So, you’ve dreamed of working in the fashion industry and you’re interested in studying a Bachelor of Design in Fashion and Textiles at UTS?
Well, you’ve come to the right place because we’ll run you through everything there is to know about this exciting degree including the core subjects, assessments, travel opportunities, uni culture plus more!
Let’s get straight to it!
What is a Bachelor of Design in Fashion and Textiles at UTS?
A Bachelor of Design in Fashion and Textiles at UTS gets students ready to enter the fashion industry as innovative designers who have a theoretical understanding of design principles and the practical skills to make garment collections. You’ll learn all about fashion history and theory, how it influences and is influenced by our culture, plus way more!
The degree is very hands-on and you’ll learn the technical skills needed to design and construct garments from the first semester.
But it’s not just about how to make a dress — there is also an emphasis on the design process and design choices such as, how does this piece of clothing reflect the story or idea I’m trying to portray?! You’re encouraged by your lecturers and tutors to push the boundaries and challenge the contemporary fashion scene.
There’s also a global focus with specific fashion and textiles electives that involve travelling so students can immerse themselves in the global world of fashion and textiles!
There’s the opportunity for you to complete an Honours year providing you achieve at least an overall WAM of 72.5.
During this year, you’ll do a lot of research and write a thesis on your chosen theme/area related to the fashion industry. You’ll also get to use all the skills you learnt in your Bachelor degree to design and create your own collection of work (pretty cool!).
Can it be studied with another degree?
If you want to take your degree to the next level, you can combine it with either a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies (5 years) or a Bachelor of Creative Intelligence and Innovation (4 years).
Well, of course, you can work in any area of the fashion industry! You might even start your own business, create a fashion line or work for a big fashion brand.
Here’s some of the roles you could find yourself as:
- Fashion designer
- Textile designer
- Creative director
- Fashion forecaster
- Fashion project manager
- Fashion writer/journalist
Plus way more — there’s really endless possibilities because design is all about being innovative!
Core Units for this Degree
Fashion and Textiles Units
The core fashion and textiles units have both theoretical and practical components, so you’ll learn about the principles/theories of fashion, the design process and the actual techniques used to create garments. There’s a total of 16 exciting subjects that you’ll take!
The Studio: Foundations in Patternmaking and Construction 1 and 2 are introduction subjects which teach students how to turn design ideas into actual garments. So, you’ll learn how to create flat pattern and three-dimensional pattern forms, as well as complete OH&S training to understand how to operate the various machines in the workspace environment.
The Studio: Fashion Illustration 1 and 2 is all about the visual communication of fashion and textile design. We’re talking about freehand drawing and also digital technical sketches where students will learn how to use Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop to present their designs.
Fashion, Gender and Identity is all about the theory and history of fashion and the ways in which time and culture influence fashion trends. Students complete a research project on a topic of their choice in relation to the subject.
In the Studio: Body Mapping, there is a focus on working with stretch and knitted fabrics — students have to make 2-3 garments in relation to this criteria! They’re also expected to keep a lookbook with all their sketches and make a short film showing the garments on a model, so you’re actually designing and making things that you can show to future employees!
The subject Experimental Fashion Making is pretty exciting because students have the opportunity to compete in the global Woolmark Performance Challenge. There’s a big focus on creativity in relation to merino wool and sportswear and what you can come up with!
In your final year, you’ll complete the Studio: Men’s Collection in one semester and Women’s Collection in the other — for both of them, students will design and create an original collection of garments! The students are encouraged to be innovative and challenge contemporary fashion trends and a series of lectures will take students through different historical and cultural aspects which will inform their design choices.
Have a look here for more detail on the other core fashion and textiles subjects — they’re all so exciting!
Are there any majors?
It’s kind of like the major is already picked out for you — they’ve pre-planned the course for you, so your first year is the basics of design, all those subjects that the architects do and the people that study viscom. And then in the end of the first year and moving forward you kind of go into more specifics of fashion.
So you do a main theoretical subject and then one of the other main subjects was called Construction so that’s where you learn physical techniques of sewing and putting things together. There’s a lot of industry focus so there was one called Broadening Partnerships where that was a focus of how you apply what you learnt into the real industry.
There are four core design units which every design student has to do:
- Researching Design Histories — teaches you about the design history and principles of design.
- Thinking Through Design — teaches you about the design process and how to think like an innovative designer.
- Design Futuring — encourages students to think outside the box and about alternatives to the design of various products that we know today.
- Social Media Cultures — looks at the role the internet plays within the design world and how we can create more effective interaction designs.
You get to choose two electives throughout the degree which can be found right here! This selection of electives are specific to Design in Fashion and Textiles and allow you to tailor the degree to what you’re more interested in.
There’s Textiles: Print, Machine-Knitted Textiles, and of course, the electives Global Studio: Fashion and Textiles A, Global Studio: Fashion and Textiles B and Global Studio Fashion and Textiles: International Perspectives which allow you to travel (you’ll hear more about these ones later on) plus way more.
Although there is no compulsory internship during the course, it’s always a great idea to do one and there’s nothing stopping you. Plus they always look good on the resume, provide opportunities for networking and you get an overview of what the industry is really like!
Most of the fashion and textiles students find the internships on their own accord. It’s a good idea to keep an eye out for any internship/job opportunities on the UTS Career Hub page.
Opportunities to Travel
As a designer, you could one day find yourself working anywhere in the world — which is pretty exciting! The Design, Architecture and Building Faculty (DAB) offer some very exciting elective opportunities that allow fashion and textiles students to travel overseas (and it counts towards their degree!).
