• CollegeCSM
  • Start dateStage 1, April / Stage 2, October / Stage 3, January
  • Course length11 weeks

Fashion Folio

We are accepting applications for Stage 1 starting in April 2018.

The objective of this highly intensive fashion programme is for students to produce their 'best' portfolio of work possible in order to apply for an undergraduate, postgraduate fashion programme or for employment.

Fashion Folio Video by Sokfok Studio. Music Credits: Fitness Motivation by Antarctic

Examples of work from Fashion Folio

Course detail

The objective of this highly intensive fashion programme is for students to produce a portfolio of work which can be used to apply for an undergraduate, postgraduate fashion programme, for employment or personal development. You will be given advice about future studies and follow projects in order to create a portfolio that represents your own personal approach to fashion design. This programme will push your understanding of fashion and challenge your preconceived ideas of how to design garments. Visual research, experimentation, idea development combined with unique presentation skills is at the focus of everything you do. You will be expected to work hard, find inspiration in new and unexpected places and identify your strengths and weaknesses whilst learning to overcome your limitations. Each group consists of approximately 20 students which allows each student a great deal of one-to-one tuition.

View photographs of the latest students work on Instagram.

Fashion Folio continues to prove itself as one of the best places to begin fashion education. The diverse backgrounds of the students creates a lively and supportive environment in which to learn, and the projects set allow a combination of individual tuition and group learning delivered by staff of the highest calibre. For passionate students with a varied experience this is an ideal introduction to fashion design studies.

Anne Smith, Dean of the School of Fashion and Textiles, Central Saint Martins.

Course structure

Fashion Folio is a full-time course providing two and a half days study per week in each terms/stages. Each stage/term is taught on a progressive basis, providing the opportunity to study for up to one academic year. You are recommended to take all three terms, but other entry points are available providing your work, ability and experience is at the appropriate level for entry. The Fashion Folio course attracts students from all over the world and therefore understands the needs of international students. There are three points of entry based upon the application dates for undergraduate courses in the UK:

Stage One (April - July)

Individuals of varying ability are accepted at this point with the view that they have the potential to begin a BA fashion course in October the following year, after completing a full year of Fashion Folio.

Stage Two (September - December)

You are accepted if you have the ability and experience to produce a suitable portfolio of work within six months to present at interview. Most of the content for your portfolio will be produced at this term.

Stage Three (January -March)

It is not possible to apply directly to stage 3 unless it is for personal development or employment.


Subjects covered on the course includes visual research, fashion drawing/illustration, idea development, approaches to media techniques, colour, layout and presentation. These topics are taught by means of workshops, lectures, demonstrations, visits, 1 to 1 tuition and independent studies.

Personal development

Only applicants who intend to improve their portfolio for personal development or employment can apply to any entry point/stage. The applicant must ensure that this is made clear in the application form as they will be working to a more personalised scheme of work. Successful applicants must be prepared to take responsibility for their learning and dedicate time to independent studies.

For further examples of student's work please visit the following websites:

Fashion Folio Instagram: csmfashionfolio

IPC ISSUU:- http://issuu.com/innovativepatterncuttingcsm


Course Leader: Patrick Lee Yow

How to apply

We are currently accepting applications for Stage 1 (April 2018). 

To apply please complete our online Fashion Folio Application Form

We will only review completed applications, which must include:

  1. A completed application form
  2. A short statement (no more the 350 words)
  3. An up-to-date CV
  4. 10 - 20 images of your work via a flickr account. Please see the advice below for more information:
  5. Your IELTS certificate (non-native English speakers only)  

*Please note that there is no strict deadline for applications. We take enrolments until each course is fully subscribed and therefore recommend students to apply at least three months prior to the course start date to avoid disappointment. International students will need to apply for the course as early as possible to ensure they leave sufficient time for their visa application if they are accepted to the course.

We look forward to receiving your application. If you have any queries please use our course enquiry form. After you have submitted your portfolio, you will receive an email letting you know how long you will need to wait for your result.

