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About this course

  • Entry year: 2014/15
  • Course code: W230
  • Applications: UCAS
  • Level: Undergraduate
  • Tariff points: 280
  • Department: Art and Design
  • Campus: Bower Ashton
  • Duration: Three years full-time, six years part-time
  • Delivery: Full and part-time
  • Study Abroad: Yes
  • Programme leader: Deborah Southerland
  • Key fact: Following a diagnostic core-skill building first year, you are able to specialise in one of three routes: Fashion, Fashion Communication, Textiles for Fashion.


Fashion at UWE is an exciting course that places emphasis on individual creative development and industry preparation. Our students are excellent visual and verbal communicators and they graduate with a wide-range of practical and theoretical skills as well as a rigorous understanding of the fashion industry. 

Following a diagnostic core-skill building first year, you will specialise in one of three routes: Fashion, Fashion Communication or Textiles for Fashion.


This is the traditional garment design route that requires synthesis between garment and fabric. Some students also design and produce the textiles for their collections.

Fashion Communication

Working predominantly in 2D, you will consider the presentation of the fashion image through new and traditional media. This may include for example: the production of magazines, films, photographs, illustrations, websites and other related work with content based around fashion and contemporary culture.

Textiles for Fashion

You will focus on the design and production of printed, knitted and embroidered textile collections for fashion contexts. This could include for instance, the use of silk screen, CAD, digital embroidery and laser cutting.

Drawing and visual communication are the foundations of everything we do, and all students have the opportunity to develop skills in a range of industry standard software packages appropriate to their route, for example AVA, the Adobe suite and Final cut pro.

During year 2, you will develop your design skills in conjunction with ongoing technical and critical development, and in year 3 you will deliver an industry-ready collection and portfolio appropriate to your specialist route.

In addition to individual creative and technical development, the course focuses strongly on the acquisition of industry-based work experience, the delivery of live projects and the development of broader professional skills. Industry preparedness underpins the whole student experience. Our students are highly employable in a fast-paced and competitive industry.

Students go on to work across all areas of the fashion industry taking on diverse roles such as Design Manager, Product Developer, Studio Manager, Pattern Cutter and Stylist. Examples of our recent alumni destinations are: Designer at All Saints, Product Developer at Jonathon Saunders, Technical Assistant at Matthew Williamson, and Pattern Cutter at Christopher Kane.

We work closely with our alumni and many return to deliver lectures on their professional development. We are currently building on this alumni strategy with the aim of delivering even more industry-facing projects and live briefs.

The syllabus is informed by both academic and industry standards and is delivered in response to developments in these fields. Fashion at UWE has a robust portfolio of industry links which we use to facilitate both the delivery of the academic curriculum and to harness the professional aspirations of our students.

To see examples of students work and hear about latest news from the course, have a look at our UWE Bristol Fashion blog.

This video requires javascript to be enabled and flash installed to view.View this video on the youtube website

>> Structure

Student's view

The graduating students have the opportunity to organise, fund and execute a fashion show and gallery exhibition to showcase their work - such a rewarding experience! Sarah



Across all three years of the course, Professional Practice and Work Experience modules allow you to explore and effectively engage with industry and professional outcomes as an emerging practitioner.

You may choose one of the following routes:

  • Fashion
  • Fashion Communication
  • Textiles for Fashion

Year 1

Following a diagnostic period, you will specialise in one of the three routes specified above. This year concentrates on learning how to research and develop design work suitable for Fashion and its related areas as well as the acquisition of a range of appropriate skills. Emphasis is placed on innovation and experimentation. A Professional Practice and Work Experience module enables you to begin to locate the context of your own practice, hear from industry professionals and find out about future career options. The year finishes with project work where the outcomes are focused on industry.

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Introduction to Fashion
  • Exploring Practice in Fashion
  • Creative Perspectives
  • Professional Practice and Work Experience 1

Year 2

You will continue to develop their skills and strengthen their awareness of form and content. Individual and group work builds your confidence to be able to design and produce work for specified markets. The Professional Practice and Work Experience module in Year 2 provides a series of structured lectures and events designed to help you explore their potential for employment. You are encouraged to undertake work placements and live projects. There is the opportunity to undertake an international exchange programme at one of our partner institutions in Europe or further afield.

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Developing Practice in Fashion
  • Creative Analysis
  • Professional Practice and Work Experience 2

Plus one of the following:

  • Developing Practice in Fashion 2
  • International Exchange

Year 3

This final year amalgamates a broad and experimental approach to design with a clear understanding of industry requirements and standards. You will produce a large body of individually directed work appropriate to a market and area of their choice. The Professional Practice and Work Experience module in Year 3 focuses on self-promotion and readiness for employment.

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Preparation for the Extended Study in Fashion
  • Extended Study in Fashion
  • Independent Research Project
  • Professional Practice and Work Experience 3

Please note this structure is for the full-time course delivery only. For part-time delivery the same modules will be studied over a longer period and the structure will differ slightly although you will comprise of the same suite of modules.

Learning and teaching

Teaching is through projects, lectures, seminars and group and individual tutorials.

