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London College of Fashion

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BA (Hons) Bespoke Tailoring

Start date
September 2018
Course length
3 years
UCAS code

Course summary

Applications closed 2018/19

Applications for 2018/19 entry to this course have now closed.

This bespoke tailoring course equips students with the academic and technical skills for a career on Savile Row, within a fashion brand or for a costumier.


On BA (Hons) Bespoke Tailoring students learn design, pattern drafting and tailoring, together with academic research, industry awareness and presentation skills.

Great reasons to apply

  • Access to specialist, industry-standard resources and expert technical assistance.
  • Graduates have gone on to work for the likes of H Huntsman & Sons, Timothy Everest, John Pearse, Norton & Sons and Henry Poole & Co, with fashion companies Burberry and Aquascutum, and with the film, television and theatrical costumiers.


This course is based at Mare Street in Hackney. Find out about the local area, including London Fields, Bethnal Green and Hackney Central in our local area guides on the Student Life pages.

Student and graduate work

Portfolio gallery

Weaving the Future: Tailors of tomorrow - Emily Latham

Weaving the Future: Tailors of tomorrow - James Eardley

Latest news from this course


Library, John Princes Street

LCF library and archives

Take a tour of LCF's world renowned fashion library, ideal for research and study.

Machine Room, Curtain Road

Design and pattern cutting facilities

Take a tour of Curtain Road's design, sewing and pattern-cutting facilities along with facilities at JPS and Lime Grove.

Canteen, Mare Street

LCF's social spaces

Explore our social spaces, for collaborative study and breaks, across our six sites in London.

Course details

The opportunity for students to showcase work in a variety of industry related areas is of great benefit to students on this course.

Recent projects with the industry include Casual Bespoke with Timothy Everest and Reinventing the Tuxedo with Henry Poole. BA (Hons) Bespoke Tailoring students also collaborated with Hardy Amies and Create London, to highlight the connection between The White House in Dagenham, and the iconic British tailor Hardy Amies, who lived there. They have exhibited their work on Reinventing the Privy Counsellor’s Coatee in Kensington Palace, and a Bespoke Tailoring student won the Collection of the Year at the LCF Fashion Show at Hackney House Shoreditch.

Course structure

The academic year for this course is divided into Block 1 and Block 2.

Block 1 is of 15 weeks’ duration from late September to February. In accordance with the University timetable, there will be a four week holiday in December.

Block 2 is also of 15 weeks’ duration from mid-February to the end of June with a four week holiday for Easter.

Year one

  • Introduction to Bespoke Tailoring
  • Tailoring Techniques
  • Introduction to Cultural and Historical Studies
  • Research, Design and Tailoring
  • Cutting and Fitting
  • Better Lives

Year two

  • Cultural and Historical Studies Option
  • Future Artisans
  • Industry Project
  • Industry Experience

Year three

  • Concept Development
  • Contextualising Your Practice
  • Major Project Realisation

Students on this course might be invited to participate in study trips. This may involve, for example, visits to key areas of capital cities, factories, stores and museums. Attendance on these trips is not compulsory but recommended. Details regarding timings and costs will be issued closer to the relevant trips.

Course units

Year one

Introduction to Bespoke Tailoring aims to introduce you to your course and its subject specialism as well as to effective learning and studentship at undergraduate level. It will orientate you to the practices and knowledge-base needed to understand your discipline and help you to develop your skills for independent & collaborative learning, reflection and your own self development. Students come from many diverse educational backgrounds and a part of this unit will enable you to reflect on your own background and how that shapes the way you approach your course.

Tailoring Techniques will introduce you to the essential technical skills required for the development and production of garments within your specialised area of bespoke tailoring. Through workshop demonstration and practice you will learn about the materials and processes involved, along with the pattern drafting, construction and handling techniques that are necessary to become a successful tailored garment developer. You will also be introduced to health and safety requirements within the workshop areas.

