Footwear Design BA (Hons)

Footwear Design BA (Hons)

The only single honours Footwear Design degree in the UK that explores the fascinating and complex shoe design process, enabling you to acquire the knowledge and skills that will set you apart from others in the fashion sector.


Learn more about DMU's Footwear Design BA course, from the assignments you'll study to the excellent facilities students benefit from.

With a rich heritage from the end of the 19th century to the contemporary footwear industry, this degree will help to equip you with the skills and experience to set you apart in the fashion sector. You will be working directly with industry professionals and big brands to gain valuable insights into new products and technologies.  

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 can specialise in performance footwear, which is unique for a UK university, or men’s, women’s, or children’s footwear. 

You will develop drawing and illustration, bespoke biomechanics and model prototyping skills, along with the ability to present and communicate ideas and concepts to a high professional standard. You will learn technical modern shoemaking skills and make a range of prototype shoes using our excellent specialist studio facilities, including 3D design equipment.

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 projects with industry experts to gain valuable skills and experience. Recent briefs have been set by TOMs, New Balance and Sophia Webster.
  • Benefit from opportunities to enter prestigious national and international competitions to boost your industry exposure. Previous graduates have won a number of accolades, including first prizes at the Lineapelle Footwear Competition, the prestigious Bata International Design Award and the Moda Footwear Competition.   
  • This course has a global reputation with industry experts, with recent graduates employed as designers, buyers and agents for well-known names, including Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney and Kurt Geiger.
  • Become a responsible and forward-thinking designer with the tools to adapt and innovate in the rapidly evolving world of fashion.
  • 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.

Student work gallery

See our student work

Student success:

DMU student puts best foot forward to win multiple fashion awards

Footwear Design student wins prestigious national competition

More courses like this:

Fashion Textile Design BA (Hons)

  • UK
  • EU/International

Institution code: D26

UCAS course code: WWF7

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.

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 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

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.

Read more about Education 2030

Course modules

Teaching and assessments

Awards and memberships


First year

Block 1: Design Fundamentals

Block 2: Design Exploration

Block 3: Design Development

Block 4: Design Communication

Second year

Block 1: Bespoke Principles

Block 2: Design Concepts

Block 3: Design Innovations

Block 4: Concept Realisation

Third year

Block 1: Conceptual Inquiry 

Block 2: Creative Realisation

Block 3 and Block 4: Design Resolution


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. 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 product 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 for real-life clients and you will develop a personal portfolio that can be used to launch your career after graduation.

You will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, practical studio sessions, tutorials, workshops and self-directed study. 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 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

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.


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 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.

UKFT partner logo

Facilities and features

Art and design facilities

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. 

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. 

Take a look at our stunning showcase of the building at

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 Careers Team


During this course you will have the option to complete a paid placement year, an invaluable opportunity to put the skills developed during your degree into practice. This insight into the professional world will build on your knowledge in a real-world setting, preparing you to progress onto your chosen career. Previous students have taken up placements at Puma, Clarks and Lacoste.  

Our Careers Team can help to hone your professional skills with mock interviews and practice aptitude tests, and an assigned personal tutor will support you throughout your placement. 


DMU Global

Our innovative international experience programme DMU Global 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-based activities, overseas study, internships, faculty-led field trips and volunteering, as well as Erasmus+ and international exchanges.  

Students on this course have been on DMU Global trips to shoe factories, tanneries and exhibitions in Italy, France and Spain. They have also visited to Copenhagen to explore sustainability in the fashion and textiles industry and travelled further afield to New York. 


Graduate careers

Our graduates have forged successful careers within the footwear industry ranging from roles in design, technical development, buying and marketing. They work for big brands internationally such as Gucci, New Balance, L.K.Bennett, Dr. Martens, Irregular Choice, Lacoste, Kickers, Kurt Geiger, Adidas, Dune, Levi’s, Office, Next and Georgina Goodman.

Graduate Sam Lilley won top prize at the prestigious Cordwainers Footwear Awards 2022 in London and las landed a job with luxury fashion house Alexander McQueen.

Take your next steps