Fashion Design

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How to Apply

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A fast-paced, dynamic and demanding course with a strong emphasis on creativity and individuality underpinned with strong cutting and product development skills.

Why study Fashion Design?

The course encourages the development of individual design identity through the translation of personal research into design ideas underpinned with strong technical skills. There is an emphasis on developing sophisticated research skills in order to develop original concepts, with strengths in making and development in 3D. We aim to take the fear out of the ‘technical’ side of fashion by combining the ‘technical’ and ‘design’ so both areas become one creative endeavour.

The Fashion Design course at Bath Spa has developed a reputation for producing highly individual and creative designers and practioners with a strong skill set, capable of working at all levels of the market.

The course offers a comprehensive design education at degree level for dedicated and ambitious individuals looking for a specialist career within the creative arena of the fashion industry.  It encourages  the development of individual design identity through the translation of personal research into design ideas underpinned with strong technical skills and 3D realisation.

Students foster a deeper understanding of the cultural, and social development of fashion through a unique partnership with the world famous Fashion Museum  allowing for a fully integrated programme of Historical and Cultural studies and special access to an unrivalled collection of fashion.

Course structure

The course covers all aspects of the design process, from research and design development to creating and translating ideas from 2D to 3D. There is a focus on the combining of the ‘technical’ with ‘design’ as we see this as one creative process.

The first year aims to cover five main areas:

  • Through partnership with the Fashion Museum, you will follow a fully integrated programme of lectures and handling sessions as an introduction to Fashion History and Context, as well as the relationship between historical research and studio practice.
  • Design: across a range of seasons and product areas, using sophisticated research, design and presentation skills. You will explore the importance of innovative cutting and the relationship to fabric, what constitutes a collection, design in relation to a chosen consumer and / or market, and drawing for fashion including fashion drawing, illustration and working / flat drawings.
  • The development of ideas into 3D through Flat Pattern Cutting and Construction alongside sewing skills workshops.
  • Tailoring: introducing the history and context of tailoring, designing tailored fashion, and the development of tailoring techniques and processes.
  • Professional Contexts

 As you progress to Year 2 you will continue to develop your unique approach to research, design and drawing skills, experiment and develop new skills, as well as carry out research at the Fashion Museum, whilst also being introduced to developing ideas through Draping and Modelling on the Stand, Couture Sewing Skills, Digital Technology for Fashion, and Portfolio Presentation.

2nd year students have the opportunity to work with London Fashion Week Show Producer and Stylist, on ‘Bath in Fashion’.

In Year 3 you are encouraged to develop independently and have the freedom to negotiate your own body of final work, challenge originality and creative output whilst utilising the skills acquired throughout the course, as well as:

  • Professional Contexts: preparation of a professional portfolio, enter national design competitions, self-promotion, and develop strategies with regards to employability.
  • Final Studies Essay / Dissertation
  • Final Collection: the opportunity for you to generate unique and exclusive design concepts from initial idea through to final realisation and promotion.

Students have the opportunity to present their final collection in the university end of year exhibitions or fashion show, and may be selected to show at Graduate Fashion Week in London. The course is a member of the British Fashion Council Colleges Council and Graduate Fashion Week.

Course assessment

Continuous assessment: 84% main study modules, 16% historical and critical studies.  There are no written exams

Graduate Fashion Show 2015

The course offers a personalised learning environment, created through one-to-one tutorials and work reviews with staff and invited guests from industry. You will be taught by staff that have national and international reputations as professional designers and pattern cutters with many years fashion industry experience. There is also an extensive range of visiting lecturers and a lively programme of speakers from industry.

The course has a unique partnership with the world famous Fashion Museum in Bath where you will have special access to an unrivalled collection of fashion.

Live industry projects are incorporated into the course and have been set by companies such as Jaeger, Nicole Farhi, Karen Millen, Whistles, Double O, and Griffin.

Students are encouraged to secure work placements between Years 1+2 and 2+3. Work placements have been undertaken at Erdem, Issa, Nicole Farhi, Alexander McQueen, Karen Millen, Griffin, New Look, Betty Jackson, Whistles, Stella McCartney, Chloe, Boudicca, Vivienne Westwood, Roland Mouret, Dewhirst, Warehouse, Ted Baker and Twenty8Twelve.

The course is a member of the British Fashion Council Colleges Council and Graduate Fashion Week.



Teaching methods

The course encourages active, experiential learning and places emphasis on individual development and an increasing independence of thought and critical engagement. Design principles are introduced through direct engagement with materials and processes and technical skill.

You will benefit from:

  • Visiting lecturer programme: from practising designers, pattern cutters, stylists, magazine, buyers and other fashion related positions
  • Workshops: a key part of the work of the course, including designing, drawing, pattern cutting, construction and draping on the stand
  • Seminars: discussion groups to debate issues of interest and to ensure that you are well informed about past practise, current practise and future ideas
  • Tutorials: regular personal tutorials and work reviews
  • Visits/links with the industry: organised visits to exhibitions, industry, shows and museums both nationally and internationally
  • Work placements and exchanges: may be made nationally and internationally

Application method

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.

Course enquiries

For more information please contact

Typical offer range for UK / EU applicants

We recommend that applicants undertake a pre-degree foundation diploma in Art and Design. However if applying with A-Levels only, a total of 260 points (with a grade B in an Art and Design related subject) is expected, supported by a high quality portfolio.

Applicants applying with a BTEC Extended Diploma are expected to achieve an overall Merit grade (Merit, Merit, Merit).

All applicants will be sent an application project and selection for interview will be based on this submission. For all applicants invited for interview an offer of a place will be made following a successful portfolio review and interview.

Career opportunities

There are many career destinations open to you including the following: company/ in-house designer, freelance designer, design consultancy, creative pattern cutter, freelance pattern cutter, designing/pattern cutting for manufacturers, forecasting, fashion journalism, styling, buying, fabric/colour research, product developer and technical designer.

Recent graduates have been employed at Mulberry, Roland Mouret, Boudicca, Coast, Karen Millen, William Tempest, Giles Deacon, Bastyan, Gieves and Hawkes, Esprit (Cologne), French Connection, Joseph, and Nicole Farhi, whilst some have progressed to study Masters’ Degrees, or set up their own businesses.

Recent graduates have undertaken overseas internships in Paris, Germany, and New York

A Graduate from Bath Spa was featured in Italian Vogue’s graduate design talent supplement – in September 2011 and 2012

Chloe Jones won the overall Gold Award at Graduate Fashion Week 2012, following in the footsteps of previous winners Stella McCartney, Matthew Williamson and Christopher Bailey.

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.

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.”