Den
People gather to protest the fashion industry. A placard reads 'no fashion on a dead planet'
Ecocide

Falmouth joins the Fashion Declares movement

04 February 2022

Falmouth’s Fashion & Textiles Institute has joined forces with key leaders across the fashion ...

Falmouth joins the Fashion Declares movement
ISMS & SKISMS Guest Lecture Series: Harris Elliot
ISMS & SKISMS: Harris Elliot

Fashion & Textiles Institute hosts ‘Black cultural conversations’ guest lecture series

12 October 2021

The Fashion & Textiles Institute is hosting a specialist guest lecture series for its students. ...

Fashion & Textiles Institute hosts ‘Black cultural conversations’ guest lecture series
Layna Image 4
Layna Image 4

Students stun judges at Graduate Fashion Week

21 June 2021

BA(Hons) Fashion Photography student Layna Miyazaki has won the Fashion Communication Digital Portfo...

Students stun judges at Graduate Fashion Week
Geometry Global
web story - future of retail

Collaboration Explores the Future of Retail

02 July 2019

Fashion Marketing and Interior Design students have joined forces to tackle the 'future of retail' i...

Collaboration Explores the Future of Retail
Fashion Design Award

Outstanding Award for Fashion Design

13 June 2018

The Fashion Design course has won the accolade of Outstanding Portfolio at the British Fashion Counc...

Outstanding Award for Fashion Design
News: Vogue main
Vogue Italia

Fashion Duo Featured in Vogue

23 May 2018

Fashion students Fadzai Kadzatsa and Angela Farrell have been featured in Vogue Italia's online...

Fashion Duo Featured in Vogue
Fashion Design show 2018

Staff

Our staff are passionate about creating a more sustainable fashion industry and aim to foster a mindset of sustainable and creative professional approaches to fashion design. The tutors and support staff provide detailed knowledge in areas like construction, pattern cutting, sportswear, knitwear, fabric knowledge, ethics, sustainability, and running independent labels.

Some members of staff only teach on specific modules, and your course might not feature every staff member who teaches on the course.

Claire Barker-Phillips

Course Leader, Fashion Design BA(Hons)

Claire studied Textiles at Buckinghamshire before undertaking a Masters degree at the Royal College ...

Claire Barker-Phillips

Geertje Dreijerink

Senior Lecturer, Fashion Design

In 2005 I graduated from ArtEZ Institute of the Arts’ BA Fashion Design in Arnhem, the Netherlands...

Geertje Dreijerink

Sarah Braddock-Clarke

Senior Lecturer

Sarah E.Braddock Clarke studied Textile Design at Winchester School of Art, University of Southampto...

Sarah Braddock-Clarke
Kathryn Broad staff photo

Kathryn Broad

Lecturer

An artist and educator who traverses the applied and fine art genres driven by a fascination with an...

Kathryn Broad

Camilla Dixon

Senior Lecturer in Fashion Design

After graduating from Central St Martins with a first class hons degree in Fashion Design in 1993, I...

Camilla Dixon

Julie Ripley

Senior Lecturer, BA(Hons) Textile Design

Julie Ripley studied history of modern art, design and film at Northumbria University, where she wen...

Julie Ripley

Dr Kate Strasdin

Senior Lecturer

I joined Falmouth University in 2009 as an associate lecturer teaching histories and theories to stu...

Dr Kate Strasdin

John Boddy

Head of Fashion Design

John studied fashion design, specialising in womenswear, at Central Saint Martins College of Art and...

John Boddy

Jill Weeks

Senior Technician

Jill Weeks is the senior technician for garment construction on the Performance Sportswear Design co...

Jill Weeks
Chihoko Jone profile picture

Chihoko Jones

Lecturer

I went to Bunka Technical College in Tokyo for my degree in Fashion Studies. I joined fashion design...

Chihoko Jones

Freya Moses

Senior Technician, Printed Textiles

I work as a senior technician within the Fashion & Textiles Institute. I specialise in printed t...

Freya Moses

Peter Doubleday

Senior Technician, The Fashion & Textiles Institute

I am an artist with a broad portfolio of skills gained from my own art practice and time s...

Peter Doubleday

Facilities

  • Digital design solutions like CLO3D, Gerber and Adobe 
  • Silicon taping equipment, and Ultrasonic construction machines 
  • Industrial flatbed machines 
  • Industrial overlockers 
  • Knitting machines 
  • Fitting stands 
  • Laser cutting equipment 
  • Digital and traditional printing equipment  
  • Publication/portfolio production facilities 
  • Online access to WGSN and LS:N Global 
Female student working in textiles studio
Fashion student in studio

Fashion & Textiles Facilities

Centred around studio spaces that cater for solo and group working, our Fashion & Textiles Insti...

