MA Fashion Media Practice and Criticism
Places available 2017/18
This course has places available. View the ‘How to apply’ section on this page for more details. For a full list of UAL courses open for 2017/18 entry, including others available at London College of Fashion, visit the Places available page.
A course for those with a practical and theoretical interest in the fast-evolving disciplines of fashion media and who wish to develop a voice in critical debates within fashion communication.
What is an Integrated Masters?
Integrated Masters courses combine undergraduate and postgraduate study allowing you to continue on to a Masters year without having to reapply. You are covered by student finance for the duration of the degree too.
|Study Mode||Full time|
|Course Length||4 years|
Tuition fees for undergraduate degree courses have been set at £9,250 per year for full-time study. This applies from the 2017/18 academic year, subject to changes in the law. Tuition fees may increase in future academic years for new and continuing students, in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Please visit our Undergraduate Tuition Fees page for full information on tuition fees.
Use UAL's fees and funding calculator as a guide to how much your studies may cost in your first year.
Fees are subject to an inflationary increase as students progress through their course.
Use UAL's fees and funding calculator as a guide to how much your studies may cost in your first year.
|Autumn Term Dates||25 Sep - 8 Dec 2017|
|Spring Term Dates||8 Jan - 16 Mar 2018|
|Summer Term Dates||16 April - 22 June 2018|
|Application Deadline||Open for 2017/18 entry. Applications for 2018/19 entry will open in Autumn 2017.|
Content and structure
The MA Fashion Media Practice and Criticism course, situated in the School of Media and Communication, is a new four-year course, which has been developed to address the emerging discipline of fashion criticism in the context of fashion communication. The course explores the importance of fashion within current critical discourses and investigates the impact of fashion on contemporary culture, thereby preparing students to become critical thinkers, rigorous communicators and influential and intelligent practitioners. Creative and conceptually motivated practical processes will be used as a vehicle to critique fashion and the fashion industry, and these are underpinned by historical, conceptual, philosophical and theoretical frameworks. You will study the disciplines of fashion media from both a practical and theoretical aspect for the first three years of the course, so that your understanding of fashion communication will enable you to produce a substantial piece of original work for your MA project in the fourth year. The emphasis on the course is on the global nature of fashion communication, and you will learn about publishing, curation, editorial, moving image, critical writing and all aspects of image making. You will also explore intellectual property, law, sustainability, corporate social responsibility, the impact of technology, ethics and the politics of fashion so that you develop a broad social, environmental and cultural awareness. Projects with industry clients and outside agencies will be an important element of the course and you will learn to work both collaboratively and as an individual, alongside developing your problem-solving and entrepreneurship skills You will develop your understanding of fashion communication so that you are able to confidently challenge existing concepts, principles and values of fashion.
The integrated Master’s award is a four year programme which allows you to develop your skills and knowledge through a series of units which begin at undergraduate level in the first year, progressively move through the second and half of the third year at this level, and then move into postgraduate level from the middle of the third year and conclude at the end of the fourth year, where on successful completion you will be a awarded a postgraduate Master of Arts qualification. The integrated Master’s programme affords you the opportunity to have a holistic educational experience, moving from undergraduate into postgraduate study all in one specialised subject field, without having to identify and apply for additional courses. The course is taught firstly in the School of Media and Communication, with an over-arching management structure to ensure quality and parity throughout the entire course.
MA Fashion Media Practice and Criticism is based at 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 lining the Goldhawk Road. 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, is also worth visiting.
Year One Stage One level 4 120 credits
Introduction to Fashion Communication (20 credits)
Fashion Critic (20 credits)
Introduction to Cultural and Historical Studies (20 credits)
Fashion Objects (20 credits)
Imaging Fashion (40 credits)
Year Two Stage Two level 5 120 credits
Cultural and Historical Studies (20 credits)
Critical Spaces (20 credits)
Situating Your Practice: Communication Placement / Situating Your Practice: International Study Communication / Situating Your Practice: Simulated Professional Practice (40 credits)
Research Methods (20 credits)
Documenting Fashion (20 credits)
Third Year Stage Three levels 6 (60 credits) and 7 (60 credits) 120 credits
Campaign Research (20 credits) level 6
Term One and Term Two
Cultural and Historical Studies Dissertation (40 credits) level 6
Term Two and Term Three
Campaign (60 credits) level 7
Fourth Year Stage Four level 7 120 credits
Concept Proposal and Development (40 credits)
Terms Two and Three
Master’s Project (80 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.
