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Undergraduate study

Course overview

Working in an innovative and contemporary studio, you study key elements of culture, identity and sustainability for a career in this exciting global industry. You study one of two pathways – fashion design or fashion communication.

MIMA School of Art & Design

See what it’s like to study at MIMA School of Art & Design, part of Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art.

Fashion design pathway
You focus on designing and making garments, learning how to create an innovative garment collection for the catwalk. You explore all aspects of the design process including research and design development, pattern cutting, drape and tailoring skills, commercial manufacturing, textile design, computer-aided design and styling for professional fashion photoshoots. You use new technology to revolutionise your design process with true-to-life 3D garment simulation.

Fashion communication pathway
You focus on image-making and the communication of fashion. You learn the skills to promote fashion through film and media, marketing, branding, styling, computer-aided design, enterprise, and how to create your own magazine or fashion marketing campaign. Our technology and expertise enables you to showcase your creativity through new digital formats, including the use of avatars and virtual worlds to respond to innovative new ways of communicating fashion.

You work to live briefs on real projects and network with fashion professionals to prepare you for the range of professional careers available in the fashion industry. You are taught by experienced industry professionals and use the latest technology including industry-recognised Adobe certification to showcase your skills and expertise to employers.

An optional work placement year is included, at no extra cost. Alongside this, you can gain valuable experience and engagement with the sector through our shorter work placements, internships and work experience opportunities.
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Course details

Course structure

Year 1 core modules

Fashion Skills

You develop your visual communication, creative thinking, and research skills within the creative field of fashion. You make efficient and effective use of the industry computer aided design (CAD) skills and engage with trends and trend forecasting. You develop visualisation skills and techniques to utilise throughout your studies and professional life.

Introduction to the Fashion Industry

You are introduced to the fundamental principles and practices of the fashion industry – from branding and design, through to garment manufacturing and the supply chain. You research the design of the product and product cycles, ethics and sustainability, sourcing and production, the supply chain, distribution, and retail.

MIMA History of Art, Design & Architecture

You are introduced to key art, design, architectural and cultural histories that are central to studying a creative subject. You explore a range of contexts and influences including art historical, ecological, critical theory, industrial, technological change, social and political movements, examining the changing face of art and design and informing your future research.


Fashion design pathway

Drawing and Printmaking

You explore and expand your approaches to visual investigation and representation through drawing, image and printmaking. You create visual language through observation, response, emotive expression and visual enquiry, experimenting with ideas generation and establishing new ways of looking and thinking.

Fashion Design Project

You gain an introductory understanding of contemporary fashion practice through design development, pattern cutting, and garment manufacture. And an understanding of the processes, working practices and design communication involved in the production of a range of fashion samples. You create a fashion range that brings together visual realisation, fashion design development, fabric selection, garment manufacture and project presentation skills.

Introduction to Garment Construction

You gain an understanding of the skills and practices required in the construction of fashion garments, and explore the development processes, from research initiation through development to a final outcome. You gain an understanding of the technical aspects of pattern cutting and through practical exercises and skills development gain knowledge of professional approaches to garment construction.


Fashion communication pathway

Boot Camp Technical Post-Production

You develop general digital production skills with an additional focus on post-production. You enhance effective practical, technical and aesthetical approaches required to create a variety of digital media artefacts across a number of platforms, with more relevance to the subject-specific disciplines. You have the opportunity to gain Adobe Accredited user status.

Boot Camp Technical Production

You are introduced to effective practical, technical and aesthetical approaches required to create a variety of digital media outcomes across a number of platforms. You learn sector specific and industry standard digital delivery methods and production techniques surrounding the acquisition, manipulation and operation of media production hardware and software applications.

Marketing Insights

You develop an understanding of marketing and its implications for organisations. You consider the main principles of marketing and the impact on a dynamic and competitive environment.


