This dynamic course gives you the skills needed for a career in the fast-moving world of 21st-century fashion.
Our graduating Fashion students scooped seven awards at Graduate Fashion Week 2018 – including the Graduate Fashion Week Gold Award.
Our course responds quickly to changing demands and opportunities and we have a reputation for producing ‘industry-ready graduates.
The journey from design to shop window or fashion catwalk is fascinating. You’ll discover the complexities of buying, selling and promotion – and the need to be entrepreneurial. A major strength of this course is its position within specialist art, design and media institution with the potential for you to study alongside other creative and cultural disciplines.
During the course, you will build an appropriate portfolio of skills, which supports the development of individual practice, and informs your decision regarding the selection of a specialist named award.
You may choose to complete your degree in one of the following named awards:
BA (Hons) Fashion (Design)
BA (Hons) Fashion (Design Technology)
BA (Hons) Fashion (Menswear)
BA (Hons) Fashion (Product Design)
Course duration: 3-years (full-time)
UCAS course code: W230
UCAS institution code: A66
Level 4 (first year)
In your first year, you’ll study four skill-based units delivered as iterations in the first and second terms. These units draw on a range of expertise, as part of an instructional yet intellectually challenging student journey.
The theory is embedded across each of the units, offering you the opportunity to critically reflect on the study of fashion from the start of your learning.
These four units do not directly relate to your later specialisms but define through investigation and experience the range of possible practices and areas of study you may want to engage with as specialism during your time on the course.
Level 4 concludes with an individual design project where you’ll begin to define strengths and specialist choices. This runs concurrently with the ‘Professional Practice’ unit where you’ll be directed to produce an appropriate portfolio, both digital and hard copy, which is suitable for industry scrutiny.
You’ll undertake a two-week placement or have professional engagement with a brand or company and the portfolio will be significant in securing and supporting this process.
The Level 4 journey will not only shape your experience through learning new skills but will identify your strengths, interests and areas of specialisms as well as introducing you to live industry practices, it will also ensure that you engage with a broad range of experiences, which will support specialist decisions in the future.
Level 5 (second year)
Level 5 will begin with the ‘Fashion Branding and Communication’ unit where you’ll engage with distinct and challenging research methodologies while at the same time preparing for a professional role in the industry.
There will also be a range of optional units that run concurrently with ‘Fashion Branding and Communication’. You’ll select one of these optional units in order to support and help to define your possible specialism, however, the nature of your journey is organic and no firm decisions need to be made at this point.
You’ll also undertake the unit ‘Design Identity’ which is instrumental to the investigation of your unique character and individual design philosophy. You’ll be encouraged to question existing practices and look for new solutions, exploring diversity and emotionally considerate design as a practice.
Concluding Level 5 is the ‘Design: Enterprise and Innovation’ unit that offers you the opportunity of the UK or international work experience, or participation in a ‘Live Project’ with a high-end brand or design company.
You’ll be assisted in finding a placement and participating companies include Kenneth Cole – New York and Metal Pointus – Paris. We also offer an international student exchange.
This unit offers these options to give you the flexibility of choice and experience. You may wish to prepare for the ‘real world’ of employment or have the opportunity to experience a different cultural and educational environment.
Level 6 (third year)
Level 6 is the most challenging year. This where you'll apply all previous knowledge and focus specifically on a specialist area of study related to the named awards. The ‘Fashion Product Development’ unit prepares you for the ‘Final Major Project‘.
In the ‘Research Project’ unit, you’ll either conduct an investigation into a topic relevant to your practice and produce a dissertation, or develop a creative business proposal that supports your practice and further prepares you for a possible career.
In the ‘Final Major Project’ unit, you’ll focus on the development of a specialist body of work aligned to the named award whilst the ‘Design Futures’ unit prepares you further for a career in fashion by developing a professional portfolio, considering self as a brand and further engagement with industry.
Ultimately, the final year requires you to define the final direction of your practice. It encourages you to be ambitious, innovative and to understand the content and context that will allow you to create a cohesive and professional portfolio of practice, in preparation for the challenges of employment or further study.
You’ll graduate with the knowledge, professional skills and creative agility necessary to further develop your specialist practices, in professional environments. You’ll also be equipped with the necessary skills, knowledge and differentiated modes of learning that will enable you to pursue postgraduate study or related forms of employment within the creative industries.
