The University of Southampton
Winchester School of Art

FD23 BA Fashion Design (3 years)

Put your creative ideas into practice on the BA Fashion Design programme, which offers outstanding studio facilities, a high level of industry exposure, a future-focused curriculum and superb employability prospects.

Subject to validation, this programme will be available for 2019 entry.

Introducing your degree

Offering the freedom to develop your own creative style whilst gaining essential practical and research skills, this degree will put you on the path to a successful career in fashion design. Specialising in menswear or womenswear, you’ll practise traditional skills alongside innovative digital techniques, benefitting from unrivalled studio access and state-of-the-art facilities. These include industry-standard pattern-cutting equipment, a range of digital printers and the latest laser-cutting and 3D print technology. In the 2nd year there are exciting opportunities either to spend a semester working on live company briefs or studying fashion design in Europe or overseas. In addition, an innovative Fashion Futures module will give you a comprehensive understanding of emerging issues and innovations in the fashion industry. You’ll learn from tutors with extensive fashion design experience and strong industry connections; they are well placed to advise on your portfolio of work and how best to pursue your future goals. In addition, external industry speakers and study visits will give you professional insights and enable you to build your own networks. We have a strong track record when it comes to employability; our alumni work at places like Alexander McQueen, Burberry, Stella McCartney, Vivienne Westwood, Urban Outfitters, Topshop and Net-A-Porter.


On this mostly studio-based course, we set creative projects to develop your research skills as well as your technical proficiency, preparing you for the workplace.

This is a full-time, three-year degree course. Each year is divided into two semesters.

The programme enables you to specialise in either menswear or womenswear. After exploring both areas, you’ll choose a pathway in year one, with modules in subsequent years encompassing both pathways.

Year one

In your first year you’ll be introduced to core fashion design principles and processes in menswear and womenswear, and learn practical skills such as pattern cutting and garment construction. You’ll develop visual research skills that will underpin your creative work throughout the course and as you progress in your career. In the second semester you’ll look more closely at the role of materials and textiles in fashion. You’ll also take the distinctive Fashion Futures module, which looks at emerging issues such as innovation, digital technologies, ethics, sustainability and responsible practice in manufacturing, giving you a more rounded understanding of the latest issues facing the industry.

Year two

In year two you’ll gain in-depth traditional pattern cutting and construction skills alongside digital skills that are essential for today’s workplace and learn how they can be used in combination for the most creative forward looking fashion. For example, you’ll cover:

  • traditional pattern cutting, draping and construction
  • digital printing, laser cutting and 3D printing
  • zero waste pattern cutting processes
  • learn specifically about menswear and womenswear 
  • Gain industry experience or study abroad

The second year also includes the exciting opportunity to studying overseas. You can also choose one of two options:

There are two options: 

Taking the specially designed Fashion Industry module, which involves working on company briefs – for example, designing garments for a particular brand identity – and provides invaluable experience for your CV. You’ll learn from visiting designers and receive professional feedback on your work.
Spending a semester studying abroad at a partner university. An opportunity for academic, creative and personal development, studying abroad will enable you to gain a different perspective on fashion design and make new friends and contacts while immersing yourself in another culture. Students have studied in Paris, New York and Barcelona (teaching is in English).

Optional modules

There is another opportunity to personalise your course in year two by choosing from a range of modules on different aspects of creative and professional practice. You can select a topic that suits your interests and career goals, such as creative writing, visual culture, entrepreneurship, design futures or marketing.

Year three

In the third year you’ll consolidate your learning, producing a pre-collection that demonstrates your creative talents and helps you identify a style and direction for the future. You’ll also take a Professional Planning and Employability module, in which you’ll plan your next steps, develop your professional profile and learn how to present yourself to prospective employers.

The programme culminates in the production of your final collection, which you’ll present to industry at shows in Winchester and London. 

Outstanding facilities

Our studios and workshops are equipped with state-of-the-art, industry-standard equipment, including:

  • complete pattern cutting and construction facilities
  • a broad range of industry standard sewing machines
  • digital fabric printers
  • laser cutters
  • 3D printers
  • computer suites with the latest software used in industry
  • high-end photography studios and equipment

In addition, you’ll be able to access a wealth of resources in the School’s library. One of the UK’s longest established art schools, we have built up an impressive collection that includes a vast amount of  books, magazines, publications and private collections.

Additional learning opportunities 

We run optional study trips in the UK and overseas. Destinations have included Berlin, Barcelona, New York and Paris, where students visited studios, museums and other places of interest to support their research and their understanding of the fashion world. Study visits are often run in conjunction with other courses, enabling you to get to know your peers in textile design, graphic design and fashion marketing.

You can sign up for optional workshops to learn new techniques, from embroidery to 3D printing. You could also learn to make your own textiles using traditional or digital methods. 

Research-led practice

Throughout the course we emphasise the power of research and its importance for good design. We’ll equip you with the research skills you’ll need in industry, where fashion design companies are looking for graduates who are technically accomplished, but who also have the ability to think creatively and find inspiration for new collections.

In addition, you can benefit from being part of a research-intensive Russell Group university by participating in interdisciplinary projects that bring together cutting-edge science and creative design. For example, our students have worked with neuroscientists, learning about current research into neurological conditions and using this to spark ideas for a design project.

Industry-experienced teaching team

You’ll learn from academics with years of fashion industry experience; through networking and consultancy they remain at the forefront of sector developments.

