BA (Hons) Fashion and Textile Design - University of Portsmouth
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BA (Hons)

Fashion and Textile Design

UCAS codeW990

full time3yrs

placement option1yr

Developing fashion and textile designers with the creativity and skills the industry needs.

Course Overview

Why take this course?

Studying fashion and textile design at the University of Portsmouth you can expect to develop distinctive, creative, industry relevant design expertise, making you an attractive candidate for a wide range of employment opportunities. We offer a unique educational experience that integrates fashion and textile design processes with business knowledge.

We are ranked 8th in The Guardian's University League tables 2018 for fashion and textiles.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

  • Work with current contemporary fashion and textile design companies
  • Enter international and national design competitions, such as FAD
  • Participate in setting up and running a fashion and textile company as part of your course
  • Exhibit your work at graduate showcases, such as New Designers

Visit our course blog to find out more, or take a look at our Pinterest blog to view our students' work.

Also view our virtual catwalk - the 2016 graduate showcase.

What opportunities might it lead to?

Our graduates are working internationally, shaping the industry in a broad range of related employment including running their own fashion and textile labels. Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:

  • Fashion, Textile or Accessories Design
  • Trend Prediction
  • Freelancers
  • Buying
  • Business Owners/Entrepreneurs
  • Visual Merchandising/Stylists
  • Teachers + Lecturers
  • Public Relations / Marketing
  • Journalists + Writers


Abeda Siddique, BA (Hons) Fashion and Textile Design student 2015

The highlight of this course has to be being able to work alongside actual designers and companies in the industry.

Abeda Siddique, BA (Hons) Fashion and Textile Design student 2015


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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Structure & Teaching

Year one

Your first year focuses on the development of core specialist skills such as drawing, digital design, research, pattern-cutting and construction techniques. You will explore and demonstrate these skills as you create your own fashion and textile designs. Core units in this year include:

  • Core Skills: Fashion
  • Core Skills: Textiles
  • Digital Designing for Fashion and Textiles
  • Design Research and Development
  • Design Resolutions 
  • Introduction to Visual Culture (Fashion and Textile Design)

Year two

You will experience a range of industry and enterprise-focused units that include trend forecasting, designer collaborations and the setting up of your own fashion and textiles label.

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 currently include:

  • Visual Culture: Cult Films and Postmodernism
  • Visual Culture: Design, Style and Identity
  • Visual Culture: Issues of Representation
  • Visual Culture: Performing Identity
  • Visual Culture: Technology and the Image
  • Visual Culture: Visions of the body
  • Professional Experience
  • Student Enterprise

Year three*

You will develop a distinctive professional portfolio in both fashion and textile design. You'll create an innovative and professionally presented graduate-level major collection that is representative and relevant to your chosen filed and market expectations.

Core units in this year include:

  • Self-Initiated Design Briefs and Student Competitions
  • Advanced Design Research
  • Advanced Design Development
  • Final Design Resolution

Options to choose from in this year include:

  • Professional Strategies
  • Visual Culture: Dissertation
  • Visual Culture: Research Project
  • Visual Culture: Research Paper
  • Visual Culture: Extended research Project

We use the best and most current research and professional practice, alongside feedback from our students, to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.

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

Placement year

Between the second and third years of study you will have the option to undertake a work placement year. There are two exciting options for the placement year:

We offer a range of salaried professional placements as part of your degree.  You can gain invaluable work experience to help you prepare for your graduate employment. The University can provide you with advice on how to secure a work placement that matches both the needs of your degree and your future career plans, as well as giving you useful links and contacts.

Interested in running your own business instead? We also offer students the chance to start-up and run their own company for a year as an alternative to the traditional work-based placement. Students who choose this option often start-up their companies with fellow, like-minded students, working together, as a bona fide operation, in an attempt to build a successful venture. The Faculty and University provide mentoring and support throughout the year.

To find out more visit our Employability and Enterprise page.


