Faculty of Performance, Visual Arts & Communications

School of Design

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BA Fashion Design

This degree offers you the freedom to express your creativity in fashion design, working in our well-equipped studios and purpose-built computer facilities. You’ll also have the benefits of studying at a Russell Group university, gaining a sound academic understanding of the principles of art and design and how fashion relates to the world around it.

Core modules cover key issues in design and introduce you to professional standards. But you’ll also be able to choose from a wide variety of optional modules to follow your own interests and creativity. You’ll even have the choice of studying abroad for a year or taking a valuable placement year in industry to gain first-hand experience of the fashion world. It’s a great way to prepare for a career in this fast-paced industry.

Specialist facilities

We have plenty of facilities to help you make the most of your time at Leeds. You’ll be able to develop your practice in spacious, well-lit and well-equipped studios, as well as purpose-built CAD clusters.

The University is also home to the Yorkshire Fashion Archive which contains a huge variety of haute couture, fashion garments and everyday clothing bought and worn by Yorkshire locals throughout the 20th century – a great resource for your own research and design.

ULITA – an archive of international textiles – is housed on campus and collects, preserves and documents textiles and related areas from around the world. You can make appointments to view items, but it also has an online catalogue where you can explore the major collections.

Our campus also houses the M&S Company Archive which includes documents, advertising, photos, films, clothing and merchandise from throughout Marks & Spencer’s history. It’s a fascinating insight into how fashion and the marketplace have changed and continue to evolve.


In your first year, you’ll work on the building blocks of your degree – design development and garment construction – whilst gaining an understanding of both menswear and womenswear. You’ll learn how to find and research the key information you need to create fashion products.

Core modules will underpin your studies, introducing you to the principles of design theory, green issues, visual communications and art and design as a whole. You could also take discovery modules from across the University, including business and enterprise modules run by Leeds University Business School that are very popular with BA Fashion Design students.

In Year 2, you’ll be able to specialise in menswear or womenswear in your studio practice and work to industrial standards. As you start to build a professional, diverse portfolio of your own work, you’ll face a range of project briefs to develop design solutions for different consumers and different market levels. Optional modules will allow you to focus on subjects such as photography, designing sports and performance clothing or fashion in the 20th century.

The knowledge you develop throughout your course will come together in the final year, when you’ll continue to grow and explore your personal design philosophy. You’ll demonstrate the critical, research and design skills you’ve gained by creating innovative garments and a professional design portfolio, in conjunction with a written dissertation on a fashion topic of your choice.

Course structure

These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

Year 1

Compulsory modules

  • Fundamentals of Imaging 20 credits
  • Research and Design Development 20 credits
  • Garment Technology 1 20 credits
  • Material Culture and Mass Consumption 20 credits
  • Design History: 1900 to the Present day 10 credits

Optional modules

  • Green Design and Sustainability 10 credits
  • Introduction to Photography (Digital) 10 credits
  • Patterns and Culture 10 credits
  • Colour and the Design Process 10 credits
  • Fashion Brand Analysis 10 credits
  • Drawing 1A 10 credits
  • Drawing 1B 10 credits
  • Technologies for Art and Design 10 credits

Year 2

Compulsory modules

  • Research Methods 1: Finding and Using Research Resources 10 credits
  • Research Methods 2: Research, Writing and Dissertation 10 credits
  • Marketing Creativity and Innovation 20 credits
  • Design Development and Portfolio 20 credits
  • Garment Technology 2 20 credits

Optional modules

  • Class, Taste and Society: Interpreting Designed Objects. 10 credits
  • Fashion Management 10 credits
  • Design for Sports and Performance Clothing 10 credits
  • Design Management and Trends 10 credits
  • Colour: Art and Science 10 credits
  • 20th Century Fashion 10 credits

Year 3

Compulsory modules

  • Fashion Innovation: Research and Analysis (Negotiated Project) 20 credits
  • Portfolio: Research and Analysis 20 credits
  • Portfolio: Design and Content 20 credits
  • Independent Study Dissertation 40 credits

Optional modules

  • Landscape, Place and Environment in Contemporary Art 20 credits
  • Fashion Innovation: Product (Negotiated Project) 20 credits
  • Fashion Styling and Photography 20 credits
  • Brand Communications 20 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Fashion Design BA in programme catalogue

Broadening your academic horizons

At Leeds we want you to benefit from the depth and breadth of the University's expertise, to prepare you for success in an ever-changing and challenging world. This course gives you the opportunity to broaden your learning by studying discovery modules. Find out more on the Broadening webpages.

Learning and teaching

This degree covers a range of different approaches and disciplines. As a result, you’ll benefit from a variety of teaching and learning styles. Lectures, seminars and tutorials are among the most common, particularly in more theory-based modules, and you’ll also have one-to-one contact with tutors in studios and workshops.

However, independent study is at the heart of this degree. It builds your research and critical skills, but it also lets you develop your individual voice as a designer.

Assessment

Creative practical work is assessed using visual presentations and portfolios among other methods, or you may have to submit practical log books or collections of design work. Written exams, essays and other written responses to assignment briefs may also be part of the mix, depending on the modules you choose.


