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Central Saint Martins

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BA (Hons) Fashion: Fashion Design with Knitwear

Start date
September 2019
Course length
3 years, or 4 years with Optional Diploma in Professional Studies full time
UCAS code

Applications closed 2019/20
Applications for 2019/20 entry to this course have now closed. Visit the ‘Courses with places available’ page for a full list of UAL courses that are open for application.

BA Fashion offers highly motivated individuals a nurturing environment that champions originality and innovation.

You’ll thrive in the competitive atmosphere that has spawned many of fashion’s brightest talents.

This course is part of the Fashion Programme.

Great reasons to apply:

  • Choose from five pathways: Fashion Design Menswear, Fashion Design Womenswear, Fashion Print, Fashion Design with Knitwear and Fashion Design with Marketing
  • Offers collaboration with external professionals and sponsors, including L'Oreal Professionel, Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton, The Italian Trade Commission, Fresh and Cushing and Wakefield, Liberty, The Horseracing Authority, From Somewhere, Paul Smith and the Victoria and Albert Museum
  • You can take the opportunity to interrupt your course after two years full time study to do a work placement and qualify additionally for the Diploma in Professional Studies
  • Take advantage of the course’s excellent relationship with the international fashion community,to experience placements drawn from a wide and distinguished range of sources
  • Our graduates work across a wide spectrum of careers in fashion, working successfully and influentially to establish their own labels or to work as company designers, freelancers and consultants or as journalists, stylists, photographers, illustrators, editors and retailers.
Watch the 2019 BA Fashion catwalk show
Watch the 2018 BA Fashion catwalk show
Student Perspectives: BA Fashion Fashion Design with Knitwear
Watch the 2017 BA Fashion catwalk show
Keith Tovey, BA Fashion Design and Knitwear, designs Grayson Perry's UAL graduation robes

BA Fashion stories

Designing with Abundance

We talk to recent graduates exhibiting in Designing in Turbulent Times, currently on show at the Lethaby Gallery. First up, designers transforming waste.

Bauhaus Rules

Vic Reeves and BBC4 came to Central Saint Martins to put six recent graduates through their Bauhaus paces

2018 catwalk


Wire shelves filled with art supplies
Print and Dye

Print and Dye

Find out more about our print and dye facilities

A student working in the knit workshop
Knit Workshop at Central Saint Martins


Find out more about our knit (constructed textiles) workshop

A closeup of pink fabrics and materials

BA and GradDip Fashion Studios

Find out more about our fashion workshops

Course overview

Fashion is a fast moving and highly diverse international industry encompassing a wide range of markets and creative, production and communication practices. It also has historical and social significance for our understanding of some of the important values underpinning our culture.

Recognition of this diversity and cultural meaning is central to the degree course's rationale and structure. By helping you develop appropriate intellectual and practical skills, BA Fashion enables you to benefit from such diversity and to rise to the challenges it presents.

This course is part of the Fashion programme. The degree course's philosophy is to create a learning environment in which innovation and originality are nurtured within a range of different but closely related pathways. We aim to produce versatile fashion specialists able to solve problems creatively while drawing on a deep knowledge of their chosen fields and a critical understanding of the social, economic and cultural factors influencing their professional environment.

BA Fashion offers a choice of five named pathways (identified by separate UCAS codes). With the study of fashion as their core subject, these options represent a uniquely synergistic combination of fashion design, historical studies and theoretical studies led by tutors who are expert practitioners. The pathway range allows you to study a specific area of fashion practice in depth, embracing different approaches to the subject and a range of creative opportunities within the industry.

The named pathways are:

The BA Fashion curriculum is flexible, providing excellent scope for networking with the fashion industry. Active learning through project-based enquiry is a cornerstone. You'll do collaborative projects that involve working together in mixed pathway groups or with external professionals and sponsors (e.g. L'Oreal Professionel, Christian Dior, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Liberty, Moda Fashion Paul Smith, Victoria and Albert Museum). This promotes interdisciplinary peer learning. It helps you develop the ability to work with others, the capacity for independent learning, and greater awareness of the skills you'll need to further your career. Visiting lecturers include Craig Green, Peter Jensen, Wakako Kishimoto, Palmer Harding, Grayson Perry, Mark Fast, Emma Cooke, Imran Ahmed and Jean-Pierre Braganza.

Length of study for all design pathways is three or four years. You can apply to interrupt your degree course after two years full time study to do a period of work placement (subject to academic approval). If you meet the approved requirements of this work placement period you'll qualify additionally for the Diploma in Professional Studies.

