BA (Hons) Fashion and Fashion Business

Key information

Why choose this course?

  • Practical fashion design with an in-depth understanding of business
  • Work with leading designers and brands
  • Showcase work to Industry at the prestigious Graduate Fashion Event

You’re not just entrepreneurial, you’re a creator 

We offer one of the few Fashion and Fashion Business degrees in the country where you’ll learn about the global fashion industry from both a business and creative angle. You’ll graduate with a competitive edge. We’ll teach you everything we know about how the fashion industry works. We’ll teach you about creative design and product development.  Buying and merchandising, e-comm and digital to sales and marketing and promotion.  We’ll teach you about the critical path, the supply chain, customers and markets. You’ll learn about what it takes to set up and run a fashion business, the steps to its success, and navigating challenges. We’ll provide a space to debate fashion issues, and you’ll explore the sustainability of the fashion industry. You know how important climate matters are. So do we. We’ll teach you how fashion is adapting and changing, reusing and repurposing materials and garments into something new.  We’ll teach you about transparency and traceability, the circular economy and ethical behaviour. 

We’ll teach you about global brands and how they function in different markets.  You’ll gain practical fashion design skills and learn how to develop products and tech packs to industry standards.  We’ll teach you how fashion business departments work together. Not a lot of courses offer both design and business, but we do. We’ll teach you the financial considerations of running a business. You may want to make fashion for the high street, the runway, or a boutique. Either way, your customer is key. You’ll study customer psychology, behaviour and market trends. What type of contribution do you want to make? We’ll teach you about every stage of the fashion cycle from concept to sales.  We’ll teach you how to write impactful reports, produce creative ideas and produce industry-standard technical documents.  We’ll develop your presentation skills and nurture your confidence.   

You want space to create 

You’re highly motivated and want to develop your unique style. We’ll encourage you to work independently whilst being on hand to offer support. At Herts, you’ll join an inspirational and collaborative community. You’ll have the technical facilities to explore your creativity. Our studios have everything you need. You’ll have access to mannequins, sewing machines, cutting tables, and metres upon metres of fabric and accessories. You’ll use Computer Aided Design to visualise and test your ideas in 2D and 3D.  You’ll benefit from our expertise and experience. We’re passionate about fashion. We’re dedicated to your success. You know you can thrive in the right environment. So, do we. You can succeed at Herts.   

Build your reputation. Kick-start your brand

You’ll benefit from our team of talented academics, technicians, industry experts and guest speakers. We collaborate with leading brands, designers and organisations. Ellesse, JORDANLUCA, and leading entrepreneurs like the founder of All Saints, to name but a few. You’ll gain access to global competitions, inspirational workshops, seminars and talks, work placements and employment, and live industry projects. There’s even the chance to win sponsorship: we’re a member of the British Fashion Colleges Council, meaning you can compete in prestigious competitions. In your final year, you’ll have the chance to exhibit your work to industry leaders at Graduate Fashion Week. Could you become a GFW finalist or win one of their globally recognised awards? Some of our graduates already have. Our Alumni achieve top awards in the University of Hertfordshire’s Flare competition and secure funding, mentoring and recognition for their exciting business ideas. With all this opportunity to be seen by the right people, you’ll have everything you need to launch a meaningful career in fashion. 

You want to study fashion culture

You want to study art and design philosophy. You want to explore the evolution of fashion through culture, technology and innovation. Why do we gender clothing? What’s the role of social media in global fashion? You’ll extend your knowledge of expressive and functional fashion, of people and markets. Delve into ethical issues facing the global fashion industry and challenge convention. What’s the true cost of fast fashion? We’ll encourage you to investigate how society responds to and influences the fashion world. You’ll critically approach a variety of topics as you delve into case studies. You’ll research, evaluate, and analyse design and texts. Most importantly, we’ll encourage you to form your own views. You’ll become a fashion creative and critical thinker who’s ready for the next design challenge. You’ll inspire your ideas with your passion and your thought-provoking research.   

What's the course about?

In the first year, you’ll learn core design and business skills. You’ll practice hand rendering techniques to produce technical drawings. You’ll visualise your designs with 2D and 3D technology. You’ll become competent in fitting and pattern cutting. We’ll teach you how different fabrics behave and the best way to construct garments. We’ll examine the issues facing contemporary fashion. You’ll visit fashion houses to gain insights from industry experts. You’ll start to understand different management approaches for a complex supply chain. You’ll study business strategy, theories, and principles. You’ll develop research, inquiry, and analysis skills. We’ll explain industry-relevant language, so you’ll feel confident to write reports and design proposals... you’ll develop photographic, presentation and portfolio skills... you’ve got to sell your idea, right?  

