We know how important education is, but what are the best places to study fashion design among all colleges and universities? In this article, you will find a list of some of the best schools for fashion designers in Europe.
I will briefly cover for you what fashion programs each of the listed colleges and universities offer. How much it would cost you to study there and if there are other perks such as scholarships or campus to live while you study. All of these factors are important when making a decision to invest in your education and find the best fashion college for you. So read carefully and decide wisely!
Best Fashion Colleges in Europe
Central Saint Martins
London, United Kingdom
Central Saint Martins is ranked first of Top 5 best colleges to study fashion design in the UK.
There are a lot of fashion programs both a BA and an MA degree to choose from. Some of the interesting majors are Fashion Design Menswear, Fashion Design Womenswear, Fashion Journalism, Textile Design, etc.
A Bachelor’s degree is 3 years long and a Masterclass’s degree is 2 years long. For applying you need to have a high IELTS score because all the courses are teaching in English and you also need to have a mini-portfolio showing your skills.
The tuition fees for a BA degree per year are set to $10,287.33 Home/EU fee and $25,489.98 International fee. The college gives a lot of opportunities for scholarships and collaborations with external professionals and sponsors as Christian Dior, L’Oréal Professionnel, Louis Vuitton, Nike, Puma, etc.
Initially, there were two colleges founded in the nineteenth century: St Martin’s School of Art and the Central School of Art and Crafts Both believed in the fundamental importance of learning through making and were known for their radical approach to art and design – values which remain at the core of their teaching today. In 1989, the two colleges merged to form Central Saint Martins
London College of Fashion
London, United Kingdom
This is the second-best college in London in which you can study fashion majors. It offers many fashion majors to choose from. Some of them are Menswear; Fashion Design Technology: Womenswear; Fashion Imaging & Illustration; Fashion Jewellery etc.
The Bachelor’s degree is with a duration of 3 years and the tuition fees per year are set to $10,287.33 for U.K. and E.U. students and $25,489.98 for overseas students. As for the Master Courses, the education is with a duration of 1 year and the tuition fee is $12,478.19 for U.K. and E.U. students and $25,489.98 for overseas students.
The class size varies from 7 to 20 students. In addition to tuition fees, you are very likely to incur additional costs such as travel expenses and the cost of materials. Also, the college offers English Language Development for overseas students and a number of scholarships and awards opportunities. Some famous alumni who graduated from there are Jimmy Choo, Jonathan Anderson, William Tempest, and Alek Wek.
Royal College of Art
London, United Kingdom
The Royal College of Art (RCA) is a public research university in London, United Kingdom. It is the only entirely postgraduate art and design university in the world. The majors which are related to fashion in the MA program are Womenswear, Menswear, Knitwear, Footwear, Accessories, Millinery and Eyewear (FAME).
The duration of the tuition is 2 years with the following fees according to your origin:
- $10,842.60 per year and $21,685.20 total cost for students from the UK and the EU;
- $16,124.90 per year and $32,249.79 total cost for students from the Channel Islands and Isle of Man;
- $32,249.79 per year and $64,499.58 full tuition fee for international students.
There are opportunities for scholarships and offers campuses in South Kensington, Battersea and White City.
Candidates selection considers creativity, imagination and innovation showed in their portfolio.
Istituto Marangoni is a private Italian school of fashion and design. It is based in Milan, Italy and it has branches in Florence, London and Paris, Shanghai and Shenzhen in China, Mumbai in India, and Miami in the United States. There are both a Bachelor’s and Masterclass’s programs for fashion design focused on Womenswear, Menswear, Accessories, Marketing, etc. The duration period of the BA program is 3 years and for the MA is 1 year.
Fees for the tuition vary from $20.7954 to $24.2427 for a BA in Milan and from $30.1368 to $32.3610 for a Master’s degree plus enrolment fees for both which vary from $4,448 to $6,116. Istituto Marangoni also offers short courses with a duration from 1 to 4 weeks which are specifically crafted for anyone interested in learning about design.
Two types of scholarships are available: the first is with deduction 50% of the tuition fee and the second is with $5,000 deductions on the tuition fee.
Alumni of the school include Franco Moschino, Domenico Dolce, Alessandra Facchinetti, Julie de Libran, Rahul Mishra, Rafael Lopez, and Alessandro Sartori.
