BA (Hons) Fashion Design and Technology - Womenswear

Attend an open day How to apply
Attend an open day How to apply


The BA (Hons) Fashion Design and Technology Womenswear course will encourage you to challenge convention through research driven design projects, manual and digital pattern making, technical specification, innovative material and manufacturing technologies and traditional and contemporary fashion communication tools. These creative studies will be underpinned with units in fashion business and fashion cultures. The combination of cultural and business awareness alongside creative and technical capabilities will enable you to locate your own skills and ambition firmly within the fashion industry.

The course offers three pathways in Womenswear, Menswear and Sportswear. The flexible pathway structure will allow you to work in a studio environment amongst other students and experiment across specialisms initially. You will gain a broad overview of the fashion industry before defining your individual design identity and narrowing your practice towards a Womenswear specialism.

Our exceptional links with the fashion industry will provide you with the opportunity to be involved in live industry projects, guest lectures, competitions, showcasing your work externally, work placements and optional study trips. As part of the course, students have previously been to Paris, Amsterdam, India, China and Berlin

We also offer a full-time, four-year sandwich route option that provides the opportunity to spend your third year on an industry placement to enhance your employability. You will also have the chance to take part in international educational exchanges. 

The final year of the course will equip you with a portfolio of work that will support you in progressing onto your chosen career path or further study. You will have design skills, industry literacy and specialist technical knowledge that will set you apart from other fashion design graduates.  

This course is also available with a linked Foundation Year.

Features and Benefits

Career Prospects

Engagement with employers is an integral part 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 womenswear graduates hold positions in companies including ASOS, Burberry, Calvin Klein, French Connection, River Island, Bershka, Roland Mouret and many more organisations and brands in the UK and internationally. 

Learn more about graduate careers

Entry requirements

We will interview you as part of your application.

We will ask for a portfolio of your work as part of your application.

UCAS tariff points/grades required


112 UCAS Tariff Points at A2 (Grades BBC) or acceptable alternatives e.g. BTEC Subsidiary Diploma, Diploma, Extended Diploma at Level 3 (Grades DMM)

Specific GCSE requirements

GCSE English Language and Mathematics at grade C or grade 4. Equivalent qualifications (eg. Functional Skills) may be considered

Non Tariffed Qualifications

112 UCAS Tariff Points from Access to HE Diploma in a relevant subject with at least 45 credits at Level 3

International Baccalaureate points

26 IB Diploma Points

IELTS score required for international students

6.0. with no element below 5.5

There’s further information for international students on our international website if you’re applying with non-UK qualifications.

Additional Requirements

Personal statement should demonstrate a background and/or experience in/commitment to fashion industry.

For this course your portfolio should show evidence of an interest in womenswear, sportswear and/or menswear, it may include drawing/presentation skills; contemporary fashion/cultural awareness; a level of research, exploration and experimentation; fabric and material selection/knowledge; construction/technical competence; ability to think/work in 3D; and/or visual/digital communication skills.

Applicants will be expected to demonstrate the following at interview: a strong interest in fashion/sportswear design; an awareness of manufacturing technologies; a critical and analytical approach; a motivation to succeed in all elements of the course; and the ambition for a design or technical role in womenswear/sportswear/menswear.

A Foundation Course is also available UCAS Couse Code W235

Further information

Please see our Interview and Portfolio Advice page for guidance on preparing for your interview. Overseas applicants who cannot attend an interview will be asked to provide a Digital Portfolio.

Course details

This course has a fantastic reputation for producing skilled fashion professionals, with the confidence to adjust to the ever-changing environment of the fashion industry. 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 this fast-paced industry.

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 womenswear 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. 

Your first year will begin with an introduction to the fundamental principles of fashion design and the associated technologies encouraging an experimental, broad ranging approach to the design and manufacture of clothes within contemporary fashion 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.   

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Fashion Business

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. 

Fashion Process

This unit enables you to develop good working practices and professional processes applicable to the research, design, development and manufacture of fashion garments using industry appropriate technologies.

In this unit, you will extend your newly acquired expertise to develop research into fashion 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. 

Fashion Cultures 1

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. 

Fashion Production

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 garments and collections to an identified consumer or audience. 

Fashion Design and Technology

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 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. 

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. 

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Fashion Cultures 2

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. 

Fashion Industry

In the Fashion Industry Unit, you will develop your professional and interpersonal skills by exploring future career opportunities within the fashion 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. 

