BA (Honours) Fashion Design
The BA (Honours) Fashion Design course at Westminster is famous for producing highly individual and creative designers capable of working within all levels of the fashion industry.
The course offers a comprehensive design education for ambitious individuals looking for a specialist career within the creative arena of the fashion design industry. Our graduates work as fashion designers, stylists, freelancers and creatives in London, Paris, New York and Milan.
Alumni of the course include:
- Christopher Bailey, Creative Director - Burberry
- Louise Alsop, Design - Louise Alsop
- Claire Barrow, Designer – Claire Barrow
- Ashley Williams, Designer - Ashley Williams
- Liam Hodges, Designer - Liam Hodges
- Katie Hillier, Creative Director – Marc by Marc Jacobs
- Stuart Vevers, Creative Director – Coach
We select approximately 40 of the most dedicated and driven students who can demonstrate they have the potential to work with the high energy and creative dynamism that the course requires.
Throughout the course, the emphasis is on the development of the students’ own personal design philosophy. Our lively programme includes classes in design, pattern cutting, construction, illustration, print, textiles, CAD and industry awareness.
The first year of study at Westminster concentrates on introducing the student to a variety of skills and techniques related to all areas of 2D and 3D fashion practice. Design, research, illustration, cut, construction, print, and CAD are all covered.
Research is fostered through a variety of methods including visits to London Fashion Week, fashion shows, exhibitions, sketchbooks, and industry visits.
There are lessons in life drawing and illustration so that students understand proportion in 2D as well as 3D. Students undertake a range of design work that includes menswear and womenswear, spanning both conceptual and commercial.
By the end of Year one, all students are fully equipped with the relevant technical and theoretical skills to successfully address the specific industry projects of their second year projects.
- Experimental Design and Modernity
- Fashion Research for Design Development
- Introduction to Design Development and Creative Cut
- Introduction to Fabrication and Print
- Introduction to Tailoring and Menswear
- Technology for Illustration
The second year focuses on understanding and addressing the demands and needs of the fashion design industry through design assignments. This is accomplished through:
• Industry-led design projects. Recent partners for these design based projects include ASOS, Abercrombie & Fitch, River Island and Topman.
• Guest industry speakers and lecturers, allowing students to understand their personal design practice within the context of the wider international design industry.
Recent guest lecturers include Meadham Kirchhoff, Richard Nicoll and Hannah Marshall.
• Industrial work placement and internships. These take place over eight consecutive weeks, starting at the end of December until the end of Paris Fashion Week in March.
The timing enables students to have the opportunity, if they wish, to work with a designer on their collection from its conception through to the runway show presentation.
- Design for Sportswear
- Future Textiles Fabrication and Print
- Historical Research for Design Innovation
- Industrial Work Placement
- The Fashion Business Proposal
Optional Placement Year
Students on the four year pathway undertake a year-long period of placements between Credit Levels 5 and 6 of the course. The purpose of the sandwich year is to enhance the profile of industrial placement within the framework of your undergraduate studies, and it allows students to work within the fashion industry for a far more substantial period of time, usually abroad in Paris, New York or Milan.
The course has very strong industry connections, and a great track record of successful placements that have benefited both the students and the fashion companies. This means we can offer suitable students outstanding industrial placement opportunities both in the UK and abroad.
Students are currently working with the following designers:
Alexander McQueen, Gareth Pugh, Giles, Burberry, Christopher Kane, Mulberry, and Celine.
Lanvin, Haider Ackermann, Balenciaga, Dior couture and Givenchy.
In New York:
Diane Von Furstenburg, Thom Browne, Marc Jacobs and Alexander Wang.
The optional sandwich year is subject to an annual University administration fee.
In the final year of study on the course, we help you to develop your own signature aesthetic style in both 2D portfolio work and 3D design projects. Advanced research, sourcing and design development leads to a full runway collection range being developed and realised.
A precollection is developed alongside this with full market research and design proposals alongside a marketing strategy. A sustained piece of written work, in the form of a fashion thesis is written focusing on the chosen theme or research of the students’ final design proposal.
All final year students are considered for inclusion in the graduate runway show held in central London in May.
Subjects of study include:
- Brand Identity and the Fashion Product
- Final Portfolio
- Fashion Thesis
- Major Project: Research
- Major Project: Pre-collection
- Major Project: Design and Realisation
- Market Specific Portfolio