Fashion Design

Fashion Design - exchange


Fashion Design


Year 3


1 (September - January)




Dutch / English (please see below for more information on language)

Programme for exchange students Fashion Design


ECTS credits:

Code and description 2024-2025:

Minor 'What is Fashion?'



Click on code in schedule above to download course description (pdf).

Minor 'What is Fashion? in short

  • You develop a vision of fashion and design in a current social context and you work towards a public presentation
  • You work on your own research and / or design project
  • In your work you learn to make the connection between your fascinations, what you think and feel and the spirit of the times

Course information

In the minor 'What is Fashion?' you look for what fashion can be to an audience by designing and making prototypes. Fashion is not just about clothes. It is much more than that. Fashion is linked to what is going on in society and the world. For the minor 'What is Fashion?' you learn in your work to make the connection between your fascinations, what you think and feel and the spirit of the times.

In this design minor you work on your own research and / or design project. You choose your own topic and decide what you want to make and for which audience your project is intended. You will work on a series that refers to fashion in the broadest sense of the word and a presentation thereof that suits your subject and you.

You work in your project under the supervision of teachers who approach the field from multiple perspectives. You develop a vision on fashion and design and you show which story you want to tell an audience. This does not necessarily only have to be done in clothing, but it can also be done in other media forms such as film, performance or installations.

The project period has a structure in which supervision, peer-to-peer exchange of feedback and presentations alternate. You work independently and under your own direction. The guidance is aimed at getting your project done from start to finish and showing your work in a final presentation.

What will you learn?

Phase 1: By creating you arrive at a research question, a visual proposal for your project. In which medium do you want to work, for whom, what is your project about? You present your proposal during "Market". For example, you go for a clothing collection for employees in a company, you research new materials and experiment with new connections or you delve into gender issues.

Under the guidance of various design teachers, you will further develop your idea into one or more prototypes. You work in the studio, use workshops and play with a variety of visual and technical skills. You present the first prototypes to teachers, fellow students and peers: is my work now doing what I hope it does?

Phase 2: You continue to work on the prototypes until all design questions have been resolved. You present your project to experts and explain your vision and working method. With all the feedback you have collected, you will work on to the next round of prototypes. You present these and prepare for the final presentation.

Phase 3: The last two weeks you will work on the final presentation of your project. With your work you show your vision on fashion and what you wanted to say with the project. Then the assessment will also take place.

Learning goals

  1. Independently set up a design or research project in the context of fashion and develop it into a presentation.
  2. Integrate previously acquired knowledge, skills and attitudes into your own project.
  3. Independently shape your personal fascination in the design process.
  4. Organize meetings that help you further realize your (research) project.
  5. Reflect on your process and adjust if necessary.
  6. To be able to communicate about your choices.
  7. Demonstrate the significance of the project for your position in your field and field of work.

Place in the curriculum and related courses

This course is an elective minor in year 3 of the Bachelor of Fashion Design.

Portfolio requirements

A portfolio should be a collection of your best and most recent work. It is a crucial part of your application. The portfolio helps HKU evaluate your achievements and potential and represents your view of yourself and your work.


The digital portfolio should include fifteen to twenty photos or slides. Fewer pieces might not offer an accurate assessment of your potential.

For Fashion Design it is very important that your portfolio shows that

  • you are able to collaborate with other designers,
  • your work focusses on exploring more than just on designing fashion,
  • you are able to tell a story with your work,
  • you are able to think in series and work processually,
  • you are socially engaged,
  • you have courage,
  • you dare to experiment.


Please note that within this minor students from different HKU programs and students from various art and design programs from other institutions in the Netherlands will participate as well as 3rd year HKU Fashion Design students.


The Bachelor programme of Fashion Design is mainly taught in Dutch and exchange students are expected to be able to understand some Dutch. It is quite common that exchange students don't understand Dutch on a high level when they start at Fashion Design and you will of course be supervised in English.

During the Exchange period students get a buddy who will help them finding their way in the curriculum & school and will translate the essentials of classes.