Introduction to Cultural and Historical Studies introduces the Cultural and Historical Studies approach to fashion and related areas. The unit provides a broad overview of the subject and introduces key concepts and ways of thinking that will form the basis of subsequent study. It will also inform decisions regarding the Cultural and Historical Studies unit that is chosen for future study.

Research, Design and Tailoring will introduce you to the contexts relevant to design, cutting, and technical processes for bespoke tailoring. The unit introduces the principles of research and analysis as the basis for creative thinking, cutting and development of technical skills. This unit will also provide you with a coherent framework for future two and three-dimensional development. You will explore recording research in visually stimulating, appropriate and informative ways, using a variety of methods to inform the design, cut and construction of a tailored garment.

The Cutting, Fitting and Tailoring unit will provide you with an opportunity to build upon your knowledge and skills acquired during the previous block, and further your technical development through the cutting of ‘bespoke’ garments using the principles of measurement taking, pattern drafting, and first fittings. You will progress and apply these methods to construct a tailored garment that has been cut, fitted and constructed to a set body specification.  Through your understanding of these processes you will then explore creative solutions to produce a range of designs that reflect your individual interests.

Better Lives

London College of Fashion, UAL (LCF) is a leader in fashion design, media and business education. We have been nurturing creative talent for over a century, offering courses in all things fashion. We encourage students to examine the past and challenge the present. To have inventive, assertive ideas that challenge social and political agendas. We give students the skills, opportunities – and above all, the freedom – to put those ideas into practice. By leading the way in fashion design, business, and the media, we influence culture, economics and our society. This unit will provide you with a solid understanding of LCF’ core values and how they connect to your practice. As part of this unit you will explore diversity, social responsibility and sustainability, themes which you will then apply to a selected project. At this stage the emphasis is on how you apply your thinking across these important themes to your practice. Your thinking is more important than a finished piece of work at this point.Fashion can change lives. Through teaching, specialist research, and collaborative work, this unit will get you thinking differently. We want you to use fashion to examine the past, build a sustainable future and improve the way we live. That’s why we call this unit ‘Better Lives’.

Year two

You will be able to study a Cultural and Historical Studies unit of your choice that will broaden or deepen your learning of areas relating to your interests in your chosen field. You will have the opportunity to participate in lectures, seminars and workshops with students from other courses within your School, and will read relevant academic texts and complete a formal academic essay for assessment.

The Future Artisans unit will enhance your technical abilities by building on your understanding of the range of technologies applicable to the practical context of bespoke tailoring. Your expertise will be further developed through use of the supportive technologies of Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Computer Aided Manufacture (CAM) in your own practice. Specialist technology will be introduced and utilised to further develop your skills and understanding. These skills are at the forefront of the contemporary fashion industries, and ultimately, will increase your employability and increase your potential to become a future industry innovator.

You will undertake the Industry Project which will enable you to develop a personal response to a live or simulated client brief within an industrial context. Your critical judgment will be used to develop appropriate solutions as you experiment with a variety of techniques for the development of 3D outcomes. You will be expected to evaluate and justify your decisions as you develop and select appropriate outcomes for a specified company, organisation or brand. The importance of market awareness will be emphasised along with the appreciation of quality, make and finish in relation to an identified market level. You will be expected to engage in critical analysis of the given brief and further develop professional presentation and communication skills. Your creative, practical and strategic skills will be refined through the industry-led brief, as you identify your personal strengths, interests and professional aspirations.

The Industry Experience unit seeks to enhance your professional, interpersonal and organisational skills as well as visual/verbal communication and technical skills, allowing you to begin to determine your future career pathway. From first year at LCF, to help you plan ahead, LCF Careers will provide guidance and one-to-one opportunities. You will be made aware of the realities of the fashion industry and of the opportunities for career progression which could include a period of industry experience, simulated or collaborative opportunities undertaken on a full-time basis for a period of five-weeks in the latter part of Block 4. During this time, you will be required to keep a reflective record, critically evaluate and reflect on your experiences and learning gained. At the end of this period you will be required to submit a written analytical report, incorporating a reflective statement on the skills, experiences and career preparations that you have gained.

