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BA (Honours) Fashion Design

Enter international competitions, visit fashion centres like London, Paris and New York, and push the boundaries of fashion design.

Course length 3-4 Year(s)
Location City Campus
UCAS W232 Course code

Course description

What you study

The fashion design course at the Sheffield Institute of Arts prepares you for a career in the fashion industry and nurtures your creativity, ambition and originality. You gain the skills to analyse existing ideas and express yourself through shocking, overwhelming, playful and desirable fashion designs.

On this forward-thinking course, you are encouraged to look ahead to the future of the fashion industry. You are not expected to follow the crowd but to be imaginative, innovative and inventive. You study the wider cultural context of fashion, and are introduced to topical areas like sustainability, user-centred design and trend forecasting. You are encouraged to experiment with fabric to reflect your emotions, ethics and beliefs, working with ideas to generate new treatments and new materials. This deeper knowledge and experience is what fashion employers are looking for, and it helps you find graduate-level jobs in the industry at the end of your course.

Key areas include • fashion design • fashion illustration and presentation techniques • traditional and innovative pattern cutting • CAD and fashion technology • garment manufacture • fashion styling • professional development and communication • product manufacture • interdisciplinary and collaborative practices.

At the end of your course you showcase your abilities with a collection of 2D and 3D work for your final major project. You graduate with a professional portfolio of work that demonstrates your flexibility and ability to deliver creative and original responses to complex design briefs and to push the boundaries of fashion design.

This is a practical course designed to prepare you for a career in fashion. You learn about colour theories and develop creative concepts to generate new materials and invite the spectator into your vision of the world. All our students have the opportunity to showcase their work at Graduate Fashion Week in London.

Placements and work experience

In your third year you can apply to do a placement with companies such as • Alexander McQueen • Iris Van Herpen • Mary Katrantzou • Burberry • Reiss • Paul Smith • Christopher Raeburn • Jonathan Saunders • ASOS.

Placements give you the opportunity to add to your CV by applying your learning, developing new and existing skills and increasing your knowledge and experience while immersed in the fashion industry. Supported by the fashion team, you are encouraged to be resourceful and professional in sourcing and negotiating the length of your placement directly with companies.

You also gain valuable experience working on live projects with fashion companies. Previous projects have seen students working in conjunction with a company's design and marketing departments on a real brief, where prizes, such as cash or a period of industrial placement, were awarded to selected students.

If you study abroad, or do your work placement, in another European country there may be funding available through the Erasmus programme.

You have the opportunity to gain exposure in the fashion industry by taking part in national and international competitions like the International Talent Support (ITS) and the Fashion Awareness Direct (FAD) competitions. In recent years our students have been finalists and winners of various competitions, showcasing their work at London Fashion Week and other prestigious events across the UK and internationally.

Everyone on this course has the opportunity to go on cultural visits to fashion centres such as London, Paris and Amsterdam. You visit exhibitions, studios and salons and meet leading figures in the fashion industry. Previous trips have included a behind-the-scenes visit to Burberry's headquarters and flagship store, an exclusive talk from a world leading couturier at the Fashion and Textile Museum, and a tour of Paris ateliers.

We currently receive exclusive tickets to attend the Burberry Catwalk shows in London for both Mens and Womenswear and allocate these to our students, based on a fair application process. This incredible opportunity gives you an insight into the glamorous side of fashion and the buzz and excitement of a world class catwalk show, featuring celebrities, models and key fashion professionals. You will be able to visit backstage and view the garments up close and if you are lucky enough have a chance to speak to Christopher Bailey in person.

You are taught by staff with a wide experience of the fashion industry, many of whom still work in it. Our lecturers have worked professionally as designers, product developers, managers, illustrators and stylists.

Our strong links with the fashion industry give you many exciting opportunities. We are members of the British Fashion College Council, which means you could be invited to exclusive workshops, seminars and networking opportunities and enter industry competitions.

You design and create your work in professionally equipped design studios and fashion workshops that house digital garment manufacturing equipment, pattern-cutting software, flat-bed cutting equipment and a digital fabric printer.

You can also use the university’s wider creative facilities, including professional photography studios, printing facilities, 3D rapid prototyping and laser-cutting technology.

