BA (Hons) Fashion Design

Design Studies at USW is rated the top university in the UK for student satisfaction (NSS 2020)

This degree is based at USW’s purpose-built campus, in the creative centre of Cardiff.

The fashion design degree at USW offers experience of the fashion industry beyond the university environment and sets a culture, skillset, and attributes for life after graduation. You’ll engage in design thinking and a process-driven approach to solve complex issues of design, sustainability and commercial success, and develop a strong creative vision.

We advocate an anti-elitist and inclusive approach to fashion, seeking to challenge the problematic elements of the industry whilst honouring fashion’s potential to be radical, thought-provoking, innovative and embracing of the full spectrum of humanity. We do not educate conformists; we seek to educate non-conformists and change-makers.

Our graduates are using fashion as a vehicle to address disability, politics, racial inequality, garment workers’ rights and environmental issues. They do so whether working for large brands or small studios, as freelancers or for NGOs. It is with this ethos that we make the library free to all.

Based at USW's Cardiff campus, in the heart of the city centre, you will work in new studios that simulate an industry environment. These have a full suite of manufacturing equipment, including industrial sewing machines. Our students engage in the latest technological approaches for design using software to design in 3D and 2D from anywhere in the world. This mix of live and digital design gives our students a unique experience and our graduates an edge.

Our graduates work for industry leaders such as Givenchy, Raeburn, Harrods, Top Shop, Peacocks, Clarks, Roland Mouret, The BBC, The Royal Shakespeare Company, River Island, JD Sport, John Lewis, ASOS, Fred Perry, Victoria’s Secret, H&M, NEXT and many more. Graduates have also gone on to establish their own fashion brands or consultancy firms.

USW is Top in Wales for course satisfaction in Fashion and Textiles, Guardian League Table 2021.

> USW Fashion graduate portfolio website

> Follow USW Fashion on Instagram

2021/22 update: Blended learning approach for USW courses.

[Update excludes online-only courses].

The wellbeing and health and safety of our students and staff is paramount to us. We are committed to delivering all of our courses and services as safely as possible. Due to the pandemic, the methods and activities adopted for the coming year may differ from those previously published and may be subject to further change through the course of your study if such change is necessary due to public health concerns, health and safety guidance or in response to Government Guidelines. USW is committed to providing you with a fantastic student experience and a wealth of support, and you can hear how students have benefitted from this approach here: Learn more about blended learning.

UCAS Code Study Mode
2021
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
W230 Full-time 3 Years September Cardiff (ATRiuM) B
W231 Sandwich 4 Years September Cardiff (ATRiuM) B
UCAS Code Study Mode
2022
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
W230 Full-time 3 Years September Cardiff (ATRiuM) B
W231 Sandwich 4 Years September Cardiff (ATRiuM) B

This Fashion design course will push you and help you grow into a professional designer who is able to thrive in the global fashion industry. You will learn new ways to think, make, draw, and promote yourself, responding to a demanding industry. The key to this program is you. We want to help you achieve your goals and help you find your place.

Starting with the core skills of sewing, drawing, pattern cutting, designing, and researching, you will build a foundation of ability to underpin your life as a designer. In the second year, you will begin to connect with the industry through partnerships and projects to build your practice.

Your final year is a creative playground for you to develop as a designer and launch into the industry. You will work with traditional and cutting-edge technology. Creating a multi-sensory experience that defines you as a contemporary and innovative industry professional. Your hard work will culminate in showing your launching collection at Graduate Fashion week in London.

Year One - Fashion Design degree

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

• Fashion Engineering 1
Garment construction, industrial sewing techniques, Pattern drafting and cutting, Technical documentation, project management.

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

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

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

• Fashion Communication
Fashion illustration, visual communication, drawing for design, digital illustration, technical drawing

 

Year Two - Fashion Design degree

• Fashion Engineering 3
Traditional construction techniques, tailoring and hand sewing in a modern context, Advanced construction techniques, Advanced pattern cutting processes.

• Fashion Design 3
Three-dimensional design techniques, Process through product development, Industry focussed design and innovation.

• Fashion Cultures 2
Critical perspectives on fashion in relation to identity, ethics, media cultures and industry practices. Research methods in preparation for final year Critical Research in Fashion (dissertation).