BA Fashion runs for 90 weeks full time over three years, and is divided into three Levels, (or Stages) each lasting 30 weeks. The whole degree course is credit-rated at 360 credits, with 120 credits at each Level.

Under the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications the Levels for a BA are: Level 4 (which is stage 1 of the course), Level 5 (Stage 2) and Level 6 (Stage 3).

There's a progression point at the end of each Level and, in order to progress, all units of the preceding Level must normally have been passed.
If you're unable to continue on the course a Certificate of Higher Education (Cert HE) will normally be offered following the successful completion of Level 4, or a Diploma in Higher Education following the successful completion of Level 5.

To gain a BA (Honours), students must successfully complete 360 credits. The final award consists of marks from Level 6 units only, weighted according to their credits.

At enrolment you need to identify if you wish to study for three years full time or take the four-year mode. The work placement takes place at the end of Stage Two. A Diploma in Professional Studies is awarded on successful completion of this year.

Course units

Britain has an outstanding international reputation for design in knitwear thanks to our historical position at the centre of the wool trade. This sector has grown from traditional quality and craft styles to encompass high fashion, cut and sew jersey, stretch and bodywear. Today, knitwear is created and marketed worldwide, whether through multinationals or designer-makers. This pathway aims to familiarise you with knitwear processes and the impact of world fibre resources on the sector.

This pathway differs from some knitwear courses in that it is taught in collaboration with other fashion disciplines across womenswear and menswear. Understanding of mainstream fashion remains central to your development. You'll undertake a range of activities alongside your peers in an atmosphere of creative cross-fertilisation. Team projects with other pathways and external assignments allow you to negotiate and share design solutions as in the professional workplace. Illustration, business and cultural studies, field trips, trade shows and collection visits are integrated with other pathways.

Though primarily fashion and design oriented, the pathway is strongly underpinned by technical ability. You'll become conversant with the wide variety of techniques and fibres that can be used to create distinctive knitwear and jersey fashion. By designing and making in a variety of styles culminating in a collection, you'll learn to specify for sewing and finishing equipment, graduating with a fully informed appreciation of this market.

Main study - Stage One

This stage lays the foundation for the generation and development of design ideas through practical or technical workshops. While focusing on the unique aspects of your chosen pathway, Stage One introduces you to related pathways, encouraging you to research, explore and develop individual strengths and approaches.

Main study - Stage Two

This stage carries you deeper into your pathway, allowing you to develop a variety of approaches through individual and often experimental responses while acquiring the discipline demanded by professional practice. Through a combination of studio work, formal tutorial guidance, seminars, lectures, external projects, competitions, critiques, personal research, independent study and team projects, you'll explore the breadth of your subjects and develop your individual talents in relation to them. During this stage you'll benefit from the learning experience gained from helping our final year students prepare work for the degree shows.

You may also have the opportunity to go abroad (at your own expense) during this year to visit trade shows or fashion collections relevant to your field of study.

At the beginning of the summer term, students on the four-year programme are involved in the planning and preparation for their work placement. Exceptionally, three-year full-time students may apply to transfer to the four-year mode to do a work placement. Such applications have to be made via the Placement Administrator.

Main study - Stage Three

The focus during Stage Three is on the further development of your individuality and independence as you initiate, develop and complete your final degree project. Your course work helps you locate, explore and exploit your design and communication strengths while identifying areas that may require further attention or focus.

In the summer term you complete your degree work for examination. As part of this process design pathway students participate in an assessment presentation of collections, normally in the form of a fashion show. You'll also show work in a degree examination exhibition.

Cultural studies

The cultural studies programme is designed to enhance your communication, research, critical and writing skills. The discipline involves the study of cultural and creative processes, but goes beyond history and theory of art and design to encompass various aspects of cultural knowledge. In stage one and two you attend lectures and seminars on units relating to the city and creative culture, you explore key cultural concepts and choose from a range of elective choices such as art and fashion, postcolonialism, visual cultures, the body and sexuality. In the final stage of your degree you undertake dissertation research under the supervision of an assigned tutor who supports your research on a subject of your choice. It may be weighted at 20 or 40 credits. The dissertation is a written project where you explore an aspect of visual, textual material or spatial culture. There are many areas to explore in the cultural studies programme such as art, design, technology, concepts of taste, material culture, multiculturalism, identity politics, gender, consumerism, ethics, sustainability and media studies.

