Fashion Design BA (Hons)

About the course

We develop designers who are technically accomplished, visually literate and articulate. It encompasses a wide range of projects which include briefs set by designer labels through to the high street.


Reasons to choose Fashion Design at DMU

  • A creative and dynamic course moving with the constantly evolving fashion world

  • The opportunity to enter prestigious national and international competitions

  • Projects set by companies and organisations such as British Fashion Council, Burberry, Warehouse and New Look

  • Opportunities to specialise in fashion areas including womenswear, menswear and fashion knitwear

The course offers the opportunity to specialise in project work for womenswear, menswear or fashion knitwear, gaining specialist design and technical expertise relevant to a range of fashion activities, from initial design concept through to the finished prototype.

The first year provides a grounding in fashion and design through a wide variety of practical, creative and technical classes and projects.

The second year is more focused, with the emphasis on experimentation, more in-depth project research and 3D development. New skills are introduced such as tailoring and fashion prediction, as well as collaborative project work both with industry and within the textile area.

The major project in the third year gives you the opportunity to set your own briefs, and design and produce a final collection, as well as to take part in national and international competitions.

Key facts

UCAS course code: W230 

Duration:  Three years full-time, six years part-time

Institution code: D26

Entry and admission criteria


A good portfolio and normally:

  • Art and Design Foundation or
  • 280 UCAS points with a minimum of 180 points from at least two full A levels, including a grade  C or above in Art and Design or
  • National Diploma DMM or
  • International Baccalaureate: 28+ Points

Five GCSEs grades A* - C including English Language or  Literature at grade C or above. 

We also accept the BTEC  First Diploma plus two GCSEs  including English at grade C or above.

Interview and Portfolio

UK applicants with relevant qualifications will be invited to bring their portfolio of work to an open day and interview (please see our Fashion Design portfolio advice| for full details).

Overseas applicants will be invited to send samples of their work. For further details check our international students portfolio page|.

International Students

If English is not your first language an IELTS score of 6.0 or equivalent when you start the course is essential. English Language tuition|, delivered by our British Council accredited Centre for English Language Learning, is available both before and throughout the course if you need it.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching encompasses design studio practice, formal lectures, group seminars, tutorials, exhibition and store visits, presentations and practical workshops.

Assessment is at the end of each semester with feedback and evaluation critiques held at appropriate times throughout the year.

Course modules

Year one

  • Complete Fashion Studies
  • Integrated Fashion Studies

Year two

  • Practical Fashion Studies
  • Fashion Design Studies

Year three

  • Advanced Fashion Studies
  • Major Project

Note: All modules are subject to change in order to keep content current.

Work experience and placements

Our students have completed work placements with various companies and designers from, for example, Jonathan Saunders and Alberta Ferretti through to high street retailers such as River Island.

Graduate careers

Graduates go on to work in a variety of areas within the fashion and textile industry as fashion designers, illustrators, pattern cutters, stylists, and trend forecasters, and often go on to launch their own businesses. Recent employers include companies such as Burberry, River Island, Alexander McQueen, Nicole Fahri, Reiss and French Connection.

Others have progressed to MA courses at IFM Paris, Royal College of Art, Central St Martins, and our MA Fashion and Bodywear.

Fees and funding

2014 entry

UK/EU Fees: £9000 per year
International Fees: £11,250 per year

Learn more about fees and funding information 2014|


Learn more about our Undergraduate scholarships and awards| information.


The fashion area has dedicated studio space, extensive pattern tables, sewing, and knitting machine workshop resources. You will also have access to our extensive CAD suites (PC and Mac), used for specific teaching, with open access if you are completing coursework.

How to apply

UK and EU students are advised to apply through UCAS at|

International students can apply to study at DMU directly using our online applications portal|.

Contact details

For more information please contact:

Online enquiry form|
Telephone enquiries:  +44 (0)116 2 50 60 70

Awards and competitions

You will regularly take part in national and international design competitions. Students from the course have been finalists and winners in the ASBCI annual competition, the Fashion Awareness Direct Competition, British Fashion Council competitions and Graduate Fashion Week awards.


Year one: 

Initial projects in year one require the purchase of calico, basic cottons, second hand clothing for deconstruction and small quantity of yarn. There are at least two compulsory day trips to London and you will need to budget for, including travel costs and museum entrance costs. We also encourage you to visit London independently to source fabric and research.

There are five design projects in year one, each requiring the purchase of the following items:

  • Calico, sketchbooks, paper, portfolio sleeves, paper printing costs and photocopying 
  • Art materials, pens, paints, etc 
  • Final fabric/yarn/trimmings for at least one outfit for each project and up to two for final project 
  • Relevant books, such as pattern cutting and design reference books

Additional extra costs that could be incurred would be fabric printing costs (can vary, but approximately £16-£20 metre plus the cost of fabric) and further yarn costs. This would be in relation to your individual design ideas and is not compulsory.

Year two:

You are advised to visit London a minimum of four times to source fabrics and visit exhibitions. Local visits to key museums such as Snibston are a requirement at this level.

There are approximately five or six design projects in year two, each requiring the purchase of:

  • Calico, or toiling fabric 
  • Sketchbooks, paper, portfolio sleeves, paper printing costs and photocopying. To include printing for prediction package
  • Art materials, pens, paints, etc 
  • Final fabric/yarn/trimmings for at least one outfit for each project and up to two for final project
  • Costs towards printing (fabric) induction and external inductions with companies (not compulsory)

For the final project at year two, you will complete a project requiring the use of printed textiles and the inclusion of knit; therefore you should account for this when budgeting. Fabric printing costs can vary, but approx £16-£20 metre plus fabric costs.

Additional costs are incurred if you are successful with competition entries. This could result in further fabric costs, printing costs and visits to London.

Year three:

This will be the most expensive year of study, especially as you will be expected to complete competition and external briefs to a high level in order to develop a portfolio ready for embarking on your career after graduation. Collections for capsule (two outfits) and your major project (six outfits) will vary in costs depending on the types of fabric utilised as well as embellishment, printing costs, yarns, trimmings etc. It is recommended that you try to seek sponsorship where possible and/or apply for bursaries and funding opportunities.

Art and Design at De Montfort University|

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Student work 2012|

Student work 2011|

Graduate Fashion Week 2011|

Portfolio adviceFashion Design Portfolio Advice|

Fashion Design portfolio advice|

International applicants should refer to our School of Fashion and Textiles portfolio advice|

Festival of Creativity

DMU Art and Design Degree Show 2014: Fashion Design|

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