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

• Fashion Engineering 4
Future construction processes, Digital technical skills required in Industry,
3d printing, Laser cutting, digital pattern cutting, pushing boundaries of what is possible in garment construction.

• Fashion Industry Preparation
Personal Branding, portfolio preparation, CV development, professional skills, the role of branding in design.

Optional Sandwich Year

• Fashion Industry Experience Diploma
Working in the industry, gaining experience, building networks in preparation for your final year.

 

Year Three - Fashion Design degree

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

• Professional Practice 1
Launching collection research, developing a brief, designing, experimenting, digital design processes.

• Professional Practice 2
Creating your launching collection, production management, pattern cutting, toiling, sewing, digital creation, 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, Launching yourself into the industry

Teaching

Your teaching team is made up of industry professionals and technical experts, who will guide and push you to develop your own identity and a designer. You will develop all the skills and professional attributes required of an industry leader.

Assessment

The fashion design degree is assessed through regular coursework submissions, in addition to practical assessments, presentations and collaborative projects. Assessment is geared towards supporting your learning and enabling you to achieve your goals.

Placements

You will work with partners from the industry and be supported to undertake internships, work experience and placements.

We are currently partnering with local, national and international brands to connect USW with a global industry. You will compete in national and international design competitions, placing your work on a global stage.

Facilities

As part of the enhanced University of South Wales's Cardiff campus, fashion students benefit from a whole floor dedicated to fashion design, fashion promotion, and fashion marketing and retail design.

These new facilities include two design studios, one with a view over Cardiff Bay and the other overlooking the city centre. 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 from male, female and children, laser cutting and 3d printing facilities and well as a fully equipped production workshop and access to University wide facilities and equipment. The fashion floor features a student driven creative space where students can meet to collaborate, work, host meetings, network and relax.

Lecturers

The entry criteria below shows the qualification range within which the University will make offers. Most offers we make are at the top of the range, but we take all aspects of an application into consideration and applicants receive a personalised offer. Combinations of qualifications are acceptable and other qualifications not listed here may also be acceptable.

 

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.

Find out how to pay your tuition fees in full or by payment plan.

This course is eligible under the Enhanced Learning Credits scheme for Ex-Armed Forces personnel.

International Scholarships are available for self-funding international students.

August 2021 - July 2022 Fees


  • Full-time UK:  £9000

  • Full-time International:  £13500 

August 2022 - July 2023 Fees


  • Full-time UK: TBC

  • Full-time International: TBC

Additional Costs

Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.

* Obligatory

Item Cost
Kit (Uniform and Equipment): Materials * £200 - £800
Materials. £200 (Year 1), £250 (Year 2) and £800 (Year 3)
Kit (Uniform and Equipment) * £250
Equipment. Year 1
Field Trips £150
Per year
Other: Printing & Exhibition Costs * £100 - £350
£100 (Year 1 & 2), £350 (Year 3).

UK and EU students

Apply via UCAS if you are a UK/EU 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 students

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

Admissions statement

Students on our Fashion degrees graduate as a rounded, focused, confident professionals, ready for a career in the Fashion industry. Our graduates have an extensive portfolio of skills covering all aspects of the industry and are well equipped to launch into the industry as professionals. The teaching environment at USW provides an unparalleled experience when it comes to developing a fashion industry leader of tomorrow.

Our extensive list of alumni work on a national and international stage across all aspects of the fashion and design industries at all market sectors including Christopher Raeburn, Harrods, Top Shop, Clarks, Roland Mouret, The BBC, The Royal Shakespeare Company, River Island, AllSaints, John Lewis, ASOS, Fred Perry, Victoria’s Secret, H&M, NEXT and many more. Graduates have also gone on to establish their own fashion brands such as Imatayaz Quassim, whose designs have been worn by Justin Bieber, Tyga and Gareth Bale.

Our Careers and Employability Service

As a USW student, you will have access to advice from the 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 even on Skype and through email via the "Ask a Question" service. We also have extensive online resources for help with considering your career options and presenting 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 has dedicated teams: A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements; an employability development team which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge; and an Enterprise team focused on new business ideas and entrepreneurship.

Full-time