Postgraduate MA

Fashion Design

Salford School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology




18 month

Next enrolment

September 2021


In a nutshell

MA Fashion Design at the University of Salford has been designed in response to national and international demand for a creative and industry-focused postgraduate degree. The aim of this programme is to respond to those needs and produce graduates who have a strong, conceptual and holistic understanding of fashion design.

The MA builds on the success of the highly-rated BA (Hons) Fashion Design, which is recognised as a leading fashion education programme. It was listed by Business of Fashion in 2019 as one of the top 22 fashion design courses globally, and is ranked 11th in the UK in the Guardian League Tables (2019).

You will: 

  • Develop a broad range of skills in scenic and set design 

  • Learn to analyse and interpret scripts and generate and evaluate visual concepts 

  • Gain the experience to produce three-dimensional scale models and props in order to test and communicate concepts. 

Find out more by signing up to our upcoming Open Day, or if you have any generic questions please contact course enquiries.

You can also find helpful FAQs, learn more about student life at Salford or explore all our Fashion courses. Continue reading to understand more about MA Fashion Design course. 


students accepted

This is for you if...


You are a dedicated, passionate and committed fashion design practitioner


You want to engage with professional and live projects


You are keen to explore contemporary issues relating to the fashion industry

Course details

All about the course

This course embraces a range of practices and aims to:

  • Enable you to develop an advanced understanding of research methods in the context of contemporary fashion practice and to understand how creative innovation is advanced through research.
  • Empower you to develop creative, critical, analytical and intellectual competencies appropriate to master’s level degree study.
  • Support you to develop, extend and apply complex strategies and approaches appropriate to professional studio practice, embedding the knowledge and skills required to establish you as a fashion design practitioner.

Studio production is emphasised as a key driver for practice development and to further enhance your techniques whilst continuing to innovate and refine your personal direction and design identity. Portfolio creation in the wider context will also be a key aspect of your development throughout the programme via live projects and sessions with visiting practitioners.

Three core modules will be delivered over one and a half years culminating in the opportunity for you to attend and present your collection at world-renowned fashion events, including London or New York Fashion Week. You will have the opportunity to source materials internationally through fabric fairs, agents, and manufacturers in Paris and China, the latter being a unique experience within the UK at postgraduate level.

You will also have the opportunity for extensive international travel to destinations that may include Tokyo, New York, Milan, Paris or Antwerp. (All international travel will be subject to successful visa application.)  

Semester One

Creative Research and Fashion Practice

This module focuses on the understanding and application of a range of practice-based research methods. You will be encouraged to develop an individual line of inquiry that will be explored through a variety of creative research methods with support from lectures, seminars and tutorials.

This module is intended to help you challenge your assumptions and broaden your creative perspective, as you develop an understanding of your pathway into a key area (e.g. menswear or womenswear). A series of fashion design briefs will provide the opportunity to develop your existing fashion skills, working towards a range of practical 2D or 3D outcomes. You will negotiate, explore and identify key themes that inform the next stage of your personal design practice.

Semester Two

Design Practice

Using initial research findings and in negotiation with tutors, you will be expected to become more independent and experimental, instigating and managing your own briefs. In the development of independent practice you must consider the intended market, consumer, and season as part of your design process. In realising your direction of study you will have the opportunity to refine your personal vision both as fashion designer and entrepreneur.

Semester Three

Major Project

The aim of this module is to offer you the opportunity to critically engage in a major practice-driven project in which the emphasis will be on production, analysis and critical reflection in response to your personal design direction.

This is a significant piece of work where you are expected to produce a contemporary fashion collection and professional portfolio at master’s level, drawing on key skills and critical viewpoints developed in trimesters 1 and 2. You will be expected to demonstrate creative, bold and innovative approaches in your work.

Final design ideas must be comprehensive and appropriate for your intended markets and may also provide a platform from which you can launch the next stage of your business/career.

