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In the UK for Fashion and textiles in The Guardian University Guide 2022

Fashion Knitwear Design and Knitted Textiles BA (Hons)

  • Level(s) of Study: Undergraduate
  • UCAS Code(s): W222 / 4W28
  • Start Date(s): September 2023
  • Duration: Three years full-time or four years with a placement
  • Study Mode(s): Full-time
  • Campus: City Campus
  • Entry Requirements:
    More information

Introduction:

This highly respected degree offers you full creative control over the design and creation of fabrics, garments and products for fashion or interiors. You will develop your creative potential through developing technical and design skills, including innovative digital knit processes that are in high demand in the fashion and textile industry.

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Keep up to date with what our current Knitwear students are up to by following our Instagram account.

  • Choose to take a year-long work placement, in the UK or abroad, and gain a certificate or diploma in professional / international practice, this opportunity often leads to offers of employment after graduation.
  • Get involved in competitions and live projects with industry with companies such as Next, John Smedley, Boden, Finisterre and The Society of Dyers and Colourists. Educational grants and sponsorship opportunities are also available through our industry partners.
  • Have the opportunity to showcase your work at Graduate Fashion Week and New Designers in London and through collaborations with organisations such as SPINEXPO and Pitti Filatti.
  • Opportunity to apply for a European or international exchange to one of our partner institutions, such as Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Amsterdam Fashion Institute, and more. You will also visit international trade fairs and exhibitions, such as Pitti Filati in Florence.

Student work

What you’ll study

This dynamic, industry-connected course prepares you for a career as a future-focused creative designer and thinker, fluent with current global industry practices. You will study specialist digital techniques and traditional hand methods to develop your skills in knitted fabric design innovation, garment shape and product development, construction and manufacture for fashion or interiors.

Curiosity: Creative Exploration and Research

(40 credit points, full year)

This module explores core design components: concept, drawing, materials, colour and future thinking. You will be encouraged to question how fundamental aspects of design practice and theory can be used as both research tools and as a means to develop your design identity in a creative, explorative and hands on way. You will work with students across the department and begin to identify your future direction.

Curiosity: Creative Development and Application for Fashion Knitwear Design and Knitted Textiles

(80 credit points, full year)

Through a series of workshops, you will be introduced to a range of technical and experimental approaches to designing for fashion and textiles. You will develop your practical skills and understanding of specialist knitwear and knitted textiles manufacturing processes as well as CAD, and build an awareness of core issues relating to design responsibility, sustainability and ethics. You will also develop further understanding of the value and principles of primary and secondary research for fashion and textiles, ideas generation, fashion illustration and styling.

Directions: Industry and Context for Fashion Knitwear Design and Knitted Textiles

(40 credit points, first half of the year)

In this module you will engage with visual, market and contextual research to initiate innovative and creative responses to industry-led briefs. You will develop your CAD / CAM skills relating to fashion knitwear and knitted textile industry specialist requirements. Practical workshops in fashion knitwear garment manufacture, knitted textiles and knitted finishing techniques for products will deepen your understanding of technical skills and processes and responsible design practice. Preparation for placement or work experience will be supported by workshops on employability skills and techniques and portfolio development.

(Direct entry and transfer students to Year Two will receive induction workshops to upskill and support the development of your creative ideas for knitted fabrics / knitwear / products.)

Directions: Innovation and Transition for Fashion Knitwear Design and Knitted Textiles

(40 credit points, second half of the year)

You will build on your design and research skills through the application of advanced techniques and the selection of individual research topics, methods and methodologies. You will write your own design brief and undertake primary and secondary research to develop meaningful design concepts that respond to contemporary cultural contexts and issues. This module supports your transition to your final year, enhancing your ability to develop individual research proposals that reflect personal design interests and building on theory and practice. You will extend and test innovative approaches to your specialist textile area, working beyond discipline boundaries where appropriate.

CoLab: Research, Exploration and Risk-Taking

(20 credit points, second half of the year)

Through active participation with team-based problem solving, you will work together in mixed teams on a project where you will use your creative ideas to generate solutions to the challenge or brief. Your project will allow you to explore how creativity can make an impact in society, as you choose a theme of sustainability, social justice, enterprise and innovation or community. This collaborative learning experience will expose you to a range of new processes and approaches that will develop your creative thinking.

Optional Module

(20 credit points, first half of the year)

Personalise your learning, selecting a module that develops your awareness of possible professional futures you may wish to engage with. Study with students from the creative community in the Nottingham School of Art and Design to expand your horizons, challenge ways of thinking and facilitate potential future collaborations.

