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Fashion Design

BA (Hons)

School - School of Arts & Media

Subject area - Art and Design

UCAS Code: W225

Start Date(s): September


Three years full-time


UK - £9,250 per year

International - £14,820 per year

In Brief:

  • Enhance your employability through local and international work placements, global collaborations and partnerships with some of the biggest names and brands in the fashion industry
  • Opportunity to exhibit locally and at a professionally produced runway show in London.
  • Study within a high achieving fashion department, consistently winning prestigious awards and competitions. Currently ranked 4th in the Guardian League Tables for Fashion, Top ranking fashion programme according to Unistats ratings, achieving an ‘Overall Student Satisfaction’ figure of 100% for 2017/18 (University of Salford analysis of unpublished NSS data).
  • An interview will be required for admission onto this course
  • Overseas study available
  • Work/industrial placement opportunity
  • International students can apply

Course Summary

The British Fashion Council estimates that the fashion industry is worth £32 billion a year to the UK economy, making a ‘vital contribution to the global reputation of Great Britain as a leader in creative excellence.’

Our course reflects contemporary practice in the fashion industry, with individual creativity as its core. You are encouraged to explore your individual talents through the application of the professional design process, from original concept to final product. Our course has been designed to give you  the  essential skills needed to succeed in this fast paced, dynamic industry both in the UK and Internationally.

The course aspires to create flexible, resourceful and creative fashion practitioners with well-developed transferable and interpersonal skills. Through a range of inspiring modules, you will become multi-skilled, independent and professional in an environment where personal talent and individual development  are  nurtured.

You will also have the opportunity to undertake a work placement module in your second year, with past students doing placements at brands such as Alexander McQueen, Adam Lippes, Christopher Kane, Henri Lloyd, Jonathan Saunders, Karl Lagerfeld, Markus Lupfer, Selfridges & Co, Anna Sui, Vera Wang and Viktor & Rolf.

Graduates have gone onto successful careers in design at all levels of the industry across the globe including Adidas, John Lewis, Levis, Max Mara, New Balance, Puma, River Island, Topshop, Warehouse, Peter Pilotto, H&M, Superdry, Roland Mouret and many more.

Awards and Accreditation

Course Details

The course is designed to reflect contemporary practice in the fashion industry. Individual creativity in fashion design, balanced with realism, are key factors underlying the ethos of this course. You are encouraged to explore your individual talents through the application of the professional design process, from concept to final product.

The course aims to create flexible, aspirational and creative fashion designers with well-developed transferable and interpersonal skills. It provides a broad design education, concentrating on fashion design, and develops not just high levels of analytical skills, critical judgment and the ability to learn independently, but also helps you acquire technical skills and the understanding necessary for the effective realisation of creative fashion concepts.

It is imperative for fashion that you become multi-skilled and professional, able to adapt to the specific needs of society and to the fulfilment of your own creativity. It is a priority for the course to provide an environment where personal talent and individual potential are nurtured.

Course Structure

Year One

You will develop your design thinking and creative ability by undertaking a series of practical projects that cover all aspects of fashion design within a broad context. Experimentation is encouraged as you are introduced to the creative side of fashion design through your modules and projects.

You are introduced to the course's core subject areas by a series of modules delivered through a variety of exciting briefs. Year one introduces you to the fundamentals of a range of disciplines, and provides a thorough grounding of knowledge skills and understanding.

By the end of year one, you will have the ability to understand and communicate ideas in a professional visual form and have developed sufficient technical skills to be able to realise your concepts.

Year Two

You will continue to explore and develop research skills, improve understanding of the specialism, enhance awareness of the fashion industry, and develop your own identity and aesthetic as a young fashion designer.

When studying design you will be expected to realise your ideas in 2D and 3D focusing on creative design ideas and contemporary fashion ideas.

During Year two, you will liaise with industry and, where possible, undertake a 'live project' with a working fashion house or label, which will allow you to engage with and practice subjects of the course with professionalism and prepare you to work more independently. You will develop your understanding of markets and design trends through a process of research, analysis and practical projects.

At the end of this level, you will undertake a period of professional internship, working directly in the industry.  Work placements offer the opportunity for regional, national and international experience with some of the most aspirational fashion brands around.

Year Three

You will continue to follow your chosen specialism and your studies will be tailored to your particular interests and ambitions. Design projects continue to be supported by study of design theory, computing, visual communication and business.

