Fashion Design at NTU will help to develop your creative skills in all areas of fashion design development and garment manufacture. This award-winning course is nationally and internationally recognised for its students' success in competition work, and the quality of creative graduates it produces.Follow in the footsteps of NTU students Aimee Dunn (Best Menswear Award) and Oliver Worsley (Fashion Innovation Award) who were both recently named winners at Graduate Fashion Week 2014. Read more about all our Graduate Fashion Week award winners
Reasons to study Fashion Design at NTU
- Apply to take part in international exchanges to places like the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York.
- Benefit from visiting professionals from the fashion industry, such as Aaron Ray Dowie, Giles Deacon, Christopher Raeburn and Kat Marks.
- Get involved with national and international competitions, and live projects with industry.
- Choose electives in Year Two in areas such as journalism or visual merchandising.
- Undertake work experience placements and internships.
- Go on overseas trips to events like Paris Fashion Week.
- Work in our dedicated Fashion Design studios with support from expert technical staff.
- Exhibit your work in your Final Year in a catwalk show or product exhibition at our Degree Shows in Nottingham.
- Be selected to exhibit your work at Graduate Fashion Week (GFW) in London.
- 93% of graduates from this course are in employment or further study within six months. (DHLE survey 2011-12)
- 88% of students are satisfied with this course. (National Student Survey 2013)
- The average graduate salary for graduates from this course is £18,600 a year. (DHLE survey 2011-12)
Fashion Design student work gallery
Have a look at some of work our students have created, in our Fashion Design gallery.
Find out more
UCAS code: W230 BA/FD
Please see the Applying
Course length: Three years full-time
Study location: City site
Fees and funding:
Please see our applying and fees section.
What you study
Year One: these two year-long modules run side by side.
- Design Process: Concept, Form and Image (100 credits)
During this module you will gain an understanding of the design process, including research methods, exploration of design development, pattern cutting techniques, and toile and garment manufacturing procedures. A series of technical workshops will lead you through the stages of garment construction and sewing techniques and Computer Aided Design (CAD) sessions will help you develop how you communicate your ideas. You will also have the opportunity to work on external projects and to develop your skills through fundraising, financing and staging your own catwalk shows.
- Design, Culture and Context 1 (20 credits)
This module will encourage you to test your research, presentation and written skills, and to be socially and culturally aware when considering your own environment and design decisions. You will be introduced to the power of images, objects and materials in visual and material culture, and see how these are central to the way fashion designers represent, making meaning and communicate.
Year Two: these two year-long modules run side by side.
- Design Context: Commerce, Technology and Innovation (100 credits)
This module will advance your design practice and help you to develop a greater understanding of the industry through different commercial contexts. There is a focus on professional practice through live industry briefs, global competitions, team working activities, business practices and specialist design, pattern cutting and manufacture skills. In the first half of the module you will negotiate a design brief in collaboration with industry, as part of a team to produce a menswear collection to answer a live industry set brief.
In the second half of the module you will complete an negotiated individual project to help prepare you for your final year. You will also have the chance to opt for electives, investigating other areas of the industry entrepreneurship, ethical fashion, journalism and visual merchandising.
- Design, Culture and Context 2 (20 credits)
In the first half of the year you will focus on how the commercial contact affects design culture. You'll consider the role played by design in the creation of desire in a trend-driven consumer culture, in an era of mass production and consumption, and the need of responsibility and sustainability to make design a force for positive change. In the second half of the year you'll focus on creating a negotiated, individual brief in preparation for your final-year project.
Negotiated Fashion Design and research project (120 credits)
This year-long module is split into two strands, a fashion design project and a research project. For the fashion design project you will produce an extensive body of 2D and 3D work, with sustained investigation into toiling, fabrication, print, garment construction, CAD and design responsibility. You will have the opportunity to take part in industry-led projects and competitions.
You will choose to focus either on a catwalk collection or a fashion product exhibition, which you will present as part of the Degree Shows. You may also be selected to showcase your work at Graduate Fashion Week in London. For the research project you will explore and research a relevant aspect of design, completing a written dissertation.
Find out what you will cover in each module of our BA (Hons) Fashion Design course in more detail .
How you learn
You will be taught through a variety of teaching and learning experiences which will include:
- studio workshops
- verbal and visual presentations
- supervision in workshops
- study visits
- peer evaluations.
You will also be involved in self-directed project work where you will have the support of NOW, our virtual learning environment.
How you are assessed
Assessment for this course is 100% through coursework.
You will be assessed at the end of each module and awarded a grade band (1st, 2.1. 2,2. etc.). You will receive feedback throughout the module so you know what level you are working at.
