The course is built upon three core modules across the three years –
Subject (your specialism),
Field (your opportunity to collaborate) and
Constellation(theory and contextual studies).
Briefs are structured to give you the space to explore the contemporary fashion design landscape and help you to find your place within it. Creative briefs will challenge preconceived notions about what fashion is and can be in the future. You will be introduced to primary research and be expected to keep sketchbooks that include drawing, design development, documenting 3D experiments in form, silhouette and fabric, resulting in links to clothing design.
The fashion designers portfolio will be introduced and honed throughout the degree. Creative outcomes in 3D including the realization of garments will be achieved and this multifaceted approach will help you to develop your own personal working method.
You will apply techniques and skills to more industry focused methodology and outcomes. Simulated or live briefs will give you alternative perspectives on fashion from differing brands/designers as well as different areas of the market. Creative problem based learning and studio practice, together with more advanced workshops, provide you with the skills and confidence.
There is also a growing professional focus, with particular emphasis on relevant skills and knowledge for the design and production of clothing that makes an impact in the contemporary world. You will be set challenging projects that require you to undertake extensive research and to appreciate, select, and effectively make use of traditional techniques and new technologies.
You will be introduced to team/group working and develop confidence in safely using relevant leading-edge process and production technologies, the ability to working in a more self-directed manner, and to self-reflect, communicate and evaluate effectively.
You will complete a major research/design project preparing you for the graduate fashion design market. Negotiated, the work produced will be exhibited and entered into competitions and should challenge creativity through research, design development and design translation/realisation to a high level. Creative investigation into garment shape and silhouette as well as form and finish will be developed through creative pattern cutting and successive toiling processes. Fabrications and materials will be key with a focus on texture, colour and print.
Practical and strategic thinking will be required to develop competition briefs and industry briefs where applicable and this will help to identify the direction your portfolio will take.
The Fashion Design exhibition will allow you to see your vision realised but also to understand the production demands of time and resources. Finally the portfolio will include a range of promotional materials to showcase your professional body of work.
Learning & Teaching
A significant focus on Studio teaching is maintained, supported by Keynote Lectures and supporting seminars. Individual students will be supported by significant amounts of 'feedback' during Group Critiques, single and group tutorials.
Students take a significant lead in their studies, develop their own research focus and expertise base and actively engage with the process of assessment and the manner in which their individual expertise is expressed and tested.
Students will be supported as they work autonomously such that they are able to generate significant and unique learning through rigorous, self-directed and collaborative practice.
You will be assessed via coursework: written and portfolio based, viva voce presentation and critiques.
In line with the CSAD Undergraduate Scheme each 40 credit module will have a single summative assessment point at the end of the module.
Interim assessments in a module will be formative only.
Discussions involving staff and students are a central feature of the critiques in assignments and project work organised within the studio programme. Critiques are held at each assessment stage (interim or final) of an assignment or project in the studio-based modules where students present their work to the year group and tutor for feedback and debate. This event is a cornerstone of the learning process. Assignments are designed to ensure that students tackle a wide range of case studies or precedent that illustrates a variety of situations or solutions. The critique process ensures students learn from work being done by others as well as through their own efforts.
Employability & Careers
During the course emphasis will have been placed upon your work ethic, both creatively and academically, matched with significant focus on real experience in industry and with the current issues in the world of Fashion design. The strength of this course is that as well as giving you an insight into the glamour and excitement of the industry, your studies will include real world skills development and will ask challenging questions of ethical and ecological practice in an international context.
In addition to the role of the designer, associated specialisms that might interest you as career options leading from your studies are: Garment Technology, Accessory Design, Retail Buying, Fashion Illustration, Merchandising, Fashion Styling, Textile design, Fashion Public Relations, Fashion Writing/Blogging.
Entry Requirements & How to Apply
Please note: The following entry requirements relate to September 2017 entry and use the new UCAS tariff. Please refer to our Entry Requirements for further information on the new tariff, or contact Admissions if you have any questions.
Applicants should have a strong art and/or design portfolio and demonstrate a commitment to art and/or design, five GCSE passes including English and Maths at grade C / grade 4 (for applicants holding newly reformed GCSEs in England) Our typical offers will include :
96 - 120 points from a successfully completed Art & Design Foundation Diploma or/and
CCC - BBB / 96 - 120 points from 3 A Levels
QCF BTEC Extended Diploma: Merit Merit Merit - Distinction Merit Merit
96 - 120 points from the Irish Leaving Certificate at Highers to include 3 x B1 grades from any subject (minimum grade C2 considered)
96 - 120 points from a combination of Scottish Highers and Advanced Highers
Access to HE Diploma with a minimum 96 - 120 UCAS points. A combination of achieved grades for Level 3 credits will be considered
A - E grade within the Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma considered along with grades CC to BB at A Level within any subject, General Studies excluded
Qualifications equivalent to the above
If your qualification isn't listed above, please refer to the UCAS website.
For applicants only undertaking 2 A Levels or BTEC equivalent, or applying with other life experiences, other qualifications and/or art & design achievements will be considered.
Selection Procedure and Interview Days:
Selection is based on the receipt of a completed UCAS application and attendance at a School of Art & Design Interview.
Acceptance at interview is based upon a balance of three criteria:
Personal enthusiasm for and immersion in the practice and theory of Art & Design
Academic achievement and ability
Quality of work, ambition and skills demonstrated in a portfolio
For more information about Art & Design Interview Days, please
How to Apply:
Applications for this course should be made online to UCAS at www.ucas.com/apply. For further information please visit our How to Apply pages at www.cardiffmet.ac.uk/howtoapply.
UCAS Code: N84C
Place of Study:
Cardiff School of Art & Design
Three years full-time.
Before making an application, international students (those outside of the EU), should contact the International Office at Cardiff Met to discuss the necessary procedures in relation to studying with us. For further information visit
Tuition Fees, Student Finance & Additional Costs
For up to date information on tuition fees and the financial support that may be available whilst at university, please refer to www.cardiffmet.ac.uk/fees.
Undergraduate costs of study in CSAD
CSAD provides a variety of basic materials. These enable students to develop their competence in a range of skills and demonstrate their technical ability. Materials needed in unusual quantities, or those that are specialised, expensive or unusual are at the student’s expense. Advice will be given about how ‘unusual’ is defined, which materials are deemed to be ‘expensive’, and examples given of what is viewed to be ‘unusual’. CSAD students often elect to spend on materials they prefer to work with, including sketchbooks and pens, as well as specialist equipment of their own choosing.
In the main, no charges are made for the use of equipment, with the exception of some specialist high end equipment such as the Mimaki and 3D printers. Access to
Cardiff FabLab is subject to student membership; it offers reduced fees for student use.
For further information about additional course costs, including fees, equipment requirements and other charges for each undergraduate programme, please visit
Field trips and visits
Field trips that are part of core learning will be paid for by the School. Additional visits are occasionally arranged which are optional and where the students may be asked to share the costs. The costs of study abroad, including exchanges, placements and projects are the responsibility of the individual student.
Bursaries & Scholarships:
The university also offers a bursary and scholarship scheme to help students whilst at university. To see if you are eligible, visit