Design Fundamentals: Process, Interpretation and Development
School of Arts & Media
September 2019Next enrolment
In a nutshell
Our course reflects contemporary practice in the fashion industry, with individual creativity as its core. You are encouraged to explore your individual talents through the application of the professional design process, from original concept to final product. Our course has been designed to give you the essential skills needed to succeed in this fast paced, dynamic industry both in the UK and Internationally.
The course aspires to create flexible, resourceful and creative fashion practitioners with well-developed transferable and interpersonal skills. Through a range of inspiring modules, you will become multi-skilled, independent and professional in an environment where personal talent and individual development are nurtured.
You will also have the opportunity to undertake a work placement module in your second year, with past students doing placements at brands such as Alexander McQueen, Adam Lippes, Christopher Kane, Henri Lloyd, Jonathan Saunders, Karl Lagerfeld, Markus Lupfer, Selfridges & Co, Anna Sui, Vera Wang and Viktor & Rolf.
- Explore your individual talents through the application of the professional design process
- Study on a course ranked 4th in the Guardian's university league table for Fashion and Textiles courses
- Develop your design thinking and creative ability by undertaking a series of practical projects
This is for you if...
You have enthusiasm, passion and dedication for fashion
You are eager to develop your creative ideas and visual communication skills
You want to study in an environment where personal talent and individual potential are nurtured
All about the course
Year one introduces you to the fundamentals of a range of disciplines and provides a thorough grounding of knowledge skills and understanding. By the end of year one, you will have the ability to understand and communicate ideas in a professional visual form and have developed sufficient technical skills to be able to realise your concepts.
During year two, you will liaise with industry and, where possible, undertake a 'live project' with a working fashion house or label, which will allow you to engage with and practice subjects of the course with professionalism and prepare you to work more independently. You will develop your understanding of markets and design trends through a process of research, analysis and practical projects.
At the end of this level, you will undertake a work placement to develop your awareness and understanding of the fashion industry. Work placements can offer the opportunity for regional, national or international experience in fashion-related organisations.
Year three provides the opportunity to personalise an in-depth study through the negotiation of bespoke projects in line with your goals and ambitions. For the final project, self-direction and independent thinking are imperative. Work from your final module is exhibited at a fashion show in Manchester. A number of our students will also be selected to take part in the prestigious annual Graduate Fashion Week event in London, where they will exhibit work alongside their peers and competitors.
This module introduces the basic skills and knowledge required as part of the fashion design process. It aims to provide the essential foundation upon which your understanding and awareness of the conceptual processes are underpinned by your technical and creative responses. It also aims to generate a sense of confidence and encourage you to think and explore in an open and expansive manner, allowing you a period of exploration within which more personal and creative responses can be generated via 2D and 3D solutions.
Uses of Research: Industry Practice
This module is delivered through a series of lectures, seminars and practical workshops involving the development and research of fashion thinking via short exercises and focused projects. The sessions also incorporate individual and group tutorials, and encourage an exchange of ideas and approaches to learning. Typically you will produce a research book, development boards and a final outcome that could be either in the form of 2D, 3D or digital formats. The content of work will be determined by individual projects and the your own interest in either design or styling.
Exploring Creative Contexts: Fashion
The module is taught through a variety of complementary teaching methods and formats including lectures, tutorials and projects. These various methods and formats will use our virtual learning environment (VLE) to encourage your participation in research, study skills and interpretation of teaching material. The two assessed components encouarge you to explore, consider and reflect on a range of perspectives in the field of creative practice, especially in the context of your own practice. Sessions focus on issues affecting visual culture in relation to fashion and visual culture. Connected visits may be arranged.
Introduction to Fashion Techniques
A skill based module taught mainly in the workshop/studio through a series of demonstrations and lectures. You will be introduced to materials, workshop machinery and studio equipment through a series of demonstration and exercises. Assessment will be through a project that will typically include a body of work demonstrating understanding and application of techniques, materials and practical skills. Typically, this would be in the form of a project file built throughout the module.
This module is created to challenge you to engage with diverse approaches to fashion communication. The learning is achieved through workshops including practical drawing for fashion and the use of computer software appropriate to the fashion industry.
Three Dimensional Approaches to Research
In the three-dimensional module you will gain an understanding of research concepts and methodologies for fashion design. You will demonstrate awareness of design principles that could lead to innovative three-dimensional fashion outcomes. You will build on your skills in creative pattern cutting methods and production techniques.
