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Adaptista is excited to announce that we have partnered with the British Academy of Fashion Design to launch a scholarship programme aimed at encouraging people with disabilities to pursue an education in fashion design. 

The aim is to achieve meaningful change within the fashion industry by highlighting the need for representation and progression for disabled people within education and employment. 

The British Academy of Fashion Design believes that education should be accessible to all. Together they aim to generate accessibility and inclusivity for people with disabilities and this scholarship programme is a big step towards this goal.

The partnership is also supported by John Lewis White City who will provide the successful student with a brand new sewing machine. 

As well as this, Adaptista are supplying a year's subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud and Microsoft 365 to the successful applicant.

“Adaptista are passionate about inclusion, representation and education for the disabled community in an industry which has historically excluded such a large proportion of the world’s population. We are delighted to partner with such a forward-thinking educational body as the British Academy of Fashion Design and together, give the opportunity for a disabled person to pursue their dream of working in the fashion industry. United, we hope this scholarship will also help drive real change within the fashion industry and highlight the need for both representation and progression in education and employment.”

Maria O’Sullivan, Founder & CEO/Adaptista

“The British Academy of Fashion Design is committed to making accessibility a guiding principle of our organisation. One of the practical ways we do this is by actively seeking to recruit a diverse community of learners to build a more inclusive workforce in the British fashion design industry.  We are privileged to work with Adaptista to establish this scholarship and to support this important mission now and into the future.“ 

Jane Gregory, CEO/British Academy of Fashion Design

Applications Open: 11th January 2023

Applications Close: 31st March 2023

Applicants must be over 18 years of age and there is no upper age limit. 

To apply, simply write a 500 word essay on why you would be the perfect candidate, and add a mood board to represent your creative vision for an outfit. Please see an example mood board below.

For full details of the program including terms and conditions, and to apply for the competition, please click on the button below.

Terms and Conditions


  • Adaptista (“we”) have joined with Further Learning (UK) Ltd, (trading as British Academy of Fashion Design) to provide a scholarship award (the “Award”) for one talented student looking to begin their part-time Higher National Certificate (the “HNC”) in Fashion Design as a (i) Home Study student from May 2023 or, (ii) as a classroom-based student in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh, Belfast  from September 2023 (where available) or (iii) as a Live Online Class student from September 2023 (where available). The student will be entitled to progress to the Higher National Diploma (the “HND”) once they obtain their HNC qualification. For clarification on the difference between Live Online Study and Home Study please see point 2.4 below.

  • The enrolment fees will be covered by BAFD for the Course up to a value of GBP £6,495.00 for the successful applicant to study, with the hope that this opportunity will encourage easier access to employment for one talented creative in the fashion industry.

  •  A sewing machine will be provided free of charge to the successful applicant courtesy of John Lewis White City. However, they will not supply threads, fabrics, bobbins, needles or any other item required to complete the Diploma. 

  •  Includeability will kindly provide a one year subscription to both Adobe Creative Cloud and Microsoft 365 to the successful student, to commence on the day of study. 

  •  Adaptista will provide 100 metres of calico fabric to the successful applicant throughout the study year, as well as a selection of design utensils prior to commencing the course.

  •  If you are a driven, creative person with a strong interest in fashion design, and qualify as disabled under the Equality Act 2010, we invite you to make an application for the Award (an “Application”) by 11:59 pm on 31 March 2023. A judging panel will select one successful applicant to receive the Award. 


  • This opportunity is open to UK nationals and residents only. As the Course is part-time, students do not qualify for a student visa.

  • You must have a “recognised disability” meaning a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term negative effect on your ability to do normal daily activities as described under the Equality Act 2010. If either or both your physical or mental abilities are reduced in some way and this has lasted or is more than likely to last for at least a year, it is likely that you have a recognised disability and are eligible to apply. You must be comfortable to talk about and disclose your disability and experiences for PR purposes.

  • You must be at least 18 years old and you do not need to have GCSE/A-LEVEL. However, as with any formal education course, there will be marked homework and assignments which the successful student will need to complete to a satisfactory level to to obtain their HNC.

  • The Course is a practical-based course, and should you be selected, you will be required to attend the Course either in person or online, or as a self-paced study from home option and work with equipment, including fabric scissors and a sewing machine as well as computer programmes. BAFD will do all it reasonably can to make reasonable adjustments to assist you with participating in the Course. Please contact us before applying if you have any concerns about whether you would be able to participate in the Course. 

  • Entrants and the successful applicant must be fluent in English. If English is not your first language, you must have at least level 5.5 IELTS or equivalent. Or, have completed your last two years of schooling through English.

  • Adaptista Limited, Further Learning (UK) Limited and John Lewis Partnership PLC or any other subcontractors or sponsorship providers, will not be responsible for any injury caused while working with fashion design equipment at any point during or after this scholarship.


