Fashion Design MA

Postgraduate ( full-time, part-time)


September 2018

Intermediate awards: PG Cert, PG Dip

Course duration: 12 months full-time or 24 months part-time.

Teaching times

Semester 1: Wednesday 10:00 - 17:00 (part-time).
Semester 2: Wednesday 10:00 - 13:00 (part-time).


Explore the global fashion industry in depth and learn how you can build a career in it, while perfecting your knowledge of design processes, styling, branding, promotion and more.

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Full description


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Our course will equip you with the skills, knowledge and professional understanding you need to work as a fashion designer. You’ll also be well-prepared for related roles, such as styling and promotion, brand and marketing management, PR management/press, fashion production, buying or trend forecasting.

Or you might decide to make use of all these skills by becoming a freelance fashion designer, managing your own brand.

Whatever you decide to do, you’ll benefit from our links with industry professionals, academics and freelancers, who regularly contribute to the course, as well as our careers events including Anglia Ruskin's Big Pitch competition, created for students with an entrepreneurial spirit.

Find out more about working with the creative industries

Modules & assessment

Core modules

  • Process and Practice as Research
    You will engage with the relationship between research and production. In particular you will explore the process of designing a research project for Art and Design students at Masters level. Lectures and seminars will introduce you to methodology, ethics and exemplars of research methods from a broad range of art and design disciplines. The specifics of designing a research project, such as dealing with failure and evaluating success, will be considered as fundamental aspects of research design. Lectures and seminars will be delivered on a cross-school platform and you will begin to consider alternative paradigms of practice and engage with ideas from outside your own discipline. Using the initial lectures as a starting point, you will be asked to design and undertake a practice-based, self-contained pilot project which tests the scope and limits of a specific research method or methods. Through the research design process you will write a proposal, identify milestones, deliver an outcome and evaluate your pilot project. In group critiques and tutorials within a specialist subject area, you will discuss and support the ongoing progress of each other’s pilot projects.
  • Key Issues in Fashion Design
    Through a self-directed project you will investigate and integrate professional practice, industry issues/future trends, and inter- and multi-disciplinary theory and practice, generating creative and innovative approaches to fashion design. You will encounter key global issues and future trends, such as social, cultural and economic market factors. In lectures, seminars and workshops you will critically explore these issues and trends, as well as any ethical implications. You will investigate, analyse and synthesise your practice to generate innovative design ideas and solutions for a target consumer and market. You will be expected to explore 2D and 3D design and production processes in order to better translate original ideas into practice.
  • Fashion Design and Brand
    As part of a self-directed project you will investigate, analyse and synthesise your conceptual design process, target consumer and brand identity to generate creative and innovative approaches to fashion design and brand. To inform your original and innovative outcomes, lectures, seminars and workshops will help you critically explore and challenge global perspectives on the following: the conceptual and reflective design process and realisation, target consumers, market level analysis, styling, brand identity/packages, brand communication, and marketing and promotion.
  • Master's Dissertation Art and Design
    This module forms the major written element of the MA programme. On it, you will be invited to choose a topic related to your area of study, as the basis for a research essay of up to 6,000 words. The essay should demonstrate an awareness of current critical debate in the subject, through appropriate reference to relevant examples both from visual practice and critical writing. Your subjects may be thematic and issue-based, or may focus upon the critical analysis of a particular body of work. It is expected that you will use the module to investigate the use of critical writing as an aspect of your own creative development, by investigating issues and preoccupations for which you feel a particular affinity or concern, and that you will use the dissertation as an instrument of enquiry into the debates, conventions and values which define your own field of practice. In group tutorials you will explore the use of different modes of critical method and conventions of art and design research, and the production of critical writing as an aspect of an individual's creative and professional practice.
  • Master's Project: Art and Design
    The Masters Project represents the culmination of your learning on the programme, and giving you the opportunity to develop and resolve a major area of enquiry. This is a self-directed visual project negotiated with the staff team and peers. You'll need to negotiate, manage, co-ordinate and bring to successful conclusion a complex, practice-based project within your field of art, media or design. You'll start by formally presenting your research proposal to staff and peers, and will be expected to build on your previous modules to identify a complex area for investigation and enquiry, as well as research methods appropriate to the project. Following negotiation with staff, peers and, where appropriate, outside agencies, you'll then submit a written research proposal. Your project may involve external engagement alongside a personal exploration of themes and concepts in your specialist field. You'll need to show your ability to innovate, think strategically and be sensitive to changing cultural and social climates. You'll be assessed by portfolio (a body of work comprising a written project proposal, and developmental and final visual work) and a 1200-word reflective commentary. This commentary will specifically outline the methodological and ethical considerations relevant to your portfolio work, and evaluate your final visual work.


We'll measure your progress using a number of assessment methods that reflect the skills you'll need to demonstrate in the fashion industry. These include sketchbooks; reflective journals; technical files; brand, consumer and market research files; collaboration files; brand and promotion packages; portfolio work (visualisation and styling); 3D realisation and collection creation; presentations (audio visual and oral); written reports; your Master's dissertation; and Personal Development Planning (PDP).

Where you'll study

Your department and faculty

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Cambridge School of Art has been inspiring creativity since 1858 when it was opened by John Ruskin.