How you are assessed will depend on the individual module, but may take the form of:
- 3D development work and final product
- 2D visual research and design development work
- portfolio work
- reports, essays, dissertation or alternative project
- visual and verbal presentations
- reflective learning journal.
To progress through the course you must achieve 120 credits each year. Your final degree mark will be based 100% on your final year work.
In your final year you will exhibit your work as part of our Degree Shows Festival. This event includes all final-year students across NTU’s Art and Design courses, and is a great platform for you to celebrate your studies and showcase your work to members of the creative industries.
Our Fashion Design students exhibit their work at a catwalk show and product exhibition in Nottingham, at the University. You will also have the opportunity to be selected to showcase your work to industry at Graduate Fashion Week in London, the world's leading event for fashion graduates.
Links with industry
This course has developed strong collaborations with industry partners at regional, national and international level, which are fully integrated into the curriculum at all levels.
Industry live projects and competitions are a key feature of this course, giving you the opportunity to network and be exposed to real life design situations.
You will be actively encouraged and supported to undertake work experience placements, which usually take place during holidays, outside of term time.
Trips and study visits
Recent study trips and visits for this course have included Yorkshire Sculpture Park (Year One) and Paris Fashion Week (Year Three).
The School of Art & Design have an exchange agreement with the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, which our Fashion Design students can apply to take part in.
The University is also part of the Erasmus programme and has agreements with a number of partner institutions throughout Europe. If you're thinking about studying part of your degree abroad, Erasmus is a great way of experiencing a new culture, meeting new people, learning a new language and gaining a study experience which will enhance your CV.
Learn from expert staff
Our Fashion Design team is made up of expert academic and technical staff, who have extensive experience in both education and industry. These, together with visiting professionals provide a rounded, up-to-date education, informed by current practice and contemporary developments.
Course Leader: Gilly Staples
What do the course fees cover?
Find out what is included in the course fees for our BA (Hons) Fashion Design .
Where will I study?
You will study this course on NTU's City site, based in Nottingham city centre.
Our Costume Design and Making facilities are based in the Bonington building, a dedicated Art and Design building. You may have some lectures in other buildings across the campus, including our recently renovated Newton building.
When does the course start?
This course starts in September. For more information take a look at our academic calendar for details of term start and end dates.
View the full course specification
Please note that course specifications may be subject to change
Our Fashion Design studios are lively, highly creative environments based in the Bonington building, a dedicated Art and Design building.
Access to facilities
The Bonington building is open during term-time from:
- 8 am – 8 pm (Monday – Thursday)
- 8 am – 7.30 pm (Fridays).
During these times you can access workshops and studios.
Technical support in studios
Technical support in our studios is available:
- 8.30 am – 5.30 pm (Monday – Thursday) (lunch break from 1 pm – 2 pm)
- 8.30 am – 4.30 pm (Friday) (lunch break from 1 pm – 2 pm).
You can use the studio facilities outside of these times, but you won't be able to use any machinery or equipment that needs power.
Fashion Design facilities
- Fashion studios: include industry-standard pattern cutting tables and garment production machinery.
- Fabric Store.
- Laser cutting: Fabric laser cutting and laser engraving.
- Digital print facility with Mimaki TX2 digital fabric printers.
- Print room: hand screen printing, transfer printing, collograph printing.
- CAD suite.
- IT suite with PCs equipped with Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign.
Bonington Art Shop
Our specialist in-house art shop is based in the Bonington building. Run by experience and friendly University staff, the shop stocks a wide variety of arts and crafts materials.
The shop responds to the requirements of our students, and the stock on offer grows each year to support the courses offered within the School of Art & Design.
Bonington Colour Bureau
Located in the Bonington building, our Colour Bureau provides a range of in-house printing for NTU students and staff.
Specialising in graphic arts printing, the Colour Bureau offers high quality prints on a non-standard range of media in any size up to B0. It also operates a drop-off service so you won't have to queue, and aims to offer A4/A3 prints for same-day collection where possible.
Bonington Gallery presents a number of exhibitions throughout the year as part of a comprehensive programme of visual arts and design events.
Exhibitors include national and international artists and designers, current students and staff from within the University and NTU alumni.
Our IT resource rooms and PC clusters are distributed across the City site, with PCs providing access to:
- Microsoft Office
- Web browsing
- Networked file storage
- High-speed online printing services.
The University's main resource room in the library is available 24 hours a day.