Politecnico di Milano
The Polytechnic University of Milan (Politecnico di Milano) is the largest technical university in Italy, with about 42,000 students. The university offers undergraduate (BA), postgraduate (MA) and higher education courses in engineering, architecture, and design. Founded in 1863, this university is the oldest university in Milan.
Bachelor’s programs in fashion design are 3 years long. The university also offers a Master’s degree with a duration of 2 years. The courses are in English. Graduates in Fashion Design can apply for positions fashion companies specializing in clothing, accessories, textile, knitwear.
Tuition fees at the Polytechnic University of Milan depend on each student’s family income. They range between about $167/year and $414/year.
There are many scholarships for international students as part of the recent university internationalization strategy. Most Italian universities do not offer accommodation for their students on campus. The university manages a limited number of approximately 2000 beds available for students.
Raffles Milano Istituto Moda e Design
RM Milan – International Fashion and Design School (Raffles Milano Istituto Moda e Design) is a relatively new university. Raffles Milano is a network of Fashion and Design schools with 22 campuses in 12 countries. Milan is its beating heart. It admits a maximum number of 20 selected students in each class, with continuous review and assessment of their projects. The university is open seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to midnight, from Monday to Sunday for students’ convenience.
There are both a Bachelor’s and Masterclass’s programs for fashion design from which the BA degree is three years long and the MA is with a duration of 10 months.
The annual tuition fee for the 3-year course is $17,341 + $3,251 Annual Enrollment fee, which confirms the attendance of the student in the class. Masters’ costs vary from $16,258 annually for European Union and EFTA students and $24,931 a year for Non-European Union and Non-EFTA students + the same Annual Enrollment fee of $3,251.
Both programs are led by professional designers who are well integrated into the fashion design world and have worked with worldwide popular brands like Prada, Giorgio Armani, and Salvatore Ferragamo. At the end of each academic year, RM rewards the best talent for every course. Also, when students finish the course, Raffles Milano provides guidance to insert graduates in the professional world.
Institut Français de la Mode
The official launch of the new Institut Français de la Mode took place on 8 January 2019, bringing together fashion design, management, and craftsmanship under one roof.
Two new fashion design programs were launched in September 2019: a Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Design in French and English and a Master of Arts in Fashion Design in English.
The BA degree is 3 years long, with tuition fees $14,367 per year for EU students and $21,550 per year for Non-EU students. Masters’ program is 2 years long (19 months coursework plus a 6-month internship) with majors in Garment, Knitwear, Pattern Making, Footwear, and Image. The tuition fees for this program vary from $22,157 per year for EU students and $33,231 for Non-EU students.
There are also 2 other programs. The first one is the Advanced Intensive Program in Fashion Design and Pattern Making with a duration of 1 year and a tuition fee of $14,578. This program is in French and it is suitable for candidates who have followed a complete fashion course in France or abroad with at least a Bachelor’s degree.
The second program is “My Little Black Dress,” and it’s a 1-week course that costs $868. It’s open for all people interested in fashion design and who want to learn new things. At the end of the program, they issue a certificate of attendance to participants who have attended all the courses.
At last but not least the university offers opportunities for scholarships and internships at least 6 months long in companies such as Balenciaga, Chanel, Christian Dior, Givenchy, Hermès, Kenzo, Maison Kitsuné, Lanvin, Loewe, Louis Vuitton, Maison Margiela, Nina Ricci, Saint Laurent, Valentino, etc.
The École supérieure des arts et techniques de la mode, or ESMOD, is a French private school of fashion. It was founded in Paris in 1841 by Alexis Lavigne. It has branches in Bordeaux, Lyon, Paris, Rennes, and Roubaix in France, and in several cities in other countries, including Moscow, Dubai, and Tokyo. The university base is a magnificent private mansion. It is built around a central atrium. There are 15 design and patternmaking classrooms on 5 floors. Also a sewing classroom, cad room (computer-assisted patternmaking), documentation center, fabric library, study room and eating area. It offers a lot of courses:
- Fashion Designer – Undergraduate: 3 years long; with opportunities for specialization in Womenswear, Menswear, Childrenswear, Knitwear, New Traditional Couture, New Luxury Couture, Lingerie, Accessories, Costume Design; the study year is from September to June; the tuition fee in Paris is $12,023 + pedagogic pack at $1,447 = $13,470 per year; classes are teaching in English and French.