Year three

You will undertake the Concept Development unit. This unit provides an opportunity for you to reflect on your learning and to use this knowledge to develop a negotiated project. Through your evaluation of personal strengths, industry requirements and career objectives you will identify and define appropriate aims and outcomes for your concept development. This unit will also provide you with the opportunity to explore and consolidate research themes, and to thoroughly test ideas and concepts through experimentation, sampling, design development and prototype testing in preparation for your Major Project. Project outcomes will be varied depending on your career aspirations, but you will be expected to consolidate your personal ‘portfolios’ (as appropriate to individual aims), and reflect on your learning in the form of a written submission.

Contextualising Your Practice allows you to build on your historical and theoretical understanding of fashion through a research-led extended essay. You will identify a topic, related to your field of practice, which you will investigate through design-led research methods and significant cultural and critical theories. It is an opportunity for you to undertake a substantial piece of structured research that examines fashion practice in context and it will build on the critical debates and concerns raised through your course.

The Major Project Realisation unit provides you with a context to demonstrate specialist skills and specific interests, whilst testing your ability to respond to challenges in an innovative way within the specialist areas of bespoke tailoring. The unit will enable you to realise your concept development in 3D, developing personal responses and concepts in the form of an extended project. From your sampling and design development investigation explored in the Concept Development unit, you will identify the strongest outcomes in which to further develop and construct using bespoke tailoring skills and methodologies. In tutorial discussion and through practical and/or theoretical investigation you will develop a range of bespoke tailoring garments and design related outcomes.

Showing your work

All students are advised to set up a profile on, UAL’s new portfolio platform, which can be done at any point during your time at LCF and will last for up to 12 months after graduation. This platform is often used to source student work for promotional use on the website, social media and for print and can be a great way of getting your work seen. You may also be asked to have a portfolio profile for the selection process when it comes to degree shows.


For the BA (Hons) Bespoke Tailoring course students have access to an up to date range of machinery and equipment that is comparable to that used currently in the bespoke tailoring industry. Our library has a tailoring archive containing books and periodicals on tailoring from the 1800s through to the present day and a specialist collection of Savile Row bespoke suits.

Jacqueline Sealy is the Course Leader for BA Bespoke Tailoring. She graduated from London College of Fashion with qualifications in Garment Making and Clothing. She has worked extensively in the industry as a sample machinist, pattern cutter, sample room manager and production manager for a number of companies, including Ally Cappellino, Selina Blow, and SR Gent, who supplied Marks and Spencer, Richard Shops and C & A. Jacqueline has a Certificate in Education and has worked within the University in a variety of technical and teaching roles.

Daniel Poulson is a design tutor and teaches the 2D design on this course.He is a talented womenswear designer & tailor. Having trained at KingstonUniversity, Daniel went on to design for the Max Mara Group before launching his own collection, 'Daniel Blake', which he presented over ten seasons at London Fashion Week. Renowned for his impeccable cutting in luxurious fabrication, Daniel's innovative British made tailoring is uniquely crafted to flatter the body. Daniel presents bi-annual collections in London and Paris which are 'Made to Order'.In addition to private views Daniel continues to consult for a number of international fashion businesses, advising on branding and product direction.

Magdalena Handwerker is the sample room tutor and teaches bespoke tailoring on this course. She graduated from LondonCollege of Fashion with Diploma in Pattern Technology and Degree in BA (Hons) Bespoke Tailoring. She has worked in the BespokeTailoring industry as a pattern cutter for several years, and she has worked with individual clients while creating bespoke garments to their individual specification. She is a determined craft practitioner who believes that in the age of the impersonal approach to the customer and clothing production, it is extremely important to have the ability to create a high quality garment made with passion, care and impeccable attention to detail of a craftsman along with contemporary and creative thinking.

Darla Gilroy is the Programme Director for the Design and Craft group of courses, including this one, within the School of Design and Technology. She has worked in design education at undergraduate and postgraduate levels for over twenty years at Cordwainers College, at Winchester School of Art, where she developed a number of research projects, and at the Royal College of Art, where, in addition to being Specialist Tutor in Footwear and Accessories, she undertook a funded research project on the ‘Ethnicity of Cool’.

