BA (Hons) Fashion Design

Fashion is an ever-changing industry that needs professionals who can respond to its challenges. Based in the heart of the dynamic fashion capital of Wales, this Fashion Design degree promotes an innovative and sustainable approach to fashion education. It offers experience of fashion design beyond the university environment and develops skills for life after graduation. You’ll balance commercial success with a strong creative vision, always questioning and pushing your ideas forward.

Our fashion students compete and win national and international awards and competitions – they’ve won awards at London Graduate Fashion Week for the past three years. There are many opportunities to work with industry through placements and partnerships with fashion designers like Julien MacDonald, Alexander McQueen, Giles Deacon, Vivienne Westwood and Debenhams and you can take an optional sandwich year, or study overseas through the Erasmus exchange programme. Studying Fashion Design in Cardiff, you’ll be a part of our inspiring community and have the chance to collaborate with other creative industries students such as journalists, photographers, actors, writers and musicians. Follow USW Fashion on Instagram.

Study Mode 2017 Duration Start Date Location
Full-time 3 Years September Cardiff
Sandwich 4 Years September Cardiff
Study Mode 2018 Duration Start Date Location
Full-time 3 Years September Cardiff
Sandwich 4 Years September Cardiff

This industry-focused fashion course will challenge your ability to think, problem-solve and communicate your creativity to produce a professional portfolio of work. Starting with core skills such as fashion communication and garment construction, you’ll progress to focus on the working environment and complete live projects and industry-sponsored briefs. In practical studio sessions, you’ll learn how to combine design, technology and theory to create a finished product.

The first year focuses on core skills, visualisation techniques, understanding and applying colour, surface manipulation, trends, 3D realisation of garments and outfits, pattern cutting, garment construction, and contextual studies.

You’ll build on these skills in the second year, where your studio practice will focus on the working environment with industry-sponsored briefs, live projects and competitions. You will learn about the principles of range building, manufacture, production and product development, which underpin all commercial design work.

The final year of your fashion design degree draws on everything you have learned. Based on your trend book and a solid business model, you will instigate studio practice on your own terms, negotiating your brief to create a preview and then a full collection of outfits, with supporting portfolios and rationale. Your studies will culminate in a self-directed professional strategies campaign that will launch you and your collection into your chosen area of the fashion industry.

Year One

  • Fashion in Context
  • Fashion Visualisation
  • Colour and Fabric
  • Methods and Principles
  • Fashion Design Innovations

Year Two

  • Fashion Design and Industry
  • Fashion in Context
  • Employment Experience Diploma (Fashion and Retail Design)
  • Fashion Design Innovations
  • Fashion Brand Concept Development
  • Creative Industries Collaborative Practice
  • Work Experience

Year Three

  • Critical Research in Fashion
  • Professional Strategies
  • Fashion Forecasting
  • Major Fashion Design Project


You will develop your fashion design skills in the studio using specialist facilities, including dedicated studios and workshops. You will have access to specialist computer-aided design and manufacturing facilities.


The fashion design degree is assessed through regular coursework submissions, in addition to practical assessment.

Institution Code


There is currently no accreditation associated with this course.


Our fashion students benefit from a dedicated, fully-equipped building that promotes creative exchange, professional collaboration and a pioneering approach.

Facilities at our Cardiff campus range from photographic darkrooms and professional-level printers, to video and audio production studios. You will be able to borrow a full range of equipment including cameras, microphones and lighting.


Steve Wright, course leader
Patricia Brien, Academic Subject Manager
Jayne Hall Cunnick, Senior Lecturer
Fiona Howells, Lecturer
Dr Torunn Kjolberg, Lecturer
Stacey Grant-Canham, Lecturer
Camille Watkins, Lecturer
Sian Menai Davies, Lecturer

Entry criteria detail typical offers but USW considers all applications on an individual basis which means that we could make offers based on qualifications, personal profile and experience. Combinations of qualifications are acceptable and other qualifications not listed may also be acceptable.


An interview and portfolio are required for this fashion design course.

Typical A-Level Offer

BCC to include an art and design related subject

Typical Welsh BACC Offer

Grade C and BC at A Level with an art and design related subject

Typical BTEC Offer

BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction Merit Merit in a relevant subject

Typical IB Offer

29 points to include 16 points at Higher Level to include a relevant higher subject at grade 5.

Typical Access to HE Offer

60 credits overall to include 45 Level 3 credits equating to 12 Distinctions, 18 Merits and 15 Passes in a relevant subject

Additional Requirements

GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum 5 GCSEs including Mathematics and English at Grade C or above, or their equivalent but consideration is given to individual circumstances

International Entry Requirements

We also welcome international applications with equivalent qualifications. Please visit the country specific pages on our international website for exact details.

English Requirements

In general, international applicants will need to have achieved an overall IELTS grade of 6.0 with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component.

However, if you have previously studied through the medium of English IELTS might not be required, but please visit the country specific page on our international website for exact details. If your country is not featured please contact us.

All fees are per year. Once you have started your course, your fee will remain the same for each year of study.

August 2017 - July 2018 Fees

  • Full-time UK and EU: £9000
  • Full-time International: £11900

August 2018 - July 2019 Fees

  • Full-time UK and EU: TBC
  • Full-time International: TBC

Additional Costs

Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are significant additional costs either obligatory or optional these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.

* Obligatory

Item Cost
Kit (Uniform and Equipment): Materials * £200 - £800
Materials. £200 (Year 1) , £250 (Year 2) and £800 (Year 3)
Kit (Uniform and Equipment) * £250
Equipment .Year 1
Field Trips £150
Per year
Other: Printing & Exhibition Costs * £100 - £350
£100 (Year 1 & 2), £350 (Year 3).

UK and EU students

Apply via UCAS if you are a UK/EU residing applicant, applying for year 1 of a full-time undergraduate degree, Foundation Year, Foundation Degree or HND and you have not applied through UCAS before. If you are applying to study part-time, to top up your Foundation Degree or HND, or to transfer to USW from another institution, please apply directly

International students

Apply directly to the University if you live outside the UK/EU

Apply now 

Admissions statement

To enhance your career opportunities, we place emphasis on creative and consumer market research, creative design, technological innovation and digital visualisation.

Graduates have secured employment with Julien MacDonald, Joules, Topshop, Warehouse, All Saints, Primark, Peacocks, Jane Norman, Lipsy of London, Karen Millen, Ted Baker, George, Harrods, Superdry and more.

Our Careers and Employability Service

As a USW student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate.

This includes: one-to-one appointments from faculty based Career Advisers, in person, over the phone or even on Skype and through email via the "Ask a Question" service. We also have extensive online resources for help with considering your career options and presenting yourself well to employers. Resources include psychometric tests, career assessments, a CV builder, interview simulator and application help. Our employer database has over 2,000 registered employers targeting USW students, you can receive weekly email alerts for jobs.

Our Careers service has dedicated teams: A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements; an employability development team which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge; and an Enterprise team focused on new business ideas and entrepreneurship.