BA (Hons) Fashion and Printed Textiles

Welcome to Fashion and Printed Textiles.

Our unique BA (hons) in Fashion and Printed Textiles offers exciting opportunities to study Fashion Design and Printed Textiles for Fashion or Interior applications. Our course is highly practical with a strong emphasis on design and making, whether that is a length of hand printed fabric or the production of a fashion collection.

With our strong employer links, we recognise and respond to Industry Trends and aim to develop highly individual, skilled and creative graduates. Our alumni can be found working at brands across all levels, including: Burberry, Zoffany, Paul Smith, M&S, French Connection, Oasis, and River Island.

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Course IntroductionModulesEntry RequirementsGraduate CareersAdditional

Your profile
You are creative, hardworking and have the tenacity to bring your vision to life. You are committed to your work and excited to transform your passion for fashion into a profitable and rewarding career.

Your subject

As one of the largest business sectors in the world, the Fashion and Textiles industry is ever-evolving. The British Fashion Council states that the industry is worth over £32 billion to the UK economy, fashion remains a major UK employer, with 890,000 jobs supported across the industry.

Your course
The BA (Hons) Fashion and Printed Textiles programme will enable you to develop your own individual style, helping you to stand-out in a fast-paced, competitive industry. You will be given the opportunity to combine areas of study throughout your degree, or to specialise in Fashion Design, Printed Textiles or Fashion Interiors. The programme is highly practical and industry-focused, with a strong emphasis on design and making, whether that is a length of hand-printed fabric or the production of a full fashion collection.

As a student, you will learn from industry professionals, developing key links with practising designers. You will benefit from the use of dedicated studio spaces, specialist workshops and equipment. You will enhance your technical knowledge and practical skills to strengthen your design processes, and master the practical disciplines of pattern making, fashion construction and textile manufacturing. Throughout your programme, you will have opportunities to engage with visiting speakers and take part in live industry projects and national student competitions. In your final year, you will be paired with a mentor as part of the programme’s unique Industry Mentor scheme.

Students can combine areas of study throughout the degree, or alternatively may specialise in Fashion Design, Fashion Textiles or Fashion Interiors developing a personal design philosophy and a unique set of skills.

Undergraduate courses operate on a modular basis that provides flexibility and choice. Each module is worth a specified number of credits, with most modules counting for 30/40 or 15/20 academic credits (depending on the programme), with each credit taken equating to a total amount of study time which includes scheduled teaching, independent study and assessment activity.

Most full-time students will take modules worth 60 credits per semester, with part-time students taking proportionately fewer credits per semester. A total of 120 credits per level and 360 credits are needed for an honours degree as a whole. Overall grades for the course and degree classification are based on the marks obtained for modules taken at levels 5 and 6.

Our teaching is informed by research, professional practice and industry engagement and modules change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline.

Year One (Level 4) Year Two (Level 5) Year Three (Level 6) Contextual Studies FAQ Industry Mentors Industry Briefs Visiting Lecturers

Portfolio of artwork supported by 64 UCAS points* gained from study on Foundation Diploma in Art and Design or level 3 Diploma in an art related subject along with 5 GCSEs (grades A*-C) including English language, or an Art and Design Foundation Year. Exceptionally, A Level applicants with appropriate portfolio of artwork and knowledge. Students without formal qualifications but with appropriate portfolio of artwork/ work experience. All applicants are formally interviewed.

*UCAS Tariff points where shown, are for entry on to higher education programmes starting from September 2023.

International applicants

If English is not your first language you will need an IELTS score of 6.0, with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component (Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking), or an equivalent English Language qualification.

Additional requirements for International Students:

  • You must provide evidence of having been in general education for at least 10 years and of having studied within the last five years
  • a face-to-face interview is required before an offer is made.

Your Future

On graduation you will have developed the business acumen and technical skills to ensure you have a prosperous career in Fashion and Textiles. As a graduate, you will follow in the footsteps of other University Centre Colchester alumni who work in a variety of roles at all levels of the Fashion, Textiles and Interiors industries as designers, pattern cutters, buyers, stylists, interior designers and illustrators.

Graduate Progression

Established graduate exhibition platforms such as Artsthread and New Designers and participation in an annual Fashion Show or Show Reel, give a platform to students to exhibit their work to a wider audience.
Our feedback shows that 80% of our graduates find employment; this is higher than the national average. The breadth of the course enables our Graduates to find work in a variety of areas and at all levels of the industry, from well-known high-street brands such as Ted Baker, Monsoon and Asos, to high end luxury labels including Burberry, Harrods own Label and Paul Smith.
Students work as; Designers, Pattern cutters, Garment Technologists, Product Developers, Buyers, Visual Merchandising, Public Relations, Print designers, Print studio managers, Trend Forecasters, Teachers.

Students may apply to join graduate schemes to pursue careers in Buying, Retail management or Marketing. Some students wish to continue studying and specialise further; for example, recent graduates have chosen to complete MA programmes at the Royal College of Art. The educational sector can be accessed through a Professional Graduate Certificate in Education.

Summer 2020 News

Alumni Bulletin

BA (HONS) Fashion and Textiles

The fashion industry is ever evolving with new technologies and developing markets, it contributes around £26bn to the UK economy and supports some 797,000 jobs.

At UCC we aim to help you to build knowledge of the industry, its history, cultural significance and ethical dilemmas.You’ll also be given an insight into how the fashion world functions commercially, and the professional qualities that you’ll need to work within it.


Lucy Day is a textile designer based in London. Whilst studying in her final year, Lucy was shortlisted as a finalist in the FAD national student competition, seeing her designs on the London Fashion Week Catwalk. These were seen by Orla Kiely who awarded Lucy a full scholarship for postgraduate study at the RCA. In 2017 Lucy was selected to exhibit at the trade show Premiere Vision Paris by Industry mentor programme Texselect, she was presented the prize for Best Interior Textiles by the Clothworkers Company.

Lucy now has experience designing for a number of prestigious brands and design studios including: Liberty Fabrics, Orla Kiely, Zoffany, Emma J Shipley and Circleline Design Studio.

