Fashion Design BA Honours

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UCAS code: W230 | Institution code: W50 | Attendance mode: Full-time

We are making changes to our undergraduate courses from autumn 2015. These changes affect students applying to start a course with us from autumn 2016. View details of the changes to our undergraduate courses.

Start: 17 September 2016
Duration: 3 years
Location: North-West London
Campus: Harrow

All prices quoted are for the academic year 2016/17 only.

Home/EU: £9,000.00
Overseas: £12,250.00

This course has an outstanding reputation for developing highly talented and original fashion graduates. We specialise in enabling you to become an individual and creative designer, capable of working at the highest levels of the international fashion industry.

Throughout the course, the emphasis is on the development of your personal design philosophy. The course offers a comprehensive design education for dedicated and ambitious individuals looking for a specialist career in the creative arena of the fashion industry. You will also gain the transferable and cognitive skills necessary for lifelong personal and professional development.

Internships on both the three-year and sandwich course are undertaken at leading international fashion companies, and have recently included Adidas, Alexander McQueen, Alexander Wang, Balenciaga, Balmain, Calvin Klein, Celine, Christian Dior, Christopher Kane, Givenchy, Jeremy Scott, Lanvin, Marc Jacobs, Thom Browne and Tom Ford. During London Fashion Week our students have worked with designers including Alexander McQueen, Burberry, Celine, Christopher Kane, Mulberry, and Stella McCartney.

Course graduates include London Fashion Week designers Louise Alsop, Claire Barrow, Liam Hodges and Ashley Williams; Christopher Bailey, Chief Creative Officer of Burberry; Michael Herz, Artistic Director of Diane von Furstenberg; Katie Hillier, Creative Director of Marc by Marc Jacobs; Jutta Kraus, Creative Director of Bernhard Willhelm; and Stuart Vevers, Creative Director of Coach.

Course content

The course’s philosophy is to develop you as an individual to become an innovative and creative designer, and challenge you to develop an aesthetic style relevant to the contemporary international fashion industry.

Taught by active practitioners in a research-intensive environment, you will work alongside students from film, photography, music, art and design, and journalism – a unique hothouse of creative opportunity. Our courses have incredibly strong links and support from the fashion industry, providing guest lectures, live retail projects and student placements and internships. We foster new thinking, new ideas and new possibilities. Teaching methods include tutorials, lectures, group discussions, practical demonstrations and group crits.

Subjects of study

The following subjects are indicative of what you will study on this course. For more details on course structure and modules, and how you will be taught and assessed, see the full course document.

Year 1 (Credit Level 4)

This level covers the core fundamentals of the fashion design discipline, including 2D and 3D practice, CAD, construction, design, illustration, pattern cutting, print, research, and trend research.

Subjects of study include:

  • Design Project 1: Skills
  • Design Project 2: Sportswear
  • Design Project 3: Outerwear
  • Design Project 4: Modernity
  • The Buying Process

Year 2 (Credit Level 5)

In the second year you will focus on working with the fashion industry, either with live projects set by industry partners, or through a sustained eight-week period of work placement within the international fashion industry. You will be encouraged to develop a more personal design style, and to develop collections through research, design development and design translation.

Subjects of study include:

  • Collection 1: Cutting
  • Collection 2: Surface
  • Collection 3: Internship
  • Collection 4: Portfolio
  • Collection 5: Historical
  • Preparing for the World of Work

Year 3 (Sandwich Year)

The optional year-long industry placement between Years 2 and 3 allows you to apply your learning to the context of the international fashion industry. The sandwich year is subject to an annual University administration fee. Work placements on both the three-year and sandwich course are undertaken at leading international fashion houses.

Year 4 (Credit Level 6)

At this level you are expected to develop a more strategic perspective and draw together your academic and work experience. You will study subjects that further develop your general business skills, and you will also have the opportunity to specialise in areas of particular interest.

Subjects of study include:

  • Fashion Consumer Behaviour
  • Final Collection 1
  • Final Collection 2
  • Global Sourcing Strategies for Fashion
  • Portfolio
  • Thesis
  • Trends and Change Implementation for Fashion Retail

Course team 

Professional recognition

This course is accredited by Creative Skillset, the Government-backed industry training body.

Download course fee information

Graduate employment

Our students work during London Fashion Week with designers including Alexander McQueen, Gareth Pugh, Giles, Jonathan Saunders, Burberry, Christopher Kane, Mulberry, Todd Lynn, and Peter Jensen. Others work internationally with companies such as Christian Dior, Givenchy and Chanel in Paris and Marc Jacobs, Diane Von Furstenburg, and Alexander Wang in New York.

