Fashion Design BA (Hons)

Key Facts

  • UCAS Code:

    BA: W230
    BA with Foundation:
    W236

  • Level:

    Undergraduate

  • Duration:

    Full Time: 3 years
    Full Time Foundation: 4 years
    Part Time: 4 years

  • Starting:

    September

  • Fees UK 23/24:

    Full Time: £9,250
    Part Time: £1,540 (per 20 credits)
    Integrated Foundation Year: £9,250

  • Fees International 23/24:

    Full Time: £14,750
    Integrated Foundation Year: £14,750

  • Location:

    Waterside

Get in touch


For questions regarding study and admissions please contact us:

UK/EU Students enquiries

study@northampton.ac.uk
0300 303 2772

International Students enquiries

international@northampton.ac.uk
+44 (0)1604 893981

Overview


This exciting and creative degree in fashion design will enable you to explore a range of industry relevant topics, allowing you to specialise in Fashion, Footwear and Accessories or Textiles.

Our fashion design course course provides rigorous depth of knowledge and industry-relevant skills at each level of the programme, enabling you to explore and advance both your theoretical understanding of design and technical skills to support realisation. With access to specialist workshops, supported by expert academic and technical staff you will develop skills in both traditional and digital technologies making you prepared for the industry of the future.

The range of facilities will support you to learn the process of design from concept development, through to materiality and 3D visualisation within your chosen specialism. You will also have the unique opportunity to access the Institute for Creative Leather Technology (ICLT) tannery allowing you to explore working with leather as a creative material.

Live projects, national and international competitions provide real-world industry experience for a range of careers for the fashion, textile and footwear industry, freelance work or preparation for further study at postgraduate level.

Updated 03/02/2023

Highlights


“Northampton is the heart of footwear.”

Katie Greenyer, Creative talent and Network Director at Pentland Brands & World President of The Textile Institute

This fashion design course offers the opportunity to explore a range of areas within the fashion, footwear, accessories and textile industry, highlights include:

    • Specialist fashion, footwear manufacture and textile workshop facilities – view our Fashion Studio, Textile Printing Workshop, and Fashion Footwear Studio Tours
    • The only degree course in Europe where you can study Fashion, textiles, Footwear and Accessories with a working tannery on-campus
    • Access to the Institute for Creative Leather Technology (ICLT) tannery – a unique opportunity to explore working with leather as a creative material.
    • Study footwear in a town that is steeped in footwear and leather heritage as well as being home to some of the most elite, internationally renowned footwear brands
    • Links with Northampton Museum & Art Gallery which is home to the National Collection of Footwear
    • Fashion at Northampton is a member of Graduate Fashion Week
    • Live team industry, collaborative and interdisciplinary projects
    • National & International Competitions
    • Livery companies’ scholarships & bursaries available
    • Technical support and specialist workshop demonstrations, as well as input by leading researchers and industry professionals.
    • You can keep up-to-date with Fashion at UON on Instagram and Twitter.
    • Guaranteed paid internship with the Northampton Employment Promise.
    • HP Laptop and software included with this course. Terms and Conditions apply.

Take a look around our Waterside campus


If you’d like to see more of our Waterside campus, come and join us for a socially distanced CAMPUS TOUR.

Book a Campus Tour

Course Content


  • This course has been designed to contribute towards achieving the following United Nations Sustainable Development Goals:

    SDG12: Responsible Consumption and Production

    Our degree in fashion design aims to equip you with the skills to succeed and thrive in this exciting and fast paced multi-billion pound industry. Fashion Design is a multi-faceted subject and you will be exposed to a range of topics including illustration & portfolio skills, CAD, computer aided design & manufacture, design research & contextual studies, technical skills in garment production alongside, presentation skills & communication to help you identify your strengths and future career path. Through your research and development we will encourage you to respond to environmental, political and the wider global issues to put your work into context.

    Integral to our fashion design degree programme is our strong creative industry links within the footwear, fashion, textiles and accessories sector who offer live projects, competitions, work experience and contribute to our outstanding guest lecture series, which exposes you to leading brands and high profile speakers.  These opportunities enable you to develop and practice your emerging academic, creative, commercial and entrepreneurial skills within a professional setting.

    Year one introduces you to the design development cycle from concept through to production. Building on these skills, group project work, live briefs and in-depth research and portfolio development form year two, in preparation for year three. In your final year you are given the opportunity to develop your own briefs and create a final collection of work to showcase your individual concept and design aesthetic.

    Our second year students hosted an exhibition of their latest concepts, at Waterside campus. See how they got on here:

    National and International competitions, awards and opportunities are embedded into the three years of study.

    There are also a number of prestigious awards during the event, and our students are regularly recognised – either as nominees or overall winners.

