Over the course of our Fashion degree, you will develop all of the design skills and technical knowledge you need to be successful in the fashion industry.
With our strong industry links, guest speakers, live projects, work experience and internships, all an integral part of the course, you will have access to everything you need to develop a major collection at a professional catwalk standard in your final year.
You will also develop professional and entrepreneurial skills to help you find your way through the creative industries.
Starting university is a big step and we want you to have everything you need from day one. That’s why if you choose to study this course full-time at Northampton you will be provided with your own brand new Hewlett Packard laptop* to keep at no additional cost. For more information on this and many other benefits you can enjoy, visit our benefits webpages.
*Terms and conditions apply. Please see the benefits webpages for more information.
The Degree Show
Final year students display their work at the annual Degree Show at our Avenue Campus. Our Fashion students deliver some stunning designs; feel free to view them on Flickr.
Graduate Fashion Week
Our final year students take part in the Catwalk Show at the annual London Graduate Fashion Week.
This year’s Graduate Fashion Week saw collections influenced by traditional international costumes, grime music and the negative side of social media when the University of Northampton students presented their work on the catwalk on Tuesday 6 June. You can also download the Graduate Fashion Week 2017 brochure.
The 15 students from the BA (Hons) Fashion, BA (Hons) Textiles for Fashion and BA (Hons) Footwear and Accessories programmes have been working on their fashion collections, textile designs, footwear and accessories, using a broad range of traditional and unexpected materials, such as silk, cotton, leather, parachute nylon, bandages and even a duvet! Check out their Graduate Collections in the image gallery below.
Take a look at the Graduate Fashion Week video from 2016 to see what our previous students designed.
Subject Futures Week
Our annual Subject Futures Week is an exciting event and an excellent opportunity for our students to explore the potential of their course and understand where their university experience can lead them beyond graduation. It offers a unique chance to network with high profile industry professionals from the arts, TV, film, fashion and more.
Below is a video featuring Kate Hills – Founder of ‘Make it British’, at Subject Futures Week 2016 talking to some of our Fashion students.
Take a look at the full 2016 Subject Futures Week video, which highlights just some of the creative industry guests who attended to share knowledge and insights with students about the reality of working and life after university.
Our recent First Class BA (Hons) Fashion graduate, Bethany Martin has won a number of prestigious industry awards while studying with us.
In her second year Bethany was named a first ever Cordura® Durable Design Award Winner at The National Student Design Competition – Project 20/20 for her garment range for professionals working in conservation.
Cordura® Brand said about Bethany: “She’s one of the brightest of today’s emerging generation of new designers who will shape the look of tomorrow.”
Bethany’s success continued into her third year, when she caught the judges eye at the regional “Fashanne” Fashion Design Awards 2017 and was awarded the fashion trophy for her athletic men and womenswear collection.
Talking about why she chose the University of Northampton, Bethany said:
“I chose the University of Northampton after visiting an Open Day. I instantly felt very comfortable within the environment I would be studying in and with the support I would receive. The campus felt safe, and the working spaces were superb. The staff were engaging, and the course felt more personal and supportive than some at other institutions that had a much bigger intake.
“The University is very involved with industry which is hugely important, as this prepared me for what is coming. My course has always had links with the Clothes Show Live, so I have had the experience of working backstage as a dresser and assistant in my year one and two, which gave me an interesting insight to a professional working world and a chance to make contacts, It was also a lot of fun!
“The course includes live industry projects and competitions which I have found extremely beneficial to both my future career and my personal development. I was lucky enough to win the Project 20/20 Award which led to me gaining sponsorship from Cordura® who provided many materials for my final collection for the London Graduate Fashion Week Catwalk.
“My involvement with competitions through the university has also led to my work being shown at the exhibitions in Nottingham, London and Salt Lake City, allowing me to show people from the fashion industry and prospective employers what I have achieved. I never imagined when entering the competitions the opportunities it would lead to.
“As a recent graduate my focus is on gaining as much experience as possible and beginning a career that I am excited about. So far I have already secured an internship with George as well as work experience in the menswear design department at Next. I am looking forward to putting the skills I have learned on the course into practice! In future I hope to make my way into sportswear and outdoor wear, which has become my passion and strength.
