With knowledge and experience, it's possible to gain entry to design positions without a degree - but due to the competitive nature of the industry this is becoming increasingly unlikely.
If you have aspirations to become the next Westwood or McQueen, a fashion design degree is the way to go. Employers and design houses prefer candidates with a related undergraduate qualification, in areas such as fashion, textiles, art and design, knitwear, clothing technology, fashion buying and merchandising.
University courses provide you with historical and contextual knowledge that other routes may not. The Fashion BA at Central Saint Martins (CSM) takes three years to complete full time (or four including a sandwich year). Students can choose from five main pathways: Fashion Design Menswear, Fashion Design Womenswear, Fashion Print, Fashion Design with Knitwear and Fashion Design with Marketing. After two years you'll get the chance to undergo a full-time work placement.
Notable alumni of the CSM BA Fashion course include Stella McCartney and Matthew Williamson.
Universities that provide fashion design courses include:
Central Saint Martins
Nottingham Trent University
Kingston University of London
Manchester School of Art
Manchester Metropolitan University