Year 2 core modules

Career Context

You develop your understanding of building a career in the creative industries through key skills in creative leadership, collaborative entrepreneurship and sustainability. You start with a theoretical introduction to these concepts and then work collaboratively on a group project to establish a creative business. You present your project and submit an individual reflective portfolio on your research and project experiences.

Digital Technology for Fashion

You develop creative and technical skills using industry-standard software through the design and production of 3D digital forms. Taking inspiration from and appreciating how immersive media is creating radically creative and disruptive opportunities, you explore virtual catwalks, digital clothing and the use of avatars to visualise fashion concepts that are rapidly shaping the future of fashion.

Fashion and Textile

You gain professional practices, knowledge, attitudes and understanding required to successfully compete in the contemporary fashion and textiles industries through an understanding of future thinking in fashion and retail. Learning develops contemporary themes from the fashion and textiles theory and examines issues of fashion as identity, economic shifts, and change, omni channel retailing the individual, social and gender identity, representation, the 'erotic', consumption and clothing as communication.

Global Future Contexts

You investigate a range of contemporary social, environmental, technological and ethical issues that inform all types of art and design practice. You broaden your awareness of using creativity as a form of contemporary social discussion – exploring issues through the development, production and presentation of potential future scenarios.


Fashion design pathway

Creative Cutting and Construction

You broaden your market awareness and its relevance to garment development, creative pattern cutting and innovative garment design. You research a given market to develop a fashion concept, taking an experimentation approach to fabric manipulation, pattern cutting, and the use of new technologies to discover new practices.

Textile Print and Surface Design

Covering a specialist range of digital and technical skills and processes relevant to the textile’s specialist, you explore the commercial practices of making and the production of textiles samples for fashion. You utilise research skills by referencing the work of professional and commercial designers in relation to digital outputs, applications and machine and hand craft processes.


Fashion communication pathway

Brand Management

Brand creation and effective brand management are considered as essential for success in the marketing and business context. This module explores key branding concepts and allows you to apply them to sector specific (fashion industry) examples with a view to investigating the necessary principles for effective brand marketing, including appropriate brand development. 

You analyse alternative definitions of branding before focusing predominantly on consumer markets where you consider the relationship between brands and consumers and explore the social and cultural context. You study brand marketing issues such as brand identity, brand positioning, brand planning and brand development, as will the key challenges and technologies facing brands.  The fashion industry is frequently referenced to demonstrate the importance of the brand in terms of creating a differentiated and meaningful image in a dynamic and complex sector. 

Fashion Styling, Media and Promotion

You explore the practical representation of fashion in the media, and investigate approaches to fashion text and imagery in the form of a fashion shoot and editorial layout. You explore the process of managing a fashion shoot, fashion film or other alternative forms of fashion and promotional media from concept, storyboarding, team negotiation, call sheet, edit and selection.


Optional work placement year

Work placement

You have the option to spend one year in industry learning and developing your skills. We encourage and support you with applying for a placement, job hunting and networking.

You gain experience favoured by graduate recruiters and develop your technical skillset. You also obtain the transferable skills required in any professional environment, including communication, negotiation, teamwork, leadership, organisation, confidence, self-reliance, problem-solving, being able to work under pressure, and commercial awareness.

Many employers view a placement as a year-long interview, therefore placements are increasingly becoming an essential part of an organisation's pre-selection strategy in their graduate recruitment process. Benefits include:

· improved job prospects
· enhanced employment skills and improved career progression opportunities
· a higher starting salary than your full-time counterparts
· a better degree classification
· a richer CV
· a year's salary before completing your degree
· experience of workplace culture
· the opportunity to design and base your final-year project within a working environment.

If you are unable to secure a work placement with an employer, then you simply continue on a course without the work placement.


Final-year core modules

Fashion Concept and Context

You critically analyse your chosen area of practice and demonstrate the creative application of individual production skills and techniques within your chosen area of specialism. Beginning with independent research on a topic of personal interest you develop your specific skills, techniques and abilities within a chosen field to develop a creative concept to develop further as a major fashion project.