Choose from:

  • Material Stories
  • Responding to the Visual World
  • Model Making: Object and Narrative
  • 3D Materials and Exploration
  • Ethical Design
  • Buying, Merchandising and Product Fundamentals
  • Trend Forecasting
  • Publishing: Experimental Formats

Optional placement year

The placement year will let you apply what you have learned so far. You’ll get to experience the realities of the commercial world and gain an understanding of different industrial practices. Your placement must be between 6 and 36 weeks long working with one or more companies in the UK or overseas. You’ll also have the chance to gain an extra qualification – a certificate or diploma in professional practice or for overseas work placement an international certificate or diploma in professional practice.

Our dedicated Employability team will give you support, advice and access to valuable resources to help you find a placement.

Our Fashion Knitwear Design and Knitted Textiles students have recently worked with a range of design companies during their work placement year.

These include:

  • Burberry
  • Sophie Steller
  • Marks & Spencer
  • Julian McDonald
  • Roksanda
  • South Ocean Yarns, China
  • Brilliant Global, Hong Kong
  • Hugo Boss, Switzerland
  • Rebecca Taylor, New York
  • Li & Fung, New York.

Our students have undertaken various roles, including:

  • product development assistant
  • product developer
  • design assistant
  • freelance knitwear assistant.

Resolutions: Culture and Context

(20 credit points, first half of the year / 40 credit points, full year)

Develop an individual research concept established at the end of second year that advances your knowledge of contextual issues, cultural theories and debates. You will present this as a dissertation or in the alternative format of a visual product. Students choosing the 40-credit option will complete an extended body of research work for exhibition or publication.

Resolutions: Practice and Context for Fashion Knitwear Design and Knitted Textiles

(100 / 80 credit points, full year)

You will develop a professional portfolio and collection that communicates your creative design thinking and decision-making and is informed by your emerging design interests and ways of working developed progressively through the course. Guided by your career aspirations you will create either a fashion collection or a collection of fashion fabrics or fashion / interior products for exhibition. The year will culminate in showcasing your collection and portfolio to a range of audiences and provide an opportunity for your ongoing personal and professional development.

The year will include opportunities to engage with external contexts through live projects, competitions, or professional bodies and culminates with showcasing your collection and portfolio to a range of audiences and opportunities for your ongoing personal and professional development.

Students choosing the 100-credit module will in addition complete a production dossier and Lookbook.

Don’t just take our word for it, hear from our students themselves

Student Profiles

Kirby Marlow

Fashion Knitwear Design and Knitted Textiles

In my third year, I went to Hong Kong for a 12-month placement for a knitwear design company called Brilliant Global. Whilst there, I learnt how the industry works, and how to manage my time and work to tight deadlines.

Jacaranda Brain

Fashion Knitwear Design and Knitted Textiles

Completing a year in industry was the best decision I have ever made. I ended up completing three placements, in New York and London.

Jess Braithwaite

Fashion Knitwear Design and Knitted Textiles

This course equips you with the specialised skills and industry experience to go out into industry and secure a role that very few young designers would be capable of handling.

Amy Carter

Fashion Knitwear Design and Knitted Textiles

The Fashion Knitwear Design and Knitted Textiles course is very unique and enables you to learn about every part of the process of designing and creating knitwear.

Laura Henderson

Fashion Knitwear Design and Knitted Textiles

I think this opportunity will massively benefit me after I graduate, I will be have first-hand experience of setting up and helping out at an internationally recognised trade show.

Alice Beadle - Fashion Knitwear Design and Knitted Textiles

Fashion Knitwear Design and Knitted Textiles

The course offers the invaluable opportunity to spend a year working in industry.

Eleanor Drane

Fashion Knitwear Design and Knitted Textiles

The course here is well established within industry and as a result, companies appreciate NTU graduates for their advanced skills and specific knowledge within the knitwear specialism.

Video Gallery

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How you’re taught

You’ll spend most of your time in a creative studio environment. Teaching and learning experiences will include creative approaches to generate ideas and design development through:

  • project work
  • live projects
  • study visits
  • lectures and briefings
  • technical demonstrations
  • knitting and manufacturing workshops
  • studio and IT workshops
  • seminars
  • tutorials
  • peer and self-evaluations
  • presentations and teamwork.

Collaboration across courses

Our collaboration module gives you the opportunity to work collaboratively with your contemporaries from a range of different art and design subjects and beyond. You’ll be working alongside artists, designers, photographers, illustrators, animators, and filmmakers on daring and creative projects that prepare you for a rewarding career in your chosen industry. This module will allow you to explore how creativity can make an impact in society, as you choose a theme of sustainability, social justice, enterprise and innovation or community.

