Fashion BA (Hons)

Why choose this course?

Our Fashion BA (Hons) degree was ranked No.1 in London for Fashion in The Guardian University Guide league table 2023 and was one of a handful of worldwide institutions to be awarded four badges of excellence by the Business of Fashion (for Best Overall, Best in Global Influence, Best in Learning Experience and Best in Long-term Value). We have been ranked in the top 25 Fashion Schools in the World, and one of only three in the UK, by Fashionista, the influential and trusted source of fashion news. View the 2019 Fashionista rankings.

The course focuses on evolution and radical change in design. You will explore how design is influenced by cultural, social, critical and historical studies.

You will develop your own signature style, experimenting across sketch work, 2D to 3D, knitwear and digital print in Kingston School of Art's workshops and dedicated fashion design studios. You will also have access to our working dress archive which includes pieces from 1750 to the present day, including the recently-acquired Sibling knitwear archive. Our curator also works closely with Bath Fashion Museum.

Our strong industry links mean you will learn to apply creativity to the real-world and will be industry-ready on graduation.

Kingston alumni have gained senior positions in global fashion companies including Burberry, Calvin Klein, Paul Smith, All Saints, Alexander McQueen, Club Monaco, Margiela and Saint Laurent. Other graduates have achieved success with their own labels including Sophie Hulme, Joshua Kane, Charli Cohen and Amy Powney, Design Director for Mother of Pearl.

Attendance UCAS code Year of entry
3 years full time W230 2023
4 years full time including sandwich year W231 2023

For 2023 entry please ensure your application is submitted before the UCAS January deadline 2023 as this course may not be in a position to consider applications submitted after this date.

Please note: We do not accept applications for Year 2 (Level 5) or 3 (Level 6) entry onto this course.

Location Kingston School of Art, Knights Park

Reasons to choose Kingston

  • Kingston is ranked No.1 in London and No.2 in the UK for fashion and textiles (Guardian university league table 2023).
  • This course has been awarded the Creative Skillset Tick (Fashion Design category), which recognises outstanding courses and their contribution to the creative industries.
  • Kingston is one of just a handful of worldwide institutions to be awarded four Badges of Excellence by the Business of Fashion.

The Art School Experience

As part of Kingston School of Art, students on this course benefit from joining a creative community where collaborative working and critical practice are encouraged.

Our workshops and studios are open to all disciplines, enabling students and staff to work together, share ideas and explore multi-disciplinary making.

Two students collaborate on a design project.

2019 BA (Hons) Fashion Graduate Outcomes

See the inspirational designs from our 2019 graduating students, which represent the culmination of three years of study on the Fashion BA (Hons) degree at Kingston University.

What you will study

You will study all aspects of the design process from research and design development to creating garments using cut and construction. Critical and historical studies will underpin and inspire your studio projects.

Modules

Year 1

Year 2

Optional year

Final year

Year 1 introduces design process covering all the 2D aspects of fashion design, and design product covering all 3D aspects. You will explore knitted and printed textiles, fashion styling, photography, pattern cutting and draping to create shape. Our fashion illustration classes and workshops in Photoshop, Adobe, pattern cutting, knitting and sewing techniques are delivered to support studio classes.

Core modules

Design Process 1

30 credits

Design Process will complement FN4003 - Design Product 1. Throughout the delivery of Design Process 1, there will be an emphasis on challenging traditional methods and innovation through Research Design Development and Presentation, which is continually underpinned by drawing and the realisation of 2D sketchbook work in relation to initial 3D prototypes.

Design Product 1

30 credits

Design Product 1 will complement Design Process 1 in the realisation of a final toile and/ or knitted piece. Projects will focus on various aspects of the design resolution process leading to the making of a product using taught technical skills. Research will include studying the in-house dress archive to replicate and produce a contemporary piece.

Professional Practice 1

30 credits

This module complements Design Process 1 and Design Product 1 modules and introduces broader fashion skills such as textiles, imagery through photography fashion illustration and digital design skills. The module is made up of a number of projects which focus on historical research, contemporary design and social aspects. This module introduces students to professional world skills such as time management and presentation skills.

