BA (Hons) Fashion Design with International Foundation Year

University Of East London

Program Overview

The Fashion industry is a multi-billion-dollar enterprise that has a huge impact on our world today.


The benefits are vast and with a great industry giant such as fashion, comes also a great need for innovators who will think above and beyond the structural norms that has followed fashion through time, and seeks new inspiration and change.


At UEL, we pride ourselves in teaching our students to understand the historical context of the creative industries so that they can rise to become innovators and disruptors for the greater advancement of fashion itself.


With an eye on sustainability, ethical materials and cultural awareness and diversity in our and the greater society of fashion, students can become designers of influence and fledging stars in a highly saturated market.


UEL encourages students to be different and harness their own creative diversity with tools that’ll prepare them for the wider industry and knowledge of how they can progress on their journey.


This is a fast paced, hands on course amid the creative hub of East London, preparing students to take their place in the world of fashion.  


Foundation year

If you don't meet the entry requirements for a BA, you can study this course as an extended, four-year programme. You'll begin by taking a foundation year which prepares you for a successful transition to the BA degree. This means it will take you four years to complete the course full-time, and eight years to complete the course part-time.


LondonUnited Kingdom

  Course Duration

9 Months

  Tuition Fee

£ 13,740


IELTS: 4.5

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Foundation Year


Mental Wealth: Professional Life - Creative Research Practice


This module will facilitate practice-led research, from process through to practice across fashion disciplines in design, textiles and marketing.


You will be taught the skills of analysing your processes to develop a final product, continually questioning and defining your ideas as a researcher would.


Through initial research, you will explore and garner new knowledge; general and in-depth observations will create the platform to deliver a variety of initial concepts that can be further explored, brought together or focused on separately in more detail.


From this, you will be able to utilise and strengthen your understanding and approach of research practice as you continue to build on your area of expertise and modes of study.


Design and Application


This module aims to allow you to put into practice knowledge gained from previous module development in term 1 and implement it towards design and application.


You will develop your design concepts developed from learned skills in the Design and Context module and be taught the application of your ideas towards potential 2D and 3D outcomes.


The application of your designs will delve into the different outputs of fashion such as graphics and layouts for fashion marketing, pattern cutting and sewing for design and sample and material development for textile design etc.


You will be expected to be innovative in your approach to application, practicing the context and technical and creative processes learned prior to help fuel your delivery.


The design element will come from a range of inspirational sources that you have a general interest in and be based on the fashion route chosen; be it Marketing, Design or Textiles, you will have the opportunity to explore what design means in your relevant fields.


Design and Context


This module applies knowledge to the context of fashion through design and is effectively a new understanding of theory through creative vision, linking theory into practice.


Delving deeper beyond the practical, you will need to foster an understanding of your ideas from a theoretical point of view, beyond personal aesthetics and towards a broader development in professional practice.


The module will investigate the methods of contextual design using structural methods to consolidate research that will be used to create and prototype product or service concepts, and repeatedly test and refine those concepts with input from peers and tutors.


Through a series of workshops and lectures you will explore a wide range of creative techniques and methodologies within core specialisms in fashion such as design, textiles and marketing with a theoretical context given in each.


Utilising design research and skills learned from these specialisms, you will be able to transfer your knowledge across other projects and strengthen your creative portfolios.


Fashion Development and Techniques


This module will give you an introduction to the wider aspects of the fashion sector through industry visits, market analysis, technical workshops and the fashion system.


You will be taught about the relationship between design, manufacturing, selling, buying and marketing facets of fashion.


Final Realisation


The final realisation module is geared to encouraging experimentation and providing a clear focus towards your intended pathway.


Based on the different learned skill sets throughout the first and second terms, you will be required to identify a specific interest you may have identified in a previous module to develop into a final major project; outcomes will vary according to your discipline.


By this juncture, you will have gathered a range of vital preparatory skills of drawing, observation, research and project development to explore your specialism in an innovative and original manner that will form a robust foundation for further undergraduate study.


Year 1


Technical Skills & Innovation


This module provides students with the foundational knowledge of understanding technical/ theoretical skills and innovation within their relevant discipline. The module will prepare students with the skills to begin their development journey as professionals, introducing them to core study skills and practice within their fields. The module seeks to instil in students the understanding of beginning the processes conceptualisation through to development and finally realisation.


Through a series of workshops and lectures students explore a wide range of techniques and methodologies relevant to their chosen subject specialism. With the use of CAD, students will utilise programmes in Adobe suite, notably Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign.


Students will have the opportunity to utilise knowledge expertise from this and other modules to develop their projects, providing holistic learning.


Fashion Practice


This module equips students with a basic understanding of the creative design process and methodologies. It will engage students in the production of contemporary solutions for fashion and related design, textile and marketing areas using the key techniques and processes developed in Technical Skills & Innovation for Fashion.


