Undergraduate BA (Hons)

Fashion Design With Foundation Year

Salford School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology




Four year

Next enrolment

September 2024


In a nutshell

The world of arts and media is changing at a phenomenal rate, and there has never been a better time to explore your creativity and the ways in which you can apply it to the world around you.

This Foundation Year provides the perfect opportunity for you to explore the key principles of art, design and media. The course is designed to help you develop your creative skills, it gives you a chance to build a larger portfolio, and provides a good transition period to familiarise yourself with the School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology and life as a student at Salford. You will then be in a strong position to progress onto your chosen degree pathway. 

This is a shared Foundation Year across Art, Design and Media disciplines, and will give you a collaborative environment to explore ideas, take creative risks and become confident independent learners. You will be joining a thriving and creative community. 

The Foundation Year of this four-year programme aims to provide you with an understanding of the subject to allow you to progress on to the BA (Hons) Fashion Design course, which is ranked in the top 10 for Fashion and Textiles in the Guardian University Guide 2023.

Find out more by signing up to our upcoming Open Day, or if you have any general 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 this BA (Hons) Fashion Design with Foundation Year course. 

You will:

  • develop your creative skills and academic confidence
  • familiarise yourself with student life
  • prepare to study on one of our degree programmes

This is for you if...


You have enthusiasm, passion and dedication for fashion


You are eager to develop your creative ideas and visual communication skills


You want to study in an environment where personal talent and individual potential are nurtured

Course details

All about the course

The Foundation Year will provide you with a dynamic, exciting and collaborative environment in which you will become a confident self-learner, with the underpinning skills and knowledge to apply in your studies. You will be taught with students interested in progressing to different art, design and media programmes, and study modules that will help you increase your knowledge and understanding of basic art and design as well as other aspects of creative thinking.

Our strong connections within Greater Manchester’s thriving creative sector mean you will also hear from practitioners working in the industry right now about their practice, journey into the world or art and design. 

In the first term you will study modules that introduce the key concepts, skills and knowledge of art and design. Modules will help you to develop your study skills such as note-taking and structuring reports. In the second semester, you will further develop your creative practice and be introduced to the creative industries.

The assignments are flexible enough to allow you to interpret and tailor your submissions to your preferred area of study. Tutors will help and support you, in creating a portfolio of work to progress onto the BA (Hons) Fashion Design here at the University of Salford. You will be integrated slowly into the degree course with opportunities to meet tutors from the BA and by using our shared collaborative facilities within our vibrant New Adelphi building.

This programme prepares you to study on the three-year University undergraduate programme, meaning the duration of your degree is four years in total. The Foundation Year is not a standalone qualification.

Following the Foundation Year, the three years of BA (Hons) Fashion Design:

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.

Foundation year

Digital Media Applications

This module helps you to become more familiar and confident with technology. As well as learning the creative software and photography skills, it will allow you to explore a creative subject of your choice and give you essential time management and research skills.

Creative Methods

This module will enable you to examine the creative and professional practice of others as a way of reflecting on your own practice. You’ll create a range of outcomes to help you build a dedicated portfolio as well as learning about major influences in art and design.

Creative Risk Taking

This module is all about challenging your creative thought and highlighting the importance of creative risk taking. The briefs allow you to produce a range of outcomes that underpin all of the main art and design disciplines as well as giving you the flexibility to interpret the brief to your area of interest.

Creative Practice Major Project

This module is designed to allow you to bring together all your prior learning from the previous modules. It gives you the opportunity to propose and create your own brief based on a theme, topic, or issue that you are passionate about. Within this module you’ll be supported by tutors who will guide you in creating in a meaningful body of work that demonstrates confidence in your chosen area. Your work will be exhibited in school of Arts and Media end of year show.

Introduction to the Creative Industries

This module enables you explore the creative industries and its career opportunities, You’ll learn about a range of subjects including responsible design and future trends within your chosen area of art and design. It will allow you to build on the technical skills that you have gained in the first semester to produce a creative publication.

Year one

Introduction to Fashion Design

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.

Fashion: Industry Practice Part 1

This module is delivered through a series of lectures, seminars, supervision sessions 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. Students have a series of lectures which will introduce them to topics surrounding the fashion industry. Typically, students will produce a book as a summary of everything they have learned in the lectures written along with visuals. Continuous formative feedback will be available in the form of tutor and peer-led group and individual crits. Students will give a presentation both visual and verbal.

Exploring Creative Contexts: Fashion

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 our virtual learning environment (VLE) to encourage your participation in research, study skills and interpretation of teaching material. The two assessed components encourage you to explore, consider and reflect on a range of perspectives in the field of creative practice, especially in the context of your own practice. Sessions focus on issues affecting visual culture in relation to fashion and visual culture. Connected visits may be arranged.

Introduction to Pattern Cutting and Construction Techniques

A skill based module taught mainly in the workshop/studio through a series of demonstrations and lectures. You 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.

Fashion Illustration

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.

3D Approaches to Research

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. You will build on your skills in creative pattern cutting methods and production techniques.

Fashion: Industry Practice Part 2

In semester two, this module also features a mentoring experience where you are partnered with final year students according to your interest in either design or styling. You will work closely with them as they develop their final major project. The final year students will complete an evaluation form that assesses the experience with you, and at the same time you will maintain and submit a visual/written journal/blog as part of your experience and overall project work.

