Garment Technology - BA (Hons)
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....
Studying with us in 2021/22 and 2022/23
The University has put in place measures in response to Covid-19 to allow us to safely deliver our courses. Information about the arrangements for the 2021/22 academic year can be found here.
Should the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic continue in the 2022/23 academic year or subsequent years of your course, any additional and/or alternative arrangements put in place by the University in response 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 this 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.
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.
In addition to qualification applicants will also need a good portfolio.
|LEVEL 2 QUALIFICATIONS|
|Irish Leaving Certificate (Ordinary Level)||See level 3 entry under Irish Leaving Certificate for full details|
|Scottish National 5||
|IELTS||6.0 overall 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|
6.0 overall 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.
Fees & How to Apply
- UK students
- International students
Award: BA (Hons)
Starting: Sep 2022
- Full Time
- 3 years
- £13,500 per year
- Register interest
Access to computer equipment
You will require use of a laptop, and most students do prefer to have their own. However, you can borrow a laptop from the university or use one of our shared computer rooms.
You will receive £5 print credit in each year of your course, available after enrolment.
All essential field trips and associated travel costs will be included in your course fees.
Access to Microsoft Office 365
Every student at the University can download a free copy of Microsoft Office 365 to use whilst at university and for 18 months after graduation.
You will be able to download SPSS and Nvivo to your home computer to support with your studies and research.
Subscriptions to key journals and websites are available through our library.
Free access to Rosetta Stone
All students can sign up to the online learning language platform for free through the Graduate+ scheme.
Project materials (mandatory)
This course includes project work that requires you to develop and produce a portfolio or collection. You'll be expected to provide the materials for use in your individual major projects; costs will vary depending on the materials selected, but are likely to be in the region of £50 - £100 if you choose to print your work.
Specialist equipment (mandatory)
This course requires the purchase of specialist equipment, including a laptop and a basic sewing machine (variable costs).
Excess printing (optional)
Once you have spent your £5 credit, additional printing on campus costs from 5p per sheet.
Placement expenses (optional)
If you choose to undertake a placement, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst living or working away from home.
Field trips (optional)
This course includes the option of additional trips that may enhance your experience, at extra cost.
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.
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.
You will be required to submit a portfolio to complete your application.
A digital portfolio can be submitted via your applicant portal, and we ask that this is submitted within four weeks of making your application. Please see our portfolio guidance page for tips on putting your portfolio together.
Applicants from selected locations in the West Midlands may also be offered an opportunity to present a portfolio in person. If this option is available to you, you will receive an email with further details once you have submitted your application.
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.
Course in Depth
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.
In order to complete this course you must successfully complete at least 20 credits from the following list of OPTIONAL modules.
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+.
This module provides an opportunity for you to apply your knowledge and skills to an external, professional brief. The brief will be set by an external client/agency, in consultation with your supervisor, and it could be a ‘real life’ problem to be solved, or a simulation. It is an opportunity for you to engage in a professional manner with an aspect of your subject area, which contributes to the development of employability skills within the supportive infrastructure of the University. Where appropriate, the project may involve interdisciplinary collaboration with students from other courses. In this way, it reflects the collaborative, flexible nature of employment within the Creative Industries.
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.
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.
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.
Facilities and Staff
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.
Programme Director: Fashion Undergraduate Programmes Senior Lecturer
Sheila Griffiths is a Senior Lecturer with the School of Fashion and Textiles where she teaches pattern cutting to undergraduate students on all three levels of the BA (Hons) Fashion Design programme.
Sheila is also the faculty lead academic for technology enhanced learning and teaching, a role in which she promotes the use of e-Learning and technology in her faculty.More about Sheila
Senior Lecturer and Course Leader on BA Hons Costume Design and Practice
As Course Director of BA (Hons) Costume Design and Practice with over 15 years’ experience as a costumier, Louise is a passionate and informed communicator on my subject.
With the knowledge and industry experience to inspire and enhance student learning, she previously developed the Design for Performance pathway with current undergraduates being featured in Vogue Italia, (2015) and having been shortlisted for the Aesthetica Film prize (2015).More about Louise
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 20 years of experience as a freelancer in fashion design, Sabine looks back at working for her own label and other brands.More about Sabine