Lucy is currently developing a range of wall-hangings for the home. ‘Fragments of Albion’ experiments with hand craft processes. The rawness of the work reflects the atmospheres of the natural landscapes of which this series is inspired.


The Professional Planning modules I studied at UCC helped me to realise my dream of becoming an independent designer with my own business, designing tailored womenswear. My work sells through the online platform Not OnThe High Street and also via my website.
Tailoring and the elegant styles of the 1940s and 50s have always been passions of mine. I have worked as Pattern Cutter for Jasper Conran, Nicholas Oakwell Couture and the late Jean Muir to name but a few, I have also exhibited my designs at London Fashion Week.
As well as having my own label I teach origami pattern cutting at the Fashion Technology Academy in London.

The garments featured showcase a pattern cutting technique called Transformational Reconstruction; this a creative and intuitive form of couture cutting, it includes the artistry of folds and dart manipulation, in this instance with Calico in the form of toiles and samples.

Summer 2019 News

Prestigious student Award

Designers from Paul Smith visited Colchester to shortlist the crème of this year’s design talent

“We were very impressed with the students. It was so encouraging seeing such well documented research, development, colour and drawing work. It was a tough decision as there were so many strong students, therefore we selected four finalists this year and look forward to welcoming them to the Paul Smith head office in London so Sir Paul can select the winner!.” Clare White, Design Manager at Paul Smith.

Graduate Photoshoot May 2019

David Lam, an acclaimed fashion photographer, has worked with many of the best models and shot some of the most beautiful garments, including covers for Vogue and Tatler.

Students collaborated with David on styling and art direction, during an action packed 2 day shoot.

David said ‘it was lovely to work with such good energy and some very beautiful garments; this year’s work is looking very strong.’

Alumni Case Studies Q&A

Amber Pullen

Amber Pullen, Graduated 2017

Age: 22

Previous course: Colchester, Foundation Diploma Level 3.

Work Experience: Mirijam Rouden

Specialism: Textiles for fashion and interiors

Employment: Boden, print Designer

Where did you progress from?

Progressed from the Foundation Diploma at Colchester School of Art

Why did you choose Colchester?

Really interested in the facilities available and the small class groups. Great one to one feedback regularly available, which appealed to me rather than large class numbers. The traditional print room was a huge advantage and the opportunity to use such a large 5 meter print table.

What have you specialised in?

I have specialised in hand printed textiles but have been able to explore this across a range of both interiors and fashion. Producing hand printed garments and hand printed lengths of repeating fabric I have been able to fully explore my potential as a print designer.

How have you found the modules?

The modules across my three years at Colchester have all aided me in the development of my Final Major Project. Within first years the studio modules helped me to gain the basic skills in both the print and machine room, which I continued to develop throughout the years. Contextual studies helped me progress in my public speaking and presentation skills while also building on my essay writing and ability to report about my work on a live blog. The live industry brief within second year helped me to work towards a specific brief while presenting my work to the industry (Oasis) working towards constraints and requirements of a set brief. All modules have been extremely beneficial helping my skills, knowledge and confidence grow as an upcoming designer.

Which have ones have you enjoyed the most?

Modules I have enjoyed the most would definitely be those in the print room. Textile support modules introduced me to so many various techniques from screen printing, dyeing, foiling, flocking, discharge and constructing a repeating textile print. These skills have then been utilised to form the foundations of my final projects.

How have you found the feedback and do you think it has helped you improve?

I gain constant feedback on all of my work on a regular bases. Being able to use the studios 5 days a week enables me to talk to tutors consistently about my working progress, keeping me on track and gaining development on how to improve my work and the next steps to take to achieve my vision.

Have you been on any work experience during the course?

During the summer before returning into third year I undertook a month long internship at a print design studio based in London. This work experience gave me an insight into what it is like working within the industry and how a textile studio works. Within my time there I worked to set briefs drawing by hand motifs and designs that were used in print designs. I was able to work on Photoshop developing this designs after drawing them and also undertook manual skills in the screen-printing studio, washing and preparing silk screens for exposure.

Did you feel prepared? 

Initially I was nervous about the experience but once I was introduced into the company and given my brief to work from I soon realised how similar the working methods were to those that we complete at Uni. The process of designing a print was exactly the same and I felt comfortable and prepared about what I had to achieve.

Have any parts of the course been industry led?

Within the second semester of second year our whole brief was industry led. I chose to work with the brief set by Oasis, which I worked to produce a professional portfolio and a collection of digital printed textile samples. This brief led to presenting my work to two designers from Oasis, which was a great experience for getting confident in an interview situation.

How did this help you?

Working towards a set brief helped me to restrain my research and focus more specifically on a concentrated outcome. It helped me to understand how to professionally convey my work through a portfolio and present this to an audience with confidence. Presenting to designers from the industry gave me the opportunity to competently talk about my work and the design process of how I achieved my results.

What opportunities have there been along the way?

Regular trips to London have been organised throughout my 3 years here at Colchester to exhibitions, galleries and shops that have all aided my studies. Visiting Paris twice has also been an amazing experience and being able to go to Premiere Vision in Paris gave me the opportunity to see what the global textile show had to offer. Outside speakers from the fashion industry and previous students visiting has given me the opportunity to see how they progressed into the industry and how they went about there studies giving me advice and knowledge to take forward for my future. Within third year being chosen for the Nicole Abbott award was a very proud and amazing moment. Being able to design and construct my own exhibition space and put up my work for the judges to see was a unique experience that resulted in myself getting chosen to go and visit Sir Paul Smith in his studio in London. This opportunity was such a privilege and being able to meet Paul Smith and his design team gave me assurance in the work I am producing. I was lucky enough to be hand selected by Paul Smith for an internship in July with his company, which I am extremely excited to undertake and this whole opportunity came from the contacts, and resources we have at Colchester.

What are your aspirations when you leave?

My aspirations for when I leave are to find a job/experience in the textile industry. Working as a print designer would be my ideal job so I have begun searching for opportunities in the industry that may lead to a job.

How have you found the teaching and support you have received?

The support I have received at Colchester School of Art has been incredible. The teaching has challenged me to take risks, push boundaries and experiment with new processes and techniques which allowed me to make the very most of my degree and to achieve my career ambition after graduation.

