BA (Hons) Fashion with foundation year

Our Fashion course responds to contemporary practice in the fashion industry and is ideal if you wish to pursue a career within the wider scope of fashion. Individual self-expression is balanced with the need to understand commercial design and manufacturing processes, and an awareness of key critical issues affecting the industry.

Key information


BA (Hons)

Mode of Study:



4 years


University of Bolton

UCAS points:


UCAS code:


Start date:

To be confirmed

Course Details

Our BA (Hons) Fashion with foundation year programme introduces you to a range of skills to prepare you for a career in the fashion industry. Starting with foundation studies, we offer a structured introduction to a wide range of materials, processes and techniques. We’ll support you as you develop your own line of visual enquiry, explore different areas of art and design, and develop a sound portfolio of creative work.

As you progress, you’ll have the opportunity to enhance your knowledge and understanding whilst developing these skills further for use in design development, pattern cutting, garment manufacture, fashion illustration, CAD for technical drawings, as well as for use in communicating your portfolio of work. We'll offer you the chance to enhance your employment prospects by undertaking a placement in one of a range of fashion areas, such as fashion design, CAD design, pattern cutting, garment technology, forecasting or styling.

Our Fashion degrees are part of the University’s Bolton School of the Arts and offer access to surface design and embroidered textiles for the production of innovative fashion outcomes. Our courses are driven by a considered approach to design, and explore the impact of fashion at the individual, local, national and international levels. Alongside trend and concept-led collections, you'll consider the performance, functionality and longevity of clothing for different purposes. Awareness of sustainability and ethical practice is also embedded in the course. We’ll encourage you to balance your individual creative expression with industry awareness for fashion production.

You’ll have the chance to use the latest reports from the Worth Global Style Network and benefit from the University’s extensive industry links for live project briefs. We'll also support you as you work to develop your appreciation of the design timeline, the trend prediction industry, and consumer research.

Our courses offer moderate group sizes to ensure you can enjoy regular feedback on your progress in all areas from our dedicated and knowledgeable staff. We know all our students as individuals and offer you the opportunity to find your unique creative voice.

  • Our Art and Design courses are placed fourth in the UK and top in the North West of England for teaching quality by the Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021.
  • Our team of highly knowledgeable and enthusiastic fashion lecturers offer face-to-face sessions and one-to-one support, ensuring you can access help and advice when you need it.
  • We’ll encourage you to enter national and international design competitions.
  • You’ll be exposed to fashion and fabric companies from the contemporary design world through our links to design groups, manufacturers and supporting agencies. You'll also have the chance to attend exhibitions and dedicated trade shows for fabric and sustainability issues in the UK and overseas.
  • You’ll have the chance to exhibit and showcase your work at national and international events, such as Graduate Fashion Week.
  • Guest lectures from specialists in different fashion fields ensure you have opportunities to learn about the industry directly from its current leaders.
Key Features
  • You’ll have access to the latest technologies for design and visualisation, including Adobe Creative Suite, our Mimaki TX fabric printer, laser cutting equipment, and digital embroidery.
  • You’ll have the chance to develop transferable skills valuable for work in the wider fashion industry, as well as for related fields such as PR, events management, cultural policy and the media.
  • You'll have access to career support to help equip you for a work placement that will give you an invaluable insight into the fashion industry.
  • We offer opportunities to work on live briefs for established clients sourced from national and international trade events and professional bodies.
  • We’ll support you to explore innovations in fabrics and technology as you develop fundamental skills in fashion design, visualisation and garment manufacture and range building.
  • By choosing to study with us, you'll have the chance to enjoy Bolton's many shops, bars, restaurants and leisure facilities. Manchester, one of the UK's most multicultural and lively cities, is less than 20 minutes away by train. Not forgetting, the North West of England is renowned for its beautiful countryside, coastline and heritage. This makes Bolton an ideal base from which to explore some of the best cultural and outdoor activities the UK offers.