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 structureThe 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.
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.
Our excellent resources for educating our students are two-fold: people and premises. People includes everyone at the College who contributes directly in some way to your education, whether as a subject tutor, a technician, an Open Access officer, a librarian or a study support tutor. Premises include the buildings and the facilities contained in them, such as specialist machinery, design studios and workshops, lecture and seminar rooms, and the library.
Johannes Reponen is the Course Leader for MA Fashion Media Practice and Criticism. Alongside this, he works as the editor of Address – Journal of Fashion Criticism and writes for a number of international fashion publications. He is currently completing practice-based PhD research on fashion criticism at London College of Fashion.
Nathalie Khan is Associate Lecture and a cultural historian with an academic background in performance and film theory. Nathalie is a Phd candidate at UAL and holds a BA from Royal Holloway and an MRes from the London Consortium. She teaches fashion history and theory at Central Saint Martins and London College of Fashion, where she teaches on the Executive MBA. In addition, Nathalie is a guest lecturer at Sotheby’s Institute of Art in New York, the University of Bologna and The Conde Nast School of Fashion and Design. Nathalie is a leading theorist and writer on contemporary fashion media and the impact of new technology on the traditional catwalk show and fashion photography. She is a regular contributor to the fashion media platform SHOWstudio. Recent curatorial practice includes a project titled I know simply that the sky will last longer than I, with the Belgian visual artist Pierre Debusschere during the 28th International Festival of Fashion and Photography (Hyeres, 2013). Before pursuing a career in academia she worked as a brand consultant for Kurt Geiger and as a sales and distribution manager for global brands such as Donna Karan, Calvin Klein, Pollini and Prada.
Sophie Barr is an Associate Lecturer teaching across the Fashion Communication Programme and the Cultural and Historical Studies department at LCF. She is a practising artist and researcher who uses photography, drawing, print, video, audio, web and installation to explore the aesthetics of the globalised city, identity in the digital age and the relationships between material and digital cultures. She regularly exhibits her work in London and beyond. Sophie holds a Master’s in Fine Art with Learning and Teaching in HE as well as a Master’s in Cultural and Critical Studies and is a Fellow of the HEA. Sophie is currently studying for a Professional Doctorate in Fine Art at the University of East London where she also teaches Contextual Studies for Photography.
Kelly Dearsley is the Programme Director for the Fashion Communication courses, which include BA (Hons) Creative Direction for Fashion, BA (Hons) Fashion Public Relations and Communication and MA Fashion Media Practice and Criticism. Kelly began her career as an advertising executive in the 1980s working with clients in the film and entertainment industries. She returned to study Fashion Photography at the London College of Fashion and has worked as a freelance photographer for publications including Guardian, Vogue Pelle and ID magazine. She has made a number of short films which have been shown at film festivals across the world, including Leeds, Liverpool, Greece, Sweden, London, Slovakia, Croatia and Brazil. Her most recent new work ‘I’ve a Feeling We’re not in Kansas any more’, a fine art installation/performance was devised and performed in Glasgow at the New Territories International Festival of Live Art in March 2011. Kelly is currently studying for a PhD at LCF. Her research, a comparative study of the reading practices and reception of fashion media in print and digital formats, will be a wholly written thesis that uses phenomenology as a methodology to explore the reception of fashion media paying particular attention to the role of new media in this process.
