Fashion Design Course - Higher National Certificate (Classroom)


Start Date:  May 2019
Price:  £ 2,795 (easy-pay plan available)
Average Study Duration:  9-18 months
Assessment:  15 practical assignments
Course Type:  Classroom-based
Level:  Level 4 on the RQF
Accreditation:  BTEC
Entry Requirements:  Must be 18 years of age or older.

If English is not your first language, we recommend you have at least level 5.5 IELTS or equivalent. Or, have completed your last two years of schooling through English.
Work Placements:  Graduates of this course are eligible for a one month work placement at a fashion design company. All placements are in the greater London, Manchester and Edinburgh areas.

Higher National Certificate course


Learn the practical skills to launch an exciting new career or gain advanced entry to a degree with a fully-accredited Higher National Certificate.

The course covers subjects such as: understanding fabrics, pattern creation, garment construction, building your portfolio, brand identity and setting up your business, all the technical information you will need to keep up-to-date with the latest developments in the industry.

The classroom-based Higher National Certificate course covers the same topics as the home-study course but with the added benefit of live classes conducted by our expert tutors. This blended learning approach ensures that you receive the optimum support and knowledge with the least amount of disruption to your working schedule.

The classroom-based Higher National Certificate course takes place over a nine month period with either fifteen full-day Saturday classes from 09:30 to 16:30 or thirty evening classes from 18:30 to 21:00.

Throughout the course you will complete 15 practical assignments. Our aim is for students to receive as much guidance and support during the tutorials as possible so that they will be able to plan their assignments in class and complete them at home.

You can choose to enrol for either the evening or full-day Saturday classes in London (Westminster University), Manchester (Salford University) or Edinburgh (Edinburgh Napier University).

View the class options below »

London Classes
Saturday Classes  (Full Day) Starts  15  Full DaysView Schedule  
Thursday Classes  (Evening) Starts  30  EveningsView Schedule  
Manchester Classes
Saturday Classes  (Full Day) Starts  15  Full DaysView Schedule  
Thursday Classes  (Evening) Starts  30  EveningsView Schedule  
Edinburgh Classes
Saturday Classes  (Full Day) Starts  15  Full DaysView Schedule  
Thursday Classes  (Evening) Starts  30  EveningsView Schedule  

View the full list of topics covered »


The British Academy of Fashion Design has teamed up with global educational experts Pearson Education to offer BTEC accredited courses to our fashion design students.

These courses are a recognised route to university, leading to the final year of a degree course or progression on to other professional qualifications.

Techniques and Processes


In this unit, you will develop the skills that enable you as a fashion designer to create innovative shapes through draping on a mannequin. Explore the techniques of flat pattern drafting and how to manipulate patterns to create new designs, tailored to specific measurements. This unit is the perfect place to start to learn the different techniques and processes at the core of the fashion industry. In this unit, we will cover the following:

  • Idea generation
  • Starting your sketchbook
  • Draping
  • Flat pattern techniques
  • Sketching
  • Creating a mood board
  • Presentation boards

Fashion and Textile Practices


The focus of this unit is to explore and research textiles. Understanding the properties of fabrics, weights and their appropriate uses. Experimenting with fibres by painting, printing and shredding to create new fabrics. Introduction to sewing techniques. In this unit, we will cover the following:

  • Creating a swatch book
  • Understanding technical aspects of fabrics
  • Choosing fabrics
  • Deconstruction/reconstruction of fabrics
  • Experimenting with fabrics
  • Technical sewing notebook - including zip, seams, bindings and garment construction
  • Sewing different fabric types

Contextual Studies


This unit looks at the history of fashion design. You will develop an historical understanding of fashion and its connection with identities and cultures, giving you a complete and well-rounded education on the subject. In this unit, we will cover the following periods:

  • The rise of Haute Couture
  • The roaring 20s
  • The Great Depression and World War I
  • Hollywood glamour
  • Flower power
  • "Saturday Night Fever", ethnic bohemian, punk
  • "Material Girls", "New Romantics"
  • Minimalism, power dressing, grunge
  • Street style, mash-up, globalisation
  • Wearable technology

Pattern Cutting and Garment Making


In this unit, you will build on the skills introduced in unit one and unit two by developing your technical ability to create patterns and sewing skills in order to produce a final garment. In this unit, we will cover the following:

  • How to measure a person for individual patterns
  • How to create a dress, bodice and skirt block
  • Manipulating pattern blocks to create new pattern styles
  • Working with lay plans and fabric cutting
  • Sewing calico toiles and assessing for proper fitting
  • Creating a finished garment

Fashion Collection


In this unit, you will develop your first cohesive fashion collection. This includes everything from the initial client brief, to creating brand identity, to research and logo design, to responding to current trends through to final presentation of design work. The best way to predict the future is to create it. In this unit, we will cover the following:

  • Trend forecasting
  • Concept boards
  • Design development
  • Brand identity
  • Fashion collection line-up
  • Fashion marketing and promotion
  • Pricing

Computer Aided Design(CAD) - Illustrator for Fashion


In this unit, you will learn the tools of Adobe Illustrator to create fashion drawings and collection line-ups through video tutorials and written notes to help you develop your own individual style. In this unit, we will cover the following:

  • Learning the tools of the software
  • How to create technical drawings - fashion flats
  • Working with supplied croquis
  • Creating a personal drawing style
  • Introducing colour
  • Creating a line-up

Individual Project


In this unit, you will bring together all that you have learned in one cohesive project, applying the knowledge and skills you have developed. You will present a project showing your understanding of how the design process works from concept to completion, we will cover the following:

  • Development of personal skills
  • Experimenting with ideas
  • Looking at creative design solutions
  • Develop project and time management skills
  • Industry specific presentation skills
  • Presenting a body of work to add to your portfolio
  • A reflective journal

Professional Development


This unit covers what you need to know in order to set-up your own fashion design business or work within an established studio or with an established designer. You will be encouraged to analyse the strengths and weaknesses within your own work and to develop a career plan, with the help of your tutor. Throughout this unit you will become aware of what is required of a fashion designer from a personal and professional presentation point of view. In this unit, we will cover the following:

  • Portfolio presentation
  • Career guidance
  • Career paths
  • Interview techniques
  • Business structures
  • Interview presentation