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Undergraduate

BA (Hons) Fashion Design: Knitwear

A model wearing a pink and blue knitted top and trousers
Martin Tual
College
Central Saint Martins
UCAS code
W23K
Start date
September 2024
Course length
Three years full-time or four years full-time with Diploma in Professional Studies

BA Fashion offers highly motivated students a nurturing environment which champions originality and innovation.

Please note this course is undergoing re-approval.

Every 5 years the University reviews course content to ensure that our students are benefitting from a high-quality academic experience. During this process there may be some changes made to the course which are not immediately reflected in the content displayed on this page. The information on this page will be updated once the process has been completed. Please contact us if you have any questions about this or the course via study@csm.arts.ac.uk.

On this course, you will work in a dynamic atmosphere which has already produced many of fashion’s brightest talents. It is part of the Fashion programme.

Why choose this course at Central Saint Martins

  • Pathway structure: On BA Fashion, you can choose to study one of five pathways: Fashion Design: Menswear, Womenswear, Print, Knitwear and Communication.
  • Professionals and sponsors: The course provides opportunities for collaboration with external professionals and sponsors. Previously, these have included Christian Dior, L'Oréal Professionnel, Louis Vuitton, LVMH, Nike, Puma, Stone Island and the Victoria and Albert Museum.
  • Industry networks: You can take advantage of the course’s excellent relationship with the international fashion community. This will allow you to experience placements drawn from a wide and distinguished range of sources.
  • Alumni success: Our graduates work across a wide spectrum of careers in fashion. They have gone on to establish their own labels or to work as company designers, freelancers and consultants.

Course overview

Fashion is a fast-moving and diverse international industry. It has historical and social and significance, often underpinning our cultural values. BA Fashion Design at Central Saint Martins recognises this climate of diversity and cultural importance. Encouraging innovation and originality, the course will support your creative, practical and intellectual development. It will enable you to take advantage of the wide range of opportunities the industry can offer.  

BA Fashion Design offers five pathways: Menswear; Womenswear; Print; Knitwear; and Communication. Each pathway offers a unique combination of design, historical studies and theoretical studies led by tutors who are expert practitioners in their field. The Knitwear pathway allows for a breadth of creative approaches within an increasingly important discipline. Britain has an excellent international reputation for design in knitwear. This is thanks to our long-standing central position in the wool trade and machine development. In recent years, this sector has grown from traditional quality to encompass high fashion, cut and sew jersey, stretch and bodywear. This pathway will familiarise you with these processes and the use of world fibre resources within this context.  

The course creates a learning environment in which innovation is nurtured across five distinct but closely related pathways. Through this structure, we encourage versatile fashion specialists who can solve problems creatively. We aim to equip you with in-depth knowledge of your chosen field as well as a wider breadth of the industry. Alongside your specialism, you will learn about the social, economic and cultural factors which impact on the professional realm in which you will work.  

The BA Fashion Design curriculum offers opportunities for interdisciplinary work and collaboration. This is formulated to provide a microcosm of the professional fashion design world. The nature of this work will give you valuable insight into your future role in the industry. The curriculum is also flexible and provides scope for professional networking. BA Fashion Design focuses on active learning through project-based enquiry. Collaborative projects may involve cross-pathway teams, as well as work with external professionals, sponsoring companies and organisations.

We are committed to developing ethical fashion design practices. To achieve this, we are working to embed UAL's Principles for Climate, Social and Racial Justice into the course.

Course units

BA Fashion Design: Knitwear is primarily fashion and design oriented and there is a strong focus on technical ability. You will become familiar with a variety of techniques from hand skills to computerised machinery. You will be expected to investigate creative avenues to develop individual outcomes. You will extend and challenge concepts of fashion design, underpinned by a fluency in traditional and contemporary techniques. The range between hand crafting and computerised machinery is encouraged to push the boundaries. You will be expected to experiment, using established and new fibres and materials to develop an individual and creative approach to knitwear. 

Stage 1

Unit 1: Introduction to the Fashion Programme and to Studying at CSM 
Unit 2: Research Creative Development and Technical Skills Part 1 
Unit 3: Research Creative Development and Technical Skills Part 2 
Unit 4: Cultural Histories and Theories (Fashion)

In Stage 1, you will improve your skills, understanding and approaches to learning. You will focus on the skills needed to communicate information effectively. You will be introduced to resources which support your studies. Units 2 and 3 will provide a foundation in the generation and development of design ideas. Through practical workshops, you will learn the unique aspects of the Knitwear pathway. You will also be introduced to other course pathways. In Unit 4, you will focus on a range of research methods used to analyse relevant objects, images, spaces and cultural practices.  

