A fast-paced, dynamic and demanding course for determined and ambitious individuals who want a career in fashion.
- A reputation for producing highly individual, award-winning designers and practitioners
- Member of the British Fashion Council Colleges Council and Graduate Fashion Week
- Unique partnership with the world famous Fashion Museum – students have special access to an unrivalled collection of fashion
"The most special thing I will take from my studies is the relentless time and support given by the tutors and their continued mentoring as I begin my career."
– Chloe Jones, Fashion Design, graduated 2012
Why study Fashion Design?
The course offers a comprehensive design education for dedicated and ambitious individuals looking for a specialist career in the fashion industry. Our philosophy is to develop students as individuals to become innovative and creative designers with a design aesthetic relevant to the contemporary fashion industry. There is an emphasis on ideas, creativity, and developing your own personal design philosophy underpinned with strong pattern cutting and product development skills. We aim to take the fear out of the ‘technical’ side of fashion by combining the ‘technical’ and ‘design’ into one creative endeavour. We look for highly motivated students with a strong creative focus and a clear determination to enter the highly competitive world of fashion.
Fashion is a dynamic and challenging discipline that is an expression of what people feel and think. It is about evolution and change through design, influenced by cultural, social, historical, economic and political change. To this end you’ll cover all aspects of the design process, from research and design development, drawing and illustration, colour and fabric development, historical and cultural studies, as well as the ability to translate ideas from 2D to 3D.
We foster active, experiential learning; encouraging you to become a critically engaged, independent thinker.
- Year 1
This level covers the core fundamentals of fashion design disciplines including 2D and 3D practice, CAD, construction, design, drawing, illustration, pattern cutting, ideas research and trend research as well as fabric sourcing and development, the relationship between fabric and design. You will develop two-dimensional presentation skills and drawing in sketch books to inspire and inform your three- dimensional work and will use the Fashion Museum as a key resource for research. Tailoring is also covered at this level.
We’ll introduce you to fashion history and context.
- Year 2
In your second year you will be encouraged to develop a more personal design style and to develop collections through research, design development, and design translation using drape and modelling on the stand. You will learn to communicate your creative talent and versatility through a portfolio of design work, and will participate in a live project brief offering the chance to be selected for a paid summer internship in San Francisco. You will also undertake an external brief.
- Year 3
At this level you are expected to develop a more strategic perspective and draw together your academic and work experiences. You will be encouraged to work as a designer in the real world liaising with fabric companies and collaborating with other disciplines as necessary and will have the opportunity to specialise in areas of particular interest. You will have opportunities to enter national design competitions and will work to create a highly professional contemporary collection as well as a strong portfolio of work and self promotional materials. You will study professional contexts that will develop your general business knowledge and help you develop an employment strategy.
Collections are selected for an annual fashion show at Graduate Fashion Week in London, attended by industry and press from the UK and overseas, whilst all collections are showcased in an annual fashion show in Bath.
At this level you will also undertake a written thesis.
Continuous assessment: 84% main study modules, 16% historical and critical studies. There are no written exams.
Students usually undertake work placements and internships in London, though students and graduates have also undertaken internships overseas in San Francisco, Paris, Germany, and New York.
We organise visits to Trade Fares and factories nationally and internationally. Please note, you will have to pay for these study visits.
Work placements, industry links and internships
Our partnership with the Fashion Museum gives you special access to an unrivalled archive of fashion as well as termly facilitated sessions with museum staff.
Live projects are incorporated into the course, currently these are Old Navy in San Francisco and Hobbs in the UK. Previous projects have been set by companies such as Jaeger, Nicole Farhi, Karen Millen and Griffin menswear.
You will be expected to undertake a work placement or internship during the summer vacations, however these are not assessed and can be undertaken nationally or internationally (finance permitting). Work placements have been undertaken at Erdem, Issa, Adidas, Nicole Farhi, Alexander McQueen, Karen Millen, Griffin, Pentland Group, New Look, Betty Jackson, Whistles, Stella McCartney, Chloe, Boudicca, Vivienne Westwood, Roland Mouret, Warehouse, Ted Baker and Twenty8Twelve.
You have the opportunity to enter national and international design competitions and to present your collection in the university fashion show. You may also be selected to show at Graduate Fashion Week in London.
In 2012 Chloe Jones, and in 2014 Grace Weller, won both the the overall Womenswear and Gold Awards at Graduate Fashion Week, following in the footsteps of previous winners Christopher Bailey, Matthew Williamson and Stella McCartney.
Stephanie Kitchen won the national design competition Fashion Awareness Direct, showcasing her outfits at the start of London Fashion Week 2013. Stephanie also won the 2013 Textiles Institute award for her final collection as showcased at the Foreign Office in London.
In 2015 two students were selected for a 10-week paid internship with Old Navy in San Francisco, California.