- Graduate Program “Creative Director”: Program in 2 years, 3-4 years of higher-level studies in Fashion Design & Creation; The tuition fee is $14,514 + pedagogic pack at $1,447 = $15,962 per year; Start of course: October; classes are teaching only in French.
- Intensive course: 1 year long; This intensive training allows students to complete the first two years of the Undergraduate Fashion & Creation program in one year and then enter the 3rd year of the program; tuition fee is $14,460 for classes in English and French.
- Summer courses: There are 2 and 4-week courses for Fashion Design and Pattern Making. The tuition fees for both vary from $1,029 to $2,708 depending on the weeks and hours duration. The classes are available in English and French.
- Evening courses for Pattern Making and Fashion Design: These are short courses from Monday to Thursday, from 7 pm to 9 pm and are happening 2 days a week. Tuition fees vary from $3,142 to $5,308, depending on how many weeks students choose to take. At the end of the courses, students get an evening course certificate. These courses are available only in French.
- Foundation courses: The curriculum lasts 6 months, open to all students over the age of 17; They are made to prepare you as fully as possible to begin the degree course in “Fashion Design”. The tuition fee is $6,880 + Pedagogic pack ($212) = $7,092 and they are available both in French and English.
Paris College of Art
Paris College of Art (PCA) is an international college of art and design with US degree-granting authority and accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) located in Paris, France.
In 1981 the school was established as a French Association (type 1901) under the name “École Parsons à Paris”. From 1986 until 2010, the school had a relationship with Parsons The New School for Design, and was known as “Parsons Paris”. Since 2010 it is no longer associated with Parsons The New School and is an independent institution.
Paris College of Art (PCA) has 300 students and 100 faculty members coming from more than 50 different countries. Notable alumni in Fashion Design from there are persons such as Erin Fetherston, Tom Ford, Georgia Hardinge, Calla Haynes, etc.
The college offers a Bachelor’s degree in Fashion Design and a Masterclass degree in Fashion Film & Photography. The duration of the BA courses is 4 years and is in English. For the MA degree courses are known that run for 15 weeks in the fall and 15 weeks in the spring. Prices for both degrees are not mentioned but for more information, you can ask through the contact form that is left on the website.
The college also offers Summer Intensive courses in Fashion Design, which are taught in English. Tuition fees for them are listed as follows: Early Bird Rate per session (by Jan. 31) – 2 Credits: $2,020 | Audit: $1,518; Standard. Rate per session – 2 Credits: $2,377| Audit: $1,783. In these two-weeks-long courses, introductory through advanced level students will explore art, design, culture, and language.
For students who are new to Paris, finding a place to live in Paris the Student Life Office provides several different housing options, designed to accommodate students of different needs, preferences, and budgets. Paris is renowned for its food, and most PCA students take advantage of the city’s vast culinary offerings by preparing meals at home, eating in local restaurants, or from take-away shops in the neighborhood of the school.
Additionally, through the CROUS, a public establishment of the French Ministry of Education, students have access to four restaurants and twenty university cafeterias where they can have a three-course meal for lunch or dinner for as little as $3.35.
Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp
The Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp is an art academy located in Antwerp, Belgium. It is one of the oldest of its kind in Europe. It was founded in 1663 by David Teniers the Younger. In the 19th century, The Royal Academy developed into an internationally acclaimed institute for Fine Arts, Architecture and Design. In 1946, the Architecture program became an independent institute, The National Higher Institute of Architecture. Another key moment in the history of the academy would be 1963. A unique new course ‘Fashion Design’ started. This course was moderately successful from the beginning but became world-leading in the early eighties.
Nowadays The Royal Academy offers two programs in Fashion Design, one Bachelor and one Masterclass. The BA program is 3 years long and the MA is 1 year. The tuition fee is valid for both and is $1,218 for students from the European Higher Education Area; $7,805 for students from other countries. Classes are taught in Dutch and English.
The entrance exam is holding 3 times per year in March, July and September. For it is required only a portfolio with photography of your artworks and fashion designs.
Some famous alumni who studied Fashion Design in there are Martin Margiela, Demna Gvasalia, Ann Demeulemeester, Dries Van Noten, Hideki Seo, Kris Van Assche and even the great post-impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh has studied there.
