BA (Hons) Fashion Design

The BA (Hons) Fashion Design course at Bath Spa University has developed a reputation for producing individual and creative designers with a strong skill set, capable of working at all levels of the market. The course offers a comprehensive design education at degree level for dedicated and ambitious individuals looking for a specialist career within the fashion industry. You will be encouraged to develop an individual design identity through the translation of personal research into design ideas underpinned with strong technical skills. There is an emphasis on students developing sophisticated research skills in order to develop original concepts, used alongside strengths in making and pattern cutting; that are fully intertwined with the research. We aim to take the fear out of the ‘technical’ side of fashion by combining the technical and design so both areas become one creative endeavor. Fashion is fascinating and complex as a subject; it’s about evolution and change; a mix of design, technical knowledge and skill, marketing and business, with social, cultural, historical, economic and political influences. People working in fashion anticipate and generate change, and the course aims to equip you with the knowledge and skill to succeed in this highly competitive and creative industry. The course covers all aspects of the design process, from research and design development, translating ideas from 2D to 3D and final promotion, with a focus on combining the ‘technical’ with ‘design’ in one creative process.



Graduate Fashion Week Show 2014 from Bath Spa University on Vimeo.

Visit Bath Spa University website page for application details

Course Structure & Content

Year 1 The first year aims to cover five main areas: • Through a unique partnership with the Fashion Museum, Bath, you will follow an integrated programme of lectures and handling sessions as well as the opportunity to explore the relationship between historical research and studio practice. • Design: across a range of seasons and product areas, using sophisticated research, design and presentation skills. You will explore the importance of innovative cutting and the relationship to fabric, what constitutes a collection, design in relation to a chosen consumer and/or market, and drawing for fashion including illustration, fashion drawing and working/flat drawings. • The development of ideas into 3D through flat pattern cutting and product development alongside sewing skills workshops. • Tailoring: introducing the history and context of tailoring, designing tailored fashion, and the development of tailoring techniques and processes. • Professional Contexts Year 2 • Stand Modelling & Drape: Ideas are explored and developed in 3D through the development of drape skills, working directly on the stand with innovative use of fabrics, and couture sewing skills workshops. • External Industry Design Brief: these may be in conjunction with a fashion industry partner or sourced independently. Students have undertaken design projects for companies such as Mulberry, Sonia Rykiel, Fire Trap, ASOS, Bastyan, Karen Millen, Nicole Farhi, Jaeger, Umbro, and Griffin. • Portfolio: the individual development of communication and presentation skills, developing a personal identity within a portfolio. • Professional Contexts 2:  Designing for a commercial brand, incorporating advanced use of digital skills. • Historical & Cultural studies: Continuing lectures and handling sessions at the Fashion Museum, Bath as well as the role of research within art & design practice, the relationship between primary and secondary materials, realising research in a formal written format. This module also provides preparation for the dissertation project in the third year. Year 3 • Dissertation • Final Collection: research, design and development of a final collection. • Professional Contexts 3: this module includes the development of a personal fashion portfolio, promotional packages, and research into employment or further study. You will be taught by industry professionals and have opportunity to discuss your work with external industry practitioners. Bath Spa’s BA (Hons) Fashion Design degree has established a reputation for producing graduates with a complete understanding of the design process and a strong creative eye. You will work in an intimate studio environment with extensive personal support from staff. The course offers you opportunity to showcase your work to industry professionals. You will be given careers support and advice.

Work Placements/Internships/Industry Live Briefs

Students are encouraged to undertake work placements or internships between years 1&2 and 2&3. These placements are not assessable but you are advised that this level of experience will enhance your learning, as well as build your CV and career prospects on graduating. Live industry projects are undertaken within the course and there may be opportunity for selection to internship programmes through industry partners. Students have undertaken internships, work placements and projects with companies including: Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney, Mulberry, Erdem, Issa, New Look, Addidas, Fire Trap, Karen Millen, Roland Mouret, Vivienne Westwood, Nicole Farhi, Griffin menswear, Alice Temperly,  Marks & Spencer, Bastyan, Jaeger, and Betty Jackson.

Assessment Methods

The course is delivered through a sequence of modules, varying in length and weighting, which are assessed on completion: 84% main study modules, 16% historical and critical studies. Modules are assessed through coursework. Assignments/projects are not just designed to test what you know, but to help you develop your knowledge, skills and confidence.

Student Achievements

• Louise Tredwin (2010) – Collection featured in ‘How to create your final collection’ by Mark Atkinson published by Laurence King • Saski Ford (2011) – Featured in Italian Vogue 100 Top Talents Issue • Lucy Penny (2011) – Selected at Graduate Fashion Week for the Protégé Project resulting in an internship with Karen Millen • Lucy Penny (2011) – one of 10 winners of the Arts Thread Pret a Porter competition, showcasing her collection in Paris at Pret a Porter • Rebecca Head (2012) – selected by Fashion Journalist Hilary Alexander to be featured in BA High Life magazine • Rebecca Head (2012) – Italian Vogue blog, photo shoot featuring two outfits from her collection. • Rebecca Head (2012) – Featured in Italian Vogue Top Talents Issue. • Chloe Jones (2012) – winner Womenswear Award Graduate Fashion week 2012 • Chloe Jones (2012) – winner Gold Award Graduate Fashion Week 2012 • Chloe Jones (2012) – one of 11 graduates showcased as the very best Fashion Design graduates of 2012 at Vauxhall Fashion Scout for the start of London Fashion Week (Chloe was the only graduate from outside London – six from Central St Martins, two from Westminster, one from the Royal College of Art, and one from London College of Fashion).

Staff Profiles

Frequently asked questions

What will I study and how?

The course covers all aspects of the design process, from research and design development to interpreting ideas into 3D using cutting, draping, tailoring and construction skills. Teaching focuses on studio-based design projects, with one-to-one tuition from practicing designers, pattern cutters, product developers and illustrators. Our strong links with industry give you the chance to work on live design projects.

What facilities are available?

There is a wide range of facilities at the Sion Hill campus. Teaching is mainly studio based so you can expect to spend the majority of time working in a studio environment. The studios in the Fashion Department are equipped with industrial machinery and purpose built pattern cutting tables, but you will also benefit from:

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