Fashion Design - BA (Hons)

UCAS Code:
W230
Attendance:
Full Time (3 years), Sandwich (4 years)
Starting:
September 2018
Campus:

Clearing 2018

96 points

(or equivalent) is the minimum you will need to be considered for this course in Clearing.

Use the UCAS Tariff Calculator to work out your points.

0121 331 6777

Our Clearing hotline opens at 6am on Thursday 16 August.

Call us now

Social media

Get an offer or ask a question by direct messaging us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Message us

Be equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to succeed in the fashion industry and have the chance to take part in exciting work placements, with companies such as Ted Baker, Mary Katrantzou, Paul Smith, Topshop and River Island.

You will learn to work with different design systems alongside staff who have valuable industry experience with a range of recognised brands. Each year, a selection of our final-year students showcase their final year work to industry leaders at events such as Graduate Fashion Week and New Designers in London.

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.

Your first year will introduce you to a number of fashion topics, helping you to develop a good foundation of fashion knowledge and skills, in both design and technical areas.

Your second year helps to strengthen your personal and professional development in relation to your own career goals. You will also have the opportunity to take part in the international Erasmus exchange programme, spending a semester at an international institution.

An optional placement year takes place between years 2 and 3, providing an opportunity for an internship in industry. 

Your final year, gives you the opportunity to specialise in women’s or menswear.  You will focus on your own individual area of practice and produce garments that reflect your personal direction as a creative fashion design graduate. 

The course blends individual creativity and commercial realism, and you will be able to apply your skills and knowledge of the professional design process, from concept to product.

BA (Hons) Fashion Design, BA (Hons) Costume Design and Practice and BA (Hons) Garment Technology have a shared first year of study.

"The tutors came to know me well over my study years. I had a fantastic support base which meant I was able to find my style and work to the best of my abilities, pushing myself in the last year of my degree." Thomasin Gautier-Ollerenshaw

Why Choose Us?

  • We have excellent links with regional and international brands such as Burberry, John Lewis, Adidas, Karen Millen and Rab, which give the course colour and contemporary relevance.
  • You can enjoy a vast archive of fashion publications dating back to the 1930s and also develop skills within Abobe Photoshop and Illustrator computer aided design (CAD), essential tools within the global fashion industry.
  • You will have the chance to showcase your final-year work to industry leaders looking for new talent at events such as Graduate Fashion Week in London.

Students outside Millennium Point

Open Days

Our next Open Day for this course will take place in Autumn 2018. Register your interest and we'll let you know details as soon as they are available.

Register your interest

To welcome all new home and EU undergraduate degree students starting in 2018 or 2019, we're giving at least £150 worth of credit to spend in a host of ways, on books and a range of learning materials. Even better, it doesn’t have to be repaid. Terms and conditions apply.

Find out more

This course is open to International students

School of Fashion and Textiles Blog

Our blog is the online home for our community of aspirational, innovative and creative individuals. It’s for sharing our experiences and visionary ideas with each other, the industry and the world.

Read our blog

Students celebrate industry award success at Graduate Fashion Week

Following displays on and off the catwalk at the Truman Brewery, Birmingham City University celebrates two winners, three runners up and a further four finalists.

Read more 

Where our students go

Our students have gone on to work in jobs such as:

  • Clothing designers
  • Textile designers
  • Buyers and procurement officers

Entry Requirements

96 points

(or equivalent) is the minimum you will need to be considered for this course in Clearing. Use the UCAS Tariff Calculator to work out your points.

0121 331 6777

Our Clearing hotline opens at 6am on Thursday 16 August.

Call us now

Social media

Get an offer or ask a question by direct messaging us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Message us

Alternative options

If you do not have 96 points, you may like to look at our:

Or explore your options if you don’t have enough points for any of our courses.

We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.

UK students
Essential

In addition to qualifications, applicants will also need a good portfolio.