Graduates from the last three years have secured jobs with Mulberry, Puma, Burberry, Abercrombie & Fitch, Givenchy, Roberto Cavalli, Harrods, Thom Browne, Armani and Roksanda Illincic. Whilst others have gone on to study on the MA courses at Central Saint Martins and the Royal College of Art.

Fashion modelFashion model

Success stories

Graduates from the fashion course at Westminster work at all levels and in all areas of the international fashion industry. Many alumni of the course work as designers, stylists, consultants, freelancers, journalists and illustrators.

Some of our graduates go on to become extremely successful and respected members of the international fashion industry. These include designers such as Christopher Bailey, Michael Herz, Stuart Vevers, Ashley Williams, Claire Barrow and Katie Hillier.

Many others of our fashion graduates go on to work with prestigious fashion design companies throughout the world, such as Burberry, Tom Ford and Alexander McQueen in the UK, Marc Jacobs, Armani and Donna Karan in New York, and Bernard Willhelm, Christian Dior and Hermes in Paris. 

Others have found work with international fashion magazines like Elle, Wallpaper*, Grazia and Vogue or in the fields of marketing or public relations.

With our strong alumni connections together with our unparalleled relationships through our industrial work placements we have connections at all levels of the fashion industry.

Fashion sketch

Work experience

Students at Westminster all undertake at least one period of work placement within the fashion industry. From the end of December to London Fashion Week in February all 2nd year students work for a company of their choice for 8 weeks.

Students negotiate with tutors on finding a fashion placement during this period. Previous work experience has taken place with:

  • Aitor Throup
  • Alexander McQueen
  • Alexander Wang
  • American Vogue
  • Ann Demeulemeester
  • Burberry
  • Balenciaga
  • Celine
  • Chanel
  • Chloe
  • Christian Dior
  • Christopher Kane
  • Christopher Shannon
  • Donna Karan
  • Erdem
  • Fendi
  • Gareth Pugh
  • Giles Deacon
  • Givenchy
  • Haider Ackermann
  • Holly Fulton
  • Hussein Chalayan
  • Iris Van Herpen
  • J.W. Anderson
  • James Long
  • Katie Hillier
  • Lanvin
  • Marc Jacobs
  • Mary Katrantzou
  • Meadham Kirchhoff
  • Mulberry
  • Norton & Sons
  • Old Navy
  • Paul Smith
  • Roksanda Illincic
  • Stella McCartney
  • Thom Browne
  • Ungaro
  • Versace
  • Viktor & Rolf
  • Vivienne Westwood
  • Vogue

Employability

At Westminster, we have always believed that your University experience should be designed to enhance your professional life. Today’s organisations need graduates with both good degrees and employability skills, and we are committed to enhancing your graduate employability by ensuring that career development skills are embedded in all courses.

Opportunities for part-time work, placements and work-related learning activities are widely available, and can provide you with extra cash and help you to demonstrate that you have the skills employers are looking for. In London there is a plentiful supply of part-time work – most students at the University of Westminster work part time (or full time during vacations) to help support their studies.

We continue to widen and strengthen our links with employers, involving them in curriculum design and encouraging their participation in other aspects of career education and guidance. Staff take into account the latest data on labour market trends and employers’ requirements to continually improve the service delivered to students.

For more details, visit the employability section on our site.

Career Development Centre

Our Career Development Centre can help and support you throughout your study and after graduation.

We can help you to:

  • find part-time/vacation, placement and graduate jobs, including voluntary experience
  • explore how to develop the skills that employers are looking for
  • plan your career development
  • identify your career options
  • market yourself effectively in CVs, application forms and at interviews
  • develop your enterprise skills

We also organise a range of presentations and networking events with employers, professional bodies, alumni and other organisations throughout the year to help you with career planning.

Find out more about the Career Development Centre.

Work Placements

Our Work Placement Teams are based in your Faculty Registry Office and can help you find a suitable placement, as well as support you in making applications, writing CVs and improving your interview technique.

More details on work placements can be found on our Work placements page.

Career options in your subject area

Our team of careers consultants work closely with Faculty departments to deliver tailored employability support, including subject-specific workshops, employer events and careers information, advice and guidance.

You can also browse the career options available to you after you graduate on the Career Development Centre's Finding work in your subject area pages and on the Prospects website.

