International: Introduction to the Study of Fashion (FE Level 3)

This course is a practical and theoretical introduction to the varied disciplines of fashion, allowing you to make the best choice for your undergraduate course in fashion.

Models in clothing by Karence Wu
Work by Karence Wu

Karence Wu, 2016.

Sketchbook images for project.

Work by IISF student Qishen Chen

Sketches for a voluminous cocoon-style beige coat

Aatiqah Arrafin, 2016

Sketches and fabric swatches for menswear

Student work: Menswear design by Sam Thopsom


Course Leader

Fiona Howard

Course Location

Lime Grove

Study LevelFoundation
Study ModeFull time
Course Length1 year
Home/EU Fee


International Fee

£14,320 (+ registration fee of £135 for 2017/18).

Autumn Term Dates11 Sep - 8 Dec 2017
Spring Term Dates8 Jan - 16 Mar 2018
Summer Term Dates16 Apr - 22 June 2018
Application Route

UAL Central Admissions

Application DeadlineNo deadline, early application advised

Content and structure

International: Introduction to the Study of Fashion is a preparatory and diagnostic course designed for International students who want to progress to an undergraduate course at London College of Fashion. The course introduces you to all areas of the fashion industry that you can study at undergraduate level at London College of Fashion. Following a diagnostic first term, the course team will direct you to the most appropriate area of fashion for your particular skills, talents and ambitions so that you can concentrate on either Fashion Business, Fashion Design or Fashion Media. You can then discuss, with the help of your tutors, the most suitable course for you at undergraduate level. The course will prepare you for the level of work that you will be undertaking in the first year of your undergraduate degree. Specialist Academic language support runs throughout the course to ensure that your academic study skills and language levels are appropriate for undergraduate study.

The course is based in Lime Grove in Shepherd’s Bush, just west of Holland Park and Notting Hill. The area, which is rich in cultural influences from across the world, is home to Shepherd’s Bush Market and the many fabric shops along the Goldhawk Road, which sell a variety of fabrics, including silks, at extremely competitive prices. There are numerous restaurants, cafes, delis and food stores, as well as the market, which reflect the many cultures of the people living there. Nearby is the Shepherd’s Bush Empire, an excellent venue for live bands, and the Westfield Shopping Centre, one of the largest retail complexes in Europe that caters for the luxury market as well as the high street. Holland Park with its Orangery and Leighton House Museum are both worth visiting.

Year One  -  Level 3  -  120 credits

Term one

Study Skills Tool Box for Fashion (20 credits)

Terms One and Two
Introduction to the Fashion System (40 credits)

Term Three
Progression Portfolio for Undergraduate Study (20 credits)

Terms One and Two
Fashion History, Culture and Context (20 credits)

Terms One, Two and Three
Academic Communication for the Study of Fashion (20 credits)

Travelling across London

The renowned London College of Fashion library is at our John Prince’s Street site, and you will need to travel to this site, and possibly others, during your course to use the library, which is open seven days a week in term time, and for tuition and special events.

Additional costs

In addition to tuition fees you are very likely to incur additional costs such as travel expenses and the cost of materials. We strongly suggest you read the information on our Additional Costs page.

Course structure

The information outlined is an indicative structure of the course. Whilst we will aim to deliver the course as described on this page, there may be situations where it is desirable or necessary for the University to make changes in course provision, for example because of regulatory requirements or operational efficiencies, before or after enrolment. If this occurs, we will communicate all major changes to all applicants and students who have either applied or enrolled on the course.

Please note that due to staff research agreements or availability, not all of the optional modules listed may be available every year.

In addition, the provision of course options which depend upon the availability of specialist teaching, or on a placement at another institution, cannot be guaranteed. Please check this element of the course with the course team before making a decision to apply.

Webpage updates

We will update this webpage from time to time with new information as it becomes available. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact a member of the course team.