Assessment

Assessment is predominantly through coursework. You will receive feedback throughout each module and will be awarded a grade for your work. Depending on the module, you may be assessed through:

  • presenting and evaluating research
  • design development
  • technical knowledge
  • final practical outcomes.

In some modules, assessment includes essays, presentations, and an individual research project.

20% of your final degree mark will be based on your work in Year 2, and 80% from your work in your final year.

Trips and study visits

Recent study trips and visits for this course have included:

  • Pitti Filati yarn and fabric trade fair in Florence, Italy
  • SPINEXPO, with the opportunity to be selected to attend the event in Shanghai
  • V&A Museum, London
  • Ruddington Framework Knitters Museum.

Exchange and overseas opportunities

The course has exchange agreements with a number of institutions around the world, such as the Amsterdam Fashion Institute in the Netherlands and Hong Kong Polytechnic University. You can apply to go on exchange in Year Two for one semester. Three Knitwear students were previously funded to travel to China to exhibit their work at an international design competition with International Foundation of Fashion Technology Institutes

Showcase

You will be given the opportunity to exhibit your work during your time at NTU to members of the creative industries. You may also be selected to showcase at Graduate Fashion Week in London – where many of our previous students have won awards. Our students have also had success with the prestigious Tu Sainsbury's Scholarship and the Visionary Knitwear Award.

Visit our ‘We Are Creatives’ showcase to take a look at the work of this year's graduating students’.

Contact hours

  • Year 1 lectures/seminars/workshops (21%), independent study (79%).
  • Year 2 lectures/seminars/workshops (20%), independent study (80%).
  • Year 3 optional placement year (100%).
  • Year 4 lectures/seminars/workshops (20%), independent study (80%).

Further information

  • NTU is internationally recognised for the quality of its creative, industry-ready graduates.
  • Explore contemporary fashion and textile design, product development, and styling. Use of specialist state-of-the art digital equipment alongside traditional hand techniques.
  • NTU is in the UK’s Top 15 for Art & Design in the Complete University Guide 2023 (Ranked 15th).
  • 100% student satisfaction for BA (Hons) Fashion Knitwear Design and Knitted Textiles (sandwich). (National Student Survey 2022).

Staff Profiles

Amy Twigger Holroyd

Associate Professor

Nottingham School of Art & Design

Dr Amy Twigger Holroyd is Associate Professor of Fashion and Sustainability in the School of Art & Design. She leads research projects at the intersection of fashion, making, design and…

Kandy Diamond

Senior Lecturer

Nottingham School of Art & Design

Senior lecturer specialising in knitted textiles, teaching machine and hand knitting with specific interest in craft processes and applications. Module leader for first year fashion knitwear design and knitted textiles.…

Helen Hill

Senior Lecturer

Nottingham School of Art & Design

Helen Hill is a course Leader for BA (hons) Fashion Knitwear Design and Knitted Textiles at Nottingham Trent University in the School of Art and Design.

Claire Preskey

Senior Lecturer

Nottingham School of Art & Design

Claire Preskey is a senior lecturer at Nottingham Trent University and module leader for level 2 for BA (Hons) Fashion Knitwear Design and Knitted Textile Design.

Amanda Briggs-Goode

Head of Department

Nottingham School of Art & Design

As Head of Department for Fashion, Textiles and Knitwear Design Amanda is responsible for overseeing the design, development and delivery of the departments undergraduate and postgraduate provision. She is also…

Theodora Prassa

Senior Technician

Nottingham School of Art & Design

Dora is a technician in printed textiles and paper printing.

Ian McInnes

Principal Lecturer

Nottingham School of Art & Design

Ian McInnes is a Principal Lecturer in Fashion Knitwear Design and Knitted Textiles, has worked successfully as a knitwear and knitted textile designer in Milan, London and Scotland.

How you’re assessed

  • Year 1 coursework (100%).
  • Year 2 coursework (90%), practical exams (10%).
  • Year 3 optional placement year.
  • Year 4 coursework (100%).

Careers and employability

Graduates go into fields such as design, product development, styling and promotion and global sourcing.

Recent graduate destinations include:

  • Abercrombie & Fitch
  • Alphatex
  • Calvin Klein
  • DKNY
  • Hugo Boss
  • John Smedley
  • Josh Goot
  • Julian MacDonald
  • Lauren Richards
  • Nike
  • Pantherella
  • Sophie Steller
  • Stine Ladefoged
  • Sun Hing Ltd.