    That’s not all – our students have also seen their collections displayed at Asian Pacific Leather Fair in Hong Kong, Ningbo Fashion Week in China, Lineapelle in Italy, PV in Paris and The Wing at Silverstone Racecourse right here in Northampton.

    The Degree Show

    As a final year student, you’ll put together a major collection and display your designs exclusively in front of a host of the University’s industry partners and VIP guests.

    There are also several prestigious awards during the year, and our students are regularly recognised – either as nominees or overall winners.

    Final year students display their work at the annual Degree Show at Waterside campus. Our Fashion Design students deliver some stunning designs. You can browse many of their fashion creations on our Flikr account.

    Final year student stories

    We asked some of our final year fashion students about their final collection projects. The portfolios they displayed were both inspiring and innovative. See for yourself below.

    Here Simon talks about his inspiration from his grandfather and World War 2:

    Amy had a very interesting project where she grew her own fabric!

    Maisie discusses how her life and her family have inspired her work:

    Please note the modules shown here relate to the academic year 22/23. The modules relating to the academic year 23/24 will be available from June 2023.

      • Module code: FSH1120
        Status: Compulsory
        Through a series of project-based experimental tasters, you will be exposed to key areas of the global fashion industries and develop core skills that will enable you to become a forward-thinking innovator in the field.
      • Module code: FSH1121
        Status: Compulsory
        This module will introduce you to key aspects of the fashion industry and encourages students to have an explorative and questioning approach towards fashion. An understanding of design skills, the design development process and The Sustainable Development Goals will underpin the module to support students to become creative innovators of the 21st Century.
      • Module code: FSH1122
        Status: Compulsory
        This module will introduce students to brands, market levels, customer profiles and promotion from a designer perspective. Students will research a brand in depth identifying their values, ethics, target market and customer profile alongside their visual representation and digital profiling in order to produce a fashion product for their range.
      • Module code: FSH2125
        Status: Compulsory
        This module enables you to explore and develop skills to define your future specialism of either Fashion, Textiles or Footwear. Access to specialist workshops and design studios will support you to build expertise, explore and enhance scope of specialism. You will develop new ways of thinking through a body of creative individual work presented in a professional format.
      • Module code: FSH2126
        Status: Compulsory
        This module will equip students with problem - solving, analytical and investigative skills necessary to successfully work independently and with others to identify, design and critically evaluate evidence-based ethical and creative solutions to problems within their subject area.
      • Module code: FSH2127
        Status: Compulsory
        This module enables students to explore and develop their own practice within a chosen specialist area of either fashion, textiles or footwear. Through active participation in practice- based research and experimentation students will collate an individual body of work, developing creative and technical expertise, research skills and wider contextual knowledge.
      • Module code: FSH2128
        Status: Compulsory
        This module equips students with the skills to understand the fundamental properties of materiality and material applications. Understanding its role in the fashion supply chain its relationship and relevance within fashion, textiles and footwear design. Explore `future? materials through innovations such as biomaterial exploration smart developments, and fashion forward future materials.
  • Standard entry requirements apply to this course. A typical offer is:

    • BCC at A Level or,
    • DMM at BTEC or,
    • Pass (C and above) at T Level

    For more more information on how to make an application, please visit our How to Apply page.

    If you are an International student and would like information on making an application, please see our How to Apply page.

    Integrated Foundation Year (IFY) Entry Requirements

    Admission to this foundation course is normally:

    • DEE at A Level or,
    • MPP at BTEC or,
    • Pass (D or E) at T Level

    However, we would also like to hear from you if you have professional or industry experience instead, a range of other qualifications or self-developed subject knowledge that relates to the course you wish to study.

    English Language Requirements

    All International and EU students applying for a course with us must meet the following minimum English language requirements:

    • IELTS 6.0 (or equivalent) with a minimum of 5.5 in all bands
      for study at undergraduate level

    For information regarding English language requirements at the University, please see our IELTS page.

  • 2023/24 Tuition Fees

    Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 23/24 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.

    • UK – Full Time: £9,250
    • UK – Part Time: £1,540 per 20 credit module
    • UK – Integrated Foundation Year: £9,250
    • International – Full Time: £14,750
    • International – Integrated Foundation Year: £14,750
    Additional Costs

    Study trips

    • New York: £800 (Not compulsory)
    • Milan/Amsterdam/Sweden: £400 (Not compulsory)
    2022/23 Tuition Fees

    Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 22/23 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.

    • UK Full Time: £9,250
    • UK Part Time: £1,500 per 20 credit module
    • UK Integrated Foundation Year: £9,250 for the foundation year; thereafter standard fees apply
    • International Full Time: £14,000
    • International Integrated Foundation Year: £14,000 for the foundation year; thereafter standard fees apply
    Additional Costs

    Study trips

    • New York: £800 (Not compulsory)
    • Milan/Amsterdam/Sweden: £400 (Not compulsory)

    For information on the scholarships available to you, please see our scholarships page.

