On this specialist course, you will acquire the creative skills and technical knowledge you need for a career in footwear and accessory design, and the production associated with the broad area of fashion. We encourage you to be creative, experimental and innovative, and give you the opportunity to enjoy your craft and refine your skills.
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 from September 2018, 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, please visit our benefits webpages.
*Terms and conditions apply. Please see the benefits webpages for more information.
When you graduate, your work will be underpinned by technical excellence. You will benefit from our connections with industry and live projects, which are part of academic study. Northampton is synonymous with footwear, having a long and prosperous heritage of shoemaking in the region, as well as being home to some of the most elite, internationally renowned footwear brands. Studying with us will give you the unique opportunity to make the most of this heritage.
This course offers you a blend of design, aesthetic and technical appreciation. We encourage you to develop your knowledge of leather and its design capabilities for fashion footwear and accessories, using computer aided design (CAD) facilities.
BA Footwear and Accessories has dedicated workshops for the production of two and three dimensional work, and the course also develops professional and entrepreneurial skills for application within the creative industries.
Our expertise in leather, footwear and accessories enables our students to experiment with leather, work with some of our sponsors and learn skills from some of the best designers in the business. With access to a tannery and leading experts at the Institute for Creative Leather Technologies, our course is the only one in Europe where Footwear and Accessories students can experience the industry from ‘Hide to High Street’, creating highly employable graduates.
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.
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 BA (Hons) Footwear and Accessories graduate Loren Buckingham could never have guessed what was ahead of her when she decided to study with us.
“Originally I was thinking of going to another university to study Fashion. However, my opinion changed when I visited the University of Northampton for my interview. I felt welcomed, unlike other universities, and the course had a lot to offer in terms of machinery and career opportunities.”
During her studies with us, Loren was shortlisted and managed to bag a number of high profile industry awards.
She has won the Worshipful Company of Cordwainers Scholarship Awards for three years running: the “Innovation” Award in year one, the “Most Improved” Award in year two and the “Best Collection” Award in year three.
She has impressed the Worshipful Company of Curriers and has been awarded a £2500 scholarship to support her final major project.
In her second year, Loren won a competition to study women’s footwear for two weeks in Modartech Institute in Italy.
“Winning this competition has given me the best opportunity to improve on my computerised illustration work, as well as advance my skills on Photoshop. As a designer, you should always try to be diverse with your skills. I’ve been quite confident in my drawings but less so in my CAD work. This two-week course allowed me to work on my weakest area. It was also great to meet other students of the same level from across the world, and the tutors at the Institute were incredibly helpful. ”
Loren was also one of only five UK students chosen for the final of the Drapers’ Student Footwear Designer of the Year competition and the only University of Northampton Footwear and Accessories student selected to take part in Graduate Fashion Week catwalk in London.
She then went on to wow judges at the regional Fashanne Awards and win its Footwear and Accessories Design category just before graduating from her course with a First class honours degree.
Talking about the future Loren said:
“I’m going on to study the one year course in Creative Leather at the University of Northampton in October. The Footwear and Accessories course introduced me to the world of leather and the possibilities the material holds. I believe it’s important to understand the materials you are working with, so I’m looking forward to learning more about this side of the industry whilst still aspiring to an exciting career in footwear and accessories design.”
Student Helen Kirkum graduated from our BA (Hons) Fashion (Footwear and Accessories) in 2014. Helen’s CV is already packed full of high profile names, having completed work experience placements at brands including Red or Dead, Lacoste, Mr. Hare and the Clothes Show Live.
Her passion for sports and trainers led to a summer internship at Adidas in Germany, following a successful live industry project which saw Helen propose a new take on the classic Adidas Forum trainer.
Helen gained high profile exposure across the industry in 2014, when she added the prestigious Cordwainers’ Footwear Student of the Year award to her trophy cabinet. The national competition saw students from leading universities vying for the grand prize, which was awarded by celebrated couture shoe designer Jimmy Choo.
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 »
The University partners with leading businesses across the industry
In the first year you will be introduced to studio design and workshop practice, covering core skills and practical experience supported by theory. You will study Creative Leather Applications at the Leather Technology Centre and tannery and you will explore design, concept, research and development. This will all be underpinned by historical and contextual studies.
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. You will also have a range of guest lectures from notable industry specialists.
Your final year encompasses the final major project, which is the design and production of a capsule collection of footwear and/or accessories, 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 Computer Aided Design (CAD). Your final collection may be showcased at Graduate Fashion Week or our Degree Show.
