Prepare yourself for a successful career as a fashion product designer and developer able to explore and exploit cutting-edge technology and aesthetics for clothing.
Content and Structure
The BA (Hons) Fashion Design and Development course is situated in the School of Design and Technology, and is concerned with the design, development and realisation of fashion products for the fashion clothing industry. You will learn the skills of research, how to produce initial design ideas, and how to develop designs through to a finished 3D prototype. You will gain a comprehensive understanding of the fashion industry, its markets, and the particular role of the fashion product designer and developer within the industry. Fashion Design and Development is one of a group of fashion product courses, all of which are designed and delivered with employment in the relevant industry in mind.
To this end you will study a range of units that will equip you with the relevant professional, communication and business skills, and undertake live projects set by industry where there will be presentations to and from the companies involved. You will have the option of doing a placement year in the industry between the second and final year of the course.
Successful completion of this year will give you an additional qualification, and you will have the opportunity to make contacts and build valuable relationships for your future career before the end of your studies. This course focuses on producing graduates who are encouraged to make an innovative and visionary contribution to product development within the fashion industry.
Year One - Stage One - level 4 - 120 credits
Term One: Introduction to Study in Higher Education (20 credits); Product Technologies (20 credits)
Term Two: Introduction to Cultural and Historical Studies Option (20 credits); Product Creativity and Communication (20 credits)
Term Three: Product Design and Development (40 credits)
Year Two - Stage Two - level 5 - 120 credits
Term One: Cultural and Historical Studies (20 credits); Creative Professional Practice (20 credits)
Term Two: Research Methods (20 credits); Creative Industry Practice (20 credits)
Term Three: Industry Project (40 credits)
Professional Placement Year (optional)
Diploma in Professional Studies
Final Year - Stage Three - level 6 - 120 credits
Term One: Concept Development (40 credits)
Terms One Two and Three: Contextualising Your Practice (20 credits)
Terms Two and Three: Product Design and Realisation (60 credits)
Travelling across London
The renowned London College of Fashion library is at our John Prince’s Street site, and you will need to travel to this site, and possibly others, during your course to use the library, which is open seven days a week in term time, and for tuition and special events.
The information outlined is an indicative structure of the course. Whilst we will aim to deliver the course as described on this page, there may be situations where it is desirable or necessary for the University to make changes in course provision, for example because of regulatory requirements or operational efficiencies, before or after enrolment. If this occurs, we will communicate all major changes to all applicants and students who have either applied or enrolled on the course.
In addition, the provision of course options which depend upon the availability of specialist teaching, or on a placement at another institution, cannot be guaranteed. Please check this element of the course with the course team before making a decision to apply.
In the first term, you will study two units.
Introduction to Study in Higher Education gives you an understanding of your personal and professional development at university, with three core purposes: to introduce you to the necessary learning skills for undergraduate study; to show you where you are situated within the College and the University; and to help you understand what you will learn on your course and how you will develop your skills.
Product Technologies will introduce you to the essential skills of pattern cutting, construction methods, production techniques and prototyping skills required for the development and realisation of fashion garments. This will be through both workshop demonstrations and your own practice. You will start to develop your knowledge of different fabrics, as well as the essential knowledge regarding health and safety requirements.
In the second term, you will study two units.
Introduction to Cultural and Historical Studies introduces you to key concepts and ways of thinking about fashion and its context in society and culture. You will attend lectures, seminars and workshops, and do a significant amount of reading of academic texts in order to complete a formal academic essay for assessment. Completion of this unit will allow you to make an informed choice of subject for study in the second year Cultural and Historical Studies unit.
Product Creativity and Communication explores the creative design process and introduces a series of practical skills including research, finding inspiration, initial ideas, design development, design finalisation and presentation skills. will learn the essential skills of visually and verbally communicating your work to others.
In the third term you will bring all your learning and developed skills so far to answering a complete research, design, development and realisation brief for fashion product. Through the Product Design and Development unit you will begin to develop your understanding of the industry, fashion trends, fabrics for fashion, market level, consumer behaviour, competitors, and ethical and sustainable fashion issues. Some of your research will be undertaken in small groups, as successful team working skills are essential for working in industry. You will individually develop your research and design ideas, culminating in a final range plan and presentation sheets. From within your range you will pattern cut and develop a 2D design into a 3D final product prototype.
In the first term you will be able to study a Cultural and Historical Studies Option of your choice that will broaden or deepen your learning of areas relating to your interests in your chosen field. You will have the opportunity to participate in lectures, seminars and workshops with students from other courses within your School, and will read relevant academic texts and complete a formal academic essay for assessment.
