At Manchester Fashion Institute, employability is at the heart of our teaching. All of our undergraduate courses offer an optional sandwich year route that gives you the opportunity to apply for an industry placement between your second and final year. If you choose this route, you will commit to working full-time in the fashion industry for the entirety of your third year, before returning to complete your degree in your fourth year.
A placement year is an incredibly valuable element of your course as it allows you to apply your university-based knowledge, skills and understanding to your job role. During your placement, you will make your own industry contacts and enhance your CV by gaining real-world industry experience. Currently, 54% of our student cohort take part in a one-year full-time industry placement.
We have a dedicated placements team with over three decades of experience sourcing and securing outstanding placement opportunities and facilitating £3 million industry investment each year for placements. They will provide you with extensive support and advice prior to and during your industry placement.
Placement opportunities are available both in the UK and internationally, with students previously working in countries such as Austria, Germany, Norway, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka and the USA.
For more information go to our Placements page.
This course has a fantastic reputation for producing skilled fashion professionals, with the confidence to adjust to the ever-changing environment of the fashion and sportswear industries. The project-based approach of the course will nurture your creative spirit whilst enhancing the adaptive and transitional skills you will need to succeed in these fast-paced industries.
You will be encouraged to take your own creative direction and respond freely to unit briefs, which will be supported by theoretical and practical teaching in lectures, tutorials, online activities, workshops and studio work. You will explore contemporary approaches to sportswear design, production and communication, employing the technologies used in industry and developing innovative techniques and processes.
Practical teaching will take place in dedicated workspaces including design studios, Computer Aided Design suites, pattern rooms, industry standard machine workshops, a textile technology laboratory and the Innovation Zone where resources such as the 3D body scanner, single ply cutter, laser cutter and non-sew technologies are housed.
Year 1 will begin with an introduction to the fundamental principles of sportswear design and the associated technologies encouraging an experimental, broad ranging approach to the design and manufacture of clothes within contemporary fashion and sportswear contexts. It will focus on building your confidence in the appropriate skills needed to develop an independent, self-directed approach to learning and personal practice. Fashion business and cultural context elements will support the creative aspects of your first year of study; this will enhance your understanding of the fashion industry and key cultural and social fashion concepts.
This unit enables you to develop the commercial skills that are essential to be successful in the fashion industry and to become familiar with the business start-up process.
You will study theoretical and practical applications relevant to the fashion industry. The unit’s content relates to fashion entrepreneurs; gaining a competitive advantage; project management; market research; developing marketing and brand strategies; the business planning process and creating a business plan.
This unit introduces you to fashion as a cultural concept and creative endeavour. You will develop skills in critical thinking and academic enquiry, which will form the basis of subsequent study.
In the Fashion Cultures 1 unit, you will study a broad overview of fashion contexts and will be introduced to a wide range of key cultural concepts, whilst developing skills in research methods, literature reviews, critical thinking, reading, analysis and academic writing that will inform subsequent study. The unit is delivered through a series of lectures, workshops and seminars in which you will be given the opportunity to critically discuss key issues and apply these to your own practice.
This unit introduces you to the fundamental principles and techniques required for creative exploration of fashion design and the associated material and manufacturing technologies.
You will engage in the process of analysing, designing, pattern cutting and manufacturing fashion/sportswear garments and explore a variety of primary and secondary sources for research, communicating your findings in both 2D and 3D. You will learn a variety of techniques for communicating silhouette and detail such as drawing, shape making, toiling, testing and sampling.
This unit enables you to develop good working practices and professional processes applicable to the research, design, development and manufacture of fashion/sportswear garments using industry appropriate technologies.
In this unit, you will extend your newly acquired expertise to develop research into fashion/sportswear garments. You will further develop 2D and 3D skills in the line with commercial practices and experimentation using fashion communication and manufacturing technologies such as CAD, technical drawings and Gerber. Ultimately transferring design through development into pattern and garment manufacture, reflecting and whilst evaluating at each stage of the process.
This Fashion Production unit combines newly acquired techniques and industry processes, with a personal design aesthetic to enable the design and production of fashion ranges for a defined consumer or customer.