Design, Style and Image: Themes in Fashion History

30 credits

This module presents thematic approaches to the study of fashion as an historical subject through image-based lectures, screenings and study visits. Students will be introduced to the historical development of fashion and dress from the 1750s to the present day. Each session is intended to address particular ideas and practices that have shaped and constructed our contemporary understanding of fashion as both a productive profession and as a meaningful social and cultural activity.

In Year 2 you will participate in live, sponsored projects and international competitions. You will experience professional practice through a careers module, including talks by concept designers, retailers, stylists and recruitment agencies, plus CV writing workshops and role playing for interviews.

You will explore trend through concept design and work in teams on a sustainable design project that is exhibited in London.

Core modules

Design Process 2

30 credits

This module is split into different projects sponsored by different professional practitioners and industrial sponsors. Building on students' prior learning, students will continue to research and design to a given brief. The projects are two-dimensionally based and will be assessed by the submission of a portfolio including all development work and a final presentation suitable to show to external sponsors.

Professional Practice 2

30 credits

The aim of this module is to enable you to build on prior knowledge to assess yourself in relation to the profession of fashion design. It is expected that you will be developing a body of work as evidence of your achievements through group work, interview techniques and CV writing. You will begin to plan your professional portfolio as preparation for Professional Practice 3 module in Level 6.

Design Product 2

30 credits

This module is split into projects and covers the three-dimensional aspect of industrially sponsored projects. The designs in the two-dimensional portfolio within Design Process 2 will inform the realisation of a prototype (toile) garment or finalised outfit. The garments will either be completed in calico or in appropriate fabric depending on the project brief. The project may include knitwear as a final three-dimensional piece and be produced in the appropriate yarns.

Critical Issues in Fashion: Research and Practice

30 credits

This module builds on the historical and thematic content introduced at Level 4 and emphasises the theorisation of contemporary fashion practice. A series of lectures, seminars, workshops, tutorials, screenings and visits informs and supports your own emerging research interests and the development of independent visual and academic research skills that cross history/theory and design practise. Lectures and seminars will deepen critical and theoretical engagement with contemporary issues in fashion. Seminar tasks and assessments are carefully designed to foreground projects that support the location of fashion as a discipline. Research methodologies are introduced though case studies and practical activities that reflect the issues explored through the module's contemporary content.

At the end of Year 2, you will have the opportunity to take a year out to study abroad and gain work experience overseas.

Our Study Abroad or Erasmus programmes are located in Berlin, Amsterdam, Paris, Milan ,Hong Kong, New York, Seoul Paris and Toronto. We have a dedicated placement officer within the fashion department to support the placement programme.

Students on the Sandwich year will receive a Certificate of Industrial Experience for satisfactory completion of the required placement module.

The final year is about creating your own collection and portfolio and entering the British Fashion Council competitions including Mulberry, Burberry, Pringle and Chloe. All students show at the degree fashion show in Kingston; selected students show at the London press show and exhibit at Graduate Fashion Week in London. Kingston Fashion Show hosts a pre-show reception for press and industry contacts, which has previously been sponsored by Fenwick, Brooks Brothers, Dewhirst, Overbury and Bentalls.

 

Core modules

Design Process 3

30 credits

This module is a combination of a preparation for the Final Major Project in the form of a pre-collection project folder and the choice of a selected external competition.

Final Major Project

60 credits

This module covers all 2D and 3D aspects relating to the development of the final collection and exit portfolio. It is the 'capstone' project, which is the culmination of your learning over the three years. The module will cover the three main stages of designing for fashion, research, design development and presentation. As a designer you will be supported by a design tutor and a pattern cutting tutor to realise the main body of work, this will reflect industry practice and enable you to engage with a team collaborating to create original work.

The 2D Project Folder will contain collection development, promotional package and a technical folder. Collection development within this module will support the three-dimensional outcome of a capsule collection. Through discussion with the teaching team and with formative feedback you will decide the focus of your major project (Final Project Folder), which will be either 2D or 3D focused.

Dissertation: Research and Reflection

30 credits

Building on the links between research and practice embedded at Level 5, the Critical and Historical Studies (CHS) Dissertation: Research and Reflection module focuses on in-depth research, critical enquiry and reflection on questions and critical issues emerging in students' own practice, and pertinent to the practice of their own discipline.