The course recognises that in order to remain alert to the ever-changing demands of a dynamic subject area, you’re required to be flexible, inclusive, proactive, reflexive and progressive practitioners, graduating from the course fully equipped to be confident professionals within your chosen field.
You’re actively encouraged to form collectives, start-up businesses, organise events, complete internships, enter competitions and work collaboratively. The course values and recognises the importance of creative networks established while studying.
All students are registered for the award of BA (Hons). However, exit awards are available if you leave the course early, having successfully completed one or two levels. If you successfully complete a level of the course, you'll automatically be entitled to progress to the next level.
For the award of a Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE), you must have achieved a minimum of 120 credits at Level 4. This qualification may be awarded if you leave the University following successful completion of the first year of your course.
For the award of a Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE), you must have achieved a minimum of 240 credits of which a minimum of 120 must be at Level 5. This qualification may be awarded if you leave the University following successful completion of the second year of your course.
For the award of a BA (Hons), you must have achieved a minimum of 360 credits of which a minimum of 240 must be at Level 5 or above, of which a minimum of 120 credits must be at Level 6. This qualification will be awarded upon successful completion of your course.
A BA without Honours may be awarded if you have achieved 300 credits, at least 180 of which are at Level 5 or above, and at least 60 of which are at Level 6.
How to apply
Once you've found the perfect Undergraduate course, you can apply to study via UCAS, including direct entry applications to second and third year.
When applying through UCAS, use the institution code A66. All of our courses take place on one site, so we don't have a campus code. We'll then use your completed UCAS form to make decisions about your application. You can find out more about entry requirements in our applications section.
When you apply to one of our courses, it's important that you help us get a good picture of both you and your work – so you'll need a great personal statement. We want to know more about why you're interested in the course, your key influences, and what you hope to do after your studies.
If you're invited for an interview, many of our courses will ask you to see a portfolio of your work so we can get more insight into your ideas and abilities. To help you, we've created guidelines outlining what we expect from your portfolio for each course.
We recognise that everyone has different skills, portfolios and experiences, so what we look for is potential through a broad range of work that expresses the scope of your creative experiences and shows evidence of enquiry and experimentation.
Due to Covid-19 and the need for social distance, we will not be able to offer on-campus interviews to applicants this cycle. For courses that require a portfolio review or an audition, the Admissions team will be in touch with you and request a digital portfolio or audition.
We will hold Offer Holder days in Spring and invite applicants to visit the campus and meet the course team, or if you are unable to visit us you will be able to attend a virtual Offer Holder Day.
Previous sewing experience might be useful but is not necessary, as this will be taught during the first year. Examples of life or figurative drawings are welcome as well as a sketchbook documenting your ideas. We're looking for creativity and originality, something that will distinguish your work and reveal your personality.
It's important that you bring us work that enables us to assess both your intellectual and innovative creative ability.
Listed below are suggestions to help when you're collating your currency of work:
Drawing and artwork illustration which reflects the use of different mediums and use of colour
Research-based sketch/notebooks and annotated visual diaries
Samples of 3D product work, including garments, textiles, jewellery, millinery or sculptural pieces (if too large or awkward, a range of photographs illustrating these)
Written work, particularly fashion-related; a www. blog, published article
We're particularly interested in seeing a favourite item or visual evidence – not necessarily fashion orientated – which has inspired you and which will enable us to discuss what represents your unique personality and identity.
Your portfolio is your opportunity to demonstrate and professionally present a diversity of creative skills and innovative work. We want to see evidence of creativity and originality, along with a commitment to studying fashion.
Tips for digital portfolios
Universities interviewing for creative courses will expect to be presented with a portfolio to help them understand your ability and range of work. Your portfolio could be your golden ticket into receiving an offer so making sure it’s presentable, well-organised and accessible is essential.
Fees and Funding
The fee that you pay the Arts University Bournemouth provides the necessary equipment and training for you to complete your course.
You may also choose to buy some items of personal equipment such as a laptop or tablet computer, but this is not required; desktop and laptop computers are available for you to use in common study areas, including a loan system in the Library.
Our graduates work as designers, pattern cutters, garment technologists, product developers, fashion buyers, merchandisers, promoters and more. Here are some examples of recent graduate career destinations:
Stylists at White Room and Inca Productions, or working freelance
Buyers/merchandisers at Arcadia Group, Miss Selfridge and Signet
Working at Condé Nast
Sales and Marketing roles at Free People, 3rd Rock, GP & Baker Eyewear