This fashion design course is an ideal choice if you want to design and make bespoke outfits for performance and special events.
You will examine character interpretation and script analysis, as well as the use of special effects make-up and prosthetics.
You will become an expert in costume design for stage and screen and be able to create one-off designs for a range of special occasions. The course encourages you to work in a diverse range of performance areas including, bridal/occasion wear, dance, theatre, burlesque, circus, and special events.
You will be taught bespoke fitting skills and learn to ‘cut on the stand’; learning traditional cutting techniques relevant to both bridal wear and costume for theatre, television and film.
Throughout your final year, you will collaborate on a live project with external clients, designing and collaborating with professionals in your chosen industry within the supportive environment of the University.
Reflecting current practice in the bespoke garment industry, this course helps you to develop a professional and enquiring attitude.
You will be given the space, skills and support to strengthen your individuality and creative confidence.
“I was encouraged and supported by my tutors to push my boundaries, encountered all sorts of opportunities to create garments I never dreamed I could make, and I was given the foundations to set up my own career path with confidence and individuality.”
Romany Kemp Ghani, Fashion Design with Design for Performance graduate
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Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.
Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:
We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.
In addition to qualifications, applicants will also need a good portfolio.
|UK Qualification||Requirements 2016/17|
|GCE A Level/ AS Level||BBC at A-Level or 280 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A-Levels|
|Access to Higher Education Diploma||Pass overall with 60 credits, 45 at Level 3 and 15 at Level 2. Must be in a relevant subject pathway|
|BTEC National Diploma (12-units not including early years)||D*D* or combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 280 UCAS points|
|BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units not including early years)||DMM - 280 UCAS points|
|BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/ National Award (6-units not including early years)||D* or combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 280 UCAS points|
|BTEC Diploma in Foundation Studies in Art and Design||Distinction|
|International Baccalaureate Diploma||32 points overall|
|Irish Leaving Certificate||280 UCAS points - Higher Levels|
|Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher||280 UCAS points|
|Welsh Baccalaureate (core plus options)||120 tariff points combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 280 UCAS points|
|If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.
Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.
|EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications||Requirements 2016/17|
|IELTS||6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands|
|International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses).||28 points overall
Country-specific entry requirements and qualifications.
International students who cannot meet the direct entry requirements can begin their degree studies at Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC).
If you're considering applying for this course to start in September 2017 onwards, it's important to know that the UCAS tariff system is changing.
UCAS tariff points – the points system most universities use to compare different qualifications – will be introducing a new system on how points are calculated.
From A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels
If you are a full-time undergraduate applicant for the 2015/16 year, and show particular potential, we may be able to make you an unconditional offer if you make us first choice and satisfy certain criteria.
To be considered you must hold, or be predicted to achieve:
300 tariff points or above from three A levels (equivalent to grades BBB or above)
be predicted DDM profile at BTEC level
You will also be required to attend an interview.
We’ve created a range of advice from experts and our students, including next steps if your exams don't go that well.
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2016||FT||3 years||£9,000 per year||Apply via UCAS|
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2016||SW||4 years||£9,000 per year||Apply via UCAS|
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2017||FT||3 years||£9,250 per year||Apply via UCAS|
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2017||SW||4 years||£9,250 per year||Apply via UCAS|
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2016||FT||3 years||£12,000 per year|
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2017||FT||3 years||£12,000 per year|
If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.
The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.
Our courses include activities such as performance, exhibitions, field trips and production of works or artefacts which may require you to purchase specific equipment, instruments, books, materials, hire of venues and accommodation, or other items. Many of these activities are essential and compulsory parts of your learning experience.
The link below gives you an estimate of the possible costs associated with key activities on specific courses. Please bear in mind that these are only estimates of costs based on past student experience and feedback. The actual costs could vary considerably (either greater or lower than these estimates) depending on your choices as you progress through the course.
All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.
UK and EU students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.
The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.
There are three ways to apply:
You will need to complete our International Application Form and submit it together with scan copies of your original academic transcripts and certificates.
Our in-country representatives can help you make your application and apply for a visa. They can also offer advice on travel, living in the UK and studying abroad.
If you are applying for an undergraduate degree or a Higher National Diploma (HND), you can apply through the UK’s Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).