Over the module, students will initiate and develop an individual research topic; identify and evaluate appropriate archives, bodies of critical literature, visual/material sources and research methods; manage their study time; engage with and respond to tutorial dialogue and peer feedback, and apply critical and analytical skills to produce a 7-8000 word written Dissertation, supported by a series of lectures, seminars and tutorials.

Please note

Optional modules only run if there is enough demand. If we have an insufficient number of students interested in an optional module, that module will not be offered for this course.

Entry requirements

Typical offer 2023

UCAS tariff points: 128-144

Level 3 qualifications, in Art and Design subjects (A-levels, BTEC Diploma, Access Diploma, IB Diploma, etc.). The preferred entry route is to first take a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design or recognised equivalent course.

Please note: Applications are only accepted for Level 4 (Year 1) entry and cannot be accepted and considered for Level 5 (Year 2) or Level 6 (Year 3) entry due to how the course is structured.

Additional requirements

Entry onto this course will require submission of a digital portfolio as part of the application process. Further details about the portfolio will also be sent via email after submission of application.

See portfolio guidance below for more information about how to prepare your portfolio.

International

All non-UK applicants must meet our English Language requirements. For this course it is Academic IELTS of 6.0 overall, with no element below 5.5.

Make sure you read our full guidance about English language requirements, which includes details of other qualifications we consider.

Applicants who do not meet the English language requirements could be eligible to join our pre-sessional English language course.

Applicants from a recognised majority English speaking countries (MESCs) do not need to meet these requirements.

Country-specific information

You will find more information on country specific entry requirements in the International section of our website.

Find your country:

Portfolio guidance

You will be required to submit a portfolio of work and a personal statement to support your application.

Digital portfolio content

The portfolio should be fashion focused and give a snapshot of your work to date and does not need to include finished work if this is not available. This means presenting evidence of thinking about and testing ideas, e.g. pages from sketchbooks, development ideas, worksheets, and notebooks. Whilst we want to see research and development work, make sure that the majority of the portfolio is your own work rather than the work of artists/designers that have inspired you.

The Fashion BA (Hons) course is interested in your high standards of drawing and how these apply to your research skills, so examples of these should be evidenced, through observation/life drawing location drawing and related creative ideas.

There should be a range of projects showing use of different media and at least one specialist fashion design project should be included. The Fashion Project should be presented from the beginning (brief) to end (outcome), showing the full working process of how you arrived at your outcome.

Within the portfolio five pages should be dedicated to showing us visually who you are as an individual, what you are interested in and what inspires you. This could be an additional personal project to your coursework or visual information that communicates one thing that we should know about you e.g. drawings of a location/objects you find inspiring, paintings of a hobby/activity you enjoy, photos of events or moments you find interesting, or are passionate about.

You may have also a moving image/film which can be uploaded to Vimeo, Flickr or YouTube and supply links in your portfolio – please check that the link you send works.

Digital portfolio format

  • 25-30 pages
  • Landscape layout
  • Saved as a PDF file

How will your portfolio be reviewed?

Due to the possibility of travel restrictions relating to Covid-19 the Kingston School of Art (KSA) courses will not be able to undertake interviews. The Course staff team and student panel will undertake the selection process, considering the quality of your creative practice presented in your portfolio, your personal statement and your UCAS application with your supporting references.

Typical offer and UCAS points explained

Like most universities, we use the UCAS Tariff point system for our course entry requirements.

Find out more about UCAS Tariff points and see how A-level, AS level, BTEC Diploma and T-level qualifications translate to the points system.

Our students and graduates in the press

Gallery of student work

Teaching and assessment

Guided independent study (self-managed time)

When not attending timetabled sessions, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for final assignments. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS, the online virtual learning platform.

Academic support

Our academic support team here at Kingston University provides help in a range of areas.

Dedicated personal tutor

When you arrive, we'll introduce you to your personal tutor. This is the member of academic staff who will provide academic guidance, be a support throughout your time at Kingston and who will show you how to make the best use of all the help and resources that we offer at Kingston University.

