Course specification and structure
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UEFFSHTX - BA Fashion and Textiles Extended Degree (with Foundation Year)

Course Specification


Validation status Validated
Highest award Bachelor of Arts Level Honours
Possible interim awards Preparatory Diploma, Preparatory Certificate
Total credits for course 480
Awarding institution London Metropolitan University
Teaching institutions London Metropolitan University
School The Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design (The Cass)
Subject Area The Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design
Attendance options
Option Minimum duration Maximum duration
Full-time 4 YEARS 8 YEARS
Part-time 6 YEARS 8 YEARS
Course leader  

About the course and its strategy towards teaching and learning and towards blended learning/e-learning

This foundation year is focused upon preparing students for a degree in Fashion and Textile Design. The first year of this foundation year focuses upon developing contemporary skills and knowledge relevant to future studies and careers in these fields of design and making. The course provides both diagnostic and subject specialist teaching to ensure both that a student is choosing the study path most appropriate to their interests and talents, and that they are as well equipped as possible for undergraduate studies at level 4. The foundation year of the course shares the CASS level 3 modular framework and provides collaborative and interdisciplinary opportunities with staff and students on related foundation year provision across the Faculty.

The course follows the structure of the BA degrees that students will progress onto. Four year-long equally weighted modules provide both the experience of diagnostic, subject specialist and independent learning in designing, making, presentational and recording skills, together with necessary and appropriate contextual knowledge and critical ability.

The programme is typically arranged in three phases:

Phase 1 introduces and establishes a common ground of new experiences, values and key basic practical skills. It establishes a secure foundation of skills and knowledge for the year and serves as a base from which more independent work can be developed. This first phase is the most intentionally diagnostic of students’ interests and abilities of the three.

Phase 2 enables students to gain subject specialist experience, building upon and reinforcing the common skills for these areas of 3D design and making acquired in phase one whilst enabling students to exercise choice to develop areas further.

The final stage, Phase 3 enables students to establish their personal perspective in relation to their determined undergraduate course, providing a clear sense of direction. In this phase, students undertake a sustained and focused study, increasing their subject area knowledge, testing their commitment and producing, organising and presenting a coherent body of work, together with contextualising material that demonstrates a credible understanding of the current commercial and employment conditions of the discipline chosen.

The predominant mode of delivery of the course throughout the three stages is the project. These vary considerably in aim, structure and duration. The student’s responsibility for implementation and development increases as the course proceeds. The project teaching and learning is supported through taught exercises, workshop demonstrations, lectures, tutorials, critiques, presentations and construction of portfolios. Students will also produce essays or other written formats, through library, database or archive research, cultural and industry visits and seminar debate.

Throughout the course, there is an emphasis on learning discipline specific, as well as transferable skills and a disciplined, experimental approach to visual and physical enquiry. The course promotes flexibility, questioning and independence and is designed to be supportive of individual responses, initiatives and lines of inquiry. Where relevant alternative course specific entry requirements are met, this foundation year also serves as adequate basis for progression onto other (non-designated) CASS degrees.

Students have access to the Faculty provision of design studios, workshop facilities, lecture and seminar spaces, computer suites, libraries and other facilities. Students will also be encouraged to participate in the full range of Faculty organised open lectures, exhibitions, and other events.

Course aims

The course aims to provide a practice-focused, contemporary, preparatory foundation year leading to a BA pathway and future careers in Fashion and Textile Design. It enables students to accurately identify and develop their skills and interests in preparation for one of these courses, enabling a secure start and the best possible chance of maximising upon their potential.

The course introduces a spectrum of practical, conceptual and experimental skills that are specific to these 3D design disciplines, as well as their application to specific contexts. The content of the course is focused upon the production of creative work that reflects independent and disciplined thinking, with skill in execution and communication. The course aims to:

  • Allow the student to test and evaluate their interest and ability in a range of related 3D disciplines
  • Introduce a range of subject specialist design and making skills and explore the context for their application
  • Guide students to a questioning, exploratory, critical approach to their field, their own work and that of others
  • Provide a basic contemporary understanding of the intellectual, creative and commercial environment of their field
  • Instil in students the desire and ability to seek to independently improve their knowledge and abilities

Course learning outcomes

On successful completion of Level 3, students will be able to:

Knowledge and Understanding
1. Understand at a basic level, the contemporary context, opportunities and challenges presented by a range of 3D disciplines, and those related to their subject selection.

Subject Specific Practical Skills
2. Demonstrate design and making skills in the use of a range of media, materials, processes and equipment.

Transferable Skills
3. Communicate in visual, oral and written forms appropriate for undergraduate study.
4. Conduct independent and research for the development of their work, and utilise this is the design process

Cognitive Intellectual Skills
5. Assess design scenarios, their own work and that of others critically, and apply questioning and experimental methods to design research and development.

Principle QAA benchmark statements

Art and Design (2008)

Assessment strategy

Each of the four modules carries specific assessment criteria that between them articulate the student’s range of achievement as well as aptitudes in their chosen field of design. Students are assessed on project work, project related studies and the development of practical skills through submitting a comprehensive Portfolio of work. Critical and Contextual Studies are assessed through a Journal that includes a range of short exercises, written work and an essay and can be seen as part of the final Portfolio.

Summative assessment for all the modules occurs at the end of the course and details achievement in student performance in relation to the learning outcomes for each module. Formative feedback is provided for all the modules on a regular basis and is focused on encouragement and improvement. Each assessment (formative and summative) seeks to build students’ confidence as independent learners, providing pertinent advice for all aspects of learning. It appears in a number of different formats, from peer appraisal and informal suggestions or responses to specific items of work in progress, to formally recorded feedback at class presentations or critiques. Written feedback and diagnostic grades are provided at decisive stages of the course delivery. This feedback specifically addresses areas for improvement towards the final submission at summative assessment.

