How a foundation year prepared me for my fashion degree

Lucy Ettinger joined Birmingham City University’s School of Fashion and Textiles to study BA (Hons) Fashion Business and Promotion with a Foundation Year. Lucy shares her experience as a foundation student and how the course provided her with a range of skills to prepare for her degree.

"As I didn't reach the entry requirements to get on the course I had initially applied for, I was offered a place on the foundation year. I’m extremely grateful for this as I was provided the opportunity explore newfound skills and interests within the industry, as I came from a business and graphic design background previously. The foundation course helped me transition into my BA (Hons) Fashion Business and Promotion course by easing my nerves and providing me with key skills.

"We were presented with interactive activities during the foundation year, including practical workshops, guest lecturers and exciting industry trips to galleries and fashion archives. The workshops were stimulating, inspiring and by far some of my favourite with live guest speakers such as Els Dragt. Additionally, I gained important industry knowledge for example how to trend spot, research societal patterns, analyse data, and implement theory.

"Foundation year has helped me prepare for my BA course in multiple ways. Not only did the foundation course teach me practical skills, but it also helped me gain confidence through pitch presentations and show-and-tell style tutorials. It also equipped me to use industry standard computer software, as we were introduced to Adobe programs such as Photoshop, InDesign and Premier Pro.

"I have two big achievements that I’m proud of in my degree so far. In my foundation year, I received an award for ongoing excellent progression throughout the course. Another noted success was received for my determination and dedication in 2021. Both occasions I felt extremely proud, not only in myself but that my lectures and course directors had noticed my work ethic and self-progression throughout the year.

"In future, I have plans to study abroad and complete a Master’s degree at Amsterdam Fashion Institute. Alongside a Master's, I’d like to explore various fashion business opportunities within retail and in the form of a placement or internship. The plan is ambitious, however I’m ready for the challenge. I want to ensure the pathway I decide to take is perfect for me and I aim to gain as much experience as possible along the way. 

"I love the diversity and inclusivity at the university. Everyone is super friendly, welcoming, and approachable. Most lecturers are like friends - relatable and witty. When times get tough there are countless resources and university figures there to help. You never feel alone or lost. There is a place for everyone at BCU.

"I would recommend the foundation course to anyone who is uncertain on which pathway to go down as it acts as stepping stones to your academic journey. Throw yourself into every module so that you get a true feel for each topic and assignment. Enjoy yourself and the one-to-one time with lecturers, utilise your tutorial time and don’t be afraid to get things wrong or ask for help."

Find out more about our foundation year course