Garment Technology - BA (Hons)
- UCAS Code: W2JK
- Level: Undergraduate
- Starting: September 2021
- Study mode: Full Time (3 years), Sandwich (4 years)
- Location: City Centre
Studying with us in 2021/22
It is possible that the 2021/22 academic year may be affected by the ongoing disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Any arrangements put in place by the University for the 2021/22 academic year will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, pandemic-related/health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.
Our BA (Hons) Garment Technology degree course nurtures and encourages you to develop a professional and enquiring attitude within technical aspects of clothing production, and an ability to become confident and self-motivated in your chosen practice.
This course has excellent links to international fashion brands, including Burberry, Karen Millen and George at Asda.
The staff team have industry experience within computer-aided design (CAD), pattern cutting, fashion history and design, and have worked alongside many internationally-recognised brands. You will learn to work with the Gerber pattern cutting and design system, widely used in the industry alongside supportive staff who are well placed to inspire and shape your future careers.
What's covered in the course?
The course equips you with the necessary knowledge, skills and attributes to succeed in a wide range of careers in the fashion industry.
In your first year introduction to a number of fashion topics helps you to develop a good foundation of fashion knowledge and skills in both design and technical areas.
Your second year helps to build advanced technical skills and knowledge, and strengthens your personal and professional development in relation to your own career goals. Opportunities to take part in the international Erasmus exchange programme exist during this year.
You will have the chance to follow our four-year sandwich option, which provides the opportunity for a one-year internship in industry.
Your final year introduces you to advanced pattern cutting, fittings, grading and sizing, production planning, costing, testing and technical packs. Your work will be closely linked to the industry to produce garments, following manufacturing and production processes that relate to today’s fast paced fashion industry, with the opportunity to specialise in the area that reflects your own personal interest.
The course blends individual creativity, technical skills, and commercial realism, enabling you to apply your skills and knowledge of the professional design process from concept to product.
BA (Hons) Garment Technology, BA (Hons) Fashion Design and BA (Hons) Costume Design and Practice have a shared first year of study.
Birmingham City University and the fashion tutors' support has enabled me to gain experience in all aspects of design throughout Europe. From traditional tailoring to innovative design, Birmingham City University has created a pathway for me to build a great set of creative skills to enter the fashion industry.
Rhys Ellis, third year BA (Hons) Fashion Design
Why Choose Us?
- You will benefit from our close working relationships with fashion brands like Adidas, Burberry, Amanda Wakeley, Karen Millen, Abercrombie & Fitch and Iris van Herpen.
- You’ll also use industry-standard Gerber pattern-cutting software and strengthen your knowledge of global manufacturing.
- You will have the opportunity to participate in our Erasmus scheme, giving you the chance to spend a semester in a different country and culture.
Our next Open Day is taking place in Summer 2021. It's the perfect opportunity to tour our facilities, hear from some of our staff and get a feel of what it's like to study at BCU.
This course is open to International students
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We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.
112 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels.
Applications taken to the next stage must attend a 'portfolio review' in person in order to receive offer.
|LEVEL 2 QUALIFICATIONS|
|Irish Leaving Certificate (Ordinary Level)||See level 3 entry under Irish Leaving Certificate for full details|
|Scottish National 5||
|IELTS||Minimum overall score of 6.0, with no less than 5.5 in each band.|
|Plus one of the following Level 3 (and above) Qualifications|
|A Level and Advanced VCE||
|AS and AS VCE||Considered with a maximum of 3 other Level 3 qualifications (AS Levels must be in different subject to A-Levels) to obtain 112 pts|
|Access to HE Diploma||
|Foundation Studies (Art and Design, and Art, Design & Media)||
|IBO Certificate in Higher Level||
|International Baccalaureate Diploma||
|Irish Leaving Certificate (Highers)||Pass the Irish Leaving Certificate with a minimum of 112 tariff points, achieved in five Higher level subjects. This must include English Language and Maths taken at either Ordinary Level (minimum grade O1-O4 (or A-C/A1-C3)) or Higher level minimum grade H1/H7 (or A-D / A1-D3 up to and including 2016.|
|OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma||DMM|
|Scottish Advanced Higher||
|UAL Extended Diploma in Art & Design||Merit overall|
|UAL Extended Diploma in Creative Media Production & Technology||Merit overall|
|UAL Extended Diploma in Performing and Production Arts||Merit overall|
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.
Extra information for EU/International students
In addition to qualifications, applicants will also need a good digital portfolio.
Please see your country page for further details on the equivalent qualifications we accept.
In addition to the academic entry requirements listed above, international and EU students will also require the qualifications detailed in this table.
|EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications||Requirements|
Minimum overall score of 6.0, with no less than 5.5 in each band.
