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Applying via UCAS ?
Course Code: W231
Applying via UCAS ?
Course Code: W2FY
Why choose the School of Arts and Creative Industries
We are members of the British Fashion Council, The Association of Fashion and Textiles Courses, the Association of Illustrators and AA2A (Artists Access to Art Colleges), enhancing your graduate employment opportunities
Our Fashion Design graduates have entered many areas of the fashion industry and completed internships with Alexander McQueen, Mary Katrantzou, Sophia Webster and Amanda Wakeley
Our students work on live briefs for companies such as Bedford Creative Arts, London Luton Airport, Luton Town FC, Luton Culture Trust and Penguin Books and participate in collaborative projects with leading art and design practitioners
About the course
If you’re looking to explore your creativity establish your own unique style and take contemporary fashion design by storm our course has the dedicated facilities and equipment track record and industry links to get your designs on the domestic and international catwalks.
Our course and highly experienced academic team encourage you to experiment with designs materials and garment-making while giving you the practical tools and wider experience you need to develop your individual creative approach.
Based at Alexon House previously home to one of the UK's leading fashion houses the course offers industry-standard manufacturing facilities and the latest textile processes. You have access to high-spec technology with an emphasis on digital design skills in textile and pattern cutting as well as 3D garment design on specialist software.
Why choose this course?
- Benefit from hands-on learning in a nurturing environment with ample contact time with tutors
- Our close links with the industry and leading fashion designers mean you work on real briefs and live projects and are encouraged to enter competitions and awards
- Your personal creative development is underpinned by a sound knowledge the history of fashion design; contemporary debates in fashion; multicultural and international contexts; and understanding of the wider visual world
- Meet designers artists editors curators and recruiters on a weekly basis while also getting the opportunity to join international trips to visit trade fairs and galleries
- At Alexon House become part of a community spanning the art design and creative industries exploring related disciplines such as digital photography and screen-printing
- Take the course over four years and benefit from a fee-free work placement (see below) which will widen your experience add to your CV and build your contacts for the future
- If you need a step up into higher education learning start with a Foundation Year (see below) which guarantees you a place on the full degree course
with Professional Practice Year
This course has the option to be taken over four years which includes a year placement in industry. Undertaking a year in industry has many benefits. You gain practical experience and build your CV, as well as being a great opportunity to sample a profession and network with potential future employers.
There is no tuition fee for the placement year enabling you to gain an extra year of experience for free.
*Only available to UK/EU students.
with Foundation Year
A Degree with a Foundation Year gives you guaranteed entry to an Undergraduate course.
Whether you’re returning to learning and require additional help and support to up-skill, or if you didn’t quite meet the grades to pursue an Undergraduate course, our Degrees with Foundation Year provide a fantastic entry route for you to work towards a degree level qualification.
With our guidance and support you’ll get up to speed within one year, and will be ready to seamlessly progress on to undergraduate study at Bedfordshire.
The Foundation Year provides an opportunity to build up your academic writing skills and numeracy, and will also cover a range of subject specific content to fully prepare you for entry to an Undergraduate degree.
This is an integrated four-year degree, with the foundation year as a key part of the course. You will need to successfully complete the Foundation Year to progress on to the first year of your bachelor’s degree.
Why study a degree with a Foundation Year?
- Broad-based yet enough depth to give you credible vocational skills
- Coverage of a variety of areas typically delivered by an expert in this area
- Gain an understanding of a subject before choosing which route you wish to specialise in
- Great introduction to further study, and guaranteed progression on to one of our Undergraduate degrees
The degrees offering a Foundation Year provide excellent preparation for your future studies.
During your Foundation Year you will get the opportunity to talk to tutors about your degree study and future career aspirations, and receive guidance on the most appropriate Undergraduate course to help you achieve this; providing you meet the entry requirements and pass the Foundation Year.
What will you study?
Fashion Design: Exploring Materials And Methods
This unit will introduce you to essential practices in Fashion Design and the materials and methods involved in garment production and design development for Fashion. You will learn through how to translate your ideas into real outcomes through design development, pattern cutting and sewing, as a way of communicating creative concepts, this will include a variety of production methods, translating design ideas from 2-D to 3-D, and developing your understanding of industrial garment production. You will explore and experiment with materials and textiles to understand applications and contexts. This unit has a focus on the ethical and environmental questions for the contemporary fashion designer and this awareness is embedded in the materials and methods being explored.
You will maintain a Research Portfolio, throughout the course, to enable you to connect your understanding of Materials and Methods to your personal design practice, contextual and practical work, broadening and deepening your understanding of Fashion Design. This synthesis between research and practice will assist your learning and ability to independently explore project briefs.