Marbella Design Academy
Marbella Design Academy, founded in 1995, is situated in beautiful and healthy surroundings near Marbella, Southern Spain. It is private and exclusive with a high academic level, has a family-friendly atmosphere and a very safe environment.
The Academy offers a Bachelor’s degree program in Fashion Design & Manufacture with a duration of 3 years as they have two intakes per year, one in January and one in September. There are 6 studying hours a day (Monday to Friday) from 09:00 am to 16:00 pm. Tuition is in English and the tuition fee is $12,463 per year + $542 registration fee which is paying the first year only.
Marbella Design Academy also offers a Foundation Course for the ones who not full fill the entry requirements for the three-year Bachelor programs. The aim of this intensive Foundation Course is to introduce the students to the practice of being a designer. On successful completion of the Foundation Course, students will be eligible to enroll in whichever of the three-year Bachelor programs they choose. The duration of the course is 12 weeks, 4 hours daily (Monday to Friday) from 09:00 am to 13:00 pm and the tuition fee for the course is $3,793.
There are also summer courses suitable to anyone who is interested in the basic knowledge in different subjects within the fashion industry prior to starting a further education in fashion design for them to become professional fashion designers. They are happening in July and August with a duration of 5 weeks 4 hours a day Monday to Friday from 09:00 am to 13:00 pm. The tuition fee for these courses is $2,709 and they are taught in English.
There are opportunities for scholarships, but the availability is limited for up to 30% off the yearly tuition fee for the 3-year Bachelor programs depending on the number of students applying.
SWISS MODE International Fashion Design School was established in the year 2016. Though it is a rather young school, it has managed to progress profoundly since it was founded. It is based in the picturesque town of Montreux on the shores of Lake Geneva (Lac Leman), which is home to many international schools.
Montreux is renowned for its world-famous music festival and has been a haven for many iconic people over the years such as Charlie Chaplin, Vladimir Nabokov, David Bowie, and Freddie Mercury. The city has a direct train connection with Milan (3hr Journey) which facilitates close exchanges with IMB’s headquarters in the Italian fashion capital. It is situated a half-hour from world-renown ski resorts in the Alps, 1 hour from Geneva and 2.5 hours from Zurich by train.
SWISS MODE International Fashion Design School offers a couple of Bachelor courses as well as Masterclass degree courses and Short courses which are great for the ones who mind committing to a longer course. The courses for a BA degree which are offered are:
- Fashion Designer – There you learn the complete process of Fashion Design, from conception to creation. The duration of the course 1-3 years and study year is from September to June.
- Dressmaker – In this course, you will learn to produce any outfit with ancient tailoring methods and modern creativity. The duration of it is 1-2 years which is a total of 900 hours.
- Fashion Designer de Luxe – This is a course which is a combination of the previous two BA courses. In it, you will learn all the subjects from the courses above like: Fashion Show, Fashion Portfolio, Fashion Sketching, Accessories, Creative Process, Dress Making, Pattern Making, etc. The duration of this course is 2 years long.
- Pattern Maker – In it, you will learn to execute a designer’s ideas with precision and style. Its duration is 1-2 years 600 hours total.
- Fashion Illustrator – Least but not last this course will let your creativity loose and become a Fashion Artist. In this course, you will get acquainted with the basics of drawing and then develop the freedom and imagination to create your own personal style. Its duration is 1-3 years in total of 900 hours.
Short and Masterclass courses are offered in the same fields as the BA degree with opportunities for courses in other areas such as Accessories, Men’s Wear, and Shoe Design. For more information about the duration of the Masterclass degree and the price of each course per year, you can ask the university by writing through their contact form on their website.
Willem de Kooning Academy
The Willem de Kooning Academy is the art school of Rotterdam and part of the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences (RUAS). It is regarded as one of the most prestigious art schools in the country and №1 in advertising and copywriting. Previously called the Academie van Beeldende Kunsten (Academy of Visual Arts), it has since 1998 carried the name of alumnus Willem de Kooning (1904–1997). Willem de Kooning was born in north Rotterdam and graduated in decoration art (now styling). He went to New York at the age of 22 and became the frontman of the Abstract Expressionism painting movement of the 1940s and 1950s.