Stage 2

Unit 5: Research Methods and Approaches (Fashion)
Unit 6: Further Development of Pathway Expertise Part 1 
Unit 7: Further Development of Pathway Expertise Part 2 
Unit 8: Positioning and Professional Preparation 

Unit 5 offers a range of research methods and approaches which will support you in undertaking more self-directed study. This may include visual and material culture, social theory and media studies. In Units 6 and 7 you will explore the breadth of your subject, developing your individual talents. Learning includes studio and formal tutorial guidance, seminars, lectures, external projects and competitions, critiques, personal research, independent study and team projects. Unit 8 encourages you to consolidate the necessary skills to develop and articulate your own practice. You will further enhance your knowledge of industry with a focus on your future employability. 

Stage 3

Unit 9: Degree Project Research and Development 
Unit 10: Dissertation 
Unit 11: Degree Project Resolution and Presentation 
 

Stage 3 gives you the opportunity to manage your own learning. You will begin to define your individual creative identity as a designer. By the end of Unit 9, you will have completed the initial research and design phase of your degree collection.  

Your dissertation represents the culmination of your cultural studies work for your degree. It extends your research, analytical and communication skills. You will focus on a selected aspect of visual, textual, material, social, media or spatial culture. In some cases, students may wish to place greater emphasis on the dissertation. There is a route in place to accommodate this which you must make an application for. This will allow you to demonstrate a focused study of your chosen subject. In the final unit of the course, you will complete and present your degree collection and portfolio of work.  

Diploma in Professional Studies

Between Stage 2 and Stage 3 of the course there is an option for you to work with industry for the duration of an academic year (across three terms/two blocks) and complete a Diploma in Professional Studies. Whilst the Diploma is an optional aspect of the course, it is designed as an integrated and assessed part of your journey through the course, if you do take up this option. The Diploma results in a standalone qualification (rated at 120 credits), which involves researching, undertaking and reflecting on a 100 day/20-week (minimum) placement related to your professional interests and aspirations. The Diploma provides a valuable opportunity to make professional contacts and to develop your personal employability skills.  

Mode of study 

BA Fashion Design runs for 90 weeks in full-time mode. It is divided into three stages over three academic years. Each stage lasts 30 weeks.   

You will be expected to commit 40 hours per week to study, which includes teaching time and independent study.   

Credit and award requirements

The course is credit-rated at 360 credits, with 120 credits at each stage (level). 

On successfully completing the course, you will gain a Bachelor of Arts with Honours (BA Hons degree).

Under the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications the stages for a BA are: Stage 1 (Level 4), Stage 2 (Level 5) and Stage 3 (Level 6). In order to progress to the next stage, all units of the preceding stage must normally be passed: 120 credits must be achieved in each stage. The classification of the award will be derived from the marks of units in Stages 2 and 3 or only Stage 3, using a dual algorithm.  

If you are unable to continue on the course, a Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE) will normally be offered following the successful completion of Level 4 (or 120 credits), or a Diploma in Higher Education (DipHE) following the successful completion of Level 5 (or 240 credits). 

Learning and teaching methods

The learning and teaching methods devised for this course include: 

  • Workshop and studio tuition 
  • Project work 
  • Interdisciplinary group and teamwork 
  • Briefing documents and briefing meetings 
  • Seminars 
  • Lectures or studio talks 
  • Presentations 
  • Group critiques 
  • Studio demonstrations 
  • Field study visits (external visits will be subject to availability due to distancing guidelines)
  • Peer learning and feedback 
  • Independent study 
  • Self-evaluation 
  • Individual and group tutorials.

BA Fashion 2022

BA Fashion 2021

Watch the 2019 BA Fashion catwalk show

Student Perspectives: BA Fashion Fashion Design with Knitwear

Keith Tovey, BA Fashion Design and Knitwear, designs Grayson Perry's UAL graduation robes

BA Fashion stories

410 Gone

410 Gone


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UAL Showcase

Explore work by our recent students on the UAL Showcase

  • SOLAR AGE
    SOLAR AGE, Julia Labis, 2022 BA (Hons) Fashion: Fashion Design with Knitwear, Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • No Longer Human
    No Longer Human, Beth Williams, 2022 BA (Hons) Fashion: Fashion Design with Knitwear, Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • Hen Aelwyd - Old Hearth of Home
    Hen Aelwyd - Old Hearth of Home, Alice Morell-Evans, 2022 BA (Hons) Fashion: Fashion Design with Knitwear, Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • A gig in a parallel universe
    A gig in a parallel universe, Jingyi Xie, 2022 BA (Hons) Fashion: Fashion Design with Knitwear, Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • Final collection
    Final collection, Smriti Limbu, 2022 BA (Hons) Fashion: Fashion Design with Knitwear, Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • Graduate Collection
    Graduate Collection, Rina Hayashi, 2022 BA (Hons) Fashion: Fashion Design with Knitwear, Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • Digital games world
    Digital games world, Zoe Zhixu LIU, 2022 BA (Hons) Fashion: Fashion Design with Knitwear, Central Saint Martins, UAL

