Fashion Communication BA

  • UCAS code W640
  • Duration Up to 4 years
  • Delivery type Full Time
  • Study location Scottish Borders
  • Number of places 30


The Course

This programme is aimed at students who are fascinated by the variety and diversity of ways that fashion and clothing is communicated, promoted and presented creatively to different audiences. Fashion Communication is the activity that supports or encourages the promotion and purchases of fashion products, through photography, film, digital media, performance, music, advertising and journalism. The core elements of the programme aim to develop an awareness and understanding of all areas of contemporary popular culture - underpinned with an in-depth knowledge of contemporary fashion design and its context, to inspire original and dynamic ideas to communicate Fashion to an international audience in the 21st Century.

Career Prospects

This programme offers many transferable skills that can lead to careers in all related areas of fashion communication including - fashion media, advertising, fashion journalism, art direction, fashion photography, styling and events management, graphic design, fashion PR and web design.

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, Marketing and Retailing students, provides an introduction to students' chosen programme and to the related programmes. 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 and explore ideas in Fashion Communication in greater depth, through courses in Fashion Photography, Digital Application, Typography and Graphics, and Promotion and Advertising. You will be introduced to new skills in all of these areas and be encouraged to research and develop an individual approach to subjects.

Level 3

Students will work on cross disciplinary projects and fashion industry collaborations through a combination of independent study, team working and external projects in areas such as events and brand promotion. This external activity provides industry awareness, as well as giving first-hand knowledge of contextualising their work in the contemporary marketplace.

Level 4

Students will consolidate their skills and develop their individuality through the initiation, developmentand completion of a final degree project. This can take the form of a fashion magazine, fashion film, website or other form of contemporary fashion communication.

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 units. Entry to 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 will normally be a prerequisite and will demonstrate an individual interest in fashion and fashion communication. This can be communicated through any media including traditional, observed and expressive drawing, painting, photography and digital media.

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.