• CollegeLCF
  • Start dateSeptember 2018
  • Course length3 years
  • UCAS codeW230

BA (Hons) Bespoke Tailoring

Applications closed 2018/19
Applications for 2018/19 entry to this course have now closed. Visit the Clearing page for a full list of UAL courses that are open for application.

This specialist degree in bespoke tailoring will teach you design, pattern drafting and tailoring, together with academic, research, industry awareness and presentation skills, leading to a career in Savile Row or alternative bespoke destinations.

About this course

The BA (Hons) Bespoke Tailoring course is situated in the School of Design and Technology, and provides a highly specialist programme devoted to handcraft tailoring methods. The College and the course have extensive links with Savile Row, the home of bespoke tailoring, as well as with tailors in the more recent locations for bespoke in the West End and Soho. Students on this programme learn the skills of design, pattern drafting and tailoring, together with academic, research, industry awareness and presentation skills. This balance ensures that our graduates are fully equipped to take up a number of employment options within the industry.

Weaving the Future: Tailors of tomorrow - renowned tailor and cloth merchant Scabal, talks to LCF bespoke tailoring student, Emily Latham.

Weaving the Future: Tailors of tomorrow - renowned tailor and cloth merchant Scabal, talks to LCF bespoke tailoring student, James Eardley.

Savile Row tailoring course.
Work by BA (Hons) Bespoke Tailoring student Andreas Feet-Martinsen

Andreas Feet-Martinsen, 2013 - view Showtime profile

Images by Samuel Dougal
Work by Samuel Dougal
A male model in chinos and a grey blazer

Naemi Miyazu, 2013 - view Showtime profile

Work by BA (Hons) Bespoke Tailoring student Linh Tran Ngoc

Linh Tran Ngoc, 2012 - view Showtime profile

Work by BA (Hons) Bespoke Tailoring student Lucy Seabrook

Lucy Seabrook, 2013 - view Showtime profile

Work by BA (Hons) Bespoke Tailoring student Wendy Ho

Wendy Ho, 2013 - view Showtime profile


Course detail

This course is subject to revalidation. Revalidation is a process that makes sure students get a high quality academic experience. During revalidation there may be some changes to course content. Please contact us if you have any questions about this course.

The opportunity for students to showcase work in a variety of industry related areas is of great benefit to students on this course.

Recent projects with the industry include Casual Bespoke with Timothy Everest and Reinventing the Tuxedo with Henry Poole. BA (Hons) Bespoke Tailoring students also collaborated with Hardy Amies and Create London, to highlight the connection between The White House in Dagenham, and the iconic British tailor Hardy Amies, who lived there. They have exhibited their work on Reinventing the Privy Counsellor’s Coatee in Kensington Palace, and a Bespoke Tailoring student won the Collection of the Year at the LCF Fashion Show at Hackney House Shoreditch.

Course structure

Year one  -  stage one  -  level 4  -  120 credits 

Term one: Introduction to Bespoke Tailoring (20 credits); Tailoring Techniques (20 credits)

Term two: Introduction to Cultural and Historical Studies (20 credits); Research, Design and Tailoring (20 credits)

Term three: Cutting, Fitting and Tailoring (40 credits)


Year two  -  stage two  -  level 5  -  120 credits

Term one: Cultural and Historical Studies (20 credits); Technology in Tailoring (20 credits)

Term two: Industry Project (40 credits)

Term three: Research Methods (20 credits); Industry Placement (20 credits)


Third year  -  stage three  -  level 6  -  120 credits

Term one: Concept Development for Tailoring (40 credits)

Terms one, two and three: Contextualising Your Practice (20 credits)

Terms two and three: Major Project Realisation (60 credits)

Students on this course might be invited to participate in study trips. This may involve, for example, visits to key areas of capital cities, factories, stores and museums. Attendance on these trips is not compulsory but recommended. Details regarding timings and costs will be issued closer to the relevant trips.

Course units

Year one

In the first term you will study two units.

