Our Fashion Design programme benefits from relationships with the Textile Design and Photography Programmes. For our recent fashion shows at Derby Theatre, we have successfully collaborated externally with Buxton & Leek College Beauty, Spa & Media Make Up programme. You'll have excellent placement opportunities at companies such as Asos, Alexander McQueen, Puma, Temperley, Aitor Throup, and more.
You'll have the opportunity to exhibit your final collection and your portfolios at the graduate fashion show at Derby Theatre. Students are given the opportunity to participate in competitions too. Recent successes include Olivia Noble winning the David Nieper Scholarship Award 2019, Freya Whittaker, winner of the Fashanne Design Award 2018, Sarah Woodward was Midlands Emerging Designer winner 2015 and Nicole Wells won St Andrews Young Designer in 2015. We also successfully collaborate with industry to enhance the curriculum with cutting edge learning environments.
In stage one you’ll be introduced to the fundamentals of fashion design practice for the ready-to-wear market. In stage two there is a greater emphasis on the commercial world. Independent study, throughout stage three, provides a unique opportunity for you to advance your thinking and practice, through a self-managed process of risk taking, experimentation and resolution. Contextual Studies and Continuous Professional Development (CPD) runs consistently through all stages, aimed at giving you a positive advantage within the fashion industries. As you develop your profile as a creative individual, you’ll experiment with ideas and techniques, working with increased independence.
You will study at our Chandos Pole Street building, a purpose built learning environment where you will have access to new specialist Fashion and Textiles facilities. These include light and airy studio spaces as well as industry-standard equipment and design facilities.
We encourage all second years to take a work placement in industry, which will also give you an additional qualification - the Diploma in Professional Practice. Placements are sometimes hard work but give you fantastic experience and are deeply rewarding. We have previously had students placed at a wide variety of companies including, Marks & Spencer, Temperley London, Erdem, Mother of Pearl, Preen, Aitor Throup, Tommy Hilfiger and Roksanda, amongst others.
Students applying from one of the University of Derby's Partner Schools or Colleges are guaranteed a place or interview, if students meet the minimum entry criteria for their chosen course and apply by the January deadline date.
If you don't have the appropriate qualifications to start this course, you can study the Year Zero - Arts programme for a year first.
*Lucy Taylor with her collection ‘Convergence’ Photo by Beth Winsor from Cameo Lab Fine Art Photography
All Art and Design, Film, Photography and Music courses are based at our Markeaton Street site where industry-standard, purpose built studios and labs provide a modern and creative space for our students. Markeaton Street encompasses Chandos Pole Street which is home to our Fashion and Textiles courses and Britannia Mill is home to Fine Art, Illustration and Interior Design studio spaces. Our Theatre students learn from professionals at the professional producing and learning Derby Theatre in the heart of Derby city centre.
Markeaton Street is a 15 minute walk from Kedleston Road, and is serviced by regular free site shuttle buses.
In the below video, Johanna reflects on her experience as an international student studying Fashion at Derby and the inspiration behind her final menswear collection:
You'll have the opportunity to exhibit your final collection and your portfolios at the graduate fashion show at Derby Theatre and participate in competitions. Recent successes include:
- Georgia Alligan winning the John Smedley category at the Campaign for Wool Student Design Competition 2020
- Lucy Taylor winning Midlands Young Designer of the Year, Midlands Fashion Awards 2019
- Olivia Noble winning the David Nieper Scholarship Award 2019
- Freya Whittaker, winner of the Fashanne Design Award 2018
- Sarah Woodward was Midlands Emerging Designer winner 2015
- Nicole Wells won St Andrews Young Designer in 2015.
We also successfully collaborate with industry to enhance the curriculum with cutting edge learning environments.
You will study modules such as:
- Design, Research and Inspiration
- Discovering My Practice
- Design, Culture and Curiosity
- Thinking Through Design
- Exploring Design
- Developing My Practice
- Design: Theory, Making and Meaning
- Entrepreneurial Design Project
- Social Design
- Placement: Being a Professional
- Neogotiating My Practice
- Resolution and Realisation
- Critical Voice: Research and Professional Direction
Take a look at highlights from the Fashion Show...
Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.