Course modules (17/18)
Creative Leather Applications 1 (20 credits)
- Module code: LEA1012
- Core module Y
Footwear and Accessories – Techniques and Processes (20 credits)
- Module code: FSH1109
- Core module Y
Contextual Studies 1 (20 credits)
- Module code: FSH1101
- Core module Y
Design Practice: Concept, Research and Design Development (60 credits)
- Module code: FSH1107
- Core module Y
Creative Leather Applications 2 (20 credits)
- Module code: LEA2011
- Core module Y
Creative and Technical Exploration (20 credits)
- Module code: FSH2110
- Core module Y
Contextual Studies 2 (20 credits)
- Module code: FSH2101
- Core module Y
Design Practice: Research and Design Development (60 credits)
- Module code: FSH2105
- Core module Y
Design Context and Communication (40 credits)
- Module code: FSH3105
- Core module Y
Final Major Project (80 credits)
- Module code: FSH3103
- Core module Y
This module is worth 80 credits.
Module information is quoted for 17/18 entry. Please note that modules run subject to student numbers and staff availability, any changes will be communicated to applicants accordingly.
In previous years our students have had the opportunity to visit fashion capitals of the world such as Milan, Tokyo and New York. Visits to specialist trade fairs such as Linneapelle and Micam are also arranged. Students have also had the opportunity to study during the summer in Italy at the Instution Modartech. European trips will cost in the region of £400.
Methods of Learning
We use a range of teaching methods, including:
- studio work
- written work.
Three years full time.
Throughout each module there are opportunities to submit work for feedback. This will not contribute to your grade and will include group and individual feedback. We also encourage peer evaluation. At the end of each module there will be assessments that do contribute to your grade.
Facilities and Special Features
- The Footwear and Accessories 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 with recognition of the importance of marketing and management skills
- ‘Live’ projects and internships with companies such as Pittards leathers
- Visits to international trade fairs and shoemaking/leather-goods European centres
- Regular opportunities to work at live events, e.g. London Fashion Week and Graduate Fashion Week
- Student design apprenticeships with Church’s Shoes
- Industry partners such as Trusting – luxury leather-goods manufacturers support student projects
- Cordwainers bursaries for travel and career development
Fashion Design Course: Accessories: Design Practice and Processes for Creating Hats, Bags, Shoes and More (2012) Thames and Hudson – by Jane Schaffer (Accessories senior lecturer at Northampton University) and Sue Saunders.
For students who are starting the course at Year 2, there is a summer project brief.
Graduates of our Footwear and Accessories course have found jobs with:
- Dr Martens
- T&A Footwear
- William Lamb
You could also go on to further study at Master’s level.
How to apply
Standard entry requirements apply. A typical offer would be 280 UCAS tariff points for qualifications included in the UCAS Tariff. In addition applicants are expected to have studied an Art or Textiles related subject at A-level or BTEC level 3 Diploma, or equivalent qualification; or 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-Levels 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.
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 18/19 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.
|Part Time:||£1,385 per 20 credit module|
|Foundation:||£6,500 as part of a four year programme (subsequent years will be charged at standard BA rate)|
|International Foundation Fees:||£9,400|
During the course you may take advantage of optional study trips. We try to keep the costs for study visits competitive with a combination of off-peak travel, group travel and subsidy. UK study trips typically cost £20 which would cover travel and entry to exhibition, European study trips would typically cost in the region of £400, with international trips costing in the region of £950.
We provide basic materials and tools, however you will be expected to compile your own tool kit (costing around £50) and purchase your own pattern card and sketchpads. These can be bought at a discounted price in our University art shop. We also encourage you to source trims and leather that can be used in your project work. The cost of leather and fabric will vary, however a budget of around £50 for the first year, £125 for the second year and between £150-£250 for final major collection would be realistic
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.
Foundation Study Framework
Our Foundation Study Framework offers an 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 entry requirements for this course, we can offer you a fantastic opportunity to study a four year course which includes our Foundation Study Framework.
The Foundation Study Framework will help you to develop the theoretical/practical and academic skills you will need in order to successfully progress to the full award. The Foundation Study Framework provides you with a practical and group-based approach to learning that supports your development and your transition to Higher Education, whilst also studying a number of specialist modules.
Foundation Study Framework teaching may be a combination of lectures, seminars and/or workshop based sessions. There are three Foundation Study Framework modules:
- Subject Studies 1: Practical and Study Skills
- Research for Practice
- Subject Studies 2: Working with Ideas
Each module involves four hours of teaching contact time per week and we also expect you to engage in approximately 12 hours of independent study, to support the learning experience.
Foundation study will help you to build a solid understanding of the general theoretical and practical aspects that will underpin Footwear and Accessories. Throughout all stages of your course 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. Foundation year modules are delivered concurrently with two Level 4 modules from your programme:
- LEA1012 Creative Leather Applications 1
- FSH1109 Techniques and Processes.
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, which focuses specifically on the generation and development of ideas.