BA (Hons) Fashion

Visit our Scottish Borders Campus

Scottish Borders Open Days

Book your place

Friday 6 October and 3 November.

Get a feel for undergraduate life and study at our Scottish Borders campus. Attend subject talks, explore our facilities and speak to our friendly and knowledgeable students and staff.

Book your place
Four students walking outside reception on Heriot-Watt Edinburgh campus

The course

UCAS code
4 years
Scottish Borders
Delivery type

Our BA Fashion degree explores the creative process of fashion design, from initial research through to collection creation and production.


Got questions about this programme?

Contact our enquiries team.


Explore the world of fashion in our unique and purpose-built workshops and studios, which are renowned with industry and provide a supported creative yet academic setting for this discipline area. You will have access to fully equipped apparel workshops, spacious studios with blended use workspaces, technical workshops, state-of-the-art industrial standard production equipment, and premium Computer Aided Design (CAD) suites. Everything you could possibly need to develop your skills whilst exploring your interest within the world of Fashion.

This course covers a cross section of market sectors, ranging from high-street fashion to ready-to-wear, suitable for both UK and global markets. Undertaking internal and external projects as part of your learning journey will help you develop your own handwriting and shape your understanding of the worldwide fashion industry. These skills can ultimately open the door to incredible career opportunities in your chosen sector.

We are also aware of fashion’s responsibility to work towards a sustainable, ethical and diverse future. Our briefs and projects respond to this, presenting a true reflection of many of the challenges being faced in the industry today whilst paving the way for the future. A good example of our commitment to this is our support for textile heritage. We work with many local and national industries to help ensure that traditional craftsmanship will always have a place alongside contemporary.

The course is taught in our Scottish Borders Campus, which sits close to the heart of Scotland’s luxury textile industry. This is your chance to study in an area that’s home to some of the UK’s top design and production facilities for textiles and fashion. Find out more about what this highly individualistic course has to offer on our School pages.

Course content

Year 1

Get an introduction to your chosen course and take the first step towards a career in your chosen area of fashion. This broad common Level 1 for all Fashion, Communication, Marketing and Retailing students encourages you to research and develop individual strengths and skills in the analysis, evaluation and contextualisation in the contemporary fashion marketplace.

Semester 1

  • Rethinking Design 1: Discover and Define
  • Rethinking Design 2: Develop and Deliver

Semester Two 

  • Garment Construction
  • Introduction to Photography
  • Textiles 1

Year 2

Specialise in your chosen pathway and explore pattern design, creation and production in greater depth through traditional and non-traditional fashion methodologies. The courses also cover fashion illustration, fashion design, knitwear design and contextual studies, all of which will help you begin to develop your own unique style.

Semester 1

  • Tailoring & Innovation
Optional Courses 
  • Fashion Buying 
  • Fashion Film

Semester Two 

  • Fashion Product Development
  • Digital Technologies
  • Promotion & Advertising

Year 3

Work on cross-disciplinary projects and fashion industry collaborations through a combination of independent study, team working and external projects. You’ll also have opportunities to work across events and brand promotion — this external activity boosts your industry awareness and gives you first-hand knowledge that allows you to contextualise your work against the global fashion landscape.

Semester 1

  • Fashion Writing
  • Fashion Design & Make
  • Fashion Process and Presentation

Semester Two 

  • Critical & Contextual Studies 3
  • Diffusion Collection
  • Capsule Fashion Collection

Year 4

Consolidate your skills and explore your individuality through the initiation, development and completion of a contemporary fashion-led collection accompanied by a strong fashion design portfolio that really showcases your talent to employers.

Industry partnerships and sponsorships are available, allowing you to take advantage of talks and mentors from industry professionals. Previous collaborations include Johnsons of Elgin, W L Gore (technical and outerwear), Morton, Young and Boreland, and Halley Stevenson’s.

Semester 1

  • Collection Part 1
Optional Courses
  • Marketing Strategy for Design
  • CCS Essay

Semester Two 

  • Collection Part 2
  • Advanced Practice and Evaluation


Work and study

This is what our BA (Hons) Fashion students are doing 15 months after graduating:

  • 85% are working
  • 5% are studying
  • 5% are working and studying.


  • The average salary of students 15 months after graduating: £19000
  • The average UK salary of students 15 months after graduating from a similar course: £21000

Potential career paths

  • Design occupations
  • Business and public service associate professionals

Entry requirements

Year 1

Standard entry requirements

  • Highers ABBB (including English)
  • A-Levels BCC
  • Int. Baccalaureate 29 points
  • BTEC DMM (in a relevant area)

Minimum entry requirements*

  • Highers BBBC (including English)
  • A-Levels BCC

* Minimum: under our Fair Access Policy, we will relax our standard entry requirements for some Scottish students depending on their circumstances. Our minimum requirements will apply if you:

  • live in an area within the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation lowest 20% (SIMD20), or
  • are care experienced.

We can also make exceptions for some Scottish students with grades above minimum but below standard. Read more about our Minimum and standard entry requirements

Year 2

  • HNC B in graded unit (in a relevant HNC)
  • BTEC DMM (in relevant subject)

Year 3

  • HND BB in graded unit (in relevant HND)

Additional information

Portfolio and interview

Portfolio submission is a prerequisite and will demonstrate your interest in fashion. This can be communicated through any media including traditional, observed and expressive drawing, painting and photography. Our portfolio requirements are explained in the Digital Portfolio Guidelines.

Successful applicants will be asked to submit their digital portfolio and invited to discuss it at interview.

English language requirements

  • If English is not your first language, you have to show that your English is good enough to succeed on your course. Please see our English language requirements.


Tuition fees for 2024 entry
Status* Scotland England / Wales / N Ireland / Rep of Ireland International**
Fee Paid by SAAS £9,250 £18,704

* Your residency 'status' is usually defined as the country where you have been ordinarily resident for the three years before the start of your course. Find out more about tuition fees.

** 'International' includes applicants from European Union countries who do not hold Pre-Settled or Settled status in UK. (This does not include students from the Republic of Ireland - see above). Read more about the application process for EU nationals.

Additional costs

You may incur additional costs in the course of your studies at Heriot-Watt over and above tuition fees in an academic year. Depending on your programme of study, these may include: protective equipment, field trips, professional memberships, studio fees, required course texts or other study resources.

Please note that there is an additional consumable fee, charged per year of study.

Scholarships and bursaries

Featured scholarships

Bursaries for students from England, Northern Ireland or Wales

In addition to government loans and grants towards the costs of fees and living costs, we are offering generous financial support to attract and support eligible undergraduate students from England, Northern Ireland or Wales:

  • Heriot-Watt University Bursary (up to £3,100 per year)
View details about the Heriot-Watt University Bursary

View our full range of undergraduate scholarships.