Our course reflects the realities of working as a professional in industry. Everything you do on the course is working towards you getting your first job in the sector. If you have completed a foundation-level degree, HND, or equivalent qualifications in a relevant Art and Design subject, you can choose to top-up your studies to gain a full bachelor’s degree.
With a focus on craftsmanship and innovation, 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, start with this course.
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.
At BNU, we believe in putting our students first. That’s why our Students’ Union has been ranked in the top three in the UK in the National Student Survey (NSS 2020). We’re the only university in the UK to offer free access to such a diverse and exciting range of activities – all to enrich your university experience. It’s a big deal!
Why study this subject?
Do you have an eye for Fashion Design? Want to turn your creative ideas into complete clothing lines? Discover the skills you need to break into this fast-paced industry.
With the right teaching and learning opportunities, it’s possible to turn your passion into a rewarding and successful career. From designers, pattern cutters and seamstresses to marketers, buyers and merchandisers, we can help get you there.
Why study at Buckinghamshire New University?
A top-up degree is the equivalent of the final year of an undergraduate degree, and offers a chance to deepen your knowledge, skills and understanding of your subject, while also getting an internationally-recognised qualification.
With a history of delivery expert craft, art and design education for more than 130 years, Buckinghamshire New University is the perfect place to start your creative career.
We will make sure that you have all the skills you need to start a career in fashion. With our focus on craftsmanship and skills, you graduate with a robust understanding of the sector.
We’re only 30 minutes by train into London, one of the world’s fashion capitals and well known for spawning innovation and talent.
Our experienced and specialist team of lecturers are experienced designers, current industry practitioners and researchers.
With our strong links with the fashion industry, you’ll get direct access to guest lectures and can benefit from live project briefs, master classes, and plenty of networking opportunities.
Throughout your course you will have the opportunity to take part in international competitions, including British Council reviews, exhibitions and the BNU Summer Show.
As well as working on your own briefs, you’ll be able to work on industry-based projects with international companies and attend specialist workshops. All our students are invited to events with guest speakers covering a range of areas from fashion design, production, trend prediction, visual merchandising and brand consultancy. As a member of the British Fashion Council and WGSN our students are supported by industry links to reach their potential.
We’re proud of the many achievements of our students and staff. Our fashion and textiles programmes are ranked number one in London and the South East and fifth best in the UK.
We celebrated 100% overall student satisfaction in the 2019 and 2020 National Student Survey. With industry recognising the skills of our students to be selected as one of only five UK institutions to take part in the UK Fashion and Textile Association (UKFT) ‘MADE IT’ programme that provided masterclass, networking and internship opportunities.
What facilities can I use?
We’ve spent a lot of love and care making the ‘Red Shed’ workshop the perfect creative space and one of the best-equipped workshops in the country.
You'll be working on industry standard equipment, learning latest techniques and future focused methods of fashion craftsmanship. You will master materials, both through traditional methods and using digital software.
Here you will be able to design, create and get inspired with not only your own workspace, but also our range of equipment which can help you craft your garments in almost any medium you like.
In our workshops, you’ll receive one-to-one teaching, working closely with lecturers, specialist technicians and alongside fellow students.
What will I study?
On our BA (Hons) in Fashion Design Top-up 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.
To achieve the full BA (Hons) in Fashion Design you will need to complete a major project, a contextual report as well as undertake a Professional Practice module.
The major project and contextual report will allow you to investigate a topic important to you within fashion design. You will cover the whole research process, undertaking empirical investigation and analysis. You will be allocated a dissertation supervisor, who will offer support and advice.
The Professional Practice module gives you the opportunity to undertake work-based learning or answer live industry briefs, gaining the practical and transferable skills you need for your career in the creative industries.
How will I be taught and assessed?
You’ll get to enjoy a friendly, supportive and stimulating learning environment. This enables you to focus on perfecting your specialism, while developing your creativity and confidence.
You will benefit from close-knit tutor groups, studio-based lectures, masterclasses, demonstrations and live projects. You’ll also enjoy guest lectures and visits to agencies as well as put on shows and exhibitions. You’ll also have regular access to workshops to support the design process.
Thanks to our proximity to London, you can visit some of the world’s best shops, galleries and museums for inspiration. You can work with designers in and around the capital, gaining experience in how to adapt to the challenges of working in a business.
There are so many ways to make connections and you’ll be working on your career the very moment you begin your course.
BNU is a Placements Plus university. So, whatever degree you do, you can be sure there’ll be plenty of industry-relevant opportunities on offer, to help you get into your chosen field.
We’ll also prepare you for work beforehand, with special skills for work training, further boosting your CV, and building skills employers will value. In recognition of the value we place on these skills we have incorporated this experience into your study time.
Placements Plus is all about helping you get some valuable experience under your belt while you’re a student. To increase your choices later, and help you get the graduate-level job you want.
What are the course entry requirements?
This programme is offered as a top-up qualification for students who have completed a HND, FDA, or other equivalent qualification in a relevant Art and Design subject, and wish to progress further to achieve an Honours degree.
This module map provides a list of the modules that make up your course. You can find more information about how your course is structured on our Academic Advice section.
Year 1 Modules
How much does it cost
Home and EU
Home and EU, Academic Year 2021-2022
£9,250 per year
International, Academic Year 2021-2022
£13,750 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. We also help you find employment after graduation. Have a look at our Careers and Employability pages to find out more.
Our BA (Hons) Fashion Design (Top-up) course will help prepare you for a range of career possibilities, such as:
- 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 wish to stay on at Buckinghamshire New University and study our full-time or part-time postgraduate courses.