Fiona Howard, Course Leader, has specialist knowledge and experience of working on Level 3 Fashion courses and working with International students. Fiona is also a graduate herself from London College of Fashion. Fiona has worked across a wide range of areas in the fashion industry including having her own label, freelance work and employed as head designer for womenswear design companies that supplied high street stores such as Topshop, Miss Selfridge and Harvey Nichols. Fiona also has experience with textile manufacturers and the film and theatre costume industry.

Giles Pearson is L3 Intl Introduction to the Study of Fashion Design Pathway Tutor. Since graduating in 2000 Giles has worked across a wide range of areas in the fashion industry predominately womenswear based – from couture and costume to commercial fashion products, printed textiles, jewellery and menswear. Joining London college of fashion in 2007 as a part time design lecturer , he continued in his practice as a freelance designer in the music industry and created directional pieces for many performers as well as creating commission pieces for amongst others Vogue, Harpers , Elle, Tate Modern and ITV. Joining the IISF course as the full time design subject lead Giles has specialist knowledge and experience of working with international students and introducing a broad spectrum of design possibilities.

Demetra Kolakis Media Pathway Leader on IISF

Nicole J. Dunlop is Business Pathway Leader for IISF and BA (Hons) Fashion Business (Part Time) Course Leader. Nicole’s retail career began with a degree in clothing and management at Manchester University where she was sponsored by Marks and Spencer, this also included a short spell in Paris at the Sorbonne. She started her career with Jaeger, as a member of their buying team, and eventually moved on to become the Sourcing Manager for Adams. Having gained a CIM qualification, Nicole moved on to manage various consultancy projects with various retailers throughout Europe including Harrods, La Rinascente, London Fashion Week, Matalan, and Wrangler. She ultimately became Head of Marketing for the Hunter family of brands (best known for their iconic green welly), transforming it from the historic work-wear brand into the fashion icon that it is today. Nicole has won the UAL teaching prize twice.

Mark Quincey is Academic Language and Language Acquisition Skills Lecturer. Mark has been teaching English language for over 15 years and also works as an IELTS examiner. Several of those years were spent teaching at universities in Japan before he returned to the UK and began working to prepare bespoke academic and exam preparation focused English courses for international students in the UK who were preparing for IELTS, GMAT, TOEIC and other academic exams as well as providing support to BA and MA students studying subjects as diverse as Art and Law. Mark now works with LCF’s level 3 and 4 students and the UAL professional to ensure our students’ language skills reach the level required by their courses.

Michael Giaquinto is Academic Language and Language Acquisition Skills Lecturer

Supporting staff

  • Heidi Stokes, Tutor IT
  • Carlyn Maguire, Tutor Media and Design
  • Paul Buckle, Tutor Business
  • Mick Gibbons, Tutor IT
  • Liza Betts, Lecturer Cultural Historical Studies (Intl Office)


Future Careers and Graduate Prospects

If you successfully complete this course, you will gain a qualification and will have the opportunity to progress to an undergraduate course at LCF, provided you meet all the conditions of your offer. Which course you may be offered will be dependent on the quality of the work done by you through the course. For some undergraduate courses a portfolio will be required, and for other courses there may be a written or numerical test. All applicants for an undergraduate course at LCF on this course will be interviewed A very small number of students, in exceptional circumstances, may progress to our International Preparation for Fashion course (level 4), where it is in the interests of the student to develop their skills further before undertaking a three or four year undergraduate course at LCF.

Entry requirements

Opportunities for All

We are committed to making university education an achievable option for a wider range of people and seek to recruit students from diverse socio-economic, cultural and educational backgrounds. We are committed to supporting all our students in achieving their potential both during and after their courses.

Course Entry Requirements

  • Successful completion of school education to at least Level 2.

English Language Requirements

All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language you will be asked to provide evidence of your English language ability when you enrol.

The level required by the University for this course is IELTS 5.0 with a minimum of 4.5 in any one skill.

Please visit the UAL Language Requirements page. Read carefully and look at the relevant documents.

You must take the IELTS Academic Test for UKVI, no other test can be accepted.