Professional recognition

This course is accredited by the Chartered Society of Designers.

Entry requirements

2017 entry requirements

GCSE mathematics and English at grade C or Grade 4 or above, plus one of the following

• 112 UCAS points including at least 64 points from two A Levels or equivalent BTEC National qualifications. We accept AS levels.We accept General Studies.


• 96 UCAS points from three A Levels or equivalent BTEC National qualifications. We accept General Studies.

New UCAS tariff points system for courses starting from September 2017. This is significantly different to the current points system and uses an alternative method of calculation. You can find information about these changes on the UCAS website and use the UCAS tariff calculator to work out your points.

• Access – an Access to HE Diploma with at least 45 credits at level 3 and 15 credits at level 2. At least 15 level 3 credits must be at merit grade or above, in an art or media-related programme from a QAA-recognised Access to HE course, or an equivalent Access to HE certificate

If English is not your first language you must have an IELTS score of 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in all skills or equivalent. If your English language skill is currently below IELTS 6.0 we recommend you consider a Sheffield Hallam University Pre-sessional English course which will enable you to achieve an equivalent English score.

If your application is successful, you will be invited to attend a selection event with a portfolio of work to demonstrate your ability. Find out about the selection process and how to produce a strong portfolio.

We welcome applications from people of any age. We may be flexible in our normal offer if you can show a commitment to succeed and have the relevant skills and experience. This must show that you will benefit from and finish the course successfully.

International and European entry qualifications

If you are an International or non-UK European student, you can find out more about the country specific qualifications we accept on our international qualifications page.

Course structure

Four years full-time (including one year work placement) or three years full-time

Typical modules may include

Year one modules

• fashion fundamentals: design and oroduction 1 • fashion fundamentals design and productions 2 • fashion visual communication

Year two modules

• exploration, application and realisation • negotiated projects

Year three

• optional work placement

Final year modules

• graduation project: fashion design • competitive design • critical research and theory

  • coursework
  • portfolios
  • projects


Fashion is an international industry employing people in a variety of roles across the world.

Your career options as a graduate of this course include working as a • fashion designer • production management in fashion • fashion design consultant • fashion illustrator • stylist working on fashion shoots or in imaging for the press and advertising • creative pattern cutter • garment manufacturer.

Fashion is an international industry employing people in a variety of roles across the world.

Your career options as a graduate of this course include working as a • fashion designer • production management in fashion • fashion design consultant • fashion illustrator • stylist working on fashion shoots or in imaging for the press and advertising • creative pattern cutter • garment manufacturer.

Key roles in fashion
Fashion designer
Designers usually specialise in one area such as womenswear or menswear. Most design businesses are based in London, especially Central London. You spend a lot of time designing on a computer, but there are also good opportunities for overseas travel. About 500 new designers are needed each year, making it a competitive job market to enter but highly talented designers are in demand.

Styling is an increasingly visible and high profile profession. Having some understanding of numbers, business, and communications in addition to creative skills is essential. Internships and networking are also more important in styling than in the other professions.

Production management
Production management is the front line of fashion and can be an exciting and challenging. The New York Times recently reported a growing movement towards zero waste production, where very little material goes unused. It’s a design as well as manufacturing challenge. The job requires some business training and you should have a fascination with how things are made.


Home / EU student

We do not charge course fees during a placement year.

Please note tuition fees may increase in each subsequent academic year of your course, subject to government regulations on fee increases and in line with inflation. More information can be found in the ‘Tuition Fee Increases’ section of our Fees Regulations (PDF, 2.10 MB)

For the course fee and further information on scholarships and bursaries please visit our fees and funding pages.

International student

We do not charge course fees during a placement year.

2016/17 academic year

Typically £12,250 a year

2017/18 academic year

Typically £12,750 a year

Additional course costs

This link allows you to view estimated costs associated with the main activities on specific courses. These are estimates and, as such, are only an indication of additional course costs. Actual costs can vary greatly depending on the choices you make during your course.

Additional costs information

How to apply

You apply for this course through UCAS.

Any offer of a place to study is subject to your acceptance of the University’s Terms and Conditions and student Regulations.

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