BA (Hons) Fashion

BA (Hons) Fashion

Let your creativity take flight at Norwich University of the Arts (Norwich) as you learn essential creative design and practical skills demanded by the global fashion industry and shape your future career.

Our BA (Hons) Fashion course will encourage exploration in concept development, pattern cutting and professional garment construction supported by technical skills and couture levels of craftsmanship.

Your technical expertise and understanding of materials and industry markets will grow by working on design competitions and briefs for high profile companies such as Ralph Lauren and Superdry.

Guest lectures, seminars and workshops with acclaimed practitioners, stylists and academics will give you insight into how the industry works.

We will help you to develop a professional portfolio to showcase your design identity and profile the quality of your manufactured garments to employers.

Fashion design skills 

We’ll encourage you to innovate as well as to understand historic and contemporary trends in fashion.

You’ll develop essential technical skills to support your design thinking, including:

  • Design development
  • Planning
  • Pattern cutting
  • Garment construction
  • Tailoring
  • 3D digital rendering

And our course benefits from close industry links and is a member of the British Fashion Colleges Council  and the Graduate Fashion Foundation.

Take to the stage 

You will have access to studio space, specialist fashion design resources and well-equipped workshops run by on-site technical staff.

Our Fashion studios and workshops are the right setting to develop your ideas and perfect essential skills such as drawing, digital design and professional presentation.

Live projects, competitions and industry placements enable you to engage in and build external networks and opportunities, preparing you to be industry-ready for your self-identified career path beyond graduation.

Graduates of the course have secured diverse roles in fashion-related positions and beyond including design roles at H&M, Ted Baker, Victoria Beckham, Marks & Spencer, Outfit Arcadia Group and Blakely and manufacturing roles in companies including Yarmouth Oilskins.

Typical career paths include: 

  • Freelance Designer
  • In-House Designer
  • Bespoke Tailor
  • Creative Pattern Cutter
  • Buyer
  • Design Consultant
  • Fashion Illustrator
  • Garment Technologist
  • Visual Merchandiser
  • Fashion Stylist

Other graduates have progressed to postgraduate research, in areas such as bio-material research and creative health for art therapy. Some graduates secure education roles in school and post-16 providers while others establish their own businesses. 

You’ll receive specialist creative careers advice from our team in the Ideas Factory to help support you as you plan your career. 

Success in awards:

Past students have achieved industry recognition including success in competitions with British Fashion Council, Graduate Fashion Week, Anne Tyrrell Student Design Award, Golden Shears, and the international Arts of Fashion awards.

Course information

Institution code: N39
Course 3 Year UCAS code: W233
Course 4 Year UCAS code: W230
Course length: 3 or 4 year options
Sandwich courses: Creative Professional Development (1 year, Level 5 diploma), or Creative Computing (1 year, Level 5 diploma), available between years 2 & 3

All courses run as a blend of on-campus and digital teaching and learning, and follow current UK government safety advice. Applicants and students will be notified directly if any changes need to be made.

Course content

  • Year 1
  • Build a technical skill base in pattern cutting, fabric development and manufacturing to produce fully-realised 3D garments
  • Develop skills in sourcing and compiling visual research
  • Engage with contemporary and historical industry topics and themes from lectures and seminars
  • Explore professional ways of communicating ideas and outcomes, and essential digital skills
  • Work collaboratively alongside Year Three students, assisting with their final collections and NUA fashion catwalk show at Graduate Fashion Week.
  • Year 2
  • Focus on expanding and refining fundamental skills and developing a personal design practice
  • Advance pattern cutting and manufacturing skills
  • Enhance your fabric development skills through an applied textile project
  • Develop a strong industry awareness to formulate your own career trajectory
  • Explore working in a team and developing a creative role through course and university-wide collaborative projects.
  • Year 3
  • Determine your creative direction in the final major project brief by designing your own collection or developing your own fashion-related project
  • Develop strong conceptual and practical skills through extensive research, design development and original pattern cutting and craftsmanship
  • Take part in industry projects including briefs from Graduate Fashion Week and the British Fashion Council
  • Articulate a professional fashion profile through industry-ready portfolio presentation sheets, CV writing and interview practice
  • Write a Research Report on a topic broadly related to fashion and your practice.
Visit the Degree Show website

Typical UK offers

A / AS Levels – GCE
GCE A/AS Levels 3 A-level qualifications at grades BBB. Where candidates are not taking 3 A-levels, NUA will consider combinations of A-level/AS-level and other Level 3 qualifications.

BTEC Extended Diploma (QCF or RQF)
Distinction, Merit, Merit in an art, design or media related subject

BTEC Diploma (QCF or RQF)
Distinction*, Distinction* in an art, design or media related subject

T Levels
A T Level in any subject with overall grade Merit or above

UAL Extended Diploma

UAL Level 3 Foundation Diploma in Art and Design

UAL Level 4 Foundation Diploma in Art and Design

Foundation Diploma in Art and Design

Access to Higher Education Diploma (Art and Design)

International Baccalaureate Diploma
A minimum of 27 points

NUA welcomes applicants of all ages from all backgrounds. Your application will be primarily assessed through your portfolio, responses to questions asked and personal statement, so even if you have no formal qualifications or do not meet our typical offers it can still be worth applying.

If you are studying at the time of your application and your application is successful it is likely that you will receive a conditional offer.

If the qualification that you are studying is not shown, do not worry as we are able to accept other pre-entry qualifications as well as combinations of different qualifications. Please do contact our Student Recruitment Team if you have any queries.

International applications

We accept qualifications from all over the world, to find our entry requirements from a specific country, please check our dedicated international pages.