If you do not meet the required IELTS score, you may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English courses. Please note that you must have a Secure English Language Test (SELT) to study on the pre-sessional English course. More information.
|International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses).|
International students who cannot meet the direct entry requirements can begin their degree studies at Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC).
Applications from mature students (21+) with alternative qualifications and/or considerable work experience will be considered on their merits.
From A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels
Worried about teacher assessments?
However you're being assessed this Summer, it can be a stressful time. We've got a load of tips on revision skills and time management to help you feel as prepared as possible.
- UK students
- International students
Award: BA (Hons)
Starting: Sep 2021
- Full Time
- 3 years
- £9,250 per year
- Apply via UCAS
Award: BA (Hons)
Starting: Sep 2021
- Full Time
- 3 years
- £13,200 per year
If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead. The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.
Guidance for UK students
UK 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.
Applying through UCAS
Register with UCAS
Login to UCAS
Complete your details
Select your course
Write a personal statement
Get a reference
Pay your application fee
Send UCAS your application
There are three ways to apply:
1) Direct to the University
2) Through a country representative
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.
3) Through UCAS
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.
If your application is progressed, you will be asked to submit a digital portfolio of your creative work. Your portfolio is your opportunity to show us examples of your work and creative interests to support your application. Please see our portfolio guidance page for tips and advice on putting your portfolio together.
UK / EU students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.*
The personal statement 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.
School or college experience
Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.
Non-accredited skills or achievement
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.
*Non-EU students are not required to submit a personal statement when applying for this course.
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.
Based on the past experience of our students, you might find it helpful to set aside about £50 for each year of your studies for your personal stationery and study materials. All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.
Accommodation and living costs
The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.
Worried about personal statements?
If you've got no idea where to start or just want to check you're on the right track, we’ve got expert advice and real examples from our students to help you nail your personal statement. You can even download our ultimate personal statement guide for free.
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 are introduced to a broad range of fashion studies theory and technical skills, building a sound base for further study in years two and three.
You will learn design skills such as CAD, live fashion drawing, fashion illustration, fashion flats, styling and photoshoots. Alongside this, you will gain theoretical skills, such as contextual studies in fashion and related art and design.
You will also gain the skills that you need to solve practical problems and create presentations.
BA (Hons) Fashion Design, BA (Hons) Costume Design and Practice and BA (Hons) Garment Technology have a shared first year of study.
In order to complete this course you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):
This module aims to provide you with the essential skills and knowledge as a holistic learning experience that will form the building blocks for the course and underpin further study. We use this module to ‘create a bridge’ between your prior study and the start of the course by introducing you to the basic visual research, design and technical knowledge needed to professionally construct a garment of your own design. We employ small workshop groups to induct you into studio practice and the appropriate and safe usage of industry standard sewing and garment construction machines.
This module aims to provide you with the underpinning skills to enhance the visual articulation of your design processes and output. A broad exploration of 2 & 3 dimensional, and multimedia, techniques will be undertaken; fostering appropriate, innovative, and individual approaches to be developed and applied to future design tasks throughout the course.
Creative Direction aims to help you develop your skills for your chosen exit award, Garment Technology, Costume Design and Practice or Fashion Design. The module provides you with a technical option and a design option to enable you to develop a cohesive portfolio of work to support the securing of potential work placements or internships within your chosen discipline.
The module will introduce you to the broader context of fashion through a series of contextual lectures covering the theoretical context of fashion and its wider industries. These will allow you to frame your own aspirations develop your knowledge of your chosen industry, be that fashion, costume, or garment technology. The module will also introduce you to writing techniques, a range of respective research methods and resources in the planning of your research proposal. You will also analyse your strengths and weaknesses to allow you to identify a range of career opportunities.
In your second year, you will develop more advanced research, design development, presentation and technical skills, with a view to gaining work experience that will enhance your skills and employability upon graduation.
In order to complete this course you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 100 credits):
This module is an opportunity to develop your creative and technical exploration skills aligned with your chosen exit route. Building on the enquiring skills and ability gained at level 4 to progress your ideas and professional practice, in readiness for your final year of study.
This module aims to build on your knowledge of academic writing. You will be encouraged to discuss, argue and critically analyse the lectures, this will be further supported with research, academic writing, referencing and essay structure sessions.
This module aims to expand the knowledge and skills required to progress your particular career aspirations Providing an opportunity for you to focus on a specified brief that will prepare you for your final year. Advanced practice should evidence your capacity to work at a professional level within your selected discipline, whilst being supported by both the academic and technical teams.
The purpose of this module is to enable you to develop professional attributes and subject skills through experience in the work place, and to critically reflect upon your learning in that context. You will normally be expected to arrange your own placement, with support from academic staff and ADM Careers+.
