When & Where

  • Orange calendar icon 20 September 2023 - 21 June 2024 ( 480 hours, 30 weeks )
  • Orange map marker icon Chelsea Centre

Quick Facts

  • Availability Yes
  • Course Code C23DSNE01A
  • Suitable For 19 year olds and up are permitted on this course

What you will learn

The HND Millinery course has been training industry-leading milliners for almost 20 years. Students on this course progress into all areas of millinery – couture fashion millinery, commercial design, theatrical and film millinery – some students have progressed to MA level courses at leading fashion colleges. The course has close industry links with The British Hat Guild, Fenwick Bond Street, Longines for Royal Ascot, and the Worshipful Company of Feltmakers, all of whom provide career developing support and opportunities for HND students during the course. Former students are employed by the UK’s leading milliners and have quickly established themselves in their chosen field. The tutors on the HND course are all professional milliners as well as tutors. They bring a wealth of diversity, skills and ideas to the course, and to the development of different career pathways for each student. There are a number of opportunities to take part in live industry projects and collaborations, as well as contact with industry experts throughout the year. The course culminates in an exhibition which attracts high levels of interest from professional milliners and other industry employers. The course offers intensive investigation of millinery skills and industry preparation. This two-year programme is designed to give students in-depth millinery experience in order to prepare them for a career within the industry. The course consists of a series of projects covering different areas of millinery and is designed to develop varied technical skills and expand each students’ individual design creativity. Areas covered during the course projects include: specialist couture techniques, theatrical millinery, occasion millinery, commercial millinery and cut-and-sew techniques, historical and contextual research, design development skills, blockmaking, portfolio building and professional practice.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Develop design process skills including ideas generation, design development, contextual, historical and cultural research
  • Experiment with materials, processes and techniques, and visual communication
  • Understand technical areas of millinery including: theatrical millinery, commercial millinery
  • Cut, sew and pattern draft for couture and occasion millinery
  • Work with felt, straw, fabric, and nontraditional materials, flower making, dyeing, blockmaking, designing
  • Realise a fashion collection
  • Build on professional practice, branding and portfolio building using illustration, CAD, and social media

On successful completion of the course, you will achieve the following qualification: BTEC Higher National Certificate in Art and Design [EDEXCEL]

Class format and activities

A blend of in college practical activities and workshops supported by online tutorials via Google Classroom and Microsoft Teams. A strong focus on design skills and developing independent working practices is complemented by technical demonstrations, master classes, industry visits and presentations. Students benefit from small classes and a high level of contact time with tutors. Assessment Methods: Achievement on the course will be measured by completion of projects and course units. Your progress towards achieving the learning outcomes will be reviewed throughout the course. At the start of the course you will have an opportunity to discuss these with your tutor and set your own personal targets, linked to the learning outcomes and future goals. Projects are designed to develop a broad and detailed millinery skill base. Each project will focus on a different area of millinery and build familiarity with a different range of materials, skills, and industry knowledge. Assessment will take place at the end of each project, starting with self-assessment, a group crit and discussion, and finally, written feedback and one-to-one tutorial to discuss strong points and areas for development. At the end of the course, exit tutorials will focus on each students’ development over the course, and how each student can best be supported as they progress into industry.

Entry requirements

All students are required to attend an interview with a portfolio of creative work. Learners should have previous millinery experience although applicants with a variety of other Art and Design skills will be considered. It is not necessary to have completed a wide range of courses, but experience with foundation millinery skills and traditional materials and processes is important.

What you need to know before you enrol

The course has a strong focus on design skills and developing independent working practices, and as such is appropriate for students with previous millinery experience. The course is a full-time commitment, with substantial independent working away from college required in order to complete the work.

What you need

The dedicated millinery studio at college is equipped with a wide range of millinery equipment – blocks, steamers, irons, fume cupboard, and sewing machines. Students are asked to provide their own personal millinery sewing kits, which will include a combination of standard sewing equipment and some millinery-specific tools. Depending on the direction of a student’s work, equipment and materials will need to be individually sourced during the course. College has some materials for students to purchase such as sketchbooks, calico, millinery wire and stiffeners. A detailed list of useful tools, materials and equipment will be provided before the start of the course.

What you can do next

Former students have gained employment with the UK’s leading milliners, established their own businesses or progressed onto BA and MA courses at leading fashion colleges.


  • Full fee
  • Concession fee