FdA Fashion

Do you love leafing through the fashion pages of the latest magazines or cooing over the newest catwalk trends? Our Foundation Degree in Fashion (FdA) could be for you. The programme combines creativity with commercial understanding, and introduces you to the core knowledge, practices and disciplines of today’s fashion industry.

Key information



Mode of Study:



2 years


The University of Bolton

UCAS code:


Start date:

To be confirmed

Course Details

The Foundation Degree in Fashion (FdA) course is designed to introduce you to a range of aspects of the fashion industry. It provides the chance to enhance your employment prospects in a range of fashion careers, including fashion design, buying and retail, merchandising, forecasting, and styling. You could also opt to complete the BA (Hons) Fashion (Top-up) programme after successfully completing the FdA.

During your FdA, you’ll have the opportunity to enhance 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 develop skills in pattern cutting, garment manufacture, fashion illustration and visualisation techniques, and the application of surface design and embellishment. We’ll encourage you to balance your individual creative expression with industry awareness for the production of innovative fashion outcomes, including womenswear, menswear, childrenswear and accessories.

You’ll also 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. Support will also be offered to develop your appreciation of the design timeline, the trend prediction industry, and consumer research.

  • 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.
  • You’ll be exposed to fashion and fabric companies in the contemporary design world through our links to design groups, manufacturers, and supporting agencies.
  • We’ll encourage you to enter national and international design competitions, such as Bradford Textile Society Awards and the Clothes Show, and visit major trade shows such as Premiere Vision Paris.
  • We’ll offer you the opportunity to learn about the industry direct from its current leaders, with guest lectures from specialists in different fashion fields.
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 suitable for work in the wider fashion industry as well as 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 fabric and materials as you develop fundamental skills in fashion design, visualisation and garment manufacture.

  • Any subjects are acceptable at Level 3.
  • You should also have five GCSEs at grade C or above or grade 4 to 9 (or equivalent) in any subjects.
  • You'll be required to attend for 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.

Want some reassurance or advice? Speak to one of our advisors. Email us at enquiries@bolton.ac.uk or call us on +44 (0)1204 903 903.

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 love the idea of a career which shows off your creative flair and passion for design our FdA Fashion could be the perfect stepping stone for you. This course is a great way to prepare yourself to work in the world of fashion. It offers a firm foundation in the knowledge and skills required such as communication, team work and organisation and planning. This course has the potential to lead to various fashion and design related roles in a wide range of settings and offers a great start to your career.

What can I do with this qualification?

There are a range of interesting and creative careers where your FdA Fashion course could be useful. The course aims to help you develop the foundation skills and knowledge that will enable you to begin your career and lead to roles such as a designer, where you would work on the design of clothing and fashion ranges; retail buyer, where you would be responsible for planning and selecting a range of products to sell in retail outlets; retail manager where you would be responsible for the day-to-day running of stores or departments; and visual merchandiser where you would create visual concepts to promote products. Once you have successfully completed the Foundation Degree you’ll be able to apply for the BA (Hons) Fashion (Top-up) degree, allowing you to complete your studies up to Honours level.

Alternative career options

Graduates can also use the qualification to enter a range of other careers, and for some of these roles, both relevant experience and/or postgraduate study may be required. Some of these careers include:

  • Event management
  • Sales
  • Tailoring
  • Fashion technology
  • Pattern making
  • 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
  • Make-up artistry
  • Public relations
  • Self-employment

Course fees


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.

The university is currently awaiting government guidelines as to EU fee charges for students commencing study in 2019/2020.


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

Course application details are unavailable at present

Course application details are unavailable at present

We use a blended approach to teaching and learning – you’ll have face-to-face sessions and take part in online learning. Studio and computer suite-based activities are important features of the programme, alongside lectures, seminars and practical-based workshops. We encourage you to participate in visits to locations such as galleries and museums, to attend presentations by our visiting speakers, and to go on location for drawing and visual research. You’ll also 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 areas of art and design. 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 art and design based 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 a supporting sketchbook 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 1
  • Fashion Design and Professional Development
  • Applied Design for Manufacture
  • Pattern Cutting and Construction
  • Techniques and Processes for Fashion
  • Digital Creativity for Fashion
  • Fashion Contexts 2
  • Concept to Customer
  • Fashion Industry: Professional Practice and Placement
  • Pattern, Construction and Finishing Techniques
  • The Surface Designer: Print and Embellishment for Fashion Fabrics
Assessment methods
LevelAssesment method
Level oneCoursework 100%
Level twoCoursework 100%
Learning activities
LevelLearning activity
Level oneGuided independent study 53%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 47%
Level twoGuided independent study 53%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 47%


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


+44 (0)1204 903299

Emma Fazackerley


+44 (0)1204 903545

Enquiry Team
University of Bolton


+44 (0)1204 903903

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Postgraduate Options

PGCE Professional Graduate Certificate in Education 14+

Mode of study
1 Years

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Alliance learning
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