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Fashion Design – BA (Hons)

  • Campus: Clare Street, Limerick City

  • years: 3

Course Overview

The Bachelor of the Arts (Honours) in Fashion Design (with Collection Design, Applied Textiles, Technology or Sustainability) at the Limerick School of Art & Design has an excellent reputation both nationally and internationally for providing a comprehensive, hands-on, and creative fashion design education.

The programme fosters independent thinking, creativity and innovation in both creative design processes and technical skills across four pathways: Collection Design, Applied Textiles, Technology or Sustainability. Students will choose one pathway of specialisation during their second year that will inform their focus for the rest of their studies. In their chosen Pathway, the student will be supported in exploring fashion design through subjects and processes that are of interest to them as they develop their voice as a designer. It is our aim to guide students through finding their own approach to creating design solutions in clothing, textile development, fashion technology or in sustainable systems for fashion and textiles.

We place emphasis on encouraging our students to balance physical craft with digital skills, innovative creativity, and critical thinking. We are consistently reacting, adapting, and responding to the changing landscape of the industry, both in Ireland and Internationally, within the course structure. This strategic alignment with the industry gives our students and graduates an edge as they progress their careers in Fashion & Textile design.

Nurturing originality of thought and transferable skills, the B.A. (Honours) Fashion Design will support the student in becoming a dynamic, empathetic, creative, and self-motivated designer who is capable of working at all levels of the Fashion and Textiles design industry and beyond.

Contact Details

Alan J Kelly


Giordana Giache


What are the entry requirements?

Entry into Fashion Design is by competition and selection during US800 First Year Art & Design (Common Entry).

Mature Applicants

Candidates applying as mature applicants may be required to attend an interview and may be requested to take an aptitude test to prove their suitability for a place on this programme.

International Applicants

International applicants should apply directly to the International Office at TUS, allowing plenty of time for completing the visa process. Applications for September start should be made by 1st June at the latest to ensure visas are processed in time. You should familiarise yourself with visa processing times for your country of origin to ensure you make a timely application. Find out more here.

Course Modules

  • Second Year introduces the students to the core fundamentals of the fashion design discipline across the four pathways: Collection Design, Applied Textiles, Technology and Sustainability. Creative and technical skills building classes will anchor the student’s timetable. The subjects include; Introduction to creative design processes, digital skills, textile development, machine knitting, construction and sewing, fashion illustration, pattern cutting, visual and conceptual research, professional practice, and sustainability for fashion design.
    The student’s research skills are fostered through a variety of methods outside of the classroom, including international research and buying trips (previous trips have included Paris and London), visiting exhibitions, attending talks and through our programme of visiting lecturers.
    Allowing students to build upon their foundation of creative design and technical skills will equip them to select one of the four pathways with confidence by the close of Semester One.

  • Placement, Practice or Exchange

    The Placement, Practice or Exchange module is an integral part of the course and is designed to provide the opportunity for situated learning in an alternative international academic or professional context for a minimum of twelve weeks. Students are given the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills gained so far in their studies in a professional or alternative academic setting and to share and reflect upon the experience as a part of the module’s assessment. The focus on students undertaking work placements has been an integral part of the Fashion Design programme structure for over thirty years and has proven to be an important mechanism for tuning students in to needs of the industry and trends within the market.
    Throughout their Second Year, students must begin to consider the following three options in preparation for Third Year; To undertake an Irish or International work placement; To participate in a live industry embedded project; To go on Erasmus Exchange with partner colleges throughout Europe.