  • To apply, please submit a 500-word essay about why you are the right candidate for the course, and what fashion inspires you, together with an accompanying mood board, explaining to us (a) why you would be the best recipient of the Award and (b) your future goals for working in the fashion industry. 

  • Please provide correct, up-to-date, and accurate information. 

  • Please do not plagiarise or infringe the intellectual property rights of any other person, or include any indecent, illegal, racist, offensive, cruel or discriminatory content, or infringe the rights or copyright of others. Any Application that breaches this requirement may be disqualified. 

  • Any Application which is incomplete, incorrect, illegible, misdirected or late may not be accepted. Proof of sending your Application will not be accepted as proof of delivery or receipt. We accept no responsibility for entries that are incomplete, incorrect, lost due to technical reasons, corrupted, delayed, wrongly delivered, or not received for whatsoever reason. We will not accept any late entries.

  • Please provide a brief description of your disability. If you are unable to do this, please send us an email to let us know the reason for this and when we can expect to receive a brief description of your disability.


  • A panel of judges will select one candidate who we believe best shows enthusiasm for fashion design and who evidences the future change they will make within the fashion industry. Our decision is final. 

  • If you are the applicant selected to receive the Award we will send you an email using the email address provided by you within 14 days of the published closing date. You have no obligation to accept the Award. However, if you would like to accept it, you must communicate your acceptance of the Award and comply with any other requirements communicated by us by the deadline given in the offer email. If the offer is not accepted by you by the deadline, we may withdraw the offer and offer the Award to another person.

  • Further Learning (UK) Ltd, (trading as British Academy of Fashion Design) will provide the Course to the successful applicant at no charge. No cash alternative is available in place of payment of the Course fees. You may not use the Award for any other course. The successful applicant will be responsible for the cost of their own course materials, including drawing materials. The successful applicant will also need a laptop for homework and research purposes. Please note for ease of transport; we recommend using a pulley case/lightweight suitcase/carrier when transporting the sewing machine.


  • We will only collect, use, store and transfer your personal data (as defined in our privacy policy), in accordance with these terms and our privacy policy (which can be found at, for the purpose of considering your Application for the Award. 

  • We may collect, use, store and transfer special categories of personal data, including but not limited to sensitive data concerning your health and disability. 

  • We are the controller of your personal data. We shall at all times comply with all relevant data protection laws (including UK GDPR). We may share your personal data with BAFD for the purposes of judging the Award and to assist BAFD with providing the Course. We may engage sub-processors to process your personal data on our behalf. Our sub-processors are required to sign binding agreements with us that mandate that they comply with obligations equivalent or more onerous than those set out in our privacy policy when processing your personal data on our behalf. All applications and personal information will be deleted 3 months after the closing date of the Competition.

  • There are a number of lawful grounds which we process your personal data as set out in our privacy policy. The lawful grounds under Article 6 UK GDPR on which we rely are: 

  • The condition on which we rely for special category data processing under Article 9 UK GDPR is explicit consent; by providing us with the description of your disability when submitting your Application and ticking the box to confirm your agreement to the statement of consent to collect and process your personal data for the purpose of reviewing your Application, you provide your explicit consent for us and any sub-processor we may engage from time to time to collect and process your personal data, which includes sensitive data. It is necessary for us to process such personal data to ensure that you are eligible for the Award. If you do not consent to us processing your personal data, do not apply for the Award. You may withdraw your consent by contacting us at any time. Any withdrawal of consent will not affect the lawfulness of any processing carried out before you withdraw your consent.


  • You acknowledge and agree that you submit your Application at your sole risk. To the extent permitted by law, we do not accept any responsibility for any damage, loss, liabilities, injury, costs, expenses or claims (whether in contract, tort or otherwise) suffered by you or any third parties arising out of or in connection with your Application for the Award. We disclaim liability for any injury or damage to you or any other person relating to or resulting from participation with this Application save that nothing in these terms shall act to limit or exclude our liability resulting from gross negligence or fraud or which otherwise cannot be limited under English law.

  • We reserve the right to eliminate or disqualify any Application that we consider in our sole and absolute discretion to have been made in breach of these terms or the spirit of the Award. If we discover that you have breached these terms following an offer of the Award, we may in our sole and absolute discretion rescind the Award. 

  • By making an Application, you grant us a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, transferable licence to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of and display your full name, mood board and any other intellectual property contained in the content of your Application for marketing purposes and to promote the scholarship across our website, social media platforms and different media.

  • We reserve the right to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Award for any reason which is beyond our reasonable control. 

  • Submission of your Application constitutes acceptance of these terms. 

  • These terms, your Application, the Award and any dispute arising therefrom shall be subject to the laws of England and Wales and the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales.

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