  • At the University of Northampton, everything we do, from funded trips to paid internships, is to give you everything you need to make a difference when you leave.

    If you join this full time Fashion Design degree at Northampton, you will receive a laptop when your course begins*. The laptops are built to a bespoke custom specification ideal for use in the seminar room, collaborative group work or studying at home.

    Whatever your ambitions, we’re here to help you to achieve them. We’ll support you to identify the skills you’re learning during your course, find your strengths and secure practical experience so that when it comes to applying for jobs or further study you’ll feel confident in standing out from the crowd. We’ve created the Northampton Employment Promise because we are so confident that if you focus on your studies and complete one of our awards you’ll be highly employable by the time you graduate. Putting you in a great position to secure employment or continue your studies.

    To check out the full list of perks, visit our Student Perks page or dedicated International Perks page.

    *UK fee payers only (see Terms and Conditions for further details).

  • The Integrated Foundation Year (IFY) offers a new and exciting route into studying for a degree, attracting ambitious and driven students who are willing to learn and advance.

    If you have non-standard qualifications or do not quite meet the admissions requirements we can offer you a fantastic opportunity to study a four year programme which includes an Integrated Foundation Year. The Integrated Foundation Year will help you develop the theoretical/practical and academic skills you need, in order to successfully progress to the full award.

    Our four-year courses will enable you to successfully follow the degree pathway of your choice while gaining essential study skills. The foundation year of your chosen degree will be studied on a full-time basis and is aimed at supporting the transition to higher education. Years two, three and four are then studied as a standard degree programme.

  • How will I be taught?

    We take a range of approaches to teaching throughout our fashion design degree at UON, to help you learn in the best way for you. This is a creative course that aims to nurture creative and innovative designers for the future.

    Our BA Fashion Design course will enable you to realise your full potential through a varied programme of studio-based projects, specialist practical workshops, group critiques, one-to-one tutorials, study visits and regular personal tutorial support. You will get feedback throughout the year, verbally, written and online.

    How will I be assessed?

    Theory is assessed through essay writing, blogs, assignments and presentations. Practical work is judged through studio presentations, portfolio and product realisation.

    Will there be opportunities for work experience?

    During your second year you might want to choose to do a co-ordinated work experience placement and there will be other opportunities for placements throughout your course. We encourage you to make the most of these opportunities.

    Are there are any opportunities for study trips abroad?

    We are keen that our students see themselves as global citizens and embed opportunities to broaden your horizons into the programme. In previous years, our students have had the opportunity to visit fashion capitals of the world such as Milan, Tokyo and New York. British Council supported trips have funded opportunities for students to visit India, China and Turkey for specific projects often working in collaboration with international students.

    Exhibitions show casing students work have taken place at The Indian International Leather Fair in Chennai, India, Asian Pacific Leather Fair in Hong Kong. The Worshipful Company of Leathersellers has supported student travel to international trade fairs such as Le Cuir in Paris, Micam and Lineapelle in Italy. The Worshipful Company of Cordwainers has supported student travel to Paris, Italy to international trade fairs and exhibitions.

    All the study trips are optional and the costs vary year on year. Typically, this is approximately £800 for New York, and £400 for European trips (Milan, Amsterdam, Sweden).

Changing Futures Week

Changing Futures is a five-day, University wide showcase of activities and industry speakers to help students explore skills and activities to develop their academic and personal lives and offers unrivalled opportunities for networking and industry insight. Speakers have included ex-students such as Helen Kirkum and Lydia Elise Millen as well as industry leaders such as Sarah Harris (Vogue) and Jemma Coffey (Giles Deacon).

Staff


Careers and Employability


Studying fashion design at university will open up a vast range of career opportunities, including…

  • Designers
  • Pattern cutters
  • Illustrators
  • Production Managers
  • Buyers

We have alumni working across  a wide range of brands and retailers including; Brandix, ASOS, TOPSHOP, River Island, White Company, Next, Ted Baker, LVMH, Henry Holland, Emilia Wickstead and Anya Hindmarch.

UON Fashion academic fighting for equality in the industry

A fashion charity has brought a University of Northampton academic on board to enhance the academic and industry opportunities for people of colour.

Facilities


We have a fashion manufacturing facility, including flatbeds and overlockers and a range of specialised production equipment, and a fully equipped textile print room with screen printing, hand dying, transfer printing, laser cutting and two footwear manufacturing workshops.

Students have access to a range of CAD packages including Lectra, which specialises in CAD software and CAM cutting-room systems for industries. As well as:

  • Lazer cutter and digital printers
  • Full-size printing table and print room facilities
  • Footwear and Accessory workshops with specialist machinery for the production of leather goods.