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The UK fashion industry is large with a global reputation, contributing around £35bn to the UK economy and supports around 900,000 jobs. Clothing has always been big business for the UK, even in medieval times, the wool trade accounted for 80% of exports.

This course is for those who wish to pursue a career in the fashion and textiles industry. You will gain high level and specialist training in how to present and exhibit your work to industry standard and how to realise your fashion collection from idea to catwalk.

The course will provide you with real industry experience working on live projects, as well as gaining invaluable knowledge through optional internships and work experience. You will be encouraged to enter prestigious competitions in order to market yourself as a designer and will have the opportunity to take part in the College's annual fashion show.

Darren Scott, HND alumni student and Midland Fashion Awards ‘Emerging Designer Award’ winner 2018 said, "If you believe in something and you're passionate about it, follow it through. That's what I think is the biggest thing for anybody who's doing anything creative."

Course description

Learning and Teaching

A variety of learning and teaching opportunities will be available on your course, approximately 30% of your learning will include lectures, tutorials and classroom based learning supplemented by workshop activities. Studying can include individual and group working. Higher education courses also require students to undertake independent study and so approximately 70% of your studies will be through independent learning, research, reading and completing assessments. Independent study can also include working in the library or joining a study workshop at the College where you can gain support on study skills.

You will learn new techniques, explore innovative processes and fashion trends, and develop an independent mode of working. You will also be able to specialise in the areas you are most interested in, which include pattern cutting, garment manufacture, illustration, specialist textile techniques such as printmaking, embroidery and knitting and computer aided design. The practical skills learnt will be complemented by a strong understanding of the social, political and historical factors that influence trends within the fashion industry. On completion of your studies you will have created a professional portfolio of work that will showcase your technical abilities to future employers.


Assessments are designed to reflect the diverse creative sector and so could be for example a live project, a case study, report or project.


The course aims to develop a broad knowledge and awareness of key aspects of the global fashion and textiles sector through the study of 120 credits per academic year with a total credit value of 240 credits (equivalent to the first 2 years of an honours degree).

  • Professional Development
  • Contextual Studies
  • Individual Project (Pearson Set)
  • Techniques and Processes
  • Computer Aided Design (CAD)
  • Pattern Cutting & Garment Making
  • Fashion & Textiles Practices
  • Printmaking
  • Professional Practice
  • Applied Practice Collaborative Project (Pearson Set)
  • Advanced Fashion Studies
  • Styling
  • Conceptual Practice
  • Jewellery Design

The nature of the course is very practical; therefore, you will need to purchase the necessary equipment and resources needed to complete your course work. This includes pattern cutting paper, calico, art and textiles specialist resources, fabric for garments and accessories and folders (approx. £200).


Our Fusion Centre school of fashion is based in Birmingham City Centre, only a couple of minutes’ walk from the Bullring shopping area and within the heart of Birmingham's creative quarter. The Fusion Centre offers state-of-the-art workrooms, with brilliant facilities from industrial sewing machines, screen printing equipment, to the Gerber System

Alumni and Social Media

To view our students' portfolios - https://issuu.com/sccbfashion Our Instagram page - @sccb_fashion Follow our Pinterest page for our daily inspiration posts - https://www.pinterest.co.uk/sccbfashion/ Darren Scott HND alumni success story - https://www.sccb.ac.uk/latest-news/item/581-fashion-alumnus-wins-midland-fashion-award Video, Spotlight On Fashion - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Szb-Kaz48oc

What areas will I study?

  • Contextual studies
  • Computer aided design (CAD)
  • Accessories
  • Printmaking
  • Professional practice
  • Individual project
  • Techniques and processes
  • Pattern cutting and garment making
  • Fashion and textiles practices

Year One – Units

Unit 1 (15 credits) Professional Practice The creative industries are always changing; in response to development in technology, social change and cultural conditions. These, in turn, have an effect on the professions and roles that are required within the industries. Through this unit, students will explore the development of the professions within the creative industries and the roles that make up those professions. As creative practitioners it is important to schedule time, both to reflect and plan for personal development needs. This can help those working in creative industries to find inspiration and innovate, as well as prepare for external factors, such as keeping up with trends and new developments in their specialist field. The aim of this unit is for students to begin to define areas for personal professional development, in the context of a growing awareness of the broad scope of the creative industries.