Fashion & Textiles Facilities
Library interior with 'group study' written on large pillar and students reading
Penryn library group study area

Library Facilities

Offering extensive collections, our two libraries provide a wealth of digital resources, magazines, ...

Library Facilities
Falmouth University Sports Centre building exterior with blue sky and a path
Sports Centre - Outside
Sports Centre

Sports Centre

Our Sports Centre, on Penryn Campus, includes a spacious gym with up to 90 of the latest, new statio...

Sports Centre

Careers

Our Fashion Design graduates have worked as:

  • Product Developer at Palmer//Harding
  • Pattern Cutter at COS
  • Design Assistant at Liam Hodges
  • Senior Designer at Adidas Outdoor
  • Tailoring Assistant at The Tailoring Academy
Black and white image of woman in a black coat smiling
Michelle Facey crop

Fashion Graduate Selected to Open International Conference


Michelle Facey, graduate from BA(Hons) Fashion Design, was recently selected to showcase her work at the International Foundation of Fashion Technology Institute's (IFFTI) annual conference.

Discover more

How to apply

Apply via UCAS

Ready to join us? You can apply through UCAS. You'll need to reference the course and University code (F33).

Apply now

Applying as an international student? 

International students can apply for a course through UCAS, via an agent or directly with the university. For more information about how to apply as an international student, visit our international applications page.

International applications

Course route UCAS code
Fashion Design BA(Hons) three year degree W232
Fashion Design BA(Hons) with Integrated Foundation Year FY13
Fashion Design BA(Hons) with placement year UCAS code available soon

We consider all applications on their own individual merit and potential. We invite all applicants to an interview day or audition to give them the opportunity to demonstrate this along with what inspires and motivates them in their field. Applicants will also be able to show their portfolio or give a performance depending on the course. We welcome applications from all subject backgrounds, whether you’ve specialised in STEM, the arts or humanities.  

Course route Entry requirements
BA/BSc(Hons) three year degree 104 – 120 UCAS Tariff points
BA/BSc(Hons) four year degree with placement year 104 – 120 UCAS Tariff points
BA/BSc(Hons) four year degree with Integrated Foundation Year 80 – 120 UCAS Tariff points

UCAS Tariff points will primarily be from Level 3 qualifications such as but not limited to A-levels, T Levels, a BTEC/UAL Extended Diploma or a Foundation Diploma. 

Check how many points your qualifications are worth

For applicants whose first language is English we require you to have or be working towards GCSE English Language Grade 4 (C), or equivalent. 

If English is not your first language you will need to meet the same standard which is equivalent to the IELTS Academic 6.0 overall score, with at least 5.5 in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening. We accept a range of in country equivalencies and approved tests.  

If you need a student visa to study in the UK, you may need to take a recognised language test. You can read our English Language Requirements for more information.

For starting your studies in 2023

UK applications: 25 January 2023 (for equal consideration)

Applications after the 25 January will be considered on a first-come, first-served as long as there are places available. Apply for this course now.

International fee payers

International fee payers can apply throughout the year. But we recommend applying as early as possible, to make time for visa and travel arrangements.

What we're looking for

We want someone who:

  • Is interested in contemporary fashion.
  • Has problem solving and development skills.
  • Shows an understanding of design context.
  • Is interested in developing 3D communication skills.
  • Has analytical and communication skills.
  • Can draw or illustrate and document development.
  • Shows original and critical thinking, and visual research skills.

Fees, costs & funding

Tuition fees

Annual tuition fee Student
£9,250 per year Full-time UK
£17,460 per year Full-time EU/international
Annual tuition fee Student
£9,250 per year Full-time UK
£17,460 per year Full-time EU/international
£1,850 per placement year Full-Time UK and EU/international

Tuition fees are set annually and are subject to review each year. The University may therefore raise tuition fees in the second or subsequent years of a course, in line with inflation and/or the maximum permitted by law or Government policy. Students will be notified of any changes as soon as possible. 

The figures above don't include accommodation and living costs

Typical course costs

  • £200-£400 - Recurring annual costs
  • £100-£400 - One-off costs for the course duration (compulsory trips, final portfolios or shows, etc)
  • £650 - Optional study visits

If you need to bring equipment or materials with you, these will be outlined in your Welcome Letter.

Additional typical course costs for Integrated Foundation Year pathway

  • £250 for materials
  • A laptop/desktop computer
  • Adobe Creative Suite

In order to participate in our digitally enhanced learning approach, you'll need to have a personal laptop/desktop computer. Depending on your subject, you may need a specific type of computer. If you're unsure about what you might need, please contact our course advisors.

Ask a student

What better way to find out about life at Falmouth University than by asking our current students?

From course details and academic support, to the social scene and settling in, our students are ready and available to answer any questions you might have. Simply set up your account, send them a question and they'll get back to you within 24 hours.

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