Key facts

Entry requirements

104 or DMM

Additional entry requirements apply to this course. Full entry requirements

UCAS code

W230

Institution code

D26

Duration

3 yrs full-time

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

Fees

2024/25 UK tuition fees:
£9,250

2024/25 international tuition:
£15,750

Additional costs

Entry requirements

104 or DMM

Additional entry requirements apply to this course. Full entry requirements

UCAS code

W230

Institution code

D26

Duration

3 yrs full-time

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

Fees

2024/25 UK tuition fees:
£9,250

2024/25 international tuition:
£15,750

Additional costs

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.

Our Fashion Design students benefit from professional-standard facilities and strong links with industry names, with recent students working on briefs set by the British Fashion Council, Burberry, Warehouse and New Look.

Specialise in menswear, womenswear or fashion knitwear, and study a range of topics including fashion illustration, innovative concept development, pattern cutting and computer-aided design (CAD) for fashion and design development. Sustainability is a key focus and students have recently collaborated with researchers on zero waste pattern cutting and fabric repurposing.

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.

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 2023 (CEOWORLD, 2023).

Block teaching designed around you

You deserve a positive teaching and learning experience, where you feel part of a supportive and nurturing community. That’s why most students will enjoy an innovative approach to learning using block teaching, where you will study one module at a time. You’ll benefit from regular assessments – rather than lots of exams at the end of the year – and a simple timetable that allows you to engage with your subject and enjoy other aspects of university life such as sports, societies, meeting friends and discovering your new city. By studying with the same peers and tutor for each block, you’ll build friendships and a sense of belonging. Read more about block teaching.

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What you will study

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.

Block 1: Inquire: Creative Contexts and Fundamental Technologies

This module introduces you to essential skills relevant to fashion design which will equip and allow for further development throughout the course. The module will be broken down into various subject areas, each of these being supported by taught 'workshop' activities and studio-based learning. It will introduce you to the exploration of concept development, research methodologies and two-dimensional design development processes.

You will have the opportunity and ability to explore, understand and develop sufficient relevant technical skills in pattern cutting, garment construction and knit to enable realisation of personal concepts and design ideas. The module explores fundamental methods of communication through the use of sketchbooks as a tool for documenting and communicating concept research and design methods.

Assessment: 60% portfolio and 40% coursework.

Block 2: Connect: Application and Communication

This module will be broken down into subject areas, each of these being supported by taught 'workshop' activities and studio-based learning. The module explores fundamental methods of communication through the introduction of drawing skills, Adobe Photoshop and the use of portfolios to showcase work. Focussing on 3D production you will be encouraged to solve design and technical problems whilst critically reviewing the appropriateness of relevant personal outcomes for design.

Assessment: 60% portfolio and 40% coursework.

Block 3: Product: Creative Design and Technologies

The module will be broken down into subject areas, each of these being supported by taught 'workshop' activities and studio-based learning. The module explores concept development, research methodologies and two-dimensional design development processes for specific garment types.

You will develop their methods of communication through the use of sketchbooks as a tool for documenting and communicating concept research and design methods. Focussing on specific garment types you will explore, understand and develop sufficient relevant technical skills in pattern cutting and garment construction to enable future realisation of personal concepts and design ideas.

Assessment: 60% portfolio and 40% coursework.

Block 4: Define: Digital Abilities and Design Cultures

This module introduces you to essential skills relevant to fashion design which will equip and allow for further development throughout the course. The module will be broken down into various subject areas, each of these being supported by Lectures, seminars, taught 'workshop' activities and studio-based learning. These studies will involve an introductory understanding of digital software widely used in the fashion industry. The module will expose students to 2D and 3D digital pattern cutting software and CAD skills for Illustrator.

The inclusion of professional and promotional skills will focus on CV and cover letter writing in preparation for opportunities available via the optional placement year and holiday work experience opportunities. The practical content is further underpinned by theoretical content delivered by the Design Cultures department to contextualise current practice within an historical framework. You will consider origins and influences - how traditions develop and evolve in response to social and political - as well as research methods, visual literacy and the skills for academic writing.

Assessment: 50% course work and 50% written assignment.

The second year aims to ‘Develop’ your skills and knowledge, building on the foundation gained in the first year. 

Block 1: Enhancing Expertise

This module affords students the opportunity to enhance existing design, technical and practical skills which have begun to be explored at level 4. Allowing for further development of more advanced techniques and processes before contextualising them into applications for design and production projects in more specialist disciplines for fashion design.

The module will be broken down into various subject areas, each of these being supported by taught 'workshop' activities and studio-based learning. Projects will focus on the subject area of outerwear, research and design development will be supported by specialist practical workshops in pattern cutting and garment construction.