Facilities

Staff

Stage 1 Co-Leader: Elodie Girad
Stage 1 Co-Leader: Rahemur Rahman
Stage 1 Co-Leader: Neil Smith
Senior Lecturer, Fashion Design with Marketing Pathway Leader: Stephanie Cooper
Senior Lecturer, Fashion Design Knitwear Pathway Leader:
Craig Lawrence
Senior Lecturer, Fashion Design Menswear Pathway Leader:
Ike Rust
Senior Lecturer, Fashion Design Womenswear Pathway Co-Leader:
Anna-Nicole Ziesche
Senior Lecturer, Fashion Design Womenswear Pathway Co-Leader:
Heather Sproat
Fashion Design Print Pathway Leader: Esmee Egerton
Senior Lecturer, Garment Construction:
Louis Loizou

Fees and funding

Home fee

£9,250 per year

This fee is correct for entry in autumn 2024 and is subject to change for entry in autumn 2025.

Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students.

Home fees are currently charged to UK nationals and UK residents who meet the rules. However, the rules are complex. Find out more about our tuition fees and determining your fee status.

International fee

£28,570 per year

This fee is correct for entry in autumn 2024 and is subject to change for entry in autumn 2025.

Tuition fees for international students may increase by up to 5% in each future year of your course.

Students from countries outside of the UK will generally be charged international fees. The rules are complex so read more about tuition fees and determining your fee status.

Scholarship search

Entry requirements

The standard entry requirements for this course are as follows:

One of the following accepted full Level 3 qualifications:

  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art and Design (Level 3 or 4) and one A Level at grade C or above
  • Merit, Pass, Pass (MPP) at BTEC Extended Diploma (preferred subjects include Art, Art and Design or Design and Technology)
  • Pass at UAL Extended Diploma
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma equivalent to 64 UCAS tariff points (preferred subjects include Art, Art and Design or Design and Technology)
  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art and Design (Level 3 or 4) plus equivalent EU/International qualifications, such as International Baccalaureate Diploma

And three GCSE passes at grade 4 or above (grade A*–C).

Entry to this course will also be determined by assessment of your portfolio.

AP(E)L – Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning

Exceptionally applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered. The course team will consider each application that demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might, for example, be demonstrated by:

  • Related academic or work experience
  • The quality of the personal statement
  • A strong academic or other professional reference

Or a combination of these factors.

Each application will be considered on its own merit but cannot guarantee an offer in each case.

English language requirements

IELTS score of 6.0 or above, with at least 5.5 in reading, writing, listening and speaking (please check our main English language requirements webpage).

Selection criteria

We select applicants who can demonstrate current ability and potential to:

Work imaginatively and creatively in 2D and 3D visual and material media:

  • Engage with experimentation and invention
  • Show imagination and ambition in proposals for their work
  • Take informed risks.

Demonstrate a range of skills and technical abilities:

  • Through the portfolio, demonstrate a range of approaches to design development, originated from personal experience or visual research and progressed through logical stages to a finished design solutions
  • Evidence handling a material or medium with sensitivity to its qualities
  • Demonstrate engagement and improvement in a recently learned technical skill
  • Demonstrate an awareness of planning and time management skills
  • Provide evidence of intellectual enquiry within their work.

Demonstrate relevant research skills:

  • Evidence your ability to critically reflect on and evaluate your achievements.

Demonstrate cultural awareness and/or contextual framework of their work:

  • Demonstrate an awareness of contemporary fashion design communication and promotion
  • Identify social and/or cultural influences on their work.

Articulate and communicate intentions clearly:

  • Discuss their work in individual and group situations.
  • Present their work appropriately and effectively.

Demonstrate commitment and motivation in relation to the subject and the course:

  • Develop their own ideas and address both set and personal project briefs
  • Show willingness to collaborate
  • Show initiative.

What we are looking for

BA Fashion Design is for the talented, self-motivated fashion enthusiast. Spirited, informed and mature enough to commit to a course that is demanding in its breadth and depth, you will thrive in the competitive atmosphere that has spawned many of fashion's brightest talents. In this fast-moving global industry it takes hard work, flexibility and passion to succeed.

Apply now

Application deadline

31 January 2024 at 18:00 (UK time)

If there are places available after this date, the course will remain open to applications until places have been filled.

Apply to UAL

Home students can apply to this course through UCAS with the following codes:

University code:

U65

UCAS code:

W23K

Start your application

Apply now

Application deadline

31 January 2024 at 18:00 (UK time)

If there are places available after this date, the course will remain open to applications until places have been filled.

Apply to UAL

International students can apply to this course through UCAS with the following codes:

University code:

U65

UCAS code:

W23K

Start your application
or

Apply with a UAL Representative

Based across the world, our local UAL representatives can support you with your application from your home country. Check to see if there is a representative available in your country currently.

