BA (Hons)

Fashion and Textile Design

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

W990UCAS code 3yrsfull time 1yrplacement option

Star 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.

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.

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
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.

For details see terms and conditions

+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 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: • 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 experience a range of industry and enterprise focused units that include trend forecasting, designer collaborations and the setting up of your fashion and textiles label. You can decide whether you wish to specialize in either fashion or textiles or continue to study both.

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*

You will develop a distinctive and professional portfolio of fashion and/or textiles collections originated through self-initiated research or major design competition briefs, setting you up to achieve your own personal career ambitions.

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:
  • Visual Culture: Dissertation
  • Visual Culture: Research Project

This course is also available as a four-year sandwich course including a work placement.

*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:

  • Professional/industrial placements – work for a company or organisation on a professional placement year
  • Self-employed placement year – set up and run a business on your own or as a group

To find out more visit our Placements page.

Teaching and Assessment

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.

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:

  • 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

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

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).

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 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

Employment boosting opportunities
Employment boosting opportunities

You will be encouraged to undertake work placements or other extra-curricular opportunities to enhance the knowledge and skills you are developing on the course. Employers see these activities as an essential part of demonstrating your potential. Some students select to take a placement year in which they can pursue longer internships or set up their own business with the support of lecturers and other University services. Our successful alumni as well as our strong industry links regularly offer internships or other opportunities to our current students.

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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