Undergraduate study - 2018 entry

BA Fashion

UCAS code: W230

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Edinburgh College of Art

College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Study abroad

Introducing BA Fashion

Our dynamic and award-winning, fashion programme puts emphasis on your personal creative freedom and design innovation. We believe that the only way to create the fashion innovators of the future is to promote your individual design identity while developing and nurturing your full creative potential.

Our ambition is to ensure that you have the best chance of employment and career development on graduation. We believe in cultivating expressive, visionary and provocative designers with a broad range of abilities, addressing all sectors of the fashion design community.

Social responsibility is core to our programme's educational structure. This ensures that emotionally considerate design, and empathetic knowledge of diverse consumers and their needs, is placed at the core of intelligent design solutions. Our students strive to create products that have a sustainable and meaningful place in the contemporary design world.


Due to ongoing curriculum development, we are making changes to our Fashion programme. We are yet to confirm these changes, however we expect this programme will follow a similar structure to our other Design programmes.

We will update information as soon as detail is available.

Year 1

This year offers you a dynamic and highly creative approach to design. You will be introduced to the foundations of fashion drawing and communication, creative cutting, research methods and garment construction.

You will be encouraged to develop key awareness of the discipline through both contemporary and historical analysis.

As part of the School of Design, you will also participate in interdisciplinary collaborations and classes, which will expand your thinking and approach to creativity.

Year 2

At this level you will be introduced to our fashion diversity awareness initiative, learning skills in designing for, celebrating and understanding diverse consumer markets.

You will also design and produce garment work to be showcased at the annual fashion shows. Computer-based technical drawing and portfolio building is introduced through our renowned DesignBook project.

You will also undertake regular drawing classes to enhance your personal fashion communication methods. Introductory methods of classic pattern-cutting and technical garment construction are taught comprehensively throughout the year, providing fundamental skillsets required for study at Year 3 and 4.

Year 3

This is an externally facing professional practice year where there are a range of opportunities for internship, exchange, competitions and live projects with industry.

Electives within the wider University are available during Year 3.

You will develop business awareness through a live collaborative project designing new brands with acute retail, marketing, costing and consumer awareness. At this level, you will develop knowledge of materials, tailoring and outerwear, knitwear and accessory design.

Year 4

In Year 4, you will develop a personal research plan, designing a six-outfit graduate collection that may be showcased at the annual Edinburgh College of Art Fashion Shows and exhibited externally if applicable.

At this level, creativity is married with an understanding of the context for your design work, and you will be encouraged to develop innovative approaches to materials, design and garment construction methods.

Collections may be focused on womenswear, menswear, knitwear, accessory design, or surface innovation. You will also produce a DesignBook, which will serve as a professional portfolio for the industry and career development.

Programme structure

Find out more about the compulsory and optional courses in this degree programme.

We publish the latest available information for this programme. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year.

Programme structure (2017/18)

Our facilities

Design students benefit from studio-based learning at our Lauriston Place campus, along with the exhibitions and events associated with a vibrant art college. Option courses are usually taught outside the School across the wider university campus. You will also have access to the University's extensive libraries and computer facilities.

The University is investing in the ECA estate and facilities to further develop our flexible, stimulating, supportive and sustainable learning and research environment for students and staff.

Further information is available on the ECA website.

Facilities and resources at ECA


Placement can currently be undertaken as part of Year 3. We also help and advise students undertaking summer placements between teaching semesters.

Study abroad

There are opportunities to study abroad in Year 3.

How will I learn?

The majority of design teaching and learning is through involvement in a range of experiential projects situated in a studio environment. Conceptual, material and technical issues are explored through seminars, workshops, lectures, tutorials and critiques.

Research, critical thinking and study of the visual, intellectual, social and professional contexts that shape creative design practice are regarded as essential to your development. This often involves participation in exhibitions, competitions, collaborations and live industry projects.

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment is continuous throughout the year, aiming to give you meaningful feedback and to encourage experimentation in the studio and beyond. Formative assessment for compulsory courses is through a mix of verbal and written modes such as portfolio, presentations and essays.

