FdA Fashion

Do you love leafing through the fashion pages of the latest magazines or cooing over the newest catwalk trends? Our Foundation Degree in Fashion (FdA) could be for you. The programme combines creativity with commercial understanding, and introduces you to the core knowledge, practices and disciplines of today’s fashion industry.

FdA Fashion

Course details

The Foundation Degree in Fashion (FdA) course is designed to introduce you to a range of aspects of the fashion industry. It provides the chance to enhance your employment prospects in a range of fashion careers, including fashion design, buying and retail, merchandising, forecasting, and styling. You could also opt to complete the BA (Hons) Fashion (Top-up) programme after successfully completing the FdA.

During your FdA, you’ll have the opportunity to enhance your knowledge and understanding of forecasted trends, fashion design history, commercial design and manufacturing processes, and material understanding.

Our experienced and dedicated staff will support you as you develop skills in pattern cutting, garment manufacture, fashion illustration and visualisation techniques, and the application of surface design and embellishment. We’ll encourage you to balance your individual creative expression with industry awareness for the production of innovative fashion outcomes, including womenswear, menswear, childrenswear and accessories.

You’ll also have the chance to use the latest reports from the Worth Global Style Network, and benefit from the University’s extensive industry links, for live project briefs. Support will also be offered to develop your appreciation of the design timeline, the trend prediction industry, and consumer research.

  • UCAS points: 64
  • Location: The University of Bolton
  • Award: FdA
  • UCAS code: W262
  • Duration: 2 years

Course highlights:

  • Our team of highly knowledgeable and enthusiastic fashion lecturers offer face-to-face sessions and one-to-one support, ensuring you can access help and advice when you need it.
  • You’ll be exposed to fashion and fabric companies in the contemporary design world through our links to design groups, manufacturers, and supporting agencies.
  • We’ll encourage you to enter national and international design competitions, such as Bradford Textile Society Awards and the Clothes Show, and visit major trade shows such as Premiere Vision Paris.
  • We’ll offer you the opportunity to learn about the industry direct from its current leaders, with guest lectures from specialists in different fashion fields.

Key features:

  • You’ll have access to the latest technologies for design and visualisation, including Adobe Creative Suite, our Mimaki TX fabric printer, laser cutting equipment, and digital embroidery.
  • You’ll have the chance to develop transferable skills suitable for work in the wider fashion industry as well as related fields such as PR, events management, cultural policy, and the media.
  • We offer opportunities to work on live briefs for established clients sourced from national and international trade events and professional bodies.
  • We’ll support you to explore innovations in fabric and materials as you develop fundamental skills in fashion design, visualisation and garment manufacture.

Entry requirements

  • UCAS points: 64
  • Location: The University of Bolton
  • Award: FdA
  • UCAS code: W262
  • Duration: 2 years

Any subjects are acceptable at Level 3.

You should also have five GCSEs at grade C or above or grade 4 to 9 (or equivalent) in any subjects.

You'll be required to attend for interview and provide a portfolio of appropriate work.

If English isn’t your first language you’ll also need IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in any band (or equivalent). We also accept a range of other English language qualifications – please visit our English Language Requirements web page for more details. Find out more

Career opportunities

If you love the idea of a career which shows off your creative flair and passion for design our FdA Fashion could be the perfect stepping stone for you. This course is a great way to prepare yourself to work in the world of fashion. It offers a firm foundation in the knowledge and skills required such as communication, team work and organisation and planning.

This course has the potential to lead to various fashion and design related roles in a wide range of settings and offers a great start to your career.

What can I do with this qualification?

There are a range of interesting and creative careers where your FdA Fashion course could be useful. The course aims to help you develop the foundation skills and knowledge that will enable you to begin your career and lead to roles such as a designer, where you would work on the design of clothing and fashion ranges; retail buyer, where you would be responsible for planning and selecting a range of products to sell in retail outlets; retail manager where you would be responsible for the day-to-day running of stores or departments; and visual merchandiser where you would create visual concepts to promote products.

Once you have successfully completed the Foundation Degree you’ll be able to apply for the BA (Hons) Fashion (Top-up) degree, allowing you to complete your studies up to Honours level.

Alternative career options

  • Event management
  • Sales
  • Tailoring
  • Fashion technology
  • Pattern making
  • Costume design
  • Wardrobe management
  • Personal shopping
  • Fashion styling
  • Photography
  • Modelling
  • Jewellery design
  • Retail management
  • Textile design
  • Teaching and education
  • Research and development
  • Writing and illustration
  • Make-up artistry
  • Public relations
  • Self-employment

Professional recognition

Fees & funding

Home/EU fees

  Year of study Total
Entry year 2020/212021/222022/23
2020/21 £9,250£9,250-£18,500
2021/22 -nullnullnull

International fees

  Year of study Total
Entry year 2020/212021/222022/23
2020/21 £12,450£12,450-£24,900
2021/22 -nullnullnull

The fees for a student’s course of study will be set for the normal duration of that course subject only to inflationary increases – measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded in March each year to take effect for subsequent start dates.

