South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences (XAMK), Culture sector provides Bachelor´s Degree studies in several orientations of design – fashion and costume design representing just one of them. The present degree, Bachelor of Culture and Arts covers 240 ECTS (European credit transfer system) credits referring to 4 years of full-time studies in the curriculum.
This particular educational field, fashion and costume design, enjoys a long history at XAMK. The current study field with this name ¬- Fashion & Costume Design – was launched in January 2015, two years before the predecessors of XAMK, Kymenlaakso University of Applied Sciences (KYAMK) and Mikkeli University of Applied Sciences (MAMK) officially joined to become South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences in January 2017.


Both of these former educational institutions and their predecessors had provided students with textile and clothing design related studies on a vocational school and college level for decades, starting as early as at the end of the 19th century. One of the KYAMK predecessors, The Handicraft School for women in the Southern Karelian community of Säkkijärvi was established in late 1880s and one of MAMK predecessors, the Weaving and Handicraft School started in the Eastern Savo provincial city of Savonlinna in 1902. The KYAMK predecessor, Kouvola Handicraft School located in Valkeala and later in Kouvola after The Second World War.

The university of applied sciences level network was formed in Finland in the 1990s as the provincial colleges (like in Kymenlaakso and in Southern Savo) united to become provincial universities of applied sciences. University of applied sciences level studies including clothing and textile design started at KYAMK in 1997 with the name Degree Programme in Design and at MAMK in 2000 with the name Degree Programme in Handicraft and Arts. A year later, the name was changed into Degree Programme in Design.

All the fashion and costume design education at XAMK is now located on one campus, in Kouvola, already from September 2012 on. The same year a study programme named Costume Design for Performing Arts was launched, being just one start-up group until Fashion and Costume Design started in January 2015. From 2007 until 2014 the KYAMK study field was called Designer-stylist, emphasizing the new and trendy styling aspect of fashion design at that time. In addition, another orientation was called interior styling, focusing on textiles and soft elements in interior design. The third orientation was in event styling. Textile design had ended as an independent study field at KYAMK earlier. At MAMK the orientations had been Clothing/Fashion design and Costume design since 2000 until the year 2011 when the last applicants applied for this education at MAMK Savonlinna campus.

While all these various orientations of fashion & costume design meet in the present XAMK Fashion and Costume Design curriculum this versatile study field can provide students with numerous professional orientations, alternatives and options in working life. The students can work as fashion designers or other professionals in fashion industry and trade or as independent entrepreneurs, costume designers and costumiers in the field of theatre & performing arts and media or as stylists, fashion editors, buyers in fashion trade and as event organizers and designers in event productions.

According to the XAMK study guide, the Bachelor´s Degree studies consist of studies in core competence and in complementary expertise. Vocational studies, optional studies, working life projects and practical training all precede the final thesis work.

Contents for Cross-Cultural Events C3E Project will provide the students with various educational projects and working life oriented experiences during the C3E Project time span 2018-2021.
Co-operation between XAMK and the Russian C3E Project partners also has history of over a decade. Annual project co-operation between MAMK Fashion & Costume Design and St. Petersburg Stieglitz Academy started in 2005 and similar co-operation between KYAMK Designer-stylist studies and St. Petersburg State University of Industrial Technologies and Design, Fashion design started in 2011.


Written by Mr. Esko Ahola, Senior Lecturer of Fashion and Costume Design, Xamk

Pictures by Ms. Heini Haapaniemi, C3E Project Manager, Xamk

The Main Picture in the heading: Xamk Student Ms. Anette Ahokas: work in progress,
speciality recycled leather. More info at Anette Ahokas Design

The Picture below: Xamk Student Ms. Jenni Hirvelä: work in progress.