You will engage with self and peer assessment, collaborate on projects and contribute meaningfully to your peer group.

Throughout the entire course you will attend lectures and seminars in Visual Culture with students from across the Department of Creative Industries. This core module enables you to develop a rigorous critical and analytical approach to your own work and the work of others. It also fosters a culture of collaboration between disciplines which is very valuable to you when you leave university. On completion of the course you should expect to be fully aware of the business and working processes in your chosen area of creative practice.

For more details see our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.


A variety of assessment methods are used throughout the course, including essays, projects, group presentations and presentations of visual work. There are no exams. You will engage in critical evaluation of your work where you are expected to critique and analyse your work and relate it to the broader context of design practices. Marks from modules at years 2 and 3 can contribute towards your overall degree classification.

For more details see our full glossary of assessment terms.

>> Features

Special Features


Students are encouraged to undertake industry based placements in their second year. In the past students have worked with Tom Ford, Vivienne Westwood, Christopher Kane, Jonathon Saunders, Marc Jacobs, Anna Sui, Givenchy and many others.


Students undertake frequent trips to London either organised of self directed. There are additional trips to Paris and bi-annually further afield.

Study facilities

The Fashion course is able to offer access to some of the best technical resources in the country. Students in the first and second year will be allocated studios in which to work and in their final year have their own space with a professional studio environment.

Find out more about the facilities and resources UWE has to offer.


The Fashion course at UWE has produced many successful, award-winning students. In 2013 alone UWE students won or were awarded prizes for the Graduate Fashion Week in various categories including Fashion Photography, ID Magazine Fashion Illustration, Fashion Media, and Fashion Innovation.

>> Careers

Careers/further study

Graduates have the required skills, knowledge and understanding to join the fashion industry. You will be well equipped to work as studio designers, or work freelance, set up your own business or work in areas related to the industry such as buying, fashion promotion, styling or fashion journalism.

Below are some of the careers which our graduates have entered into:

  • Designer - Agent Provocateur
  • Product Developer - Christopher Kane
  • Print Designer - Celine, Paris
  • Print Designer - Karen Millen
  • Junior Designer - Coast
  • Design Assistant - River Island
  • Web Designer - Eskimo Kids

UWE is committed to preparing graduates for the world of work. We have strong relationships with industry and a commitment to delivering courses which help students achieve their future goals in competitive job markets.

Graduate destinations

Find out what our graduates are doing six months after graduating- includes examples of careers, employers and further study. Download a PDF from graduate destinations.

Creating employable students

UWE places strong emphasis on employability and skill development at every level. Through work placements, volunteering, study abroad and UWE initiatives, including the highly successful Undergraduate Internship Scheme, we nurture talent and encourage innovation. Through these opportunities students gain valuable real world experience and graduate with diverse career prospects and a competitive place in the job market.

See great graduate prospects for further information.

Be inspired

Fashion student Hattie Buckwell, was a finalist in London Fashion Week competition. Read the full story about her work.

Read about how Fashion student Nia has designed a Gromit!

See Kate's youtube film about her work experience with Christopher Kane.

Read about some of the work opportunities generated by the Enterprise office.

See 2013 fashion film showcasing final year work.

Useful links

Guardian - what to do with a degree in fashion

The UWE careers service provides guidance and support throughout your studies and after you graduate in addition to useful resources, CV checks, career coaching and details of current job vacancies. They also source opportunities for students to gain work based experience. This support can be accessed face to face, over the telephone or online.

>> Fees


Fee information

For information about fees and funding for courses please see our fees and funding pages.

>> Entry


Typical offers

  • Tariff points: 280
  • GCSE: Grade C or above in English Language
  • A-level subjects: No specific subjects required. Points from A-Level General Studies and AS-Level subjects (not taken onto full A-Level) can be included towards overall tariff. You must have a minimum of two A-Levels.
  • EDEXCEL (BTEC) Diploma: A minimum of DMM from the BTEC Diploma
  • Access: Achievement of the HE Diploma; to include 15 L3 credits at merit; achievement of Level 2 credits giving GCSE equivalency (where appropriate) in English Language. Applicants completing Level 3 credits in Art and Design are guaranteed an interview.
  • Baccalaureate IB: 25 points

Entry requirements

Successful applicants are generally those with the strongest portfolios. Students of all ages and from all social backgrounds are recruited with a variety of qualifications including Foundation Studies Diploma, BTEC National Diploma, A levels or equivalent qualification in Art and Design.

Applicants demonstrating commitment to and knowledge of the subject on their application form are invited to a selection session where they will be required to present a collection of their creative work to demonstrate a good practical ability in and understanding of their chosen field.

The emphasis of your portfolio should be on be on quality rather than quantity and could include sketchbooks, garments and textiles and other 2D and 3D work. Students who do not meet the minimum academic entry requirements but have significant life and/or work experience will be considered on an individual basis.

The majority of selection sessions for September 2015 entry will take place during February and March 2015 in order to allow applicants time to develop their portfolios.

How to apply

Please see the general information about applications.

For further information

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