Uses of Design Research: Industry Practice
In semester two, this module also features a mentoring experience where you are partnered with final year students according to your interest in either design or styling. You will work closely with them as they develop their final major project. The final year students will complete an evaluation form that assesses the experience with you, and at the same time you will maintain and submit a visual/written journal/blog as part of your experience and overall project work.
Acting as an introduction to the fashion design pathway, this module aims to provide you with the opportunity to develop your understanding of fashion design and give you a solid foundation of knowledge for future modules. You will develop the technical skills necessary for the effective realisation of concepts within this discipline.
Fashion Communication 2
This module intends to build upon the skills and knowledge from year one and specifically those developed in fashion and communication. The module deals with professional strategies and approaches that are necessary to gain practical yet creative outcomes important to the understanding of design and its application. The module aims to further develop your technical skill in fashion illustration and Computer Aided Design (CAD).
Industry Practice: Fashion Design
The purpose of this module is to place fashion design practice; particularly pattern cutting and production techniques, within a business context. An understanding of marketing and business issues will give you direction in the design, sampling and production of a collection. Enhanced and improved pattern cutting/production skills enable you to design more effectively and creatively in order to meet the needs of different markets.
Responding to Creative Contexts: Fashion
The module is taught through a variety of complementary teaching methods and formats, including lectures, tutorials and projects. These various methods and formats will use the VLE to encourage you to participate in research, study skills and interpretation of teaching material. Connected visits may be arranged. Sessions focus on issues affecting visual culture in relation to design and visual culture and on an appreciation of contextual influences. In addition, you will be challenged to develop an informed view of the programme’s disciplines, the relationships between these disciplines, and the wider relationships that can be made to other forms of visual, creative and cultural expression. The assessed component challenges you to investigate and test your position in relation to creative and cultural communities, relevant to your practice.
Fashion Design Capsule Collection
'Capsule' is produced within the fashion industry to communicate the essence of a much larger or complete fashion collection. You will gain experience in producing an edited or abridged collection of garments that captures and communicates the key themes and influences representative of your design direction. Throughout this module you will be entering a more personal journey and initiating your personal direction in preparation for your final year.
Placements within industry not only add to your knowledge and appreciation of your chosen discipline but can also enhance future employment prospects. This module encourages a liaison between you and the industry – allowing you to apply and develop your knowledge and skills gained on the course while gaining an understanding of the relevant working procedures of industry and the professional activities of design. You will be supported to identify a placement that supports your chosen design field and future career aspirations.
This research-based module is a project that promotes and develops a systematic and critical enquiry into the professional and industrial aspects of the fashion business and evaluate its key facets in a professional, coherent and comprehensive way. You will be encouraged to identify a fashion company and after developing a creative and analytical research, you will have the opportunity to apply an individual and contemporary design solution.
Design and Research for an External Brief
This first design module is a project that encourages you to be aware and appreciate the 'reality' of the fashion industry and prepare you to engage in a professional way, within the constraints of an external brief.
You will develop an understanding of creative cutting, explore the full potential of the creative design interpretation and consider pattern cutting as a creative process.
Portfolio Module - FIMS
This module aims to challenge you to reflect critically on your personal skills and to exploit your individual creativity in promoting your own work. You will use the experiences and approaches to specialised research as a platform for your Final Major Project work.
Independent Research Project
The emphasis in this module is on independent research, exploration and investigation. You will participate in a mixture of one-to-one and small group tutorials throughout the module. These tutorials will be supported by lectures, seminars and library skills sessions. In addition the VLE will act as a space for you to actively engage with and participate in research, study skills and interpretation of teaching material. Formative feedback, appropriate to the project - for example, rehearsal, draft reading and critique of visual work, will also inform the development of your work. You will be guided to select the most appropriate topic and assessment method. Briefings for this module take place at the end of the previous year in order to help you to develop an initial proposal that will best match one of the project options available.
Negotiated Major Project
Negotiated Studies as the final major project, is designed to allow you to synthesise your experiences on the course through the definition, negotiation and implementation of a self-directed programme of design investigation, research and development, leading to the presentation of a major design project. You are encouraged to identify an issue or set of issues around which to focus your design investigation. The primary responsibility for the implementation of the project lies with you, and you will be assessed on your capacity to undertake a detailed examination of the territory you have identified. Effectively, this negotiated study provides a framework through which you are able to demonstrate a capacity to practice your understanding of the particular contextual circumstances in which you operate.
Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.
What will I be doing?
Visual and academic research may take several forms according to specific briefs, your objectives and your personal approach to the subject. Drawing, photography, visual and written notebooks are encouraged as a fundamental means of gathering, analysing, storing, retrieving and using visual information effectively.
This is generally seen as an opportunity for autonomy, although there is tutor guidance and support. You will also learn how to use the internet appropriately, and how to use library resources including archives and databases in order to obtain the required information from specialist sources.
Projects vary in the amount of time you will be in contact with staff. Workshop or studio projects tend to require additional staff support and guidance while design and styling projects require tutorials and more one-to-one discussions, especially in your final year where research and personal reflection, as part of the learning outcome, become more imperative.
School of Arts and Media
The School of Arts and Media is the largest School at the University of Salford with more than 4,000 creative students. Across sites at MediaCityUK and the University's Peel Park campus, we offer a huge variety of courses, from fashion image making and styling, television and radio, creative writing and music to journalism, animation, design and performance.
This broad range of disciplines offers enhanced opportunities for specialist and interdisciplinary study, including collaborative work across subject areas.
You will study in our £55 million New Adelphi building, the home of art, design and performance at the University of Salford.
This includes a dedicated fashion design studio, where technical staff can support you in the use of all machinery. Additional workshops offer the use of laser cutters, 3D printers, screen and digital printing and model making equipment.
What about after uni?
Graduates entering the fashion industry work across a diverse range of careers – as designers, stylists, pattern cutters, buyers, visual merchandisers, illustrators and retailers. Many have set up their own labels. Recent graduates have found employment with companies such as Adidas, John Lewis, Levi's, Max Mara, New Balance, Puma, River Island, Topshop, Warehouse, Peter Pilotto, H&M, Superdry, Roland Mouret and many more.
Students have the opportunity to meet and collaborate with a wide range of industry professionals. The valuable knowledge and experience that visiting speakers bring ensures that you are kept informed of the current changes and demands within the fashion industry.
You will benefit from hearing a professional perspective which complements your learning and development while providing inspiration and an acute awareness of the fashion world.
Our visiting speakers are a valuable asset to the course and help us to maintain our contemporary outlook. Recent guests have included the H&M design team; the director of Crane TV; Lee Lapthorne, creative director of Doll & On-Off; and London-based designer Justin Oh. These guest speakers were invited as part of a lecture series, workshop or live project.
What you need to know
The applications process
As part of the application process you may be invited to an interview.
When applying for this fashion course your personal statement is very important and should be dynamic, original and show your personality. Please avoid generic statements and quotes. Most of all get across your interest in the subject. If successful you would be invited to interview. We pride ourselves in seeing each student personally and viewing their work. A well-presented portfolio says a lot about you and your work. Our guidance is not meant to limit your creative statement, in general terms however, we would expect the following:
- Examples of drawing and colour usage
- Design/idea development
- Sketch books and note books
- 2D and 3D work
At this stage in your career we would much rather see experimental and playful drawing and developmental work rather than necessarily all finished work showing a final solution.
We do not need to see all the work you have produced - around 20-30 samples in your main portfolio would be ideal as well as some sketchbooks.
English language requirements
International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.0 (with no element below 5.5) is proof of this.
You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as either English and maths GCSE grade C/grade 4 or above.
UCAS tariff points
GCE A level
96-112 points including an A2 in an art and design subject at grade C
BTEC National Diploma
BTEC Higher National Diploma
Applicants may be considered for entry into year two
Applicants may be considered for entry into year three
96-112 points including an art and design subject
Irish Leaving Certificate
96-112 points including an art and design subject
29 points including an art and design subject
Foundation Diploma in Art and Design
Pass = 165 (plus other additional qualifications to a total of 260 points)
Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)
We welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we have received your application we will assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.
There are two different routes through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. Assessment will either be through a review of prior learning or through a formal test.
|Type of study||Year||Fees|
|Full-time home/EU||2019||£9,250per year|
|Full-time international||2019||£14,820per year|
Students should expect to pay their studio levy each year. In addition, in year three of study, students will also incur a cost to participate in shows.
- First year costs: £100
- Second year costs: £100
- Third year costs: £350
For optional trips, you should expect to pay from £350 to £1,200. Costs are approximated based on the current academic year.
You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.
All Set? Let's Apply?
Course ID W225