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Footwear Design BA (Hons) Footwear Design BA (Hons)

Footwear Design BA (Hons)

Footwear Design at DMU covers the unique and complex shoe design process, and will enable you to acquire the knowledge and skills that set you apart from others in the fashion sector.


Reasons to study Footwear Design BA (Hons) at DMU:

  • Our students regularly win awards at national and international competitions, such as Lineapelle in Bologna which endorses our status as a world-class footwear design course
  • Graduate employment is over 90 per cent, thanks to our worldwide links with the footwear industry
  • Work placement opportunities with companies such as Alexander McQueen, Jimmy Choo, Kurt Geiger, Nike, L.K.Bennett and Ted Baker, provide excellent links with industry
  • Work on live projects set by companies and organisations such as Jeffery West, Irregular Choice, Gola and Gap to gain a diverse range of relevant skills
  • Recent graduates have gone onto careers with Gucci, L.K.Bennett, Irregular Choice and Kurt Geiger both in the UK and Overseas
  • You will also have the opportunity for a meaningful international experience as part of your studies through #DMUglobal.

Throughout the course your shoe design and technical making skills will be developed, emphasising the crucial relationship between design and manufacture and the needs of the footwear industry.

You will develop your design, research, drawing and illustration skills, and the ability to present and communicate ideas and concepts to a high professional standard. This includes a series of shoe design projects focusing on a comprehensive range of footwear styles. You will learn technical modern shoemaking skills and make a range of prototype shoes of your own using excellent specialist studio facilities including 3D design equipment.

We have a unique series of guest speaker events which take place throughout the year and have included Guy West and Liam Fahy; these events give you the chance to network with industry.



At DMU, we are committed to helping our graduates enhance their careers and personal development through further study. We are currently finalising our scholarship packages for 2017 entry.

More courses like this:

Fashion Textiles and Accessories BA (Hons)

  • UK/EU
  • International

Key facts for UK/EU students

Institution code: D26

UCAS course code: WWF7

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

Fees and funding: For 2017/18 tuition fees will be £9,250 (subject to Parliamentary approval)

Find out more about course tuition fees and available funding.

Additional costs: Here at DMU we provide excellent learning resources, including the Kimberlin Library and specialist workshops and studios. However, you should be aware that sometimes you may incur additional costs for this programme.

Contact us: For more information complete our online enquiry form or call us on +44 (0)116 2 50 60 70.

Key facts for international students

Duration: Three years full-time

Fees and funding 2016/17: £11,750

Find out more about course fees and available funding.

Additional costs: Here at DMU we provide excellent learning resources, including the Kimberlin Library and specialist workshops and studios. However, you should be aware that sometimes you may incur additional costs for this programme.

Contact us: For more information complete our online enquiry form or call us on +44 (0)116 2 50 60 70.

International students can apply to study at DMU directly using our online applications portal or direct application form.

Entry criteria

Typical entry requirements 

A good portfolio and normally:

  • Art and Design Foundation or
  • 112 points from at least 2 A ‘levels and including grade C in Art and Design or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma DMM in an Art and Design related subject or
  • International Baccalaureate: 26+ Points including Art and Design

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

Access - Pass QAA Accredited with at least 15 credits in Art and Design at grade Merit and GCSE English (Language or Literature) at grade C.

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

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.

Interview and Portfolio

UK applicants with relevant qualifications will be invited to bring their portfolio of work to an open day and interview. Overseas applicants will be invited to send samples of their work. Please see our Footwear Design BA (Hons) portfolio advice for full details.

UCAS Tariff changes

Students applying for courses starting in September 2017 will be made offers based on a new UCAS Tariff. Find out more.

Structure and assessment


Course modules

Teaching and assessments



First year

  • Complete Footwear Studies
  • Integrated Footwear Studies

Second year

  • Progressive Footwear Studies
  • Advanced Technical Footwear

Third year

  • Advanced Footwear Studies
  • Major Project


Teaching methods include formal lectures, group seminars, tutorials, presentations, practical workshops and studio-based activities. Assessment covers 2D work such as research reports, design sketchbooks and presentations boards, 3D work such as shoe prototypes and marketing materials, and formal presentations to peers, staff and external clients.

You are encouraged to enter national and international competitions including the Moda competition, the Worshipful Company of Cordwainers awards, the Worshipful Company of Patternmakers awards and the CIONE biomechanical design award. Our students have had numerous competition successes with recent first prizes at the Lineapelle Footwear Competition in Bologna, the prestigious Bata International Design Award and the Moda Footwear Competition.   

Contact hours
You will be taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials, seminars, group work and self-directed study. Assessment is through coursework (presentations, essays and reports) Your precise timetable will depend on the optional modules you choose to take, however, in your first year you will normally attend around 15 hours of timetabled taught sessions (lectures and tutorials) each week, and we expect you to undertake at least 24 further hours of independent study to complete project work and research.


Facilities and features

Art and design facilities

Large open-plan studios, 3D design equipment and specialist shoemaking workshops. Technical support and further workshops are available for producing individual prototype components such as soles, heels and trims. 


We have 1,500 study places and 650 computer workstations across four sites on campus. These give access to more than half a million publications, an extensive range of DVDs, e-resources and thousands of electronic journals. 

The main Kimberlin Library is open 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year (other than in exceptional circumstances).

Award-winning staff are on hand to help and there is a café for study breaks. We offer a range of workshops, drop-in and one-to-one sessions, and our Just Ask service provides email and telephone support.


Learning zones

Our comfortable and well-equipped study areas provide a range of environments to suit your needs.

Originally set up in our main Kimberlin Library, the learning zones proved so popular that more were created in the Eric Wood Building and Greenhouse. These flexible spaces are ideal whether you are working as a group, practising a presentation or working quietly on your own.

They feature workstations with power supplies for laptops, plus bookable syndicate rooms with interactive whiteboards and DVD players. Eduroam wi-fi is available across all campus locations.


Opportunities and careers



There will be opportunities to take up an industry placement position by students to complement and support their area of study. This could be for research, design development, lab tests or case study activities. Those wishing to take up this option can take this between year two and final year of study. For shorter placements students will be found a suitable placement if available, this will be dependent on their area of study.



This is our innovative international experience programme which aims to enrich your studies and expand your cultural horizons – helping you to become a global graduate, equipped to meet the needs of employers across the world. Through #DMUglobal, we offer a wide range of opportunities including on-campus and UK activities, overseas study, internships, faculty-led field trips and volunteering, as well as Erasmus+ and international exchanges.

Several dedicated study, research or inspirational focused trips related to this programme will be made available to you. They include Italy, Spain and Paris, each with a different research or inspiration purpose available for you. 


Graduate careers

The course leads to successful careers in footwear design, buying and marketing. Recent graduates are working as designers, buyers or agents for companies such as Gucci, New Balance, L.K.Bennett, Dr. Martens, Irregular Choice, Lacoste, Kickers, Kurt Geiger, Adidas, Dune, Levi’s, Office, Next, Georgina Goodman and Paul Smith, both in the UK and overseas.

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