Our principle focus is on the student’s holistic learning of the complete design process and the acquisition of specialist skills that are relevant to the industry. You’ll be taught how to develop an original design aesthetic and your creative potential will be challenged and encouraged throughout your study. Our teaching principles are centred on a profound respect for traditional studio practice and craftsmanship supported by research led teaching. Our curriculum is enhanced by visiting lecturers, speakers and industry leaders; allowing our students to participate in and shape the most current trend forecasts and debates pertinent to the fashion and textiles industry.

The time you spend in teaching activities may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year typically spent their time as follows:

  • Year one students: 33% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 67% studying independently and 0% on work placement
  • Year two students: 29% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 71% studying independently and 0% on work placement
  • Year three students: 27% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 73% studying independently and 0% on work placement


There are no exams on this course and learning becomes more independent as the course progresses.

Here’s how we assess your work:

  • research and developmental work
  • industry set briefs/live competitions
  • fashion and/or textile collections
  • digital designs and design boards
  • making and construction skills
  • group work
  • written essays or reports

The way you’re assessed may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:

  • Year one students: 0% by written exams, 0% by practical exams and 100% by coursework
  • Year two students: 0% by written exams, 0% by practical exams and 100% by coursework
  • Year three students: 0% by written exams, 0% by practical exams and 100% by coursework

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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Facilities & Features

Design Studios

Our bright and modern design studio offers excellent access to workshop facilities and is a creative, buzzing atmosphere where you will interact with staff and other students. Alongside this, the Eldon Production Centre offers lazercutting, 3D printing and digital fabric printing. The photographic workshops and computer suites are very well equipped, including Macs and PCs running up-to-date industry-standard software. 


Our excellent workshops can cater to whatever project you are working on, all supported by skilled technicians. The sewing workshop provides pattern-cutting facilities, a range of industrial sewing machines including digital embroidery, while the fabric print workshop allows you to explore a range of textile techniques.    

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.

Guest Speakers

We arrange a diverse programme of guest speakers to encourage aspiration and industry awareness. Recent speakers include: David Longshaw (Fashion Designer), Caryn Franklin (Journalist and Fashion Commentator), WGSN (Trend Forecasting Company), Federica Tedeschi (Textile Designer).

Budgeting for your studies

There are extra costs associated with studying, which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.

Recommended texts:
If you wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow from the University Library, the average price is £50-£60. You may be studying up to 6 units a year, each with a standard recommended text.

General costs:
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for costs of photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

Final year project:
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose to develop.

Other costs to consider


You will incur extra printing costs on portfolio work of around £100 - £600. Material and production costs vary from around £100 - £500 per year.

Any study trips are optional and you will be expected to pay full cost. Optional study trips abroad will cost in the region of £200 - £800. UK trips, where offered, will be £50 - £150.


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Careers & Opportunities

Career prospects

Career prospects
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 equips our graduates to set up their own creative design businesses. Graduates from this course have been successful in finding work with these international companies:

  • Ralph Lauren
  • Marks and Spencer
  • River Island
  • Monsoon Accessorize
  • Fat Face
  • Hugo Boss
  • Matthew Williamson

Work experience

Work experience
Employment boosting opportunities

Here at the CCI’s Creative Careers Centre we are committed to improving your employability. Whether it’s placements, self-employed placements, internships, short-term work experiences, freelancing opportunities and volunteering, we will help you find valuable and relevant work experience to complement your degree. The experienced team is always on hand to offer advice on everything from producing high-quality applications through to preparation for a company assessment day.

Career planning

Career planning

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

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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Apply now or visit us

Apply for 2018 entry

To apply, you'll need this course's UCAS code, which is at the top of this page, and the University of Portsmouth institution code – P80.

Apply now

After you apply, we'll invite you to an Applicant Experience Day where you’ll get to speak to lecturers and meet your future classmates.

Open Days for courses starting in 2019

Come to an Open Day and explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.

Book your Open Day

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.

University of Portsmouth
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Portsmouth PO1 2UP

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