Typical Offers
UK Qualification Requirements 2018/19
GCE A Level/ AS Level BBC at A-Level or 112 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 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 112 UCAS points
BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units not including early years) DMM - 112 UCAS points
BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/ National Award (6-units not including early years) D* or combined with 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 112 UCAS points
BTEC Diploma in Foundation Studies in Art and Design Distinction
International Baccalaureate Diploma

For students who complete the full IB Diploma: Obtain a total of 14 points or above from three Higher Level Subjects

For students who do not complete the full IB Diploma: Obtain a total of 16 points or above from three Higher Level Subjects 

Irish Leaving Certificate 112 UCAS points - Higher Levels
Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher 112 UCAS points
Welsh Baccalaureate (core plus options) 48 tariff points combined with 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 112 UCAS points
Other qualifications
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/International students
Essential

In addition to qualifications, applicants will also need a good digital portfolio.

EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications Requirements 2018/19
IELTS 6.0 overall with 5.5 in all bands
International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses).

For students who complete the full IB Diploma: Obtain a total of 14 points or above from three Higher Level Subjects

For students who do not complete the full IB Diploma: Obtain a total of 16 points or above from three Higher Level Subjects

In addition to the above, applicants will also need:
English Group A - Grade 4 or above
OR
English Group B and Ab Initio - Grade 5

Country-specific entry requirements and qualifications.

International Students

Entry requirements here

 

International students who cannot meet the direct entry requirements can begin their degree studies at Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC).

Worried about results?

Worried about your results?
Explore your options with Clearing

If you're worried about your exam results, changed your mind about your course choices or haven't applied yet - Clearing is a great time to explore your options. We explain what Clearing is and how it works.

Advice about Clearing 2018

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BA (Hons) Sep 2018 FT 3 years £9,250 per year
Call Now
SW 4 years £9,250 per year* (excluding sandwich year)
Call Now

International Students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BA (Hons) Sep 2018 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 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.

Places available to start in September 2018

If you'd like to start this course full-time this September, you can apply through Clearing.


0121 331 6777

Our Clearing hotline opens at 6am on Thursday 16 August.

Call us now

Social media

Get an offer or ask a question by direct messaging us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Message us

Want to start in September 2019?

You can apply via UCAS from 5 September 2018.

Portfolio Guidance

If your application is progressed, you will be asked to submit a portfolio of your creative work. Your portfolio is your opportunity to show us examples of your work and creative interests to support your application.

If you are a UK home-based student you will need to bring a physical portfolio with you to one our portfolio review days. Please see our portfolio guidance page for tips and advice on putting your portfolio together.

If you are an EU or International student you will be asked to submit a digital portfolio as part of your application. Please see our international portfolio guidance page for guidance on how to create and submit your portfolio. 

Personal statement

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:

Course choice

Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?

Career plans

If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.

Work experience

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.

Additional costs

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 your course. 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.

View additional costs for this course

Worried about personal statements?

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.

Get personal statement advice

Loans and Grants

Financial Support

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.

Year one

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.

Design development and realisation
40 credits

Fundamental practical skills and idea development.

Individual aesthetic
20 credits

Drawing, presentation and layout (hand/CAD). Development of creative hand-writing styles.

Creative direction
40 credits

Selection of two project briefs from a suite of options aligned to specific exit routes.

Context and theory
20 credits

Industry awareness/career planning.

Year two

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.

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. 
Creative realisation
40 credits

Creative and technical exploration skills such as creative cutting techniques and fabric and print application.

Critical studies
20 credits

Academic research and writing skills.

(Option 1) Work placement
20 credits

Work experience/live project.

(Option 2) Collaborative practice 2
20 credits

Interdisciplinary project collaboration.

Advanced practice
40 credits

Development of advanced skills such as design research and ideas development and advanced construction methods.

Year three

During your final year of study, you will focus on your own individual area of practice and produce garments that reflect your personal direction as a creative fashion design graduate.

Modules include:
Independent project research
20 credits

Establish and consolidate ideas for independent project, such as creative and conceptual design research, including the development of ideas for garment detail, fabric and finish.

 
Independent practice
60 credits
Major Project
40 credits

Dissertation

This course is ideal if you intend to pursue a creative career in fashion design and related industries. Our previous graduates work within companies including H&M, Victoria Beckham, Marks & Spencer and Erdem, as well as many other international brands.

