BA (Hons) Fashion Design
- Study Mode: Full Time
- Location: High Wycombe
- Duration: Three or Four Years
- Start Date: September 2023
You can also study this course:
With a focus on craftsmanship and innovation, on this degree we will equip you with a broad and practise-based knowledge of fashion design, experimentation, pattern cutting and construction to enable you to create your individual collections.
If you want to make your mark on the fashion industry, this course is the perfect place to start.
Stay updated with all our latest BA (Hons) Fashion Design news by following us on Instagram @bucks_fashion
We understand that when it comes to deciding where you’d like to study, there are a lot of things to consider. Come along to our Open Day and discover why BNU could be the place for you. You can find out more about your course, meet the course team, and get all your questions answered.
For everything you need to know about applying, check out our Application Guide. You can find useful information for each stage of your application journey – from before you even apply to what to do if you receive an offer, and everything in between.
Why study this subject?
Fashion and Textiles is one of the largest sectors world-wide and continues to offer exciting and rewarding opportunities globally. From Prada to Primark, there’s a host of staff hard at work to bring items on railings – from designers, product developers, garment technologists to buyers, merchandisers and marketing teams. With the right teaching and learning opportunities, it’s possible to turn your passion into a rewarding and successful career.
This course is also offered as a four-year programme, including an initial Foundation Year. The Foundation Year will allow you to develop your academic study skills and build confidence in your abilities, identifying your own strengths and development needs for progression onto an undergraduate programme.
Why study at Buckinghamshire New University?
With a history of delivering expert craft, art and design education for more than 130 years, Buckinghamshire New University is the perfect place to start your creative career.
As part of the Art, Design and Performance School at BNU, you’ll benefit from a practiced-based course, supported by contextual studies. You’ll also have the opportunity to work collaboratively across the school with other courses, ensuring during your studies you are building a varied network, like you would in the real world.
Led by a dedicated and experienced course team, you’ll benefit from their industry knowledge and the industry links they bring to the course. You’ll get direct access to guest lectures, who are specialists in the sector, and can benefit from live project briefs, master classes, and networking opportunities. As a member of the British Fashion Council, UKFT and WGSN our students are supported by industry to reach their full potential.
We’re proud of the many achievements of our students and staff and throughout your course you will have the opportunity to take part in international competitions, including British Fashion Council reviews, exhibitions and the BNU Summer Show.
We’re also only 30 minutes by train into London, enabling you to visit exhibitions, shows and watch emerging styles from one of the world’s fashion capitals.
Our fashion and textiles programmes are ranked 3rd best in the UK (The Guardian University Guide 2023) and we celebrated 95% overall student satisfaction in the 2022 National Student Survey.
Stay updated with all our latest BA (Hons) Fashion Design news by following us on Instagram @bucks_fashion.
Opportunity modules are a key part of the BNU curriculum. You’ll choose modules in both your first and second year from a broad selection in areas such as sustainability, entrepreneurship, creativity, digital skills, personal growth, civic engagement, health & wellbeing and employment. Opportunity modules are designed to enable you to develop outside the traditional boundaries of your discipline and help you to further stand out from the crowd to future employers.
With regular visiting lectures and workshops led by industry, this is just a snapshot of our connections;
Alexander McQueen Studio: from concept to collection students have been introduced to the people and processes behind the couture collections at the London Flagship store.
British Fashion Council: As a member of the British Fashion Council our students have access to industry-led briefs, international competitions and guest lectures and London Fashion Week talks.
Chittleborough and Morgan: Saville Row: a behind the scenes tour into the world of bespoke tailoring enabled our students to see how traditional techniques and craftmanship are key attributes to success in every workshop.
Mackintosh: Supported our students during 20/21 and 21/22 with access to dead stock, live briefs, and an internship where a student could gain a wider understanding of commercial production for a luxury brand.
Mint Velvet: Collaborations have included student access to samples, dead stock and a live brief for 2022/23. in addition to professional development sessions for our students.
New Star: Providing an insight into a global industry, visiting lectures from the denim specialists for new product development and sustainable innovation for the sector with manufacturing across Turkey, Egypt, Bangladesh and Pakistan. New Star create everything from everyday basics to high-end fashion.
UKFT: During 2020-21, BNU were one of just five UK providers chosen to take part of the Made it collaboration. with industry masterclasses and an internship opportunity with Mackintosh
WGSN: Providing the latest consumer information on product design and consumer forecasts, WGSN provide industry expertise to our students ensuring they create the right products at the right time for tomorrow's consumer.
Fashion Design student success
- 2021/22: Jason Doe awarded the British Fashion Council Scholarship for his final degree collection whilst studying Fashion Design at BNU.
- 2022: Maria Sammut garment designs shortlisted for the Real Leather. Stay Different. International Design Competition 2022
- 2021: Merzia Qahramany: runner up for New Designers collaboration award with OPPO with her combination of digital techniques from camera to knit.
2020: Danielle Feheley: shortlisted for the Artsthread /Gucci award with her sustainable final collection of upcycling second hand, vintage denim garments. Using methods to expand the lifespan of the material and using sustainable finishes such as laser etching to give an acid wash effect without the use of water to create innovative and fashion forward products.
What facilities can I use?
We’ve spent a lot of love and care making the Fashion and Textile Studios the perfect creative space and one of the best-equipped workshops in the country. We are extremely proud to be able to offer industry-standard studios, technical machines and high-quality equipment to our fashion and textile-based courses.