The University is currently awaiting Government guidelines as to EU fee charges for students commencing study in 2019/20.

UK undergraduate tuition fees are subject to UK government approval and are subject to the outcome of the Teaching Excellence Framework.

How to apply


September start

Please apply through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) for September entry.

The online application form and guidance notes are available on the UCAS website.

You can apply for up to 5 courses through UCAS (at the same or different institutions) for a fee of £24. Alternatively, if you only wish to apply for a single course at a single institution then a reduced applicant's fee of £13 is applicable.

You will need the following information to complete your UCAS application form:

  • Institution Code Name: BOLTN

  • Institution Code Number: B44

UCAS - Universities and Colleges Admissions Service

Tel: 0870 1122211
Web: www.ucas.com


The University welcomes applications from international students from all over the world. We try to make the application process as simple and as fast as possible for our international applicants.

This course is not currently accepting online applications

Please contact Admissions by telephone on 01204 903903 or email enquiries@bolton.ac.uk

University of Bolton
Deane Road
Bolton, BL3 5AB
United Kingdom

Tel: 01204 903903
Email: enquiries@bolton.ac.uk

Teaching & assessment


Modules listed below are a mixture of compulsory and optional. You may not have the opportunity to study all the modules as part of the course.

  • Fashion Contexts 1
  • Fashion Design and Professional Development
  • Applied Design for Manufacture
  • Pattern Cutting and Construction
  • Techniques and Processes for Fashion
  • Digital Creativity for Fashion
  • Fashion Contexts 2
  • Concept to Customer
  • Fashion Industry: Professional Practice and Placement
  • Pattern, Construction and Finishing Techniques
  • The Surface Designer: Print and Embellishment for Fashion Fabrics

Teaching, learning and assessment

We use a blended approach to teaching and learning – you’ll have face-to-face sessions and take part in online learning. Studio and computer suite-based activities are important features of the programme, alongside lectures, seminars and practical-based workshops. We encourage you to participate in visits to locations such as galleries and museums, to attend presentations by our visiting speakers, and to go on location for drawing and visual research. You’ll also engage in self-directed study, with support from a range of staff including technicians and library/learning resources staff.

Module briefs include a wide range of activities such as commercially-based design projects, live briefs, competitions and commissions, and self-initiated projects. In addition, there are opportunities for collaborative design briefs that involve working with students from other areas of art and design. The sharing of ideas and practices across disciplines helps you to gain a broader understanding of the position of fashion in the wider creative and global art and design based industries.

In terms of assessment, you’ll have formative assessment to help you learn and develop your knowledge and skills, and summative assessment on which you are graded. You’ll receive individual help and advice on your personal work in one-to-one tutorials. Peer reviews, where you present your work to a small group of your fellow students for their comment, also provide useful feedback.

Formal assessment is by coursework. This may involve you presenting your portfolio of drawings/design work, samples or practical outcomes, along with a supporting sketchbook of developmental ideas, technical note files, and a written research journal. It can also take the form of essays, reports, verbal presentations, assignments, projects and other written work.


The university will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver your course as described in its published material and the programme specification for the academic year in which you begin your course. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis. The content of course modules and mode of associated assessments may be updated on an annual basis. This is to ensure that all modules are up to date and responsive to employment and sector needs. The published course material and the programme specification contain indicative ‘optional modules’ that may be subject to change due to circumstances outside of our control. For this reason we cannot guarantee to run any specific optional module.

Assessment methods

Level Assessment method
Level One Coursework (100%)
Level Two Coursework (100%)

Learning activities

Level Learning activity
Level One Guided independent study (53%), Scheduled learning and teaching activities (47%)
Level Two Guided independent study (53%), Scheduled learning and teaching activities (47%)

Contact The University

Key facts

  • UCAS code:
  • Course type:
  • Location:
    The University of Bolton
  • Award:
  • UCAS points:
  • Duration:
    2 years

Contact us

Donna Claypool
Programme Leader
Email: D.Claypool@bolton.ac.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)1204 903370

Faye Power
Admissions Tutor
Email: F.Power@bolton.ac.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)1204 903374

Leanne Lewis
Email: L.Lewis@bolton.ac.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)1204 903379

Enquiry Team
University of Bolton
Email: enquiries@bolton.ac.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)1204 903903