Fashion Womenswear BA

  • UCAS code W233
  • Duration Up to 4 years
  • Delivery type Full Time
  • Study location Scottish Borders
  • Number of places 30


The Course

The Fashion programme explores the creative process of fashion design from initial research through to collection creation and production. This pathway explores the range of market sectors from fast fashion through the high street to ready to wear both within the UK and relevant to a global context. Applicants will develop a personal fashion handwriting and a broad understanding of the worldwide fashion industry. The personal handwriting will be developed by internal and relevant external projects which will both embed skills and allow personal creative fashion statements appropriate to the chosen market.

Career Prospects

There are a wide range of career prospects including product design and development, buying, merchandising, management, garment technology, production, marketing, and retailing - with many leading companies such as Paul Smith, Jasper Conran, Anna Sui, Oasis, Marks and Spencer, Next, Levi-Strauss, John Lewis, Berghaus, and Nike.

Student satisfaction

The National Student Survey (NSS) 2015 puts the School of Textiles & Design top in Scotland in overall average with 90% of our students saying that the staff make the course interesting and support them and 91% of our students saying that they now feel they can communicate well and deal with any unfamiliar issues that might come their way.

Portfolio requirement

Once you have applied to UCAS you will be required to submit samples of your portfolio. The portfolio requirements are explained in the Guidelines to Applicants for Portfolio Programmes.

This programme is taught at our Scottish Borders Campus in Galashiels.

Programme content

Level 1

This broad common Level 1 for all Fashion, Communication, and Marketing and Retailing students provides an introduction to their chosen programme and to related pathways. Students are encouraged to research and develop individual strengths and skills in the analysis, evaluation and contextualisation of their work in the contemporary fashion marketplace.

Level 2

Students will specialise in their chosen pathway and explore in greater depth; pattern design, creationand production through traditional and non-traditional fashion methodologies. The programmes also cover fashion illustration, fashion design, knitwear design and contextual studies, to begin to develop an individual fashion handwriting.

Level 3

Focus is on students working in appropriate cross disciplinary projects and fashion industry collaborations through a combination of independent study, team working and appropriate external projects. External activity provides students with industry awareness as well as giving them first hand knowledge of contextualising their work in a contemporary fashion marketplace.

Level 4

Students will consolidate their skills and reinforce their own fashion identity through the initiation,development and production of a contemporary final fashion led collection accompanied by a strong fashion design portfolio.

Your career

Graduate profiles

Laura Mackay

  • Degree BA (Hons) in Design for Textiles (Fashion, Interior, Art)
  • Present job Designer
Laura Mackay

I chose Heriot-Watt because of the reputation the School has for excellence in the field and links with industry. After visiting, I loved the look of the print room and the facilities, not to mention the friendly technicians! I specialised in print and thoroughly enjoyed screen printing and mixing up different dyes. I spent half of my time in the CAD lab and the other half in the print room combining digital prints with discharge, devore and foils. I was lucky enough to win a placement with Tigerprint and this helped me gain valuable work experience. I also spent my other two summers in work placements, Cath Kidston in London and John Robshaw in New York City. I have now been at Cath Kidston for two years and have moved on to design prints specifically for our fashion range. I would highly recommend Heriot-Watt for anyone wishing to begin a career in the textile industry.

Helen Finlayson

  • Degree BSc (Hons) Fashion Technology
  • Present job Owner of 'nelfin'

I decided the Fashion Technology course would be best suited to me. My initial interest was in design but I was keen to take advantage of the invaluable technical production and business skills that the course also offers. I feel this balanced outlook on fashion design has thoroughly equipped me for my chosen career path. I am now running my own bespoke fashion label, nelfin, in Glasgow, utilising the broad skill set gained at Heriot-Watt. I design and produce all my garments from start to finish, which is my favourite part of the job. I also deal with the business and marketing side of things, which may not be quite so much fun but fortunately the Fashion Technology course has given me a good grounding. I hope to develop my label further into a respected design brand, as well a commercially viable business.

Annika Arvidsson

  • Degree BA (Hons) Fashion
  • Present job Paul Smith, Knitwear Technical Design Assistant

The Fashion course gave me a good insight into what to expect in real working life. It was here that I discovered my passion for knitwear. There are quite a few textile businesses in the Scottish Borders, so I managed to get a job with a knitting studio where I learned a lot of skills and gained excellent work experience between study terms.

After graduating, I worked as a designer/assistant/sales person for 'Suttle Textiles' in Leicestershire. This gave me a lot of invaluable contacts and taught me more of the basics. With all these combined experiences, I was able to move into a really exciting role as a Knitwear Technical Design Assistant at Paul Smith in Nottingham. I have learnt that hard work and determination can take you anywhere you want!

Entry requirements

The University offers as its normal entry routes:

  • entry at Level 1, mainly for students with Scottish Highers (or similar)
  • entry at Level 2, mainly for students with A-levels (or similar).

There is nevertheless considerable flexibility, depending on the level of qualifications, for entrants with A-levels to opt to enter at Level 1 and for Scottish students to enter at Level 2. Direct entry into Level 3 is also possible for students who already have certain HE qualifications.

Level 1 entry

  • Highers minimum of ABBB including English
  • A-Levels minimum of BBB including English at a minimum of GCSE
  • Int. Baccalaureate 28 points

Level 2 entry

  • HNC A in graded unit. Entry into Level 2 may be available for applicants who have completed an appropriate HNC/HND/BTEC (dependent upon places available).

Level 3 entry

  • HND A in graded unit. Entry into Level 3 may be available for applicants who have completed an appropriate HND/BTEC (dependent upon places available).
  • Additional information - Portfolio Requirement: Once you have applied to UCAS you will be required to send us your portfolio. Our portfolio requirements are explained in the Guidelines to Applicants for Portfolio Programmes.
  • Additional information Portfolio submission is a prerequisite and will demonstrate an individual interest in fashion. This can be communicated through any media including traditional, observed and expressive drawing, painting, and photography.

Tuition fees

Tuition fees for 2016 entry (by residency status)
Status*Scotland / EU**England / Northern Ireland / WalesInternational
FeePaid by SAAS£9,000£13,500

* Your residency 'status' is usually defined as the country where you have been ordinarily resident for the 3 years before the start of your programme. Find out more about tuition fees.

** European Union countries, not including England, Northern Ireland or Wales.

Scholarships & bursaries

Featured scholarships

Bursaries for students from England, Northern Ireland or Wales starting undergraduate degree programmes in 2016

In addition to government maintenance loans and grants towards the costs of fees and living costs, we are offering generous financial support to attract and support eligible students from England, Northern Ireland or Wales:

View our full range of undergraduate scholarships.