Fashion and Clothing

Level 3 Extended Diploma

Course code
Type of study
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If a career in fashion appeals to you and you’re creative, interested in clothing, drawing and photography, this course is for you. It’s a unique and broad-ranging course covering all aspects of the fashion design process from construction, graphics and fashion photography.

Working within a commercial context, you will select customers to design for, gather and record inspiration to help you develop garment ideas while learning the intricate techniques of pattern cutting and garment construction in our specialist pattern cutting rooms. You will take part in illustration workshops to give you the skills to communicate your designs to others.

Most of our students continue to Higher Education including places at prestigious universities such as London College of Fashion, East London and Epsom. Others have embarked upon internships in London, or progressed into a career in retail.



A minimum of five GCSEs at grades A*-C, including English and one art based subject; alternatively you will be accepted if you have gained successful completion of a BTEC First Diploma at Merit or Distinction grade.

Where possible recent examples of 3D work
You are also advised to bring in sketchbooks from year 10 and 11
Finally any of your own textiles or fashion work that you may have completed in your own time (if applicable)

The course is very practical, and you will be learning many aspects used widely in the fashion and textiles industry such as fashion illustration, print making, and garment design, basic stitching and construction.

You will be set briefs to work to within which you will need to complete initial observational studies in the form of drawings and photographs to inspire your fashion and textiles outcomes.

You will explore the concept of trend prediction, and identify the varying the job roles within the fashion industry such as marketing, buying, design and so on.

You will be set live projects by industry specialists to give you a good insight into the fashion industry, in the second year you will also help organise a fashion show to show case your designs, this will include planning hair, make up, the music for your models to walk to and so on.

There will be opportunities to visit galleries, exhibitions and fashion shows to provide further insight into the industry.


You will be taught practically, techniques and specialist skills will be demonstrated and discussed with you, and you will then re-generate what you have seen in your own creative style.

You will keep a sketch book with all samples, designs and your thoughts and artist/designer research to demonstrate your development and how you reached and realised your final outcomes. At times you will work in a self-directed format, planning your own time, researching, and exploring your own design concepts.

Each project will cover specific units; over the two years of the course you will have covered many units. Each unit is assessed at Pass, Merit or Distinction grade attributing to a final overall grade at the end of the course. Those wanting to continue onto higher education will need to receive a merit grade or above to obtain the required amount of UCAS points.

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My experience at South Downs has been decent, I’ve met lots of people, its been great to be honest, I’ve really enjoyed it.

Oliver Smith, A Level student

College is definitely worth all the effort you put in, you get to meet lots of different people and it’s amazing.

Ebony Puttock, A Level student

I’m very, very happy, I didn’t expect to do so well. The College has been helpful and supportive. I loved my courses, and the teachers were really good – every single one of them. The facilities are great, but it’s the staff that really make this place.

Matthew Randell, A Level student


Many of our students will continue onto Higher Education.

Students will take part in a project to learn the skills of presenting fashion in order to prepare them for their interviews and helping them to achieve a high quality portfolio.

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