Have you made friends?

I have made great friends from my studying, friendships that I’m sure will continue past my degree into my future.

What has it been like socially while studying in Colchester?

Socially it has been great. Living locally and studying at Colchester has given me a prefect opportunity to still socialise and live at home which I feel has pushed me to make the most out of my degree.

What are your highlights of the course over the last 3 years?

My final year at Colchester has defiantly been a huge high point throughout my entire experience. Being able to express my entire passion for print, colour and textiles in a collection that I have designed and printed all from scratch has just been a dream. I have thoroughly enjoyed producing work which I have had the freedom to design and express my working methods as a designer for everyone to see.

Anna Howlett

Anna Howlett
Specialism: Fashion Textiles
Current job: Design Manager; Zoffany, Sanderson & William Morris
Graduated: 2009

What made you chose our course at Colchester?  

I wanted to explore fashion and textiles rather than a course that specialised in on one of the subjects. The studio spaces at Colchester felt like a personal/creative environment to continue studying in.

What was the support like on the course, tell us about your experience?

Great one to one student teacher relationship. Lots of time to discuss and meet. Felt like a very personal course. Lots of support throughout my 3 year degree.

How do you feel the course at Colchester prepared you for your career in design?

The course promoted a good work ethic and encouraged creative thinking, I was prepared for my first design role in India which I picked up after the New Designers graduate exhibition at the Business Design Centre.

What are the key skills / the most important things that you learnt on your degree that you took with you to the workplace? 

Creative workshops were a great way to learn different techniques which I have continued to use going forward. The exhibitions we organised during the degree course were also a great insight into industry events and how they need to be organised. We actually won 2 awards for ‘best in show’ at both Graduate Fashion Week and New Designers.

How did you get your first design job? 

The course Leader Val Jacobs alerted me to the opportunity to work as a designer based in Mumbai, India.

What did your first job involve on graduation?

Textile designer, moving to Mumbai, working in a design studio and working on designs for weave and embroidery. Research, design, repeats, colouring, fabric development, customer relations plus lots of partying!

How many design jobs have you had since finishing?

  1. GMSyntex, india – textile designer
  2. Prestigious textiles – senior designer
  3. GMSyntex, india – design manager
  4. Zoffany / Morris / Sanderson – Weave Manager
  5. Freelance Designer throughout

What is your current job role?

Weave Manager – Zoffany / Morris / Sanderson

Development of designs / textile qualities for weaves and embroideries

Sourcing fabrics world wide / working with suppliers


Brand development


Managing a team

Fabric testing

Loading with marketing / purchasing departments

Visiting trade shows

Enjoying my job!

Have any of your job roles involved travel?

Yes, frequent travel incl. Europe, Turkey and India.

What advice would you give recent graduates entering the design industry?

To gain as much work experience as possible prior to graduation through placements and intern opportunities in order to understand the industry. To take opportunities offered and to be brave with trying new things……. Move to India!

What association have you had with New Designers exhibition since graduation? 

My current company supports New Designers and gives an award and placement to the winning student each year.

What has been the highlight of your career since graduation? 

To be in my current position, working for the brands I dreamed of whilst studying. To have lived in India for 5 years and adapting to an amazing culture and work ethic.

Elin Newland

Elin Newland
Current role: Designer

What did you specialise in at college?

Fashion and printed textiles for womenswear.

How long have you been in your current position?

3 years

Did you get this position as your first job after graduating?

No, this is my 2nd. I interned at 3 companies before getting my first role.

Why do you think you were selected for your current role?

Hardworking attitude, positive outlook, willingness to learn, ambitious

What are you responsible for?

Supporting Senior Designer in developing and designing the range. Currently working on Womenswear tailoring.

What is your average day like?

Busy! Researching new product concepts, putting detailed Tech Packs together, liaising with my buying and merchandising teams, contacting overseas sourcing offices/suppliers with regards to current developments.

What aspects of your job are the most enjoyable and least enjoyable?

Most enjoyable – working with lovely clothes everyday. Doing something I love as a job. Being around creative people. Least enjoyable – forgetting that I made a cup of tea and drinking it!

Who do you work with from day to day?

Senior Designer, Assistant Buyer , Buyer, Design Leadership Team, fellow Designers and Pattern Cutters.

How important is it for students to get work experience?

Extremely. You will meet so many people in various different roles. Not only can it open your eyes to the possibilities of the different types of career/positions within the fashion industry but it can also open doors for opportunities.

Do you offer placements to students?


Is there any travel involved in your job?

Yes. Travelling to see suppliers, sourcing and development trips both overseas and in the UK.

What’s more important creativity or personality?

For design I believe it’s a combination of the two. I feel that you need to be inspired and creative to be a designer but you need to consider your personality and how you present yourself when working in a business environment. You will need to able to communicate effectively with many different people and in various situations.

Did the course equip you with the skills you needed to work in the industry?

Yes and no. The course taught me the technical skills and how to develop ideas. Work experience helped me to understand the industry and how it works.

Did you feel that studying for a combined degree in both Fashion and Textiles has helped you as a designer?

For me, yes. I wasn’t sure which I preferred whilst studying and I was able to explore both passions. However, in bigger companies the roles tend to be very separate – you are either a product designer or a print designer.

What is your lasting memory about studying at Colchester?

What good fun it was!

Eloise O'Brian Scott

Eloise O’Brian Scott

Specialism: Womenswear and printed textiles

Previous course: Foundation Diploma in textiles at Colchester School of Art

Currently at RCA, MA Printed Textiles

What made you chose to study at Colchester School of Art?

I chose to study at Colchester as it is one of the few courses that specialise in both the skills of textile print and fashion construction and that allows you to find your own pathway within this. The ratio of students to tutors is very good, I wanted to stay local to get the best out of my time on my degree, and also I had heard very good things from students who were currently on the course.

What’s it like being a student at University Centre Colchester?

It has personally been a very good experience for me; I have been able to achieve a lot during my time.

What has the support like been like both practically and creatively?

The support from tutors is amazing, they are always around to help or to give creative advice. Technicians are around to always help with practical problems and issues.