Introduction to Bespoke Tailoring introduces you to your course and its subject specialism as well as to effective learning and studentship at undergraduate level. It will orientate you to the practices and knowledge-base needed to understand your discipline and help you to develop your skills for independent & collaborative learning, reflection and your own self development. Students come from many diverse educational backgrounds and a part of this unit will enable you to reflect on your own background and how that shapes the way you approach your course.

Tailoring Techniques introduces you to the essential technical skills required for the development and production of garments for bespoke tailoring. Through workshop demonstration and practice you will learn about the materials and processes involved, along with the pattern drafting, construction handling techniques that are necessary to become a successful tailored garment developer. You will also learn about the health and safety requirements within the workshop areas.

In the second term you will study two units.

Introduction to Cultural and Historical Studies introduces you to key concepts and ways of thinking about fashion and its context in society and culture. You will attend lectures, seminars and workshops, and do a significant amount of reading of academic texts in order to complete a formal academic essay for assessment. Completion of this unit will allow you to make an informed choice of subject for study in the second year Cultural and Historical Studies unit.

Research, Design and Tailoring introduces you to the contexts relevant to design, cutting and technical processes for bespoke tailoring. The unit introduces the principles of research and analysis as the basis for creative thinking, cutting and development of technical skills, and will give you a coherent framework for future two and three dimensional development. You will explore ways of recording research in visually stimulating, appropriate and informative ways, using a variety of methods to make clear the design, cut and construction of a tailored garment..

In the third term theCutting, Fitting and Tailoring unit gives you the opportunity to build on the knowledge and skills acquired so far, and progress your technical development through the cutting of ‘bespoken’ garments, using the principles of measurement taking, pattern drafting and first fittings. You will make a tailored garment that has been cut, fitted and constructed to a set body specification. You will begin to analyse the principles of tailoring and construction methods within a social, cultural and historical context and begin to see how this relates to your own aspirations, technical interests and creative development.

Year two

In the first term you will be able to study a Cultural and Historical Studies unit of your choice that will broaden or deepen your learning of areas relating to your interests in your chosen field. You will have the opportunity to participate in lectures, seminars and workshops with students from other courses within your School, and will read relevant academic texts and complete a formal academic essay for assessment. 

Also in the first term the Technology in Tailoring unit will further your technical abilities by introducing you to, and allowing you to explore, a range of technologies used in bespoke tailoring practice. You will be introduced to the supporting technologies of Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Computer Aided Manufacture (CAM). Specialist machinery will be introduced to further develop your skills and understanding. CAD CAM skills are important in the contemporary fashion industry and will increase your employability and support your development as an innovative designer.

In the second term you will undertake the Industry Project which will allow you to develop a personal response to a client brief in an industry context.  You will use your critical judgement to develop appropriate solutions as you experiment with a variety of techniques for the development of 3D outcomes. You will be expected to evaluate and justify your decisions for the development and selection of your outcomes for a specified company, organisation or brand. The importance of market awareness will be emphasised, together with an appreciation of quality, make and finish in relation to an identified market level. You will critically analyse the brief and further develop your professional presentation and communication skills through this project, and you will begin to identify your personal strengths, interests and career aspirations.  

In the third term you study two units.

The Research Methods unit provides a broad overview of the different critical and methodological approaches to research and introduces you to a range of research methods. You will learn more about the role of research in design and technology, the relationship between primary and secondary sources, and ways of developing and originating research. This will prepare you for later projects where considerable research skills are needed to underpin your work.

The Industry Placementunit gives you the opportunity to gain first hand knowledge and experience through work placement in the second half of the term within the fashion and / or tailoring industries. This will enhance your professional, interpersonal and organisational skills, as well as the chance to make contacts and build relationships with members of the industry who may be helpful in your future career. Preparation through seminars and tutorials in the previous term will support you in your placement, and you will be expected to keep an online reflective journal to record, critically evaluate and reflect on your experience and learning. At the end of your placement you will be required to give a verbal and visual presentation incorporating your study of the company and your analysis of the skills, experience and career preparation that you have gained.