Work placements and internship opportunities

You can choose to take a year-long work placement in the third year of your studies. A placement year will give you the opportunity to gain real, hands-on experience and valuable skills for the future. Our students undertake placements across the globe, with many securing full-time employment after graduating with their placement company.

If you choose not to do the placement year, you’ll be encouraged to take up to two weeks of work experience alongside your studies in years One and Two.

Studying a creative degree in a large university has many benefits, none more so than having access to a large employability team. They'll support you through advice and access to valuable resources to help you find a placement. Not only that, you can access our employability team's services up to three years after graduating!

Connecting with industry

The opportunity to raise your commercial profile, even before you graduate, is fantastic. Benefit from our excellent connections with the fashion and textile industry, through guest lectures, bursary and sponsorship opportunities, industry competitions, international study trips, and support with securing your optional placement year.

We work with a number of professional organisations, including:

  • ASBCI (Association of Suppliers to the British Clothing Industry)
  • Bradford Textile Society
  • British Fashion Council Colleges Committee
  • The Society of Dyers and Colourists
  • The Textile Society
  • UK Fashion & Textile Association.
  • Worshipful Company of Framework Knitters

Students have previously had success at the Fashanne Awards and the FAD competition as part of London Fashion Week.

During the past 30 years, 31 of our students have been awarded a bursary by The Worshipful Company of Framework Knitters by demonstrating that their work has the potential to have a significant impact on the British knitwear industry. Each bursary fund could be up to £2,500. Final year collections are regularly sponsored by manufacturers of high-quality luxury yarns.

We have recently worked on live projects with companies including

  • John Lewis
  • Fashion Awareness Direct
  • All Saints
  • UKft / M&S
  • ANN INC New York
  • Next
  • Laxton Yarns
  • The Society of Dyers and Colourists.

Creative Industries Federation

We are members of the Creative Industries Federation (CIF), which means students in the Nottingham School of Art & Design have the opportunity to sign up to free student membership. Creative Industries Federation are an organisation that represents, champions and supports the UK’s creative industries and membership grants students exclusive access to their selection of resources and events to help advance your career and connect with industry.

Campus and facilities

You’ll be based in the Bonington building, a dedicated art and design hub. Course facilities are extensive, offering you the chance to use both traditional and digital machines.  View our Nottingham School of Art & Design Facilities Hub here.

Entry requirements

What are we looking for?

  • 104 - 112 UCAS Tariff points from up to four qualifications (two of which must be A-level equivalent).
  • GCSE English and Maths grade C / 4.

To find out what qualifications have tariff points, please use our tariff calculator.

Other requirements

Other qualifications and experience

We may also consider credits achieved at other universities and your work/life experience through an assessment of prior learning.

This may be for year one entry, or beyond the beginning of a course where applicable, for example, into year 2. Our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy outlines the process and options available for this route.

Contextual offers

A lower offer may be made based on a range of factors, including your background (such as where you live and the school or college you attended), your experiences and individual circumstances (you may have been in care, for example). This is called a contextual offer and we get data from UCAS to make these decisions. NTU offers a student experience like no other and this approach helps us to find students who have the potential to succeed here but who may have faced barriers that make it more difficult to access university. Find out how we assess your application.

Getting in touch

If you need more help or information, get in touch through our enquiry form.

International qualifications 

We accept qualifications from all over the world – check yours here:

Undergraduate preparation courses (Foundation)

If you don’t yet meet our entry requirements, we offer Foundation courses through our partner Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC), based on our City Campus:

English language entry requirements 

You can meet our language requirements by successfully completing our pre-sessional English course for an agreed length of time, or by submitting the required grade in one of our accepted English language tests, such as IELTS:

Advanced standing (starting your undergraduate degree in year 2 or 3)

You may be able to start your undergraduate course in year 2 or 3 based on what you have studied before.  This decision would be made in accordance with our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy.

Would you like some advice on your study plans? 

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

Fees and funding

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there's no need to feel anxious and confused about it. We hope that our fees and funding pages will answer all your questions.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service.

Tel: +44 (0)115 848 2494

What's included in the course fees?

The School will cover the costs of any mandatory study trips.

In Final Year, the Nottingham School of Art & Design will provide infrastructure costs for your Showcase.

If you’re selected to showcase your work at Graduate Fashion Week or New Designers in London, the School will cover the cost of transporting your work, the exhibition stand, and catwalk show.

Additional costs

Print and copy costs

The University allocates an annual printing and copying allowance of £20 depending on the course you are studying. For more details about costs for additional print and copying required over and above the annual allowance please see the Printing, photocopying and scanning information on the Library website.

We advise you to budget between £100 - £150 (minimum) per year for printing costs.

