BA (Hons) Fashion (HE6 top-up)

Our BA (Hons) Fashion (Top-up) course responds to contemporary practice in the fashion industry and is ideal if you’ve already completed a related foundation degree or HND. If you wish to pursue a career within the wider scope of fashion, our course offers you honours-level skills and knowledge. 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:



1 year


University of Bolton

UCAS code:


Start date:


Course Details

We’ll support you to enhance your existing foundation degree or HND-level knowledge and skills, ready to achieve the status of BA (Hons) Fashion (Top-up) graduate. You can study key aspects of fashion and boost your employability.

At honours-level, we’ll focus on supporting the development of your personal studio-based practice, and helping you gain critical inquiry and research skills to inspire your work and enhance its quality and relevance. We’ll encourage you to explore the cultural, historical, theoretical and conceptual elements of fashion to enrich your knowledge and understanding of forecasted trends, fashion design history, commercial design and manufacturing processes, and material understanding.

Our experienced and dedicated staff will support you as you work to demonstrate your skills in pattern cutting, garment manufacture, fashion illustration and visualisation techniques, and the application of surface design and embellishment by creating a portfolio and sample garments to impress potential employers. We’ll encourage you to balance your individual creative expression with industry awareness for the production of innovative fashion outcomes.

We’ll also focus on helping you develop your visual display, promotion and fashion communication skills, to help give you the edge when giving professional pitches and succeed at interviews.

  • 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.
  • 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.

  • You’ll have successfully completed a recognised fashion-related qualification comprising at least 120 credits at HE4 and 120 credits at HE5; for example, a foundation degree (FdA), higher national diploma (HND), or diploma of higher education (DipHE).
  • You'll be required to attend for interview and to 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, this course could be the perfect stepping stone for you. As a BA (Hons) Fashion (Top-up) degree graduate, you’ll possess a range of practical and transferable skills such as technical drawing, pattern cutting, tailoring, sewing and the use of digital technology, as well as communication skills, self-promotion, creativity, commercial awareness and teamwork.

During your studies, you’ll be expected to spend time following and observing the latest fashion trends, consumer behaviour regarding buying fashion, brand awareness and ethical issues facing the industry. You’ll also be encouraged to develop a portfolio that will be crucial when you apply for employment.

Completing your honours-level studies should prove valuable in helping you achieve your career goals.

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 Applied and Community 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 year2021/222022/23
International Year of study Total
Entry year2021/222022/23

Important note regarding tuition fees for the 2021-2022 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 eligibility 2021-2022 policy 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 2021-2022 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 2021-2022 and its current rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework.


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

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

September start

Please apply through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) for September entry.

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

You can apply for up to 5 courses through UCAS (at the same or different institutions) for a fee of £24. Alternatively, if you only wish to apply for a single course at a single institution then a reduced applicant's fee of £13 is applicable.

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.

How you apply is determined by your current location and what you are choosing to study:

  1. Apply direct to the University. Links for the next available intakes of this course are shown below. Please click the link which will direct you to the online application form. Please read the user guidance before completing this.
  2. Apply via one of our approved in-country referral partners. A list of our partners may be found on the International pages of this website.
  3. Apply via UCAS for courses starting in September only – visit

Should you have any queries please contact the International Team on +44 (0) 1204 903110 or email

University of Bolton Group Partners

Bolton College
University Technical College
University of Bolton

The University welcomes applications from our group partners and progressing students so we try to make our application process as simple and as fast as possible. By selecting the link for your chosen course from the list shown below you will be taken directly to our online application form. Please read the user guidance before completing this and ensure you upload all supporting documents such as certificates and your personal statement when you apply.

Please ensure when you are asked to add a contact email address you add your college/university email account address as well as your personal address. If you do not add your college address as your contact address we will be unable to identify you as a partner and you will be referred to apply via UCAS, which incurs a cost.

We look forward to receiving your application and you continuing your academic journey with us!

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.

  • Fashion Contexts - Research in Context
  • Fashion Practices - Concept to Collection
  • Major Project - Final Collection
Assessment methods
LevelAssesment method
Level oneCoursework 93%, Practical exams 7%
Learning activities
LevelLearning activity
Level oneGuided 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

Donna Claypool
Programme Leader

+44 (0)1204 903370

Lindsay Banks
Course Coordinator/Lecturer

+44 (0)1204 903299

Emma Fazackerley
Course Coordinator/Lecturer

+44 (0)1204 903545

Enquiry Team
University of Bolton

+44 (0)1204 903903

Related courses

BA (Hons) Fashion with foundation year

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BA (Hons) Fashion

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BA (Hons) Fashion (HE6 top-up)

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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
1 Years

University of Bolton

MA Applied and Community Arts (with Specialism)

Mode of study
1 Years

University of Bolton


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Help Centre

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
RiSE pos rgb logo
TEF Silver QQA Scheme Participant