  • 48 UCAS points. We accept a full range of qualifications that carry UCAS points, including A-levels, BTECs and T levels. Please see our guide to the UCAS Tariff for examples of how to achieve these points. For most courses, we are also able to consider non-tariffable qualifications.
  • Any subjects are acceptable at Level 3. Relevant creative and art and design-related subjects are preferred.
  • You should also have five GCSEs at grade C or above or grade 4 to 9 (or equivalent), including English and Mathematics.
  • You'll be required to attend an interview and provide a portfolio of appropriate work.
  • If English isn’t your first language, you’ll also need IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in any band (or equivalent). We also accept a range of other English language qualifications – please visit our English Language Requirements web page for more details.

Where changes are made to material information contained in this course description or a decision is taken to suspend a course between the offer of admissions and enrolment, we will inform applicants at the earliest possible opportunity and will outline the various options available to the applicant.

If you're excited at the thought of a career in fashion, one which shows off your creative flair and drive for contemporary design, then this course could be the perfect start to your career journey. As a graduate of our BA (Hons) Fashion degree, you’ll possess a range of creative and practical skills including the ability to design and produce a collection, technical garment drawing skills, pattern cutting, garment construction techniques and the use of digital technology. You'll also possess a host of transferable and employability skills such as communication skills, self-promotion, creativity, commercial awareness and ability to work in a team.

During your studies, you’ll be expected to follow and observe fashion trends, consumer behaviour in regards to buying fashion online and in retail outlets, brand awareness and ethical issues facing the industry. You'll develop a portfolio that encapsulates your design process and design identity, and gain the skills to promote yourself through various digital platforms. These will help you apply for employment in your chosen career area in fashion after you graduate.

What can I do with this qualification?

There are many opportunities in the fashion industry in the UK and overseas. These range from top designers in well-established studios to high street retailers and manufacturing and supply companies. Employment opportunities vary and some of the typical roles you might consider include: fashion designer, CAD designer, pattern cutter, garment technologist, colourist and trend forecaster.

You could also study for a master’s qualification. Popular options at the University of Bolton include our MA (Specialist Title) via Creative Practice, MA Arts Management, MA Community and Applied Arts and MSc Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

Alternative career options

Graduates can also use the qualification as a stepping-stone into a range of other careers. For some of these roles, relevant experience and postgraduate study may be required. These careers include:

  • Event management
  • Sales
  • Tailor
  • Costume design
  • Wardrobe management
  • Personal shopping
  • Fashion styling
  • Photography
  • Modelling
  • Jewellery design
  • Retail management
  • Textile design
  • Teaching and education
  • Research and development
  • Writing and illustration
  • Public relations
  • Self-employment

Course fees
Home Fees Year of study Total
Entry year2024/252025/262026/272027/282028/29
International Year of study Total
Entry year2024/252025/262026/272027/282028/29

Important note regarding tuition fees for the 2023-2024 academic year: EU nationals who meet residency requirements (have settled or pre-settled status) may be eligible for 'Home' fee status. If you do not meet these residency requirements, overseas fees will apply. Irish citizens living in the UK or Ireland will be eligible for 'Home' fee status under the Common Travel Area arrangement. Please read the student finance for EU students web page on for information.

The fees for a student's course of study will be set for the normal duration of that course subject only to inflationary increases – measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded in March each year to take effect for subsequent start dates.

For 2023-2024 entry, the maximum government approved undergraduate tuition fee for UK students is £9,250 per year. The University is able to charge this fee subject to an approved Access and Participation Plan for 2023-2024 and its current rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework.


Click here for more information about the scholarships and bursaries available to University of Bolton students.

For details of how to apply for this course, please choose your status from the options below:

If you wish to apply to multiple institutions or courses for September, then apply through UCAS

You can apply for up to 5 courses through UCAS (at the same or different institutions) for a fee of £27. Alternatively, if you only wish to apply for a single course at a single institution then a reduced applicant's fee of £22.50 is applicable.

The online application form and guidance notes are available on the UCAS website.

You will need the following information to complete your UCAS application form:

  • Institution Code Name: BOLTN

  • Institution Code Number: B44

UCAS - Universities and Colleges Admissions Service

Tel: 0870 1122211

The University welcomes applications from international students from all over the world. We try to make the application process as simple and as fast as possible for our international applicants.

This course is not currently accepting international online applications.

