Exploratory experiences (curriculum case study)

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Image courtesy of UAL

The aim of London College of Fashion’s (LCF) MA Fashion Media Production is to develop the future visionaries of the industry through a series of exploratory experiences.

Programme Director, Nilgin Yusuf explains that the story of enterprise and employability learning on the course is one of a dynamic learning experience that values the space to experiment and play, while being rooted in the exploration of future possibilities for new industry models.

What do students learn for enterprise and employability?

The crucial qualities and behaviours the course aims to develop in students are enquiry, questioning, curiosity, as well as the persistence and tenacity for finding things out.

Play with purpose

Students on the course learn significantly from the practice of 'play with purpose', developing an appetite for messy experimentation that involves relishing and learning from process, as well as the understanding that the end result is not the most important part.

Creative, intellectual and social capital

The course places great importance on the development of distinct creative, intellectual and social capital to define the graduate's distinction in the world. Students learn future thinking and practice, underpinned by a highly valued, rigorous research process - all of which aims to foster intelligence, uniqueness and credibility for the student to take with them out into the workplace, where they will lead and influence through their innovative practices.

Collaboration

Collaborative experiences are key to the aims of the course and are particularly relevant in those elements centred around industry focused projects. The learning and teaching activities aim to establish in students their creative credibility, confidence, flexibility, curiosity and receptivity to different scenarios. The idea of 'collective intelligence' is referred to in relation to the cohort and its diversity, as well as the functioning of groups around the collaborative activities.

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How do students experience enterprise and employability in the curriculum?

The course intends to prepare graduates for a competitive marketplace by helping the student to develop personal attributes that not only meet the current needs of the industry, but enable them to challenge existing practices and generate new, original parameters and platforms for communication scenarios of the future.

Feedback over grades

Programme Director Nilgin Yusuf says that overall feedback is more important than the grade, with formative feedback as important as summative feedback in building qualities and behaviours that relate to enterprise and employability.

A safe space

The course aims to empower students professionally and provide a safe space for students to explore creative skills and develop both confidence and a sense of self. The aim is for graduates to enter the industry as unique creative contributors, knowledgeable about how they feel about themselves and how they fit into the world.

Peer assessment and reflection

The course embeds personal planning and reflection into the peer assessment process that runs not only at the end of units but throughout the course. Learning from each other in studio scenarios is an important element of the course, as is continuous tracking and reflecting on that process. The course team view this reflection as an opportunity for students to reflect on their own personal behaviours, processes and conduct throughout a project, and to critique the actual artefact produced.

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How does the course help students to recognise skills, qualities and behaviours for enterprise and employability?

Students are able to recognise enterprise and employability skills, qualities and behaviours through their reflections on personal and professional development.

The emphasis on collaboration enables students to experience and develop the flexibility, negotiation and interpersonal skills they need to navigate multi-disciplinary projects.

They learn more of these skills and qualities in curriculum feedback tutorials, where the learning journey is focused on as more important than the 'success' or outcome.

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How does the course empower students for the future in terms of enterprise and employability?

The design of the course is receptive to the disruptive practices that the wider media industry has embraced. The experimental nature of hacking culture, the collision of different fashion specialisms and the rise of digital media have all changed the way we experience fashion communication.

Fashion Media Production is such an exciting field to be involved in because it has revolutionised technology and continues to morph on an almost daily basis. The course is an open, collaborative space that nurtures the digital creatives of the future.

Programme Director, Nilgin Yusuf.

The course is formed by researching and 'reading' what is emerging technologically and culturally in the industry, and therefore embodies a kind of plasticity that courses with long histories rooted in traditional practices perhaps do not. Educational frameworks are, by their nature, either resistant or slow to keep pace with the demands of shifting creative landscapes in the industry, even regarding such matters as decisions on which particular software programmes to teach.

The course is designed to respond to a rapidly changing industry, emerging technology, increasingly fluid professional collaborations and multidisciplinary practices that draw in an increasing variety of practitioners, including fashion designers, stylists, digital specialists, hackers and filmmakers. As a course, Fashion Media Production didn't exist until recently and only came into being in response to industry demands.

Most students want to go straight into work following graduation, and not necessarily for an existing company - there is this whole thing of setting up your own agency, and excitement around the possibilities of unchartered territory.

Programme Director, Nilgin Yusuf

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