Year three

In the first term you will undertake the Concept Development for Tailoring unit. This gives you the opportunity to reflect on your learning to date and use this to develop a negotiated project, with appropriate aims and outcomes. The identification of research themes, together with the thorough testing of your ideas and concepts through experimentation, sampling, design development and prototype testing will result in a portfolio of work containing evidence of this, prototypes for a four outfit bespoke collection, and a written reflective statement.

Contextualising Your Practice in the first and second term affords you the opportunity to demonstrate your understanding of the critical and analytical perspectives developed within cultural and historical theory and your ability to apply these in a specific study. You will research the topic you identified in the Research Methods unit, which will lead to the production of an extended essay. It is the opportunity for you to undertake a substantial piece of structured research that examines in depth practical and theoretical issues related to your field of practice; it will build on the critical debates and concerns raised throughout your course.

The Major Project Realisation in the second and third terms is the culmination of your undergraduate learning experience and allows you the opportunity to demonstrate specialist skills and specific interests through responding to challenges in an innovative way. Building on the work done through the Concept Development for Tailoring unit, you will identify your strongest outcomes and formulate your extended project. This will result in you realising a range of bespoke tailoring garments, together with supporting design related outcomes.

Showing your work

All students are advised to set up a profile on portfolio.arts.ac.uk, UAL’s new portfolio platform, which can be done at any point during your time at LCF and will last for up to 12 months after graduation. This platform is often used to source student work for promotional use on the website, social media and for print and can be a great way of getting your work seen. You may also be asked to have a portfolio profile for the selection process when it comes to degree shows.


For the BA (Hons) Bespoke Tailoring course students have access to an up to date range of machinery and equipment that is comparable to that used currently in the bespoke tailoring industry. Our library has a tailoring archive containing books and periodicals on tailoring from the 1800s through to the present day and a specialist collection of Savile Row bespoke suits.

Jacqueline Sealy is the Course Leader for BA Bespoke Tailoring. She graduated from London College of Fashion with qualifications in Garment Making and Clothing. She has worked extensively in the industry as a sample machinist, pattern cutter, sample room manager and production manager for a number of companies, including Ally Cappellino, Selina Blow, and SR Gent, who supplied Marks and Spencer, Richard Shops and C & A. Jacqueline has a Certificate in Education and has worked within the University in a variety of technical and teaching roles.

Daniel Poulson is a design tutor and teaches the 2D design on this course.He is a talented womenswear designer & tailor. Having trained at KingstonUniversity, Daniel went on to design for the Max Mara Group beforelaunching his own collection, 'Daniel Blake', which he presented over tenseasons at London Fashion Week. Renowned for his impeccable cutting inluxurious fabrication, Daniel's innovative British made tailoring is uniquelycrafted to flatter the body. Daniel presents bi-annual collections in Londonand Paris which are 'Made to Order'.In addition to private views Daniel continues to consult for a number ofinternational fashion businesses, advising on branding and productdirection.

Magdalena Handwerker is the sample room tutor and teachesbespoke tailoring on this course. She graduated from LondonCollege of Fashion with Diploma in Pattern Technology and Degreein BA (Hons) Bespoke Tailoring. She has worked in the BespokeTailoring industry as a pattern cutter for several years, and she hasworked with individual clients while creating bespoke garments totheir individual specification. She is a determined craft practitionerwho believes that in the age of the impersonal approach to thecustomer and clothing production, it is extremely important tohave the ability to create a high quality garment made withpassion, care and impeccable attention to detail of a craftsmanalong with contemporary and creative thinking.

Darla Gilroy is the Programme Director for the Design and Craft group of courses, including this one, within the School of Design and Technology. She has worked in design education at undergraduate and postgraduate levels for over twenty years at Cordwainers College, at Winchester School of Art, where she developed a number of research projects, and at the Royal College of Art, where, in addition to being Specialist Tutor in Footwear and Accessories, she undertook a funded research project on the ‘Ethnicity of Cool’. 