Year three provides the opportunity to personalise an in-depth study through the negotiation of bespoke projects in line with your goals and ambitions. For the final project, self-direction and independent thinking are imperative. Work from the final module in year three is exhibited at a fashion show in Manchester. Students will have the opportunity to exhibit portfolios at the prestigious Graduate Fashion Week event in London, where they will exhibit work alongside their peers and competitors. A selection of students will take part in our professional London runway show.

Year One  

This module introduces the basic skills and knowledge required as part of the fashion design process. It aims to provide the essential foundation upon which your understanding and awareness of the conceptual processes are underpinned by your technical and creative responses. It also aims to generate a sense of confidence and encourage you to think and explore in an open and expansive manner allowing you a period of exploration within which more personal and creative responses can be generated via 2D and 3D solutions within the context of an extended project.
This module is delivered through a series of lectures, seminars and practical workshops involving the development and research of fashion thinking via short exercises and focused projects. The sessions also incorporate individual and group tutorials to discuss student development, and encourage an exchange of ideas and approaches to learning. Typically students will produce as part of a project a research book, development boards and a final outcome that could be either in the form of 2D, 3D or digital formats. The content of work will be determined by individual projects and the student’s interest in either design or styling.
The module is taught through a variety of complementary teaching methods and formats including lectures, tutorials and projects. These various methods and formats will use the VLE to encourage active student participation in research, study skills and interpretation of teaching material. The two assessed components encouarge the students to explore, consider and reflect on a range of perspectives in the field of creative practice, especially in the context of their own practice. Sessions focus on issues affecting visual culture in relation to fashion and visual culture. Connected visits may be arranged.
A skill based module taught mainly in the workshop/studio through a series of demonstrations and lectures. The student will be introduced to materials, workshop machinery and studio equipment through a series of demonstration and exercises. Assessment will be through a project that will typically include a body of work demonstrating understanding and application of techniques, materials and practical skills. Typically, this would be in the form of a project file built throughout the module.

Semester Two  

This module is created to challenge you to engage with diverse approaches to fashion communication. The learning is achieved through workshops including practical drawing for fashion and the use of computer software appropriate to the fashion industry.
In the three-dimensional module you will gain an understanding of research concepts and methodologies for fashion design. You will demonstrate awareness of design principles that could lead to innovative three-dimensional fashion outcomes. Starting to stretch basic skills in creative pattern cutting methods and production techniques.
Continuing the topics covered in semester one.
In semester 2, this module also features a mentoring experience where level 4 and level 6 students are partnered according to their interest in either design or styling. Level 4 students in semester 2 work closely with level 6 students who are in the process of realising their final major project. Level 6 students are required to complete an evaluation form that assesses the experience with their L4 student.  At the same time L4 students are required to maintain and submit a visual/written journal/blog as part of their experience and overall project work

Year Two  

Acting as an introduction to the fashion design pathway this module aims to provide you with the opportunity to develop your understanding of fashion design and give you a solid foundation of knowledge for future modules. You will develop the technical skills necessary for the effective realisation of concepts within this discipline.
This module intends to build upon the skills and knowledge from year 1 and specifically those developed in fashion and communication. The module deals with professional strategies and approaches that are necessary to gain practical yet creative outcomes important to the understanding of design and its application. The module aims to further develop your technical skill in fashion illustration and Computer Aided Design (CAD).
The purpose of this module is to place fashion design practice; particularly pattern cutting and production techniques, within a business context. An understanding of marketing and business issues will give you direction in the design, sampling and production of a collection. Enhanced and improved pattern cutting/production skills enable you to design more effectively and creatively in order to meet the needs of different markets.
The module is taught through a variety of complementary teaching methods and formats, including lectures, tutorials, and projects. These various methods and formats will use the VLE to encourage active student participation in research, study skills and interpretation of teaching material. Connected visits may be arranged. Sessions focus on issues affecting visual culture in relation to design and visual culture and on an appreciation of contextual influences. In addition the student is challenged to develop an informed view of the programme’s disciplines, the relationships between these disciplines, and the wider relationships that can be made to other forms of visual, creative and cultural expression. The assessed component challenges the student to investigate and test their position in relation to creative and cultural communities, relevant to their practice.

