BA (Hons)

Fashion and Textile Design

A creative and enterprising course encompassing the fast-paced fashion industry

W990UCAS code 3yrsfull time 1yrplacement option

Star Course Overview

Why take this course?

Fashion and textiles are vibrant, exciting and forward-thinking global industries and the creative relationship between these industries is the driving energy of this course.

You will gain a practical understanding of the construction processes involved in textile design in order to produce your own garments. This course offers an experimental and entrepreneurial approach to fashion and textile design supplying you with the expertise to create original designs from distinctive ideas and concepts.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

  • Work with current contemporary fashion and textile design companies
  • Enter international and national design competitions
  • Participate in setting up and running a fashion and textile company as part of your course
  • Exhibit your work at graduate showcases
  • Visit our course blog to find out more, or take a look at our Pinterest blog to view our students' work

What opportunities might it lead to?

Our graduates are successfully working in a broad range of related employment including running their own businesses. This course focuses on developing multi-skilled, highly employable graduates with adaptable creative thinking in fashion and textile design. You will be well equipped to work in a variety of contexts from small and medium-sized enterprises to multinational corporations.

Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:

  • design
  • buying
  • visual merchandising
  • teaching
  • running their own businesses
Stephanie de Gois, BA (Hons) Fashion and Textile Design student 2012

The course has helped me see my visual difference amongst other designers in the industry.

Stephanie de Gois, BA (Hons) Fashion and Textile Design student 2012

Compare this course through UNISTATS

Key Facts

UCAS Course Code:
3 years full time, 4 years sandwich with work placement
240-300 points from A levels or equivalent, with 100 points from an A level in an Art & Design subject. Or Foundation Art & Design or National Diploma in Art & Design. Applicants may be subject to interview. A portfolio is essential. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5. Other qualifications

15/16 entry: UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man full-time students: £9,000 p/a*
15/16 entry: International full-time students: £11,500 p/a**

*Please note that the tuition fee may be subject to annual increase.
**Please note that the tuition fee is subject to annual increase.

+44 (0)23 9284 2421
School of Art and Design
Programme specification


Art and Design

Find out what our students say about studying at Portsmouth, including:

  • The creative atmosphere that encourages students to explore their own interests and ideas
  • The excellent facilities which you will have access to
  • Exhibiting, curating and promoting your work, preparing you for future employment

Browse all courses in Art and Design

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Light bulb Structure & Teaching

Year one

Your first year focuses on the development of manual and digital skills such as drawing and mark-making to sewing and construction techniques. You will also learn the value of good visual and verbal presentation.

Core units in this year include:

  • Digital Designing for Fashion and Textiles
  • Introduction to Core Skills
  • Development of Core Skills
  • Design Research and Development
  • Design Resolutions
  • Introduction to Visual Culture

Year two

You will enrich and expand your knowledge of fashion and textiles design by learning to produce well-considered fashion and textiles collections that are professionally presented through the process ‘design, make, sell’.

Core units in this year include:

  • Enterprise Planning and Retail
  • Enterprise Production and Manufacture
  • Intermediate Design Research and Development
  • Intermediate Design Resolutions
  • Live Project

Options to choose from in this year include:

  • Visual Culture: Art, Science and Visual Culture   
  • Visual Culture: Cult Films and Postmodernism
  • Visual Culture: Design, Style and Identity
  • Visual Culture: Issues of Representation
  • Visual Culture: Technology and the Image
  • Music: Practice, Performance and Research
  • Professional Experience
  • Student Enterprise

Year three*

This year is primarily self-led and will reflect your individual interests and areas of expertise. It will result in the design and production of a professional standard fashion/textiles collection. You'll also create a professional, innovative and imaginative portfolio to match your personal career ambitions.

Core units in this year include:

  • Self-Initiated Design Briefs and Student Competitions
  • Employability, Professional Practice and Portfolio
  • Advanced Design Research and Development
  • Final Design Resolution

Options to choose from in this year include:

  • Visual Culture: Dissertation
  • Visual Culture: Research Project

*This course is also available as a 4-year sandwich (work placement)

Teaching and Assessment

You will be taught by a team of highly-qualified staff, who maintain contact with industry to ensure that the course remains current. A variety of engaging teaching methods are offered – workshops, lectures, tutorials and seminars, as well as studio-based project work. There are also many extracurricular opportunities to get involved in such as running workshops for schools, joining craft meetings, plus the chance to exhibit your work in fashion shows.

