Image representing Fashion and Textiles Foundation Degree

Fashion and Textiles Foundation Degree - FdA

UCAS code W233


Planning to start this September? We may still have full-time vacancies available for this course. View 2019 course details.

The programme develops the creative, technical and team building skills essential for working in the fashion and textiles industry. 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 practice. In addition you will be organising ambitious projects such as end of year fashion shows and exhibitions.


During the course you will develop a selective portfolio of work, to include fashion and/or textiles, suitable for prospective interviews for internships, employment or further study. 

You will learn a range of textile and fashion skills through practical workshops and projects, designing and making finished pieces including some projects set and assessed by visiting fashion designers and textile specialists currently working in the industry. You will receive assistant to complete a work placement, take part in National competitions, photoshoots and an end of year fashion show. 

Teaching Excellence Framework

All University of Kent courses are regulated by the Office for Students.

Based on the evidence available, the TEF Panel judged that the University of Kent delivers consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It is of the highest quality found in the UK.

Please see the University of Kent's Statement of Findings for more information.

TEF Gold logo

Course structure

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation. 

Stage 1

• Drawing and Surface Pattern (30 credits) 
• Fashion Materials, Techniques and Concepts (15 credits) 
• Textile Materials, Techniques and Concepts (15 credits) 
• Textiles and Fashion Work Based Contexts (30 credits) 
• Research and Study Skills (15 credits) 
• Computer Applications for Fashion and Textiles (15 credits) 

Stage 2

• Professional Practice and Work Based Placements (30 credits) 
• Textiles and Fashion Design (30 credits) 
• Textiles and Fashion Realisation (30 credits) 
• Critical Thinking (15 credits) 
• Exhibiting Work and Portfolio Development (15 credits)

Teaching and assessment

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.

Contact Hours

For a student studying full time, each academic year of the programme will comprise 1200 learning hours which include both direct contact hours and private study hours.  The precise breakdown of hours will be subject dependent and will vary according to modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Methods of assessment will vary according to subject specialism and individual modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Programme aims

The programme aims to:

  • Provide a high standard of higher education.
  • Promote flexibility and creativity through active experimentation and innovation in a range of fashion and textile based assignments.
  • Provide a teaching and learning experience in which students learn from professionals in the industry.
  • Be vocationally focused and to develop students who have work-related skills relevant to the fashion and textiles sector, building on students’ previous experience.
  • Deliver students with a higher level of knowledge and understanding in order to reinforce and support the development of vocational skills.
  • Provide a teaching and learning experience which is contemporary and up to date with the changing requirements of the fashion and textiles industry and emerging technologies.
  • Provide students with the opportunity to focus on student centred work which allows them to develop a creative and innovative approach to fashion and textiles design work. This will be driven by lectures and workshop support allowing students to develop and pursue their own passions and form the basis of an innovative and creative fashion and/or textiles collection.
  • Produce graduating students who are a credit to the region and the nation, in possession of generic skills enabling them to develop their capacity to learn and to go on to further study or employment with an awareness of sustainability and their contribution to society, the economy and the environment.
  • Provide learning opportunities that are enjoyable experiences, involve realistic workloads, are relevant and in line with standards and offer support for students from a diverse range of backgrounds.
  • Provide high quality teaching in a suitable environment with industrial equipment and appropriately qualified and trained staff.
  • Enhance the students learning experience by offering specialist lectures and facilities.
  • To provide flexibility, knowledge and skills, plus a range of personal qualities and attitudes essential for successful performance in professional working life.
  • To provide students with the academic skills required for a higher level of qualification. Develop opportunities for students to access specialist subject resources and encourage staff and student collaboration.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain a knowledge and understanding of:

  • Specific design and production techniques for communication and expression through creation of fashion or textile collections.
  • The critical and contextual dimensions of fashion and textiles, including the business, cultural, economic, environmental, ethical, global, historical, political, societal and theoretical contexts.
  • The designer’s required relationship with audiences, clients, markets, users, consumers and other participants.
  • The implications and potential of the key developments in current and emerging media and technologies in the fashion and textiles industry.
  • The implications and potential uses of experimental approaches to fashion and textile design to communicate ideas effectively.
  • The interaction between intention, process, outcome, context and methods with regard to commercial marketing, production and making of designs.
  • Show judgement and self-critique in relation to the development from ideas to intended function of the garment or textile, process, system or text.
  • Use a range of materials, media, technologies and tools associated with fashion and textiles showing understanding of quality standards and attention to detail.