Book and library resources
In our library you will have access to an extensive and diverse range of books and periodicals that focus on specialist areas within Art and Design. The library's OneSearch system provides access to all our:
- Electronic resources
We have a liaison librarian with specialist knowledge in Fashion Design. They will be in available in the library to give you detailed help in finding and using print and electronic resources. They can also help you with things such as Harvard referencing and research skills.
Employability for this course is excellent, with 93% of students going on to employment or further study within six months of graduating. (DHLE survey 11-12)
Employability is a key focus of this course, with many of the compulsory modules including initiatives to help make you more employable.
Examples of these include:
- live projects with industry
- collaboration with industry for recruitment in Final Year
- flexible arrangements for work experience placements and internships
- visiting professionals
- specialist careers guidance
- national and international competitions
- Graduate Fashion Week and the British Fashion Council College Industry open day.
Our graduates go into a range of fashion-related roles. Here are some recent examples:
- ASOS, buying administrative assistant
- Abercrombie & Fitch, Assistant Designer / Fashion Designer
- Bombshell by Katya Wildman, Print Designer
- Bunker Mentality, Design Assistant
- C.P International, Menswear Designer
- Captive Clothing, Design Assistant
- Comme des Garcons - Designer
- De Facto Design, Studio Administrator
- Erdem, Designer
- Folk, Design Intern
- French Connection, Intern, QA Department
- Gill Knitwear, Junior Designer
- H&M, Assistant Menswear Designer
- Hirdaramani, Fashion Design Assistant.
- Karen Millen, Stylist
- King & Allen Bespoke Tailors, Tailoring Consultant
- Matthew Williamson, Embroidery Design Intern
- People Tree, Print Designer
- Peridot London, Production Assistant
- Polaris Bikewear, Design Intern
- River Island, Fashion Designer
- Roksanda Ilincic, Designer
- Style Me TV, Junior Stylist
- Sunday Times Magazine, Fashion Assistant
- Victoria Beckham, Designer
- Xsenia & Olya, Studio Assistant
- Yohji Yamamoto, Designer
- ZARA, Visual Merchandiser.
YouFirst – working with our Employability Team
Our friendly, experience careers consultants will work closely with you at every stage of your career planning, providing personal support and advice you won't find in a book or on the internet. You can benefit from this at any time during your studies and up to three years after completing your course. Find out more about our Employability Team.
Work placements and internship opportunities
Students on this course are actively encouraged and supported in undertaking informal work placements and internships during their studies.
You will normally complete work placements during holiday times, but you will have the option of taking a maximum of two weeks out of term time for a placement. Most students tag these two weeks onto the start or end of a holiday, so they can complete a longer period of work experience.
During Year Two you will also have the opportunity to apply for an international summer internship. We have developed these with a number of well-known companies and they will give you exposure to the global industry and help you prepare for your final year and future career aspirations.
Industry and professional opportunities
- Experience live projects with industry through Year Two and Final Year modules.
- Have the opportunity to apply for direct recruitment opportunities in your Final Year with Abercrombie & Fitch USA, Old Navy USA, American Eagle USA, George at Asda and Sports Direct.
- Have the chance to work collaboratively on team-working projects for promotional and live events such as catwalk shows and exhibitions.
- Have the opportunity to collaborate with local culture centres such as museums and galleries.
Our Year Two students have recently completed a live menswear project with Ted Baker. The Ted Baker design team presented a brief at the start of the year which involved taking the brand on a metaphorical journey with the Orient Express, drawing inspiration on the journey from Paris to Istanbul. Students were asked to design a collection of six / seven outfits in teams, to create an Autumn / Winter 2014 collection.
The project concluded with a catwalk show at the University in March, where the students presented their work in front of members of Ted Baker's Head Office. The winning team received Ted Baker goody bags and a work placement with their design team. You can read more about this project on our news pages, and on Ted Baker's blog.
You will also be encouraged to enter a variety of national and international competitions. These include opportunities from the British Fashion Council, professional bodies, external agencies and through professional links with industry live projects.
You will need:
- a minimum of 280 UCAS tariff points
- GCSE Maths grade C or above
- GCSE English grade C or above (Literature or Language)
- a creative portfolio.
The 280 UCAS tariff points needed for entry to this course should be taken from a minimum of two full A-levels or equivalent qualification (such as a BTEC Extended Diploma). Additional tariff points obtained from AS-levels, where the subject was not continued to A-level, will also be accepted.
If you are unsure whether the qualifications you have, or are currently studying for, meet the minimum entry requirements for this course, please contact us before submitting an application through UCAS.
If you hold international qualifications, take a look at the alternative qualifications we accept for this course.
