BA (Hons) Fashion and Textiles

AboutReviewsThe CourseGraduatesCase StudiesNicole Abbott Award

Welcome to BA (Hons) Fashion and Textiles

The fashion Industry is forever evolving; shaped by contemporary ideas and technology. Our Fashion and Textiles course offers a broad and comprehensive education which leads to a range of career options. You can work in either fashion or textiles or you can combine both areas of study throughout the course. We support and nurture your independent creativity; working in a stimulating atmosphere you are encouraged to develop your individual potential.

The course will introduce you to the importance of research and the design process, along with the practical disciplines of pattern making, construction and textile processes, including traditional print methods and digital techniques.

The teaching team is comprised of consultants, designers and stylists, their industry experience will provide you with first-hand knowledge, professional skills and practice for your future careers that could include: fashion design, textile design, pattern cutting, buyer, stylist, own business, promotion, forecasting, marketing, sample machinist, educator or illustrator, or for further study at postgraduate level.

Reasons to study with us
Student Mentors
Student Projects
Exhibitions and Shows

The course content is really varied with a good amount of guidance from the knowledgeable lecturers and technicians. It’s great that we have the opportunity to explore both fashion and textiles and find the areas in which we excel and want to progress further. I’ve learned so much about myself, been challenged to push my skills further as well as being encouraged to look at things in new ways. We covered a lot of techniques in the first year, which we were able to implement and develop further in the second year, allowing us to take things more in our own direction. Presenting our work to the designers from M&S was amazing and made me realise that I’ve learned skills that will make me employable in the fashion industry. I am now in a position to really hone my skills to create an exciting future for myself when I complete the course.Emmeline Smith, Year 2

By emphasizing the importance of original thinking in underpinning ideas for 2D and 3D garment and textile design, students at Colchester are empowered early on in their study to learn to break new ground and experiment with process and construction, before they learn the discipline of simplifying and refining these concept pieces and focusing on a context and a market that is suitable for commercial end use. This gives them each their own individual handwriting and puts them in an opportunistic position at the end of the course when graduate employment and postgraduate education opportunities arise.Julian Roberts, RCA. External Examiner 2016
The BA (Hons) Fashion and Textiles course at Colchester School of Art is an award winning programme. Over the past few years, as both a tutor and a visiting speaker, I’ve watched the rise of Colchester’s success grow and develop. With their art school approach, sensitivity to cloth and commitment to developing technical skills, it’s no wonder that their students have received prestigious awards and are highly employable with in a broad range of roles with in the industry.Lee Lapthorne, Creative Director, ON|OFF 2016
Not only is Colchester close to home, but also the range of facilities are great. The BA (hons) in Fashion and Textiles, allows students to study both Fashion design and Printed Textiles which is something I really wanted to do.

I have gained many contacts from this course, from the visiting speakers, trips and the live projects we have done. All of these contacts are vital in the industry and getting into this field. As they say: “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” The small teaching groups encourage a friendly atmosphere.

Every part of the course has been important because it has been a learning process right from the very beginning. Before starting the course I was not familiar with print techniques and textiles process and now I have learnt a lot. The same goes with fashion construction, so I think each part of the course has been really worthwhile.

In the second year of the BA hons programme were able to work on a variety of live briefs which were set by industry. One of the projects was with high-street fashion retailer Oasis. I’ve just finished a placement with Oasis in London this summer at their design head office and it was an eye opening experience! The placement came about as a result of a live project set in the second year. I was able to learn the whole process of design, working with buyers and even designed an accessory with the company that will be put into production sold. Gaining industry experience as a part of the course has been one of the highlights for me, because it really gave me an insight of how the fashion industry really works. I hope to go on and study Masters in Fashion design or Textiles and then I’ll go from there.
The placement at Oasis and it was fantastic. I really learnt a lot about how the design team works, as well as working with the buyers too I got to learn about the design process, along with learning about fabrics, doing moodboards, research, trend forecasting and learning about Pantone, WGSN, their suppliers and factories… This has proven to be a very valuable experience to me and has given me great contacts for the future too.

