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Fashion Folio

Course description

Fashion Folio will challenge your understanding of fashion and confront your preconceived ideas of design. You will create content that is individual and personal. Visual research, experimentation, idea development and high-quality presentation skills will underpin everything you do. This will result in a portfolio for application to degree courses, employment or self-development. You will be expected to work hard and find inspiration in new and unexpected places. Fashion Folio is a full-time course, with Stage 1 taught online and Stages 2 and 3 taught in person at our Archway site. The course is structured with a mixture of directed and independent study. One-to-one tuition is provided on a weekly basis, which will help you identify your strengths and weaknesses and gain resilience to overcome your limitations. Students are strongly recommended to begin their studies at Stage 1 where an intensive foundation in drawing and visual communication will be provided. A high level of commitment and dedication is required during the course.

Who should apply for this course?

Fashion Folio is suitable for those with a keen interest in fashion design or related fashion subjects with the goal of applying to an undergraduate or post graduate fashion related course. The course can also benefit students who have previously studied or worked in fashion who are looking to update their portfolio and invest in their personal development. Applicants will need to meet the entry requirements outlined below, by submitting the application form, along with a digital portfolio to evidence their experience and skills.

Please be advised this is not an access course and successful completion of Fashion Folio does not guarantee a place on UAL undergraduate or postgraduate courses. However, a high proportion of Fashion Folio students do progress to further studies at UAL and other Universities based on the quality and content of portfolios produced on the course.

Former Fashion Folio students have successfully progressed to courses such as:

  • BA (Hons) Fashion Design: Womenswear
  • BA (Hons) Fashion Design: Menswear
  • BA (Hons) Fashion Design: Knitwear
  • BA (Hons) Fashion Design: Print
  • BA (Hons) Fashion Design: Communication
  • BA (Hons) Fashion Communication: Image and Promotion
  • BA (Hons) Fashion Communication: Journalism
  • BA (Hons)Textile Design
  • BA (Hons) Fine Art
  • Graduate Diploma in Fashion

Entry Requirements

Fashion Folio runs each year from May to March over three 11 week blocks. Students are recommended to apply for Stage 1 - Fashion Folio Fundamentals and to progress to Stages 2 and 3 – Fashion Folio Portfolio Preparation & Presentation. Students are recommended to book Stages 2 & 3 together for the best experience.

Applications must be submitted, along with a digital portfolio of your own work to provide evidence of meeting the entry requirements, outlined below.

It is possible to make a direct application to join the course at Stages 2 and 3 by providing evidence to meet the entry requirements. Students wishing to apply to a degree or undergraduate course must progress from Stage 2. Direct application to Stage 3 is only suitable for students pursuing professional development.

Entry Requirements

Stage 1 Fashion Folio Fundamentals – Online - 11 Weeks

  • Fashion drawing skills – analogue (hand drawn) not digital
  • Original art and design work for textiles or surface pattern
  • Sketch books showing illustration of faces, garments, research, thoughts and ideas
  • Engagement with experimentation and invention
  • Personal research skills: idea and design development
  • Original photography of your own work
  • An awareness of contemporary fashion design
  • Anything that might communicate your subject interest skills

Stage 2 Portfolio Preparation - Onsite – 11 Weeks

  • Fashion drawing skills that communicate and inform
  • Sketch Books showing research, thoughts and ideas
  • Illustration techniques
  • Research skills: idea and design development
  • Visual communication: meaningful and informative drawings
  • Media experimentation
  • Presentation and layout
  • Written communication to accompany your designs (essential for Fashion Communication applicants)

Stage 3 Portfolio Presentation – Onsite – 11 Weeks

  • Previous experience of working or studying in fashion
  • Experience of research development
  • Contextual and critical referencing
  • Technical skills
  • Colour rendering
  • Professional level of presentation and layout skills
  • Effective communication of ideas: visual and written

You must identify your own clear objectives and course outcomes in your application: i.e. research skills, drawing skills or presentation skills

Students who have successfully completed Stage 1 will be invited to apply to Stages 2 and 3 without re-submitting an application.

English requirements

This course is taught in English and the expectation is that you will communicate in English during taught sessions. Students must have a level of spoken and written English sufficient to participate in the Course. It is recommended that students have a good knowledge of technical and design terms in English prior to the course start. By way of a guideline only, if English is not your first language, UALSC recommend that students have an English Language level equivalent to at least an IELTS score of 6.0 to understand and participate in the course.

A certificate of completion

  • You've put the work so we want to make sure you have something to show for it!
  • As long as you attend a minimum of 80% of your classes, we will provide you with a certificate of attendance.
  • We always recommend you attend all of the classes so that you get the most out of the experience!
  • Certificates are great to compliment your CV.

Making your application

To apply for this course please check that you meet the entry requirements and then click here to complete the application form.

All applications will be reviewed in 7 - 14 days. An email will be sent to notify you of the outcome along with information about the next steps.

Contact - E:

Available dates

If no dates are showing then please sign up to our mailing list to find out about upcoming dates and new course developments.