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.

What will I be doing?


Practical projects


Reflective writing, business reports and presentat


This course uses a range of teaching and learning settings including lectures, seminars, workshops, tutorials, situated learning (e.g. ‘live’ projects) and independent learning. The aim  is to develop an environment that allows you to progressively take ownership and direction of your learning so that you may develop as independent, life-long learners.

Master’s level study, relating to an individual and independent design practice, involves intense critical self-reflection; this is achieved through self-directed projects where you will have the opportunity to negotiate your learning and assessment requirements.


You will be assessed throughout the course on:

  • A body of work and contextual research, e.g. portfolios, exhibitions, publications etc.
  • Reflective journals, sketch-books/statements, manifesto or business plans/critical writing/seminars or other presentations.
  • Technical work, including pattern making and garment construction.

You can negotiate the format of your submissions in response to the needs and priorities within your practice, and in line with contemporary professional practices.


All our Fashion courses  are delivered by the  Salford School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology

Our School and University have strong and long-lasting relationships with local and national industry. 

Once you graduate with us, you’ll join a thriving alumni community in Greater Manchester and beyond.



The MA Fashion Design programme is based at New Adelphi on Peel Park campus. Students have access to their own studio space and other facilities, including:

  • Pattern cutting tables, industry standard machinery for garment construction
  • 2D and 3D printing facilities
  • 3D workshop
  • Fibre workshop
  • Photography studio, which includes a lighting set-up
  • Computer suites.

You will be inducted into the workshops, which covers how to use all the machinery, by trained workshop technicians.

Employment and stats

What about after uni?

Upon graduation students would typically apply for jobs within fashion design or mayset up their own brands/businesses or entrepreneurial ventures.

Graduates may also continue their research through a practice-based PhD.

A taste of what you could become

Brand manager

Studio director

Fashion merchandiser


Fashion technologist

And more...

Career Links

The programme team works with a number of key organisations and companies each year including the Maxmara Fashion Group based in Italy, H&M based in Stokholm, B-Bax based in China and a range of locally based fashion brands in Manchester.

At the same time you will benefit from our membership with the British Fashion Council. We are able to take part in important competitions with significant fashion brands as well as being invited to showcase portfolio work at industry events. We have won the British Fashion Council Best Colleges Portfolio award many times in recent years and this is testament to our industry-ready portfolio of work.  

Our contacts within industry provide you with significant opportunities to develop key links and professional insight into working environments, developments and expectations.

In China we have partnership agreements that provide students with unique employment prospects, including teaching and working with design brands whilst establishing their own fashion label. 


What you need to know

You will be asked to provide a proposal of study in support of your application. In addition, you will be expected to:

  • Present a portfolio of work (demonstrating a good level of hand drawing)
  • Have expertise in fashion or related subjects
  • Be highly motivated and ready to work flexibly and independently
  • Present any other work that supports your application.  

This will be evaluated by interview and portfolio assessment.

Standard entry requirements

Standard entry requirements

Relevant undergraduate degree, normally at 2:1 or above, and supporting portfolio of practice.

Applicants with an undergraduate degree of 2:2 will be considered where a high quality portfolio of practice is presented.

International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.5, with no element below 5.5, is proof of this.

Alternative entry requirements

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

We welcome applications from students who may not have formal/traditional entry criteria but who have relevant experience or the ability to pursue the course successfully.

The Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) process could help you to make your work and life experience count. The APL process can be used for entry onto courses or to give you exemptions from parts of your course.

Two forms of APL may be used for entry: the Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) or the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL).

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home 2021/22 £8,100per year
Full-time international 2021/22 £18,990per year
Additional costs

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

Scholarships for international students 2020/21

If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our international scholarships worth up to £5,000. Our international scholarships include the Salford International Excellence Scholarship.

For more information go to International Scholarships. 

Apply now

All set? Let's apply

Enrolment dates

September 2021