Through a series of collaborative projects students will formulate concepts using creative play and visual narrative. Students will explore the basic principles behind good project development and management. They will gain confidence in producing collaborative works that will allow them to progress further.


Students will have the opportunity to have the basic understanding of fashion practice and its relation to the wider economy, consumers and society.


With the use of digital software and databases, students will utilise programmes such as WARC and WGSN.


Fashion Contexts and Research


The aim of this module is to introduce students to collaborative projects and design creative solutions as a team by working alongside other creatives within the fashion cluster. This module will focus on how to develop best practice and fully utilise individual skillsets to deliver specific project outcomes. Students learn to work in a team to develop project plans, research and development and design production and delivery.


This module will look to explore techniques and research methodologies in ensuring that students have a good understanding on how context and theory apply to practice in relation to Fashion. Students will understand how the wide variety of media and cultural, social and political influences form our contemporary perceptions of fashion.


Fashion Process


This module will develop knowledge and understanding of collaborative projects gained in the Fashion Contexts and Research module.


This module will give students the opportunity to understand the business process and methodologies that are utilised across several disciplines in the fashion industry.


Here, students will be introduced to the issues and debates that are facing the fashion sector.


It is crucial that student’s understand the development of the Fashion sector and all its related sectors such as fashion buying, styling, trends, social media and consumers.


Fashion Enterprise


This module will develop knowledge and understanding of collaborative projects created in the Fashion Theory and Research and Fashion Process modules towards enterprise.


At level 4 students will have the opportunity to engage in the beginnings of business processes that are crucial for their future success.


Knowledge of supply chains both national and international will be crucial to the basic understanding of our students. Where the fashion industry manufactures, produces and finishes in a global economy is integral to the foundation thinking of students.


Profitability and income margins, growth internationally, production cycles, digitisation and sustainable issues all form foundation knowledge of our students to make good future business decisions.


Mental Wealth: Professional Life - Business of Fashion 1


This module focuses on an introduction to fashion and the creative industries offering insight through guest lectures and workshops designed to develop your professional skills. Students gain key visual communication and written skills to better understand industry expectations and standards. Digital skills and graphic identity are explored in the production of subject specific publications and portfolio development.


This module will give students the basic understanding of business operations by being actively engaged with level 5 students in producing collaborative works that can be effectively marketed and translated to a market. This module will relate closely to the Fashion Enterprise module and much more focus on finalised product, service or media.


Students will have the opportunity to build on their community and industry connections via enhanced knowledge on social media and ethical practices within industry, building and developing their confidence towards a future they are passionate and well informed about.


Year 2


Technical Applications


This module utilises subject specific technical and theoretical skills gained in the Technical Skills & Innovation module at level 4.


You are required to further develop your individual skill set and employ this knowledge to create innovative design solutions.


The creative design process from concept through to development and final product, will be appropriately documented. You will also expand and strengthen your digital skills relevant to your subject specialism.


Creative Fashion Practice


This module requires you to further develop your creative practice across fashion and the industry, utilising knowledge gained from the Fashion Practice module at level 4.


You will demonstrate an understanding of the design process through development of experimental and creative practice to produce an innovative sketchbook/ file and design construction/ creative/professional portfolio. Research and exploration of a broad range of future cultural and global trends are fundamental to your concepts for fashion, textiles and marketing campaigns.


Theory of Fashion


This module builds on the skills you will have achieved in level 4 and its primary aims are to further develop your understanding of collaborative projects regarding industry and its working cycle.


You will address the impact of C21st fashion and look towards a more purposeful future by focusing on ideas such as fashion futures, digital technology, cultural globalisation, social media and sustainability.


You will be independent in your reflection and acute in your understanding of design thinking for tomorrow’s fashion.


This module sets out to further challenge the perspectives of fashion that are understood today and give you the opportunity to contest old ideas and be provocative in your outcomes.


Process and Identity


This module aims to build on the knowledge and skills learnt in the Fashion Process module in level 4.


You will be required to develop and share concepts based on your identity as a designer/ creative/ professional and, also to reflect and research your own cultural identity.


Using relevant subject specific creative and analytical processes you will develop your concepts collaboratively using visual ‘story telling’ and written analysis.


By the end of this module you will have a greater understanding of sequential design processes and industry practice.


Fashion Enterprise 2


Fashion Enterprise 2 will further expand on the projects developed on the level 4 Fashion Enterprise module via individual and collaborative projects, with a focus on career development.


The module aims to develop enterprise skills for self-promotion in industry as well as technique and strategies in setting up own enterprise.


You will have the opportunity to go on placement and work on live briefs, learning skills in developing your graphic identity through exploration of fonts, art direction and branding, CV and business profile development and portfolio and promotional materials.


Having focused on understanding how the fashion industry operates at different levels and its career opportunities, you will create your personal brand Identity & use of formats to promote yourself.