Your workload

Time is spent in timetabled learning and teaching activity

  • Year 1: 41%
  • Year 2: 32%
  • Year 3: 26%

Contact hours may vary depending on your modules.

Type of learning and teaching

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 1
  • Scheduled learning and teaching: 494 hours
  • Guided independent study (self-managed time): 706 hours
Year 2
  • Scheduled learning and teaching: 388 hours
  • Guided independent study (self-managed time): 812 hours
Year 3
  • Scheduled learning and teaching: 314 hours
  • Guided independent study (self-managed time): 886 hours

How you will be assessed

Assessment typically comprises exams (e.g. test or exam), practical (e.g. presentations, performance) and coursework (e.g. essays, reports, self-assessment, portfolios and dissertation). The approximate percentage for how you will be assessed on this course is as follows, though depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose:

Type of assessment

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 1
  • Coursework: 100%
Year 2
  • Coursework: 100%
Year 3
  • Coursework: 100%

Feedback summary

We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.

Your timetable

Your individualised timetable is normally available to students within 48 hours of enrolment. Whilst we make every effort to ensure timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled learning and teaching can take place on any day of the week between 9am and 6pm. For undergraduate students, Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities, but there may be occasions when this is not possible. Timetables for part-time students will depend on the modules selected.

Class sizes

To give you an indication of class sizes, this course normally attracts 1,300 applicants for 104 places so is highly selective. Year group sizes start around 100 but are taught in the studio in groups of 13–26 for pattern cutting classes and workshops. These include individual and group tutorials of 6–10 students within the studio and seminar room. Lectures for the whole year group are delivered weekly alongside smaller seminar groups and tutorials. However this can vary by module and academic year.

Course fees and funding

2023/24 fees for this course

The tuition fee you pay depends on whether you are assessed as a 'Home' (UK), 'Islands' or 'International' student. In 2023/24 the fees for this course are:

 Fee category Amount
Home (UK students) £9,250*
International Year 1 (2023/24): £16,500
Year 2 (2024/25): £16,800
Year 3 (2025/26): £17,100

For courses with a sandwich year, the fee for the placement year can be viewed on the undergraduate fees table. The placement fee published is for the relevant academic year stated in the table. This fee is subject to annual increases but will not increase by more than the fee caps as prescribed by the Office for Students or such other replacing body.

* For full time programmes of a duration of more than one academic year, the published fee is an annual fee, payable each year, for the duration of the programme. Your annual tuition fees cover your first attempt at all of the modules necessary to complete that academic year. A re-study of any modules will incur additional charges calculated by the number of credits. Home tuition fees may be subject to annual increases but will not increase by more than the fee caps as prescribed by the Office for Students or such other replacing body. Full time taught International fees are subject to an annual increase and are published in advance for the full duration of the programme.

Eligible UK students can apply to the Government for a tuition loan, which is paid direct to the University. This has a low interest rate which is charged from the time the first part of the loan is paid to the University until you have repaid it.

2022/23 fees for this course

The tuition fee you pay depends on whether you are assessed as a 'Home' (UK), 'Islands' or 'International' student. In 2022/23 the fees for this course are:

 Fee category Amount
Home (UK students) £9,250*
International Year 1 (2022/23): £16,200
Year 2 (2023/24): £16,500
Year 3 (2024/25): £16,800

For courses with a sandwich year, the fee for the placement year can be viewed on the undergraduate fees table. The placement fee published is for the relevant academic year stated in the table. This fee is subject to annual increases but will not increase by more than the fee caps as prescribed by the Office for Students or such other replacing body.

* For full time programmes of a duration of more than one academic year, the published fee is an annual fee, payable each year, for the duration of the programme. Your annual tuition fees cover your first attempt at all of the modules necessary to complete that academic year. A re-study of any modules will incur additional charges calculated by the number of credits. Home tuition fees may be subject to annual increases but will not increase by more than the fee caps as prescribed by the Office for Students or such other replacing body. Full time taught International fees are subject to an annual increase and are published in advance for the full duration of the programme.

Eligible UK students can apply to the Government for a tuition loan, which is paid direct to the University. This has a low interest rate which is charged from the time the first part of the loan is paid to the University until you have repaid it.

