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Bologna Fashion Programme Ages 16-18

ORA's Bologna Summer School 2020

A hands-on fashion summer course set against the stunning backdrop of the city of Bologna. The perfect study-abroad programme for the fashion innovators of the future.

2 weeks | Available July-August 2020

  • Live and study in Bologna city centre
  • Expert tutoring from ORA's faculty
  • Guest talks by Bologna University academics
  • Join 40 students from all over the world
  • Immersive Italian cultural programme

Course Summary

Whether you dream of becoming a fashion designer or are simply passionate about fashion and want to find out more about it, the Bologna Fashion Programme from Oxford Royale Academy provides a fascinating insight into this exciting industry, focusing on the work of Italian brands and designers. This course, delivered by fashion industry professionals, invites aspiring designers to study the fundamental elements of fashion design, both theoretical and practical, and provides the opportunity to design and develop their own prototypes by the end of the course.

Students will gain a unique insight into the life of a fashion designer, researching primary sources for inspiration, responding to these with drawings in a range of diverse media, developing their creations into textile designs and learning the processes that professional designers go through in their work. The course covers a variety of areas, from the history of fashion and specific Italian brands to designing and developing fashion items, essential specialist drawing techniques, and the future of fashion. Sustainability and the environment have never been as important as they are today, so students will be encouraged to work with recyclable materials to produce pieces that are not only visually appealing but also environmentally-friendly.

Young fashion designers will finish the course with a strong understanding of how the industry works and the opportunities it offers, as well as a portfolio that they can use for future university applications.

What to expect from the Bologna Fashion Programme

Students will receive an overview of the history of fashion and the industry as a whole, with a focus on the work of Italian designers and fashion houses. They will experiment with a variety of techniques, both in their sketchbook and with material, and examine case studies of specific brands and designers to inspire their own creations.

The course will culminate in a fashion show (complete with an audience), where students will present the sustainable fashion collection they have worked on during the course either through sketches or on mannequins and explain the vision behind it.

For morning lessons, students are exposed to a variety of engaging teaching styles, such as traditional classroom learning, interactive seminars, and debates and discussions with fellow students from around the world. Students can expect to have their views challenged and discuss different points of view, leaving with new insights and a refreshed ability to defend their own viewpoints.

For afternoon workshops, which are designed to be more skills-focused, students work in small groups and individually in order to solve a problem or bring an idea to life. In doing so, they work on key skills to help them in future study and employment, including presentation skills, leadership, team-building, creative thinking and evaluating potential solutions.

Course Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will have covered:

  • The history of fashion, specifically developments and trends that have emerged in Italy
  • The work of top Italian designers and brands and how they develop their ideas
  • Drawing techniques
  • Specialist fashion drawing skills
  • The use and properties of different materials and how they can be used in designs to create particular effects
  • Design development from page to runway
  • The future of fashion and the importance of sustainability

Topics Covered

  • The basic skills required of any fashion designer, including design drawing, textiles, colour theory and how different fabrics behave
  • Fashion and avant-garde designers
  • Fashion illustration and silhouette design
  • Shaping material for garment construction
  • Sustainability in fashion: using recyclable materials and resources to create a collection and justifying their use

Take this course if...

… you’re interested in discovering more about the world of fashion and want to explore the subject in a country renowned for excellence in this discipline.

Welcome to Bologna - a summer of true Italian immersion awaits!

Man walking through the porticoes of Bologna during the summer

Home to the oldest university in the Western world (founded 1088), the culinary capital of Europe, a stone's throw from Florence and close to the seaside getaway of Rimini Beach, Bologna will welcome a select group of ORA students in summer 2020. Students will experience all that this magnificent city has to offer over two immersive weeks of study and cultural exploration, enjoying its porticoes, cafés, museums, fine cuisine and more.

The Bologna summer campus is in the Camplus Bologna Bononia residence, a state-of-the-art student residence just next to the university district. With comfortable rooms, social areas, a gym, canteen, outdoor relaxation areas and more, Camplus is the ideal spot to live and learn this summer. Regular minibus services run into the city centre to ensure students make the most of their time in Bologna during free periods.

Photograph of the camplus complex
View of student relaxing area on campus
View of the canteen of Camplus Bologna Bononia

Outside of class, the extra-curricular programme is designed to ensure students soak up the atmosphere of their Italian surroundings. Students will enjoy guided tours of the university, the city, its museums and other most famous sites, along with excursions to Florence, Modena and Rimini Beach. Closer to home, Italian Cookery Masterclasses and Beginners' Italian classes encourage students to learn more about Italy and the Emilia Romagna region.

Portico and bunting in Bologna city centre
Tables and chairs with umbrellas on Rimini Beach, Italy
View of the skyline and duomo of Florence

Useful information for students & parents


Students will be accommodation in the modern Camplus Bologna Bononia student residence, enjoying comfortable single and shared rooms. Accommodation is the standard accommodation for students using the Camplus halls of residence.

Take a tour of the Bologna Bononia campus.

Pastoral care & student welfare

The programme is overseen by the Programme Director, who implements the day-to-day running of the programme. The Director is assisted by a team of Counsellors who ensure that students are looked after pastorally, culturally and socially during their programme. Students are able to talk informally and frankly to the Counsellors in order to raise concerns or to discuss university applications. ORA residential staff live in the Camplus residence throughout the programme and are able to assist students at any time of the day or night.

Eligibility & pre-requisites

Students on this course:

  • Must conform to our age policy.
  • Must be fluent or near-fluent English language speakers – if you are unsure whether your English level is suitable for this programme, please contact our Registrations Team on [email protected] and they will be able to assist you.
  • Must be able to fulfil the basic requirements of the programme, in terms of attendance at lessons, meals and events. Please contact our Registrations Team for more detailed information.

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Find out more Arrival & Departure

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Details of transfers between ORA and Heathrow Airport.

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Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

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Bologna Fashion Programme for Ages 16-18 | Bologna is residential in the following venues:

(If your course takes place in more than one campus in the same city and you would like to know more about which location you will be allocated, please call our admissions team)

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