Bachelor's degree, full-time studies

Degree Programme in Fashion and Costume Design
Bachelor of Culture and Arts, 240 ECTS

muotoilija (AMK), Bachelor of Culture and Arts

  • Programme
  • Curricula
  • Implementations


A designer (Bachelor of Culture and Arts) is able to interpret social messages related to style and the world of fashion. Would you like to become a fashion designer, costumier, costume designer, fashion journalist, or stylist?

Clothing is communication between people. After having completed the studies, you can design and make garments and fashion collections which enable you to consciously express yourself. You can adapt and interpret social messages and trends of style and the fashion world from the visual, aesthetic and functional points of view.

You will master design methods and tools, know the materials and manage the production of garments. You will be able to direct the process with an entrepreneurial approach.
In costume design, the degree programme will provide a comprehensive view of the field of performing arts, giving you the readiness to act as a designer in both domestic and international productions. You will understand the working process through the manuscript from an idea to a ready, final outcome, such as an individual costume, music video, advertisement, dance work, theatrical performance, TV programme or film.

You learn to work in teams comprising professionals from your own field and from other fields. You will also learn to communicate about your work outside of your own professional field.

Degree programme description

Design work is learned by doing. Learning is based on the student's own active role.
The studies include very little instruction in the form of lectures. Instead, all study modules contain various learning tasks, together with one larger assignment which integrates all the objectives; for example, designing and making a collection and presenting it at a fashion show. In addition, you will learn to document and analyze your projects.

Design is learned in cooperation with teachers and other students. Observing and assessing the work of your fellow students is just as important as your own work. The teachers instruct and guide you to the basics of your professional field. In addition, they will encourage you in finding and developing your own views and creativity. During the contact lessons in workshops, you learn the basics of making garments and using various machines, devices and software. After being introduced to the basics, you will then continue to practice independently.

The studies include a wide range of projects which give you the opportunity to create networks with actors from your own professional field.
These projects are commissioned by real companies or other organizations. In addition, the students will organize their own events, such as fashion shows. Fashion and costume design students have also participated in international design competitions and fashion shows successfully.

Fashion and costume design students have participated in competitions such as the Frankfurt Style Awards, being three times in the finals, once winning and once achieving the third place. The students have also been successful at the Etno Moda fashion competition in St. Petersburg.

Examples of fashion and costume design projects include the films Tuntematon sotilas (The Unknown Soldier), the TV series Valmentaja (Coach) and Karppi. The students have worked as costume trainees in these productions.
The education is based on core competence and complementary competence studies. Core competence studies, which are common to all Xamk students, focus on the basics of your professional field on the degree level. In the complementary studies you can choose courses that interest you from your own field or from other professional fields.

Practical training is part of the degree studies, worth 30 ECTS credits and equaling an estimated 21 calendar weeks of work altogether. The extent of the Bachelor’s thesis is 15 ECTS credits.

Core competence studies consist of the following study units and cover 135 ECTS credits altogether:
• Professional design: Study and career planning, Design thinking, Portfolio
• Language studies: Communication skills, Professional English, Professional Swedish
• Workshop: Material workshop, Colour and surface
• Applying art: Art and design history, Fine arts, Formgiving
• Visualisation: Photography and image processing, Graphic design software, Presentation and illustration techniques
• Methods: research and development skills, User understanding, CAD software
• Creative economy: Future research, Design entrepreneurship, From idea to innovation
• Bachelor’s thesis
• Practical training

Complementary competence studies cover 105 ECTS credits and include the following study units:
• Fashion at time: Introduction to stylist's and costume designer's work, Clothing and fashion history, Fashion collection design
• Person, role and style: Pattern cutting, 3D-development and texture, Implementation and documentation of a fashion collection design
• Experience and event: Fashion, style and brand, Production for events, Garments as experience
• RDI-project: Costume design and characterization, Project and research

Implementation of studies and flexible learning tracks

As a full-time student, you participate in contact lessons that are mainly held on weekdays. Different learning methods and environments vary in your studies: contact lessons, learning tasks done independently, exams, teamwork, online studies, projects and practical training.

The studies require plenty of independent work in the workshop facilities in the evenings and at weekends.

Study flexibility. At the beginning of your studies, you will prepare a personal study plan with the help of your studies coordinator. You will get support in the choices that are related to your studies, practical training, final thesis and internationalization. The objective is that you could plan your studies as well as possible according to your own life situation.

Full-time study

The studies provide you with the opportunity to choose the learning track that is suitable for your own situation. Before choosing, discuss the options available and the contents of your personal study plan with the studies coordinator. You can choose:
• scheduled track
• independent track or
• blended track.

The scheduled track means that you study according to a set timetable in accordance with the curriculum, participating in group instruction and completing independent learning tasks. The scheduled track enables completion of studies within the standard time.

If you wish to accelerate your transition to work, you can choose the independent track. If you have earlier work experience in the field from the past 10 years, it is possible to integrate it as part of the degree. You can also choose studies from other teaching groups or do online studies. The independent track suits a goal-oriented student who is capable of working independently.

You can choose the blended track if you are employed in duties corresponding to your field of study. When choosing this track, you must agree on cooperation with your employer. You can complete courses at your workplace either completely or partially. The development of your knowhow requires getting familiar with the course content and showing your competence through learning tasks or competence demonstration. You always have to agree on the performance of a learning task with the course lecturer in advance.

Career opportunities

After graduating as a designer, you are capable of working in numerous tasks/jobs in the field of fashion and costume design. In the field of fashion design you can act as a fashion or costume designer, organizer of fashion shows or events, fashion journalist or stylist for individual customers, fashion photography and publications. In the field of costume design you can work as a costume designer, costumier or as a wardrobe master. You can costume theatrical performances, TV programmes, films and plays or design costumes for artists.

The education also gives competence to work in counselling tasks and in the field of vocational education. Becoming an entrepreneur is one good alternative. It is even possible to establish your own business/ company during your studies, and Xamk will support it with extensive entrepreneurship studies.

A professional graduating from the field of fashion and costume design is primarily a producer of experiences. Customers may live the experience during the ordering or manufacturing process or when using an individual product. The experience can be a theatrical performance, music video or concert. It can also be a fashion show or an article, which relates to fashion and contains fashion photography with a stylist’s touch.

Future challenges in the field of textile and fashion are related to production and recycling of textile materials. It is vital for professionals of fashion and costume design to stay up to date with the development and inform and direct customers in their choices. As a professional, it is necessary to know the needs and preferences of different target groups and follow the trends. Participation in international exhibitions, trade fairs and seminars is also a part of the profession.

Is your dream profession
• fashion designer
• costumier
• fashion designer
• fashion journalist
• buyer in a clothes shop or draper's shop
• stylist
• entrepreneur or
• designer?

RDI and cooperation with world of work

Realization of the RDI project and learning tasks related to it, study/research plan and the project. You will learn to analyze manuscripts and adapt them in costume design and/or pay attention to a target group in the design of collections.

You may carry out the RDI customer projects individually or in working groups/teams. The theme can be:
• fashion design
• events
• theatre production
• costumes for a short film or music video
• styling of an event or a special celebration
• designing a collection for your own company/business
• anything else that you could imagine!

Learning environments

Kouvola campus provides modern study facilities, computer classes and workshops. The workshop building Paja gives the students an opportunity to make prototypes and finished products according to their designs. The fashion/costume workshop is equipped with the necessary machines and devices, providing the opportunity to print and dye fabrics and remodel materials. In the workshop, there is a pattern cutting program available and a sublimation printer in use for patterning synthetic fibers, together with a laser shredder for processing materials.