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Fashion Design BA (Hons)

Immerse yourself in the creative, dynamic and ever-evolving world of fashion and develop skills to turn your ideas and designs into original and innovative garments. 

Overview

Take a look at this short clip of creations by our Fashion Design students.

On this course you can specialise in menswear, womenswear and or fashion knitwear, and will study a range of topics including fashion illustration, innovative concept development, pattern cutting and computer-aided design (CAD) for fashion and design development.

You will be introduced to the academic, professional, industrial and commercial challenges of design practice and gain skills such as tailoring and fashion prediction. The first year provides grounding in fashion and design through practical, creative and technical classes and projects, while the second year is more focused, with emphasis on experimentation, in-depth project research and 3D development. In the final year you will set your own briefs and create a final collection of work to showcase your unique vision and talent.

There are opportunities to work with leading brands on live projects, work placements and competition awards, thanks to the course’s unparalleled links with the UK and global apparel industry. We aim to prepare you for a career in a creative multibillion-pound industry where you will need to be innovative, adaptable and forward-thinking.

Key features

  • We are recognised as one of the country’s most sustainable fashion and textiles schools (Green Gown Awards, 2021) and one of the best fashion schools in the world for 2022 (CEOWORLD, 2022).
  • Work on live industry projects with a focus on sustainability. Students have recently collaborated with research teams on zero waste pattern cutting and repurposing and have also worked on briefs set by the British Fashion Council, Burberry, Warehouse and New Look.
  • Enter prestigious national and international competitions to boost your industry exposure. Previous graduates have won a number of accolades at Graduate Fashion Week and received coveted bursaries from historic livery companies.
  • Talented graduates have recently showcased their collections as part of various fashion weeks and events across the UK and worldwide in destinations such as Shanghai, Dubai and Hong Kong.
  • Gain valuable international experience as part of your studies with our DMU Global programme. Previous trips have taken students overseas to visit global brands including GAP, Burberry, Coach and Joules in New York.
  • The award-winning Vijay Patel Building provides both the space and the facilities to foster creative thinking, where ideas can develop and flourish for all of our art and design students.
  • Benefit from Education 2030, where a simplified ‘block learning’ timetable means you will study one subject at a time and have more time to engage with your learning, receive faster feedback and enjoy a better study-life balance.

 Follow us on our Fashion Design BA (Hons) Instagram account.


Student success:

Industry experts reward DMU talent at Graduate Fashion Week

Cutting-edge concepts by DMU fashion students recognised by historic livery company

More courses like this:

Fashion Communication and Styling BA (Hons)

Contour Fashion BA (Hons)

Fashion Textile Design BA (Hons)

  • UK
  • EU/International

Institution code: D26

UCAS course code: W230

Duration: Three years full-time, four years full-time with a placement. Six years part-time.

Fees and funding: 

2023/24 tuition fees for UK students: £9,250.

Find out more about 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.

 

 

Duration: Three years full-time, four years with placement.

Fees and funding: 

2023/24 tuition fees for international students: £15,250

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.

How to apply: International students can apply to study at DMU directly using the DMU Online Portal.

Entry criteria

Typical entry requirements

We welcome applicants from a range of backgrounds.

  • Art and Design Foundation or
  • 112 points from at least 2 A ‘levels 
  •  BTEC Extended Diploma DMM
  • International Baccalaureate: 26+ Points 

Plus five GCSEs grades 9-4 including English Language or Literature at grade 4 or above.

  • Pass Access with 30 Level 3 credits at Merit and GCSE English (Language or Literature) at grade 4 or above

We will normally require students to have had a break from full time education before undertaking the Access course.

  • We also accept the BTEC First Diploma plus two GCSEs including English Language or Literature at grade 4 or above

English language requirements

If English is not your first language an IELTS score of 6.0 overall with 5.5 in each band (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

Applicants with relevant qualifications will be invited to submit a portfolio of work. Please see our portfolio advice page for full details.

Non-standard applicants may be invited to attend an interview via MS Teams with a portfolio.

Structure and assessment

Education 2030

We want to ensure you have the best learning experience possible and a supportive and nurturing learning community. That’s why we’re introducing a new block model for delivering the majority of our courses, known as Education 2030. This means a more simplified timetable where you will study one subject at a time instead of several at once. You will have more time to engage with your learning and get to know the teaching team and course mates. You will receive faster feedback through more regular assessment, and have a better study-life balance to enjoy other important aspects of university life.

Find out more information about Education 2030.

 

Course modules

Teaching and assessments

Awards and memberships

 

First year

Block 1: Inquire: Creative Contexts and Fundamental Technologies

Block 2: Connect: Application and Communication

Block 3:  Product: Creative Design and Technologies

Block 4: Define: Digital Abilities and Design Cultures

 

Second year

Block 1: Enhancing Expertise

Block 2: Cultural Contexts and Realisation for Outerwear

Block 3: Creative Collaborations

Block 4: Surface Application and Promotion

 

Third year

Block 1: Innovation and Investigation

Block 2:  Pre-Collection

Block 3 and Block 4: Major Project with Design Cultures

 

Structure

The focus of your first year will be to ‘Investigate’ through a grounding in research, concept development, 2D illustration, basic technical skills and design development. After completing your first year you will have the opportunity to transfer from Fashion Design onto one of our specialist courses - Contour Fashion, Fashion Textile Design, Footwear Design or Textile Design. Taster sessions in each course will give you a flavour for the different avenues available to you within the global fashion and textiles industry. You can transfer onto one of these courses for your second year should you decide that that area of fashion and textiles is for you.  