Students will have the option to focus on either womenswear or menswear.

Assessment: 60% portfolio and 40% coursework.

Block 2: Cultural Contexts and Realisation for Outerwear

The module will be broken down into various subject areas, each of these being supported by taught 'workshop' activities and studio-based learning. Focussing on 3D production you will be encouraged to solve design and technical problems whilst critically reviewing the appropriateness of relevant personal outcomes for design.

The curriculum will enable the development of visual communication skills through advanced CAD workshops. Design Cultures contextual teaching is included in this module. You will engage with issues and debates including sustainability, gender, and cross-cultural awareness. Students will research and explore relevant historical, theoretical, critical, and global concepts to underpin your understanding of contemporary issues in the fashion industry.

Assessment: 50% coursework and 50% written assignment.

Block 3: Creative Collaborations

This module provides you the opportunity to experience focused study in specialist areas of the fashion industry. You will have the opportunity to select between a project based around either woven, knit or digital outcomes. The project brief will focus on group work where individuals creatively collaborate to manage and deliver a range of industry targeted and professional outcomes.

Each discipline will be supported by taught 'workshop' activities and studio-based learning. Options will focus on research, design, communication, 3D development and 3D resolution outcomes. You will have the opportunity and ability to explore, understand and develop sufficient relevant technical skills in your chosen discipline to enable realisation of personal concepts and design ideas.

Assessment: 80% coursework and 20% portfolio.

Block 4: Surface Application and Promotion

This module provided you the opportunity to experience the demands of operating within the divergent challenges of a fashion design studio and continue developing specific practice appropriate skills. You will build and progress skills delivered in Block 3 and be introduced to and encouraged to experiment with textile embellishment techniques to enhance personal design skills and opportunities.

Projects will be supported by taught 'workshop' activities and studio-based learning, focusing on research, design, communication, 3D development and 3D resolution outcomes. The inclusion of professional and promotional skills will focus on CV and cover letter writing, skills audit, and digital portfolio creation.

The module explores fundamental methods of communication through the use of sketchbooks as a tool for documenting and communicating concept research and design methods.

Assessment: 70% coursework and 30% portfolio.

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.

Block 1: Innovation and Investigation

This module focuses your skills and allows for the strengthening of portfolio work and design to 3D resolution skills. The module contains project briefs of varying complexity and will be supported by taught 'workshop' activities and studio-based learning, focusing on research, design, and communication.

Project briefs will include relevant national and international fashion design competitions. Briefs will be focused towards your own individual interests as well as enhancing design, graphic and visual presentation skills. You will have the opportunity and ability to explore, understand and develop sufficient relevant technical skills in pattern cutting, garment construction and knit to enable realisation of designs with a particular focus on their atheistic.

You will be offered appropriate project brief choices whenever available and will have the option to focus on womenswear, menswear, and knitwear within your choice of projects in this module.

Assessment: 60% coursework and 40% portfolio.

Block 2: Pre-Collection

The 'pre-collection' will prove you the opportunity to work on and experience the processes relating to building a personal collection before addressing the final collection as required in the major project module. The brief will include the research, design development, fabric selection and range building of a collection of outfits. Garments from this range will be taken through to pattern cutting, toile stage and final manufacture.

The project brief will be supported by studio and workshop-based learning, focusing on research, design, communication and 2D to 3D development. You will have the opportunity and ability to explore, understand and develop sufficient relevant technical skills in pattern cutting, garment construction and knit to enable realisation of own design ideas.

You will be offered appropriate project brief choices whenever available and will have the option to focus on womenswear, menswear, and knitwear within your choice of projects in this module.

Assessment: 60% coursework and 40% portfolio.

Block 3 and Block 4: Major Project with Design Cultures

The module will include research into theme and market for the application of the design development process, from concept to final product. You will work to an individual negotiated programme of study which is formulated by you and will map out the exact content and direction, in which you aspire to demonstrate your skills.

Key areas to be covered will include the selection and research into concept and marketplace, idea generation, design development and fabric selection, leading through to the final selection of a range of outfits for pattern cutting and production. You will have options, womenswear, menswear, and knitwear within their choice of projects in this module.

For Design Cultures, you will consolidate your skills of research, organization, critical analysis, and communication in order to develop and agree a self-directed title for an extended essay or alternative assessment. A link between the written assignment and the studio projects is encouraged to demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between theory and practise.

Assessment: 75% coursework and 25% written assignment.

Note: All modules are indicative and based on the current academic session. Course information is correct at the time of publication and is subject to review. Exact modules may, therefore, vary for your intake in order to keep content current. If there are changes to your course we will, where reasonable, take steps to inform you as appropriate.

