With a rich heritage from the end of the 19th century to the contemporary footwear industry, this degree will help to equip you with the skills and experience to set you apart in the fashion sector. You will be working directly with industry professionals and big brands to gain valuable insights into new products and technologies.
Throughout the course your shoe design and technical making skills will be developed, emphasising the crucial relationship between design and manufacture and the needs of the footwear industry. You can specialise in performance footwear, which is unique for a UK university, or men’s, women’s, or children’s footwear.
You will develop drawing and illustration, bespoke biomechanics and model prototyping skills, along with the ability to present and communicate ideas and concepts to a high professional standard. You will learn technical modern shoemaking skills and make a range of prototype shoes using our excellent specialist studio facilities, including 3D design equipment.
- We have been recognised as one of the most sustainable fashion schools in the country as winners of the Next Generation Learning and Skills Award in the Green Gown Awards 2021.
- Work on live projects with industry experts to gain valuable skills and experience. Recent briefs have been set by TOMs, New Balance and Sophia Webster.
- Benefit from opportunities to enter prestigious national and international competitions to boost your industry exposure. Previous graduates have won a number of accolades, including first prizes at the Lineapelle Footwear Competition, the prestigious Bata International Design Award and the Moda Footwear Competition.
- This course has a global reputation with industry experts, with recent graduates employed as designers, buyers and agents for well-known names, including Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney and Kurt Geiger.
- Become a responsible and forward-thinking designer with the tools to adapt and innovate in the rapidly evolving world of fashion.
- Gain valuable international experience as part of your studies with our DMU Global programme. Previous trips have taken students to visit shoe factories, tanneries and exhibitions in Italy, France and Spain.
- The award-winning Vijay Patel Building provides both the space and the facilities to foster creative thinking, where ideas can develop and flourish for all of our art and design students.
- We provide core workshop materials at no cost, and give cash awards – £150, £200 and £300 in years one, two and three respectively – to support personal materials/printing costs*.
Structure and assessment
- 2D/3D Pattern Engineering and Construction
- Manufacturing Technology
- Trends and Product Development
- 3D CAD 1
- Illustration and Visual Communication
- Design Cultures 1
- Global Live design 1
- Pro-style Trend 3D CAD 2
- Introduction to Fashion/Footwear Business
- Progressive Trend and Product Development
- Classic Bespoke and Biomechanical Performance
- Design Cultures 2
- Global Live Design 2
- Advanced Technical Studies and Portfolio
- Design Cultures 3
- Final Major Project
Facilities and features
Art and design facilities
You will have access to large open-plan studios, 3D design equipment and specialist shoemaking workshops. Technical support and further workshops are available for producing individual prototype components such as soles, heels and trims.
The main Kimberlin Library is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year (other than in exceptional circumstances) and offers a huge range of online resources, all of which can be remotely accessed from anywhere you choose.
The library is run by dedicated staff who offer additional support to students, including help with academic writing, research strategies, literature searching and reference management and assistive technology, and mathematical skills for non-maths students. There is also a Just Ask service for help and advice, available via email or telephone.
Our Learning Zones and the The Greenhouse also provide space for group or individual work and study.
There are 1,600 study places across all library locations, more than 700 computer stations, laptops to borrow, free wi-fi and desktop power outlets.
You can also book rooms with plasma screens, laptops and DVD facilities for group work and presentations, secure an individual study room with adjustable lighting or make use of our assistive technology.
Opportunities and careers
There will be opportunities to take up an industry placement position by students to complement and support their area of study. This could be for research, design development, lab tests or case study activities. Those wishing to take up this option can take this between year two and final year of study. For shorter placements students will be found a suitable placement if available, this will be dependent on their area of study.
This is our innovative international experience programme which aims to enrich your studies and expand your cultural horizons – helping you to become a global graduate, equipped to meet the needs of employers across the world. Through #DMUglobal, we offer a wide range of opportunities including on-campus and UK activities, overseas study, internships, faculty-led field trips and volunteering, as well as Erasmus+ and international exchanges.
Several dedicated study, research or inspirational focused trips related to this programme will be made available to you. They include Italy, Spain and Paris, each with a different research or inspiration purpose available for you.
Upon successful completion of the course you will have the opportunity to go into careers within footwear design, technical, buying and marketing.
Previous graduates are working as designers, buyers or agents for companies such as Gucci, New Balance, L.K.Bennett, Dr. Martens, Irregular Choice, Lacoste, Kickers, Kurt Geiger, Adidas, Dune, Levi’s, Office, Next and Georgina Goodman both in the UK and overseas.
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