Rob Phillips is the Creative Director for the School of Design and Technology. Trained in fashion womenswear, surface textiles: print, menswear and illustration Rob went on to become the Fashion Editor for International Textiles magazine and consultant for fashion brands. Rob's broad skill set of fashion design, process, graphics, presentation, typography, advertising and communication led to his appointment as Creative Director of Fashion Forecast magazine, where his progressive work promoting young fashion talent garnered him much acclaim from industry. Rob continues to nurture talent at LCF across all courses within the School, teaching holistically about fashion, developing the students’ full potential so they can make their unique contribution to the fashion industry. He furthers the work of the College through many routes, including industry projects, collaborations and competitions. He also curates and directs the School’s events including fashion shows, films, photoshoots, publications and exhibitions. Rob continues to contribute to industry as a fashion commentator (BBC, The Guardian, SHOWstudio and more) and as creative consultant for fashion brands.

How to apply

Opportunities for all

We are committed to making university education an achievable option for a wider range of people and seek to recruit students from diverse socio-economic, cultural and educational backgrounds. We are committed to supporting all our students in achieving their potential both during and after their courses.

Home / EU applicants

This section includes information on how to apply, course entry requirements, selection criteria, information about interviews and portfolio advice.

Applications for 2018/19 entry for this course are now closed. Applications for 2019/20 entry will open in Autumn 2018.

You must apply through Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), where you’ll need the following information:

  • University code: U65
  • UCAS code: W230

Go to ‘Apply’ from the UCAS home page, where you will be able to register and create a password that gives you unique access as you complete your application form.

Contact us on: 

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7514 7344

Or you can use the UAL Course Enquiry Form

Please note that the equal consideration deadline is 15 January.

For full details on the application process, visit the Undergraduate application page.

International applicants

This section includes information on how to apply, course entry requirements, selection criteria, information about interviews and portfolio advice.

Applications for 2018/19 entry for this course are now closed. Applications for 2019/20 entry will open in Autumn 2018.

International applicants may apply through one of three routes only:

Further information on applying via UCAS is provided on the Applying through UCAS page.

If applying through UCAS, you will need the following information:

  • University code: U65
  • UCAS code: W230

For full details on the application process, visit the Undergraduate application page.

We continue to accept applications throughout the year, but please note that the equal consideration deadline is 15 January.

For full details on the application process, visit the Undergraduate application page or contact the UAL admissions team who can answer any specific questions that you may have regarding LCF's courses tailored for international students. This can include guidance for your portfolio, advice on the application process and fee advice. We offer a ‘drop-in’ facility for applicants who may be in London and wish to obtain further course and admissions information. 

Entry requirements

Entry to this course is highly competitive: applicants are expected to achieve, or already have, the course entry requirements detailed below.

The standard minimum entry requirements for this course are: 

  • two A Level Passes at Grade C or above; preferred subjects include English, Maths, Art, Design, Textiles and Science;
  • or Pass Foundation Diploma in Art and Design;
  • or Merit, Pass, Pass at BTEC Extended Diploma (Preferred subjects) Art & Design;
  • or Pass at UAL Extended Diploma Access Diploma;
  • or 64 tariff points from the Access to HE Diploma;
  • or 64 new UCAS tariff points (equivalent to 160 old UCAS tariff points) from a combination of the above qualifications or an equivalent full Level 3 qualification;
  • or equivalent EU or non-EU qualifications;
  • and three GCSE passes at grade A*-C.

Exceptionally, applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered if the course team judges the application demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might, for example, be demonstrated by: related academic or work experience; the quality of the personal statement; a strong academic or other professional reference; or a combination of these factors.

English language requirements

All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language you will be asked to provide evidence of your English language ability when you enrol.

The level required by the University for this course is IELTS 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each skill.

Please visit the UAL Language Requirements page. Read carefully and look at the relevant documents.                          

Student selection criteria

What we look for

The course team seeks to recruit students who can demonstrate:

  • Evidence of creative, cultural and tailoring interests
  • A potential to achieve a high standard of technical/fine tailoring
  • An ability to think three-dimensionally
  • An enquiring and analytical approach
  • An ability to communicate visually, verbally and through the written word
  • The ability to work independently and as a member of a team

This might, for example, be demonstrated by: related academic or work experience; the quality of the personal statement, a strong academic or other professional reference; or a combination of these factors.