Within the first year you will be introduced to the fundamental skills needed to work within the fashion industry including fashion theory, commercial and conceptual design, trend research and garment development.

During your second year, you will develop these skills to a more focused and advanced level before applying for work experience within your chosen sector of the industry, with the option of a sandwich year between the second and third years of study.

In your final year, you will design and produce a collection of garments plus associated portfolio work for your major project, with a focus on either the menswear or womenswear market sectors.

On successful completion, you will graduate with a portfolio-based final outcome relevant to your individual career aspirations.

Download our lookbook to see examples of student work

Teaching breakdown

valuelabelcolor
26 Time in lectures, seminars and similar MidnightBlue
70 Time in independent study RoyalBlue
4 Time on placement LightSkyBlue

Assessment breakdown

Student stories

Rebecca Short

Fashion design graduate Rebecca Short had the surprise of a lifetime when one of her experimental outfits was worn by pop icon Lady Gaga in front of a worldwide audience.

Cleo McColgan

Cleo McColgan gained a prestigious graduate position with world-famous fashion label Abercrombie and Fitch after graduating. She was one of a handful of elite graduates recruited by the company each year, alongside fellow graduate Phoebe Stonehill. They both took up their new roles at Abercrombie’s Head Office in Ohio in February 2014.

View more examples of student work...

Our BA (Hons) Fashion Design course currently benefits from its active Erasmus Exchange partnerships with the following institutions:

Student stories Betty Jackson CBE

Internationally Renowned Fashion Designer

Betty Jackson is an internationally renowned fashion designer who is well known for developing bold and imaginative textile prints and translating them onto 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.

In 2008, she was asked by the Lord Chief Justice for help with modernising the gowns of the civil judiciary, and she also designed costumes for the characters Eddy and Patsy in the 1990s hit TV comedy 'Absolutely Fabulous'.

Placements

A requirement of the optional sandwich year within our course is to gain valuable experience to enhance employability within our students. Our students can be found gaining experience in may major fashion brands including; H&M, Next, Amanda Wakeley, Mary Katrantzou and Iris Van Herpen.


Links to industry

Throughout our course we actively encourage collaboration sponsored and live projects with the fashion industry. We have worked with Paul Smith, Burberry, George and Rab. These collaborations underpin our delivery and add value to the curriculum within the course.

OpportUNIty

OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

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.

Student stories - Holly Jayne Smith

BA (Hons) Fashion Design graduate

Holly Jayne Smith, secured the British Council International Residency Award for her bold and colourful creations.

Holly’s striking collection included high hats and bold prints, patterned with monochrome stripes, and was featured on the catwalk at Graduate Fashion Week 2014.

As part of Holly’s prize, she travelled to Casablanca and spent time with winners of the Moroccan Talent Award to produce a collection, inspired by her time in the country.

Firewalking

BCU Graduate+

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.

More about Graduate+

Graduate jobs

Graduates from our course progress to gain jobs within many of the major high end and high street companies, both within the UK and overseas. You’ll find Birmingham City University alumni working in Adidas, Marks & Spencer, Erdem and Victoria Beckham.

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

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.

Learn more about BCUIC

Popular home countries

Our students come from around the world but our fashion design course is most popular with international students from:  

Parkside and Curzon Buildings

Our Facilities

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.

External Parkside Building and Water Feature
Parkside building from Curzon building
Parkside Interior
Fashion Studio Image CRM March 2017
Fashion Studio WS sewing busy
Fashion Studio WS 1
dress stands 1
Fashion Studio Dress Stands 1
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Costume Design and Practice Room Pattern Cutting MS 1
TECHNICIAN_Extra
Garment Tech IDigit board 2
Garment Tech IDigit board 1
Garment Tech IDigit software 1
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Garment Tech Plotter 1

Our staff

Our staff team have industry experience within computer aided design, pattern cutting, fashion history and design, and have worked alongside many internationally recognised brands. You will 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.

See full list of our staff