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Foundation Year in Fashion

Learn about the course below
See how to apply
October 2022
EU/International induction: September 2022
1 year
+ 3 years full-time
£9,250 (UK) *
£14,700 (EU/INT) *
Course leader
Matt Ryalls
The Foundation Year in Fashion is offered as an entry route to a fashion degree for students who don't yet meet the entry requirements for degree-level study.

Why study the Foundation Year in Fashion at Middlesex University?

Gain essential technical skills while we prepare you for a stimulating career in the fashion industry, whether you want to be a designer, maker, stylist, or photographer. As well as technique, we will equip you with the confidence and independence you need to engage with the fashion world and move forward in your fashion education with us at Middlesex.

You will enrol on a four-year course which includes the one-year foundation year. The number of students who progress to degree study is very high. The Foundation Year in Fashion will be taught in a blended approach, including online learning and in our excellent studios and facilities at our Hendon campus by the same lecturing staff who teach on our degree courses. You are taught in small group seminars and workshops.

The Foundation Year is for you if:

  • you do not have the right qualifications for a full degree
  • you feel you are not yet ready for degree-level study
  • you have limited or no technical experience, and wish to gain confidence in technical areas of study
  • you are returning to study and feel you need some help to get up to speed with the demands of learning before embarking on a degree

How to apply

If you are interested in studying the Foundation Year in Fashion, you must apply to one of our four-year degree courses. Please have a look at the How to apply tab for further information. Successful completion of the foundation year guarantees entry onto your chosen degree.

We offer the following courses:

Course title UCAS code
BA Fashion Design with Foundation Year W23R
BA Fashion Textiles and Design with Foundation Year W2T4
BA Fashion Communication and Styling with Foundation Year W23V

Course Highlights

  • Gain essential technical skills while we prepare you for a stimulating career in the fashion industry
  • Build the confidence and independence you need to engage with the fashion world and move forward in your fashion education
  • Benefit from a blended approach learning including a combination of online learning and access to our excellent studios and facilities at our Hendon campus
  • Learn from expert tutors that cover extensive knowledge and experience

Find out more

Sign up now to receive more information about studying at Middlesex University London.

What will you study on the Foundation Year in Fashion?

The first year of the course is an intensive experience which will enhance your creative and communication skills as they apply to the broad and exciting world of the fashion industry.

Your learning will focus on making and learning specialist techniques; developing a creative portfolio, and developing skills in fashion-specific research and writing. At the end of your first year, you will have developed a strong portfolio that will showcase your skills and reflect your future professional direction.


  • Core modules

    • Principles of Fashion (30 credits) - Compulsory​

      This module aims to facilitate a range of specialist technical skills used in order to make clothes and to create fashion imaging. You will also be creating an online learning journal. You will be introduced to fashion resources such as blogs and WebPages, and develop your ability to navigate, retrieve and manage information. You will also be introduced to Middlesex University’s excellent library resources, which includes special collections and the MoDA museum.

    • Fashion Skills (30 credits) - Compulsory​

      This module aims to develop the skills to develop meaningful fashion content that references contemporary fashion and builds towards your self-identity as a creative in fashion. The module introduces the specialist skills associated with the construction of clothing, i.e. pattern cutting, draping on the stand, garment construction, embellishment and finishes, along with the use of appropriate technical skills involved in professional fashion imaging. You will be introduced to the digital tools associated with the construction of clothing using specific industry software. The understanding of these processes is essential for further study and employability.

    • Fashion: Creative London (30 credits) - Compulsory​

      This module aims to give you an insight into the resources and cultural reference points that inform London’s fashion and creative industries. You will also be provided with the opportunity to develop confidence and competence in acquiring and using academic English language skills within the specific context of the creative and cultural industries. The module will also provide you with fundamental academic research skills.

    • Portfolio (30 credits) - Compulsory​

      This module aims to synthesise and advance all previous experience and the honing of specialist skills and research that will inform and support the designing and presentation of your final Fashion Portfolio.  Your fashion portfolio will showcase your originality and professionalism, and will be the final presentation of your extensive and varied creative work.  The development of your portfolio will support and define a proposed area of further study and industry employment.