  • The Third Year of the B.A. (Honours) Fashion Design programme focuses on developing the student’s understanding of their specific area of study while addressing their creative growth. This is achieved through the student undertaking assignments and projects which focus on expanding their design practice, improving their design communication and digital skills, and developing their abilities to translate 2D concepts into 3D forms.
    Learning includes studio-based projects with tutorial guidance, fashion and fabrication technique workshops, skill-labs, digital workshops, lectures, live industry projects and competitions, formal critiques, visual research assignments, independent study, and team projects.
    Placement, Practice & Exchange is a key module in the Second Semester of the student’s Third Year of study. The B.A. (Honours) Fashion Design programme has excellent links to both partner Universities around Europe that can facilitate an Erasmus Exchange and to the Fashion and Textiles Industry. The course a strong track record of students successfully securing and undertaking work placements both nationally and internationally. Students gain an enormous amount of transferable design and development experience during their placements that have benefited the students, the University, and the fashion companies alike. Recently, students have undertaken work placements in:
    Ireland: Colin Horgan, McKernan Woolen Mills, Penneys/ Primark, Natalie B. Coleman, Úna Burke. London: Alexander McQueen, Craig Green, Sharon Wauchob, Charles Jeffrey LOVERBOY, Sinéad O’Dwyer, J.W. Anderson, Richard Malone, Conner Ives, Molly Goddard, Samuel Gui Yang, Richard Quinn. New York: Proenza Schouler, Diane Von Furstenberg, Alexander Wang, Anna Sui, Marchesa, Marc Jacobs, Voz Apparel. Paris: Chanel. Switzerland: Hugo Boss Knitwear. The Netherlands: Iris Van Herpen, Viktor & Rolf, Karl Lagerfeld. Belgium: Ann Demeulemeester, Haider Ackermann. Sweden: Acne Studios.

  • During the Fourth Year of the programme, the students will undergo a transformative phase in their design education, one that allows them to fine tune their imaginative, practical, and critical thinking skills at an advanced level. At this level of study, students are expected to develop a more strategic outlook and draw together both their academic and workplace experiences to produce a cohesive body of work that reflects their development as a designer and focuses on showcasing skills applicable to their pathway of specialisation.  
    This year is structured around a comprehensive range of projects designed to consolidate and elevate their research, creative aesthetic, specialist knowledge, and critical design thinking to a graduating standard. These projects enable them to express both their creative vision and their understanding of practical fashion design processes.  
    This learning will culminate in a Degree Collection supported by a professional portfolio along with theoretical works which are all expected to be delivered to a standard of intellect, creativity and skill appropriate for Honours Degree level. All graduating work is showcased internally in the Limerick School of Art & Design Degree Shows. 
    Our recent Graduates have had numerous successes on the National and International stage, both being shortlisted for and winning competitions such as the IDI Student Awards, DCCI Future Makers Award and the Arts Thread X Gucci Global Graduate Showcase, along with other major competitions. Our Alumni have taken part in fashion business support schemes both in Ireland and elsewhere, while others have been awarded scholarships and bursaries to support further study. 

What can you do after this programme?

The B.A. (Honours) in Fashion Design graduates work at the heart of the fashion and textiles industry. Our Alumni form a national and international network of creative designers and makers who work across a broad spectrum of roles in fashion and textiles and who continue to contribute to shaping the future of the industry.

Our Alumni have gained employment in the following roles: 

  • Fashion Designer 
  • Textile Designer/ Artist 
  • Design for Film & Stage/ Costume Designer 
  • Design, Atelier or Studio Manager 
  • Design Assistant 
  • Knitwear Designer 
  • Weave Designer 
  • Fashion Brand Owner/ Creative Director 
  • Sustainability Advisor/ Consultant 
  • Sustainable Fashion Practitioner 
  • Sustainability for Fashion & Textiles Researcher  
  • Garment Technician 
  • Creative Pattern Cutter 
  • Digital Pattern Cutter (Gerber Specialist) 
  • Production Pattern Cutter/ Grader 
  • Textile Developer 
  • Freelance Knitter 
  • Freelance Weaver 
  • Stylist 
  • Wardrobe Assistant 
  • Fashion Photographer/ Filmmaker 
  • Fashion Shoot Assistant/ Producer / Creative Director 
  • 3D Designer 
  • 3D Garment Developer for Gaming 
  • 3D Product Developer 
  • Trend Forecaster 
  • Showroom Assistant 
  • Fashion Buyer 
  • Merchandiser 
  • Visual Merchandiser 
  • Fashion Journalist 
  • Fashion Writer 
  • Fashion Researcher 
  • Fashion Illustrator 
  • Digital Illustrator 
  • Fashion Marketing & PR 
  • Social Media Assistant 
  • Event Manager 
  • Teacher 
  • Lecturer 

Successful graduates of this programme are eligible for Level 9 and 10 postgraduate programmes within TUS or elsewhere.