What do you think the best thing about studying for a Fashion & Textiles degree at the University centre Colchester?

The freedom to expand my print skills and knowledge, to be able to find my own style through drawing and textile print. I have been able to find my own pathway and have had lots of creative opportunities to be experimental with my work. I feel that I have been well prepared & equipped with a range of essential skills for work in the industry when I leave my degree course.

How do you feel the course at Colchester prepared you for your MA?

I feel that I am well prepared, that I have my own style & working method which will help me to achieve the most from my MA. I have had the opportunity to be really experimental and creative at Colchester through my use of printed textiles for fashion.

What work experience did you do, how has your experience on the course prepared you for this?

I did two work placements – 2 weeks at Stephen Walters Silk Mill and 4 weeks at Orla Kiely in London.

My work placement at Orla Kiely was more hands on in print and pattern cutting, I felt that I was able to keep up and that I had the skills to understand what I was doing in a professional design environment. I had in-depth knowledge of the Adobe computer programmes which was really helpful. I feel that the design process which we are taught at UCC are easily applied to industry who work to a tight time frame and because of this I was able to really enjoy and gain good contacts and references.

What briefly would you say to someone thinking about doing our course at Colchester, would you advise them knowing what you know now to do our course?

I would defiantly advise them to do the course. I feel that for the money you get so much more hands on teaching. I have enjoyed every minute of my course, the tutors and guidance you get is such a high quality and i feel that even studying in a smaller college i have still been able to keep up and be accepted into RCA which i feel really shows the high quality of the teaching.

What made you want to apply for an MA at the RCA?

Initially my print tutor advised me to. I felt that I want to continue to expand on my creativity and style as a textile designer and experiment with my processes which I am able to do at RCA. I also feel that at this stage I am not ready to stop hand printing, it’s my passion so I want to continue to do it and learn for as long as I can and RCA is the best place to do that before then entering the industry with that knowledge. Also the skill of analysing and refining successful work, being able to identify what is successful and why and then more forward and keep expanding ideas and always moving forwards.

What’s your dream Jon in fashion  textiles – where do you see yourself professionally in 10 years?

In 10 years I would I hope to have gained lots of experience within the industry and then successfully launch my small business and gradually expand.

What will you remember as the highlight of your time at Colchester?

  • The amazing tutors that I will keep in contact with throughout my MA.
  • The amazing friends that I have made from foundation all through the 4 years.
  • Going from not knowing what I wanted to do to then moving into something that I love and finding what I want for my career.
  • I will remember Colchester as the start of and the gateway to my MA and my career.

Meera Pandya

Meera Pandya
Current role: Head Designer for Harrods of London (Harrods private label)
Graduated: 2012

What did you specialise in ?


How long have you been in your current position?

4 years

What are your responsibilities?

I am responsible for all aspects of design across Menswear, Womenswear, Childrenswear and leather accessories. I oversee all design work and product development critical paths with the buyer. I work with the Buyer and Merchandiser to achieve all of our design objectives for each season. It is my duty to insure all product is designed and developed to the highest standard, taking in account all tends and analysis. Creating collections that are commercial with a high luxury aesthetic that reflect the Harrods of London Brand. I attend all fit sessions for all of our products and oversee the final aesthetic of the garments for production. Working with the quality team it essential and it’s my responsibility to ensure that design and the quality team work together seamlessly ensuring constant communication and product consistency. I attend fashion trade shows and seek out potential new fabric and factory suppliers. I manage all vendor relationship through product development stages as it is key in this role. Managing my design assistant and junior buying team members is also my remit.

Did you get this position as your first job after graduating?

Yes but I initially took a year out to work for myself and then joined Harrods of London.

Why do you think that you were selected for your current role?

My work experience previously played a big part in me getting selected. A strong portfolio with diverse skills, such as pattern cutting, construction as well as design with a commercial edge. Working in retail was also a big part due to me understanding how a product is sold and what the commercial value is worth.

What is your average day like?

Hectic! It can really vary. I would have updates with the buyer and my directors to show developments of each product. I then will check with critical paths with the buyer on how the season is developing. I will be checking for any daily arrivals due for colour and swatch approvals and toiles that need to be fitted for the season. On peak design times, I would be sketching and collating imagery for the season I am working on, creating moodboards and fabric boards. I would take inspiration trips and visit local areas too. Finally I ensure I am up to date with all Fashion news, and current fashion topics.

What aspects of your job are the most enjoyable?

All of it! It really is truly design focused role which I’m very fortunate to have. I love setting the direction for each season and thinking of a new and exciting concept. I love the production side and visiting our factories after my sketches are sent out, seeing first prototypes is so exciting. Attending trades shows and seeing what is new in the market is great awareness of what it being designed and produced. Lastly, it is seeing the product I have designed, arrive and been sold in the most iconic department store in the world is truly a blessing!

Who do you work with from day to day?

The buyer and Merchandiser to ensure collections are being produced within budgets and range plans. My assistant plays a big part in my working day as she is accountable for all daily tasks and organising the season with me and generally keep me up to date with daily critical path movements.

How important is it for students to get work experience?

I think this is the most important aspect in order to start your career. It makes you understand real working life, not just from a work design perspective but also an office work/ environment. It teaches you organisation and relationship building with colleges rather than other students/friends in a professional environment.

Is there much travel involved in your job?

Yes I do travel on peak buying and design times. These would mainly be factory visits, buying appointments and inspiration trips abroad and UK.

What were the most important skills you learnt at college that you now use at work?

Time management of design projects- helps me to achieve all deadlines and plan critical paths.

Research- helps me showcase a clear development process for each season to show my directors/buyers so they can see clearly where my design thought process has come from.

Did you feel prepared for employment after completing your degree?

Yes. I do feel that the work experience that I had done whilst at University helped also in building my confidence outside of a learning environment.

Did you feel that a combined degree in both Fashion and Textiles has given you a valuable background?

I had knowledge of both fabrics and construction which helped. Understanding textiles such a knitwear or printing enabled me to have the option of exploring these areas in my final collection. It also wasn’t an untouched subject when I came across them in my current role, as knitwear is a big part of my womenswear and menswear collections.