You'll be taught by a variety of learning and teaching methods which include: problem solving, reflective practice, analysis of given problem with synthesis of solution, portfolio building, group work, the use of influences files, report writing, group critiques, negotiated learning, presentation and demonstration.
Assessment is 100% coursework based including practical production and oral presentation work, along with written assignments. In the final year, you’ll have the opportunity to write an extended essay on a subject of your choice and work on self-negotiated and independent creative projects.
The programme makes use of field trips in a number of ways to inform and inspire students. Putting students in direct contact with significant cultural and commercial organisations and events, expands learning and understanding of the fashion world. Placements play a key role here too and in addition, create opportunities for students to network.
The programme regularly invites guests from industry to make a contribution to student learning. Guests from industry come in to deliver lectures, participate in tutorials and deliver external projects to students on a regular basis each academic year.
Every year students from the School of Arts celebrate their time at University by showcasing their work at an end of year Degree Show at Markeaton Street and across the City of Derby. The Show usually runs throughout June and is a fantastic opportunity for potential employers, friends, family, industry and members of the public to see exciting creations by the next generation of artists, designers, creators and makers from Derby. The Show takes the form of:
Take a look at highlights from the 2019 Degree Show.
Personal academic tutoring
Your personal academic tutor will work with you to help you get the most out of your time at university. Having someone to talk to about your academic progress, your university experience and your professional aspirations is hugely valuable. We want you to feel challenged in your studies, stretched but confident to achieve your academic and professional goals.
Find out more about personal academic tutoring
September 2021 typical entry requirements
|Requirement||What we're looking for|
|Specific requirements at A-level|
No specific subject requirements
|Specific requirements at GCSE||At least five GCSEs (or equivalent) including Maths and English at grade 4/C or above|
|IELTS||6.0 (with at least 5.5 in each skills area)|
|Interview / Audition|
|Portfolio||Yes - see portfolio details|
Alternative entry qualifications:
- BTEC - DMM
- Pass Access to HE Diploma with 60 credits: 45 at Level 3 with a minimum of Distinction: 15 Merit: 24 Pass: 6
Offers will be made initially based on your application, including predicted grades and/or grades you have already achieved. Following this, if you submit a strong portfolio we will make you an unconditional offer, to reflect the quality of your work and your potential.
Our graduates have gone on to careers in fashion design, textile design for fashion or interiors, knitwear, sportswear and accessories design, fashion forecasting, illustration, PR, marketing, media, buying and merchandising, photographic styling... and lots more.
You'll get lots of opportunities to showcase your work and get yourself noticed. Some of our students took a collection to London Alternative Fashion Week.
You could also go on to study our MA in Fashion and Textiles.
If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.Contact us
Additional information about your studies
Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.
Additional costs and optional extras
We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, excellent facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.
The information below is correct for entry in the academic year September 2020 - August 2021 only. Entry for future academic years may be subject to change.
Included in your fees
- Additional access to wider University Arts’ facilities including equipment loan store and other facilities, such as digital print workshops or video editing
- Basic materials such as fabrics and other fashion related construction materials are provided for set coursework tasks in Year 1 and 2
- Participation in University Degree Show plus a Graduate Catwalk show with professional models and VIP Reception provided
- Participation in London Graduate Fashion Week, access to specialist equipment in Fashion studio and related areas such as printmaking workshops and relevant textile workshop areas
Mandatory costs not included in your fees
- Technical equipment & materials for making across years 1 & 2 (approx. £75)
- Drawing equipment general 'toolbox' (marker pens, pencils, etc.) (approx. £50 in each year)
- Student promotion materials & marketing pack (approx. £75)
- Graduate design show printing of student work & production of final collection (costs determined by student £100 - £600)
- Additional materials (printing, stationary, portfolio sleeves, folders, USBs/hard drives etc.) Approx. costs - Year 1= £150, Year 2 = £200, Year 3 = £300
- Printing of design work in support of catwalk show (approx. £100)
- Production of a A2/A3 Portfolio (approx. £125)
Optional costs not included in your fees
- Additional course related publications (approx. costs £100)
- Specialist software/hardware (costs up to £1500)
- Travel for work placement opportunities (costs will vary dependant on location)
Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.