  • Programme leader Cecilia Langemar studied fashion design with print at Central Saint Martins in London, where her final womenswear collection was commended by Louis Vuitton, featured in i-D magazine and sold at Kokon To Zai. Following this she completed the MA Printed Textiles course at the Royal College of Art, where her work focused on sustainable fashion and textiles. Cecilia has worked internationally with a range of companies and clients including Louis Vuitton, Ghost, Gunila Axén and Nelly Rodi. Her research focuses on fashion and sustainability.
  • Sharon Williams specialises in trend development, fashion promotion and visual research. She started her career introducing men’s and women’s sportswear lines to the product mix of sporting goods companies. Following this she spent a number of years as a sportswear specialist for, analysing and reporting on garment, company and advertising trends for major brands such as Nike and Stella McCartney. 
  • Sophia Malig is a fashion designer with expertise in garment design, sample and range planning, fittings and colour development for fashion. She started her own label selling to Liberty and Browns Focus in London, Journal Standard in Japan and other stores around the world. After studying screen-printing, Sophia created an influential T-shirt and womenswear collection that was sold internationally. She has also worked as a fashion consultant for a range of companies.

Industry links

Our industry connections are second to none. This means we can ensure the course keeps pace with the latest developments and enrich your learning through exposure to leading designers and opinion formers. Many of our guest lecturers are alumni who now work in high-profile fashion design companies and who enjoy returning to WSA to share their experience and knowledge. 

We have strong links with Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood, Top Shop, H&M, Arcadia Group, Marks & Spencer, Stella McCartney and Burberry, while designers such as Peter Jensen, Bethany Williams, Louise Gray, Noel Stewart and the Rottingdean Bazaar, have visited to give guest lectures, set briefs and judge competitions.

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

GCSEWinchester School of Art requires all applicants to achieve at least a Grade 4 (taken in England) or a Grade C (where taken in Northern Ireland or Wales) in English and Mathematics. If you are taking an alternative qualification please contact our admissions team via
A Levels:
GCE A-level

Grades BBB, including an art/design based subject

International Baccalaureate30 points including 16 at a higher level
Selection process:

Applications should be made via UCAS. Applicants who meet our minimum entry requirements will be invited to attend an individual portfolio interview. We conduct portfolio interviews from December onwards.

Equal consideration deadline: 15 January. Early applications are welcomed.

For the most up-to-date admission information, please check the UCAS website.

Year 2 entry: if you have professional experience, or credit through prior learning at another institution, you may be eligible to use this experience against some of the programme requirements for period of study.  You will need to present evidence that you have met the learning outcomes of the programme. Full details can be found in the University’s Policy on the Recognition of Prior Learning.

English Language requirements

International and EU students must also comply with the University of Southampton's English language entry requirement for this course, which is to achieve IELTS 6.0 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each component, or equivalent. Please see English language entry requirements for further details of English tests that we accept.

If you don’t meet our English language entry requirements for direct entry onto any of our BA programmes, you could be eligible to study on one of the University’s English language pre-sessional programmes at the Centre for Language Studies. For more information please visit Winchester School of Art Undergraduate Pre-sessional Programmes.

International Foundation Year

International students who do not currently meet our entry requirements may be able to join this course on successful completion of our International Foundation Year. Find out more about the Foundation Year.

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.


Typical course content

Module information coming soon.

Year 1

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Fees & funding

Tuition fees

Course fees for 2017/18 full-time UK and EU undergraduate students are typically £9,250 per year. Tuition fees for international students differ between each course. Most part-time courses cost 50% of the full-time fee.

View the full list of course fees


Scholarships, bursaries or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

Career Opportunities

With unrivalled exposure to industry, expert advice from the staff team and a portfolio that showcases your technical and research skills, you’ll be well prepared to secure a role in fashion design. You could choose to work for a niche brand or a major high-street group, or establish your own label. Alternatively, you could go into fashion buying, trend forecasting or fashion PR.

Our graduates have gone on to work for:

  • Mulberry
  • Alexander McQueen
  • Vivienne Westwood
  • Burberry
  • Chloe
  • Peter Jensen
  • Erdem
  • Jenny Packham
  • i-D magazine
  • Topshop
  • H&M
  • Nike
  • Urban Outfitters
  • Net-A-Porter 

Some of our alumni have set up their own successful labels including Preen (Justin Thornton) and JH.Zane (Juhao Zeng).

Learning & Assessment

As well as undertaking studio-based creative projects, you’ll learn through practical workshops, lectures, seminars, one-to-one tutorials and group tutorials. Through studio assignments you’ll develop the research and hands-on skills that are essential for industry.

Additional learning opportunities include optional study trips in the UK and overseas, interdisciplinary design projects and workshops on fashion and textile techniques.

You’ll receive formative feedback throughout the course, enabling you to identify strengths and areas for improvement before your work is formally assessed.

You’ll be assessed on your coursework, which will include your portfolio, final major project and pieces of academic and reflective writing. Students who take the industry placement option are required to complete a project and write a report, and we receive a report on each student’s performance from the placement company. If you take the study abroad option, we will assess the work you do while at the overseas institution.

Student support

We keep student numbers low so that we can offer the best possible student experience. Part of the vibrant, creative WSA campus community, you’ll have extensive access to studio space and equipment, and plenty of contact time with teaching staff. In addition to your tutorial time, you can meet with staff during their weekly office hours if you have queries or need some extra support.

Our dedicated technicians and library staff are also on hand to help you learn new techniques, use studio equipment or find publications to support your research.

In addition, every student is allocated a personal academic tutor, who can advise on course-related or personal matters, and you’ll have access to a wide range of welfare and support services run by the University and the Students’ Union.

Study Locations

Winchester campus

Winchester campus

Winchester School of Art is set in pleasant, green surroundings close ...Find out more

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