What would your advice be to someone wanting to study Fashion and Textiles?

Have a clear focus on what area you want to specialise in. Develop a style that’s suits you in design and stick to it! Learn Adobe illustrator and Photoshop inside out, as this will be your best friend when starting as a junior designer. When presenting your portfolio, it is imperative you have tailored your design work to your chosen company but still keeping your style. A few self-initiated projects wouldn’t hurt either and shows commitment and self-drive.

Timetables: Timetables are normally available one month before registration. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week. Part-time classes are normally scheduled on one or two days per week.

Teaching and Learning: You are taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and practical sessions in workshops and studios. Seminars enable smaller group discussions to develop understanding of topics covered in lectures.

When not attending lectures, seminars, workshop, studio or other timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve conducting practical research as well as reading journal articles and books, working on individual or group projects, preparing coursework assignments and presentations, as well as preparing your portfolio of work to submit for assessment.

Assessment: The course provides you with opportunities to test your understanding of the subject informally before your work is formally assessed.  Each module normally contains elements of developmental ‘formative’ assessment for which you receive feedback from your tutor.

There is a formal or ‘summative’ assessment at the end of each module. Assessment methods include a range of coursework assessments such as essays, reports, portfolios, presentations and your final year major project. The grades from formal assessments count towards your module mark.

Feedback: You will receive feedback on all practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback is intended to help you learn and you are encouraged to discuss it with your module tutor.

BA (Hons) Fashion and Printed Textiles - Full Time
LevelLevel 6
Duration3 years
UCAS CodeW231
Academic Year2023-2024
Study ModeFull-Time
Campus / Adult Skills CentreUniversity Centre Colchester
Start DateSeptember 2023
ApplicationsApplications for full-time and part-time programmes starting in September 2023 are open now
Fee(s)2022-23: £8,250 per year
Additional Cost Information

The School of Art provides access to a wide range of specialist equipment relevant to courses. However, many students prefer to have their own laptop, and students will need to provide some basic things, such of your own drawing equipment. There will be costs in terms of educational visits, field trips, external exhibitions of your work and the purchase of materials required whilst completing the programme. These vary from year to year. Please contact the Head of School for further details. The majority of materials used in timetabled workshop sessions will still be provided free of charge. However, when students develop ideas/outcomes during independent study time, or when they are relatively expensive, or when a student needs to use particularly large amounts of a material, they may need to buy or make a payment for them. The various workshop facilities keep a list of stock items and their respective costs, but please note that these lists are subject to change and the School may need to add other items as appropriate.

Awarding/Validation BodyUniversity of East Anglia
Year One (Level 4)

Module Code and Title:

DU1BAFTF4A /  DU1BAFTP4A  Introduction to Fashion and Textiles Processes (20 Credits)

What’s it about?

This module is intended to support students in developing their independent ability to apply a range of skills, knowledge and understanding with the use materials, processes and practices relevant to their discipline and personal interests.

What do I learn?

This is a practical, studio-based module.  Through a range of tutor-led workshops and studio-based activity, as well as tutorials, peer review and study visits, students engage with the essential skills, techniques, processes and visual language that create the foundations and basis for further research and exploration in relation to individually determined interests and ideas within the context of the discipline.

What’s the assignment?

Outcomes will be evidenced through the submission of a body of practical and contextual research, artefacts and written reflection.

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

DU1BAFTF4B /  DU1BAFTP4B Introduction to Fashion and Textiles Practice (40 Credits)

What’s it about?

The purpose of this module is to provide students with the opportunity to develop their creativity and problem-solving skills through the development and production of a resolved body of art or design work, informed by theoretical and practical research and exploration.

What do I learn?

This is a practical, studio-based module that builds upon the work produced for studio module 4A.  Supported by a range of lectures, seminars, study visits, peer review, group and individual crits, it provides the opportunity for students to practice and apply their skills and knowledge to the production of a sustained body of research and resolved practical work and to explore their own emerging interests in greater depth.

What’s the assignment?

Exhibitions, presentations or displays of work may also be a feature of module content and outcomes are evidenced through submission of a body of practical and contextual research, artefacts and written reflection.

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

DU1BAFTF4D / DU1BAFTP4D Introduction to Drawing (20 Credits)

What’s it about?

This module is intended to support students in developing their knowledge, skills, understanding and application of the materials and fundamental principles of drawing alongside process-led approaches that will inform many aspects of their studio and workshop based studies.

What do I learn?

A studio-based practical module, designed to introduce materials, techniques and processes related to the act and language of drawing.

Through weekly workshop sessions, working from observed phenomena and conceptual information, students will explore contemporary approaches to drawing practice and develop or extend their practical experience and theoretical understanding through a broad range of exploratory drawing experiences

What’s the assignment?

Outcomes will be evidenced through the submission of a portfolio of drawing work, sketchbooks, related contextual research and written reflection.

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

DU1BAFTF4E / DU1BAFTP4E  Digital Applications for Fashion and Textiles (20 Credits)

What’s it about?

The purpose of this module is to provide students with the opportunity to develop their digital skills and understanding of specialist software programmes for fashion and textiles. This knowledge will be demonstrated and developed in the production of portfolio presentations in subsequent studio based modules.

What do I learn?

A workshop-based module, designed to introduce students to digital applications commonly used in fashion and textiles design.

Through a series of weekly workshop sessions, Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator will be explored in relation to the production of repeat pattern structures, cut through repeats, print design and development; drawing for print: producing colour range variations (‘colourways’); specification sheets for garment construction and technical flats, fashion illustration; portfolio introduction and development.

What’s the assignment?

Outcomes will be evidenced through the submission of a portfolio of digitally informed work, sketchbooks, related contextual research and written reflection.

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

Year Two (Level 5)

Module Code and Title:

DU1BAFTF5A /  DU1BAFTP5A Development of Fashion and Textiles Process (20 Credits)

What’s it about?

The purpose of this module is for students to develop their independent cognitive, imaginative and problem solving capabilities through the refinement of their practical skills within the context of relevant historical and contemporary theory and practice.

What do I learn?