Context And Ideas
This unit introduces Context and Ideas in Art and Design, exploring visual culture, ideologies and interpretations of historic and contemporary practice. You will consider research methods to help you analyse art and design theory and practice. Lectures and seminars will introduce key ideas in art and design, and their effects on culture and society, allowing you to reflect on how they impact and influence your own studio practice. You will develop your academic study skills.
Introducing Studio Practice
This unit introduces you to Art and Design study in a higher education environment. It will introduce you to the learning resources available to you and the types of learning in which you will engage. An important aspect of the unit is to lay the foundation for your own personal approach to study.
This will include helping you to develop as an independent learner with the self-confidence to reflect upon personal performance and identify areas for action.
There will be a strong relationship between the learning involved in this unit and its application to other units on the art and design courses.
Over the duration of this unit, you will experience cross discipline learning and development, collaborative working, as well as discipline specific skills and experience.
Thinking Through Making
This unit introduces you to practical working methods in Art and Design - where you will be encouraged to develop a personal understanding of your discipline through testing, experimenting and making.
The unit will enhance your ability to communicate and ‘play’ in a range of formats the capacity to be creative and to develop an aesthetic sensibility through engagement with technology, processes and ideas.
Using a practice-based approach you will be encouraged to take creative risks, allowing you to develop practice that enriches your work, giving you the freedom to explore and discover creative processes that are both discipline and non-discipline specific.
You will learn how to test and translate your ideas using a range of media that articulate and communicate visual ideas and develop an understanding of your practice.
This unit allows you to apply your acquired knowledge and expertise in your discipline, to a collaborative interdisciplinary project.
The work and learning of this unit are seen as an important link between your academic work and the professional world.
You will negotiate your learning with your supervising tutor who will take account of your agreed role within group scenarios. The unit tests your abilities to work both independently and collaboratively in the wider professional community.
Fashion Design: Developing Materials And Methods
The aim of this unit is to provide an opportunity to research, test, experiment, explore and learn to manage creative risk.
You will establish a focused and effective fashion design studio practice using creative production methods. You will investigate subject specific skills, methods and material processes for fashion design. You will select and develop technical skills and integrate working methods to support investigation and problem solving. This unit consolidates and develops practical and critical skills involved in fashion design introduced in level 4.
Developing Professional Practice
This unit consolidates your development and understanding of subject specific materials and methods, and encourages you to consider their application to professional practice.
You will take into account commercial, cultural and social contexts in response to projects and visual enquiry, and develop the confidence to take creative risks in your practice.
There is an increasing emphasis on your portfolio and exhibition practice, to further encourage independence and professionalism in the presentation of your work.
Context And Meaning
This unit builds upon knowledge gained at level 4, to place theory and practice into global contexts. You will examine a range of critical texts and practices related to art, design and visual culture.
You will further develop your research and analytical skills, so that you can engage with the contexts and meanings that underpin your own practice, and inform the way you critically evaluate the development of your creative work.
At level 6, you will be preparing yourself for a professional creative role. This unit provides an environment in which you will prepare for a professional life after your degree, helping you to develop creative futures that focus your ambition and interests. This may include preparation for: becoming a freelance artist, designer or maker; working independently, in a co-operative, agency or enterprise; teaching or pursuing further study.
The unit will encourage you to participate in live projects, competition briefs or collaborative teamwork.
As part of professional practice, you will further develop your ability to present yourself and your professional portfolio. You will learn how to create relevant marketing and self-promotional material and engage with online media to promote your professional identity, concepts and products.
Critical And Creative Contexts
This unit offers you the opportunity to deepen your insight of contemporary art and design practices, issues and critical debates. Programmes of tutorial support and self-determined study will help you to develop a context, in which you can place your emerging practical work and underpin your major project with a critical and contextual rationale.
The unit will support you in developing and implementing research strategies in the context of your Final Major Project – your investigations and growing knowledge will further inform your final project.
Final Major Project: Fashion Design
This unit will give you the opportunity to pursue your personal creative interests and artistic concerns in the production of a fashion collection for public display.
The unit allows you to demonstrate your acquired skills and abilities through individual research and practice. The production of a self- initiated research-based project will enhance your personal development as a designer.
You will explore the relationship between practice and theory in relation to Fashion and your Final Major Project.
English Language Foundation
This unit focuses on your ability to understand and use the English language accurately when you read, speak, listen and write. We will concentrate on the English you need for undergraduate level study in your chosen subject area, covering grammar, subject area vocabulary and the four language skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking.
A key element of the unit is the grammar of the language, and particularly the verb tense system in English, because your ability to use the verb tense system accurately will be extremely important when you come to write essays and reports. This unit will focus in particular on the grammar of the language.