Unit 2 (15 credits) Contextual Studies Contextual Studies provides an historical, cultural and theoretical framework to allow us to make sense of art and design, as well as to consider how they may help us to understand the wider world. This unit is designed to introduce students to key cultural developments, practices and movements related to the history of art, design, visual and popular culture since 1900. Emphasis will be placed upon developing a broad knowledge of art and design contexts, considering the technological, economic, social and aesthetic causes which have, and continue to, inform our understanding of art and design within the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Unit 3 (15 credits) Individual Project (Pearson Set) This unit is designed to develop the skills to apply creative practice in response to a theme and topics set by Pearson. Students will carry out and apply the knowledge and skills, developed through other areas of their studies, to complete and present an individual project. Wherever possible the unit will simulate working studio conditions, which will enhance and develop professional industry skills and practice. The ability to define, plan and undertake a project is a critical set of skills throughout the various roles within the creative industries. Identifying appropriate information and analysing this, to formulate clear solutions, is required to underpin many of the processes that inform creative practice.

Unit 4 (15 credits) Techniques & Processes Through this unit students will explore the critical facets of art and design practice that will enable any project. Through the development of skills associated with brief analysis and writing, research, experimentation an testing, and presentation students will begin the process of establishing the grounding for future development of their own practice and further their study. One successful completion of this unit students will have an awareness of a standard approach to the development and execution of work in the creative industries. In addition, they will have the basis upon which to develop their own approach to future projects.

Unit 7 (15 credits) Computer Aided Design (CAD) This unit aims to provide students with opportunities to develop their understanding and knowledge of CAD software applications used in the creative industries, and the practical skills to utilise the technology within their own creative work. On successful completion of this unit students will be able to understand the current and prospective uses of CAD technology within creative industries, and be able to produce CAD drawing, objects, 3D environments and visualisations.

Unit 8 (15 credits) Pattern Cutting & Garment Making The main purpose of this unit is to provide students with opportunities to develop skills in the production of contemporary fashion and innovative pattern cutting. Students will carry out fabric sourcing and use digital technologies in the development of structured and unstructured clothing. They will learn the skills of design research, design interpretation and three-dimensional realisation, presentation, fit alteration, pattern drafting and adaptation, construction and manufacture. They will also carry out fabric sourcing and develop an awareness of sustainability and ethical issues. Live briefs and assignments will encourage students to problem solve and understand form, function and fashion design principles.

Unit 9 (15 credits) Fashion & Textiles Practices The ever-changing global fashion and textile industry requires professionals who are aware of design and technical developments within the industry. Whether involved in the technical production, marketing and promotion, or design, an awareness of materials, processes and techniques is fundamental. The aim of this unit is to provide students with the opportunity to develop a range of skills required in the fashion and textiles industry. Students will engage with fashion and textiles through experimentation with material, surface, form and function. They will apply creative thinking to the development of 2D and 3D textiles. Through a range of projects, students will develop as designers and makers. This will assist in enabling them to progress toward working in the fashion or textile industry.

Unit 22 (15 credits) Printmaking This unit will allow students to explore a wide range of processes and practices in printmaking, as well as applying these practices to realise personal outcomes through an experimental approach. On successful completion of this unit students will be able to understand the historical and contemporary practices associated with printmaking, and through contextualised visits to professional studios and commercial workshops, be able to apply printmaking processes to their specific area of study.

