BA (Hons) Fashion Design

100% of our BA (Hons) Fashion Design students were satisfied with their course. National Student Survey 2022

USW’s Fashion Design degree will extend your study beyond the university, so you also experience the fashion industry before you graduate.

We’ve created a learning environment that establishes the culture, attributes and skills needed for life after graduation. You’ll engage in design thinking and learn how to solve complex issues of design, understand sustainability and commercial success, and develop your strong creative vision. But the key to this degree is you. We want to help you achieve your goals and help you find your place.

You’ll study at USW’s creative campus in the centre of Cardiff. Our studios offer views of the city, and social spaces for generating ideas and collaborating with other students. All our facilities are purpose-built and industry-standard, so you'll experience what it’s like to work in the fashion industry while you study, helping you prepare for your tomorrow, today.

We believe in an anti-elitist and inclusive approach to fashion. We challenge the problematic elements of the industry, while honouring fashion’s potential to be radical, thought-provoking, innovative and embrace the full spectrum of humanity.

We seek to educate non-conformists and change-makers. Our graduates make a difference through their work. They use fashion as a way to address real issues, such as disability, politics, racial inequality, garment workers’ rights, and environmental issues.

Ranked top 10 overall and top 5 in the UK for teaching and course satisfaction for Fashion and Textiles. (Guardian University Guide 2023)

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UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
W230 Full-time 3 Years September Cardiff (ATRiuM) B

Modules on our Fashion Design degree will push you, helping you grow into a professional designer who can thrive in the global fashion industry. You will learn new ways to think, make, draw, and promote yourself, so you’ll be ready to respond to working in this demanding industry.

Each year, modules build on the skills you have already gained and aim to enhance your creativity.

The degree starts with building a solid foundation in core skills: sewing, drawing, pattern cutting, designing, and researching. These are essential to your career as a designer. You’ll begin to connect with the industry through partnerships and projects in the second year, which will improve your design practice.

Your final year is a creative playground, where you’ll really develop as a designer and become ready launch into the industry. Combining traditional and cutting-edge technology, you’ll have the skills and creativity to define you as a contemporary and innovative industry professional. All your hard work will culminate at Graduate Fashion week in London, where you will launch your collection.

Year One

• Fashion Engineering 1 – Fashion Introduction
Garment construction, industrial sewing techniques, pattern drafting and cutting, technical documentation, and project management.

• Fashion Design 1 – Fashion Design Methods
How to innovate using the design process, fashion design techniques, design methods, and project management.

• Fashion Engineering 2 – Sustainable Production
Sustainable sewing processes, zero-waste and sustainable pattern cutting techniques, and draping.

• Fashion Design 2 – Circular Fashion Design
Sustainable design methods, circular fashion design, design for disassembly, and upcycling.

• Fashion Cultures 1 – Fashion Studies
Design history, fashion history, gender studies, sustainable design theory, fashion ethics, and academic research skills.

• Fashion Communication – Visual Language
Fashion illustration, visual communication, drawing for design, digital illustration, and technical drawing.

Year Two

• Fashion Engineering 3 – Traditional Construction
Traditional construction techniques in a modern context, advanced construction techniques, and advanced pattern cutting processes.

• Fashion Design 3 – Fashion Realisation
Three-dimensional design techniques, process through product development, industry-focused design and innovation.

• Fashion Cultures 2 – Fashion and Society
Critical perspectives on fashion in relation to identity, ethics, media cultures and industry practices, and research methods in preparation for your final year dissertation.

• Fashion Design 4 – Design for Industry
Developing your identity as a designer, digital design skills, design for Industry, understanding the global fashion industry, digital image manipulation, and future design methods.

• Fashion Engineering 4 – Future Construction
Future construction processes, digital technical skills required in Industry, 3D printing, laser cutting, digital pattern cutting, and pushing at the boundaries of what is possible in garment construction.

• Fashion Industry Preparation – Industry Skills and Experience
Personal branding, portfolio preparation, CV development, professional skills, and the role of branding in design.

Optional Sandwich Year

• Fashion Industry Experience Diploma
Working in the industry, gaining experience to define your place in the fashion and design industries, building networks in preparation for your final year.

Year Three

• Critical Research in Fashion
Developing a research base for your graduate collection.

• Professional Practice 1 – Launching collection research
Research and design for your launching collection, developing a brief, designing, experimenting, and digital design processes.

• Professional Practice 2 – Launching collection realisation
Creating your launch collection, production management, pattern cutting, toiling, sewing, digital creation, and cross-industry collaboration.