Find your representative

How to apply

Follow this step-by-step guide to apply for this course

Step 1: Initial application

You will need to submit an initial application including your personal statement.

Personal statement advice

Your personal statement should be maximum 4,000 characters and cover the following:

  • Why have you chosen this course? What excites you about the subject?
  • How does your previous or current study relate to the course?
  • Have you got any work experience that might help you?
  • Have any life experiences influenced your decision to apply for this course?
  • What skills do you have that make you perfect for this course?
  • What plans and ambitions do you have for your future career?

Visit our personal statement page for more advice.

Step 2: Digital portfolio

We will review your initial application. If you have met the standard entry requirements, we will ask you to submit a digital portfolio.

You’ll need to submit this via PebblePad, our online portfolio tool.

Digital portfolio advice

Your portfolio should consist of recent work that reflects your creative strengths.

It should:

  • be maximum 25 pages
  • include 3 pages of research images of fashion design. This could be drawings, notes, photographs, images of items that you find inspirational etc.
  • include 3 pages of fashion design sketches that demonstrate your development of a specific fashion theme
  • include 2 pages of finished fashion illustrations using colour. These could be in any medium such as sketches, paintings, collage or digital imagery
  • include any other creative work that you think is relevant to the course.

For more support, see our Portfolio advice and PebblePad advice.

Step 3: Interview

You may be invited to an interview following our review of your application. All interviews are held online and last 15 to 20 minutes.

For top tips, see our Interview advice.

You also need to know

Communicating with you

Once you have submitted your initial application, we will email you with your login details for our Applicant portal.

Requests for supplementary documents like qualifications and English language tests will be made through the applicant portal. You can also use it to ask questions regarding your application. Visit our After you apply page for more information.

Visas and immigration history check

All non-UK nationals must complete an immigration history check. Your application may be considered by our course teams before this check takes place. This means that we may request your portfolio and/or video task before we identify any issues arising from your immigration history check. Sometimes your history may mean that we are not able to continue considering your application. Visit our Immigration and visas advice page for more information.

External student transfer policy

UAL accepts transfers from other institutions on a case-by-case basis. Read our Student transfer policy for more information.

Alternative offers

If your application is really strong, but we believe your strengths and skillset are better suited to a different course, we may make you an alternative offer. This means you will be offered a place on a different course or at a different UAL College.

Deferring your place

You must apply in the year that you intend to start your course. If you are made an offer and your circumstances change, you can submit a deferral request to defer your place by 1 academic year. You must have met your conditions by 31 August 2024. If you need an English language test in order to meet the entry requirements, the test must be valid on the deferred start date of your course. If not, you will need to reapply. Requests are granted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Contextual Admissions

This course is part of the Contextual Admissions scheme.

This scheme helps us better understand your personal circumstances so that we can assess your application fairly and in context. This ensures that your individual merit and creative potential can shine through, no matter what opportunities and experiences you have received.

Careers

BA Fashion graduates work across a very wide spectrum of careers in fashion.

While a few go on to become household names, the majority choose not to establish their own labels, working successfully and influentially as company designers, freelancers and consultants or as journalists, stylists, photographers, illustrators, editors and retailers.

Each year, a number of BA Fashion graduates go on to study at postgraduate level, many at Central Saint Martins.
Recent BA Fashion alumni activity demonstrates the breadth of student activity within the sector. Many of our graduates go on to work at major fashion labels around the world.

In London, these include Alexander McQueen, Ghost, Holland & Holland, Katharine Hamnett. In the UK, Burberry, Paul Smith, Hussein Chalayan. In Italy, Benetton, Etro, Alberta Feretti, Antonio Berardi, Prada, Versace. In Paris, Martin Margiela, Kenzo, Christian Lacroix, Martine Sitbon, Dior, Chloe, Louis Vuitton. In New York, Donna Karan, Style Council and in Japan, Comme des Garçons.

Some have set up their own labels. These include Boroaksu, Clements Ribeiro, Stella McCartney, Hussein Chalayan, Sinha-Stanic, Matthew Williamson.

Developing your links

Located at the heart of the London fashion industry, BA Fashion is able to link education and industry providing students with 'live' projects and professional feedback. The BA Fashion course has also developed an excellent relationship with the international fashion community, so that placements for its students are drawn from a wide and distinguished range of sources.

Student’s benefit enormously from studying in London. While there are other fashion courses on the outskirts of the capital, none can offer you the daily stimulation and advantages of being in the middle of an international cultural and fashion centre, surrounded by all levels of the retail market and sectors of the industry within which you will later find employment.

Current collaborations across the design pathways include work with L'Oreal Professional, Triumph, Liberty, Tie Rack, Paul Smith, Dior and Christian Dior Couture.