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Why choose this course?
Our Fashion BA(Hons) has been awarded the Creative Skillset Tick (Fashion Design category). The award recognises outstanding courses and their contribution to the creative industries. The course is currently ranked second in the Business of Fashion's Global Fashion School Ranking 2016 and second in The Guardian's fashion and textiles subject league 2018.
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 for the real-world and will be industry ready on graduation. Kingston students participate in international fashion competitions by top brands such as Burberry, Mulberry and Coach.
Kingston alumni have gained senior positions in global fashion companies including Ralph Lauren, Burberry, Calvin Klein, Paul Smith, All Saints, Alexander McQueen, Club Monaco, Margiela and Saint Laurent. Our graduates with successful own labels include Sophie Hulme, Joshua Kane, Charli Cohen and Amy Powney, design director for Mother of Pearl.
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.
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.
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.
At the end of Year 2, you will have the opportunity to take a year out to undertake study abroad and gain work experience overseas. Our Study Abroad or Erasmus programmes are located in Berlin, Amsterdam, Paris, Milan Hong Kong, New York, Paris and Toronto. We have a dedicated placement officer within the fashion department to support the placement programme.
Year 3 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 and selected students show at the press show at Graduate Fashion Week in London. Kingston Fashion Show is sponsored by Brooks Brothers, Dewhirst and Bentalls who host the pre-show reception for press and industry contacts.
Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list. Those listed here may also be a mixture of core and optional modules.
- Design Process 1
Design Process 1
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
Design Product 1
Design Product 1 will complement Design Process 1 in the realisation of a final toile or knitted piece. Projects will focus on various aspects of the design resolution process leading to the making of a product based on technical skills. Research will include studying in-house dress archive to replicate and produce a contemporary piece.
- Professional Practice 1
Professional Practice 1
This module complements Design Process 1 and Design Product 1 modules and introduces other skills such as imagery through photography and 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 such as sustainability.
- Design, Style and Image: Themes in Fashion History
Design, Style and Image: Themes in Fashion History
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. The module engages with critical texts to allow students to examine the relationship between theory and practice in fashion and design and to develop an understanding of the emergence of fashion design as a cultural response to modernity. Key themes relating to clothing, including changing techniques and technologies of production, fashion and identity, fashion and consumer culture, the development of fashion imagery, archiving fashion, and the display and exhibition of fashion will be explored. An integral part of this module is the consideration of designed objects and images. Critical debates, which have shaped theoretical discussions of fashion, are introduced and the importance of context to the way in which fashion is valued is a central theme for discussion.
- Design Process 2
Design Process 2
This module is split into 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.
- Design Product 2
Design Product 2
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.
- Professional Practice 2
Professional Practice 2
The aim of this module is to enable students to build on prior knowledge to assess themselves in relation to the profession of fashion design. It is expected that the student will be developing a body of work as evidence of their achievements through group work, interview techniques and CV writing. They will begin to plan their professional portfolio as preparation for Professional Practice 3 module in Level 6. Fashion Forecasting will be covered through talks by leading trend forecasters and students will then present professionally as a group. The presentations will involve use of digital media, visual and verbal presentation skills. Peer learning and assessment will be supported by lectures and seminars. The portfolio will include responses to talks delivered by industry specialists across different market levels and product areas within the fashion industry in the form of recording and a selected portfolio project. Projects are to suitably be mailed out or sent online with a CV/covering letter to the selected company or designer, which can lead to a summer placement.
- Critical Issues in Fashion: Research and Practice
Critical Issues in Fashion: Research and Practice
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 students' 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.
- Design Process 3
Design Process 3
This module is a combination of projects based on collaborating with different companies within the fashion industry and builds on Design Process 2 and Professional Practice in Level 5. It is split into two projects and offers a choice of different briefs primarily portfolio based with evidence of professional communication with companies. In addition to the portfolio one of the projects will include the production of one complete outfit realised in 3D.
- Design Product 3
Design Product 3
This module covers the final major project collection, encompassing all developmental stages from initial silhouettes to final pattern toiles and specification sheets. It is based on the collection portfolio development in Professional Practice 3 and includes the final outfits or looks within a collection in woven or knitted fabrics. The final collection will be the production of final garments, including sourcing and sponsorship of fabrics and yarns, through management of the collection and developing the ability to direct technical staff (by using the spec pack and collection planner) to achieve the initial collection proposal in 3D form.
- Professional Practice 3
Professional Practice 3
This module covers all two-dimensional aspects relating to the development of the final collection and it is the ‘capstone' project, which is the culmination of the student's learning over the three years. Projects within this module will support the three-dimensional outcome of a capsule collection of a minimum of six outfits. The module will cover the three main stages of designing for fashion, research, design development and presentation.
Careful consideration should be given to the presentation of the final collection, and should take the form of a comprehensive promotional package presented in a professional format to promote the graduate and their work as they enter the industry. Building on the Professional Practice 2 module in Level 5 students will produce a CV and covering letter to accompany the creative promotional project that should be suitable to mail out as a hard copy or electronically to an identified target market. Producing a personal look book of their collection and website working with a photography/graphic design students is a key aspect of this module.
- Dissertation: Research and Reflection
Dissertation: Research and Reflection
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 6,000 word written Dissertation, supported by a series of lectures, seminars and tutorials.
Following the submission of the Dissertation, and to support the realisation of studio capstone projects, students will be assisted with the conception and development of an individual Statement that enables self-reflection and locates students within the contemporary contexts of their discipline. Consolidating the research, reflexive and critical skills acquired throughout students' programme of study, the Statement engages and applies learning undertaken within CHS modules to studio practice, supporting students' self-presentation at Degree Show, in future post-graduate study, and/or professional practice in a variety of Art and Design contexts.
You will have the opportunity to study a foreign language, free of charge, during your time at the University on a not-for-credit basis as part of the . Options currently include: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.
Most of our undergraduate courses support studying or working abroad through the University's Study Abroad or Erasmus programme.
Find out more about where you can study abroad:
If you are considering studying abroad, read what our students say about their experiences.
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