Semester Two  

'Capsule' is produced within the fashion industry to communicate the essence of a much larger or complete fashion collection. You will gain experience in producing an edited or abridged collection of garments that captures and communicates the key themes and influences representative of their design direction. Throughout this module you will be entering a more personal journey and initiating your personal direction in preparation for your final year.
Continuing the topics covered in year 2, semester 1.
Continuing the topics covered in year 2, semester 1.
Placements within industry not only add to your knowledge and appreciation of your chosen discipline but can also enhance future employment prospects. This module encourages a liaison between you and the industry – allowing you to apply and develop your knowledge and skills gained on the course while gaining an understanding of the relevant working procedures of industry and the professional activities of design. You will be supported to identify a placement that supports your chosen design field and future career aspirations.


This research-based module is a project that promotes and develops a systematic and critical enquiry into the professional and industrial aspects of the fashion business and evaluate in a professional, coherent and comprehensive way, its key facets. You will be encouraged to identify a fashion company and after developing a creative and analytical research, you will have the opportunity to apply an individual and contemporary design solution.

Year Three  

This first design module of level 3 is a project that encourages you to be aware and appreciate the 'reality' of the fashion industry and prepare you to engage in a professional way, within the constraints of an external brief.
You will develop an understanding of creative cutting, and explore the full potential of the creative design interpretation and consider pattern cutting as a creative process.
This unit aims to challenge you to reflect critically on your personal skills and to exploit your individual creativity in promoting your own work. You will use the experiences and approaches to specialised research as a platform for your Final Major Project work.
The emphasis in this module is on independent research, exploration and investigation. Students will participate in a mixture of one-to-one and small group tutorials throughout the module. These tutorials will be supported by lectures, seminars and  library skills sessions. In addition the VLE will act as a space for students to actively engage with and participate in research, study skills and interpretation of teaching material. Formative feedback, appropriate to the project - for example, rehearsal, draft reading and critique of visual work, will also inform the development of student        work. Students will be guided to select the most appropriate topic and assessment method. Briefings for this module take place at the end of level 5 in order to help students develop an initial proposal that will best match one of the project options available. 

Semester Two  

Negotiated Studies as the final major project, is designed to allow you to synthesise your experiences on the course through the definition, negotiation and implementation of a self-directed programme of design investigation, research and development leading to the presentation of a major design project. You are encouraged to identify an issue or set of issues around which to focus your design investigation. The primary responsibility for the implementation of the project lies with you, and you will be assessed on your capacity to undertake a detailed examination of the territory you have identified.        Effectively, this negotiated study provides a framework through which you are able to demonstrate a capacity to practice your understanding of the particular contextual circumstances in which you operate.
Developing your skills from year 3, semester 1.
Continuing your research project.

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

Entry Requirements

Qualification Entry requirements
Foundation Diploma in Art and Design Pass = 165 (plus other additional qualifications to a total of 260pts)
You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.
English and Maths GCSE grade C
UCAS tariff points 96-112 points
GCE A level 96-112 points including an A2 in an Art and Design subject at grade C
BTEC National Diploma DMM
BTEC Higher National Diploma Applicants may be considered for entry into level 5 (year 2)
Foundation Degree Applicants may be considered for entry into level 6 (year 3)
Scottish Highers 96-112 points including an Art and Design Subject
Irish Leaving Certificate 96-112 points including an Art and Design subject
International Baccalaureate 29 points including an Art and Design subject

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)

We welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we have received your application we will assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.

There are two different routes through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. Assessment will either be through a review of prior learning or through a formal test.

Guidance for applicants

When applying for this fashion course your personal statement is very important and should be dynamic, original and show your personality. Please avoid generic statements and quotes. Most of all get across your interest in the subject. If successful you would be invited to interview. We pride ourselves in seeing each student personally and viewing their work. A well-presented portfolio says a lot about you and your work. Our guidance is not meant to limit your creative statement. In general terms, however, we would expect the following:

  • Examples of drawing and colour usage
  • Design/idea development
  • Sketch books and note books
  • Photographs
  • 2D and 3D work

At this stage in your career we would much rather see experimental and playful drawing and developmental work rather than necessarily all finished work showing a final solution.

We do not need to see all the work you have produced - around 20-30 samples in your main portfolio would be ideal as well as some sketchbooks.

English Language Requirements

International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.0 (no element below 5.5) is proof of this.

Applicant profile

Personality, enthusiasm, passion and dedication are all critical characteristics that we look for in our prospective students. Projects demonstrating good visual communication skills are required, and investigation and development of creative ideas should be evident in your work.

Applicants are normally invited to bring their portfolio of work to a selection visit. We welcome applications from candidates who do not have formal entry requirements.