Working within your chosen pathway, you will develop a personal design aesthetic through research, experience and self-reflection and identify this within the fashion landscape. The unit will require you to implement traditional and technology driven techniques whilst understanding and evaluating suitability. You will source and negotiate the acquisition of materials (for example fabric, trims, accessories) for the design, whilst investigating the production and communication of fashion/sportswear garments and collections to an identified consumer or audience.
In your second year, you will hone a specialism, develop your creative identity and direct your practice towards your future goals and aspirations. You will also have the chance to master specific skills, processes or product categories that are relevant to your own strengths and ambitions. You will interact with industry through live project briefs and collaborate with your peers, mimicking industry practices and developing your experience of teamwork. There will be a focus on employability, which will allow you to enhance your CV and prepare you for a placement or for future employment.
The Fashion Collaboration Unit is designed as a flexible brief, where collaborative interactions can take place with your peers or external partners. The briefs set will require you to think beyond your own practice and react to social, cultural and industrial influences in the fashion industry. Reflecting the collaborative and transformative fashion industry, you will work as a group to present or pitch a concept, which will then inform a body of individual work.
This unit will build upon the knowledge and skills that you will have developed in Fashion Cultures 1, in Year 1 of the course. You will critically contextualise and analyse contemporary issues and cultural shifts in the fashion industry through a series of lectures, workshops and seminars. You will have the opportunity to specialise in an area of critical and contextual study that aligns with your personal practice.
In the Fashion Industry Unit, you will develop your professional and interpersonal skills by exploring future career opportunities within the fashion or sportswear industry. This unit will bridge the gap between education and employment, as you will engage in a series of simulated real-world scenarios focused on developing the personal and professional attributes required for working in the fashion industry. You will combine your consideration of potential career options with self-reflection, peer evaluation and professional feedback.
The Fashion Practice unit allows for the development of a personal design philosophy, identifying areas of expertise within your specialism, advancing your individual practice through design research and specialist material and construction technologies.
In this unit, you will articulate a design philosophy, integrating your personal values, your research interests and current cultural, social and commercial contexts within the fashion industry. You will design fashion/sportswear ranges with a coherent personal aesthetic, which you will communicate through research and development work, technical specifications, illustrations and professionally finished garments. This self-directed approach to your work, will extend to the use of manufacturing technologies and traditional construction techniques, you will be encouraged to master select techniques and processes and their application within the range building process.
This unit enables the exploration and professional communication of innovative design concepts and techniques. You will work to aspirational but commercial industry briefs, with an emphasis on a chosen product category within a defined market level. In this unit, you will be required to take an exploratory approach to the design and development of fashion ranges through innovative garment finish, details, materials and construction techniques.
If you decide to opt for the four-year sandwich route, you will spend Year 3 on a full-time placement before returning to complete your degree in your final year. Placement opportunities are available in both the UK and abroad.
Your final year will focus on advancing your individual practice and developing an industry-ready exit portfolio that reflects your career goals. You will concentrate on the application of innovative design approaches in response to self-written briefs and live industry projects. You will be encouraged to develop a self-directed, individual approach to your study exploring new and developing technologies. In addition, you will support your design practice with an exciting business or research project. The year culminates in the development of a final major project, tailored towards your chosen sportswear pathway, your future career goals, and promotion to external audiences.
The Industry Project Unit includes live briefs that require rigorous design research and development and the application of innovative manufacturing finishing techniques through investigation, sampling and prototyping. You will respond to set briefs developing fashion/sportswear concepts through primary research and the design development process through to final prototype garments, specifications and professional portfolio projects. The briefs will require exploration and innovation whilst also responding to defined markets or consumers.
The Major Project Sportswear unit is an opportunity for you to develop a self-directed body of work that responds to a personal design philosophy aimed at defined market levels within a contemporary Sportswear specialism. In response to a design proposal, you will use advanced research methodologies to create design narratives that draw on primary research, prior experience and individual strengths and aspirations, whilst considering social, cultural and industrial influences. You will develop intellectual, innovative approaches to Sportswear design through the combination of theory and practice. You will master traditional and emerging technologies to produce conceptual fashion products and ranges that challenge convention and advance fashion practice within a defined Sportswear specialism. You will communicate your work using industry standards and specifications applicable to defined market levels.