How are you assessed?

There are no exams on this course and learning becomes more independent as the course progresses. Here’s how we assess your work:

  • written coursework
  • briefs set by industry/live competitions
  • self-led projects such as designing, producing and managing your own collection
  • a 10,000-word dissertation

Elaine Igoe

Tutor's view

Elaine Igoe
Fashion and Textile Design

Our students’ work is diverse and individual; from trend-aware and commercial to trend-setting and conceptual. We nurture an enterprising approach to fashion and textile design in our students, encouraging them to network through live projects, competitions and opportunities for work placements. We are extremely proud of our multi-skilled, highly employable graduates.

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Monitor Facilities & Features

Design Studios

From pattern-cutting and embroidery facilities, to a garment construction studio and a variety of digital print studios, with Macs and PCs running industry-standard software, our design facilities can cater to whatever project you are working on.

Print Workshops

Take advantage of our many workshops such as the printmaking, 3D and photographic workshops. Our excellent facilities include a digital darkroom, lightbox room and computer suites.

University Library

Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.

Phoebe Quare, BA (Hons) Fashion and Textile Design student

I love working in the print room – it is a place where we can discuss and share our ideas, and the rooms are spacious enough for us to set out our work and fabric.

Phoebe Quare, BA (Hons) Fashion and Textile Design student

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Mortarboard Careers & Opportunities

Career prospects

Where next?
Where next?

Our graduates are pursuing exciting careers in a variety of jobs. They are working as fashion and textile designer, buyers, stylists, in fashion promotion and marketing to name a few. The enterprise element of this course has also enabled some of our graduates to set up their own creative design businesses and trade successfully, selling work through an array of outlets.

Graduates from this course have been successful in finding work with these big names:

  • Burberry
  • Marks and Spencer
  • Swarovski
  • TopShop
  • Fat Face
  • Primark
  • BHS
  • Jasper Conran

Work experience

Employment boosting opportunities
Employment boosting opportunities

The subjects of fashion and textiles rely on practical abilities and employers will want to see evidence of the work you have achieved during your studies.

Therefore, we aim to provide you with as many real-life opportunities as possible. Whether it be working alongside local businesses or putting on a fashion show, all are great ways to show employers that you can apply these experiences to professional practice once you graduate.

This course also allows you to take the Learning From Experience (LiFE) option, which lets you earn credits toward your degree for work/research placements, volunteer roles or internships undertaken alongside your studies. This gives you the opportunity to enhance your employability skills, reflect on the ways in which you've done so, and learn to express this to potential employers.

Career planning

Career planning
Career planning
6.04 minutes

Finding a job is a competitive business, but the statistics show that 88 per cent of our 2013 graduates went into employment, further study or training within six months of finishing their degrees.

To make sure you take the right steps on your career path, we’re here to give you help, support and advice throughout your study. Even after you’ve graduated, we continue to give you support for up to five years.

Employers tell us that they want graduates to be able to demonstrate certain skills when they come out of university. Our courses take account of this. We make sure we prepare you for employment through work-related learning, projects, placements and working in simulated environments that are designed to prepare you for the working world.

Ami Lowman, BA (Hons) Fashion and Textile Design graduate

Mia Mai, a unique and charming local design label was founded in 2007 by University of Portsmouth graduate Ami Lowman. Ami, who left Portsmouth with a first in BA (Hons) Fashion and Textile Design had so many ideas of her own and a drive to succeed that working for someone else was simply not an option. Mia Mai was to act as a showcase of her inspirations and passion, and since launching Mia Mai has debuted customised vintage collections, bespoke lingerie design, jewellery and illustrative artwork.

You can keep up to date with all the recent work Ami is creating on her Mia Mai website.


Ami Lowman, BA (Hons) Fashion and Textile Design graduate


Ami Lowman
BA (Hons) Fashion and Textile Design graduate

My course was designed to make you think about the real world. In the final year we had to create a project with a strong brand identity and that’s when the idea of Mia Mai began. Now when people buy something Mia Mai, they are buying a piece of me, my ideas, my drawings.

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Visit us

Our next Open Day is Saturday 1 November, 2014

VISIT US! Have a look around and get a feel for what it’s like to live and study here. We’ll be on hand to talk to you about your course interests and show you all of our amazing facilities. You’ll also get to meet tutors and other students…

Book now

Application, Fees and Funding — find out more