You will master materials, both through traditional methods and using digital software. This includes an in-house fabric and yarn store, screen printing facilities, a dye laboratory and sewing and garment production facilities.
In our professional-working studio you’ll have you own workspace which you’ll be able to turn into your own personal area, where you can bring your designs to life and surround yourself with inspiration.
We also have specialist technicians and demonstrators on site to support and share their knowledge with you, when and if you need it.
As well as this you may also have the chance to access to our photography, film and tv and drama studios where you’ll be able to work collaboratively with photography, performance and hair and make-up students to build your portfolio, and network like you would in the industry.
How will I be taught and assessed?
The BA (Hons) Fashion Design degree encompasses a wide variety of teaching and learning methods.
Most of this degree is studio-practice based, here we aim to create the ethos of a professional real-world environment. As Fashion Design student you’ll have to complete a series of modules and projects during your time spent studying with us. Projects are designed to present new challenges to you as you progress through the course. By the end of your time with BNU, you’ll benefit from a full portfolio, and collection, to go to employers with.
We also aim to provide masterclasses and industry brief opportunities for you to apply your knowledge, skills and understanding into real-world contexts, whilst gaining feedback from current industry-leaders. For previous projects, we've collaborated with Alexander McQueen Studio, Chittleborough and Morgan, Mackintosh, Mint Velvet, New Star, British Fashion Council, UKFT and many more.
You’ll also be assessed though; 1:1 or small group tutorials, lectures and seminars, portfolio and presentations, written assessments, sketchbooks, group critiques and self-directed study.
What will I study?
On our BA (Hons) in Fashion Design degree programme, you’ll explore the many twists and turns of fashion, as well as how to research and develop ideas to produce exciting and innovative fashion. The course cultivates new ways of making and thinking.
Creativity, innovation, holistic thinking and the development of your personal design philosophy are at the core of this degree programme. The course aims to develop your knowledge and skills in fashion design on both an artistic and professional level. You will be encouraged to research, interpret and develop your own appreciation of the use of traditional techniques, new technologies, materials and innovative design solutions.
During your time with us, you’ll learn approaches that will enable you to understand the design process from concept, through design to production and product placement.
Starting with the the core fundamentals, including 2D and 3D, pattern cutting, manufacturing, illustration and an introduction to a range of processes and materials, you’ll begin to get hands-on within our professional working studio.
You’ll then continue to develop, with a focus on the fashion industry, through a series of design and live industry projects, advanced pattern cutting, CAD, manufacturing processes and materials workshops. You’ll also start to build your portfolio, putting in place newly learnt promotional skills.
In your final year you’ll have developed your aesthetic style, which will then lead on to the completion of a final capsule collection, an industry ready portfolio and promotion package, all of which is shown at our end of year summer show, which both industry and friends are invited too.
Upon graduation you’ll be skilled and experienced in creative problem-solving, with a good range of techniques in pattern cutting, manufacturing, processes and materials, and a clear understanding of how these can be applied to create innovative design solutions. Your portfolio will be well-rounded, ensuring you have what current employers are looking for.
What are the course entry requirements?
A typical offer will require a UCAS tariff score of: 88 - 112 (Full-time) or 32 - 56 (Foundation Year)
A minimum of two full A-levels (or equivalent) is required. Every application is considered on an individual basis.
Applicants will need to complete an interview and/or demonstrate portfolio work, further guidance is given on the interview and portfolio advice section.
For further details of our international English entry requirements, please visit our international pages.
Applicants who do not meet the minimum requirements for the three-year undergraduate programme, or those who do not feel fully prepared for a degree course, can apply for a four-year programme including a Foundation Year; find out more.
This provides a guide of the modules that make up your course. You can find more information about how your course is structured on our Academic Advice section.
This course has Opportunity modules.
Opportunity modules are a key part of the BNU curriculum. You’ll choose modules in both your first and second year from a broad selection in areas such as sustainability, entrepreneurship, creativity, digital skills, personal growth, civic engagement, health & wellbeing and employment. Opportunity modules are designed to enable you to develop outside the traditional boundaries of your discipline and help you to further stand out from the crowd to future employers. Find out more.
You must choose 2 x 10 credit Level 4 Opportunity modules.
In addition, you must choose 2 x 10 credit Level 5 Opportunity modules.
What are the tuition fees
Home, Academic Year 2023 - 2024
£9,250 per year
Overseas/International, Academic Year 2023 - 2024
£15,000 per year
What are my career prospects?
Throughout your time with us we’ll support you on the route to your chosen career. We’ll help you to develop crucial skills, encouraging you to become enterprising, employable and good leaders. Our Careers and Employability Team also help you find employment after graduation.
Upon graduation, you will be prepared for a range of career possibilities. Using the skills and knowledge learnt on this course, you could find yourself performing the following roles all over the world:
- Fashion designer
- Pattern cutter
- Garment technologist
- Product developer
- Fashion buyer
- Visual merchandiser
- Retail management
- Public relations, press and the media
- Events and production organisation
- Fashion styling.
You may also choose to stay on at Buckinghamshire New University and study a postgraduate programme.
The first job I got after graduating was an Internship with a Fashion Company as a Studio Assistant, where I have been helping to produce and construct garments alongside the head designers for clients.Danielle Feheley
My work at BNU prepared me for the role by providing me with firsthand studio experience, working with different machines and teaching me how to use different techniques, and providing me with the knowledge needed for the industry.