Please contact Admissions by telephone on 01204 903903 or email

University of Bolton
Deane Road
Bolton, BL3 5AB
United Kingdom

Tel: 01204 903903

Please contact Admissions by telephone on 01204 903903 or email

University of Bolton
Deane Road
Bolton, BL3 5AB
United Kingdom

Tel: 01204 903903

We use a blended approach to teaching and learning. You’ll have face-to-face sessions and workshops and take part in online learning. Studio and computer suite-based activities are important features of the course, alongside lectures, seminars and practical-based workshops. We'll encourage you to participate in visits to locations such as factories, galleries and museums, go on garment research trips and attend presentations by our visiting speakers. You’ll also be expected to engage in self-directed study, with support from a range of staff including technicians and library/learning resources staff.

Module briefs include a wide range of activities such as commercially-based design projects, live briefs, competitions and commissions, and self-initiated projects. In addition, there are opportunities for collaborative design briefs that involve working with students from other creative areas within the Bolton School of the Arts. The sharing of ideas and practices across disciplines helps you to gain a broader understanding of the position of fashion in the wider creative and global creative industries.

In terms of assessment, you’ll have formative assessment to help you learn and develop your knowledge and skills, and summative assessment on which you are graded. You’ll receive individual help and advice on your personal work in one-to-one tutorials. Peer reviews, where you present your work to a small group of your fellow students for their comment, also provide useful feedback.

Formal assessment is by coursework. This may involve you presenting your portfolio of drawings/design work, samples or practical outcomes, along with supporting design work of developmental ideas, technical note files, and a written research journal. It can also take the form of essays, reports, verbal presentations, assignments, projects and other written work.


The modules listed below may be a mixture of compulsory and optional. You may not have the opportunity to study all the modules shown as part of the course.

  • Creative Responses
  • Information and Interpretation
  • Preparation and Progression
  • Specialist Project
  • Fashion Contexts - Critical Theory 1
  • Fashion Concepts
  • Fashion Practices 1
  • Fashion Practices 2
  • Fashion Contexts - Critical Theory 2
  • The Fashion Industry - Preparation for Placement
  • The Client Brief
  • Design Identity
  • Fashion Contexts - Research in Context
  • Fashion Practices - Concept to Collection
  • Major Project - Final Collection
Assessment methods
LevelAssesment method
Level zeroCoursework 93%, Practical exams 7%
Level oneCoursework 100%
Level twoCoursework 93%, Practical exams 7%
Level threeCoursework 93%, Practical exams 7%
Learning activities
LevelLearning activity
Level zeroGuided independent study 55%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 45%
Level oneGuided independent study 53%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 47%
Level twoGuided independent study 65%, Placement/study abroad 3%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 32%
Level threeGuided independent study 68%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 32%


The university will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver your course as described in its published material and the programme specification for the academic year in which you begin your course. The university considers changes to courses very carefully and the university will minimise any changes. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis and changes may be necessary due to legitimate staffing, financial, regulatory and academic reasons. The content of course modules and mode of associated assessments may be updated on an annual basis. This is to ensure that all modules are up-to-date and responsive to employment and sector needs. The published course material and the programme specification contain indicative ‘optional modules’ that may be subject to change due to circumstances outside of our control. For this reason, we cannot guarantee to run any specific optional module.

The academic staff detailed above teach across a range of courses in this subject area and may not teach on this course specifically.

Programme Contacts

Lindsay Banks
Programme Leader Fashion and Senior Lecturer

+44 (0)1204 903299

Emma Fazackerley
Lecturer Fashion

+44 (0)1204 903545

Instagram: @boltonunifashion
Enquiry Team, University of Bolton

+44 (0)1204 903903

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Postgraduate Options

PGCE M Post Graduate Certificate in Education 14+ (Art, Creative Practice and Performance)

Mode of study
1 Years

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MA (Specialist Title) via Creative Practice

Mode of study
12 Months

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MSc Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Mode of study
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We have the answers to your questions, find all the advice and support in one place.

Part of the University of Bolton Group

Bolton college
Alliance learning
Anderton centre2
QQA Scheme Participant