Personal and Professional Development, (PPD) helps to prepare you for employment and career development by providing you with skills to enable you to take responsibility for your own learning. The core study of all the fashion pathways also helps develop many of these transferable skills, which play their part in equipping you for a professional career and the generic activities of creative practice.

PPD is integral to BA Fashion and is embedded in many aspects of both the studio and cultural studies programmes as a planned part of their structure and learning content. PPD activities take place in all Stages of the degree course and aim to improve your capacity to understand what and how you are learning and to help you to review, plan and take responsibility for your own learning. A considerable number of the skills learned in the academic context of BA Fashion have a wider value and use in other areas of life. These transferable skills are highly valued by employers

Industry collaborations

Working with paying clients on live briefs will give you valuable commercial experience which may mean your work being taken forward for production or, if so desired, in the purchase of your intellectual property. All paid projects are conducted within a carefully developed legal framework, which includes student agreements to protect your work and help you realise its commercial value.

Recent client projects in the Fashion programme include: H&M | Diadora | Pringle | Umbria Cashmere | Philips | Derry - City of Culture 2013 | Dr Martens | Dyloan | Bally | Italian Trade Commission | British Horseracing Authority.

Once you’ve graduated, you may be picked as part of a small team to work on a live creative brief, organised by our Business and Innovation department, under the supervision of an experienced tutor. This can be a valuable first step in working professionally in a chosen discipline and has resulted in graduates being hired by clients.


Sarah  Gresty

Sarah Gresty

BA Fashion Course Leader

Hywel  Davies

Hywel Davies

Programme Director, Fashion

Jane  Tynan

Jane Tynan

Cultural Studies Coordinator; Fashion Critical Studies Pathway Leader, MA Fashion Communication

Senior Lecturer, Fashion Design Knitwear Pathway Tutor: Craig Lawrence 
Senior Lecturer, Fashion Design with Marketing Pathway Tutor: Rosemary Wallin
Senior Lecturer, Fashion Design Menswear Pathway Tutor: Thom Murphy
Senior Lecturer, Fashion Design Womenswear Pathway Tutor: Anna-Nicole Ziesche
Senior Lecturer, Garment Construction: Louis Loizou
Senior Lecturer, First Year Tutor: Sue Foulston
Senior Lecturer, First Year Tutor: Neil Smith

How to apply

Opportunities for all

We are committed to making university education an achievable option for a wider range of people and to supporting all of our students in achieving their potential both during and after their courses.

We welcome applications from people with disabilities. If you have a disability (e.g. mobility difficulties, sensory impairments, medical or mental health conditions or Asperger’s syndrome) we strongly encourage you to contact us on or +44 (0)20 7514 6156 so that we can plan the right support for you. All enquiries are treated confidentially. To find out more, visit our Disability & Dyslexia webpages.

Entry requirements

The standard entry requirements for this course are as follows:

One or a combination of the following accepted full level 3 qualifications:

  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4) and 1 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 & 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.

APEL - 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 we cannot guarantee an offer in each case.

English Language Requirements

IELTS level 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 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.

Making your application

Applications for 2019/20 entry for this course are now closed. Applications for 2020/21 entry will open in Autumn 2019.

For EU applicants concerned about Brexit, please see our dedicated page: Brexit Information for Students.

You should apply though Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) and you will need the following information:

University code:          U65

UCAS Code:                 W228

We do not consider applications for Year 2 or 3 Entry for this course.

Central Saint Martins does not accept applications for deferred entry. You should therefore apply in the year you wish to study.

Application deadline

The deadline for applications is 15 January 2019.

Applications for 2019/20 entry for this course are now closed. Applications for 2020/21 entry will open in Autumn 2019.

There are three ways international students can apply to an undergraduate course at Central Saint Martins:

You can only apply to the same course once per year whether you are applying via UCAS, UAL representative or using the UAL online application system. Any duplicate applications will be withdrawn.

For further advice on how to apply please visit the UAL International Application page.

If you are applying via UCAS you will need the following information:

University code:          U65

UCAS Code:                 W228

We do not consider applications for Year 2 or 3 Entry for this course.

Central Saint Martins does not accept applications for deferred entry. You should therefore apply in the year you wish to study.

Application deadline

The deadline for applications is 15 January 2019.

Immigration history check

Whether you are applying online via UCAS or through a UAL representative or direct application you will need to complete an immigration history check to establish whether you are eligible to study at UAL.  If you do not complete the check we will not be able to proceed with your application.