You can request a printed form from your school or nearest British Council office. You will be charged for applying through UCAS. Birmingham City University’s UCAS code is B25 BCITY.
Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.
Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:
Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?
If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.
Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.
Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.
eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.
You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.
Get more information on writing personal statements.
Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.
We offer further information on possible undergraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.
In your first year you will be given an introduction to key fashion topics that provide you with in-depth knowledge of what it takes to succeed in both design and technical areas.
Fashion practice and theory
Pattern cutting and sewing skills: Tuition of basic pattern cutting and sewing skills students will be taught the basic principles through workshop sessions. Pattern cutting demonstrations are also available via Moodle. Continued use of ipods in the workroom to facilitate students working at their own pace. Fabric knowledge embedded.
Design skills: Drawing development, CAD; live fashion drawing, Design, Fashion Illustration, fashion flats, styling and photo shoots.
Theory: Historical, current, contextual studies in fashion and related art and design. Including sustainability and green issues. This module adds breadth to the student awareness and understanding in relation to their own work
Design and Making project: that brings together skills and embeds that knowledge through practical problem solving, design realisation project.
Fashion materials and form
This module is a conceptual design and making project that incorporates experimentation with a range of fabrics, with a final outcome as a styled photo shoot.
Fashion design practice
This is a design and make project that incorporates trend and predictions research and fabric sourcing as part of the design process.
Careers Research and self analysis.
Portfolio development drawing on previous project work, concentrating of presentation skills.
Your second year builds your advanced fashion skills and your personal and professional career goals. You will benefit from a choice of options, business planning, and a four-week work placement. You can also take part in the international Erasmus exchange programme and can choose to follow our four-year sandwich option, which features a one-year industry internship.
Fashion business and entrepreneurship
This module provides an understanding of the Fashion Industry and entrepreneurship, it involves both individual and team work.
Work experience placement or external/collaborative self-directed project
Advanced skills relating to third-year pathways
This module seeks to provide the opportunity for advanced skills building prior to embarking on year three pathways.
Placement year (optional)
This module is partially completed during the year placement with a reflective journal, final assessment takes place in year three when you return to complete the final year of your four-year degree. The placement project replaces the dissertation for sandwich year students.
In your final year you can decide whether to specialise in Fashion Design, Fashion Communication, Garment Technology, Design for Performance, or Fashion Accessories. As well as learning about character interpretation and script analysis, you will also focus on the use of special effects, make-up, and prosthetics. You will work with external clients throughout your final year.
Costume design and special effects
This module challenges the you to produce a costume that includes both the design of the costume and the special effects that complete the character. Usually a live project.
The dissertation is closely linked to and supports the Major Project.
This module can also be a Placement project which relates to the sandwich year placement for the four-year sandwich option.
The Major project is a self-initiated brief with negotiated outcomes appropriate to the pathway
The rationale for the Major project will form part of the final assessment.
This pathway is ideal if you wish to work within the performance industries. Fashion and costume overlap in contemporary performance and fashion skills are essential if you wish to work in TV, film, music and theatre productions.
At Level 6 you will be able to choose your subject route either keeping it broad with Fashion Design or more specific with Fashion Design with Garment Technology, Fashion Design with Design Performance, and Fashion Design with Fashion Accessories.
Not only will you have access to a specialist art and design library on site, with a vast archive of fashion publications dating back to the 1930s, but there is also a state-of-the-art computer suite with a CAD pattern cutting and design system – GERBER – that is widely used in the global fashion industry.
The course has excellent links with industry regionally, nationally and internationally, including Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney and Jimmy Choo.
|26||Time in lectures, seminars and similar||MidnightBlue|
|70||Time in independent study||RoyalBlue|
|4||Time on placement||LightSkyBlue|
If you are interested in undertaking part of your studies abroad, the Erasmus scheme may be of interest to you. It allows higher education students to study for part of their degree in another European country.
It is open to undergraduates in their second year (or above) and offers a unique opportunity to enhance your CV and experience new cultures. If you study with us you will have access to an Erasmus co-ordinator, who can provide information about which institutions we have links with.
You can go on to study a postgraduate degree with the School of Fashion and Textiles, such as MA Fashion Design or MA Fashion Accessory Design.