Year two

Fashion Design 1

This fashion design 1 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 will include research, design development, garment construction, fashion illustration and Computer Aided Design (CAD). 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.

Fashion Design 2

In the Fashion design 2 module 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. An understanding of marketing, trend 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 Throughout this module you will be entering a more personal journey and initiating your personal direction in preparation for your final year.

Industry Practice: Fashion Design

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.

Responding to Creative Contexts: Fashion

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 you to participate 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, you will be 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 you to investigate and test your position in relation to creative and cultural communities, relevant to your practice.

Fashion Design Capsule Collection

'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 your design direction. Throughout this module you will be entering a more personal journey and initiating your personal direction in preparation for your final year.

Work Placement

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.

Live Project

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 its key facets in a professional, coherent and comprehensive way. 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

Design and Research for an External Brief

This first design module 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.

Design Development

You will develop an understanding of creative cutting, explore the full potential of the creative design interpretation and consider pattern cutting as a creative process.

Portfolio Module

This module 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.

Independent Research Project

The emphasis in this module is on independent research, exploration and investigation. You 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 you 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 your work. You will be guided to select the most appropriate topic and assessment method. Briefings for this module take place at the end of the previous year in order to help you to develop an initial proposal that will best match one of the project options available.

Negotiated Major Project

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.

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?







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 in your final year where research and personal reflection, as part of the learning outcome, become more imperative.


All our Fashion courses are delivered by the Salford School of Arts, Media, and Creative Technology. Our focus is to ensure that you have the skills you need to pursue your dreams, and we encourage our students, past and present, to collaborate with each other and achieve great things.

Each year - through the Create Student Awards – our School rewards the incredible achievements and successes of our final year and postgraduate students.

Whatever you choose to study with us, you’ll be mentored and supported by experts. And once you graduate, it won’t end there. You’ll join a thriving alumni network across Greater Manchester and beyond, meaning you’ll be supported professionally and personally whenever you need it.


This fashion design foundation year is based at our £55 million New Adelphi building, the home of design and creativity on campus.

When you study with us, you’ll learn from our experienced tutors and demonstrators, who’ll teach you how to use our design facilities, including specialist industrial machinery for fashion production. These include:

Studio space – dedicated areas for each course, giving you room to think and create.

MarkerSpace workshop - create digital rapid prototypes using 3D printers, CNC machines, laser cutters and more.

Photography studios - industry-standard photographic studios, which you can use in conjunction with darkrooms and digital printing facilities.

Workshops – from print to textiles, wood to metal, our range of workshops allow you to take your ideas from page to reality and work in a variety of media.

Mac suites - equipped with the industry-standard software you’ll need during your studies and in the world of work.

Explore our Fashion facilities at the University of Salford, or take a 360 tour of our New Adelphi building.



Are you looking to learn more about the background of our fashion tutors and demonstrators, or put a face to a name?

Find out who'll work with you throughout your academic journey at the University of Salford.

Explore the Fashion faculty at the University of Salford

Employment and stats

What about after uni?

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 Adidas, John Lewis, Levi's, Max Mara, New Balance, Puma, River Island, Topshop, Warehouse, Peter Pilotto, H&M, Superdry, Roland Mouret and many more.

A taste of what you could become

A Fashion designer

A Visual merchandiser

A Buyer

An Illustrator

and more...

Career Links

Students have the opportunity to meet and collaborate with a wide range of industry professionals. The valuable knowledge and experience that visiting speakers bring ensures 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; Lee Lapthorne, creative director of Doll & On-Off; and London-based designer Justin Oh. These guest speakers were invited as part of a lecture series, workshop or live project.


What you need to know

This course isn’t suitable for international students. If you are an international student and interested in studying a foundation year, please visit our International Foundation Year course page.

By applying to this Foundation Year you are applying to a four year programme - the shared Foundation Year, followed by a three year art, design or media degree here at University of Salford. The Foundation Year is not a standalone qualification. 


As part of the selection process, you may be invited to submit an online portfolio of your work. You may then be invited for an interview with our tutors. If you are called for interview we will send you further guidance well in advance.

Standard entry requirements


English Language at grade C/level 4 or above (or equivalent). Maths at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent) is preferred but not essential.

You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.

A Levels

64 tariff points from A-levels (or equivalent) to include an Arts & Design qualification preferred 

T Levels

Pass: D or E in core subject. 


UCAS tariff points

64 tariff points from A-levels (or equivalent) to include an Art and Design qualification preferred 

BTEC National Diploma

MPP including Art & Design

Scottish Highers

64 points including Art & Design

Irish Leaving Certificate

64 points including Art & Design

International Baccalaureate

24 points including Art & Design 

European Baccalaureate

Pass Diploma with 60% overall (relevant subject)

Access to HE

Pass Level 3 Access to HE Diploma with 64 points (relevant subject)

Alternative entry requirements

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.

How Much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home 2024/25 £8,250.00 for Foundation Year and £9,250.00 for subsequent years.

Additional costs

Students should expect to pay their studio levy each year. In addition, in year three of study, students will also incur a cost to participate in shows. First year costs: £100 Second year costs: £100 Third year costs: £350. For optional trips, you should expect to pay from £350 to £1,200. 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.

Apply now

All Set? Let's Apply?

Enrolment dates

September 2024

September 2025

UCAS information

Course ID W228

Institution S03