The Creative Professional Practice unit introduces you to the wider context of the fashion industry and the study of design and development for a specified market. You will explore areas that will affect the development of a product, such as sustainable and ethical sourcing, costing and the environments in which the product will be consumed. You will have the opportunity to engage within an industrial context through forward thinking creative responses to the project brief.
In the second term the Research Methods unit allows you to explore and experiment with different critical and methodological approaches to research, as well as looking at the range of established research methods and research within design and technology. You will learn more about primary and secondary sources and how they relate, ways of originating and developing research, and appropriate methodologies for your discipline. You will also become aware of any limitations, and this will enable you to choose the most appropriate research method for a particular project. This prepares you for later projects where research skills are needed by helping you explore what research you need to do, how you will be doing it and how you will manage and evaluate the process.
The Creative Industry Practice unit tests your critical thinking and broadens your professional skills set. You will develop your creative, strategic and practical skills through traditional and IT-based development with visual and written work. Your critical judgement will be used to develop appropriate solutions to the brief and you will be expected to evaluate and justify your decisions as you develop your outcomes.
In the third term the Industry Project unit gives you the opportunity to consolidate your understanding of the research methods you have learnt by responding to live or simulated industry-set challenges. Your knowledge and professional understanding of the product design and development process will be enhanced, and you will combine creative, practical, intellectual and entrepreneurial skills within an industrial context to answer the brief.
The work throughout the second year is focussed on live projects with national and international companies and brands, and you may have the opportunity to participate in suitable competitions.
In the first term you will undertake the Concept Development unit which provides the foundation from which you will be able to formulate your own innovative and enterprising project and strategy for the major piece of fashion product design and development work that you will do in the final two terms. This work will be industrially relevant and informed by appropriate research. This unit allows you to explore and justify the means by which this work can be realised, and will demonstrate to the industry your direction and potential career path.
Contextualising Your Practice in the first and second term affords you the opportunity to demonstrate your understanding of the critical and analytical perspectives developed within cultural and historical theory and your ability to apply these in a specific study. You will research the topic you identified in the Research Methods unit, which will lead to the production of an extended essay. It is the opportunity for you to undertake a substantial piece of structured research that examines in-depth practical and theoretical issues related to your field of practice; it will build on the critical debates and concerns raised throughout your course.
In terms two and three the Product Design and Realisation unit is the culmination of your study through an extended negotiated project. You will be able to demonstrate your ability to utilise concept development outcomes through using research and experimentation to achieve the design development, experimentation, rationale and production of your own range of fashion products. You will evidence full engagement with your responsibilities as a designer/product developer, together with an understanding of where your work will best fit within the fashion industry.
Course Entry Requirements
Entry to this course is highly competitive: applicants are expected to achieve, or already have, the course entry requirements detailed below.
Two ‘A’ level passes at grade C or above PLUS passes in three GCSE subjects at grade C or above
OR equivalent awards
Preferred subjects include English, Maths, Art, Design, Textiles, and Science.
This course requires a minimum 160 UCAS tariff points.
Exceptionally, applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered if the course team judges the application demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might, for example, be demonstrated by: related academic or work experience; the quality of the personal statement; a strong academic or other professional reference; or a combination of these factors.
This course requires portfolio evidence, and you will be asked to complete a short written answer to a question relating to issues in the fashion industry if you are selected to attend a portfolio review.
English Language Requirements
All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language you will be asked to provide evidence of your English language ability when you enrol. The level required by the University for this course is IELTS 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in any one skill.
Student Selection Criteria
What We Look For
The course team seeks to recruit students who can demonstrate:
This might, for example, be demonstrated by related academic or work experience; the quality of the personal statement, a strong academic or other professional reference; or a combination of these factors.
Portfolio and Interview Advice
For this course you will be required to upload a mini portfolio. Further instructions will be sent by the course administrator after application submission. International students should contact the International Office to find out about the portfolio application process.
For this course your portfolio should show evidence of: ability to present ideas through visual communication; a level of research, experimentation and development; technical and practical abilities; and effective presentation techniques.
Applicants will be expected to demonstrate the following at interview: an awareness of contemporary fashion and culture; an understanding of research, design, design development and product realisation; a motivation for working in the fashion product industry; and a motivation to succeed on the course.
Interviews will be held at an off-site location in London to accommodate those applicants that have received an interview invite. Further details will be sent to you with your interview letter.