In the second year, you’ll improve your technical design skills. You’ll learn advanced pattern cutting techniques using 2D and 3D technology. We’ll teach you new construction methods. You’ll explore your creativity on a deeper level. You’ll work independently and in a team. We’ll set you ‘live’ assignments from our industry partners. You’ll design functional and commercially viable fashion. You’ll design for real people, real shapes, real sizes. We’ll encourage you to enter your work in British Fashion Council and Graduate Fashion Foundation competitions. You’ll create engaging and inspired portfolios. We’ll teach you to articulate your ideas. You’ll explore customer psychology. You’ll focus your research on a global fashion company to produce a detailed case study. You’ll examine their products, branding, business processes and market research. We’ll encourage you to be proactive. You’ll have two opportunities this year to take a work placement. What will you discover? 

Between your second and final year, you will have the option to study abroad or do a work placement for a year. This will not only give you an amazing experience to talk about, but you’ll also boost your cv. If you’d rather go straight to your final year, that’s absolutely fine too.  

In the third year, you’ll work with a greater level of independence. You’ll focus your business case study on your dream career. You’ll analyse company strategy. We’ll encourage you to initiate work placements. Spend time understanding a company’s unique challenges. Do you have a solution? You’ll use your research, critical analysis, and communication skills to produce a stimulating report. You may even design and make a protype to complement your findings. You’ll also pursue a detailed inquiry into an aspect of design culture that fascinates you. You’ll examine it from a historical, economic, and technical viewpoint to write a powerful essay. We’ll teach you how to communicate a visual identity. To develop your brand. We’ll help you to graduate with a professional portfolio. You’ll have the chance to enter your portfolio in the prestigious Graduate Fashion Week held at the Truman Brewery in London. One of our 2020 graduates did just that and became a finalist for the Digital Fashion Communication Portfolio Award. We’ll give you lots of opportunities to prove you’ve got what it takes.  

Your main campus is College Lane    

This is where the creative arts, science and health-related subjects are based. This means you’ll share the campus with future nurses, scientists, artists and more. You can use the common rooms to relax with friends, work out in the 24-hour gym or have a drink in our on-campus pub or cafes. We also have restaurants for you to eat in or grab something on the go. Our Learning Resources Centres are open 24/7, which means you can study whenever suits you best. Want to pop over to the other campus? You can take the free shuttle bus or walk there in just 15 minutes.    

What will I study?

Degree programmes are structured into levels, 4, 5 and 6.  These correspond to your first, second and third/final year of study. Below you can see what modules you’ll be studying in each.  

Student Blogs

Neofytos - My week at a glance

My week at a glance.

My week starts by attending to my studio space, which it is a corner made up of three big whiteboards, a locker to secure my belongings and a table to work on. I personally love that space! It always makes me feel good! Having this area to work and do research for projects that I have been given, make me feel focused and productive.

On Tuesdays I have a lecture which is about two or two and a half hours, depending on how much we need to cover.  In our lecture, we talk about theories that could be beneficial to our artistic perspective, but we also use this time to talk about anything that involves group assignments and projects.

Wednesdays for me only consist of an hour of optional art talks. During these talks, we have the chance to attend a seminar where artists are presenting their work to us! That's an amazing way to be provided with an insight into how the industry works and be prepared for our working lives after graduation.

Lastly, we have our optional life drawing sessions which run every Thursday's afternoon is a great chance to have a little break from spending most of your time in your studio space working on your projects. Going to the life drawing session I have the great chance to see the human figure, as well as being given the fantastic opportunity to draw models.

As for Friday, I have nothing booked on, so I can spend most of my time in my studio space working on my projects without getting distracted!

I love my routine at university, it gives me both the time to work on my projects thus attend and organise sessions and group works.

Student Blogs

Neofytos - Why I love my Course

What I love most about my course.

For years I have been drawing, painting and sculpting - prompting me to study Fine Art BA(Hons). And as a result, I have expanded my knowledge and learned more about fine art in greater depth about what I love.

The facilities at the Art and Design building are just amazing! That is what I love the most about my course. As a Fine Art student at this university, I have the great chance to take part and work in different workshops such as printmaking, ceramics, textile, welding, life drawing and so many more. For me, that is the most beneficial factor, because in this way the University allows me to explore and learn more about my artistic direction by trying different mediums and methods. Therefore, by having the freedom to attend to different workshops, I have the great chance to meet people from different courses, make new friends with similar interests and even more have the chance to collaborate with some of them!

As I said I love my course because it allows me and supporting me to try expanding horizons and find my artistic voice in an extremely healthy way.

Student Blogs

Neofytos - Why I chose Herts

Why I chose Herts.

I am an international student studying at the University of Hertfordshire, which has been a blessing!

I chose Herts because the University itself is such a wonderful place to study! The facilities and the two beautifully designed campuses that the University has made my studies here amazing! For instance, there are two huge Learning Resource Centres (LRCs) on both campuses at the university where it really helps the students with their assignments. Moreover, all the buildings where we have classes at are very new and that proves that the university cares about its appearance and invest a lot of money for the students to have a great environment to study within.

However, except for the excellent facilities that the university has, the University has a great spot for socialising. Cafes, restaurants, common rooms, gyms, and a big University club are factors that make Herts a great place to be. All of them are found near to each other which is very convenient for us as students to socialise easily.