Portfolio and interview advice

For this course you will be required to upload a mini portfolio. Further instructions will be sent by the course administrator after application submission. International students should contact the International Office at lcf.international@arts.ac.uk to find out about the portfolio application process.

For this course your portfolio should show evidence of: drawing/presentation skills; contemporary fashion/cultural awareness; a level of research, exploration and experimentation; fabric and material selection/knowledge; construction/technical competence; an enquiring approach/problem solving; and visual communication skills.

Applicants will be expected to demonstrate the following at interview: creative, cultural and tailoring interests; the potential to achieve a high standard of technical/fine tailoring; the ability to work independently and as a member of a team; an enquiring and analytical approach; and an ability to communicate visually, verbally and through the written word.

What happens next

All application forms, personal statements and references are read and considered by the course team against the selection criteria listed in the Entry requirements and What we look for sections.

Depending on the quality of your application, you may be asked to submit a number of images of your work. If the course team wish to consider your application further, you will be invited to an interview where the course team will look at your portfolio and ask you questions to establish your suitability for the course. If you are successful at the interview stage you will be offered a place. Applicants are not guaranteed to be asked to upload work, nor are they guaranteed an interview.

Please note that if you are unable to attend the College may not be able to re-schedule.

If you applied through UCAS the result of your application will be communicated to you via UCAS  through ucastrack. You will only receive further communication directly from the College if your application has been successful. This will be in the form of a full offer pack including details of accommodation, fees, and other important information.

Deferred entry

Deferred Entry is normally only allowed in exceptional circumstances. Please contact us before you submit your application if you are considering applying for deferred entry.

Interview week

Applicants on some courses may be invited to attend an Interview. Further details will be sent to you with your interview letter, confirming location and date. International applicants should contact the Admission Office by emailing lcf.international@arts.ac.uk about portfolio requirements (if applicable), interview times and dates.

Potential changes to course structure

Please note: the information outlined is an indicative structure of the course. Whilst we will aim to deliver the course as described on this page, there may be situations where it is desirable or necessary for the University to make changes in course provision, for example because of regulatory requirements or operational efficiencies, before or after enrolment. If this occurs, we will communicate all major changes to all applicants and students who have either applied or enrolled on the course. Please note that due to staff research agreements or availability, not all of the optional modules listed may be available every year. In addition, the provision of course options which depend upon the availability of specialist teaching, or on a placement at another institution, cannot be guaranteed. Please check this element of the course with the course team before making a decision to apply.

Webpage updates

We will update this webpage from time to time with new information as it becomes available. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please use the enquiry form above.

Fees and funding

Home / EU fee


This applies for the 2018/19 academic year.

Tuition fees for undergraduate degree courses have been set at £9,250 per year for full-time study. This applies from the 2017/18 academic year, subject to changes in the law. Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students, in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Please visit our Undergraduate tuition fees page for more information.

International fee


This applies for the 2018/19 academic year.

Additional costs

In addition to tuition fees you are very likely to incur additional costs such as travel expenses and the cost of materials. Please read the information on our additional costs page.


Find out about the accommodation options available and how much they will cost.

Scholarships and awards

There are a number of scholarships and awards available to students on this course. Use our search tool to find out more information.

Scholarships search

Careers and alumni

Developing your skills

All of our undergraduate courses are concerned with the development of your personal and professional skills. On your course you will evolve from learning basic skills in your discipline through to a position where you are an independent creative thinker capable of making an effective contribution to the relevant sector of the fashion industry. Personal and Professional Development (PPD) skills are embedded in all units on every course. Speaker programmes with contributions from alumni, members of industry and others are a part of many courses, as are work placement opportunities in industry.

Graduates who wish to continue their education at postgraduate level are encouraged to progress to suitable courses within the College, the University or elsewhere.

Career paths

Many graduates prefer to seek employment as soon as they have completed their undergraduate studies. Recent graduates from this course have successfully gained employment with a number of bespoke tailors, including H Huntsman & Sons, Timothy Everest, John Pearse, Norton & Sons and Henry Poole & Co, with fashion companies Burberry and Aquascutum, and with the film, television and theatrical costumier, Angels.