BA (Hons) Fashion Design

Key information

Why choose this course?

  • Study towards becoming an accomplished Fashion Designer
  • Take part in major national and international competitions
  • Showcase work to Industry at the prestigious Graduate Fashion Event

You want to immerse yourself in studio practice  

You want the freedom to design. You want to learn about global fashion. You want to see your creative ideas come to life. You’re highly motivated and want to develop your unique style. We’ll set you exciting and diverse projects so you can bring your personality, your identity, and your culture into the heart of your studies. We’ll teach you how to think like a designer, to pattern cut and make, and explore techniques and understand materials. Know how important climate matters are? So do we. It’s in our DNA. We’ll teach you how fashion is adapting and changing, re-using and repurposing materials and garments into something new.  We’ll teach you about transparency and traceability, the circular economy and ethical behaviour.  We’ll encourage you to work independently whilst being on hand to offer plenty of support.  

At Herts, you’ll join an inspirational and collaborative community. You’ll have the technical facilities to explore your creativity and practice your skills. Be curious... now is the time to take risks. 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. We’ll support you to create amazing designs, looks and collections for different markets, and show you how to promote them. Every step of the way you’ll benefit from our expertise and experience. You know you can thrive in the right environment. So do we. We want you to feel right at home in our studio. This is your place. Your space to create.   

You want to build a reputation as a designer 

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, 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 (GFW). Could you become a GFW finalist, or win one of their globally recognised awards? Some of our graduates already have. We have had top GFW finalists and our Alumni achieve top awards in the University of Hertfordshire’s FLAREIgnite competition to 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. You’ll 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 and inspire your creations with impassioned thought-provoking research.   

What's the course about?

In the first year, you’ll learn core design and production 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. Together, we’ll explore the history of art and design. You’ll understand fashion in a wider social context. What are the issues facing the industry? With fashion there’s always much more than meets the eye. You’ll visit fashion houses to gain insights from industry experts. You’ll research case studies.  You’ll gain strong inquiry and analysis skills. We’ll explain industry-relevant language, so you’ll feel confident to write essays and design proposals. You’ll develop photographic, presentation and portfolio skills. This is the first step on your journey to create a professional design portfolio.  

In the second year, you’ll improve your technical design skills. Get stuck into sketching, drawing and illustrating. We’ll teach you advanced pattern cutting techniques using 2D and 3D technology. We’ll teach you new ways to construct clothes. Get creative on a deeper level. Develop your own visual identity and design signature. We’ll teach you fashion communication techniques. You’ll study branding and promotion in print and social media. 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 international competitions. You’ll create engaging and inspired portfolios. You’ll expand your research into the theory behind fashion. What informs current design practice? We’ll encourage you to debate. To form your own judgements and present a compelling argument. 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 produce your contemporary collection or equivalent. You’ll embrace traditional, new and emerging technologies to produce unique designs. You’ll work with a greater level of independence to create a professional portfolio. Be expressive. Inventive. We’ll teach you how to communicate a visual identity. To develop your brand. You’ll produce marketing and promotional material. Your designs won’t speak for themselves. But you can. We’ll encourage you to initiate work placements. To immerse yourself in a business. Benefit from industry mentorship. 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. You’ll produce a critical essay on a topic of your choice. Your research will inform your concept. You can create fashion which responds to social, cultural and environmental challenges. What will your contribution to fashion be? We’ll help you get your designs seen. To promote your work. You could enter your collection in the prestigious Graduate Fashion Week held at the Truman Brewery in London. This is your chance to prove you’ve got what it takes. That you’re a designer in the making. 

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

Sam Sampson

Meet Sam Sampson who utilised the flexibility of his degree to discover his passion. Since graduating in 2017, he has been working as a Junior Creative at Wasserman Experience.

Read more stories Find out more about this course
Current job roleJunior Creative
Year of graduation2017
Course of studyBA (Hons) Digital Media Design
Sam Sampson

Flexible studying opportunities

When Sam came to study at the University, he was a Philosophy student but ended up changing his major to Digital Media Design. 'Luckily, the humanities department provided a major/minor split in my studies. This meant whilst I was studying philosophy, I could pick from a range of other courses that I had not considered. I chose "New Media Publishing" and found that it was much more aligned to my personality, so I changed to a full creative degree. If it had not been for that system, I would not be in my current role.'

Flexibility is a key way in which the University supports students to tailor their studies to fit their lives and best suit their skills and career aspirations. This is part of our commitment to recognise potential and nurture talent, providing students with fantastic opportunities and experiences. Sam says, 'the University of Hertfordshire truly shaped me personally as well as my career. I can guarantee that no other University would have provided me with the same opportunities they did and I can confidently say that if I had not studied here, I wouldn’t be as happy in my career as I am today.'

Supporting athletes

Sam is also an athlete and was fortunate enough to qualify for the sport scholarship programme due to his involvement in judo. Extracurricular activities such as these enhance the student experience, giving students multiple ways to develop and uncover their potential. Sam says, 'The performance gym (Performance Hertfordshire) is a truly spectacular facility for all athletes. The staff are very highly qualified and provided me with ongoing support via specialised training regimes, nutritional advice and physiotherapy that was imperative to my performance as an athlete. I could not recommend Performance Hertfordshire enough.'

Sam began his studies uncertain of what he wanted to do or how his future career would unfold. However, through the support and ingenuity of the University’s degree programmes, Sam has been able to discover potential he hadn’t previously recognised and enter an industry that suits his skills and interests.

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?'