Fashion: Design and Production with Retail HNC

Course code 132W

What is special about this course?

Bring your love of fashion to life on courses that combine creativity with application. Set in fully-equipped spaces, with views overlooking Stornoway Castle, develop highly relevant, sought-after skills such as textile technology, pattern construction, fashion design, merchandising, commercial design, garment production, fashion illustration, and millinery.

Gain in-depth industry experience of designing and working with Scotland’s famous Harris Tweed, with incredible opportunities to visit local mills, weavers, and artisans.

Special features

  • Fully equipped workroom/studio with industrial machines and views overlooking Stornoway Castle
  • Opportunities to visit local mills, weavers and artisans producing and working with Harris Tweed
  • Study in and be inspired by the beautiful natural environment of the Outer Hebrides
  • Study under the tutorship of lecturers with in-depth knowledge of the Harris Tweed industry and working within the fashion industry at a national and international level


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 modules:

  • Textile technology
  • Fashion illustration with a strong focus on free-hand techniques and an introduction to computer assisted design
  • Garment pattern construction: drafting blocks, manipulation techniques and production patterns
  • Fashion: commercial design
  • Fashion: merchandising
  • Clothing: production, trimming and finishing techniques
  • Millinery: an introduction
  • Business/fashion: preparing a formal business plan
  • Graded Unit 1

How will I study my course?

  • 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?

  • North, West and Hebrides - Stornoway campus (not available to study in 2024/25)

Start date

  • September


For students normally domiciled in Scotland, with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

This includes

  • EU nationals with settled or pre-settled status in the UK,
  • EEA/Swiss nationals with settled status in the UK
  • EEA/Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.
Higher National Awards (HNC, HND) 2023-24 2024-25
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, the following fees apply:

Higher National Awards (HNC, HND) 2023-24 2024-25
Full-time per year £7,110 £7,110
Part-time (per HN credit) £474 £474

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

There are a number of funding options available to UK 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, including EU/EEA and Swiss nationals without settled or pre-settled status in the UK, with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

This includes EEA/Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are not self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.

Higher National Awards (HNC, HND) 2023-24 2024-25
Full-time per year £7,980 £8,775
Part-time (per HN credit) £532 £585

Part-time study is not open to international student requiring Student Route visa sponsorship to study in the UK.


UHI has a number of scholarships, bursaries, awards, and discretionary fund opportunities available to new and current students. Please use the A-Z of funds or use the filter to see which ones may be relevant to you. All students are welcome to apply.

Further information on funding your studies is also available, please see the attached link or contact the relevant UHI partner.

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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My course was right for me because gives you realistic tools to work in the industry of fashion. While remaining creative and practical. The teaching staff are amazing, tutors are attentive to their students, with an excellent student support system. 
My favourite thing about UHI is the attention to students, the kindness between the staff and students. And the encouragement from the university, they want to see you succeed. UHI has helped me find kind people, a very rich learning experience, and support as an international student, and has helped me greatly to settle here. Living here is such a great experience. The community is amazing and you find yourself surrounded by stunning sceneries.

Sapho studied Fashion Design and production with retail at UHI North, West and Hebrides. 

Apply for Fashion: Design and Production with Retail HNC

This course is currently closed
Please return to this page for information on future start dates

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.