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Footwear Design BA (Hons) module details

Year one

2D/3D Pattern Engineering and Construction 
Introducing you to the techniques, processes and production methods necessary to enable and develop skills in footwear prototype production. This module teaches pattern cutting for footwear design and the development of a variety of basic shoe styles into pattern form, using 2D and 3D translation techniques.

Manufacturing Technology 
Developing your knowledge of the techniques, processes and methods in footwear manufacture.  This module will encompass topics, such as: materials for uppers, linings and outsoles, pattern consumption, specifications and unit design plus componentry elements and technologies.

Trends and Product Development
Introduction to the key factors to be considered when approaching the design of a footwear product and its development within the footwear fashion industry.  

3D CAD 1
The module will introduce you to 3D CAD for Footwear Design, navigating you through the tools of the program from a manufacturing last to a final rendered visualisation of your 3D design.

Illustration and Visual Communication
Introducing you to footwear illustration, mood board creation, schematic drawings, presentation techniques, material sourcing, design development process, fashion markets and range building.  All of these areas will be taught and explored in a practical order so that each new skill will benefit from prior learning of previous skills.

Design Cultures 1
Exploring the development of critical thinking and research. This module will include historical perspectives on the footwear design process; the social and cultural history of footwear and fashion, more broadly; style and consumption; key designers in context; object analysis and visual analysis; research methods and referencing.

In year one you will cover the practical elements of shoe design including pattern making and the key footwear making skills related to the core shoe types on which all shoes are made. In the form of lectures, seminars and workshops you will be introduced to the fashion process and gain an understanding and knowledge of how to research and analyse markets and trends. You will focus on communication methods and will begin to develop your ability both verbally and visually to present show reports, designs and projects to a group. There will be illustration workshops for free hand and CAD techniques to develop your own unique design style.

Key skills:

  • Illustration
  • Mood board creation
  • Presentation techniques
  • Design development
  • Market analysis
  • CAD
  • Group working skills
  • Pattern cutting
  • 2D and 3D translation techniques
  • Technical file development for the processes and methods necessary for footwear prototype production


Year two

Global Live design 1
Building on your skills and understanding from the first year. This module is focused on the creation of different ranges of footwear from different markets.  Ideas will be developed from the initial concept through to the final range of footwear from which a lead shoe will be selected to be taken through all the necessary technical processes of pattern making and manufacturing techniques to produce the final prototype. 

Pro-Trend Style
This module provides the opportunity to study and develop practical delivery of Footwear design communication in both 2D and 3D formats. The content will develop a range of portfolio techniques, footwear illustration, CAD and personal promotion. 

The aim is to explore and to understand a wide variety of methods to investigate and experiment with. Presentation and visual communication skills will be reinforced with use of both 2D & 3D CAD, for encouragement to discover, refine and express an individual style and narrative for footwear design presentation.

3D CAD 2 (optional module)
This module continues the investigation into the use of 3D CAD. The module will achieve its aims by taking students through more complex areas of 3D to gain a more developed final design, learning a basic understanding for 3D Printing as well as sustainable design solutions.

Presentation and visual communication skills will reinforce the importance of 3D CAD within the footwear industry and the potential future of design. The CAD lessons will allow students an opportunity to learn and practice throughout the module before developing their skills to complete the module brief.

Introduction to Fashion / Footwear Business (optional module)
This module will give you a firm grounding in the global fashion business and is designed to inform at an introductory level. The module explores the relationship between the key areas of fashion business; with introductions to merchandising and marketing, and the key relationship that fashion buying has to these functions. 

Progressive Trend and Product Development
This module will focus on the development of a professional prediction package which can be contextualised into the area of any Fashion specialism. A wide range of Footwear product categories across genders will be covered in this module, to include, formal, casual, athletic and 'white space' niche directional fashion. A deeper, more refined and professional understanding of product, its development and presentation will be encouraged and sought.

Classic Bespoke and Biomechanical Performance
This module is concerned with the application of the design concepts and practical processes of bespoke footwear. Research and idea generation along with in-depth investigation into foot analysis will be followed by the creation of a final footwear prototype.

Design Cultures 2
The module further develops your research methods, vocabulary and skills necessary to become critically aware and confident in engaging in debate within and beyond the discipline. Key makers, thinkers and writers in the field will be introduced to embed a working knowledge of key concepts in discussions about the discipline, including sustainability, gender and cross-cultural awareness. 

In year two you begin to focus on your particular choice of study, specialised module content including footwear design for men’s, women’s, children’s and athletic product; style, colour and trend prediction, 3D design, biomechanics and bespoke footwear are also incorporated and explored. You will reinforce and develop further the base skills learnt in year one including and apply these to external projects set by different sectors of the footwear Industry.

Key skills:

  • Research and market analysis
  • Trend and colour forecasting
  • Customer profiles
  • Range building
  • Idea generation
  • Material and component investigation
  • Presentation and communication
  • Illustration
  • CAD 3D
  • 3D design
  • Self-management
  • External briefs
  • Prototype production
  • Pattern drafting
  • Foot analysis
  • Fashion business
  • Biomechanics
  • Bespoke shoemaking techniques


Year three

Global Live Design 2
This module is focused on the application of design concepts and processes originating from briefs developed by external clients. This module will be focused on the creation of inventive and inspirational footwear which originates from research and inquiry into a selected theme. 

Imaginative use of silhouette, materials and construction techniques will explore the 'art' of a shoe which encapsulates and reflects the theme.

Where feasible, the module will enable input and feedback to be given from an external source exposing student work to comment and analysis from professionals in the footwear industry.

Design Cultures 3
Building on Design Cultures 1 and 2, you will consolidate your skills of research, critical analysis and communication in order to develop a self-directed title for an extended essay or alternative assessment of 3,500-4,000 words. A link between the written assignment and studio projects is encouraged to demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between theory and practice.

Advanced Technical Studies
This module will extend the student's knowledge and progressive understanding of the key factors in approaching the design of a niche Footwear product and its development within the Footwear Fashion Industry. A deeper, more forward understanding of constructions and niche design for purpose will be encouraged. 

This module also provides the opportunity to practice and resolve personal design communication for exhibiting to external audiences. The aim is to explore and understand a variety of methodologies to promote and present design information for a contemporary footwear industry audience. Encouraging students to refine their personal language, and identify relevant methods of extending communication.

Final Major Project and Portfolio
This module enables students to bring together all of their skills acquired throughout their studies into a major design project. The module will include the research into specifically selected theme and market for the application of the design development process from concept to final product.

The Negotiated Learning Agreement allows for highly personalised areas of study to take place. Each student can make the very most of their skills to produce a final collection, encompassing all their skills which will allow them a major portfolio piece, dedicated to the area each student wishes to gain employment in. It is intended that students will demonstrate an advancing range of portfolio and footwear visualisation techniques, CAD and personal promotion.

Key skills:

  • Application of design concepts inspired by participating in national and international design competitions
  • Experimentation and development of original construction’s and design techniques
  • Self-negotiated brief
  • Research into theme and market place.• Idea generation and design/development application
  • Self-managed personalised study
  • Prototype production
  • Major portfolio
  • Personal profile development
  • CAD skills
  • Presentation design cultures essay
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