Fashion: Design and Production with Retail HNC

UCAS code 132W

What is special about this course?

Are you a dedicated follower of fashion? Could you be setting the trends and seeing your designs come to life?

This course is ideal for anyone wishing to pursue a career in fashion, design, production or retail, with practical projects that allow you to develop highly relevant, sought-after skills.

You will be introduced to new techniques and encouraged to factor them into your own design processes. Advanced manufacturing techniques will enable you to refine your skills, in areas such as: textile technology; pattern construction; fashion design; fashion merchandising; creating patterns to industry standards; commercial design; producing fashion garments; fashion illustration; and millinery.

You'll develop your knowledge of clothing production, store design and layout, and will gain in-depth experience of designing and working with Scotland's famous Harris Tweed.

Special features

  • Fully equipped workroom/studio with beautiful views onto wooded parkland
  • Visit local mills to watch weavers producing the iconic Harris Tweed which you'll be working with
  • Study in and be inspired by the beautiful natural environment of the Outer Hebrides
  • Study with experienced, top quality lecturers, such as Sallie Avis of Sewing Room with a View and Netty Sopata of Diggory Brown


We offer modern student accommodation at a number of our locations.

Entry requirements

  • 2 Highers at grade C or above
  • 2 A levels at grade D or above
  • Preferably in Art, English, Fashion and Textiles, or equivalent
  • Alternatively, NC in Fashion Design and Production or equivalent at SCQF level 5 or 6
  • Evidence of experience or qualifications in Art and Design or a related area
  • Prospective students without the standard entry requirements are encouraged to apply and will be considered on an individual basis
  • If English is not your first language, you must have evidence of your English language skills to IELTS level 5.5 or equivalent
  • Candidates will be asked to attend an interview, where you will be expected to demonstrate your abilities via a portfolio of work

Year 1 - HNC

You will study the following core modules:

  • Fashion: textile technology
  • Garment pattern construction: blocks manipulation and production
  • Fashion: commercial design
  • Fashion merchandising
  • Clothing: production, trimming and finishing techniques
  • Fashion: design and production with retail GU1

You may also study the following optional modules:

  • Fashion: millinery
  • Fashion: fashion illustration
  • Business/fashion: preparing a formal business plan

How will I study my course?

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

Our priority is to provide a safe learning environment for all students and staff. We will continue to review government guidance as lockdown measures shift over the next few months and will inform you of any further changes to the information provided below about your course. You will study the course through our blended learning approach. In semester one, September 2020, the theory elements will be delivered mainly online through a combination of video conference seminars, tutor-supported study and self-directed study using the university's virtual learning environment. You will also have the opportunity to do an online induction at the start of the course. On-campus activities and practical sessions will be introduced in line with the developing Scottish Government public health measures and guidance, including social distancing. We hope to have some practical sessions in semester one, however the majority may be in semester two (from January 2021), where this is not possible alternative options will be available.
  • Full-time
  • Part-time (structured)
  • Part-time (unstructured)
  • You will learn through a combination of  face-to-face practical workshop sessions and lectures, field trips and some online study via the university's virtual learning environment (VLE)

How long will my course last?

  • Full-time: 1 year @ 28 hours per week
  • Part-time (structured): 2 years @ 14 hours per week
  • Part-time (unstructured): Variable

Where can I study my course?

  • Lews Castle College UHI

Start date

  • September


For students normally domiciled in Scotland or the European Union/EEA (outside of the UK) and with a term time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

Higher National Awards (HNC, HND)2019-202020-21
Full-time per year £1,285 £1,285
Part-time (per HN credit) £86 £86

Rest of UK students

For students normally domiciled in the rest of the UK (England, Wales and N. Ireland, including Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) and with a term time address in Scotland studying this course, the following fees apply:

Higher National Awards (HNC, HND)2019-202020-21
Full-time per year £6,720 £6,720
Part-time (per HN credit) £448 £448

Fees are payable in advance each academic year unless otherwise agreed.

There are a number of funding options available to UK and EU students to help you pay for your studies and your cost of living while studying.

International students

For students who do not normally reside in the UK or European Union and with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

Higher National Awards (HNC, HND)2019-202020-21
Full-time per year £6,855 £7,020
Part-time (per HN credit) £457 £468

Part-time study is not open to international student requiring a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK.


External scholarships and financial support may be available. Contact the relevant UHI partner college for more information.

Additional Costs

  • Purchase of materials - grants may be available
  • Field trips to the mainland - in-house fundraising activities will be used to contribute to this expense

What can I do on completion of my course?

Once you have successfully completed this course, you might like to consider careers in areas such as:

  • Design room assistant
  • Freelance designer
  • Production assistant
  • Garment technologist
  • Stylist
  • Fashion allocator
  • Merchandiser
  • Buyer
  • Retail manager
  • Starting your own fashion/retail business

Can I progress into further study?

Upon successful completion of this HNC, you can progress to the HND Fashion: Design and Production with Retail. From there you may progress directly into year 3 of a related degree programme.

Is there more information available online?

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Apply for Fashion: Design and Production with Retail HNC

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2020

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands. We operate a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.