A workshop-based, practical and practice led module that builds upon the knowledge and skills attained at level 4. This module will deliver a range workshop skills aimed to support design development in semester 2 and into level 6. Alongside the specific workshops students will produce independent research and design work reflecting on their learning to meet the learning outcomes.

Supported by workshops, lectures, seminars, study visits, peer review, group and individual crits, students broaden the practical and conceptual scope of their work, and further develop and refine their individual interests and ambitions through a more in-depth visual and conceptual exploration and experimentation and more detailed analytical and evaluative research that considers their work within an appropriate contextual framework.

What’s the assignment?

Outcomes will be evidenced through submission of a body of practical and contextual research, artefacts and written reflection.

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

DU1BAFTF5B /  DU1BAFTP5B Development of Fashion and Textiles Practice (40 Credits)

What’s it about?

The purpose of this module is to provide students with the opportunity to apply their various skills, knowledge and understanding to the production of a resolved body of art or design work, informed by theoretical and practical research and exploration, cognisant of relevant contemporary and historical contexts and the relationship between their work and audiences, clients or consumers.

What do I learn?

A studio-based, practical and practice led module supported by lectures, seminars, study visits, peer review, group and individual crits.  Based upon their learning experience and reflection on the outcomes from Studio Module 5A, students apply that experience to new projects or the further development of ongoing work. The project could take the form of a live Industry brief or national student competition. Digital print designs, the development of tech packs, use of Photoshop and illustrator and the production of a professional portfolios may all feature in the module content.

In what is by now a familiar holistic fashion, they are required to extend the breadth and depth of theoretical and practical enquiry, apply analytical and evaluative skills and strengthen their academic competence and learning in order to sustain an independent and coherent artistic practice.

What’s the assignment?

Exhibitions, presentations or displays of work may also be a feature of module content and outcomes will be a refined body of practical work that demonstrates the development of a personal direction in their discipline that is fully supported by primary and secondary research material.

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

DU1BAFTF5E / DU1BAFTP5E Development of Pattern and Print Practice (20 Credits)

What’s it about?

This module is intended to support students in developing their skills as designers and makers. With a particular focus on the research and development of original ideas, the impact of scale and colour and translating 2D ideas into 3D forms.

What do I learn?

A workshop-based practical module, designed to introduce students to more advanced techniques in pattern-cutting and print processes for fabric.

Through weekly workshop sessions, based on their ongoing design work, students will explore contemporary pattern cutting processes which may include; soft tailoring techniques and elements of TR cutting (transformational reconstruction). In print they will typically practice such things as working with pigments, binders, devore pastes and cross dyeing.

What’s the assignment?

An understanding of how their personal practice will also be explored through an examination of historical and contemporary work and outcomes this will be evidenced through the submission of a portfolio of practical work, sketchbooks, related contextual research and written reflection.

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

Year Three (Level 6)

Module Code and Title:

DU1BAFTF6A /  DU1BAFTP6A Refinement of Fashion and Textiles Practice (40 Credits)

What’s it about?

The purpose of this module is for students to prepare themselves for entering professional practice, independently planning, researching and developing proposals for a body of art and design work for public exhibition.

What do I learn?

A studio-based practical and practice led module supported by lectures, seminars, study visits, peer review, group and individual critiques.

Through rigorous and systematic self-directed research and exploration, using established techniques of analysis and enquiry, students undertake a further critical, contextual and practical examination of their work in relation to concepts and theories that are relevant to the discipline and their practice.

What’s the assignment?

The desired outcome for this module will be an ambitious and challenging body of work, produced to a professional standard and underpinned by rigorous research and development. It should also demonstrate their ability to create a synthesis between ideas or concepts and the materials, processes and forms employed.

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

DU1BAFTF6B /  DU1BAFTP6B Professional Fashion and Textiles Practice (40 Credits)

What’s it about?

For student to demonstrate the skills, knowledge and abilities they have developed throughout their studies through the production of a body of art or design work that is ambitious, rigorous, refined and resolved, independently produced, and presented or exhibited to a suitably professional standard.

What do I learn?

This is an FMP or ‘capstone’, studio-based, practice orientated module supported by lectures, seminars, study visits, peer review, group and individual critiques.

This module requires students to produce a major body of work for assessment and public exhibition or presentation that represents the culmination and synthesis of their acquired learning, understanding, knowledge and skills.

What’s the assignment?

At the end of the module, students will apply professional standards of preparation and presentation to the public exhibition or presentation of their work to a level that is suitable for display either on campus or in external venues.

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

Contextual Studies

Year One: All Art and Design Pathways

Module Code and Title:


Study Skills with Contextual Studies: Histories, Theories and Contemporary Scenes (20 Credits)

What’s it about?

The purpose of this module is for students to develop an understanding and awareness of the essential requirements of academic study at degree level and to gain practice in applying them through the study of historical and contemporary contexts relevant to their discipline.

What do I learn?

Through lectures, tutorials, seminars and study visits, this module provides a firm grounding in key elements of higher education study to support students in forming transferable skills relevant to all modules studied, whilst also providing a firm grounding in contextual historical and contemporary practices and theories of art and design.

This will typically involve sessions on research strategies; presentation skills; time management; critical thinking skills for effective reflection on learning; developing appropriate practice in academic writing and verbal communication.  This is carried out alongside introductions to a range of histories, cultures, theories, subjects and contexts that have a bearing on the conception, production and consumption of historical and contemporary art and design.

What’s the assignment?

Outcomes will be evidenced through written submission and oral presentation.

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

Year Two: All Art and Design Pathways

Module Code and Title:


Critical Studies – Theoretical and Contextual Framing (20 Credits)

What’s it about?

The purpose of this module is for students to develop their knowledge of contemporary practice in their discipline and to consider and articulate their own position in relation to it.

What do I learn?

This module builds upon the broad overview of art and design practices and histories introduced in the Contextual Studies module at Level 4.

Through lectures, seminars, tutorials, study visits and independent study, students will examine further the relationship between art and design practice and theory, in order to develop a deeper knowledge and understanding of historical and contemporary theories of art.

What’s the assignment?

The outcome of their studies will inform their studio work and be evidenced through written submission and oral presentation.

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

Module Code and Title:


Personal Development Planning (20 Credits)

What’s it about?