Fashion Collaboration

The Fashion Collaboration Unit is designed as a flexible space, 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. 

Fashion Practice

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 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.

Fashion Product

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 Womenswear pathway, your future career goals, and promotion to external audiences. 

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Industry Project

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 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. 

Major Project Womenswear

The Major Project Womenswear 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 Womenswear 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 Womenswear 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 Womenswear specialism. You will communicate your work using industry standards and specifications applicable to defined market levels. 

Option Units

Fashion Enterprise

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. 

Fashion Cultures 3

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. 

Assessment weightings and contact hours

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 of 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:


Placement options

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, over 40% 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 approximately £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 SAR, Sri Lanka and the USA.

Manchester Fashion Institute

Manchester Fashion Institute is a multi-disciplinary partnership that brings together fashion expertise and talent from across the University, Manchester and the world.

An international hub that connects education, research and enterprise to inspire the next generation of industry leaders, the institute empowers students to create opportunities for academic and professional development by taking advantage of our cutting-edge resources and unrivalled connections.

More about the department

Taught by experts

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.

Meet our expert staff


Foundation Year students

UK, EU and Channel Island students: Full-time Foundation Year fee: £9,250 per year for the foundation year. This tuition fee is agreed subject to UK government policy and parliamentary regulation and may increase each academic year in line with inflation or UK government policy for both new and continuing students.

Non-EU international students: Full-time Foundation Year fee: £16,500 per year. When progressing from the pre-degree foundation year to the linked degree. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study)

UK, EU and Channel Island students

UK, EU and Channel Island students: Full-time fee: £9,250 per year. This tuition fee is agreed subject to UK government policy and parliamentary regulation and may increase each academic year in line with inflation or UK government policy for both new and continuing students.

Non-EU international students

Non-EU international students: Full-time fee: £16,500 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional Information

A degree typically comprises 360 credits, a DipHE 240 credits, a CertHE 120 credits, and an integrated Masters 480 credits. The tuition fee for the placement year for those courses that offer this option is £1,850, subject to inflationary increases based on government policy and providing you progress through the course in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study). The tuition fee for the study year abroad for those courses that offer this option is £1,385, subject to inflationary increases based on government policy and providing you progress through the course in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional costs

Specialist Costs


The largest cost for design students is the cost of materials to produce coursework. Practical coursework requires fabric and trim for toiling and making garments, printing and paper costs for portfolio projects and sketchbooks. Students are required to start the course with basic equipment for garment making and design. The approximate initial cost of this is £50-£100. As students experiment with different techniques and media these costs may increase. The course is very well equipped so there is no need for sewing machines at home. Equally, all required course literature is available from the University Library. The University also offers 24-hour computer suites, installed with the relevant software needed to complete the course. Whilst a personal laptop (preferably an Apple Mac) is beneficial, it is not essential as there the Library also a laptop loan service.

Placement Costs

There is the option of taking a placement year. Costs vary hugely between countries and areas, so it is very important to research costs well ahead of time and budget accurately.

Other Costs

Students have options of national and/or international study trips typically in their first and/or second year, but can include final years. These are exclusively designed to provide access to course relevant places, experiences and companies that general members of the public and/or students would not be able to access independently. Costings are sourced from university-approved travel agents and are outlined to students upon briefing of the trips. Price is dependent on whereabouts in the world you travel to and costs vary in-line with the current market and student numbers. In addition, all students are encouraged to undertake local research trips to galleries, museums and manufacturers and many visit London for fabric sourcing and inspiration. In the final year, students may have the opportunity to exhibit at Graduate Fashion Week in London, which may incur travel and accommodation costs. 


Find out more about financing your studies and whether you may qualify for one of our bursaries and scholarships.

Money Matters

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How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS.

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UCAS code(s)


Remember to use the correct institution code for Manchester Metropolitan University on your application: our institution code is M40

112 UCAS Tariff Points at A2 (Grades BCC-BBC) or acceptable alternatives e.g. BTEC Subsidiary Diploma, Diploma, Extended Diploma at Level 3 (Grades DMM)

You can review our current Terms and Conditions before you make your application. If you are successful with your application, we will send you up to date information alongside your offer letter.


Programme Review
Our programmes undergo an annual review and major review (normally at 6 year intervals) to ensure an up-to-date curriculum supported by the latest online learning technology. For further information on when we may make changes to our programmes, please see the changes section of our Terms and Conditions.

Important Notice
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