Speaking of location, the University is not far from London which is an amazing thing since London is such a beautiful and diverse city!

All these were the factors that made me choose Herts and I have never regretted my choice!

Alumni headshot

Alumni Stories

Niamh Macleod

Meet Niamh Macleod, a 2022 Flare finalist whose sustainable streetwear brand aims to reduce textile waste and contribute to greener fashion.

Read more stories BA (Hons) Fashion and Fashion Business
Current job roleSocial media assistant at eco-friendly brand Wearth
Year of graduation2021
Course of study BA (Hons) Fashion and Fashion Business
Niamh Macleod

Niamh’s Flare journey

Niamh was a finalist in Flare, the University’s highly competitive annual enterprise competition giving budding Herts students and alumni the opportunity to access entrepreneurial support and training to bring their business ideas to life.

Niamh’s business, Shoddy Threads, deconstructs second-hand clothes to make new ones. Niamh says, ‘since the age of 14 I have been learning about fashion and I have always cared about the environment, so naturally when I decided that I wanted to start my own fashion brand I knew it would have to be sustainable. However, I only came up with the idea to use second hand clothes when I was studying fashion at university after doing a lot of research on the impact of fast fashion and over-consumerism. This idea emerged from me thinking about the enormous textile waste problem which the world is facing today.’

‘My business idea is to create ranges of womenswear and unisex clothing for the streetwear department. I’ve partnered with Savannah Rags a textile recycling company to upcycle second-hand materials and better understand the waste crisis. I'm really focused on my brand launch for later this year. I think the world needs more honest sustainable businesses, so I'm looking forward to being a part of that.’

‘For me, the best part of Flare was being able to present my idea to judges and other finalists. This pushed me forward and brought my vision to life. This was a very motivating and constructive experience. I also really enjoyed discovering the ideas of all the other finalists and to learn from them too.’

An enterprising student experience

‘My studies at Herts have helped me in my entrepreneurial journey. In my final year I had to create a business plan, so this is where I started to structure my business ideas. I loved my course work, I felt challenged, and I am proud of what I achieved.’

‘My favourite memories of my time as a Herts student were sitting in the studio with my good friend Justina. We had loads of coursework to do and we had drunk too many energy drinks, but it was so satisfying to see our designs come to life.’

‘I am so pleased I studied at Herts. I remember visiting a couple of universities, but I felt the most inspired by the University of Hertfordshire. It’s a big university with so many other things going on, it feels like a very vibrant place to be, which helps if you're a creative person.’

Advice for other enterprising students and graduates 

‘My advice to other students would be to do as much as you can, go to the events, meet people, discuss your ideas, reach out to people in the business, be excited about your ideas and get involved with the University’s Enterprise Team. I wish I got involved with the Team sooner as they have really helped me with my business research and supported in my business challenges. I also think it's important not to wait until everything is perfect, start discussing your idea before it's even ready as it will help you develop and apply more focus.’

Alumni headshot

Alumni Stories

Elise Robinson

Meet Elise Robinson who has used her degree and creativity to propel her career. Elise currently works as a Marketing Project Senior at Marshall Amplification plc.

Read more stories Find out more about this course
Current job roleMarketing Project Senior
Year of graduation2014
Course of studyBA (Hons) Graphic Design
Elise Robinson playing guitar

Currently, it’s Elise’s job to ensure smooth communication between the design and communications teams and other parts of the business. 'It's a bit like being an account manager for a design agency but in-house, where the other departments are your clients. I've taken a slight sideways step from a creative role to a management role, but it's my creative background and experience that helps me make informed decisions for the business.'

Embracing a different path

Having studied Graphic Design at Herts, graduating in 2014, and originally intending on leading a creative career in a commercial area, Elise soon embraced the opportunity of changing course and pursuing a more meaningful pathway.

Her degree provided her with a very broad understanding of cross platform campaigns and what it takes to deliver them. While she may not be in a creative role now, that broad understanding means she can confidently represent the creative teams and make strategic decisions.

Elise says she chose to study at Herts as the Graphic Design course reflected her career ambitions. She thinks choosing a Graphic Design course is a very personal choice because they vary so much. Some are very fine art focused, and some are much more commercial/business orientated. She wanted the latter, and Herts offers a very practical, business-orientated course that suited her and reflected the type of career she wanted to go in to.

Commercial experience

The commercial elements of the course alongside the industry exposure Elise received during her studies enabled her to develop an impressive wealth of experience and contacts which she could take with her into the professional world. 'The contacts I made whilst at university (printers, artists, clients and more) have been invaluable in my career so far. As the course was mostly practical design projects you had to go out and find suppliers and people to collaborate with.'

A wide set of skills is always attractive to an employer, especially when entering a creative role. Possessing a comprehensive skill base will make you even more employable. Elise encourages students hoping to follow a similar career path to diversify their skillset by exploring related disciplines. 'If you can do graphic design, why not also brush up on your photography, web design or illustration?'