After you apply

Communicating with you

After you have successfully submitted your application, you will receive an email confirming we have successfully received your application and providing you with your login details for the UAL Portal.  We will request any additional information from you, including inviting you to upload documents / portfolio / book an interview, through the portal.  You should check your UAL Portal regularly for any important updates and requests.

What happens next

Initial application check

We check your application to see if you meet the standard entry requirements for the course.  If you do, you will be invited to submit a mini portfolio through UAL’s online portfolio review system.

Mini portfolio

The mini portfolio should be no more than 10 pages comprising of your best work showing your skills and thinking. You can create the pages in any layout (For example: presentation boards) but they should be uploaded as jpeg images. It should include:

  • Three pages of research images for fashion design, using a range of materials (drawings, notes, photographs, images of items that you find inspirational for fashion design)
  • Three pages of fashion design sketches (sketches demonstrating your development of a fashion theme)
  • Two pages of finished fashion illustrations (using colour and demonstrating your skills of presentation, these could be hand-drawn, painted, collage or computer images)
  • Two pages of any other creative work. We leave the decision of what to include to you.

Following the review of the mini portfolio we select a small number of applicants to move on to the next stage of the process.  These applicants will be invited to a full portfolio review.

Full portfolio review

On the review day, we will first ask you to drop off your portfolio for review.  After this we may conduct short individual interviews in order to clarify aspects of your application or your work.

If you are unable to attend in person, you can submit a full portfolio online and we may interview you by Skype.

Please note that we do not accept portfolios by post.

Portfolio advice

Your portfolio should demonstrate creative development, whether for a college project or in your personal work. By creative development, we mean ideas that have originated through your own experience and research and progressed towards potential visual and three-dimensional proposals. We are interested in seeing your ideas, visual research and experimentation and finished design solutions. It is important that the creative work you include reflects and demonstrates your thinking, initiative and personal commitment to a particular project, theme or idea.

Please remember:

  • The quality of the work is more important than the quantity
  • Where possible, large or 3D work should be photographed and scanned
  • Please organise your work by project, with supporting work presented alongside final outcomes.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

You will receive the final outcome of your application through UCAS track.

Fees & Funding

Home/EU fee

£9,250 (2020/21).

Tuition fees for undergraduate degree courses have been set at £9,250 per year for full-time study. This applies from the 2018/19 academic year, subject to changes in the law. Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students, in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Please visit our Undergraduate tuition fees page for more information.

International fee

£22,920 (2020/21).

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.

There are a number of scholarships, bursaries, awards and prizes available to students on this course. Read more below, or use our search tool to find out more information.

Samsung Fashion and Design Fund Awards (BA)

The Samsung Fashion Design Awards are available to final year BA Fashion Home/EU and Korean students, studying at Central Saint Martins.

We are delighted to announce The Samsung Fashion Design Fund Awards of £4,000 each for two final-year BA (Hons) Fashion Home/EU and Korean students at Central Saint Martins.

The Samsung Fashion & Design Fund (SFDF) was launched in 2005 to discover and sponsor talented young designers around the world, enabling them to work freely and show the world what they can do. It is part of Samsung Cheil Industries’ efforts to give back to society, in line with Samsung Group’s corporate philosophy of cultivating talented people as a way of contributing to the development of humankind.

Closing date: 1pm, Friday 29 September 2017

More information

China Xintiandi Scholarship

The China Xintiandi Scholarship of £15,180 is available to one international final year BA Fashion student studying at Central Saint Martins in 2017/18.

China Xintiandi is committed to excellence, discipline, innovation and collaboration and the idea of ‘live, work and play.’ The scholarship is valued at £15,180 and will provide a contribution towards tuition fees for one international student ordinarily resident in Hong Kong or Mainland China. The scholarship will be awarded according to financial need and academic merit.

Closing date: 1pm, Friday 20 October 2017

More information

AlOthman Scholarship

The AlOthman Scholarship for BA Fashion is available to 1 student enrolling on the BA Fashion course at Central Saint Martins in September 2018. The scholarship will provide a contribution towards tuition fees for the duration of the 3 year course.
AlOthman Fashion has been a leading supplier of fashion to Kuwait and the Middle East since its inception in 1956. The scholarship will be open to all students who are ordinarily resident in Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria and, United Arab Emirates.

Applications will open in summer 2018 for students starting in September 2018.

More information

Scholarship search

Careers and alumni

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.

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