Note for EU students: UK withdrawal from the European Union

The Government has recently announced that new students from the European Union and Swiss Nationals starting their course after August 2021 will no longer be eligible for a student loan in England for Undergraduate or Postgraduate studies for 2021/22 academic year. This decision only applies to new EU students starting in 2021/22. If you are an existing/continuing EU student, you will continue to be funded until you graduate or withdraw from your course.

Need to know more?

Our undergraduate fees and funding section provides information and advice on money matters.

Additional costs

Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs that are not covered by tuition fees which students will need to consider when planning their studies. Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, access to shared IT equipment and other support services. Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees. 

Where a course has additional expenses, we make every effort to highlight them. These may include optional field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering), security checks such as DBS, uniforms, specialist clothing or professional memberships.

Textbooks

Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. You may prefer to buy your own copy of key textbooks, this can cost between £50 and £250 per year.

Computer equipment

There are open-access networked computers available across the University, plus laptops available to loan. You may find it useful to have your own PC, laptop or tablet which you can use around campus and in halls of residences. Free WiFi is available on each of the campuses. You may wish to purchase your own computer, which can cost from £100 to £3,000 depending on your course requirements.

Photocopying and printing

In the majority of cases written coursework can be submitted online. There may be instances when you will be required to submit work in a printed format. Printing, binding and photocopying costs are not included in your tuition fees, this may cost up to £100 per year.

Travel

Travel costs are not included in your tuition fees but we do have a free intersite bus service which links the campuses, Surbiton train station, Kingston upon Thames train station, Norbiton train station and halls of residence.

Materials

For this course you will be involved in the process of making as a means of exploration, experimentation and understanding your practice. You will be using a diverse range of media and materials, many of which are provided by the department or sponsored by industry.

You will be given an equipment list during Induction Week to buy essential items at a discounted price that should last you throughout the course and beyond, these include:

  • pattern cutting scissors
  • cloth scissors
  • metre rules
  • bobbins

Specialist items for knitwear and sewing are provided on loan within the department. You may be required to produce toiles and finished garments for assessment. Fabric and yarns are sponsored and calico can be purchased in the department shop.

You may also wish to purchase your own chosen art materials, which could cost between £50 and £500.

Field trips

You will be required to participate in mandatory study visits subsidised by the department. Field trips will range from £15 to £75.

Sponsored projects in Level 5 may lead to paid internships including flights and accommodation in the US and Europe.

External shows and exhibitions

There may be costs for participating at external shows and exhibitions. You could incur travel costs which will vary according to the location.

There is a sponsored graduate fashion show and exhibition in London for selected students. There is also a subsidised student show for all graduates.

Facilities

You'll use our studio spaces and facilities to experiment and explore new ways to push the boundaries of projects and open discourse across disciplines. As a Fashion student, you'll have access to our working dress archive, the Benenden Fashion Archive, which features pieces dating from 1750 to present day.

Collaborative and multi-disciplinary teamwork is actively encouraged between students, across faculty courses, international institutions and with industry.

Throughout the course, you'll be encouraged to explore and develop expertise in current design approaches, techniques, media, and application including branding, editorial, interactive design, packaging and 3D design, advertising, information design, digital moving image, sustainable and experiential design.

 

After you graduate

Our graduates are renowned for their understanding of the design process and strong creative style in the fashion industry.

Our students have been offered jobs prior to graduation by recruitment agents during our final show and exhibition.

Our students are placed as designers at: Alexander McQueen, All Saints, ASOS, Boden, Burberry, Calvin Klein, Chanel, COS, Dior, Givenchy, H&M, Hobbs, Hugo Boss, Jack Wills, John Lewis, John Smedley, Kilgour, Markus Lupfer, Matches, Mulberry, Net-a-Porter, Orla Kiely, Reiss Menswear, Religion, Stella McCartney, Tom Ford, Tommy Hilfiger, Topshop & Topman, Urban Outfitters and Zara.

Our graduates have also set up successful own labels, including: John Richmond, Basso & Brooke, Felipe Oliveira Baptista (now design director of Lacoste), Joshua Kane, Charli Cohen and award-winner Sophie Hulme.

