Why Should I Do a Foundation Year? Q&A with Course Director Louise Martin

For many students, our Foundation Year in Fashion and Textiles is an exciting opportunity to experiment, develop their personal design style and grow their confidence before taking on their degree course.

We caught up with Course Director Louise Martin to find out why you should consider doing the Foundation course…

Louise smiling at student

Could you tell us about your experience and how this feeds into your course?

I’ve had extensive experience as an interior designer and consultant, design manager, stylist, as a designer-maker developing a successful business, and as a lecturer in fashion and textiles.

This industry experience coupled with my knowledge as a lecturer helps me to understand what our students need to know and learn in order to progress successfully onto their chosen degree pathway within the School of Fashion and Textiles.

What is the philosophy of your course?

The Foundation course is about you! It’s been designed to help you, the student, extend your knowledge of the varied degree pathways - fashion design, fashion business, fashion branding, and textile design - to ensure you choose the right route for you. 

The course aims to stretch and excite you by encouraging your individual self-discovery. We’re a community who share energy and enthusiasm for your creative and business journeys within the fashion and textiles industries.

Why do you feel it’s beneficial to do a Foundation Year and how will it set students up for their BA?

The Foundation year will help you become an independent learner, building your confidence through studying and developing different types of skills and processes in preparation for your degree routes and for the world of work.

It’s perfect for anyone who wants to study fashion and textiles but would like more time to explore elements of the different courses we offer before committing to a particular pathway.

What support will Foundation students receive during their course?

The Foundation year offers 20 hours of student-facing teaching time which means you’ll have 3 days per week of set sessions. These include weekly one-to-one tutorials and group tutorials. Even outside of this, we’re always available to give support or guidance – there are no daft questions!

We also have great links established with our Student Success Advisors and Wellbeing team who are all there for you if life gets a bit bumpy and you need a helping hand.

Where are students based and what is the learning environment like?

Our students work across a number of rooms in the Parkside Building to ensure that they have access to all of the facilities from the IT suites to the fashion and textile workshops including printing, weaving and much more!

As we are on the city centre campus, you also have easy access to the Library and Students’ Union as well as being right next to the City Centre and Digbeth’s creative quarter.

If you had to name one thing about your course that makes it distinct, what would it be?

We have created a course that is student-focused and can be tailored to each student’s individual journey!

Find out more about the School of Fashion and Textiles