Rob Phillips is the Creative Director for the School of Design and Technology. Trained in fashion womenswear, surface textiles: print, menswear and illustration Rob went on to become the Fashion Editor for International Textiles magazine and consultant for fashion brands. Rob's broad skill set of fashion design, process, graphics, presentation, typography, advertising and communication led to his appointment as Creative Director of Fashion Forecast magazine, where his progressive work promoting young fashion talent garnered him much acclaim from industry. Rob continues to nurture talent at LCF across all courses within the School, teaching holistically about fashion, developing the students’ full potential so they can make their unique contribution to the fashion industry. He furthers the work of the College through many routes, including industry projects, collaborations and competitions. He also curates and directs the School’s events including fashion shows, films, photoshoots, publications and exhibitions. Rob continues to contribute to industry as a fashion commentator (BBC, The Guardian, SHOWstudio and more) and as creative consultant for fashion brands.

How to apply

Opportunities for all

We are committed to making university education an achievable option for a wider range of people and seek to recruit students from diverse socio-economic, cultural and educational backgrounds. We are committed to supporting all our students in achieving their potential both during and after their courses.

Applications for 2018/19 entry for this course are now closed. Applications for 2019/20 entry will open in Autumn 2018.

This section includes information on how to apply, course entry requirements, selection criteria, information about interviews and portfolio advice.

You must apply through Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), where you’ll need the following information:

  • University code: U65
  • UCAS code: W230

Go to ‘Apply’ from the UCAS home page, where you will be able to register and create a password that gives you unique access as you complete your application form.

Contact us on:

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7514 7344

Or you can use this register your interest form

Please note that the equal consideration deadline is 15 January.

For full details on the application process, visit the Undergraduate application page.

Applications for 2018/19 entry for this course are now closed. Applications for 2019/20 entry will open in Autumn 2018.

This section includes information on how to apply, course entry requirements, selection criteria, information about interviews and portfolio advice.

International applicants may apply through one of three routes only:

Further information on applying via UCAS is provided on the Applying through UCAS page.

If applying through UCAS, you will need the following information:

  • University code: U65
  • UCAS code: W230

For full details on the application process, visit the Undergraduate application page.

We continue to accept applications throughout the year, but please note that the equal consideration deadline is 15 January.

For full details on the application process, visit the Undergraduate application page or contact the UAL admissions team who can answer any specific questions that you may have regarding LCF's courses tailored for international students. This can include guidance for your portfolio, advice on the application process and fee advice. We offer a ‘drop-in’ facility for applicants who may be in London and wish to obtain further course and admissions information.

Entry requirements

Entry to this course is highly competitive: applicants are expected to achieve, or already have, the course entry requirements detailed below.

The standard minimum entry requirements for this course are:

  • two A Level Passes at Grade C or above; preferred subjects include English, Maths, Art, Design, Textiles and Science;
  • or Pass Foundation Diploma in Art and Design;
  • or Merit, Pass, Pass at BTEC Extended Diploma (Preferred subjects) Art & Design;
  • or Pass at UAL Extended Diploma Access Diploma;
  • or 64 tariff points from the Access to HE Diploma;
  • or 64 new UCAS tariff points (equivalent to 160 old UCAS tariff points) from a combination of the above qualifications or an equivalent full Level 3 qualification;
  • or equivalent EU or non-EU qualifications;
  • and three GCSE passes at grade A*-C.

Exceptionally, applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered if the course team judges the application 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.

English language requirements

All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language you will be asked to provide evidence of your English language ability when you enrol.

The level required by the University for this course is IELTS 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each skill.

Please visit the UAL Language Requirements page. Read carefully and look at the relevant documents.

Student selection criteria

What we look for

The course team seeks to recruit students who can demonstrate:

  • Evidence of creative, cultural and tailoring interests
  • A potential to achieve a high standard of technical/fine tailoring
  • An ability to think three-dimensionally
  • An enquiring and analytical approach
  • An ability to communicate visually, verbally and through the written word
  • The ability to work independently and as a member of a team

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.