Student Selection Criteria

What We Look For

The College seeks to select students who can demonstrate:

  • A broad interest in fashion as a future career
  • Motivation to succeed on the course
  • Motivation to progress to an undergraduate course at LCF
  • An interest in increasing your skills through personal and professional development (PPD)

Please include with your application a portfolio of work which demonstrates your interest in fashion. This should be a combination of visual and written work.

How to apply

Please note: This course is for international students only

The admissions team at London College of Fashion will help guide you through the application process and answer any specific questions that you may have regarding our courses tailored for international students. This may include portfolio advice, the application process and fee advice. We offer a ‘drop-in’ facility for applicants who may be in London and wish to obtain further course and admissions information. Please contact us for further information on this facility. We can also arrange a tour of our facilities if we are given prior notice.

Course and portfolio guidance

This document offers guiance for the portfolio and interview stage of applying.


UAL have a new Admissions service and there are different contact points for each stage of your enquiry and application. Overview below:

Application Process:

Stage 1 - Pre Application Enquiries
Enquires about LCF, courses and application processes are supported by LCF Admissions

If you have questions regarding making an application please contact the admissions team at London College of Fashion

Stage 2 - Application Enquiries

Application information is sent by UAL Admissions. Once you have made an application a member of the UAL Admissions team will contact you and support the next steps of the process; please contact them on if you have questions regarding your application.

Stage 3 - Interview Enquiries
Interviews are arranged by LCF Admissions

If you have reached interview stage and have any questions please contact the admissions team at London College of Fashion
London College of Fashion Admissions Team, 20 John Prince’s Street, London W1G 0BJ
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7514 7656/7629

Stage 4 - Offer Enquiries
Offer information is managed by UAL Admissions

UAL will send you confirmation of an offer. If you need further information in support of your application or about any offer you have received please contact the UAL central admissions team

What Happens Next?

All application forms, personal statements, supporting work and references are read and considered by the International Academics against the selection criteria listed on the Entry Requirements tab, under What We Look For.

If you meet, or are likely to meet, the Entry Requirements you will be selected for an interview. If you are successful at interview you will be offered a place. 

Additional Information

Additional Costs

  • Printing £500 max
  • Various materials (paper, fabric) £300 max
  • Enrichment (galleries, exhibitions etc) £200 max


Course units

The first term begins with an induction to the course, College and the University. You will meet the course team who will support you in your studies throughout the year. You will then undertake the Study Skills Tool Box for Fashion. This unit will help you to develop the following: sourcing, selecting and applying a variety of relevant information to your projects. You will develop both research and analytical skills and learn about presentation skills in a number of different situations. You will also learn essential time management and effective self-directed learning, which are key skills for successful undergraduate study.

In the first and second term you will study Introduction to the Fashion System and look at the fashion industry from a number of angles. You will learn about how to research and develop ideas, and how this is essential within fashion business and management, fashion media and communication, and fashion design and technology. This unit is initially diagnostic, and will allow you to explore each area in some depth before progressiong into the most suitable area in term two.

Also in the second and third term you will undertake the Progression Portfolio for Undergraduate Study unit. This will give you the opportunity to produce a showcase of work through a self-initiated personal project in your chosen area of fashion. All the learning, skills and experience that you have acquired during your first two terms of study will be used to allow you to develop a body of work that exhibits your readiness to progress to a suitable undergraduate course at London College of Fashion.

In the first and second terms you will study Fashion History, Culture and Context. This unit introduces you to the theoretical and historical study of fashion through asking a number of questions about what we know about dress, how we found out, and what meanings have been given to this information by historians and others who examine culture and society.

Also for three terms you will study Academic Communication for the Study of Fashion. This unit will enable you to develop the key academic and cultural communication skills that you will need to achieve a high standard on your undergraduate course. You will improve your communication and language skills through reading, writing, listening and speaking, and you will learn the specialist vocabularies of the different fashion disciplines and will be able to apply this knowledge to your work on the course. These increased language skills will ensure that you start your undergraduate course as a confident and able communicator.

Enquire about this course

If you haven’t found the information you’re looking for or want to ask us a question about this course, please fill out our enquiry form.

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