“I have loved my time at the University of Northampton; coming to study there was the best choice I ever made.”
Waterside is our purpose-built campus, designed to provide you with the learning experience and opportunities you expect from a modern university.
We know our staff and students want the very best, and that’s what Waterside will provide. It is the embodiment of our mission to transform lives and inspire change.
We’ve designed Waterside to put you first – it is flexible to the changing needs of our students but also makes the most of our fantastic staff. A University that teaches in a way that mirrors the skills you will need when you graduate, a place that provides everything you will need to live and learn, and that will provide a home-from-home as you enjoy one of the best and most fulfilling experiences of your life.
Our new campus opens its doors in September 2018 and while Waterside will be home to most of our teaching, we’ll also be making use of the excellent facilities around the town. We’ll also be retaining some facilities at our current campuses (Park and Avenue) on a temporary basis for the initial period. These will mostly be used to offer off-campus accommodation options to make sure we have a great range of rooms to suit everyone.More about our campuses »
Our Fashion course offers you a stimulating environment where we will encourage you to develop your own individual aesthetic signature. We will place an emphasis on technical finesse, balanced by creative exploration and material investigation.
Over the first two years you will produce a portfolio of work before you specialise for your final year in either fashion, textiles or leather.
In your first year we will introduce you to studio design and workshop practice in fashion, printed textiles and leather for fashion. This will be underpinned by theoretical studies as well. Throughout the year you will have the chance to work on live industry projects.
During the second year, the emphasis will be placed on your creative potential and individuality, with the opportunity for co-ordinated work experience. In order to give you a feel of what it’s like to work in the fashion industry, your projects will be set by external contacts and sponsors and some projects will include consultancy groups. The design management and marketing elements of the course will also include guest lectures from notable industry specialists.
Your final year encompasses the final major project, which is the design and production of a capsule collection, supported by academic research. This is a chance for you to focus on what you have found most interesting, working in collaboration with industry and reflecting what you have learned through the course including pattern cutting, manufacture, design research, portfolio presentation, photography and styling, leather/fabric/colour forecasting and CAD. Your final collection may be showcased at Graduate Fashion Week or our Degree Show.
Course modules (17/18)
Design Practice: Concept Research and Design Development (60 Credits)
- Module code: FSH1107
- Core module Y
Contextual Studies 1 (20 Credits)
- Module code: FSH1101
- Core module Y
Fashion Footwear/Accessories and Textiles: Context (40 Credits)
- Module code: FSH1106
- Core module Y
Design Practice: Research and Design Development Fashion/Leather/Footwear and Accessories and Printed Textiles (60 Credits)
- Module code: FSH2105
- Core module Y
Contextual Studies 2 (20 Credits)
- Module code: FSH2101
- Core module Y
Visual Communication and Promotion (20 Credits)
- Module code: FSH2106
- Core module Y
Creative and Technical Exploration: Fashion (20 Credits)
- Module code: FSH2107
- Core module Y
Design Context Communication (40 Credits)
- Module code: FSH3105
- Core module Y
Final Major Project (80 Credits)
- Module code: FSH3103
- Core module Y
In previous years our students have had the opportunity to visit fashion capitals of the world such as Milan, Tokyo and New York.
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).
Methods of Learning
We take a range of approaches to teaching, to help you learn in the best way for you. There will be classroom teaching, group and individual sessions, specialist workshops with industry partners and tutorials. You will get feedback throughout the year, verbally, written and online.
Theory is assessed through:
- essay writing
- a dissertation.
Practical work is judged through studio presentations and exhibitions.
Facilities and Special Features
- the Fashion and Footwear area has dedicated studios and a range of high quality workshops to enable the production of 2D and 3D work.
- emphasis is placed on students’ creative development whilst recognising the importance of marketing and management skills
- strong links with industry, invited guest speakers and live project learning experiences
- opportunities for work experience and internships are embedded within the curriculum
- optional international study visits
- Leathersellers’ Scholarships from £800 to £1200 for fashion leather collections.
The reading list for first year students is available to download.