For students to develop their abilities in reflective evaluation of their own progress; to identify potential future goals and determine what steps or changes they need to make to ensure their skills and expertise are equipping them for further study and supporting the achievement of these goals.

What do I learn?

This module is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops and study visits. Exhibitions, presentations or displays of work may also be a feature of module content.  The module serves as a bridge between the more study orientated (Level 4) Study Skills and Contextual Studies and the post-graduation, employment-facing (Level 6) Professional Development Planning module delivered in the final year.

The modules purpose is to provide a focus for students to consider how the skills and expertise they are developing are equipping them for their ongoing studies, the wider world and professional practice in their discipline.  They will be required to reflect critically on their experience to date, assess their strengths and abilities and determine what that means in terms of managing their ongoing studies and consider how they might impact upon future plans and where improvements or changes are needed in order to achieve those goals.

What’s the assignment?

Outcomes for this module are evidenced through written submissions, blogs and oral presentation.

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

Year Three: All Art and Design Pathways

Module Code and Title:


Research Topic: Relating your Practice (20 Credits)

What’s it about?

The purpose of this module is for students to gain a detailed understanding of a particular aspect of their discipline through detailed and focussed research and written communication.

What do I learn?

This is a research-based module, requiring students to prepare and submit a 3,500-word essay or report on a topic that bears a specific relevance to their main studio practice.  Delivery will be through an introductory presentation on the module and its requirements, followed by group and individual tutorials to support student’s development of their proposals and ongoing research.

What’s the assignment?

Submissions for assessment will be in the form of a written proposal and a written essay submission.

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

Module Code and Title:


Professional Development Planning (20 Credits)

What’s it about?

The purpose of this is for students to prepare for pursuing their professional goals and aspirations by engaging in research and planning.

What do I learn?

This module will be delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops, tutorials and study visits.

Students will be required to engage in reflective planning and documenting of professional development goals in relation to their personal interests and practice and although this is delivered and assessed as a separate module, students are encouraged to consider it as an integral part of their development as a creative practitioner.

What’s the assignment?

Outcomes for this module are evidenced through written submissions, blogs and oral presentation.

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.


About University Centre Colchester.

What should I bring to my interview?

We interview students from A level, level 3, Foundation and also students who may have had a break in their education, we like to see what you are currently working on, so it could be a combination of any of the following; sketch books, a traditional portfolio of drawings, design ideas, use of different mediums, illustrations, collages, photographs, 3D models or fabric samples or garments. A piece of written work is also a good thing to bring with you.

What will the interview be like?

Your interview on campus will include a tour of the department, an opportunity to chat informally with current students studying on the course and a chance to view work produced on the course. You will have an individual interview with a tutor who teaches on the course, this will be an opportunity for you to talk through your work and ask any questions you may have.

Will I receive any Bursaries or discounts?

There are a range of financial benefits on offer subject to eligibility. For further information and to check terms and conditions please click here or contact UCC operations

About the course.

How large are the group sizes?

Our group sizes are intentionally kept small so that you are able to learn effectively, the average class size is 18 students to one tutor. Students comment that they can regularly speak with tutors and highly value the teaching contact and technical support that we are able to provide.

How often will I see my tutor?

Tutors see all students every week on their taught days and are also available on days where students have open access. Workshops are staffed by technicians who provide technical support for students producing practical work. Students also receive regular feedback tutorials throughout each module or project.

How many hours a week will I study?

Degree courses are made up of a mix of contact or taught hours and student managed learning hours. For example, first year students are required to attend for 12 contact hours a week, in addition students will work independently; using the library, workshops and studio spaces or working from home, for an additional 24 hours. Many students find that this arrangement allows them to combine studying with part time work.

How much of the course is practical work?

The course is a creative design degree, therefore approximately 75% is practical work. Professional technical skills underpin the design process throughout the course. Screen printing, Textile processes, Pattern cutting, garment construction, specialist computer packages are all embedded into the curriculum. Inductions into Photography and Printmaking are also offered in year 1 allowing students’ access to these workshops throughout their course.

How much of the course is written work?

The Contextual Studies modules help to underpin the creative process and provide a background context, with lectures, visiting speakers, trips and visits. They also help you to develop professionally in order to plan your career after graduation. In year 1 and 2 students are asked to write an essay or report, this culminates in year 3 with a dissertation. You will also attend seminars to broaden your knowledge of design and develop your communication and analytical skills and your confidence as a designer. Academic learning support is available for students who require it.

Can I specialise in Fashion or Textiles or do I need to study both subject areas?

The programme combines fashion design, printed textiles and garment construction and allows students to develop a complete understanding of the design process and the industry. The first year of the programme introduces both Fashion and Textiles. As the course progresses you are able to focus on either specialism; many students elect to study both disciplines producing both printed fabrics and garments in year 3, other students produce only printed textiles (for fashion or interiors) or choose to develop their design skills and focus on pattern cutting and construction in their final year (menswear, womenswear or childrenswear). We strongly believe that our degree produces very employable graduates and that the knowledge you will have because of your experience studying fashion and textiles definitely gives you an advantage.

Are trips and visits included in the course?

Trips and visits are offered as part of the course for all years, they may include: Factory visits, visits to design studios, exhibitions, trade shows, print fairs, shop research trips, fabric buying trips and study trips abroad. The Warner Textile Archive, Sudbury Silk Mills, Minories Gallery and Firstsite visual arts centre are all close by along with Design Studios and Manufacturing Units. London Liverpool Street is 50 mins by train from Colchester.

Do you have a mentoring system?

We believe in creating a community and mentoring is central to this idea. We even provide mentors for our new students before they enrol. We offer a vertical mentoring system across all years so that year 1 students are mentored by year 2 and year 2 students by year 3. Our Industry Mentoring programme allows all final year students to have a mentor who actually works in the industry.  This mentor will give valuable feedback and support throughout the final year of study, often resulting in placements and employment on graduation, and provides a professional network of contacts after graduation.

Are there opportunities to work with Industry and take part in national competitions?