Intellectual skills

You gain the following intellectual skills:

  • The articulation and synthesis of knowledge and understanding, attributes and skills in effective ways in the contexts of creative practice, employment, further study, research and self-fulfilment.
  • The application, consolidation and extension of learning in different contextual frameworks and situations, both within and beyond the traditional fields of fashion and textiles. 
  • The investigation, analysis, interpretation, development and articulation of ideas and information through the use of visual languages. 

Subject-specific skills

You gain the following subject-specific skills:

  • The generation of ideas, concepts, proposals, solutions or arguments independently and/or collaboratively in response to set briefs and/or as self-initiated activity.
  • The employment of both convergent and divergent thinking in the processes of observation, investigation, speculative enquiry, visualisation, designing and/or making through a range of activities based upon fashion and textiles.
  • The personal selection, testing, use and exploitation of materials, processes technologies and environments. 
  • The development of ideas through to material outcomes, including, for example, fashion/textile collections, images, artefacts, products, systems and processes, or texts. 
  • The management and exploitation of the interaction between intention, process, outcome, context, and the methods of dissemination. 
  • The application of resourcefulness and entrepreneurial skills to support the student’s own practice, and/or the practice of others.

Transferable skills

You gain the following transferable skills:

  • Self-management - the ability to study independently, set goals, manage own roles and responsibilities, to manage own time in achieving objectives, to anticipate and accommodate change, to undertake personal and career development, to transfer skills gained to new and changing situations and contexts. 
  • Team working and interpersonal skills– the ability to treat others’ values, beliefs and opinions with respect, to relate to and interact effectively with individuals and groups, to work effectively as a team member, to work effectively with other professionals in the workplace and to negotiate with colleagues and others. 
  • Communication and presentation – the ability to receive and respond to a variety of information, present information in a variety of visual forms, to communicate in writing, to participate in oral and non-verbal communication, to articulate ideas and information comprehensively.
  • Management and problem solving skills, the ability to solve problems and to use information sources, deal with a combination of routine and non-routine tasks, to identify and solve routine and non-routine problems.
  • Numeracy – the ability to apply numerical skills and techniques to a wide variety of tasks involved in fashion and textiles.
  • Applying design and creativity – the ability to apply a range of skills and techniques to develop a variety of ideas in the creation of new/modified products, services and situations, to use a range of thought processes.
  • Information skills – the ability to use information technology in a variety of ways. The ability to source, navigate, select, retrieve, evaluate, manipulate and manage information from a variety of sources.
  • Critical awareness – the ability to identify the strengths and weaknesses in fashion and textiles design work and to formulate criteria for quality from contextual investigation. Formulate independent judgements and articulate reasoned arguments through reflection, review and evaluation; the ability to formulate reasoned responses to the critical judgements of others. Ability to identify personal strengths and needs.


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.

Entry requirements

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

- BTEC Extended Diploma in a relevant subject at grade MPP or above 
- Two A Levels at grades CC or above, including a relevant subject 
- BTEC Foundation Diploma in Art and Design at Pass grade or above 
- 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 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. 

Home/EU students

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. Typical requirements are listed below. Students offering alternative qualifications should contact us for further advice. 

It is not possible to offer places to all students who meet this typical offer/minimum requirement.

New GCSE grades

If you’ve taken exams under the new GCSE grading system, please see our conversion table to convert your GCSE grades.

Qualification Typical offer/minimum requirement
Access to HE Diploma

The University will not necessarily make conditional offers to all Access candidates but will continue to assess them on an individual basis. 

If we make you an offer, you will need to obtain/pass the overall Access to Higher Education Diploma and may also be required to obtain a proportion of the total level 3 credits and/or credits in particular subjects at merit grade or above.

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)

The University will consider applicants holding BTEC National Diploma and Extended National Diploma Qualifications (QCF; NQF; OCR) on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us for further advice on your individual circumstances.

International students

The University welcomes applications from international students. Our international recruitment team can guide you on entry requirements. See our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country. 

However, please note that international fee-paying students cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.

If you need to increase your level of qualification ready for undergraduate study, we offer a number of International Foundation Programmes.

Meet our staff in your country

For more advice about applying to Kent, you can meet our staff at a range of international events.

English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of 'pre-sessional' courses in English for Academic Purposes. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme. 

General entry requirements

Please also see our general entry requirements.


The 2020/21 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

UK/EU Overseas

For students continuing on this programme, fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* 

Your fee status

The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.

Additional costs

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.

Contact West Kent college for more information about accommodation and living costs


For more information about funding, please see the West Kent College website.