Renowned alumni include: Glenda Bailey, editor of Harper's Bazaar US, and alumna Caryn Franklin MBE who has been awarded an honorary doctorate by the University.

After you graduate
Amy Powney (photo by Dean Chalkely)

What our students and graduates say

I recently won the Anne Tyrrell award 2019. My course offers second year students the chance to take part in this external competition every year; having won, I'll receive some prize money to fund my final year collection and help me during my Erasmus year out next year (where I will be studying at ENSAD in Paris and carrying out internships).

I chose to study BA fashion at Kingston School of Art because I liked that the course is very industry focused and students get many opportunities, particularly in second year to work for brands. Each of my projects this year have been a live project for a brand, such as Asos and Tommy Hilfiger. For each project we get the opportunity to win a paid internship at the brand, which could also mean getting the chance live in a country during the internship, such as San Fransisco or Amsterdam.

I would recommend the Kingston fashion course as they prepare their students to work in the industry, the course is non stop and challenging and you can see the progress you make after every project. I'm excited that I have the chance to take my year out to get industry experience and winning the Anne Tyrrell award will really help me to make the most out of this next year.

Mimi Simpson - Anne Tyrrell award winner 2019

For me, Kingston School of Art was the best platform to flourish in.

As a non-UK mature student I knew I'd need all the support I could get whilst working in a highly demanding environment, and Kingston was the perfect place for that.

The help and guidance I got from my tutors and technicians across all departments was priceless and they played a big part in my success.

Be creative, push for greatness, work hard and most importantly, trust your gut!

Oren Cohen - Fashion BA (Hons) 2018, BFC Graduate Placement at Too Good

Students here really matter and they have a strong voice. 

The course is the perfect combination of technology and free creativity that really teaches you how to become a fashion designer. 

Kingston means free thinking, creativity and professionalism.

Emanuele Bianco, 1st year Fashion BA (Hons) student

Through my internships at Zara head office in Spain, Givenchy in Paris and on the sponsored trip to Shanghai, I have gained an all-round and immensely valuable experience within the fashion industry.

These have all prepared me for my forthcoming Erasmus study semester at ENSAD University in Paris.

Leanne Kim, Inditex/Zara scholarship winner, 2nd year Fashion BA (Hons) student

Winning the Tommy Hilfiger Scholarship during my second year at Kingston opened up both my creative world and professional world simultaneously.

Working at the helm of a global design brand on both the womenswear and menswear design teams, I was fully immersed into a world of runway fashion.

Sophia Magee, Tommy Hilfiger scholarship winner, 2nd year Fashion BA (Hons) student

It was an honour to intern for Ralph Lauren and to conclude the internship with presenting my work to Mr Lauren himself!

A company I initially thought I'd struggle to connect with, proved to have more parallels to my own home than I could have anticipated.

Faultless employees, countless opportunities and incredible experiences - it was nothing less than a dream internship.

Ella Barrow, Ralph Lauren scholarship winner, 2nd year Fashion BA (Hons) student

My experience at Kingston School of Art was great.

I had incredible tutors who really guided and supported me throughout the three years, especially during my final collection.

Skills that I learnt during the course were very transferable within the industry, as I was draping, cutting and sewing at Richard Quinn.

Latifa Neyazi - Fashion BA (Hons) 2018

Links with business and industry

Second year students participate in sponsored projects that have led to paid internships abroad, including at Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and Zara.

During the sandwich year, students have interned at Chanel, Givenchy, Saint Laurent, Kenzo, Ann Demeulemeester, Alexander McQueen, Victoria Beckham, JW Anderson and Acne Studios.

End of Year Fashion Show

This video showcase our undergraduate Fashion students' work at the End of Year Show.

Key information set

The scrolling banner(s) below display some key factual data about this course (including different course combinations or delivery modes of this course where relevant).

Course changes and regulations

The information on this page reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. To improve your student experience and the quality of your degree, we may review and change the material information of this course. Course changes explained.

Programme Specifications for the course are published ahead of each academic year.

Regulations governing this course can be found on our website.

Banner image: Work by Rose Sparks. Photographer Victor Yuan.