Our BA (Hons) Fashion Design is a three-year, full time, practice-based course that embraces the diversity of fashion in the 21st century.

In close alignment with the fashion industry we offer inspirational visiting speakers, live projects and competitions, industry visits, and invites to fashion events, all of which authenticate the currency of our course and its ability to produce ‘industry-ready’ graduates. Our dedicated teaching team, along with award winning facilities, support the development of practice-based skills, professional attitudes and intellectual abilities which are necessary to succeed as a professional fashion practitioner.

Throughout your studies, gallery and residential visits offer a cultural insight into the fashion ecology and inspire your work. You will also explore the context of historical and contemporary fashion and the wider factors that influence fashion design thinking including gender, sustainable practice and ethics, enabling you to become an informed fashion design thinker whilst recognising your identity as a creative fashion design practitioner.

Our established relationships with the fashion industry offer you the opportunity to enhance your portfolio and increase your awareness of the professional attitudes expected by potential employers. Working with partners we offer opportunities to enter high profile competitions, attend seminars/presentations and showcase your work on a variety of platforms. In the past our students have benefited from opportunities such as the British Fashion Council’s ‘Colleges Council’ and Graduate Fashion Week.


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What You'll Study

Year One — You will be introduced to the process of fashion concept development, colour awareness and application, material use and behaviour, fashion illustration, portfolio presentation, digital applications for design, pattern-drafting and garment production.

Year Two — You will continue to develop your work process and presentation skills, and further engage with live projects, competitions, and industry events to expand and enhance your professionalism. The Menswear module will introduce you to the principles of designing for this discipline, and, through pattern cutting and garment production, you will combine traditional tailoring techniques with contemporary design. Through the Fashion Design Practice module, you will explore and apply the technique of creative pattern cutting, as integral to the design process, to realise ‘creative cut’ concepts into final garments.

Year Three — This self-directed final year takes a holistic approach to your practice through a body of work that is supported by reflective and critical writing, and culminates in the realisation of your graduate collection, which reflects your individual philosophy, positioning, and career aspirations as a fashion designer/maker. Live projects will further enhance your portfolio in preparation for employment.

Work Experience

Work experience covers a broad range of activities and students are encouraged to undertake work placements during their time at University. Our Careers, Employability and Enterprise team offer support that enhances employability skills and underpins engagement with industry.

Examples of work experience that our students have secured include: Alexander McQueen (Paris), Vivienne Westwood, ASOS, Patta (Amsterdam), Tom Ford, Christian Dior Couture (Paris), KTZ, Aitor Throup, Marques’ Almeida, Peter Pilotto, London Fashion Week, River Island, Max Mara.


Our students have had prize-winning entries put into production that have led to offers of employment and exposure in national media. Recent accolades include:

  • Finalist of The Golden Shears Tailoring Competition 2017 and 2019
  • Finalist of the Graduate Fashion Week 2016 Vivienne Westwood Ethical Award
  • Finalists of the Graduate Fashion Week 2018 Johnston’s of Elgin Considered Design Award
  • Finalist of the Graduate Fashion Week 2018 Lectra Iconic Design Award, in association with Vivienne Westwood
  • Student work featured in Vogue Italia and Vogue Brazil 2018
  • Students featured in 2018 Drapers/GFW ‘Stars of Tomorrow’ feature


Course Specification

Destination Careers

The fashion industry is ever diversifying, and there are many opportunities for our Fashion Design graduates. Typically, careers include positions in fashion design, fashion buying, garment technology, including pattern cutting. Some graduates choose to take on freelance work, or set up their own company. 

Entry Requirements

We’re looking for students with the best potential to succeed - irrespective of their background. That’s why we welcome a wide range of qualifications and experience.

Click here to view our entry requirements

Portfolio Guide

Sketchbook/developmental work that demonstrates the processes that you have explored, leading up to the final outcomes in a well-presented, cohesive portfolio, will be essential first impressions at your interview.

At this stage in your career we would much rather see experimental and innovative developmental work rather than all finished work. We would like to see a personal and well-presented portfolio; there is no need for heavy card and plastic sleeves. We do not need to see all the work you have produced - around 20-30 samples in your main portfolio would be ideal.

The following guidance is intended as a general check-list, but this is open to your individual interpretation, as it is important that you show your unique creative identity through your work.

As a general rule, we would expect to see examples of:

  • Drawing; ‘thinking through drawing’ and illustrative examples.
  • Colour and material considerations and application.
  • A critical approach to the developmental stages of your work, through sketches and annotations.
  • Design/concept development.
  • Photographs of 2D and 3D work.
  • Extended critical writing through a critical diary, essay, or similar.