Most international students are required to hold an English language qualification. Applicants are required to have a minimum UKVI approved IELTS exam score of 6.0 overall, with a minimum of 5.5 in each section. Equivalent English language qualifications are acceptable such as, IB English language syllabus A or B/English Literature (Grade 4).

We also accept some alternative English qualifications. Learn more about our English entry requirements.

You can email us on if you’d like to discuss your application individually.

BA (Hons) Fashion degree course portfolio guidance

We are calling the traditional portfolio a ‘development portfolio’. This is to emphasise that what we would like to see is where you are now in your creative journey. You don’t need to spend a long time making the perfect work, as we can assess your potential from your work in progress. Your development is the most important part of your learning.

Your development portfolio should be relevant to this course, but you can include a wide range of work that shows your creativity, technical competence, innovation and understanding of anatomy.

You may wish to include some of the following:

  • Drawing – Life drawing or still life
  • Painting, Illustration, Collage 
  • 3D work – accessories, garments, sculpture, fabric samples
  • Fabric and colour work
  • Garment or accessory designs
  • Image making using Photography or Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, illustrator) 

Further portfolio advice and tips

Get more advice on presentation formats, layouts and when to submit your development portfolio in the application process.

2023/24 University fees for new entrants

NUA will assess students’ tuition fee status using the guidance provided by the UK Council for International Student Affairs

Students from the UK or Ireland and EU students with ‘Settled’ or ‘Pre-Settled’ status will be charged ‘Home’ fees if they meet the relevant residency requirements.  They will usually be eligible for a tuition fee loan from the UK government, meaning that they won’t have to pay NUA’s tuition fees upfront.

Students who do not meet the necessary residency requirements will usually be charged ‘Overseas’ fees and will not be eligible for the UK government tuition fee loan. Since 2021/22, this includes new entrants from the EU, EEA, and Switzerland who do not have ‘Settled’ or ‘Pre-Settled’ status, because the UK has now formally left the EU.

Fee status Course Annual fee
Home Undergraduate degree (full-time three and four year degree) £9,250
Overseas Undergraduate degree (full-time three and four year degree) £18,000

In subsequent years inflation may be applied to the fees of those who started in 2023/24, at no more than the Office for Students’ recommended measure based on forecast RPI-X.

See our Fees and Funding page for further information which is also available in a downloadable format.

Financial support for UK students in 2023

Tuition fee loans and loans for living costs are usually available to UK and some EU students, as well as non-repayable NUA bursaries based on family income. Find out more about applying for funding.

All students have an opportunity to spend a year, between the second and third year of their course, enhancing their employability options through a Level 5 Diploma.

These courses are offered in Creative Professional Development; a structured programme of input sessions and work-based learning, and Creative Computing; designed to build the foundation skills in coding and software design that are in high demand in the digital and creative industries.

Four year degree – BA (Hons) Fashion

Four year degrees offer students a chance to build on their experience within their undergraduate course of choice.

Year 0 will help to build confidence and develop subject specific practical, creative and conceptual skills – making full use of University studios and workshops.

Typical UK offers and entry requirements for Year 0 entry

GCE A/AS Levels
2 A-level qualifications at grades CC or higher. 

BTEC Extended Diploma (QCF or RQF)
Merit, Merit, Pass in an art, design or media related subject

BTEC Diploma (QCF or RQF)
Distinction, Merit in an art, design or media related subject

T Levels
Pass (D or E on the core)

UAL Extended Diploma
An overall Pass

UAL Level 3 Foundation Diploma in Art and Design
An overall Pass

Foundation Diploma in Art and Design 

Access to Higher Education Diploma (Art and Design)

International Baccalaureate Diploma
A minimum of 24 points

NUA welcomes applicants of all ages from all backgrounds. Your application will be primarily assessed through your portfolio, responses to questions asked and personal statement, so even if you have no formal qualifications or do not meet our typical offers it can still be worth applying.

If you are studying at the time of your application and your application is successful it is likely that you will receive a conditional offer.

Photo of a young red haired woman standing amongst sewing machines in a fashion studio, looking into camera

Aurora Hampson

"Be open minded to new ideas to not restrict your designing, basically have happy accidents."

BA (Hons) Fashion

BA Fashion student Eli Kiko sat in front of a draped mannequin at Norwich University of the Arts

Elisabeth Kiko

"As a part of the new generation of fashion designers we have to be able to work in the industry in a revised and more sustainable way to not lose the passion and love of fashion itself."

BA (Hons) Fashion

A young woman with dirty-blonde hair is standing amongst mannequins in the fashion studio, looking and smiling at camera

Rebecca Brown

"My final collection is based on my childhood growing up in Zimbabwe. I wanted to capture that part of my life because it is such a big part of who I am today."

BA (Hons) Fashion

photo of alum Jerry Huang standing at design desk and smiling at camera with hands on fabric material and spiked black hair and thick black glasses and black long sleeved buttoned shirt in a room with a large board on the wall covered with design work

Jerry Huang

"There’s a huge sense of achievement when you perfect a design or a garment. I’ve learnt to refine my making skills and work more precisely. I want my work to reflect the professionalism of the industry"

BA (Hons) Fashion


  • Sarah Brennand

  • Alexandra Wood (Visiting Lecturer)

    Bespoke tailor
  • Melanie Plank (Visiting Lecturer)

    Trend forecaster, Stylus

Need help? Chat to our friendly recruitment team

Book a place on an Open Day, or to find out more about how to apply for a course at Norwich University of the Arts, please give us a call.


Top 10 for
Teaching Quality

by the Times and Sunday Times 2022

Top Two UK
Creative Arts

by The Complete University Guide 2023

Uni of
the Year

for Student Retention -
The Times and Sunday Times 2020

Go back to the top of the page