The course team provides ongoing opportunities for scheduled tutorial drop in sessions and the course’s virtual learning environment offers students opportunities to discuss (with tutors and peers) their assessment strategies. Further support should it be necessary is available via personal academic tutors, Library Services, University Student Services and the Centre for Learning and Teaching.

Course specific regulations

In the CASS Level 3 and all other CASS UG courses, the following faculty-wide regulations shall apply:

ACADEMIC PROGRESSION:
As a condition of progressing from level 3 to 4, level 4 to 5 and level 5 to 6, students are required to have gained 120 credits per level, that is, by achieving pass marks (40%) in all four modules in the preceding level of study.

PART-TIME MODE OF STUDY
Part-time study is defined as 60 credits per year. Consequently, in part-time mode, the duration of study for a 480 credit extended degree is 8 years.
The pattern of study in CASS 120 credit L3 awards shall be as follows:

Year 1 – AA3001 Project & AA3002 Techniques
Year 2 – CP3010 Critical and Contextual Studies: Foundation & AA3003 Workbook

Modules required for interim awards

In the CASS Level 3 and all other CASS UG courses, the following faculty-wide regulations shall apply:

ACADEMIC PROGRESSION:
As a condition of progressing from level 3 to 4, level 4 to 5 and level 5 to 6, students are required to have gained 120 credits per level, that is, by achieving pass marks (40%) in all four modules in the preceding level of study.

PART-TIME MODE OF STUDY
Part-time study is defined as 60 credits per year. Consequently, in part-time mode, the duration of study for a 480 credit extended degree is 8 years.
The pattern of study in CASS 120 credit L3 awards shall be as follows:

Year 1 – AA3001 Project & AA3002 Techniques
Year 2 – CP3010 Critical and Contextual Studies: Foundation & AA3003 Workbook

Arrangements for promoting reflective learning and personal development

The course is essentially preparatory and therefore, embeds reflective learning and personal development in a number of different ways:

The main outcome of the course is contained in the student’s portfolio. This contains an edited and organised version of all the work the student has undertaken during the course. It is used both for the purposes of assessment and, in various versions, to apply for jobs or further study. Building the portfolio is a continuous enterprise. Every project, practical or intellectual exercise can be represented in the portfolio but also has to contribute to the document as a whole and in its parts. Students learn to reflect on their work both as a specific item and in the context of their own developing profile in their portfolio.

A principle teaching vehicle on the course is the project. There are a number of projects set during the year, each of which addresses different criteria, and the student gains increasing responsibility for their definition, direction and development as the year progresses. Students learn to evaluate their project work against that of their peers through frequent interim presentations, pin-ups or critiques as well as through tutorials.


A tutorial system is organised to monitor student progress and provides advice and assistance throughout the year. It is an important means of guiding students to meet the aims and objectives of the course. Tutorial reviews and critiques provide for independent examination of project results, the impact of lectures and the development of personal work and ideas. Through discussing work of a complementary, extended or diverse nature, project work can be developed in an independent way and by discussing relationships between diverse course inputs coherence can be maintained.

Career opportunities

The opportunities for careers are extensive. One out of every 12 jobs in the UK is in the creative sector, with employment growing faster here than in the rest of the economy.

Graduates of this extended degree course have gone into careers in art, craft or design fields or the cultural and creative industries. Graduates have found employment at companies such as Harrods and Timberland, and some of the job titles for graduates have included textile designer, fashion editor and studio assistant.

Entry requirements

In addition to the University's standard entry requirements, you should have:

  • at least one A level (or a minimum of 48 UCAS points from an equivalent Level 3 qualification, eg BTEC Subsidiary/National/BTEC Extended Diploma)
  • English Language GCSE at grade C (grade 4 from 2017) or above (or equivalent)

We encourage applications from International/EU students with equivalent qualifications. We also accept mature students with diverse backgrounds and experiences.

Suitable applicants living in the UK will be invited to a portfolio interview.

Applicants living outside the UK will be required to submit a small portfolio of work via email.

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa may need to provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

Official use and codes

Approved to run from 2015/16 Specification version 1 Specification status Validated
Original validation date 24 Nov 2015 Last validation date 24 Nov 2015  
Sources of funding HE FUNDING COUNCIL FOR ENGLAND
JACS codes W000 (Creative arts & design): 100%
Route code FFSHTX

Course Structure

Stage 1 Level 03 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
AA3001 Project Core 30 CITY AUT+SPR THU AM
          CITY AUT+SPR MON PM
          CITY AUT+SPR MON AM
          CITY SPR+SUM THU AM
          CITY AUT+SPR THU PM
AA3002 Techniques Core 30 CITY AUT+SPR FRI PM
          CITY AUT+SPR FRI AM
          CITY AUT+SPR TUE PM
          CITY AUT+SPR TUE AM
          CITY SPR+SUM THU PM
AA3003 Workbook Core 30 CITY AUT+SPR WED AM
          CITY SPR+SUM TUE PM
CP3010 Critical & Contextual Studies: Foundation Core 30 CITY AUT+SPR WED PM
          CITY SPR+SUM TUE AM

Stage 1 Level 03 January start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
AA3001 Project Core 30 CITY SPR+SUM THU AM
AA3002 Techniques Core 30 CITY SPR+SUM THU PM
AA3003 Workbook Core 30 CITY SPR+SUM TUE PM
CP3010 Critical & Contextual Studies: Foundation Core 30 CITY SPR+SUM TUE AM