We also run a range of daytime and evening portfolio development courses specialising in preparation for further and higher art and design education. For more information on current courses please click here.

Interview Guide

When you arrive at reception you will be met by a student ambassador who will take you to the studio where you will be asked to lay out your work.

You will be given a brief written exercise (it is not a test) that you can do whilst you are waiting for your interview.

Whilst you have been doing this the course staff will have been looking at your work. You will then have a 15 minute personal interview with a member of the course team. Since we interview several students in one half day session, you should be prepared to be in the University for up to three hours.

If you have had to travel long distances and have a train pre-booked, please let us know in advance and we will try to arrange the timing of your interview so you can get away in time.


This is identified from one or more of the following:

The ability to generate and develop a range of creative ideas in response to briefs.

  • Portfolio
  • Sketchbooks
  • Photos of examples of practical work

To be able to engage with experimentation in the use of a variety of media and materials.

  • Portfolio
  • Sketchbooks
  • Photos of examples of practical work

Enthusiasm for studying at a specialist art and design University.

  • Personal statement
  • Interview

Contact Hours & Teaching/Learning Methods

Undergraduate degree programmes at Leeds Arts University are delivered and supported through a range of teaching and learning strategies. Programmes are made up of modules, these are elements of study that are taught and assessed separately. Each module carries a clearly identified credit value, the accumulation of which will allow you to progress to the next level of the programme. 100 hours of learning are expected for every ten credits of the programme. Each level (year) of the programme is made up of 120 credits and therefore requires 1200 hours of learning. This equates to 40 hours of study per week throughout the academic year.

For every 100 hours of learning, approximately 25 hours are delivered as taught or supported sessions and remaining hours are allocated for studio/workshop access and independent learning. Individual programmes have their own learning cultures based on their specific use of the teaching and learning methods listed here. These methods feature differently depending on the programme, level, aims of module, content of the sessions and progress through an academic year.

For further information see our Undergraduate teaching & learning at Leeds Arts University document.

Tuition Fees and Other Costs

Tuition Fees

Our current fees are listed here

Other Costs

Further costs of study are related largely to the costs of materials and depend very much on how individual students choose to respond to University briefs. The costs below are the result of asking our students to state how much they spend during the year and creating an average, as such they are indicative only.

Equipment & Materials

  • Level 4 (First Year) Module Related Costs - £120-£160 (approximately)
  • Level 5 (Second Year) Module Related Costs - £200 (approximately)
  • Level 6 (Third Year) Module Related Costs - £440 (this is only a guideline, as costs of some level 6 modules are entirely dependent upon individual students’ direction).


Level 4 students are taken on a 3 day Residential, usually to London and usually in November. The cost is approximately £170 for travel and accommodation plus individual spending money.

All Fashion Design students will be offered the opportunity to attend other cultural or specific fashion related trips. These trips will range from day trips to, for example a 3 day European Residential. The cost of these trips varies each year and is likely to be in the region of £250-£350 for Europe. There may also be the opportunity for Fashion Design students to join students from other courses on a long-haul trip (i.e. Tokyo/New York), usually of approx. 6 day duration.

We provide support for undergraduate students dependent upon their financial circumstances. Visit Undergraduate Financial Support for further information.

Terms & Conditions and Key Information

Our Terms & Conditions are here.

If you would like to download the Key Information on this course click here.

International Opportunities / Visiting and exchange students

We are delighted to welcome undergraduate visiting and exchange students from Europe and around the world who would like to spend a semester or a full academic year taking credits from our exciting range of courses. You will be fully integrated into the academic and social life of the University during a period of full-time supervised study and your credits transferred back to your home institution.

You can join us through programmes such as Erasmus+, individual university partnerships or as an independent applicant. Please see here for more information and how to apply.

Leeds Arts University students interested in spending some time overseas can find information on the international opportunities available during your course here.

Questions? Contact international@leeds-art.ac.uk

Apply Now

Please apply direct to the University for our BA (Hons) Fashion Design course using the links below.

Home/EU applicants

Click here to apply via UCAS

International applicants

Click here to apply directly

If you need any assistance completing the form please contact the Admissions team at admissions@leeds-art.ac.uk or call us on 0113 280 8000.


3 Years
Study Mode
Full Time
Institution Name
Leeds Arts University
Institution Code
Awarded by
Leeds Arts University

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“We will give you the confidence to question perceived norms, take risks, experiment, to discover your identity as a fashion design practitioner."
Sam Hudson-Miles, Course Leader
BA (Hons) Fashion Design