All international students attending portfolio preparation courses will need a Short-term Study Visa (STS) to attend the course.  Students can find out more about the Short-term Study Visa (STS) from the UK Government’s Visas and Immigration (UKVI) website: https://www.gov.uk/study-visit-visa

It is each student’s responsibility to ensure they have the correct visa to study on a course, and to ensure that they have read through the immigration information on the UKVI website. If a student does not have the correct visa to study on their chosen course they will not be able to join the course.

Short-term Study Visa's allow students to study in the UK for up to 6 months in a year. This means that International students will only be able to take 2 stages of a portfolio preparation courses. We advise that student’s carefully choose which stages of the course they apply to, in consultation with our staff, to ensure they receive the maximum benefit from the course to their portfolio and development.

Students should be aware that all Visas for the UK are issued at UKVI’s discretion, and they reserve the right to refuse entry clearance to any individual.

Any student who is thinking of attending the course on a visa that is not a Short-term Study Visa (STS) should contact the portfolio preparation team immediately at portfolio@csm.arts.ac.uk

Entry requirements

In order to benefit fully from this course you should be at least 18 years old and have some form of education or work experience related to art and design. You should be able to demonstrate a deep commitment to fashion and your portfolio should show some fashion experience. If you have not studied fashion before we recommend doing a short course in fashion design and/or fashion drawing prior to applying to this course.

The course is taught in a progressive basis, providing the opportunity to study for up to one academic year. It is possible for students to join fashion folio in stage 2 but to do so you will have to show that you have acquired the appropriate skill level and that your portfolio already contains a significant amount of well-developed work. The majority of the portfolio content is produced in Stage 2 of this programme. Most students need between 6 months and one year to build up complete portfolio suitable for application to fashion related undergraduate courses.

All students must have a minimum IELTS score of 6. If you intend to apply for a degree course you will be required to have an IELTS score of 6 with an average of 5.5 in each skill. Post Graduate courses require an IELTS score of 6.5 with an average of 5.5 in each skill. Please refer to the English Requirement Page on the university’s website for more information. You may wish to combine your Fashion Folio course with English language studies run by the Language Centre at the University of the Arts London.

If I am from overseas will I be able to get a Visa for my stay?

This course does fit the current criteria for obtaining a Student Visitor Visa for the UK. We can issue a letter to confirm your enrolment once your place has been agreed and the fees paid in full. However, rules about Visas do change and so we recommend you check with the UK Border Agency for up to date information.

International students are advised to apply for this course earlier to ensure that there is adequate time for their visa to be processed.

Fees and funding

Home/EU fee

£4,795. Price per term or stage. Price increase likely from April 2018 onwards, details TBC.

International fee

£4,795. Price per term or stage. Price increase likely from April 2018 onwards, details TBC.

Additional costs

In addition to tuition fees you are very likely to incur additional costs such as travel expenses and the cost of materials. Please read the information on our additional costs page.


Find out about the accommodation options available and how much they will cost.

Careers and alumni

Students on the Fashion Folio course may choose the following route to specialise in:

Undergraduate route

  • Fashion – This includes: Womenswear, Menswear, Fashion Design and Marketing, Fashion Print, Fashion Knit.
  • Textiles
  • Fashion Communication and Promotion – public relations, journalism, styling, photography.
  • Costume for Film or Theatre
  • Fashion Public Relations
  • Fashion Illustration
  • Fashion Accessories

Postgraduate route for studies in fashion related subjects

Applicants for this route must supply evidence of successful study at undergraduate level. They must also have a clear idea of their intended route and have identified the Colleges/Universities they will apply to. Successful applicants usually follow a personalised scheme of work whilst on the course.

Self-development route

Applicants for this route must have a clear idea which area(s) of their portfolio or the skill(s) they would like to develop/improve e.g. visual research, illustration, writing etc. Successful applicants usually follow a personalised scheme of work whilst on the course.

Employment route

Applicants for this route must supply evidence of either successful study at undergraduate level or a period of professional practice. They must also have a clear idea of which area(s) of their portfolio or the skill(s) they would like to develop/improve. Successful applicants usually follow a personalised scheme of work whilst on the course.