Develop your existing knowledge and experience as a fashion designer, exploiting our significant research expertise to enhance your own design and research skills to a new level.
We place emphasis on personal research, giving you the chance to develop your own interests and ideas in a challenging and supportive environment. Our aim is to help you to become a creative, imaginative and versatile fashion designer who can operate independently or as a member of a design team.
You can pursue a wide area of investigation when developing your designs. Your course tutors include fashion design specialists in areas including innovative pattern cutting, CAD and fashion technology, fashion marketing, fashion entrepreneurship, fashion craft and sustainability. As well as helping develop your creative design skills, they also help you to identify and shape your future career direction.
There are opportunities to participate in study trips and visits to design conferences and debates.
You choose your own project content and this is supported by lectures and seminars dealing with professional practice issues and reviewing your progress. You also take part in regular group and individual tutorials.
Your final major project is the culmination of your research and studio-based design practice. It demonstrates that you can deal with difficult contemporary questions and take a leading role as a design professional.
We are one of the oldest established art and design institutions in the UK, renowned for producing internationally recognised research. Your projects are supported by lecturers who are fashion design specialists.
Vibrant and supportive learning environment
During the course you regularly take part in constructive critical debates about your own work and that of your peers. You need to communicate your research, ideas and designs in ways that are appropriate to professional leadership.
You study alongside MA and MFA Design students for part of your course and benefit from a vibrant, international, collaborative and supportive postgraduate environment.
Excellent facilities and creative resources
We have professionally equipped design studios and fashion workshops that house digital garment manufacturing equipment, pattern-cutting software and flat-bed cutting equipment. As well as specialist fashion design facilities, you can a use the University’s wider creative facilities including professional photography studios, printing facilities, and laser cutting technology.
You can also access our award-winning learning centre featuring a specialist art, design and media library and extensive online resources.
MA and MFA study
MA and MFA students complete the same modules during the course except that MFA students complete an extra project module. The MFA project encourages you to develop professional skills that help you to identify, instigate, and deliver projects with external partners, such as communities, galleries or businesses. You find a project partner, agree a brief and then deliver the project to a professional standard.
We are normally asked to shortlist applicants before recommending a small number to apply. If this happens, we consider your interview, portfolio of work, academic qualifications and learning aims. We aim to pick people whose abilities and aims are relevant for the company and who are most likely to be successful in a competitive interview.
This course is part of the Sheffield Institute of Arts (SIA), an amazing, diverse community of makers – where staff, students and partners work as equals to deliver real innovation and creativity. SIA opened in 1843 and is one of the UK's oldest Art and Design Schools. We have recently moved into the Head Post Office, a redesigned Grade II listed building. It includes state-of-the-art workshops which provide you with a unique studio-based learning environment in the heart of the creative community.
• project 1 • theory supporting practice
• project 2 • negotiated project
• major project
Semester four – MFA students only
• MFA project
Semester one (year 1)
• theory supporting practice • negotiated project
Semester two (year 2)
• project 1 • project 2
Semester three (year 3)
• major project
Semester four – MFA students only (year 4)
• MFA project
Assessment and feedback are vital parts of the learning process in creative disciplines. Most assessment is through individual project work which combines research and creative practice. Assessment calls for both excellent creative work and well-documented research.
There are many opportunities for employment or self-employment. We encourage you to take an enterprising approach and to strengthen your ability to develop your own business.
An increasing number of our graduates undertake advanced further study through research degrees (PhD) in our Art and Design Research Centre, which has a leading position in the advancement of creative practice in design.
Sheffield is home to the largest concentration of creative production in the region. Support for creative industries in the city has encouraged home grown talent as well as practitioners relocating here.
This exciting programme of study for students wishing to develop the craft and philosophy of costume design for live performance, screen or site-specific installation is unique in its approach.
Our students develop their concepts and creativity by interpreting a text or exploring a theme, thinking about character, movement and the performance environment. Instruction in the skills of pattern cutting, textile manipulation, millinery, puppetry, set design, computer aided design, welding, knitting, illustration and life drawing help students expand their skills base.
Students work on developing a comprehensive understanding of fabric, costume design and cutting, while exploring the historical and dramatic perspectives of the discipline and the process of performance.
This creative freedom and the combination of the practical developing alongside the conceptual, provides our students with a wide range of skills and a flexibility valued and highly respected by the industry.
Postgraduate students are ideally placed to study the interaction between costume and the other arts such as fashion, textiles, jewellery, film and TV, animation, illustration, installation, music and dance, and to take part in collaborations inside and outside of the University.
Thanks to our extensive national and international links with theatre, dance, film, television and opera companies, plus our network of freelance designers, you’ll be supported in sourcing work experience and other hands-on opportunities that will give you real-world skills and experience.
This programme is assessed by the production of a body of practical and written work on an agreed, self-initiated topic which can take advantage of the many local and international performance-based opportunities.
This programme is project-led. Your project could be led by narrative, theme, performance medium. It should offer scope for sustained research and design development for costume design. Study will combine practical studio work with theoretical and written studies, including professional practice elements to prepare you for employment in the industry, and a lecture/seminar series which will examine the wider context of your studies.
Postgraduate studies in performance costume open up access to a wide range of work for the stage and screen. You will benefit from the superb reputation of this programme and may find employment within the spheres of drama, opera, film and television.
Our graduates have an outstanding record of success within the industry, most recently including a costume designer for British television series Downton Abbey, and costume workers on TV series Game of Thrones, Outlander, Poldark, Endeavour and The Halcyon, and on films Star Wars and Doctor Strange.