BA Fashion Design
In this Section:
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.
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.
These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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