Structure

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.

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Our facilities

The creative industries require imaginative graduates who can develop new ideas and products. Students use our sophisticated and contemporary workshops, labs and studios to experiment and test in the same way they will in industry.

Vijay Patel Building

Our award-winning Vijay Patel building has been designed to provide the space and facilities where all of our art and design students can develop their ideas and flourish. It is home to a wide range of resources and facilities, including:

  • Fashion studios: The building has a number of fashion studios, where students can design, create, and prototype their garments.
  • Textile workshops: The building has a number of textile workshops, where students can learn how to work with a variety of textiles, including fabrics, yarns, and fibers.
  • Fashion technology labs: The building has a number of fashion technology labs, where students can learn how to use a variety of fashion technology, including CAD software, pattern-making software, and sewing machines.
  • Exhibition spaces: The building has a number of exhibition spaces, where students can showcase their work.

The creative industries require imaginative graduates who can develop new ideas and products. Students use our sophisticated and contemporary 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 prepares students for industry and helps develop them as future leaders in their respective fields.

The building is striking and innovative, with a large central atrium filled with natural light. It has a variety of teaching and learning spaces, studios, workshops, and exhibition spaces.

It is a major landmark on the De Montfort University campus and provides students and staff with the space and resources they need to thrive.

Our expertise

Profile picture for Karen Deacon

Karen Deacon

Programme Leader for Fashion Design

Karen is a senior lecturer in Fashion Design with expertise in digital pattern cutting. She holds an MA in Education Practice and a PGCHE in Creative Pattern Cutting, blending pedagogy with fashion's technical aspects. With experience as a pattern cutter and garment technologist in the fashion industry, Karen has supplied to both high-end and high street retailers. In academia for 15 years, her research explores the integration of computer-aided design with traditional and innovative pattern cutting techniques, focusing on sustainability in fashion.

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Gina Rushin

Senior Lecturer in CAD

Gina Rushin, a Senior Lecturer in CAD for Fashion Design, melds practical experience with academic expertise. With 20 years in higher education and a background as a print designer for the UK clothing market, she's adept in technical drawings, illustration, and textile design. Gina's focus is on mentoring fashion and textile students, emphasizing computer-aided design (CAD), blending industry insights with pedagogical skills to effectively guide students in Fashion Design.

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Stephen Hughes

Senior Lecturer in Fashion Design

Stephen Hughes brings over 12 years of teaching and assessment experience in design and illustration to Fashion Design. He specializes in workshops across various study levels, covering print and textiles, mixed-media, life-drawing, and observational visual studies. His teaching extends beyond DMU, enriching his pedagogical approach. Additionally, Stephen has a unique textile-arts practice, notably his 'Art Scarves' for fashion print and accessories, which have been featured in galleries and stores. His background includes work in menswear and womenswear at the demi-couture level and diverse freelance design and illustration work.

Awards and memberships

Ranked as one of the best fashion schools in the world for 2022 and 2023 (CEOWORLD, 2023) 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 logo

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 logo

UK Fashion and Textiles Association

We are members of the UK Fashion and Textiles 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.

What makes us special

Education 2030 - Block Learning

Block learning

With Education 2030, you’ll learn in a focused ‘block’ teaching format, where you study one subject at a time instead of several at once. As a result, you will receive faster feedback through more regular assessment, have a more simplified timetable, and have a better study-life balance. That means more time to engage with your DMU community and other rewarding aspects of university life.

DMU-global

Global experiences

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.

Where we could take you

Tara Dickson on placement at Hugo Boss

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.

Sophie Kempner_main

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.

Course specifications

Course title

Fashion Design

Award

BA (Hons)

UCAS code

W230

Institution code

D26

Study level

Undergraduate

Study mode

Full-time

Part-time

Start date

September 2024

Duration

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

Fees

2024/25 UK tuition fees:
£9,250

2024/25 international tuition:
£15,750

Additional costs

Entry requirements

Typical entry requirements

We welcome applicants from a range of backgrounds.

  • Art and Design Foundation or
  • 104 UCAS points from at least 2 A levels
  • BTEC Extended Diploma DMM
  • International Baccalaureate: 26+ Points or
  • T Levels Merit

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

Interview required: No

Portfolio required: Yes

Please see our portfolio advice page for full details.

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, which for this programme could include the following:

  • Fashion materials: £300 in your first year, rising to £500 in your second year and £1500 in your third year to include your final major project. These costs may vary depending on what materials you choose to work in.
  • Stationery: £60 per year
  • Reading materials: £50 per year

There will also be a range of optional showcasing activities that will be available to you, the costs of which will vary depending on the opportunities you choose.

Learn more about fees and funding information