Top UK universities for master’s in fashion design

The fashion industry is the UK’s largest creative industry worth £26 billion per annum and 800,000 jobs to the economy according to the British Fashion Council. The industry is forever growing and will always have space for more designers and creatives.

When it comes to studying fashion design at a master’s level, most UK universities have similar entry requirements which includes an undergraduate degree in a design related course or any equivalent experiences. Unlike most master’s courses, however, fashion design master's are often longer than one year due to their practical nature.

Fashion design is a popular subject within the creative industry and many people choose the UK as their study destination as it holds one of the major four fashion capital cities (otherwise known as London). This creates a competitive environment but there are many places in the UK, both inside and outside London, where you can study for an MA Fashion Design degree.

          Here are a selection of relevant universities not ranked in any particular order 

University of the Arts London (UAL)

University of the Arts London offers an extensive range of creative courses and they host two of the top fashion colleges in the UK; Central Saint Martins and London College of Fashion.

-Central Saint Martins (CSM)

The School has birthed many fashion icons from the likes of Alexander McQueen, Riccardo Tisci (Chief Creative Officer of Burberry) to new designer Charlotte Knowles and many more notable names. It provides a range of postgraduate courses which include: MA Fashion (Menswear Fashion) and MA Fashion (Textiles for Fashion). CSM is notorious for elevating their alumni within the industry as they have close connections with many brands. Many have gone on to start their own brands or worked for existing brands such as Prada, Balenciaga and more. Central Saint Martins is highly competitive. It is located near King’s Cross Station in London.

Course Length – 18 months

Cost - £20,560 per year

-London College of Fashion (LCF)

London College of Fashion is located next to the famous Oxford Street. It offers six postgraduate courses which include MA Fashion Design Technology (Womenswear) and Pattern and Garment Technology and more which can be found on their website. London College of Fashion has produced its fair share of notable alumni which include Jimmy Choo, Emma Hope, Jonathan Anderson many more.

Course length – 15 months

Cost - £22,920 per year

Kingston University

Kingston University was ranked 6th in the UK for fashion in the Guardian University League Tables 2020. The University offers a MA Fashion Design course which specialises in womenswear, and menswear with a contemporary approach to fashion designing. You will find it within the Royal Borough of Kingston Upon Thames in South West London (30 mins from Central London). Kingston University provides opportunities for work placements at notable houses such as The Row, JW Anderson, Emilia Wickstead and many more.

Course Length – 1 year (or 2 years including professional placement)

Cost - £22,900 plus placement fee for second year (approx. £1,500)

Nottingham Trent University (NTU)

Nottingham Trent University is a well-respected university located in Nottingham which in the East Midlands region of England. The University provides a range of courses which include MA Fashion Design, MA Fashion Knitwear Design, MA Textile Design Innovation and MA Creative Pattern Cutting. As a student at NTU you will have the opportunity to exhibit your work at New Designers in London and have access to their connections within the industry. It was ranked 13th in the UK for Art and Design by QS World University Rankings Subject 2021

Course Length - 1 year

Cost - £15,500 per year

University for the Creative Arts (UCA)

The University for the Creative Arts is a specialist art and design university located in the South of England. The University offers a couple of related fashion degrees which include: Fashion Design MA and Printed Textiles for Fashion and Interiors MA. The University operates a modern approach and it recently added a Digital Fashion MA course that focuses more on the growing market of digital designing within the fashion industry.

Course Length- 1 year

Cost- £17,500 per year

University of Salford

The University is located in Greater Manchester. Over the years Manchester has been growing as a fashion capital with many fashion companies moving their head offices there. Salford offers a Fashion Design course which includes opportunities to showcase your final collection at either New York or London Fashion Week as well as helping you build a professional portfolio to kickstart your career in the industry.

Course Length – 18 months

Cost – £19,395 per year

As an international student, moving to a new country (or even continent) can be a very intimidating and stressful process without the right guidance. If you would like to find out more about fashion design at these and other universities, book a consultation with Student Central. We will make the journey as smooth as possible and get you started as a new designer.

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Kimberley Dhliwayo
Kimberley is a graduate in fashion marketing and journalism from London Metropolitan University
Published on 20 October 2021
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