National competitions such as Levis Denim, Diversity Now and the FAD competition are embedded into the curriculum in year 2 and 3. Students also select from a range of live industry briefs in year 2 which allows them to gain a greater understanding of the industry and also to make future contacts. We also offer an annual award which is supported by Paul Smith and includes career mentoring and work experience at his London design studio.

Where do students do work placements?

Placements are a very important part of our students development as designers and are undertaken during year 2.  Companies that have offered placements include: Alexander McQueen, Basso and Brooke, Burberry, French Connection, Holly Fulton, Mary Katrantzo, Giles Deacon, Mulberry, M & S, Vivienne Westwood, On/Off, Jasper Conran, Orla Keiley, Harrods Own Label, John Pierre Braganza, Julian McDonald, Fashion East, Crumpet , George, Lulu Guinness, Pattern Print Studio, Designers Guild, Trend Stop and Oasis.

About living in Colchester

Does the University have Student Accommodation?  

A wide range of affordable accommodation is offered to new students. Click here to find out more. 

Where is Colchester located? 

Colchester is in the south east of England, surrounded by beautiful east-Anglian countryside.  The coast line, with picturesque towns such as Mersey, Frinton and Wivenhoe are just a few miles away. London is easily accessible, just 50 mins by train. Stanstead Airport is approximately 45 mins by car.

What is Colchester town like?

Colchester has a colourful history dating back over 2000 years and is Britain’s oldest recorded town. The town has award winning museums where you can see collections of national importance. As well as being inspiration for famous 19th century artists like Constable and Gainsborough and 20th century equestrian artists Munnings, Colchester offers contemporary art galleries and art cafes where you can see and buy locally produced art and design. Colchester has a good mix of high street fashion stores, independent shops, charity shops, places to eat, a cinema and coffee shops.

Is the night life good?

There is a lively nightlife scene in Colchester, student night is on a Thursday when clubs often offer cheaper drinks and entry. Yates and Slug and Lettuce offer 241 cocktails, other recommended bars include Three Wise Monkeys, Twisters and VBar, while Hudsons and Atik are the clubbing hotspots.

Does Colchester have a cultural scene?

Colchester has a vibrant cultural scene with many art and historical events happening all year round. Leading venues such as the Colchester arts centre, The Minories, Firstsite, The Mercury Theatre and Colchester Castle all have extensive programmes of events bringing together art and culture of a national significance to the town on a regular basis.

Is it easy to get a part time job in Colchester?

Many students successfully combine part time work with study on the course. The town centre is a 10 minute walk from the college and many students work here. There are plenty of shops, bars and restaurants in Colchester which provide part-time jobs with flexible student friendly hours. 

Careers after graduation.

What career options are there following the course?

Our feedback shows that 80% of our graduates find employment; this is higher than the national average.  The breadth of the course enables our Graduates to find work in a variety of areas and at all levels of the industry, from well-known high-street brands such as Ted Baker, Monsoon and Asos to high end luxury labels including Burberry, Harrods own Label and Paul Smith. Students work as; Designers, Pattern cutters, Garment Technologists, Product Developers, Buyers, Visual Merchandising, Public Relations, Print designers, Print studio managers, Trend Forecasters, Teachers.

Can you continue studying after finishing the course?

Students may apply to join graduate schemes to pursue careers in Buying, Retail management or Marketing. Some students wish to continue studying and specialise further for example we currently have 3 students at the Royal College of Art studying Textiles. Students may decide to study for a PGCE if they wish to go into teaching.

Industry Mentors
Our unique Industry Mentoring programme matches each final year student with a useful contact from industry, who will feed into every aspect of the creative work and act as a link between education and joining the industry.

Lee Lapthorne, Creative  Director ON|OFF, is considered one of the country’s most significant talents in fashion design. Lee has achieved success as a designer, curator, show director and event manager; he has collaborated with talents such as Rankin, Gareth Pugh and Groove Armada.

Lee has previously contributed to the course as a visiting lecturer and this year has been acting as an Industry Mentor for Chloe Carter a final year student, who said “It has been amazing having Lee as my final year mentor. I have been able to intern for him both at LFW and at his studio, he has really helped me to understand how the industry works and develop my strengths as a designer”.

Industry Briefs
Working with Brands

Working with different companies and brands is an important feature of the course and helps to formulate ideas about career directions after graduation.

Lucy Tiffney is an instinctive designer with a unique and vibrant style. Year 2 students have been working with Lucy to develop both fashion and textile ideas and propose future directions for her online brand.

“It was great working with the2nd year students, the day involved lots of mark making and drawing, this became the starting point for the brief; I can’t wait to see the finished ideas!.” Lucy Tiffney, Interior Designer

Visiting Lecturers

It all starts with great Colour

“I really enjoy the creative buzz and the busy studio atmosphere at Colchester and helping to develop the final year student’s ideas through colour is always exciting”. Lucy Day, Assistant Home Designer, John Lewis.

Lucy has been one of our visiting lecturers this year, delivering a masterclass in developing colour palettes that translate across fashion and interiors.

After finishing her BA hons in Fashion and Textiles at Colchester with a first class degree, Lucy went on to study for an MA in textiles at the prestigious Royal College of Art, supported by the first Orla Kiely scholarship.

Lucy’s achievements whilst studying at Colchester include seeing her hand printed garments on the catwalk at London Fashion Week and being a Texselect designer, winning the prize for the Best Fabric for Interiors at Premiere Vision, Paris.

Lucy has experience designing for a number of prestigious brands and design studios including Liberty Fabrics, Orla Kiely, Zoffany, Emma J Shipley and Circleline Design Studio, she now works with the major high street Brand John Lewis as an assistant designer.


All Fees and prices shown on the website are for courses starting in the 2021-22 academic year and are correct at the time of entering/printing information, however these may be subject to change. The College cannot accept legal or financial liability as a result of any such changes.

The course information describes programmes offered by University Centre Colchester at Colchester Institute. The College takes all reasonable steps to provide courses as described, but cannot guarantee provision. The information is for guidance and does not form any part of a contract.

The College reserves the right to update and amend information as and when necessary. University Centre Colchester at Colchester Institute will do its best to provide the courses shown, but may have to modify or withdraw a course depending on customer demand and other factors.