See the course specification for more information about typical course content outside of the coronavirus outbreak:

Optional modules are usually available at levels 5 and 6, although optional modules are not offered on every course. Where optional modules are available, you will be asked to make your choice during the previous academic year. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.

We are regularly reviewing and updating our programmes to ensure you have the best learning experience. We are taking what we've learnt in recent years by enhancing our teaching methods with new and innovative ways of learning.

Teaching and learning from 2022

We have developed new approaches to teaching and learning for the 2021/22 academic year.

We are currently reviewing our approach to teaching and learning for 2022 entry and beyond. We've learned a lot about how to give you a quality education - we aim to combine the best of our in-person teaching and learning with access to online learning and digital resources which put you more in charge of when and how you study. We will keep you updated on this throughout the application process.

Your timetable will be built around on campus sessions using our professional facilities, with online sessions for some activities where we know being virtual will add value. We’ll use technology to enhance all of your learning and give you access to online resources to use in your own time.

The table below gives you an idea of what learning looks like across a typical week. Some weeks are different due to how we schedule classes and arrange on campus sessions.

This information is likely to change slightly for 2022 entry as our plans evolve. You'll receive full information on your teaching before you start your course.

Learning structure: typical hourly breakdown in 2021/22

Live in-person on campus learning

Contact hours per week, per level:

10 hours

Live online learning

Average hours per week, per level:

16 hours

Outside of these hours, you’ll be expected to do independent study where you read, listen and reflect on other learning activities. This can include preparation for future classes. In a year, you’ll typically be expected to commit 1200 hours to your course across all styles of learning. If you are taking a placement, you might have some additional hours.

Definitions of terms

  • Live in-person on campus learning – This will focus on active and experiential sessions that are both:
    • Led by your tutors including seminars, lab sessions and demonstrations We’ll schedule all of this for you
    • Student-led by you and other students, like small group work and presentations.
  • Live online learning – This will include lectures, tutorials and supervision sessions led by your tutor and timetabled by us. It also includes student-led group work that takes place online

  • Tutor set learning activities – This covers activities which will be set for you by your tutor, but which you will undertake in your own time. Examples of this include watching online materials, participating in an online discussion forum, completing a virtual laboratory or reading specific texts. You may be doing this by yourself of with your course mates depending on your course and assignments. Outside of these hours, you’ll also be expected to do further independent study where you’ll be expected to learn, prepare, revise and reflect in your own time.


You have a strong support network available to you to make sure you develop all the necessary academic skills you need to do well on your course.

Our support services will be delivered online and on campus and you have access to a range of different resources so you can get the help you need, whether you’re studying at home or have the opportunity to come to campus.

You have access to one to one and group sessions for personal learning and academic support from our library and IT teams, and our network of learning experts. Our teams will also be here to offer financial advice, and personal wellbeing, mental health and disability support.

  1. Standard entry requirements
  2. International (inc. EU)
  3. How to apply
  1. UK
  2. EU / International
  3. Additional costs

Matt Ryalls
Programme leader

Matt studied Fashion Design at Central St. Martins and has worked as a stylist and Fashion Editor for Arena, Dazed & Confused, Exit, Nylon, POPand The Face magazines. In addition he has collaborated with numerous designers on runway presentations internationally. Matt publishes various ‘zines that explore themes of identity, sexuality and gender that he exhibits internationally.

  • Faye Wong

    Foundation Year in Fashion BA

    I was able to progress onto the BA Fashion Design after my foundation year. The skills I've developed have focused on the different ways of layout for my portfolio as well as sewing techniques such as for different seams and pockets. The thing I enjoyed most was the space we had in our studio and the fashion tutors were very helpful throughout the whole course. And what I've most enjoyed about studying at Middlesex would be the overall environment because even though it is a place of study, it still makes me feel comfortable to be around.

We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.

Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.

Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.

At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.

Other courses

Fashion Textiles and Design BA Honours

Start: October 2022, EU/International induction: September 2022

Duration: 3 years full-time

Code: W2T3

Fashion Design BA Honours

Start: September 2022, EU/International induction: September 2022

Duration: 3 years full-time

Code: WFH0

Fashion Communication and Styling BA Honours

Start: October 2022, EU/International induction: September 2022

Duration: 3 years full-time

Code: WF30

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