• Professional Strategies
Developing your professional profile, building a personal brand, CV development, social media strategy, understanding industry-standard professional behaviour, and career planning.

• Fashion Futures
Trend Forecasting, visual research, industry competitions.

• Professional Portfolio
Developing your professional portfolio, look book, photoshoots, working with models, and launching yourself into the industry.ho can thrive in the global fashion industry. You will learn new ways to think, make, draw, and promote yourself, so you’ll be ready to respond to working in this demanding industry.


Our teaching team is made up of industry professionals and technical experts. They will guide and push you to develop your own identity as a designer. You will develop all the skills and professional attributes required of an industry leader. You can expect lectures and workshop both online and in-person. Most of all, you can expect to be hands on and working from days one in our busy and active studios.


This degree is assessed through regular coursework submissions, as well as practical assessments, presentations and collaborative projects. Assessment is designed to support your learning and help you achieve your goals.


At USW we prepare you for your future career from day one. You'll work with industry throughout your degree and we'll support you to gain valuable experience through internships, work experience and placements.

We have strong links with industry partners that offer opportunities for work experience. Many of these are right on our doorstep in Cardiff, ensuring you make the most of your time in this creative capital city.

Fashion is a global industry and our links with international brands connect USW students to opportunities anywhere in the world. Many of our students have travelled globally to undertake work placements in India, Austalia, Europe and the USA. You'll also compete in national and international design competitions, which will showcase your work on a global stage.


As part of our Cardiff campus, fashion students benefit from a whole floor dedicated to fashion design, fashion promotion, and fashion business and marketing.

These facilities include two design studios with city and Bay views. All spaces are designed to inspire you to consider the fantastic location of a capital city in all the work that you do.

Specialist facilities include industrial sewing machines, specialist machines and steam presses, knitting machines, a variety of dress stands including male, female and children, laser cutting and 3D printing facilities, as well as a fully equipped production workshop and access to University-wide facilities and equipment. The fashion floor also features a creative space where students can meet to collaborate, work, host meetings, network and relax.

We have a full suite of manufacturing equipment, including industrial sewing machines. Our students also engage with the latest technological approaches for design and use software to design in 3D and 2D. This mix of live and digital design gives our students a unique experience and our graduates an edge.


We regularly revalidate courses for quality assurance and enhancement

At USW, we regularly review our courses in response to changing patterns of employment and skills demand to ensure we offer learning designed to reflect today’s student needs and tomorrow’s employer demands.

If during a review process course content is significantly changed, we’ll write to inform you and talk you through the changes for the coming year. But whatever the outcome, we aim to equip our students with the skillset and the mindset to succeed whatever tomorrow may bring. Your future, future-proofed.

The entry criteria below shows the qualification range within which the University will make offers. The University has a Contextual Admissions Policy, therefore, whilst most offers we make are at the top of the range, under the Policy we take certain aspects of an application into consideration and eligible UCAS applicants can receive a personalised offer or have results considered individually when you receive them.  Here is a link to our Contextual Admissions Policy Statement.

Combinations of qualifications are acceptable and other qualifications not listed here may also be acceptable. 


Applicants in the UK

Selection for this course is based on a suitable application. If you do not meet the entry criteria, you may also be required to provide a portfolio of your work to help us assess your suitability for the course.



Typical A-Level Offer

BCC - CDD to include a relevant art and design subject (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical Welsh BACC Offer

Pass the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Diploma with Grade C/D in the Skills Challenge Certificate and BC - CD at A Level with a relevant art and design subject (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical BTEC Offer

BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction Merit Merit - Merit Merit Pass in a relevant subject (this is equivalent to 112-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical IB Offer

Pass the International Baccalaureate Diploma with a minimum score of 29 overall including 5 or above in English at standard level

Typical Access to HE Offer

Pass the Access to HE Diploma with a minimum of 80 UCAS tariff points

Additional Requirements

GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum 5 GCSEs including Mathematics/Numeracy and English at Grade C or Grade 4 or above, or their equivalent, but consideration is given to individual circumstances

International Entry Requirements

We also welcome international applications with equivalent qualifications. Please visit the country specific pages on our international website for exact details.

English Requirements

In general, international applicants will need to have achieved an overall IELTS grade of 6.0 with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component.

However, if you have previously studied through the medium of English IELTS might not be required, but please visit the country specific page on our international website for exact details. If your country is not featured please contact us.

Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course


August 2023 - July 2024 Fees

  • Full-time UK:  £9000

  • Full-time International:  £14100 

Student Perks

At the University of South Wales, you’re investing in so much more than a degree. We strive to provide our students with the best possible experience, no matter what you chose to study. Whether it’s access to top of the range mac books and PCs, state-of-the-art facilities packed with industry-leading equipment and software, masterclasses and events led by industry experts, or a wide range of clubs and societies to meet likeminded people, better tomorrows start with extra perks.

Each course also has their own unique student benefits to prepare you for the real word, and details of these can be found on our course pages. From global field trips, integrated work experience and free course-related resources, to funded initiatives, projects working with real employers, and opportunities for extra qualifications and accreditations - at USW your future, is future-proofed.

Click here to learn more about student perks at USW.

Additional Costs

As a student of USW, you’ll have access to lots of free resources to support your study and learning, such as textbooks, publications, online journals, laptops, and plenty of remote-access resources. Whilst in most cases these resources are more than sufficient in supporting you with completing your course, additional costs, both obligatory and optional, may be required or requested for the likes of travel, memberships, experience days, stationery, printing, or equipment.

* Obligatory

Item Cost
Kit (Uniform and Equipment): Materials * £200 - £800
Materials. £200 (Year 1), £250 (Year 2) and £800 (Year 3)
Field Trips £300
Per year
Other: Printing & Exhibition Costs * £100 - £350
£100 (Year 1 & 2), £350 (Year 3).
Year 1 - Fashion Design Tool Kit * £320 - £420
As a student of USW, you'll have access to lots of free resources to support your study and learning, such as textbooks, publications, online journals, laptops, and plenty of remote-access resources. Whilst in most cases these resources are more than sufficient in supporting you with completing your course, additional costs, both obligatory and optional, may be required or requested for the likes of travel, memberships, experience days, stationery, printing or equipment. The University provides a range of equipment at no charge for student use including sewing machines, software, overlockers, specialist machinery, mannequins etc. As part of a Fashion Design degree, you will be expected to invest in some personal equipment in Year 1 which can be used throughout your studies and will also be useful when you leave to work in industry. Year 1 - Fashion Design Tool Kit: Garment Construction & Pattern Cutting items - £200-£300 Fashion Illustration Equipment: £120
International Trips: £1500
These are not considered compulsory, and any costs will be the responsibility of the individual student


Funding to help pay for (or cover) course tuition fees and living costs

Whilst you’re studying, you’ll have two main financial obligations – tuition fees and living costs. There’s lots of financial help available from the University of South Wales and external funding sources, that may provide loans (which have to be paid back) and grants, scholarships and bursaries (that don't).

To learn about course fees, funding options, and to see if you are eligible for financial support, visit our Fees and Funding pages.

UK students

Apply via UCAS if you are a UK residing applicant, applying for year one of a full-time undergraduate degree, Foundation Year, Foundation Degree or HND and you have not applied through UCAS before. If you are applying to study part-time, to top up your Foundation Degree or HND, or to transfer to USW from another institution, please apply directly

International and EU students

Apply directly to the University if you live outside the UK. 

Admissions statement


At USW, we help you start your career before you graduate with relevant industry placements and a degree that is 100% focused on what employers need in the future. The teaching environment at USW offers an unparalleled experience when it comes to developing the fashion industry leaders of tomorrow.

Our graduates have an extensive portfolio of skills that cover all aspects of the fashion industry. They are rounded, focused and confident professionals, who are ready to begin a successful career. Most importantly, they make a difference through their work, using fashion to address real issues, such as disability, politics, racial inequality, garment workers’ rights, and the environment.

Many USW alumni have established their own fashion brands or consultancy firms, while others work for industry leaders on a national and international stage, across all aspects of the fashion and design industries. The list includes:

  • Givenchy
  • Raeburn
  • Harrods
  • Peacocks
  • Clarks
  • Roland Mouret
  • BBC
  • The Royal Shakespeare Company
  • River Island
  • JD Sport
  • John Lewis
  • ASOS
  • Fred Perry
  • Victoria’s Secret
  • H&M
  • NEXT

Careers and Employability Service

You can seek advice from the USW Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate.

This includes one-to-one appointments from faculty based Career Advisers, in person, over the phone, or on Skype and email through the Ask a Question service. We have extensive online resources to help you consider your career options and present yourself well to employers.

Resources include psychometric tests, career assessments, a CV builder, interview simulator and application help. Our employer database has over 2,000 registered employers targeting USW students, you can receive weekly email alerts for jobs.

Our Careers service also has specialist teams to assist you:

  • A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements;
  • An employability development team, which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge;
  • An Enterprise team focused on fostering new business ideas and entrepreneurship.