Students and teacher in A Level Art class at DLD College London

Want a Career in Fashion? Top Tips and the Best A Level Subjects to Choose

10th December 21

Why study fashion?

Fashion is a continually growing, innovative industry that offers fantastic career prospects for those who love to design, create and make as well as those who love fashion and want to get into one of many other job role that are available – from marketing to merchandising.

According to the British Fashion Council, the UK fashion industry contributes £32 billion a year to the UK economy, and it’s an industry that continues to grow year-on-year.

DLD College London student on the college balcony

Preparing for a career in fashion at DLD College London

London is a global fashion capital, attracting both up and coming and established talent every year, so there’s no better place to prepare for your future career in fashion than studying at DLD College London – located on the South Bank of the River Thames in the very heart of one of the most iconic and inspiring capital cities in the world.

Creative students love the Arts provision at DLD. It is a thriving department equipped with first class facilities including two Art Studios, a Photography Studio, Graphic Communications classroom equipped with the latest Apple Macs, and a Fashion studio. The expert teachers will build and develop your skills and creativity, as well as preparing you for further study and the demands of the workplace. Each year our students achieve amazing results that help them progress on to prestigious universities around the UK and internationally.

What A Levels should I take for a career in fashion?

Entry requirements for fashion degree courses will vary, so it’s worth checking (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service website) to see what the entry requirements are for the course you’re interested in. However most universities will look for an Art and Design related course as well as subjects in humanities, English and Maths.

A Level Art and Design complements many of the other humanities subjects offered at DLD College London because it often contains elements of them. For example, English Literature, Sociology and History are endless resources that leading artists the world over have drawn upon to inspire their work.

Other creative subjects that can complement the study of Art could include A Level Photography and A Level Graphic Communication. This is because they also involve analysing and responding to visual culture, society and contemporary ideas and issues.

When selecting A Level subjects for a career in fashion, it can be helpful to combine a creative subjects with a numerate subject, such as A Level Business Studies, A Level Mathematics and Further Mathematics or A Level Economics.

DLD College London Art & Design Class

What are the different career options in fashion?

Fashion is a rapidly growing industry with a vast range of careers available, depending on what inspires you the most. It would be impossible to list every job available in the fashion industry, but the most common career paths include becoming a fashion designer, garment technologist, textile designer, fashion illustrator, pattern cutter, stylist or fashion buyer.

Other careers in fashion include PR, journalism, marketing, business management, make-up artistry advertising, photography, personal shopping, creative directing, visual merchandising and many more. The opportunities really are endless!

Check out fashion careers websites such as and, to see the variety of roles on offer.

What are the entry requirements for a fashion degree?

For applicants with A Levels, most universities will require you to have studied an Art and Design related course as well as subjects in humanities, English and Maths. Universities also typically require you to have at least four or five GCSE grades of C or above.

Due to the high volume of applications for fashion degree courses, the leading universities will ask for top grades at A Level, or Distinction grades or above at BTEC.

At DLD, our academic results are outstanding. In 2021, A Level students achieved a 100% pass rate with 82% of grades at A*- B – the best set of results in the school’s 90-year history. What’s more, we have a 100% record in placing students onto prestigious Art courses at leading universities, including fashion, on completion of their A Level studies – so when you study at DLD, you’ll give yourself a great chance of moving on to a top university.

Fashion students at DLD College London

How can I boost my chances of getting onto a fashion degree course?

Universities are also likely to ask for a portfolio of art work, so studying Art and Design A Level will be helpful in getting this together. Remember that if you don’t study Art you will still need to make time to develop your portfolio alongside your other subjects.

Fashion is an intensely competitive subject, so being able to demonstrate a genuine interest in the industry through undertaking work experience, volunteering, blogging or taking part in other learning opportunities, such as competitions, will help your university application stand out.

DLD College London has excellent relationships with leading universities and businesses. Our students benefit from a variety of trips, competitions and visits from guest speakers to support their learning.

In recent years Art students from DLD have won various regional and national awards, including first, second and highly commended awards in the annual ISA Art Competition and even having work displayed in the Royal Academy’s Young Artists’ Summer Show.

In addition to Instituto Marangoni, DLD IFP students can progress to a wide range of universities and fashion, design and marketing undergraduate degrees. These include University of Arts London (UAL), Royal Holloway London, Newcastle University and University of Southampton.

Which are the best universities for fashion?

UK universities are globally renowned for their outstanding resources, state of the art facilities and access to experts from the world of fashion.

The top ten ranking universities in the UK for fashion and textiles courses, according to the Guardian University Guide 2022, are listed below:

  1. Loughborough University
  2. University of Central Lancashire
  3. Kingston University
  4. London Metropolitan University
  5. Staffordshire University
  6. University of Edinburgh
  7. Bucks New University
  8. University of the Arts London
  9. University of Wales, Trinity Saint David
  10. University of Chester

What qualifications are available in fashion for international students?

DLD also offers a Fashion Management pathway as part of our International Foundation Programmes (IFP).

This is a one-year intensive course, designed as an alternative to A Levels, which trains and inspires future fashion professionals with acute commercial awareness and prepares international students for undergraduate study in a range of fashion-based courses.

What’s more, DLD College London has exclusive progression agreements in place with the leading fashion colleges, including world renowned Istituto Marangoni. All Merit and Distinction level students from the IFP Fashion Management pathway are given unconditional, guaranteed places for Fashion Management or Fashion Communications degree courses at either the London, Milan or Paris schools. Students at Pass level are invited to interview and asked to bring along a portfolio.

Conde Naste College of Fashion Design in London also offers guaranteed interviews open to International Foundation Programme students.

Fashion student working at DLD College London

To find out more about our outstanding Art Department, view our dedicated web page here.


Want to learn more?

We are delighted that you are interested in DLD College London.

The best way to learn more about our special and unique college is to contact us to arrange a visit.

We look forward to welcoming you.