The Academy offers 15 major programs, leading to a bachelor’s degree and one of them is in Fashion Design. What you need to know about the BA program in Fashion Design is 4 years long and the tuition fee for Dutch and EU citizens) is $2,313 and for the non-EU Bachelor students is +/- $8,912. Courses are led both in Dutch and English.
The Academy still doesn’t have an MA degree program for this major but there are Preparatory courses which aim is to prepare the future students of the Academy. They take place twice per year once in February and second in November. There are 5 courses with different durations from which you can choose and prices vary from $378 to $1,619 according to the course you’ve chosen. Some of them are led in English and others only in Dutch. Free lunch is also included in the price of the courses which are led only on Saturdays. There are also opportunities for scholarships.
The Polimoda International Institute of Fashion Design and Marketing, or Polimoda, is a private fashion school in Florence, the capital of Tuscany, Italy. The school was founded in 1986 as a joint project of the cities of Florence and Prato, and the Fashion Institute of Technology of State University of New York. It is a member of the International Foundation of Fashion Technology Institutes.
In 2018 there were about 2300 students of 75 nationalities on three campuses. It offers full-time courses at undergraduate (Fashion Art Direction, Fashion Business, Fashion Design, and Fashion Merchandising) and postgraduate levels (Bag Design, Collection Design, Creative Direction, Digital Fashion, Fashion Art Direction, Fashion Brand Management, Fashion Design, Fashion Economics, etc.), as well as a variety of short courses.
The Undergraduate courses/BA programs are 4 years long in which are also included 3 months of internships. All BA courses are led in English language and the tuition fee for each of them is $19,433 per year. Master programs, on the other hand, are with a duration of 9 months and cost $30,244 total. They are also led in English.
Polimoda offers a Housing Service specially tailored to students who have to move away from home to attend. They work with different kinds of accommodation facilities and estate agents, who are able to respond to any requests on living spaces.
Also to make your stay in Florence even more pleasant, Polimoda has drawn up special agreements with restaurants, bars, bookshops, fashion stores, gyms, fitness and wellness centers, as well as many other establishments around the premises of Villa Favard and the Design Lab.
Macromedia University of Applied Sciences
Macromedia University, a part of Galileo Global Education, is one of the largest German universities for professionally-oriented courses in media management, design, arts, music and business management with around 100 professors and more than 3,500 students coming from over 80 different countries. The college is based in 5 cities: Munich, Stuttgart, Cologne, Hamburg, and Berlin.
It offers 2 Undergraduate programs related to Fashion: Bachelor’s degree in Fashion Management and Fashion Design. Both are with a duration of 7 semesters which in total is 4 years.
The tuition fee for the Fashion Design program for EU students is $4,434 per semester or $751 per month plus $540, the same is for the non-EU students. For the Fashion Management program, one of the 7 semesters is led abroad and the tuition fees vary from $5,731 per semester plus $540 registration fee both for EU and non-EU students for a single degree and $7,029 per semester plus $540 registration fee for an additional degree. The courses are led in English. There are also Graduate programs which are related to Fashion like:
- Brand Management – Duration of Study: 3 semesters for Summer Semester start and 4 semesters for winter start; Location: Berlin, Munich, Leipzig; Tuition fee: Non-EU students $7,029 per semester plus $811 registration fee. EU students $7,029 per semester plus a $540 registration fee. Starting from $540 per month with a guarantee. The course is led in English.
- Design Management – Duration of Study: 3 semesters for Summer Semester start and 4 semesters for winter start; Location: Munich; Tuition fee: Non-EU students $7,029 per semester plus $811 registration fee. EU students $7,029 per semester plus a $540 registration fee. The course is leading in English or German.
- Luxury and Fashion Management – Duration of Study: 3 semesters for applicants with 210 ECTS and 3 semesters plus 1 Pre-Semester course for applicants with 180 ECTS; Location: Munich; Tuition fee: $540 per semester plus $540 registration fee. The course can be in English or in German.
The Campus in Berlin is the youngest campus of Macromedia University of Applied Sciences. Situated in the middle of Kreuzberg, you can enjoy a lively and steadily growing campus life.
The city of Berlin is a top destination for students and professionals alike. Being one of the more affordable cities in Germany, Berlin is an attractive choice for students from all over the world. For example, a Meal in an Inexpensive Restaurant costs $9.19 and the price of a regular Cappuccino is barely $2.95.