Employability

The BA (Hons) Fashion Design course at the University of Westminster, London is famous for producing both highly individual and creative designers capable of working within all levels of the fashion industry.

The course offers a comprehensive design education at degree level for dedicated and ambitious individuals looking for a specialist career within the creative arena of the fashion design industry. Our graduates work as fashion designers, stylists, freelancers and creatives in London Paris, New York and Milan.

Industry links

Many of the fashion modules that you will study are taught in conjunction with a fashion industry partner to ensure that students gain an understanding of all aspects of the fashion marketplace.

Students have undertaken design projects for companies such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Ben Sherman, Topman, River Island and Coast. Some of the students work has also put into production and sold in stores across the country.

Students are also encouraged to enter competitions and Westminster students recently won the Warehouse design competition and the Harrods design competition for the second year running.

Finally we have a number of visitors from the fashion industry and studio visits where students visit top designers in their studios to see firsthand the design process up close.

Recent visitors to the course include Aitor Throup, Hannah Marshall, Richard Nicol, Angela Buttolph, Charlie Porter, Meadham Kirchhoff, Todd Lynn, Basso & Brooke, and Preen.

Internships

Students at Westminster all undertake at least one period of work placement within the fashion industry. From the end of December to London Fashion Week in February all 2nd year students work for a company of their choice for 8 weeks.

Students negotiate with tutors on finding a fashion placement during this period. Previous work experience has taken place with:

  • Alexander McQueen
  • American Vogue
  • Ann Demeulemeester
  • Aitor Throup
  • Aquascutum
  • Ben Sherman
  • Burberry
  • Celine Chanel
  • Christopher Kane
  • Chloe
  • Christian Dior
  • Giles
  • Givenchy
  • Gareth Pugh
  • Haider Ackermann
  • Hussein Chalayan
  • Jonathan Saunders
  • John Galliano
  • Lanvin 
  • Meadham Kirchhoff
  • Mulberry
  • Stella McCartney
  • Versace
  • Vivienne Westwood
  • Vogue

Guest lecturers

Throughout your time on the fashion course at Westminster you will be taught by a wide variety of guest fashion design lecturers that will bring relevance and outside knowledge to all aspects of your study. The fashion course uses a variety of guest lecturers to enhance and compliment the core fashion course team. Past guest lecturers have included:

  • Aitor Throup - Designer
  • Andrew Davis - Fashion Editor Arena Homme Plus
  • Antonio Berardi - Designer
  • Basso & Brooke - Designers
  • Jens Laugesen - Designer
  • John Galliano - Designer
  • Julian MacDonald - Designer
  • Katie Grand - Stylist
  • Mark Maidment - Ben Sherman
  • Preen - Designers
  • Prof. Julian Roberts - Designer
  • Richard Gray - Illustrator
  • Richard Nicoll - Designer
  • Sally Turner - Designer
  • Shelley Fox - Designer
  • Sophie Dean - Fashion Editor Wallpaper*
  • Tamsin Blanchard - Journalist

Open days

Coming to one of our open days is a great opportunity for you to look around the fashion course, see our buildings and facilities, meet current fashion design students and staff, and find out important information about our teaching methods, student finances and career opportunities.

You will be able to look around the design studios, our specialist machine rooms, our print and dye rooms as well as our fashion resource room. Additionally, you will see examples of current student work at all levels in the form of sketchbooks, final garments and portfolio work.

There are also presentations from the fashion design team on all aspects of the course including our work placement scheme and our industry projects where you can ask any questions that you want answered regarding the course.

All Open Days last approximately two hours and pre-booking your place is essential.

To book a place on our next open day please click here.

Upcoming undergraduate open days

DateTitleLocation
12 March 2016Undergraduate open dayCavendish, Regent Street, Little Titchfield Street
19 March 2016Undergraduate open dayMarylebone
View subject-specific open days

Westminster School of Media, Arts and Design

We are one of Europe's leading centres for higher education for the creative industries.

Find out more about the school

Westminster Fashion

See all of the collections and portfolio work from this year’s graduates on the Westminster Fashion website.

Fashion Design BA

Fashion show

Check out footage and reviews from our 2013 Graduate Fashion Show.

Fashion Magazine

Westminster fashion

Our annual graduate magazine features the work of final year graduates, interviews with alumni and a selection of work from other years.

Internships

Fashion designer

Our students work with the best in the industry during valuable work placements.