We will also focus on reading, listening and speaking skills in the context of your chosen subject area. Beginning with short texts, we will practise each skill and practise it again, so that gradually you will see, hear and feel that your command of the language is improving.
A recurring focus of the unit will be your acquisition of 'learner autonomy'. This means your ability to acquire the language yourself, without needing a teacher's help. This is important because from next year you will not have an English teacher to help you. So we will consider and practise strategies to help you gain confidence in your own ability to increase your knowledge of and ability to use the language, including for instance guessing meaning of difficult words, deciding which words are important in a text, recognising differences between formal and informal language, and other strategies, so that as the first semester continues, you begin to feel more confident in your use and experience with the English Language.
Academic Skills Foundation
When you begin your undergraduate level studies, you will be expected to have knowledge of and ability to use a large range of 'study skills'. You will also be expected to have some knowledge of the subject area you will be studying. This unit deals with both of these aspects of your preparation for undergraduate level study.
All of the academic skills are practised in English, so you will use your developing acquisition of the language from the partner unit 'English Language Foundation' to practise and gain mastery of these skills. You will also use your language and study skills as you learn the foundation of your subject area, putting the skills into practice as you learn.
Developing English Language Skills
This unit builds on the progress you made during its partner semester 1 unit 'English Language Foundation' and increasing your level from that which you had achieved by the end of semester 1.
We will recycle the tense system in English and other elements of the grammar system, but you will now learn how to use other aspects of the grammar, including the passive voice, as well as linking words and phrases and devices which enable you to write longer sentences but retain grammatical accuracy.
You will notice that we gradually introduce more specialist language that you need in preparation for your degree and we will expect you to use and develop the skills that you gained in the previous units so that you are able to work more independently.
Academic Skills Development
This unit builds on the skills learnt and practised in its partner semester 1 unit 'Foundation Academic Skills'. We will add more skills to the list, including summarizing and synthesising, argumentation, critical thinking and referencing and citation skills, as well as several others and practise and test them in the same way as with the semester 1 unit.
We will also investigate the research skill and you will learn how to prepare a research proposal and conduct a literature review, and how to plan a research project, learning about the research tools available and how they can be used to conduct research in your chosen field.
You will continue to broaden your knowledge of key current issues and theory in your chosen subject area, and apply the critical thinking and argumentation skills you acquire in this unit to argue for and against propositions you have studied in the form of in both essays and presentations and in seminar situations, ensuring that you are ready to step up to your chosen undergraduate course with a base level of subject area knowledge from which to continue your academic development as you progress to level 4 study.
How will you be assessed?
A range of appropriate assessments will enable you to grow in confidence and demonstrate your acquisition of knowledge and skills. The formative and summative assessment methods used across the course include: Coursework to include examples of Fashion Design research sketchbooks/portfolios professional portfolio research assignments garment manufacture 3-D development essays contextual writing and blogs. Assessments based on individual and group presentations. Portfolio reviews are a key means of assessing but they are also important for collating work for a professional portfolio. This instils the right attitudes towards professional work whereby you can use your portfolio to promote yourself in professional contexts. Essays and reports feature in developing writing skills helping you to express ideas in a variety of ways and styles and to develop academic writing skills that are of particular benefit in producing the final year contextual rationale for your major project. A midpoint Formal Formative Assessment to review all work in progress Key making skills are embedded in the teaching and learning of the course and will be taken into account in all assessments.
The assessments will develop incrementally across the course and allow you to gain skills confidence and knowledge receive feedback and develop thus allowing you to implement this knowledge and feedback into subsequent assessments. At the end of the course completion of the assessments will demonstrate your ability to analyse current art and design practice - in relation to Fashion Design - and communicate this in both written and visual formats as well as demonstrate a range of transferable skills relevant to your professional employability.
Employability and professional practice skills are integrated into the course and provide you with an awareness of the real-world context of the creative industries in general and fashion design in particular. You will be helped to develop a strategy for obtaining appropriate employment at the end of your course with a work-related learning unit that will especially help you to become more focused on managing your career. You will be helped with the preparation of a professional portfolio including a CV and learn the social-media skills needed to promote yourself in a social-mediated art and design world.
Typical graduate destinations for Fashion Design students include work within the field of contemporary fashion and textile design as a fashion designer fashion stylist textile developer and selector or pattern cutter. Many graduates also choose to work in areas related to design practice such as teaching garment technology and production.
Previous graduates have gone on to work with Alexander McQueen Mary Katranzou Lulu Liu Sopie Webster Amanda Wakeley Zandra Rhodes Love Magazine and Denza International. Some of our graduates have started their own label such as Aaugust who won Young Designer of the Year at Africa Fashion Week London.
Another avenue is further study at Master's level (Level 7) in areas such as advanced design studies accessory design fashion business and promotion.