The aim of these study tours is to immerse students in different global fashion cultures and contexts. They are usually between 2-3 weeks and are led by a UTS academic.
So, you’re definitely going to want to check out Global Studio: Fashion and Textiles A, Global Studio: Fashion and Textiles B and Global Studio Fashion and Textiles: International Perspectives.
How to Get into a Bachelor of Design in Fashion and Textiles at UTS
You’ll need an ATAR of 91.5 to secure your spot for a Bachelor of Design in Fashion and Textiles at UTS.
Don’t stress if you didn’t quite get the ATAR needed for the degree because you can still get there!
By successfully completing a Diploma of Design and Architecture with UTS College, you have guaranteed entry into the first year of the degree (as long as you meet the required GPA). The Diploma can be completed in a year (standard) or even just 8 months (accelerated).
You need to have taken any two units of English — but that’s all fine because you have to do that in the HSC anyway!
Of course, Design and Technology and/or Visual Arts are recommended but they’re not a requirement. You probably took one of them anyway if you’re interested in this course though.
Although there are no specific Design in Fashion and Textiles scholarships, have a look here to see if you qualify for any other scholarships UTS offers.
What’s the Teaching Format?
A Bachelor of Design in Fashion and Textiles at UTS combines studios, lectures, and tutorials. And yes, you complete the degree through semesters (yay — you actually get proper holidays!).
These are the hands-on and practical classes — yay! This is where you’ll apply your skills to create a garment or print that represents your ideas and thoughts on a particular topic.
Since these classes are quite small with around 5 to 15 people in them, they’re more personal and the tutors have more time to invest in you.
The size of the lectures really depends on the subject. For the core design units, there can be up to 200 people because other design courses also have to do these subjects. However, in terms of fashion and textiles, there can be anywhere up to 100 people — which of course, depends on how many students actually choose to do the degree.
Sometimes you’ll have guest speakers, an introduction to a certain topic and/or hear from people’s different perspectives in the industry. You’ll learn all the theoretical content here such as the history of fashion, the principles of fashion and textiles and the issues/challenges the fashion industry faces.
The tutorials are also fairly small with around 15 people in them. These are more discussion based and you’ll unpack the ideas of a specified topic, work on small tasks in relation to it and complete various group activities.
How many hours do you spend at uni?
When you study a Bachelor of Design in Fashion and Textiles at UTS, you’ll take four subjects a semester on a full-time load. So, you’re looking at around 20-24 hours of classes a week (depending on which subjects you’re doing) — you can probably squeeze this into three days, however it is good to keep in mind that you also have to do a lot of work in your own time.
For some of the studios, you’ll have your 2-3 hour class there but it is booked for the entire day so you can continue working there outside of class hours.
Since UTS has all the equipment and work spaces, you’ll most likely find yourself coming in on a day off! Plus a few late nights when assessment deadlines are creeping up on you — but hey, all the fashion and textiles students are in the same boat. A coffee (or maybe two) and good company of the other students will keep you in high spirits.
What are the assessments like?
The Core Design units (which give you the foundations in design) have a combination of design proposals, research projects, essays and presentations.
Now, the Core Fashion and Textile units have a mixture of written and practical assessments. So, we’re talking about written research projects, a fair few presentations and of course, actually designing and creating garments.
The assessments are usually broken down into smaller tasks that deal with the initial design ideas followed by the design proposal and process. All these tasks lead up to the final creation of an illustration, print, design portfolio or garment — depending on the subject. You’ll also get used to talking about your work and why you’ve chosen to go with a certain design choice!
Skills That You Refine and Learn
Well, of course, you’ll learn all those technical design skills so you can actually create garments — sewing, digital sketches, flat pattern and three-dimensional patterns forms plus more! You’ll also develop your communication skills through research projects which involve a fair bit of written work and presentations where you’ll have to get comfortable talking about your designs.
Since it is a pretty full on degree with a lot of work done outside of class hours, you’ll have to learn to manage your time well. Most students are juggling a part-time job along with their studies so it can get pretty hectic at times when deadlines are approaching — but you’ve got this!
You’ll have to stay open-minded and be flexible because sometimes your designs might not work out the way you thought they would. But hey — that’s what uni is about; learning from your mistakes! Plus, the most innovative designs and ideas are born from experimenting!
What’s the Faculty and Culture Like?
Everyone doing this degree is passionate about one thing for sure: fashion! So, you already have something in common and it’s a really great community of future designers.
Everyone supports each other and when someone needs help, there’s always a helping hand! Since you spend a fair bit of time together outside class hours, working in the studios on your projects, you’ll probably grab a bite to eat and a fair few coffees with your fellow designers.
UTS Design Society
It’s also a great idea to join the UTS Design Society so you can meet people from other design degrees like animation, visual communication and interior architecture. There are lots of exciting events you can take part in like the Welcome Event, various design workshops, games/movies night and more!
What are the tutors and lecturers like?
The tutors and lecturers are either doing their own research or working in the industry, so they are really up-to-date with the latest industry information and fashion trends. They really encourage you to be innovative and think outside the box — it’s not just about making the perfect garment but also the design process and story involved behind it.
You might hear from a curator at the powerhouse museum or someone who had just launched a new fashion brand — so you’re hearing and learning from people who are actually part of the industry and have experience!
Tanna Nankivell is a Content Writer at Art of Smart Education and is currently in Germany completing a year of study for her double degree in Communications (Journalism) and Bachelor of Arts (International Studies). She has had articles published on Central News – the UTS Journalism Lab and wrote a feature piece for Time Out Sydney during her internship. Tanna has a love for travel and the great outdoors, you’ll either find her on the snowfields or in the ocean, teaching aqua aerobics or creating short films.