Engaging with current debates surrounding contemporary practice and with the state-of-the-art facilities, Cambridge School of Art houses light, bright studios, industry-standard film and photographic facilities, and 150-year-old printing presses alongside dedicated Apple Mac suites. Our digital art gallery, the Ruskin Gallery, exhibits both traditional shows and multimedia presentations, from national and international touring exhibitions and our own students.

We are the only university in Cambridge offering art and design courses at higher education level. A tight-knit community of artists, academics and over 900 students, we collaborate across our University, the creative industries, and other sectors. Cambridge is a centre for employment in the creative industries and there are rich opportunities for collaboration with the city’s entertainment, technological, scientific, arts and heritage industries.

Our graduates have a history of winning national and international awards and an excellent employment record. They include Pink Floyd's Syd Barrett and Dave Gilmour, Spitting Image creators Peter Fluck and Roger Law, and illustrator Ronald Searle, the creator of St Trinian's.

We’re part of the Faculty of Arts, Law and Social Sciences, a hub of creative and cultural innovation whose groundbreaking research has real social impact.

Where can I study?

Lord Ashcroft Building on our Cambridge campus

Our campus is close to the centre of Cambridge, often described as the perfect student city.

Explore our Cambridge campus

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Specialist facilities

You’ll work in our two fashion studios with industrial sewing and finishing machines, mannequins and surface textile facilities. We have a large stock of calico and pattern paper available for you to buy. 

You’ll also have access to our life drawing and sculpture workshops, printmaking studios, photography labs, computer suites (with Photoshop and Illustrator), and film-making facilities.

Find out more about Cambridge School of Art's facilities

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK & EU students, 2017/18 (per year)


International students, 2017/18 (per year)


UK & EU students, 2017/18 (per year part time)


UK & EU students, 2018/19 (per year)


UK & EU students, 2018/19 (per year, part-time)


International students, 2018/19 (per year)


International students, 2018/19 (per year, part-time)


Important fee notes

The part-time course fee assumes that you're studying at half the rate of a full-time student (50% intensity). Course fees will be different if you study over a longer period. All fees are for guidance purposes only.

Additional costs

Estimated cost of materials 
£100 over 3 years.

Optional field trip to Antwerp - 2 nights

How do I pay my fees?

Paying upfront

You won't need to pay fees until you've accepted an offer to attend, but you must pay your fees up-front, in full or in instalments.

How to pay your fees directly

International students

You must pay your fees up-front, in full or in instalments. You will also be asked for a deposit or sponsorship letter/financial guarantee. Details will be in your offer letter.

Paying your fees
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Funding for UK & EU students

There's no statutory funding for postgraduate study. However, we offer a number of scholarships and we've put together guidance on where to start researching funding options.

Students taking up a place on this course are eligible to apply for the Mark Wood Art and Design Scholarship. This is a financial award to recognise and encourage excellence. For more details and the application form, please visit our Making a Difference website.

Additional costs

Estimated cost of materials 
£100 over 3 years.

Optional field trip to Antwerp - 2 nights

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Funding for international students

We've a number of scholarships, as well as some fee discounts for early payment.

Entry requirements

Loading... Entry requirements are not currently available, please try again later.


We may ask you to send us a digital portfolio of your work. Here are guidelines on the work we'd expect to see. 

Preferably, digital portfolios should be formatted as a single PDF. Powerpoint presentations are also acceptable, but these should be kept to under 20MB. If this proves problematic, then you can send a series of single jpeg images. The size for each file must not exceed 2MB. In all cases, works should be numbered, with supporting information such as the title, medium, date and dimensions of each work.

Qualities we will look for:

  • focused, committed and determined for a career in the fashion industry
  • creative and experimental approaches to research
  • awareness of the contemporary art/design/fashion world
  • good drawing skills using different materials
  • good use of digital media
  • interest in/practical and technical skills in the realisation of fashion design products
  • excellent visual and oral communication skills

Things you must include:

  • various types of drawing using different media.
  1. observation (body, objects, clothes, etc)
  2. graduate art/design projects (2D/3D – eg fashion, textiles, graphics, fine art, interior design) – process and outcomes
  • sketchbooks (developing primary research - process)
  • application/interest in fashion design
  1. if this is not available in your project work, some evidence of your own initiative in developing this awareness
  2. this could be taking an existing project and applying it to fashion design through sketchbook development
  • Outcomes
  1. final pieces developed from sketchbook work (will vary depending on project undertaken, e.g. products, textile pieces, mood boards, illustrations, photographs, graphics, fine art pieces, etc)
  2. photos of final outcomes if product-led, eg if fashion-led, on a body styled
Minimum number of pieces: 20.

Please note: a link to a personal website or Flikr portfolio may be a useful showcase but is unlikely to give us the information we need on the development and background of your work, so should not be seen as a substitute for a portfolio.

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Important additional notes

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email for further information.

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International students

We welcome applications from international and EU students, and accept a range of international qualifications.

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English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you'll need to make sure you meet our English language requirements for postgraduate courses.

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Improving your English language skills

If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry.

We also provide our own English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT) in the UK and overseas. To find out if we are planning to hold an ELPT in your country, contact our country managers.

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Get more information

UK & EU applicants

01245 68 68 68

Enquire online

International applicants

+44 1245 68 68 68

Enquire online