Fashion Design (Contemporary Costume) - BA Hons (Lancaster University)
Qualification Obtained: Fashion Design (Contemporary Costume)
The Fashion Design (Contemporary Costume) degree course at Blackpool and the Fylde College is positioned at the interface of high fashion and creative costume. The degree is unique in that it has a dual focus from the earliest stages of the course and is taught alongside the Fashion Design Degree in the skill building stages. It does however also facilitate students who have a specific desire to work exclusively in either the fashion or costume industries.
In the second year of study you will be asked to confirm your final degree pathway either BA Hons Fashion Design, or BA Hons Fashion Design (Contemporary Costume) this allows you to specialise in your chosen field in your final projects and gain the qualification that is the most suited to your future career. From catwalk to music videos, creative fashion communicates with a wide range of audiences and the course encourages innovative approaches through all projects and aims to stretch and challenge your imagination whilst developing your practical abilities.
The unique selling point of this course is the freedom to experiment across specialist areas. The fashion industry is made up of many different facets and you will be encouraged to develop critical enquiry in all these different areas of study before deciding on a final degree pathway. Both our current and past students have been positive about this aspect of the course and have enjoyed the variety provided by the different projects, ultimately the advantage is that our graduates are perfectly positioned for a career in their specialist field.
Course Entry Requirements
A minimum of 200 UCAS points (excluding functional skills) or above in an appropriate discipline along with GCSE in English Language at grade C or above (or equivalent). We also welcome applications from those with relevant experience in lieu of the minimum entry requirements. All applicants will be given the opportunity to attend one of our workshops / send work electronically. For further information see:
2017 Entry Requirements
A new UCAS Tariff will be used for courses starting from September 2017, the new entry requirements are as follows;
A minimum of 80 UCAS points (previously 200) excluding functional skills with at least 48 from an appropriate discipline and GCSE in English Language at grade C or above (or equivalent). Applicants who are able to demonstrate relevant work/life skills or knowledge will also be considered on an individual basis. All applicants are invited to a workshop. Alternatively, will view your work online. For further details, please see www.blackpool.ac.uk/sca/auditions
Career Options and Progression
The Fashion Design (contemporary Costume) degree will help you to grow and develop as an individual and will guide you in your transition from student to graduate to employment.
Key aims of the programme are to create graduates with those attributes that are highly valued within the creative industries:
- Ability to be reflective and use high level critical thinking skills to problem-solve.
- A creative aptitude which must be based on experimental process, the ability to question assumptions, and use imagination to synthesise information within the design process.
- The capacity to articulate broad industry knowledge.
- Digital proficiency across a range of CAD software programmes.
- Positive reaction to fast paced and highly pressurised working conditions.
- Good interpersonal skills, written, verbal, and digital.
- Strong work ethic and team commitment.
Whilst fashion or costume design is a career aspiration for many students, there are other exciting and creative opportunities available. You may choose to work within a design environment as production assistant or garment technologist, or within creative pattern cutting or textile manufacture. There are also many positions that support the retail industry such as buying, marketing, promotion and styling. It is important to identify career goals and aspirations during your studies but it is also beneficial to be open and flexible to the many opportunities that may be available to you in your chosen field.
Modules and Assessment
In the first year introductory modules will provide you with a base on which to build. Drawing and conceptual design through both traditional and digital methods; technical garment production with CAD software and an innovative textiles module echoes the rising emergence of developments in this exciting area of creative design. All these modules are supported by a critical studies module which is designed to underpin both your theoretical and practical knowledge, through a series of lectures and seminars and aims to contextualise and challenge your perceptions of both the fashion and costume industry both past and present. Set project briefs in semester two allow you to produce imaginative outcomes that can be experimental and innovative.
Second year study includes advanced production techniques and processes across fashion, costume and textiles and this links to projects that involve live briefs and independent research. Digital skills become a stronger focus with the development of computer aided design methods and these are then integrated into your other modules requiring you to create design boards and look books.
The third year is when you will embark on a year-long project to design and produce a collection. For both the fashion and costume pathways this will be an extensive practical endeavour, as you will work on a range of garments that link to your chosen sector. A catwalk event and exhibitions at major venues both in Manchester and London are the showcases for your final collection that will launch your career.
Within the programme there are strong collaborative links to other degree programmes and the local creative industries and these facilitate real-life briefs that allow you to acquire professional work skills. The programme has excellent resources which are updated annually, the studios are light and airy and a broad range of industry standard equipment is available not only in taught sessions but for independent study. Teaching and learning takes place through formal lectures and seminars which underpin creative and technical workshop-style sessions. Practical projects are undertaken in the studio with tutor support and guidance, with additional timetabled sessions to provide access to specialist equipment and resources. Learning is also supported through visits to galleries, museums and theatres. Recent visits include London, New York, Barcelona and Paris.