The module is an opportunity to learn and critically reflect on the skills of collaboration by enabling you to create an interdisciplinary project with students from complementary disciplines, or with academic staff. Collaboration is a vital employability skill within the Creative Industries and this module allows you to develop these skills, making use of University facilities and with the support of academic staff. Within this module framework, several kinds of collaborative opportunities are available. For example, with the approval of your supervisor, you can determine a project based on your own interests; your supervisor may set you a predetermined project to enable you to work with other students in a way that is appropriate to your subject area; or there may be opportunities for you to collaborate with staff on research projects. In all cases, you must apply your subject skills to an interdisciplinary project which will be agreed in advance with your supervisor.
During your final year of study you will focus on your own individual area of practise. You will collaborate within industry on a live brief to produce costume designs, and final outcomes for your chosen performance genre. Developing skills specific to costume industry through these live collaborations within a supportive, nurturing environment.
In order to complete this course you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):
This module you will research, establish and consolidate your ideas into an individual piece of investigative work. The project will focus and cultivate your ability to explore the application of a theoretical point within several contexts including, historical, ethical and business. This allows you to develop a greater understanding of critical thinking and analysis relating to your specialism.
The purpose of the module is to enable you to undertake a sustained, in-depth and theoretically informed research project exploring an area that is of personal interest to you. It is important that we can support you appropriately, so you will be guided towards choosing a research topic which is relevant to your discipline and in which your lecturers have expertise. The outcome may take the form of a written dissertation or a practice-based portfolio.
The Major Project encourages you to be innovative and experimental, and to push at the boundaries, create work which demonstrates an awareness of professional standards relevant to your discipline; to self-evaluate and critically reflect on your work.
The Independent Practice project is the culmination of your studies, during the course you will have identified and developed your own personal goals. This project provides an opportunity for you to create a portfolio of work that will demonstrate your skills and potential to employers or clients.
This course is ideal if you intend to pursue a creative career within the technical fashion industries. Our previous graduates work within companies including Hackett, Burberry, Joules, and Mountain Warehouse, as well as many other international brands.
On successful completion, you will graduate with a portfolio-based final outcome relevant to your individual career aspirations.
Our BA (Hons) Garment Technology course currently benefits from its active Erasmus Exchange partnerships with the following institutions:
Enhancing employability skills
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.
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.
Garment technology graduates go onto careers as garment technologists, product developers, designers and buyers.
Graduates pursue careers in fashion design, menswear, children’s wear, sportswear and other niche markets, garment technology, styling, visual merchandising, buying, PR, costume design and event management.
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:
The UK remains one of the world's leading study destinations
The UK remains one of the world's leading study destinations for international students.
The first-class experience offered by universities are reflected in the world’s largest survey of international students. International students are more likely to recommend the UK than any other leading English-language study destination.
Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)
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.
You’ll be based in our School of Fashion and Textiles, within The Parkside Building. The Parkside Building is part of our new multi-million pound City Centre Campus development in the heart of Birmingham's Eastside development.
The course provides an extensive fashion workshop space, and industry-standard equipment; including access to Gerber software reflecting the needs of the fashion industry and the broad range of study opportunities on offer.
Our staff team have industry experience within computer aided design, pattern cutting, fashion history and design and have worked alongside many internationally recognised brands. Learn to work with the Adobe creative suite, widely used in the industry alongside supportive staff, who are well placed to inspire and shape your future careers.
Senior Lecturer - BA (Hons) Costume Design and Practice
Sabine started teaching Fashion Design in 2015. Since then she taught fashion design, concept development, dissertation and sustainable design systems. In February 2018 she joined BCU as a VT to teach level 4 to level 6 students. Following this experience, Sabine started to work as a part-time Senior Lecturer at BCU in 2019.
With more than 19 years of experience as a freelancer in fashion design, Sabine looks back at working for her own label and other brands. She focusses on sustainable systems and designs womenswear and knitwear developed in her Hamburg studio. Collections were presented internationally, for example at Paris’ fashion fair Who’s Next”. As not only the place of production plays a main role for her production but also the manner is key to her philosophy, workways include integrative approaches through working with social workshops and migrants since the very beginning.
Sabine has worked for Hamburg State Opera, Hamburg Ballet and various film productions alongside her own designs to gain broader knowledge in costume design. She had the pleasure to work with Christian Lacroix, Swiss fashion label Akris or John Neumeier to implement historical and contemporary costume concepts.
Realising the importance of public relations and presentation skills for brands, Sabine additionally began to work in public relations and consulting for companies like Dior and German label JOOP!. Her holistic point of view influences her teaching intensely as she evaluates design concepts always from different angles.