Fashion design is a hugely popular university degree subject, with thousands of students embarking on this type of course every year. But even for those with a clearly defined career goal it is not always easy to select the ideal course and university.
The skills you acquire and things you learn at university will vary according to many factors. The university, the course topics, tutors, work experience, exams and assessments, and the opportunities that arise as part of the studies, will all affect what you get out of your three or four years at university. Therefore it is vital that you thoroughly assess all the options and weigh up the pros and cons of the different fashion design courses and universities on offer.
The fashion design course at Middlesex University is a popular choice for many budding designers, so let’s take a look at that course as a benchmark for what you can expect.
It is a bachelor’s degree that gives students knowledge and practical skills, but also helps them develop self-confidence, encourages the desire to tackle challenges, promotes working with others and nurtures individual design identity. The emphasis is on creativity and developing your own designs.
With state-of-the-art facilities in London, the university has a lot to offer. Dedicated and passionate tutors and technical staff are present to help students explore fashion through the intense study programme. There is an emphasis on research and design and development, and sessions cover everything from fashion illustration and technical drawing to pattern cutting, garment construction, corsetry and tailoring.
Throughout the course students are taught by a team of tutors and technicians who all work in the industry. In the second year there is a six-week work placement block with a fashion practitioner working towards London Fashion Week. Former students have spent this time with the likes of Giles Deacon, Sir Tom Baker and Louise Gray.
The studio workshops are located in the £80 million The Grove facility, and almost everything students could want to do can be done in-house. Learning resources and specialist lectures and sessions are extensive.
And finally, the course culminates in a professional degree show that gives student the chance to demonstrate their creative talents to industry employers.
As with many creative degrees, fashion design courses do not only give students a solid basis in the core subject. They also ensure that associated skills and talents are nurtured, and that students gain a wide range of information and opportunities that are relevant to the industry in which they wish to work.
It is also fair to say that not everyone who studies fashion design will go on to see their clothes grace the catwalks of Milan or New York. But this does not mean they do not enjoy successful careers. With a degree in fashion design graduates are well-placed to enjoy a wide range of jobs in the creative industries and could find themselves making costumes for a West End play or fitting celebrities for a magazine photoshoot.
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