Material costs

Depending on the materials you choose to work with, you should budget a minimum of £60 (Year One), £100 (Year Two), and £800 (Final Year) to cover the production costs associated to your course. In Final Year, some students receive generous yarns sponsorship to the value of over £1,000 to assist with these costs.

Stationery and reading materials

Most study modules will recommend one or more core textbooks, which most students choose to purchase. Book costs vary between courses and further information is available in the University’s bookshop, Blackwell’s.

A good supply of these essential text books are available in the University libraries, which students can easily borrow or access directly whilst studying in the library. You should budget between £80 - £150 per year (minimum) for stationery and reading materials.

Field trips

All essential field trip costs will be included in your course fees. There may be the opportunity to take part in optional field trips, which do incur additional costs.

If you choose to join optional study trips, you should budget £100 – £150 per year.

Placements

The degree course offers a Sandwich route (4 years), which includes a year-long work placement.

If you choose this route, you could earn a salary of between £350 – £1,300 per month working overseas, or between £400 - £650 per month working in the UK. If you wish to complete your placement overseas you may need to consider costs such as a visa for the USA (£1,300), and return flights (between £100 - £700, potentially more).

Wherever you complete your placement, you’ll need to budget for accommodation, travel and subsistence.  If you plan to work overseas, you’ll need to budget for the cost of setting up a bank account and applying for a visa. Some companies will pay for a visa as part of the placement offer.

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there's no need to feel anxious and confused about it. We hope that our fees and funding pages will answer all your questions.

You might be able to get a scholarship to help fund your studies. We award scholarships to those international students who can demonstrate excellent achievement, passion, and dedication to their studies.

Please take a look at our International students page for information about fees, scholarships for international students, visas and much more.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service.

Tel: +44 (0)115 848 2494

What's included in the course fees?

The School will cover the costs of any mandatory study trips.

In Final Year, the Nottingham School of Art & Design will provide infrastructure costs for your Showcase.

If you’re selected to showcase your work at Graduate Fashion Week or New Designers in London, the School will cover the cost of transporting your work, the exhibition stand, and catwalk show.

Additional costs

Print and copy costs

The University allocates an annual printing and copying allowance of £20 depending on the course you are studying. For more details about costs for additional print and copying required over and above the annual allowance please see the Printing, photocopying and scanning information on the Library website.

We advise you to budget between £100 - £150 (minimum) per year for printing costs.

Material costs

Depending on the materials you choose to work with, you should budget a minimum of £60 (Year One), £100 (Year Two), and £800 (Final Year) to cover the production costs associated to your course. In Final Year, some students receive generous yarns sponsorship to the value of over £1,000 to assist with these costs.

Stationery and reading materials

Most study modules will recommend one or more core textbooks, which most students choose to purchase. Book costs vary between courses and further information is available in the University’s bookshop, Blackwell’s.

A good supply of these essential text books are available in the University libraries, which students can easily borrow or access directly whilst studying in the library. You should budget between £80 - £150 per year (minimum) for stationery and reading materials.

Field trips

All essential field trip costs will be included in your course fees. There may be the opportunity to take part in optional field trips, which do incur additional costs.

If you choose to join optional study trips, you should budget £100 – £150 per year.

Placements

The degree course offers a Sandwich route (4 years), which includes a year-long work placement.

If you choose this route, you could earn a salary of between £350 – £1,300 per month working overseas, or between £400 - £650 per month working in the UK. If you wish to complete your placement overseas you may need to consider costs such as a visa for the USA (£1,300), and return flights (between £100 - £700, potentially more).

Wherever you complete your placement, you’ll need to budget for accommodation, travel and subsistence.  If you plan to work overseas, you’ll need to budget for the cost of setting up a bank account and applying for a visa. Some companies will pay for a visa as part of the placement offer.

How to apply

Apply through UCAS.

We will ask you to provide a digital portfolio. Visit our webpage which has some advice on what to include to help make your portfolio stand out. After you have submitted your portfolio, we may also invite you to an online interview to help us make our final decision.

You can apply for this course through UCAS. If you are not applying to any other UK universities, you can apply directly to us on our NTU applicant portal.

Application advice

Apply early so that you have enough time to prepare – processing times for Student visas can vary, for example.  After you've applied, we'll be sending you important emails throughout the application process – so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Writing your personal statement

Be honest, thorough, and persuasive – we can only make a decision about your application based on what you tell us:

Your portfolio 

If your initial application is successful, you may be asked to upload a portfolio of your work and you may also be asked to attend an interview.

Portfolio advice

Would you like some advice on your study plans? 

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

The University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.