When you graduate from this course, you will be well suited to work in the fashion industry, including:
- pattern cutting
You could also continue along the academic route with a focused MA in any area of Fashion and Textiles.
Our graduates have secured fashion design jobs with:
- POP Magazine
- Ted Baker
- House of Holland
- River Island
You might also go on to create your own fashion line, like our recent graduate Ngoni Chikwenengere who has started her own label – “We are Kin”.
In your first year, you may have the chance to help out at the Clothes Show. 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.
How to apply
Standard entry requirements apply. A typical offer would be BCC at A-Level or DMM at BTEC. In addition applicants are expected to have studied an Art or Textiles related subject in an A-Level or BTEC level 3 Diploma, or equivalent qualification. We will also accept a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design.
Applicants are interviewed and are requested to provide a portfolio of their own work in Art and Design. Students with a relevant HND or Foundation Degree with a suitable profile of achievement may be admitted onto year two or three.
Foundation Study Framework Entry Requirements
Admission to this foundation programme is normally DEE at A-Level or MPP at BTEC. 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 programme you wish to study.
If you are considering a change in career or if you are returning to education after time away, then we suggest you contact Admissions to book an advisory interview with the course leader so we can explore how best to support your study ambitions.
For information regarding English language requirements at the University, please see our IELTS page.
Fees and funding
Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 17/18 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.
|Part Time:||£1,300 per 20 credit module|
|Foundation:||£6,300 as part of a four year programme (subsequent years will be charged at standard BA rate)|
|International Foundation Fees:||£9,400|
This course is available to international students.
Full-time international tuition fees
For information on our international tuition fees, please see our Tuition fees for international students page.
Please note that tuition fees for EU students will remain the same as UK fees for 2018/19. For more information, please visit the Gov UK website.
How to apply as an international student
For information on how to apply to study with us, please see our How to apply page.
Scholarships available to international students
For information on the scholarships available to you as an international student, please see our International scholarships page.
The Foundation Study Framework 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 for BA (Hons) Fashion, we can offer you a fantastic opportunity to study a four year BA (Hons) Fashion programme which includes a year of foundation study. The Foundation Study Framework will help you develop the conceptual design, technical grounding and academic skills you need, in order to successfully progress to the full award.
The Foundation Study Framework provides a practical and group-based approach to learning that supports your development and your transition to Higher Education, whilst introducing you to key ideas and skills used by the fashion world. We are also committed to engaging you with specialist fashion modules from the outset, whilst extending support into your second year of study (Stage One).
You will study two 40 credit modules that form the Foundation Study Framework. These are:
Subject Studies 1: Practical and Study Skills – provides an introduction to key concepts, theories and principles associated with the area of study.
Research for Practice – provides an overview of the principles of research, research methods and the learning environment of the University. It will also include an introduction to the academic languages of the subject and the learning experience of degree study.
These modules are delivered concurrently with two Level 4 modules from your programme: FSH1101 Contextual Studies, FSH1106 Fashion, Textiles and Leather: Concept.
Upon successful completion of these modules, you will progress to Stage One of BA (Hons) Fashion, in which you will receive further support through:
Subject Studies 2: Working with Ideas – focuses specifically on the generation and development of ideas, building the key CAD skill sets, technical garment construction skills required by the programme.
In the remainder of Stage One, you will take a further 60 credit module FSH1107 Design Practice: Research, concept and design from the BA (Hons) Fashion Award Map.
Typical timetabled week of study
Foundation Study Framework teaching may be a combination of lectures, seminars and/or workshop based sessions. Each module involves a teaching contact time of four hours per week and you are also expected to engage in approximately 12 hours of independent study, to support your learning experience.
Foundation study will help you to build a solid understanding of the general theoretical and practical aspects that will underpin Fashion, with the retained flexibility to possibly transfer later in your studies to other programmes, if they become more appropriate. Throughout all stages of your programme you will also be supported by a Personal Academic Tutor, to guide you through the learning experience and help you make informed study choices.
Foundation study will enable you to acquire the necessary study skills to succeed in HE, as well as developing your understanding of key subject concepts delivered through taught sessions, studio and workshop sessions, tutorial and online support.