Foundation Degree in Fashion and Textiles (FdA)

    Full time
    2 Years
    University of Kent
Developing the creative, technical and team-building skills that are essential for a career within the fashion and textiles industry, this programme has a strong work-based element and focus on the practical elements of this discipline. You will develop a sound understanding of designing, making and presenting your own collection of fashion and textiles, and apply theories of concept and market research to practical situations. You will cover a broad range of subjects, such as drawing, surface pattern design, pattern-cutting, garment making, use of industrial sewing machines, digital and screen-printing, textile techniques and CAD-based visual communication.

During your first year you will work on two creative projects, with visitors from the fashion and interior textile industries, and your second year will culminate with a fashion show and portfolio project. Throughout the two years, you will develop a selective portfolio of work, to include fashion and/or textiles, suitable for prospective interviews for internships, employment or further study.

All students complete a work placement between the first and second years, with previous placements including the head offices of high street brands, as well as smaller design and make studios.


Teaching is predominantly practical, utilising methods such as demonstrations, studio workshops, group lectures, seminars and individual tutorials.

Assessment is largely coursework-based, with a small percentage of certain modules ‘exam’ or presentation-based. This will usually include a digital presentation of images of work where you will develop communication and professional practice skills.

The programme typically involves an average of 12 timetabled hours over two to three days per week during term time. This is a full-time programme and you will be expected to dedicate approximately 15-20 hours per week to self-directed study to carry out research and assignment work outside of timetabled hours. This can be undertaken at home or in College study areas and studios on specific days. Technician guidance will be available at designated times.

You will learn practical skills in pattern cutting, garment making and become competent in the use of industrial sewing machines, digital and screen printing as well as a range of hand textile techniques from batik to embroidery. You will develop skills in Computer Aided Design (CAD) based digital presentation and visual communication alongside problem solving skills through the design process. Your skills in independent thinking and planning will be extended through completion of complex practical work to meet deadlines. You will work as part of a group within the studio environment and during the planning and realisation of a final exhibition and fashion show. You will also develop professional practice skills through a combination of simulated work-related project briefs, tutorials with visiting industry practitioners and in the workplace.

Subject to meeting the entry requirements, you will be able to progress to the Colleges one-year BA (Hons) Top-Up Degree in Fashion & Textiles. Alternatively, employment or an internship with a range of fashion and textile employers is possible.

You will be provided with a list of basic sewing and art equipment required for the programme as well as key reading material prior to enrolment.

A materials fee is payable for each year of the programme to cover the supply of basic materials, including calico, threads, pattern paper, printing inks and dyes. This fee is currently set at £70 per year. An additional fee for trips, currently set at £30 per year, is also payable for each year of the programme to cover admission fees for external visits organised by the College. This will enable the College to obtain group discounts where available and ensure that students can visit key exhibitions and shows during the year. Please note that this fee will not cover your travel costs.

You will need to budget for the purchase of fabrics and other materials to carry out your project work. The scale of this cost will depend on the nature of your work and your choice of style and materials. As a guide, the College estimates an average cost of £75-£100 across the first year and £100-£150 across the second year, although some students will spend more than this whilst others will spend less.

The College will also seek to organise a group visit to the Première Vision show in Paris. This will be an optional trip. Subject to a minimum number of students signing up, you should budget for a cost of approximately £250 if you wish to attend this event.

Following receipt of your application, we will invite you to an interview and ask you to bring a portfolio of your work. The interview and your portfolio will help us to assess your suitability for the programme. We will also consider your application form, including your personal statement and reference, and the entry requirements when making a decision.

Applications (full-time only) should be made through UCAS.

The programme is taught at our campus in Tonbridge, which offers close links to London and the south coast. You will benefit from a supportive environment, an excellent ratio of staff to students and guidance and tutorial support from specialist lecturers with industry experience. The purpose-designed and modern fashion and textile studios include access to professional equipment. Workshops from visiting speakers, fashion designers, textile agents, illustrators and fashion promotion specialists support core teaching and ensure the programme is relevant to the industry.

You will complete a work placement between the first and second years; our staff have a good network of contacts and we will support you to apply for areas of the industry that suit your skills and aspirations for the future. In previous years, students have worked with local companies including Talullah & Hope; London design offices of high street chains such as Monsoon & Accessorize and Phase Eight; and independent designers, freelance artists and makers including Tatty Devine and Ptolemy Man.

The programme is suitable for students with a range of creative skills in their portfolio. Evidence of observation and recording through drawing, mark making, patterns, visual communication and photography are all relevant. Some sewing or fashion and textile experience is desirable; however, evidence of skill with materials of any kind can translate into fashion and textile making skills and these modules will be taught in the first year of the programme. The programme is also suitable for those who are more experienced garment makers, or mature students with textile skills and experience looking to move to the next level.

Students will take part in trips to exhibitions and London museums and agencies, as well as international competitions and the College’s end of year fashion show. In addition, students will have the opportunity to visit the Première Vision show in Paris in the second year.

Fashion & Textiles Student Work

Fashion & Textiles Facilities


Applicants should hold a minimum of 64 UCAS tariff points from one of the following qualifications:

• A BTEC or UAL level 3 Extended Diploma in a Visual Arts Subject which equates to a minimum of 64 UCAS points
• Two A-Levels at Grades CC or above, including a relevant subject
• A Foundation Diploma in Art and Design at Level 3 from BTEC or UAL
• An equivalent qualification in a relevant subject Although not a mandatory requirement for entry to the programme, students’ aptitude for study at this level and their future employment prospects will benefit from holding GCSEs in English and maths at Grade C/4 or above (or an equivalent Level 2 qualification).

Mature applicants (those aged 21 years or over at the start of the course) who do not hold one of these qualifications but who possess relevant experience or skills, and who can present a portfolio of work which demonstrates their creative potential, are welcomed and will be considered on an individual basis.

Institution Code: K24
Course Code: W233
Campus Code: W

Curtis Ferris

My Fashion tutor has really helped me with developing my skills including using ... Curtis Ferris, BA (Hons) Fashion & Textiles
success stories

Cripa Yangkhrung

l've loved my entire course, especially the final year. Staff have been very ... Cripa Yangkhrung, BA (Hons) Fashion & Textiles
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Charlotte Bidois

I now own my own small childrenswear business, The Little BearCub Company, which ... Charlotte Bidois, BA (Hons) Fashion & Textiles
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