Year Two – Units

Unit 32 (15 credits) Professional Practice An essential aspect of good professional practice is the in-depth analysis of one’s own strengths and weaknesses. This, combined with a clear strategy for presenting one’s skills and abilities to potential employers or clients, is critical to future success. The aim of this unit is to support students in making the transition from study to employment or freelance work. In previous study (Unit 1: Professional Development), students explored the broad areas of personal and professional development and preparing for employment. Building upon this, students will now apply their skills and knowledge to the development of a strategy for their future career, whether in employment or self-employment. Topics included within this unit are career plans, CV writing, interview skills, self promotional material, legal frameworks, business planning and social and professional networks.

Unit 33 (30 credits) Applied Practice in Collaborative Project (Pearson Set) This unit is designed to develop interdisciplinary collaboration and creative engagement through a project that brings together different skills from across the creative industries. Based on a Pearson set theme, students will develop (in negotiation with tutors) their own direction for the project. The unit focuses upon the students’ engagement with the wider community and provides a platform to explore collaborative practice through industry, competitions, cultural organisations, community based groups, non-governmental organisations and charities. Students may work in small groups, with external partners, or collaborate as an entire cohort in order to produce a collaborative outcome, while recognising their own contribution. The ability to define, plan and undertake a project is a critical set of skills throughout the various roles within the creative industries. Identifying appropriate information and analysing this, to formulate clear solutions, is required to underpin many of the processes that inform applied practice.

Unit 36 (30 credits) Advanced Fashion Studies This unit aims to support students in gaining further understanding of the fashion design process and developing their personal approach. By producing a capsule collection of fashion garments, synthesising research and design into working drawings, toiles and final outcomes, students will follow the full cycle of fashion design and production. Students will apply skills in researching and the design process while enhancing knowledge and skills in pattern cutting and garment production to realise their designs and ensure they meet the needs of a specified market. Developing an understanding of the processes involved in sample and garment construction will aid designers to produce successful outcomes based on a more experimental and creative approach applied during the product development process.

Unit 42 (15 credits) Styling This unit will introduce the principles of fashion styling and the role of the stylist in relation to a team of people creating fashion images. The unit will focus on fashion imagery of the last 50 years and the work of fashion editors and stylists, as well as influencers, photographers and magazines, and the culture of the fashion industry. Students will have the opportunity to plan and develop their own fashion images, appropriate to a brand and consumer audience. Topics included in the unit are: fashion styling and job roles, their role in a team, concept development and production of fashion image, editing fashion images, writing cover lines and captions, the history of fashion styling.

Unit 48 (15 credits) Conceptual Practice This unit aims to develop knowledge and skills for artists, craft makers and designers to apply and communicate conceptual responses across practice and application. Through this unit, students will engage with cultural, social, economic and political enquiry, to inform the development of a conceptual approach. Students will explore how conceptual art challenges the traditions of the gallery setting, considering performance, criticism, and theoretical approaches. Students will have the opportunity to explore conceptual enquiry to inform their projects.

Unit 55 (15 credits) Jewellery Design Jewellery is, perhaps, the most common form of fashion accessory. From its prehistoric beginnings to the present day, jewellery plays a central role in our lives: to adorn and decorate, as a way of symbolising love and companionship, or as a way of making ourselves unique. Whether using precious metals and gemstones, high-tech materials, or found objects, jewellery can be both restrained and radical. This unit will introduce and explore new methods of producing forms in jewellery. Through the integration of conceptual design and experimental uses of materials, students will develop the skills to design and craft bespoke jewellery pieces.

The nature of the course is very practical; therefore, you will need to purchase the necessary equipment and resources needed to complete your course work. This includes pattern cutting paper, calico, art and textiles specialist resources, fabric for garments and accessories and folders (approx. £200).

This is dependent on material selection and specificaiton and what you choose for your individual project, this could incur further cost.

Course options

Age range Start Fees Duration Further Information
- September 2021, Duration: 2 Academic years £6000.00 (Per Academic Year) Exam Fee:£280 2 Academic years -

UCAS Application Information

Institution Name: South & City College Birmingham
KIS Code: 0686
UCAS Code: 032W
Click here to apply for this course on UCAS website.