Tutorials: The most individual form of teaching you will receive outside of one-to-one help in the studio.
Lectures: Lecturers may be members of the course academic team, or visiting specialists.
Group Discussion/Seminars: These provide a platform to debate and examine implications, influences, and demands of a project as well as issues of interest and ensure you are well informed. Active participation in an exchange of ideas is important to help you develop articulate, and confident attitudes to your work.
Practical Demonstrations: A specialist will demonstrate techniques, skills, equipment and a variety of technical procedures that you will need to know to successfully complete modules.
Group Criticisms: Completed projects are usually evaluated as group criticisms. This gives you opportunity to analyse and evaluate your work in a group context and learn to explain your ideas coherently. You should learn to evaluate criticism, how to accept it, and how to give it.
All full time applications are through UCAS
International students should visit our international pages for more information about our entry requirements, fees and scholarships, and student support.
For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Typical offer range for UK / EU applicants
We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. The main ones are listed below:
- A Level - Grades BCC including Grade B in Textiles or Art & Design related subjects preferred.
- Applicants will be invited to interview and will be required to submit a high quality portfolio
- BTEC- Extended Diploma grades Distinction, Merit. Merit (DMM) in a related subject in addition to other qualifications or evidence of experience in Art.
- International Baccalaureate - A minimum of 27 points and HL Art subject at grade 6 will be required in addition to evidence of further experience in Art & Design.
- Access to HE courses - Typical offers for applicants with Access to HE will be the Access to HE Diploma or Access to HE Certificate (60 credits, 45 of which must be Level 3, including 30 at merit or higher).
English Language Requirements for International and EU Applicants
IELTS 6.0 - for visa nationals, with a minimum score of IELTS 5.5 in each element.
We recommend that applicants undertake a pre-degree foundation diploma in Art and Design in addition to the qualifications listed above.
All applicants will be sent an application project and selection for interview will be based on this submission. Following portfolio submission successful applicants will be invited for interview at our Sion Hill Campus. An offer of a place will be made following a successful portfolio review and interview.
List of current alumni careers
Graduates have been employed at Zara (Spain), Chinti & Parker, Osman, Peter Pilotto, Old Navy (San Francisco), Berghaus, Issa, Toast, Dune, Mulberry, Roland Mouret, Boudicca, Coast, Karen Millen, Giles Deacon, Gieves and Hawkes, Esprit (Cologne), French Connection, Sharon Wauchob (Paris), Joseph, and Nicole Farhi. Other graduates have progressed to study Masters’ Degrees, or set up their own businesses.
Careers could include:
- in-house designer
- freelance designer
- design consultancy
- creative pattern cutter
- freelance pattern cutter
- designing/pattern cutting for manufacturers
- product developer
- technical designer
What students say...
A graduate from Bath Spa University was featured in Italian Vogue’s graduate design talent supplement in September
2011 and September 2012.
Bath Spa graduate Chloe Jones won the prestigious Womenswear and Gold Award at Graduate Fashion Week 2012, following in the footsteps of previous winners including Christopher Bailey, Stella McCartney, and Mathew Williamson.
Stephanie Kitchen won the national design competition set by Fashion Awareness Direct, showcasing her outfits at the start of London Fashion Week 2013. Stephanie also won the 2013 Textiles Institute award for her final collection as showcased at the Foreign Office in London.
Chloe Jones, Fashion Design, graduated 2012:
“After graduating I did a placement within the industry working as a Design Assistant. As well as designing my own ranges, I learnt a huge amount about other areas of the company from sampling and production through to the buying of the product. I was also recently invited to show my work at Vauxhall Fashion Scout’s ‘Graduate Showcase’ during London Fashion Week 2012. This was amazing exposure and an incredible chance to meet some really influential people within the industry.
When I graduated from Bath Spa, I felt like I had all the necessary tools and knowledge to enter industry, and was as prepared as I could be for the next step in my career. The course encourages creativity and exploration whilst highlighting the importance of technical skills. However, the most special thing I will take from my studies is the relentless time and support given by the tutors and their continued mentoring as I begin my career.”
Petulia Galvin, Fashion Design, Year 2:
“The fashion design course is both challenging and fast paced, but ultimately very rewarding. It has made me question my own work in a way that I never have before, it pushes you to become not only creatively intellectual but
technically advanced as well, in the form of flat pattern cutting, sewing skills and drape lessons. I think that it is very beneficial having tutors from an industry background as they make you work to a much more professional, forward
thinking standard. Working in such a close-knit and exciting environment, and being able to interact with tutors on a daily basis who have such strong and legitimate opinions really opens your eyes to a new and exciting way of working and really pushes you to fulfil your full potential as a designer. Now in my second year, it is so gratifying to see how much my design work and drawing skills have progressed since I started the course, and I am excited for what the future entails.”