Stage 1 - Fashion Folio Fundamentals

Delivery mode: Online

Duration: 11 weeks (May - July)

This stage will provide the core visual communication skills to enable you to express original design ideas to an audience in meaningful and informative ways. You will be introduced to a variety of drawing techniques and styles used in the design process and understand how and when to use these in different contexts.

Topics covered:

  • Various drawing techniques and styles
  • Body proportions for fashion design
  • Media experimentation and colour rendering
  • Fashion illustration, expressive vs. informative
  • Research, understanding and analysis
  • Developing a range of design ideas, in response to research
  • Visual communication, communicating the narrative
  • Presentation and layout
  • Criticism, constructive feedback and reflection

Stages 2 & 3 – Fashion Folio Portfolio Preparation & Presentation

Delivery mode: On campus

Duration: 22 weeks (September - March)

Fashion Folio 2 & 3 run continuously with a winter break at the end of December. For the best experience students are recommended to book both stages together. In Stage 2 you will build on your drawing and design skills to produce a portfolio of work. The majority of your portfolio work will be completed during this stage. In Stage 3, you will focus on the refinement and content of your portfolio to reflect your skills and interests. You will select work suitable for application to either undergraduate, postgraduate or career progression.

Stage 2 – Portfolio Preparation

Duration: 11 weeks (September - December)

Topics covered:

  • Research development
  • Contextual and critical referencing
  • Refining technical skills
  • Colour rendering
  • Building the portfolio: presentation and layout
  • Communication of ideas: visual and verbal

Stage 3 – Portfolio Presentation

Duration: 11 weeks (January - March)

Topics Covered:

  • Portfolio refinement
  • Presentation skills
  • Interview preparation

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the exact dates for each stage?

The exact dates can be found at the bottom of the course description. With the stages running at the same time each year as follows:

  • Stage 1 (May - July)
  • Stage 2 (September - December)
  • Stage 3 (January - March)

Before booking the course, students must complete the application form.

All applications will be reviewed in 7 – 14 days. An email will be sent to notify you of the outcome along with information about the next steps.

Why is stage 1 taught online?

Short course students that are from outside the UK are limited to stay and study in the UK for a maximum of 6 months under the visitor route. To enable everyone to complete all three stages in one year, stage 1 is now delivered online. More information about online delivery can be found in the main course description tab.

Do I need to take all three stages?

Students are recommended to take all three stages. On occasion, entry at stage 2 may be possible, providing students produce evidence of strong drawing and technical skills and an understanding of the design development process when submitting their application.

Can I book more than one stage at a time?

Yes, students can apply for as many stages as they like, through the application form. Students must wait to be accepted before making thier booking. An email to notify you of the outcome of your application will be emailed within 7 - 14 days of applying.

When is the deadline to submit my booking?

Bookings will be accepted up to one month before the start of the course for Stages 2 and 3. For Stage 1, bookings are accepted one week before the start of the course. Please read section 8 of our terms and conditions carefully with particular attention to our refund policy.

Will I need a visa to study on the course?

Please visit the Immigration guidance for short course students web page, for further information. Read the Fashion Folio visa information page for information specific to Fashion Folio students.

Do I need to provide proof of my English Language?

No, we do not need you to provide proof to study Fashion Folio. However; as a guideline, non-native English speakers should be at IELTS level 6.0.

If you are progressing to a full time course at UAL after completing your programme, you are still required to meet these conditions. These will be listed on the relevant course page. For more information you can check the UAL English Language requirements webpage.


The full materials list will be discussed during the first week of the course.

Stage 1 - Fashion Folio Fundamentals

The tech requirements:

  • A recent computer with a recent operating system
  • An up-to-date web browser (it would be advisable to ensure you have access to two separate web browsers, we recommend Safari and Google Chrome)
  • A headset with microphone / headphones is recommended
  • Webcam

Stages 2 & 3 Fashion Folio Portfolio Preparation & Presentation

  • A USB stick/portable device (for storing images and backing up files)
  • A laptop with an appropriate USB adapter
  • Colour printer (optional, but very useful, we recommend you insure this equipment, whilst on the course)
  • CAD software such as Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator

During the course you will be required to experiment with different drawing and colouring media. These can be purchased as and when required. These may include, but not limited to:

  • Oil crayons
  • Soft pastels
  • Coloured pencils
  • Watercolour crayons/pencilsVarious pencils/graphite
  • Charcoal
  • Marker pens (various thickness of nibs)
  • Watercolour paints and a mixing palette
  • Gouache paintBrushes (various thicknesses)
  • Collage materials: glue, magazines, various papers, fabrics etc.

You will also be required to have cartridge paper (A4 and A3 sizes), Sketchbooks (A5, A4 and A3 sizes) and basic desktop stationery.

Meet the Tutor:

The objective of this highly intensive course is for students to produce a portfolio of work which can be used to apply for an undergraduate, postgraduate fashion programme, or for employment or personal development.

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