Are you an international student who does not meet the direct entry requirements for this course? You can prepare for it at Nottingham Trent International College. Their Foundation Certificate in Art and Design offers students a direct progression route to this degree on successful completion to the required level.
Find out more about our English language entry requirements and English language support whilst you're studying with us.
We welcome applications from mature students (over the age of 21) for this course. We will assess applicants of this nature on an individual basis.
If you are a mature student, you will still need to apply to us by UCAS form, but you don’t necessarily need to meet our minimum entry requirements. You must, however, have a portfolio to present at interview.
English language requirements and English support
Application for this course is through the UCAS application form.
You can follow our step-by-step instructions when applying through UCAS. You can also find out more about the application process on the UCAS website.
Once you have applied, make sure you check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder. We may need to contact you during this time. Good luck with your application.
This course starts in September and applications should be submitted by the UCAS deadline, January 15.
Applications received after this date will be marked as 'late' and only considered if places are still available, after all on-time applications have been assessed.
The admissions process
Selection for this course takes places through UCAS application form and, where invited, online work submission, interview and portfolio.
The table below shows how we assess different types of applicants, once we've received their UCAS application.
|Type of applicant||Online work submission||Interview|
|A-Level / BTEC Extended Diploma / Other||Yes||Yes|
|Art and Design Foundation Diploma||No||Yes|
A-Level / BTEC Extended Diploma / Other applicants
If you meet the minimum entry requirements (or are a mature applicant) but have not completed an Art and Design Foundation Diploma, we will ask you to make an online work submission of 12 examples of your practical work and a short written summary.
If we need you to submit work, we'll contact you when we receive your UCAS application. Your online work submission will be used to decide whether to invite you to attend an interview at the University.
Art and Design Foundation Diploma applicants
If you meet the minimum entry requirements and are completing an Art and Design Foundation Diploma we'll invite you to attend an interview at the University without requesting an online work submission first.
Interview and portfolio information
If you are invited to attend at interview at the University, you will bring your portfolio with you for assessment. For more information about what we look for during an interview, and some useful tips for your portfolio, download our BA (Hons) Fashion Design interview and portfolio information.
If you meet the minimum entry requirements for this course, we will ask you to send us 12 examples of your practical work and a piece of written work from your current or previous course.
When we receive your UCAS application we will contact you to tell you how to submit this work online. Overseas applicants are not expected to attend an interview at the University.
The UCAS application form requires you to write a personal statement as part of your application. For some tips on what to include, use our guide to writing an effective personal statement.
We are committed to ensuring that all UK students have access to higher education. We recognise the need to invest financially in the future of our students, and have introduced a system of scholarships aimed at enabling home students from lower income families to undertake a degree course.
For information about Nottingham Trent University scholarships please visit our fees and funding webpages.
Please note the following information for applicants
Need help with your application?
For admissions related enquiries please contact us:
Telephone: +44 (0)115 848 4200
or Ask us a question
What made you choose to study at NTU?
"I chose to study at NTU after looking around university that offered my course. I found the structure here meant that I could learn a variety of skills within my first year that would later help my future career path, especially with the opportunities of working with industry.
"I loved the friendly atmosphere of NTU and the help I've had off the tutors has proved that I made the right choice!"
What was your first impressions of NTU?
"I visited during an open day and found Nottingham to be a great student area. I liked how NTU is situated in the city centre and enjoyed my visit as the tutors were approachable and everyone was friendly."
What do you enjoy most about Fashion Design at NTU?
"I love that the course allows you to try all aspects of fashion, from drawing to pattern cutting, learning the full process of design. I also really enjoy the drawing workshops."
Can you tell us about any guest lecturers you've had visit the course?
"The course has included speakers and designers from industry which I feel makes the lectures really interesting, and gives a vision of what can be achieved after the course.
"I really enjoyed the lecture by Kat Marks, an accessories designer, which looked at how unusual materials can be used within fashion and seeing her work with my favourite photographer, Nick Knight!"
What do you think of the course staff?
"I was nervous at the beginning of the course but felt supported as soon as a begun due to the help from all the course staff. Technical staff helped lots of working with new machines and help with construction of garments, tutors are very approachable and overall a really friendly team."
What do you think of the Fashion Design facilities?
"The facilities that are available to us are great. We are able to laser cut, dye fabric to specific colours, create moulds and casting and we have studios for our photo shoots. There are plenty of computers available with software like Photoshop and Illustrator to help with course work."
Mel was one of the winners in UCLA Clothing's Varsity Project and the winner of the David Nieper scholarship.
Read more student profiles