Fees and Funding


Fees 2019-20

Type of Study Fee
Full-time £9,250 per year
Full-time International £14,820 per year

Fees 2018-19

Type of Study Fee
Full-time £9,250 per year
Part-time Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.
Full-time International £14,400 per year

Additional costs

Students should expect to pay their studio levy each year. In addition, in Year 3 of study, students will also incur a cost to participate in shows.

  • 1st year costs: £100
  • 2nd year costs: £100 
  • 3rd year costs: £350

For optional trips, you should expect to pay from £350 to £1200. Costs are approximated based on the current academic year.

You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.


Visual and academic research may take several forms, according to specific briefs, your objectives and your personal approach to the subject. Drawing, photography, visual and written notebooks are encouraged as a fundamental means of gathering, analysing, storing, retrieving and using visual information effectively.

This is generally seen as an opportunity for autonomy, although there is tutor guidance and support. You will also learn how to use the internet appropriately, and how to use library resources including archives and databases in order to obtain the required information from specialist sources.

Projects vary in the amount of time you will be in contact with staff. Workshop or studio projects tend to require additional staff support and guidance while design and styling projects require tutorials and more one-to-one discussions, especially at year three where research and personal reflection, as part of the learning outcome, become more imperative.


You will be assessed through:

  • Coursework (70%)
  • Presentations (10%)
  • Dissertation (20%)


Recent graduates have gone into all spheres of the fashion industry including brands like Adidas, Puma, River Island, Mulberry, Burberry, Matalan, Superdry, Maxmara, George and Heidi Klein.

Graduates entering the fashion industry work across a diverse range of careers – as designers, stylists, pattern cutters, buyers, visual merchandisers, illustrators and retailers. Many have set up their own labels. Recent graduates have found employment with companies such as Burberry, Monsoon, Paul Smith, J Crew, French Connection, Whistles, River Island, Erdem, All Saints.

Each year a number of BA (Hons) graduates pursue their educational study at postgraduate and Master's level, continuing at the Royal College of Art, Central Saint Martins, the University of Westminster, and Kingston for example. Some students go on to complete a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE)

Career Prospects

Alumni Profile

Ellie Tate-Smith
Marina Rinaldi (Max Mara Group), Italy

Ellie was the winner of our live industry brief held with Max Mara in 2014. She now works for the brand full time as womenswear designer and assistant to the creative director of Max Mara mainline. This role is a broad fashion role, which involves being able to be creative, and understanding fashion trends and design ideas as they are worn. Ellie is showing the ability to cope with pressure and high volumes of work, and showing a professional understanding and instinct for trends, strong design skills as well as resilience.

Alex Danko
Assistant Designer, Topshop

Alex graduated in 2017, she won the BFC Topshop competition and was awarded a paid internship as her prize, on completion of her internship Topshop offered Alex a permanent post. She is extremely happy and successful in her role as assistant designer at Topshop head office in London.

Georgie Wood
Freelance Designer at Heidi Klein and Womenswear Designer at Max Mara Fashion Group
Graduated in 2015

‘I completed a 6 weeks internship in NYC with Adam Lippes. My experience in NYC was amazing, which has opened my eyes to the fashion industry. It was great to be in the hustle and bustle of New York. I learnt many things from working with the whole team at Adam Lippes. It was a perfect match as the style and design of the product was very similar to my own style. It was such a valuable experience, to be surrounded by clothes and stylists and to be inspired every day. 

At first it was a bit of a shock, I was doing a lot of running around and the style of communication was very blunt. However, as the experience developed, I began to gain their trust and they were extremely positive towards me, completing tasks that they would do themselves and not little tasks they didn't want to do. Ultimately, I was offered a job to represent Adam Lippes in London. I had a great leaving party that was organised by the staff at the company, and to top it off, I received some very generous gifts! All in all it was a wonderful experience.’

Links with Industry

Students have the opportunity to meet and collaborate with a wide range of industry professionals. The valuable knowledge and experience that visiting speakers bring ensure that you are kept informed of the current changes and demands within the fashion industry.

You will benefit from hearing a professional perspective which complements your learning and development while providing inspiration and an acute awareness of the fashion world.

Our visiting speakers are a valuable asset to the course and help us to maintain our contemporary outlook. Recent guests have included the H&M design team, the director of Crane TV, Amelia's Magazine; Lee Lapthorne, creative director of Doll & On-Off; London-based designer Justin Oh. These guest speakers were invited as part of a lecture series, workshop or live project.

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