Level 4 Modules
- FAS401 Thinking and Making 20 credits
- FAS402 Pattern Cutting and Garment Construction - Introduction 20 credits
- FAS403 Pattern Cutting and Garment Construction – Synthesis 20 credits
- FAS404 Visualisation and Digital Image Making in Contemporary Contexts 20 credits
- FAS405 Design Practice with Communication and Styling 20 credits
- FAS406 Textiles and Experimental Surface Design 20 credits
Level 5 Modules
- FAS501 Research into Practice 20 credits
- FAS502 Product Development and Technical Skills 20 credits
- FAS503 Fashion Industry and Enterprise 20 credits
- FAS504 Digital Illustration and Brand Communication 20 credits
- FAS505 Industry Design Realisation 20 credits
- FAS506 Independent Creative Project 20 credits
Level 6 Modules
- FAS601 Independent Research Project 20 credits
- FAS602 Research and Design Innovation - Final Project 20 credits
- FAS603 Career Planning and Portfolio Development 20 credits
- FAS604 Creative and Technical Development - Final Project 20 credits
- FAS605 Advanced Realisation and Communication – Final Project 40 credits
The assessment strategy for the course is both formative and summative. You will receive both verbal and written feedback during each module targeting areas for improvement and development. You will also take part in peer or group assessment/critique sessions, this will give you the opportunity to discuss your own and others work, offering support, guidance and feedback. At the end of each assessment or module you will receive formal written summative feedback identifying your strengths and areas of improvement for your future development as you progress through your modules.
Teaching and Learning Methods
The teaching and learning methodology across the programme is broad and diverse and ranges from an academic approach, where you will attend lectures and seminars, which aim to facilitate stimulating debate centred on the fashion industry and other wider contexts, through to practical sessions delivered by demonstration and technical instruction. Many of the modules are studio based and you will be encouraged to have a hands-on approach to your learning. This is a very practical course and assignments have been designed to allow you to experiment, be innovative, and challenge the perception of your abilities within your chosen field.
During the programme you will be encouraged to evaluate your progress and development as a designer by reflecting on and assessing your achievements at each step of your learning, setting personal objectives and using the feedback that you get from your peers and tutors to target areas of improvement.
You will also be expected to collaborate and engage in group work mirroring current industry practices using a designer, pattern cutter, sample maker and studio/production manager, you should make the most of these opportunities as they will prepare you for your future career by teaching you valuable interpersonal skills such as team working, negotiation and communication.
Percentage of time in different learning activities, by year for this course:
- Year 1: 40% time in lectures, seminars and workshops 60% time in independent study
- Year 2: 34% time in lectures, seminars and workshops , 66% time in independent study
- Year 3: 24% time in lectures, seminars and workshops ,76% time in independent study
Work Placement and Field Trips
Work placement is not a mandatory part of this programme, but is encouraged through live industry briefs which are sourced to help you to build your CV. This has been a successful part of our current programmes in terms of building your professional experience whilst you study.
All staff involved in the delivery of higher education courses within the College are approved to teach the subjects and modules they deliver. The approval process ensures that staff delivering a given programme are appropriately qualified and, where appropriate, possess relevant vocational and industrial experience and professional practice.
Read our tuition fees guide.
Equipment - The equipment requirements vary for each level on this course therefore the costs have been split below by course levels, costs given are approximate.
Initial set up costs of between £50 - £100 to purchase equipment/textbooks
Art and Design materials are needed for other modules and as before the student may already have these.
- Sketch book and file for each project
- Pattern cutting book
- Set square
- Good Quality scissors
- General sewing and pattern making materials
- General art and design materials
- Calico and other toile materials
- Interfacing, zips and Final project materials
At level 4 all materials can be purchased through the college at a reduced rate, a student catalogue (Morplan) is given in the first week for orders at the reduced rate.
Costs for level 5 include
- Quality wool fabric (for tailoring project)
- fabric (individual personal project)
- Calico and other Toile materials
- Interfacing, zips and Final project materials
Fabric costs can vary depending on the type of fabric chosen by the student. General materials can be purchased through the college; trips are arranged for the purchase of better quality fabrics for project work.
Level 6 - A final practical project runs through level 6 and a collection of 6 outfits are required. Costs for this are variable and dependent on designs and choices of fabrics chosen by the student. Students are advised however that the amount can be fairly substantial (£200 - £500 or more). Good quality fabrics and other materials are required from London based suppliers or other high quality fabric retailers.
At level 6 a professional portfolio is expected and this incurs printing costs.
Regulation and Accreditation
This programme is regulated by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).
Terms and Conditions
Read our full terms and conditions for more information.
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