This unit builds on and extends the knowledge and skills you will have developed in Fashion Cultures 1 and 2, taught in Years 1 and 2. You will have the opportunity to specialise in an area of research within the framework of critical, cultural, contextual and/or industrial contexts that aligns with your personal practice and career interests.
In this unit, you will undertake an individual project in response to a negotiated research question that maps onto your own practice and critical, cultural, contextual and/or industrial contexts.
This unit enables independent, action-based learning; you will work as part of a team to develop a new fashion business proposition. It will help you to develop key professional skills and employability and entrepreneurial attributes.
This unit follows the process of a business start-up. The focus is on active learning as you develop a collaborative business proposal with support from your academic mentors. You will adopt a specific role within a group, working together towards the development of an innovative business concept, which will inform the production and presentation of a cohesive business plan. As your team develops the business model, you will put theory into practice, reflecting on the development of the outcome and potential industry position alongside your individual professional skills and career interests.
Each programme of study that we offer undergoes an annual review to ensure an up-to-date curriculum supported by the latest online learning technology. In addition, we undertake a major review of the programme, normally at 6-yearly intervals, but this can take place at a more frequent interval where required. Applicants should note that the programme currently provided may be subject to change as a result of the review process. We only make changes where we consider it necessary to do so or where we feel that certain changes are in the best interests of students and to enhance the quality of provision. Occasionally, we have to make changes for reasons outside our control. Where there are changes which may materially affect the current programme content and/or structure, offer holders will be informed.
10 credits equates to 100 hours of study, which is a combination of lectures, seminars and practical sessions, and independent study. A 3 year degree qualification typically comprises 360 credits (120 credits per year). The exact composition of your study time and assessments for the course will vary according to your option choices and style of learning, but it could be:
Your studies are supported by a team of committed and enthusiastic teachers and researchers, experts in their chosen field. We also work with external professionals, many of whom are Manchester Met alumni, to enhance your learning and appreciation of the wider subject. Details of departmental staff can be found at: http://www2.mmu.ac.uk/fashioninstitute/our-staff/
Engagement with employers is an integral of the course.
Students have the opportunity to engage with employers through placements, study visits, industry-led live briefs and guest lectures. The course also offers the opportunity for students to promote their work through live events, showcases and simulated real-world scenarios such as mock interviews or pitches.
This interaction with industry employers means that many of our students secure full-time employment before they graduate.
Upon graduation, our students go on to work in creative design and technical roles as Junior Designers, Design Assistants, Garment Technologists, Pattern Cutters and Creative Product Developers.
Previous sportswear graduates hold positions in companies including ASOS, Nike, Rapha, Canterbury, Puma, Umbro and many more organisations and brands in the UK and internationally.
Project work, group work, presentations, written assignments and portfolios of practical 2D and 3D work.
In 2014, over 94% of our graduates went directly into work or further study within 6 months of graduation
DHLE survey 2014, for all respondents available for employment or further study and whose destinations are known
Remember to use the correct institution code for Manchester Metropolitan University on your application: our institution code is M40
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The Higher Education Funding Council for England is the principal regulator for the University.
This online prospectus provides an overview of our programmes of study and the University. We regularly update our online prospectus so that our published course information is accurate and up to date. Please note that our programmes are subject to review and development on an ongoing basis. Changes may sometimes be necessary. For example, to comply with the requirements of professional or accrediting bodies or as a result of student feedback or external examiners’ reports. We also need to ensure that our courses are dynamic and current and that the content and structure maintain academic standards and enhance the quality of the student experience.
Please check back to the online prospectus before making an application to us.
The provision of education by the University is subject to terms and conditions of enrollment and contract. The current Terms and Conditions Applicable to the provision of the University’s Educational Services are available online. When a student enrolls with us, their study and registration at the University will be governed by various regulations, policies and procedures. It is important that applicants/students familiarize themselves with our Terms and Conditions and the Key Contract Documents referred to within. Applicants will be provided with access to an up to date version at offer stage. This can be found within the Information for Offer Holders document.