Leicester College is home to the world-renowned International School of Footwear, which was established in Leicester in 1897.

Over its 120 year history, the International School of Footwear has hosted students from more than 60 countries – including Japan, Indonesia, India, South Africa, Sweden, the Netherlands, the United States, Mexico, Greece, Turkey and Zambia.

Our Footwear Courses

Leicester College courses provide a structure for the development of the knowledge and skills needed to support both students and employer aspirations within the footwear and allied industries. Our courses involve the development and refinement of skills in both the design and production of footwear as well as basic marketing skills within the footwear industry. Significantly, Leicester College is one of the very few institutions in the UK where students can undertake a footwear design and production course that requires the development of the skills necessary to design and hand-make a shoe from scratch.

Leicester College offers a two-year Foundation Degree in Footwear course that addresses the needs of today’s dynamic footwear industry. It is equivalent to the first two years of a BA (Hons) degree and combines academic research with vocational practice in a range of footwear disciplines.

Leicester College also offers an intensive 6-month Footwear Design and Manufacture certificate programme. The 6-month programme is designed for those who may already have completed introductory / diploma-level practical courses in footwear manufacture and wish to build upon that learning to expand into design and production.  It is also appropriate for students new to footwear as a field of study and who wish to gain a broad understanding of footwear design and manufacture before going on to undertake a more specialised or higher-level footwear programme.

For students successfully completing the two-year Foundation Degree (or those who may already have a degree in the creative industries from their home country) we offer the BA (Hons) Professional Studies (Creative Industries) programme.  This is a one-year bachelor-level ‘top-up’ course that aims to provide graduates with professional work-ready skills and commercial business knowledge for successful careers in the Creative Industries.

CAD Centre of Excellence

The International School of Footwear also hosts a Centre of Excellence for footwear production, with a state-of-the-art computer aided design (CAD) facility.

Leicester College is the only Further Education institution in the UK to provide this specialist design software to its students. It reduces the costs of developing designs and allows students to design features in a footwear-specific 3D CAD programme.