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Study Fashion and Textile Design abroad

About this subject

  • About this subject
  • Is this the course for me?
  • Careers prospects
  • Studying Fashion and Textile Design
  • Where to study?

Fashion and textile design is known as the study of dress styles and trends. For as long as there have been clothes, what we wear has had a significant impact upon society and culture.  These days, the change in fashion is becoming ever-more fast-paced with London, Paris, Milan and New York being considered as the fashion capitals of the world.

Today’s fashion industry is a product of the modern-age in which clothing can be mass produced in order to be sold at a fixed priced at standardised prices. Many of those who enter the world of fashion do so after studying for a qualification in the subject.

Is this the course for me?

Do you fancy being the next Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood or Anna Wintour? Are you passionate about fashion and design? Are you looking to pursue a future career within the fashion industry as a writer, designer, illustrator or buyer? If so, then studying fashion could be exactly what you need.

Of course, while a love of all things fashion related is a bonus, it is also important for candidates to have strong creative abilities and an interest in the varying cultures and traditions that can influence the clothes we wear. Whether your course has a journalism, design or illustration focus, students will be expected to work hard and be self-motivated in order to gain the most from their studies.

Careers prospects

The fashion industry is one of the UK’s largest industries and in 2011 it was estimated to be worth £21 billion per year. As such the fashion sector offers a wide range of employment opportunities for graduates and post-graduates with strong qualifications and the right level of experience.

The majority of students who complete a qualification in fashion, do so with the intent of either launching their own design label or working in a design capacity for other brands. Within a starting salary of £14,000 - £22,000.

Of course, there are many other options available to those with fashion-related qualifications. From writing for fashion publications and blogs, to marketing and fashion buying roles, an understanding of design and trends lends itself to a wide variety of career options.

Similarly, many graduates opt to increase their income through additional freelance work. This is particularly applicable for stylists, writers and illustrators. Many also use their fashion knowledge to pursue careers in e-commerce, merchandising or as PR representatives.

Studying Fashion and Textile Design

Applying for a place on a fashion and textile design  course is often much more rigorous application procedure than when applying for other courses; although this will vary depending on which course and establishment you choose for your study.

For under-graduate courses, you will be expected not only to have 3 strong A-levels, or equivilant, but also to have previous fashion experience. For most universities, you will be expected to attend an interview and showcase a portfolio of your work in order to demonstrate your suitability to the course.

If you’re planning on studying at post-graduate level, then the application process is similar. Most establishments will require students to have a minimum of 2:1 at degree level in an arts or fashion related subject and be able to demonstrate their talents through samples or work and their industry experience.
A basic fashion degree will last for 3 years and students will leave University with a BA(hons) upon graduation. More specialised post-graduate courses can last anywhere from a year for a full-time MA course to 3 years for the PhD.

Thos who don’t speak English as a native language will also be requires to take an IELTS test scoring a minimum of 6.0.

Where to study?

When choosing a fashion course one of the questions you ought to ask is which areas of the subject matter is most fascinating?  You will be studying fashion for a minimum of a year - 3 years if you are an undergraduate - so it is important that whichever university or degree programme you choose, offers specialist modules in your area of interest. Whether you want to study fashion history and journalism or illustration and design, there’s a range of options available to suit every potential student. Just make sure to choose the right ones!

For a degree such as fashion, the impact your university location will have an impact upon your future prospects within the jobs market. You should try and find a location which will not only make you happy, but will provide you with as much experience as possible. If you’ve the option, try and study at a University located in a city with a thriving arts and fashion industry as it will be easier to find term-time placements in the surrounding areas.

Of course fees and academic grades should also come into consideration when deciding where to study.  Many of the prestigious universities such as London College of Fashion expect applicants to have a minimum of 3 A-levels or equivalent with top level grades for their under-graduate courses. Similarly, places on their MA courses are rarely offered to individuals with degree classifications below a 2:1. Do your predicted grades match these requirements?

If you are struggling with fees, or are still applying for funding, there are a number of bursaries and scholarships available for students.

What Fashion and Textile Design courses are there?


Fashion / Textiles / Clothing (Craft)


Fashion / Textiles Design

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