If you choose to remain on Fashion Design, the second year aims to ‘Develop’ your skills and knowledge, building on the foundation gained in the first year. Your third year will ‘Consolidate’ your learning by bringing together all the skills you have learnt into a final garment that reflects your chosen area of focus and individual design aesthetic. 

Critical thinking and research skills related to contemporary issues in the global fashion and textiles industry are integrated in each year, alongside career development skills and opportunities. Project briefs will enable you to produce work to a professional standard that responds to current industry demands and you will develop a personal portfolio that can be used to launch your career after graduation. 

The assessments are designed to build on each other as you progress in your studies and you will have opportunities to receive feedback on your work throughout your learning journey. Assessment can be varied, but generally will take the form of a visual presentation either as a catwalk, or digital display.

Contact hours

In your first year you will normally attend around 18 hours of timetabled taught sessions each week, and we expect you to undertake at least 18 further hours of independent study to complete project work and research.

 

Ranked as one of the best fashion schools in the world for 2022 (CEOWORLD, 2022) and in the top 10 in the UK for 'career after 15 months' (The Guardian University Guide 2022), our innovative and widely-respected courses help prepare students for fulfilling futures in this fast-paced industry.

Green Gown Award

The School of Fashion and Textiles won the Next Generation Learning and Skills Award in the Green Gowns Awards 2021 and received global recognition in the International Green Gown Awards 2022. These awards are the gold standard for sustainability in universities around the world and this puts DMU at the forefront of sustainable fashion and textiles education in the UK. Sustainability is at the heart of our curriculum and teaching, empowering our students to be agents of change within the industry.

UK Fashion and Textiles Association

We are members of the UK Fashion and Textile Association which ensures our teaching stays up to date with the latest developments in the sector and provides valuable industry links that enhance our courses.

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Facilities and features

Art and design facilities

The award-winning Vijay Patel Building brings all of our art and design courses together providing inspiring, flexible spaces, studios and facilities which invite creativity and innovation.

The creative industries require imaginative graduates who can develop new ideas and products. Students use our state-of-the-art workshops, labs and studios to experiment and test in the same way they will in industry, while the open and transparent spaces in the building encourage collaboration between disciplines. In doing so, the building supports students to be both ready for industry and future leaders in their respective fields.

Take a look at our stunning showcase of the building at dmu.ac.uk/aad 

More flexible ways to learn

We offer an equitable and inclusive approach to learning and teaching for all our students. Known as the Universal Design for Learning (UDL), our teaching approach has been recognised as sector leading. UDL means we offer a wide variety of support, facilities and technology to all students, including those with disabilities and specific learning differences.

Just one of the ways we do this is by using ‘DMU Replay’ – a technology providing all students with anytime access to audio and/or visual material of lectures. This means students can revise taught material in a way that suits them best, whether it's replaying a recording of a class or adapting written material shared in class using specialist software.

Campus Centre

The home of  De Montfort Students' Union, (DSU) our Campus Centre offers a welcoming and lively hub for student life. Conveniently located at the heart of campus, it includes a convenience store, a Subway and a Starbucks. Here you can find the DSU-owned charitable accommodation service Sulets and DSU’s shop, SUpplies, selling art supplies, stationery and clothing, and printing and binding services. The building is also home to the DSU officer team. 

Opportunities and careers

Find the people who will open doors for you

DMU's award-winning careers service provides guaranteed work experience opportunities DMU Works
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Placements

This course gives you the option to enhance and build your professional skills to progress within your chosen career, through a placement. Our dedicated team offers a range of careers resources and opportunities so you can start planning your future.

Our students have completed a variety of work placements with high-end designers ranging from and including Peter Pilotto in London and Hugo Boss in the Netherlands, through to high street retailers such as ASOS.

Tara Dickson undertook placements with Hugo Boss in Germany and high-end fashion label Peter Pilotto in London.

Students on the #DMUglobal trip to New York

DMU Global

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 DMU Global, 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.

Students on this course have recently experienced the culture and beauty that Paris has to offer and gained inspiration for their own work. They visited the Première Vision Designs Trade Show and experienced the scale and nature of the international fashion market. 

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Graduate careers

Our graduates go on to careers in a variety of areas in the fashion and textile industry as fashion designers, illustrators, pattern cutters, stylists and trend forecasters. They are working for global brands including Burberry, River Island, Alexander McQueen, Nicole Farhi, Reiss and French Connection. Many also launch their own successful businesses. 

Graduate Mariah Esa won the Shein People’s Choice Award at Graduate Fashion Week 2019 and last year launched her second collection with iconic fashion retailer Browns.

Graduate Sophie Kempner's love for the sport inspired her new French sportswear brand Maratona.

Take your next steps