Entry requirements

A-level: ABB including an art of design-related subject and not including General Studies or Critical Thinking.

If you don’t have an art or design-related subject but you are taking Media Studies A-level, we may also consider your application based on a high grade at GCSE in Art/Design and a portfolio of recent and relevant work.

Alternate Qualifications

Access to HE Diploma

Pass: 60 credits including 45 at level 3, with grades specified for individual subjects.

BTEC

DDM

Cambridge Pre-U

D3, M2, M2 including art or design.

International Baccalaureate

34 overall (16 higher, with 5 or 6 in art/visual art/design)

Irish Highers (Leaving Certificate)

(Leaving Certificate): AABBBB including art or design

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

AABBBB OR AAABB (B at advanced level) OR AABBB (BB at advanced level) including an art or design subject

Other Qualifications

Art Foundation course: We welcome Art Foundation course students. However, the qualification is not a requirement for entry and doesn’t usually count towards entry requirements, which are based on A-levels and equivalent qualifications. In exceptional cases, we may make you an offer conditional on achieving an Art Foundation qualification: we may consider your application if you’re taking a validated Art Foundation course and have ABB or above at A-level not including Art or Design.
If you’re taking the EPQ, we may make you an alternative offer in addition to the standard offer. In this case that would be BBB, plus EPQ grade A.

Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the Schools Undergraduate Admissions Team.

Alternative entry

Were committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.

Access to Leeds is an alternative admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.

Find out more about Access to Leeds and alternative admissions.

International

We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For information contact the School of Design Undergraduate Admissions Team.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for the programme may be able to study an English for Academic Purposes pre-sessional course with a progression route to the degree programme. For information and entry requirements, read Pre-sessional programmes.

How to apply

Apply to this course through UCAS. The institution code for the University of Leeds is L23. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.

Documents and information you’ll need

If you don’t have an A-level in a related art or design subject, you’ll need to submit a portfolio of recent and relevant art/design work. Please email at least six images of recent work to texug@leeds.ac.uk at the time of your application to UCAS – the email subject line should include your name and UCAS ID number.

International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK/EU students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If youre unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

School of Design Undergraduate Admissions Policy

Fees

UK/EU: See fees section below

International: £17,000 (per year)

For UK and non-UK EU students starting in 2017, the fee for 2017/18 will be £9,250, subject to parliamentary approval of changes to higher education funding. We anticipate that we will be able to confirm the 2017 fee in late 2016. 

The fee may increase in future years of your course, as permitted by law. Although the basis of future fee increases is not guaranteed, we expect the government to allow fees to increase in line with inflation. For example, the increase of 2.8% for 2017/18 was based on the governments forecast for the RPI-X measure of inflation.

The UK government has confirmed that non-UK EU students starting in 2017 will have home fee status and be eligible for UK government student loans for the duration of their course. Read the full government statement

If you take a study abroad or work placement year, youll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.

Read more about paying fees and charges.

We expect that you will have to pay for the printing and production of visual and written coursework. Toile fabrics are provided at wholesale costs, but in final year you may wish to use a particular fabric. We encourage you to find sponsorship if possible.

There are optional study trips abroad which will involve an additional cost: details will be provided as these are arranged.

Additional cost information

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.


Career opportunities

Your professional and practical skills are obviously central to the degree, and they will prepare you for an exciting career in the fashion industry. If you take an industrial placement year, you’ll also have valuable experience for your CV. But because Leeds offers you the chance to study academic modules that put your practice into context, you will also develop a range of transferable skills that appeal to all kinds of employers.

You’ll be a confident communicator with excellent presentation skills, as well as being an analytical problem-solver with strong research skills. You’ll have great visual, critical and commercial awareness, as well as an in-depth understanding of consumer profiles and trends in a fast-changing market.

Graduates have pursued a wide range of careers. In the fashion industry including; design, pattern cutting, garment technology, buying, trend forecasting, PR and journalism, they’ve gone to work for companies including Abercrombie & Fitch, BMB Menswear, Esprit, George, New Look, Next, River Island, Ted Baker, Tommy Hilfiger, Warehouse, French Connection, H&M, Karen Millen, Dunhill International, Christopher Kane, Amanda Wakeley, Betty Jackson and Paul Smith.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. Thats one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.


Placement opportunities

Study abroad

On this course you have the opportunity to apply to spend time abroad, usually as an extra academic year. The University has partnerships with more than 400 universities worldwide and popular destinations for our students include Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa and Latin America. 

Find out more at the Study Abroad website.


Work placement

The industrial placement option is particularly popular with BA Fashion Design students – it’s great for your personal and professional development, and some students have even been offered permanent roles at their placement companies.

Students have worked in in designing, buying, pattern cutting, PR, visual merchandising and other roles for companies like ASOS, Amanda Wakeley, Monsoon, Christopher Kane, WGSN, Mark Jacobs, River Island, Alexander McQueen and French Connection. Many companies are so impressed with Leeds students that they request them every year.

Read more about the Year in Industry


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