Fashion Design BA(Hons)
Turn heads and change minds as you steer the industry toward a more sustainable future.
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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|
How you'll be assessed
Integrated Foundation Year (optional)
The above percentages relate to 2019/2020 data.
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
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.
- 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
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
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).
|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|
Application advice & interview informationGo to Toolkit
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.
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
|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.