There is a mid-session review, usually at the mid-point of any given course you study. Summative assessment at the end of all the courses you take is informed by your academic and creative progress and performance throughout.

Programme details

Find out more about this programme's aims, what you will learn, how you will be assessed and what skills and knowledge you will develop.

We publish the latest available information for this programme. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year.

Programme details (2017/18)

Careers in fashion can be varied, with students proceeding to gain employment in fashion sectors including design, styling, buying and merchandising.

Typical offer

The typical offer is likely to be:

  • SQA Highers: ABBB.
  • A Levels: ABB.
  • IB: 34 points (grades 655 at HL).

Minimum entry requirements

  • SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S5 or ABBBB/AABB from S4-S6, with a minimum of BBB achieved in one year of S4-S6. National 5: English at Grade C.
  • A Levels: ABB. GCSEs: English at Grade C or 4.
  • IB: Award of Diploma with 34 points overall and grades 655 in HL subjects. SL: English at 5.

Additional requirements


Applicants will be asked to submit a digital mini-portfolio to provide evidence of artistic aptitude and potential, this will form an important part of the selection process. Applicants applying to enter Year 2 of our programmes, who pass the first stage of selection, will be invited to bring a full portfolio to an Applicant Day. (Revised 08/03/2017 to provide more accurate information.)

How to submit your mini-portfolio

Important dates

  • Early November 2017: Mini-portfolio submissions site opens
  • 15 January 2018: UCAS deadline for Home/EU applicants
  • Mini-portfolio submission deadline to be confirmed
  • 30 June 2018: Final deadline for UCAS applications from applicants from outside the EU. (Revised 08/03/2017 to provide more accurate information.)

BTEC/UAL Diplomas

Pearson BTEC and University of the Arts London Diplomas in Art and Design are accepted for entry on their own and in combination with other qualifications. Further information on accepted combinations and required grades will be made available here shortly, or please contact the Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences Admissions Office.

(Revised 30/03/2017)

Find out more about entry requirements

International students

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.

Entry requirements by country

International Foundation Programme

If you are an international student and your school qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to the University you may be eligible for admission to this degree programme through our International Foundation Programme.

International Foundation Programme

Entry to the second year is available. Successful completion of a Foundation Diploma (at Merit Grade), a relevant HND or equivalent is required. Applicants will normally be expected to have undertaken these qualifications in addition to having met the minimum entry requirements (Highers, A Levels, IB etc). In some of our less competitive programmes it may be possible to consider applicants presenting ABC (or equivalent) or above at A-level. These grades must have been achieved in a single first sitting.

You must provide evidence that your written and spoken English is at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies.

English language tests

If English is not your first language, you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your spoken and written English:

  • IELTS Academic module overall 6.5 with 5.5 in each component
  • TOEFL-iBT 92 or above with 20 in each section
  • Cambridge English: Advanced or Proficiency overall 176 with 162 in each component
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic): Total 61 with at least 51 in each "Communicative Skills" section
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with a distinction in all four components

About English language requirements


For SQA and GCSE students, unless a higher level is specified in the stated entry requirements, a pass is required in English at the following grades or higher:

  • SQA National 5 Grade C
  • SQA Standard Grade 3
  • SQA Intermediate 1 Grade A
  • SQA Intermediate 2 Grade C
  • GCSE Grade C or 4
  • IB Standard Level Grade 5

Key Information Sets (KIS) are part of a government initiative to enhance the information that higher education institutions provide about their degree programmes.

KIS are available for most undergraduate programmes and are intended to make it easier for you to find information about the programmes you are interested in studying. It is one of many sources of information available that will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.

You can also use this website to find more information on our programmes and the learning environment you will experience at the University of Edinburgh.

Please note that some programmes do not have data available and will not display a KIS.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for BA Fashion

Additional Costs

There will be a small charge each year for use of materials for pattern cutting and fashion prototyping. We encourage our students to seek sponsorship for fabrics/finishings where possible to keep costs to a minimum, especially in Year 4.

There will be the opportunity to exhibit your work externally in Years 1- 4 if applicable; your actual contribution will depend on your year of study.


For more information on how much it will cost to study with us and the financial support available see our fees and funding information.

Fees and funding