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L3 Fashion Design

   •  Industry prepared with presentation and digital skills

   •  Course equivalent to three 'A' levels

   •  90% of graduating students go on to further education or a job role

   •  Learn in a specialist environment taught by industry professionals

This exciting two year course, equivalent to 3 A-Levels, gives you an in-depth insight into the many elements of garment design for the fashion. It will cover areas such as clothing construction, use of textiles and leading technological developments such as digital print for fabrics. You will be introduced to 2D and 3D problem solving in art and design.

Including both theory and practical elements, this course will arm you with relevant current practices in the industry to enable your progression to a more specialist Level 4 course at the Fashion Retail Academy or a foundation course. Alternatively, Level 3 Fashion Design will give you the introduction you need to go onto an apprenticeship in the fashion industry.

The course culminates by pulling together all that you have learnt to produce an end of year Fashion Show where you get the chance to explore the boundaries of your creativity to showcase designs you have created and produced in front of the public.  

What does a career in Fashion Design involve? Find out here.

During the course you will be taught visual language skills used in fashion design across various mediums including mood boards, sketches & drawings and film. You will be introduced to different methods of research used to gather inspiration for fashion design including gallery, museum and exhibition visits and desk based primary and secondary research. You will explore 2D and 3D techniques such as illustration, computer design, textile manipulation, hand and machine stitching and draping. You will have the opportunity to embrace new technical fashion skills such as digital printing as well as learning more traditional methods of making clothes. In the second year you will conclude your studies with a final major fashion and design project where you can explore your own creative interests.

The course includes theoretical and practical elements relevant to current practice in the fashion industry and a variety of fashion related subjects such as:

  • Fashion Design 

  • Garment Construction

  • Drawing
  • Textiles

  • Graphics 

  • Visual Communication 

  • Design History

You will be invited to attend a range of masterclasses from some of retails biggest names. Previous speakers have included ASOS; Chloe Miles – Fashion Blogger; Zalando; FRA Alumni Sorcha Kelly, Junior Merchandiser - Accessories at NET-A-PORTER; TK Maxx & New Look. During these sessions held in our state of the art lecture theatre, fashion retail experts advise and inform about a range of subjects affecting the industry with an interactive Q&A session at the end to enable students to have their say.

During these sessions held in our state of the art lecture theatre, fashion retail experts advise and inform about a range of subjects affecting the industry with an interactive Q&A session at the end to enable students to have their say.

You will take part in your own project set by industry professionals. Previous Level 3 Fashion Design students have taken part in a Topman menswear project, giving them an opportunity to work in small design teams to create a menswear collection. Students were asked to consider the Topman brand, it’s ethos and price point but also encouraged to consider digital marketing strategies and new media such as augmented reality. 
Students presented their collections and marketing strategies to the senior design team at Topman and one group were selected as prize winners.

A typical day could be working on patterns for a white shirt project, then moving to the digital design studio to create a range of prints to decorate a dress, then spending the afternoon working on construction of button detail and pocket design which will be presented to industry for feedback. You will also spend a lot of time learning to draw, a skill that is essential for all creative roles in the fashion industry.

On successful completion of the course students will have a broad overview of the fashion design industry. Some students choose to go directly into employment in the fashion industry in junior positions or as assistants in design, sample and production departments. Alternatively students may go onto an FRA Level 4 course or Higher Education.

Awarding Body: University Arts London

Age Requirement: 16+

Start date: Week commencing 11th September 2017 *Induction/enrolment will commence from the 22nd of August 2017.

Course duration: 2 years

Entry Criteria: 5 GCSE’s grade 4/5-9 including Maths and English or 5 GCSE's A*-C grade including Maths, English and an Art related subject. Please provide us with a NARIC Statement of Comparability, if you have any non-UK qualifications. We will not be able to process your application without this information.

Applicant Guidance:  Applicants will be invited to the Academy for an interview, giving you the opportunity to ask questions about the course and at the same time show us your interest in creativity, art and fashion design.  Students should prepare a portfolio of art and design work at interview

Fees: If you are 16-18 as of 31st August in the academic year of which your course starts and are a UK resident you will be eligible for full fee remission and do not have to pay any tuition fees.

If you are 19 or over at the start of your course your fees are £4220 per annum. For a full list of course fees please visit our Fees page. Advanced Learning Loans will be available for anyone aged 19 or over. Click this link to find out more about course fees.

Disclaimer on fees: Tuition fees are subject to change - the fees due are effective at enrolment.

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Meet The Tutor

Meet The Tutor

Jacoob Kimmie, L3 Fashion Design Tutor.


"Jacoob Kimmie was born in South Africa with family roots extending as far as Indonesia, the Netherlands, St Helena and the UK. His great-grand mother, of Cape-Malay slave descent, was presented to and her portrait painted for Queen Victoria at the Colonial and Indian Exhibition in 1886. He was just 11 years old when he made his first dress for a friend who had entered a beauty pageant from a fluorescent yellow plastic meat-packer's suit that his father had bought him to wear as a raincoat. Aged 20, he worked as an illustrator and trends writer. His growing up in coloured townships of Johannesburg during Apartheid is a constant source of energy. Now living in the United Kingdom, Jacob has exhibited his work at LFW and in countries as diverse as Nigeria, South Africa, the UAE, Uzbekistan and Canada."



Lucinda Crowhurst, Graduated 2014, L3 Fashion Design.

"The facilities they have on offer are to the highest standard and the overall environment has a homely and friendly feel."



Kate Kamsa, Graduated 2015, L3 Fashion Design.


"My time at the Fashion Retail Academy taught me so much, I gained confidence in my work and myself. I have continued to work on my personal style in fashion. The FRA gave me best friends of life as well as good industry contacts. The teachers are so experienced and have opened to me the world of fashion."

Meet the Fashion Designer

Meet the Fashion Designer

Lucy Sampson, Assistant Menswear Designer, Next


My role at Next is really varied with a huge creative focus, as you’d expect.  The most exciting element is the travel and I love going to new cities to find inspiration and see what trends are out there.  This helps the creative process and it’s comp trips like this that help to inspire us when we create mood boards for a new range, alongside forecasting sites such as WSGN.  We use computer software such as CAD to create a design concept, sending detail instructions to suppliers to make a prototype sample.  The best things are the job are seeing my designs in-store or on the high street, and knowing that something I have created is a top 10 best seller.


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