Mental Wealth: Professional Life - Business of Fashion 2


Building on the work of FT4011, you will further your ability to identify industry related processes and professional skills. Through a series of workshops focused on design presentation and effective visual communication, you will engage with subject specific external competitions alongside building your identity as a designer through the production of individual portfolios.


The module will allow you to contextualise your core discipline learning within specific markets and trends relevant to your discipline within the Fashion and Textiles sector. In addition, you will gain a greater understanding and ability to present your work professionally and articulate your concepts visually alongside a supporting written report.



Optional placement between Years 2 and 3

An optional placement year can be taken between Level 5 (Year 2) and Level 6 (Year 3). 


Year 3



Applied Innovation


This module will support you in your creative thinking and enhance your continued collaborative work practices and challenge your commitment in delivering innovative design solutions that may include various medias such as moving image to define the beginning process of your research.


The module will act as a forerunner to aid in bridging the gap between theory and practice. You will be expected to be hands on in your approach as a set of short creative challenges are tasked to you to allow for pragmatic and inspiring creative thinking and practice.


The aim of this module is to support you in your productivity to help further development of a culture of innovation towards your final major project.


Advanced Creative Practice

This module enables you to create a self-initiated concept, which you will thoroughly research and develop in preparation for your Final Major Project: Realisation module.


You will outline your proposals of work at the beginning of the module, which will then be negotiated and agreed with staff. Further developments may include collaborative industry partnerships fostering product enhancement and knowledge exchange.


You will further develop and nurture your career focus by utilising knowledge and skills gained in level 5 in the production of advanced visual research, development sampling and prototypes for fashion.


Final Major Project: Theoretical Identity


You will embark upon a self-initiated line of study in order to thoroughly research, develop and experiment with your chosen concept.


Advanced concepts, research and development skills are explored in preparation for your Final Major Project: Realisation module.


Using project guidelines from previous briefs, you will have the opportunity to write your own brief with developing outcomes, based on your personal research and interests.


You will either create a collection of products, initiate a business plan or propose alternate fashion outputs.


Final Major Project: Realisation


Building on the work of FT6021, you will realise your ideas through creative production of original and innovative negotiated concept and outcomes that are relevant to your career aspirations and specialism.


You will have the opportunity to produce a final major project that will primarily rely upon negotiated guidance in order to promote and develop your transition into working life.


You will have the opportunity to identify, develop, reflect upon and finalise projects that will create and build a signature for your exit portfolio.


Fashion Enterprise 3


This module allows you to work directly with industry to define and execute creative solutions and develop a creative portfolio of work within the creative industries.


You will learn how to freelance and set up your own businesses by examining and understanding future roles within the creative industries.


You will collaborate across all fashion titles to plan and organise a showcase of your work at a relevant trade fair or sell designs in a pop-up shop. By utilising professional skills, you will work in teams alongside staff to design and implement creative concepts for a given market sector.


Mental Wealth: Professional Life - Business of Fashion 3


You will develop your ability to produce industry standard portfolios reflecting your skills and expertise, ready for graduate level jobs.


You will be able to develop your professional identity by demonstrating your entrepreneurial thinking into your exit portfolio which will provide insight into the complexity of the fashion industry with consumer behaviour, business models, business funding and different career alternatives.


Further insight on business strategy such as investment capital and start up campaigns will be delivered.



Must include passes at A2 in at least two subjects.




Extended Diploma or Diploma




Diploma with 25 points including a minimum of 15 points at Higher Level.


Additional Requirements


We would normally expect you to have Grade C in GCSE English and Maths. All applicants are required to attend an interview and submit a portfolio of their work (Please see below for details).


Portfolio Requirements


The portfolio is a very important part of the application process. It should reflect broad examples of your work. This will be used as evidence of your creative ability and potential.


Your portfolio should include elements of the below:


  • Evidence of use of colour, mixed media, sculptural work, photography, collage, and idea development.
  • Drawing skills - life drawing, observational drawing, understanding of garment scale and proportion on the body, fashion drawings, and inspiration development
  • Visual research and inspiration development
  • Evidence of understanding of fashion market levels
  • Evidence of publication knowledge – relevant newspaper and high-end conceptual fashion magazines
  • Fabric research
  • Any samples/photographs of work
  • Evidence of own projects/work/blogs etc

International Fees Full time, 3 years
£13,740 Per year

Fashion is an industry full of vast opportunities and much-needed skill sets that are continually involving. The great thing about studying fashion and developing core skills is that you can work practically anywhere within the creative industries.


Studying Fashion Design will give you the opportunity to work in various sectors such as fashion design, design consultant, styling and retail. Jobs include junior/senior designer, pattern cutter, garment technologist, stylist, creative director, fashion consultant, freelance designer, tailor and much more.


Having a key understanding of body shapes and sizes and CAD, will give students studying this degree a key advantage in the careers market.

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