From the beginning you’ll work on your portfolio – your way into the fashion world. You regularly add to it, review it and refine it – so when you graduate, it’s ready to showcase your talent and body of work.
You’ll spend time in the studio, developing essential skills in a range of techniques, including:
- Broad-Range Creative Research
- Design Processes, Experimentations & Developments
- Fashion Drawing, Communication & Illustration
- Creative Cutting
- Design & Flat Pattern Drafting
- Stand Modelling & Draping
- Design and Tailoring
- Garment Production and Industry Manufacture.
- Integration Design, Technology and Theory.
- Photoshop, Illustrator and Cad Software
- Fabric, Colour, Trends, Market Research and Forecasting
- Designing & Range Building
- Designers Professional Portfolio Presentation
As you start to master these skills, you’ll begin to construct garments and bring your designs to life.
There are also opportunities to take part in live briefs, industry placements and study trips abroad – all designed to broaden your horizons and give you crucial insight into this dynamic industry.
Subject: fashion visualisation - 30 credits
Spend your first term exploring the contemporary fashion design landscape – and how you can find your place in it. As you start to develop your individual working method, you’ll learn about form, silhouette and fabric. You’ll document your experiments and techniques in sketchbooks – with drawings and design ideas. And you’ll take on creative briefs that challenge any notions about what fashion is – or what it could be.
Field one: collaborate - 20 credits*
Widen your horizons by joining students from other courses to collaborate on a project. You’ll take inspiration from other disciplines to build on your experience and expand your creativity – and use your skills and artistic insight to apply them to your work.
Constellation: concept - 40 credits
This module introduces you to the wider world of ideas, theory and contextual studies to help you develop your academic research skills and critical thinking. You’ll focus on particular areas of interest in study groups and you’ll become familiar with the exciting trans-disciplinary research and expertise in Cardiff School of Art & Design.
Subject: fashion industry - 40 credits
Your studies become more industry-centred as you start your second year. There’s a growing professional focus as you expand the skills and knowledge you need to design and produce clothing that makes an impact. You’ll get exposure to different areas of the industry through live and simulated briefs – as well as fresh perspectives from a variety of brands and designers. And you’ll take on challenging projects using both traditional techniques and new technologies.
Field two: explore - 40 credits*
You’ll expand your experiences with challenging projects designed to encourage you to explore and experiment outside your immediate discipline. This transformative opportunity leads to new thinking and innovation – and opens up all kinds of future possibilities. You’ll take on exciting projects that challenge you in new ways. You can also choose to travel, take a work placement, start your own business or try something new.
Constellation: critique - 40 credits
By critiquing literature, journals and exhibitions, you’ll hone your ability to put your design practice into context. You’ll also have opportunities to interact with students and staff and delve deeper into your areas of interest.
Subject: major fashion project - 40 credits
Prepare for your future goals with a major research and design project – designed to help you identify the direction of your portfolio. You’ll investigate garment shape and silhouette as well as form and finish – and advance your design through pattern cutting and toiling processes. And you’ll bring your creative vision to life – producing work that challenges creativity through research, design development and translation.
Field three: exposure - 40 credits
Your final term is dedicated to a major project and an exhibition of your work. This is where you draw together everything you’ve learned during the course and is the launch pad to your future career.
Constellation: contribution - 40 credits
Your practice is underpinned by your knowledge. Demonstrate your research and analysis skills in your final constellation submission, where you’ll explore ideas in both written and practical forms.
*modules available through the medium of Welsh
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.
During their first year of study each student can expect to receive between 14 and 22 hours of contact time per week via lectures, seminars, tutorials and practical workshops.
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.
Throughout the duration of your studies, you will be evaluated on three main criteria, which underpin all of the disciplines being taught at CSAD:
The practical, technical and conceptual skills you acquire during your course.
Your understanding and knowledge of broader intellectual context within which your discipline and work is located. This includes historical, environmental and ethical issues and will often be explored in your 'Theory and Context' modules.
Your understanding of intellectual and creative ideas from within and beyond your discipline; plus your ability to acquire new concepts and form new ideas. Ideas will be explored in your written work, as well as being evident in your practical progress.
Each of these criteria is given equal weighting during the assessment process. That is to say that they are seen as equally important and critical to your development; an emphasis which is designed, for example, to enable a more well-rounded skill set from a student who may be skilled technically, but weak in generating ideas, or a student with much creative flair who may struggle to hone a broad concept into a strong, individual design.
We provide a number of ways for you to track your progress en route to submitting your work for marking. Understanding that the emphases will revolve around the core areas of skills, context and ideas, you will also become familiar with the structured assessment form used by your tutors and learn to relate to your work back to the intended learning outcomes of each brief.
The main types of formative assessment are; academic (feedback from your tutors); peer (from your course-mates or project partners); and self-assessment (which is your own critique, in light of other forms of feedback). You won't just be receiving feedback at the end of a brief, however – your tutors will often assess your progress as your work develops, providing formative feedback at crucial moments where it is hoped to encourage you to take risks, maintain your motivation or shape-up your ideas ahead of deadline.
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
Applicants should have a strong art and/or design portfolio and demonstrate a commitment to art and/or design, and preferably five GCSE passes to include English language and Maths* at grade C / grade 4 (for applicants holding newly reformed GCSEs in England)
Following an interview and assessment of portfolio, our typical offers can range between:
96 - 120 points from a successfully completed Art & Design Foundation Diploma or/and
96 - 120 points from at least 2 A Levels; Welsh Baccalaureate – Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate will be considered as a third subject
RQF BTEC National Extended Diploma / Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma: MMM - DDM
96 - 120 points from the Irish Leaving Certificate at Highers to include 2 x H2 grades from any subject (minimum grade H4 considered)
96 - 120 points from a combination of Scottish Highers and Advanced Highers
96 - 120 points from the Access to HE Diploma within a relevant subject
*For Welsh applicants sitting the reformed Mathematics GCSE, we will accept either GCSE
Mathematics or Mathematics – Numeracy.
For applicants only undertaking 2 A Levels or equivalent, or applying with other life experiences, other qualifications and/or art & design achievements will be considered along with the rest of the academic profile and we may issue a graded offer in lieu of an offer using the UCAS Tariff. .
If you are studying combinations of the above, or if your qualification isn't listed please either contact Admissions or refer to the
UCAS Course Search for the entry requirements. Further information on our entry requirements, including qualifications from the EU can be found by clicking
whose first language is not English will need to provide evidence of
fluency to at least an IELTS 6.0 standard or equivalent. For full
details about how to apply and English Language qualifications please
visit the International pages on the website.
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. Part-time applications should be made direct to the University at www.cardiffmet.ac.uk/selfservice
For further information please visit our How to Apply pages at www.cardiffmet.ac.uk/howtoapply.
Recognised Prior Learning (RPL) and Credit Transfer into year 2 & 3
If you are interested in transferring credit from another institution to study at Cardiff Met for a course which accepts entry for year 2 and/or 3, you can find further information on this and information on how to apply on the RPL page. Please contact Admissions for any queries that you have on RPL.
A mature applicant is anyone over the age of 21 who didn't go to university after school or college. Cardiff Met welcomes applications from mature applicants and further advice and information can be found here.
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.