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Contour Fashion BA (Hons)

About the course

Book your place on our next open day - Saturday 10 January 2015|

Established in 1947 to support the local corset industry, Contour Fashion continues to nurture close links with industry. It produces graduates who are specialist designers and technical specialists with defined skills in design, pattern cutting, grading, fit methodologies and technical excellence, for industry roles both in the UK and worldwide.


Reasons to study the Contour Fashion BA (Hons) degree at DMU

  • A unique and internationally renowned course

  • Specialise in lingerie, underwear, bodywear, swimwear, loungewear, nightwear, sportswear and corsetry

  • Continues to nurture close links with the UK and global intimate apparel industry and educates specialist designers

  • Opportunity to showcase your final designs to industry at a catwalk show in London

You can gain an introduction to the academic, professional, industrial and commercial challenges of design practice. There are opportunities to work with companies on live projects, work placements and competition awards.

Typical subjects of study include visual research, drawing and design development, style and colour, contour garment design, pattern cutting and making for lingerie, swimwear and nightwear, colour prediction, computer aided design (CAD) for fashion illustration, fit and grading, contour garment technology, contextual studies, designing for external clients, professional practice and a final collection suitable for a catwalk show.

Key facts

UCAS course code:  W235

Duration:  Three years full-time, six years part-time

Institution code: D26

Entry and admission criteria

A good portfolio and normally:

  • Art and Design Foundation or
  • 280 points with a minimum of 180 points from 2 full A levels and including grade C in Art and Design or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma DMM or
  • International Baccalaureate: 28+ Points

Five GCSEs grades A* - C including English Language or  Literature at grade C or above. 

We also accept the BTEC  First Diploma plus two GCSEs  including English at grade C or above

Interview and Portfolio

UK applicants with relevant qualifications will be invited to bring their portfolio of work to an open day and interview (please see our Contour Fashion portfolio advice| for full details).

Overseas applicants will be invited to send samples of their work. For further details check our international students portfolio page|.

International Students

If English is not your first language an IELTS score of 6.0 or equivalent when you start the course is essential. English Language tuition|, delivered by our British Council accredited Centre for English Language Learning, is available both before and throughout the course if you need it.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching includes formal lectures, group seminars, tutorials, presentations, practical workshops and studio-based activities. Assessment is generally at the end of each term, with verbal critiques at appropriate times throughout the year and occasionally formal presentations to external clients.

Learning through making garments is a key component. The course is directed by highly experienced staff who advise contour fashion companies globally.

New for 2012 is the introduction of a third year option to specialise in either an aesthetic or a technical route.

Course modules

Year one

  • Complete Contour Fashion Studies
  • Integrated Contour Studies

Year two

  • Progressive Contour Studies
  • Contour Design and Technology
  • Corsets and Swimwear

Year three

  • Advanced Contour Studies
  • Major Project
Note: All modules are subject to change in order to keep content current.

Work experience and placements

Students have previously completed work experience and placements with Abercrombie & Fitch, Triumph, Charnos, Gossard, Made by Niki, Agent Provocateur, Bordelle, Curvy Kate, Crystal Martin, Jenny Packham and Heidi Klein.

Graduate careers

The course produces highly sought-after graduates, acclaimed for their technical skills and design excellence, who work for international brands such as Marks & Spencer, Next, Abercrombie and Fitch, Triumph International, George at Asda, Fleur T, Tommy Hilfiger, Ace Style, Superdry, House of Fraser, Stretchline, Ace Style, Heidi Klein, John Lewis, Evedon, Ted Baker Intimates, Agent Provocateur, Victoria’s Secret, New Look and Intimas Group plc.

Recent graduates have taken up job opportunities in the USA, Australia, China and Hong Kong. Others have set up their own lingerie labels. Graduates may also choose to progress to MA study or teaching.

Fees and funding

UK/EU Fees: £9000 per year
International Fees: £11,250 per year

Learn more about fees and funding information 2015|


Contour Fashion studios include full-size pattern cutting tables, Lectra pattern generation system, the latest computerised lockstitch sewing machines and specialist contour sewing machines. 

Students are encouraged to work with a breadth of materials common to the intimate apparel industry, e.g.  stretch and rigid fabrics whilst embracing experimentation in other materials and processes, often working closely with an industry partner. There is a vital support from the industry re materials and components, but students are still required to purchase fabrics etc.

Art and Design Facilities

Expenditure for final collections can vary from £100 upwards to £800 and where luxury lace fabrics and trimmings are used, can be even higher. Students are encouraged to be realistic with fabric selection. Expenditure does not equate to a better creative or degree outcome.

How to apply

UK and EU students are advised to apply through UCAS at www.ucas.com|

International students can apply to study at DMU directly using our online applications portal|.

Contact details

For more information please contact:

Online enquiry form|
Telephone enquiries:  +44 (0)116 2 50 60 70

Awards and competitions

Students regularly take part in and win international design competitions such as the Triumph International Award, and live industry projects with Gilly Hicks, Curvy Kate and Abercrombie & Fitch.

Equipment and course costs

Equipment List 2013 (PDF)|

Course Costs 2013 (PDF)|

The above documents are provided as a guide and are subject to change.

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