The course at Colchester enabled me to bring together the two things I love, designing with the consideration of textiles. I always felt I was someone who didn’t quite sit in either box so choosing a course which involved fashion and textiles was very important. The tutors experience and different specialisms allowed me to learn a great deal and feel inspired. Throughout the course I was able to identify my strengths and where my true passion was. It allowed me develop as a designer and as a person. The experience I gained over the 3 years was a great platform for my next step into the industry. I am currently working for River Island, where I use the knowledge and skills that I learnt on my degree and apply them every day in my job.Lauren Baxter, Designer - River Island
Semester 1 at Colchester has been great. Studying on the BA hons Fashion and Textiles course and learning and developing new skills whilst being guided and supported by a great team of tutors and peers that have encourage me and build up my confidence to know what direction I want to be heading in and to working independently.
This course has great modules; Introduction to Fashion and Textiles, teaches you all the basics and gives a have full understanding of the design is processes and garment, the resource are there for everyone, from industrial sewing machines to a fully equipped print room as well as able mac suits and a photography studio.
I would recommend Colchester to anyone looking for a creative exciting environment in which to undertake a degree
Catherine Baldwin, Year 1 BA (Hons) Fashion and Textiles
facebook-iconFollow us on Facebook
Slide background
Slide background
Slide background

Year One
Year Two
Year Three
Industry Placements
Industry Mentor Network

Graduate Progression

Graduate shows and exhibitions such as Graduate Fashion Week, New Designers and a Fashion Show 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 we currently have 3 students at the Royal College of Art studying Textiles. The educational sector can be accessed through a Professional Graduate Certificate in Education.

Student Successes
Amber Pullen (Year 3)
Anna Howlett - Design Manager; Zoffany, Sanderson & William Morris
Eloise Scott O'Brian (Year 3)
Sophie Sprittles (Year 3)
Elin Newland - Designer at M&S
Hannah Bromley - Designer at Wild & Gorgeous
Hayley Aslett - Designer at Debenhams
Meera Pandya - Head Designer for Harrods of London (Harrods private label)
Kim Howsam - Assistant Designer - All Saints
Third year BA Fashion and Textiles degree students Beth Caney, Ellie Proctor and Ellie Dolan-Robert, presented their portfolios to Sir Paul Smith, iconic fashion designer, renowned for his take on classic British menswear, in the final stage of a very special competition. All three were shortlisted for the newly created Nicole Abbott award. The winner, who will be selected by Sir Paul Smith himself, will enjoy a week’s placement during April at his prestigious Covent Garden design studio.

This Award has been organised by Colchester Institute’s Colchester School of Art and Paul Smith in memory of former graduate, Nicole Abbott, who passed away in 2013 aged just 34, after a long battle with cancer.

Val Jacobs, Nicole’s lecturer and course leader at Colchester School of Art, asked Nicole’s parents if she could create a design award, in partnership with Paul Smith, to celebrate Nicole’s life and her love of design. This is the only collaboration of its kind to be supported by Paul Smith, which makes the award unique.


Speaking about the collaboration, Val said, “An award like this will give one student the opportunity to be involved first hand in how the design process works at one of the most prestigious and influential design companies in the world.” Val also wanted this award to pay tribute to Nicole’s work ethic, passion and brilliance in design. She believes it’s a legacy that must be passed from one year to the next.

How To Apply
Costs and Financial Support
Academic Calendar
Teaching Staff
Student Support
How To Apply Apply through UCAS Course Enquiry Line
01206 712 777
Open Events
Visit our next open event
  • Colchester
  • Higher Education (Degree Level)
  • Full-Time
  • Part-Time
Award BA (Hons) Fashion and Textiles
  • Colchester
UCAS Code W231

Full-time: 3 years  |
Part-time (ZH1BAFTP01): 6 years |
Part-time applications are made direct to University Centre Colchester at Colchester Institute

Start Date September 2018
Course Validated By
  • University of Essex
Tuition Fees
  • Honours Degree
    Full-time (3 years)
    £9,250 per annum
  • Honours Degree
    Part-time (6 years)
    £9,250 per annum


The course information describes programmes offered by 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. 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.

Fees are correct at the time of entering/printing information, but may be subject to change. The College cannot accept legal or financial liability as a result of any such changes.