Major Fashion Project

You undertake a major project to consolidate and celebrate your strengths and skills in your individual field. You initiate an appropriate negotiated brief and increase your ability to manage a complex project through all of its stages, informed by an awareness of the relevant contexts and the needs of clients/users/ contexts and applications.

Major Fashion Project: Portfolio

You bring your design project ideas to fruition, considering all aspects of research and development. You demonstrate a high level of professional competence in the realisation of your projects. On completion of your design development work, you organise your work for presentation in an exhibition and develop a professional portfolio of work to launch your career.

Professional Practice: The Fashion Industry

You undertake one or more live projects, simulated external workplace activity or fulfil a live project brief. You demonstrate your entrepreneurial skills, process and knowledge in the context of external evaluation that will influence the direction of your chosen career and be meaningful to prospective employers and/or clients. Areas of research are tailored to your chosen areas and focus of interest and nurture your career strategy.

You demonstrate business skills in a professional approach to work related and real time external projects and industrial experience. Areas of practice and activity will be tailored to the your areas and genres of interest.


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

You work in a studio environment with access to a full range of digital resources, workshop facilities, and up-to-date equipment. You have taught sessions with tutors but are also encouraged to work independently. Theoretical work is delivered through illustrated lectures and seminars where there is opportunity for collective discussion.

How you are assessed

The work produced is the work assessed. There are no exams – producing design projects are a key feature. Assessment is undertaken against carefully defined criteria and project-based assignments involve a critique. The critique is a reflective process allowing for both staff and peer group appraisal.

Our Disability Services team provide an inclusive and empowering learning environment and have specialist staff to support disabled students access any additional tailored resources needed. If you have a specific learning difficulty, mental health condition, autism, sensory impairment, chronic health condition or any other disability please contact a Disability Services as early as possible.
Find out more about our disability services

Find out more about financial support
Find out more about our course related costs


Entry requirements

Entry requirements

96-112 points including a creative subject, portfolio and interview.

For general information please see our overview of entry requirements

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country

You can gain considerable knowledge from work, volunteering and life. Under recognition of prior learning (RPL) you may be awarded credit for this which can be credited towards the course you want to study.
Find out more about RPL



Career opportunities

Graduates from the fashion design pathway can go on to work in areas including fashion design, drape, accessories, fashion print, specialist garment construction and lingerie.

Graduates from the fashion communication pathway can go on to work as fashion image-makers, fashion stylists, art directors, producers, film-makers, public relations experts, bloggers, social networkers, on-line marketers, fashion writers, curators, or fashion theorists.

Career pathways are wide and varied from fashion design to more technical roles such as pattern cutting and garment technology. You can work in retail as a buyer or in fashion communication and marketing roles such as image-makers, stylists, art directors, fashion show producers, public relations experts, bloggers, influencers and social networkers, online marketers, journalists, curators, commentators and theorists, who are all shaping the future of fashion.


Information for international applicants


International applicants - find out what qualifications you need by selecting your country below.

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Useful information

Visit our international pages for useful information for non-UK students and applicants.

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Entry to 2021/22 academic year

Fee for UK applicants
£9,250 a year

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£13,000 a year

More details about our fees for international applicants

What is included in your tuition fee?

  • Length: 3 years (or 4 with a work placement)
  • UCAS code: W291 BA/F
  • Start date: September
  • Semester dates
  • Typical offer: 96-112 tariff points

Apply online (full-time) through UCAS



2021/22 entry

Fee for UK applicants
£4,500 (120 credits)

More details about our fees

  • Length: Up to 6 years
  • Attendance: Daytime
  • Start date: September
  • Semester dates

Apply online (part-time)


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UK students


Telephone: 01642 335008

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International students


Telephone: +44 (0) 1642 738900

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