Inspiration can also be found during the international study trips which are on offer every year. These have previously included the fashion capitals of Paris, Milan and New York. We also run several visits to London each year to take in new exhibitions.
Our graduates typically go on to professional roles in fashion design, womenswear, menswear, children’s wear, sportswear, garment technology, styling, trend forecasting, graphic design, visual merchandising, buying, PR, costume making, and event management.
One of our outstanding graduates is Betty Jackson CBE, an internationally-renowned fashion designer who is well known for developing bold and imaginative textile prints and translating them into clothing.
Betty first launched her own collection in 1981. She introduced the Betty Jackson for Men collection in 1986, and opened her flagship shop in London’s Brompton Road five years later.
Betty received a CBE for services to the fashion industry and is famous for her innovative, yet eminently wearable designs.
Her achievements were further evidenced in 2000 by her commission to design Marks & Spencer’s ‘Autograph’ collection and, more recently, by her Betty Jackson Black range for Debenhams.
Your development is enhanced by work placements either in the UK or overseas, giving you a real opportunity to make important industry contacts.
Throughout the course you will be supported by our experienced teaching staff, as well as specialist visiting tutors who are practitioners in the industry, giving you an excellent learning experience in a wide range of fashion specialisms.
OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.
It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.
Through our courses we give you the skills and experience needed to get a head start when applying for jobs. But we offer something extra too – Graduate+.
Our unique programme gives you the chance to develop valuable skills outside of the more formal classroom learning. We award points for Graduate+ activities (including firewalking!) and these can be put towards a final Graduate+ award.
Recent graduates have developed careers with companies such as Angels the Costumiers, ‘The Paradise’ television series, Pashley, The Couture Bridal Company, Kitten Van Mew (Burlesque Artist), Costumes for Character, the Rio de Janeiro Carnival, Suzanne Neville, Gracie Bleu, Area 51 Events, Charlie Brear and Sparklewren.
Graduates have also continued to develop their own bridal and occasion wear companies including Hannah Wilkins Webb, Wagtail and Willow, and Grimm and Grizzly, with some graduates going on to develop their own fashion labels, for example, ‘Anna Apostolou,’ and ‘Efieri Blanc’. Many others have continued their study with a Master’s degree.
Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.
The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.
Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:
Overseas students studying in the UK are happier and have a better learning experience compared to those studying in other countries.
The International Undergraduate Students: The UK's Competitive Advantage report asked 365,754 international students studying outside their home country to give their feedback on what it's like to study in this country. And the UK scored top in every aspect.
So if you're looking at studying with us, you'll be making a good choice.
Overall measures: ranked positions
International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.
BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.
Our students come from around the world but our fashion design course is most popular with international students from:
We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities.
The Parkside Building is part of our new multi-million pound City Centre Campus development in the heart of Birmingham's Eastside development.
Home to the Birmingham School of Architecture and Design, School of Fashion and Textiles, and School of Visual Communication, the five-floor site is packed with fashion design workshops, studios and social 'collision spaces.'
The campus also provides extensive workshop space, and the very latest in industry-standard equipment reflecting the broad range of study opportunities on offer.
You will have access to Vicon 3D, an external tracking motion capture facility, and Gypsy, an exoskeleton-based motion capture system to extend the many possibilities for production of 3D animation and films.
There's also a comprehensive range of tools and machinery in the wood and metal workshops.
You can use the latest in high-tech digital print, plus a range of other facilities including:
We are committed to showcasing the best student concepts and collections in exhibitions and on catwalks that include London Fashion Week, London Free Range, New Designers and Birmingham Made Me.
All of our staff come from an industry background and bring a wealth of skills, knowledge and experience.
All of this gives you access to the latest thinking, creativity and professional networks.
We have a diverse team of lecturers, all from an industry background. Our team have a wealth of skills, knowledge and experience.
Expertise includes buying, merchandising, design, marketing, trend forecasting, PR, event management and business. We have a real world focus, which prepares students for a career in the fashion industry.
Louise has a background in theatre costume, having worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company, Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Bristol Old Vic, the Stephen Joseph Theatre, and Google Plus. Louise was employed in theatre primarily as a historical cutter and supervisor throughout her career of 17 years. Louise has recently completed an MA in History of Art and Design and is currently engaged in researching an undiscovered archive of historical garments discovered within the fashion department.