Portfolio and interview advice

For this course you will be required to upload a mini portfolio. Further instructions will be sent by the course administrator after application submission. International students should contact the International Office at to find out about the portfolio application process.

For this course your portfolio should show evidence of: drawing/presentation skills; contemporary fashion/cultural awareness; a level of research, exploration and experimentation; fabric and material selection/knowledge; construction/technical competence; an enquiring approach/problem solving; and visual communication skills.

Applicants will be expected to demonstrate the following at interview: creative, cultural and tailoring interests; the potential to achieve a high standard of technical/fine tailoring; the ability to work independently and as a member of a team; an enquiring and analytical approach; and an ability to communicate visually, verbally and through the written word.

What happens next

All application forms, personal statements and references are read and considered by the course team against the selection criteria listed in the Entry requirements and What we look for sections.

Depending on the quality of your application, you may be asked to submit a number of images of your work. If the course team wish to consider your application further, you will be invited to an interview where the course team will look at your portfolio and ask you questions to establish your suitability for the course. If you are successful at the interview stage you will be offered a place. Applicants are not guaranteed to be asked to upload work, nor are they guaranteed an interview.

Please note that if you are unable to attend the College may not be able to re-schedule.

If you applied through UCAS the result of your application will be communicated to you via UCAS  through ucastrack. You will only receive further communication directly from the College if your application has been successful. This will be in the form of a full offer pack including details of accommodation, fees, and other important information.

Deferred entry

Deferred Entry is normally only allowed in exceptional circumstances. Please contact us before you submit your application if you are considering applying for deferred entry.

Interview week

Applicants on some courses may be invited to attend an Interview. Further details will be sent to you with your interview letter, confirming location and date. International applicants should contact the Admission Office by emailing about portfolio requirements (if applicable), interview times and dates.

Potential changes to course structure

Please note: the information outlined is an indicative structure of the course. Whilst we will aim to deliver the course as described on this page, there may be situations where it is desirable or necessary for the University to make changes in course provision, for example because of regulatory requirements or operational efficiencies, before or after enrolment. If this occurs, we will communicate all major changes to all applicants and students who have either applied or enrolled on the course. Please note that due to staff research agreements or availability, not all of the optional modules listed may be available every year. In addition, the provision of course options which depend upon the availability of specialist teaching, or on a placement at another institution, cannot be guaranteed. Please check this element of the course with the course team before making a decision to apply.

Webpage updates

We will update this webpage from time to time with new information as it becomes available. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please use the register your interest form above.

Fees & Funding

Home / EU fee


This applies for the 2018/19 academic year.

Tuition fees for undergraduate degree courses have been set at £9,250 per year for full-time study. This applies from the 2017/18 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


This applies for the 2018/19 academic year.

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.

Scholarships and awards

There are a number of scholarships and awards available to students on this course. Use our search tool to find out more information.

Scholarship search

Careers and alumni

All of our undergraduate courses offer career development, so that you become a creative thinker, making effective contributions to your relevant sector of the fashion industry.

LCF offers students the opportunity to develop Personal and Professional Development (PPD) skills while studying through:

  • An on-course work experience or placement year. Please note, this is not available on every course; please see the Course Details section for information about work placement opportunities.
  • Access to to speaker programmes and events featuring alumni and industry.
  • Access to careers activities, such as CV clinics and one-to-one advice sessions.
  • Access to a graduate careers service
  • Access to a live jobsboard for all years.
  • Advice on setting up your own brand or company.

Graduates who wish to continue their education at postgraduate level can progress to suitable courses within the College, the University or elsewhere.

Career paths

Many graduates prefer to seek employment as soon as they have completed their undergraduate studies. Recent graduates from this course have successfully gained employment with a number of bespoke tailors, including H Huntsman & Sons, Timothy Everest, John Pearse, Norton & Sons and Henry Poole & Co, with fashion companies Burberry and Aquascutum, and with the film, television and theatrical costumier, Angels.


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