Developing your skills
All our undergraduate courses are concerned with the development of your personal and professional skills. On your course you will evolve from learning basic skills in your discipline through to a position where you are an independent creative thinker capable of making an effective contribution to the relevant sector of the fashion industry. Personal and Professional Development (PPD) skills are embedded in all units on every course. Speaker programmes with contributions from alumni, members of industry and others are a part of many courses, as are work placement opportunities in industry. Where relevant, students have the chance to attend trade fairs, enter industry competitions, visit exhibitions and go on field trips and visits. The central position of our John Prince’s Street site in the West End affords students easy access to all sectors of the fashion retail market. In addition, our position as a constituent College in the University of the Arts London means that our students have access to the wide range of activities and events that occur in all the Colleges and at the University’s centre. Last but not least, being in London gives every student opportunities to explore and be inspired by the cultural, intellectual and social life of one of the great capital cities of the world.
Future Careers and Graduate Prospects
Graduates who wish to continue their education at a higher postgraduate level are encouraged to progress to suitable research options within the College, the University or elsewhere.
Many postgraduates prefer to seek employment as soon as they have completed their MA, and we expect graduates from this course to progress to careers in fashion communication areas of criticism, image making, editing, curation, publishing or writing in both traditional and new media. Additionally, graduates would be suited to work across the creative industries or academia, as well as institutional or organisational areas of fashion such as corporate social responsibility, education, policy or innovation. This is a new course, so as yet we have no final year graduates. We are, however, confident that when we do our graduates will be highly employable within the global fashion media and communication industry.
LCF Careers provides a comprehensive career management service supporting our students to become informed and self-reliant individuals able to plan and manage their own careers.
- Visit LCF Careers
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
Entry to this course is highly competitive: applicants are expected to achieve, or already have, the course entry requirements detailed below.
The standard minimum entry requirements for this course are:
- Three A Level Passes at Grade B or Above Preferred subjects include Art, Design, English, Art History, Philosophy, Media Studies, Religious Studies, Psychology, ICT;
- or Distinction, Distinction, Merit at BTEC Extended Diploma (Preferred subjects) Art & Design; Distinction Foundation Diploma in Art and Design;
- or Merit at UAL Extended Diploma;
- or Access Diploma or 120 tariff points from the Access to HE Diploma;
- or 120 new UCAS tariff points (equivalent to 300 old UCAS tariff points) from a combination of the above qualifications or an equivalent full Level 3 qualification;
- or equivalent EU or non-EU qualifications;
- and Three GCSE passes at grade A*-C.
Exceptionally, applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered if the course team judges the application demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might, for example, be demonstrated by: related academic or work experience; the quality of the personal statement; a strong academic or other professional reference; or a combination of these factors.
This course requires evidence at interview of portfolio work that reflects your interest in fashion media practice. You will be also be expected to demonstrate analytical and critical skills through interview.
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 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in any one skill.
Please visit the UAL Language Requirements [URL] page. Read carefully and look at the relevant documents.
Student Selection Criteria
What We Look For
The course team seeks to recruit students who can demonstrate:
- A broad interest in fashion, visual imagery and an awareness of technology
- An understanding of the need for a critical and analytical approach to the area of study
- An approach suited to the demands of the course and projected career futures
This might, for example, be demonstrated by: related academic or work experience; the quality of the personal statement, a strong academic or other professional reference; or a combination of these factors.
Portfolio and Interview Advice
For this course you should show evidence of work that reflects your interest in fashion media practice.
Applicants will be expected to demonstrate the following at interview: why you want to come on the course and what you will bring to the course; an awareness of some of the important practitioners in fashion media and why their contribution is significant; and analytical and critical skills through a piece of recent writing.
How to apply
You can apply online through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).
Go to ‘Apply’ from the UCAS home page, where you will be able to register and create a password that gives you unique access as you complete your application form.
You will need the University code, the UCAS code for this course, and the deadline date for your application. You will find these on the Facts tab.
Contact us on:
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7514 7973 / 7582 / 7344
Or you can use the UAL Course Enquiry Form
International applicants may apply through one of three routes only:
Further information on applying via UCAS is provided on the Applying through UCAS page.
For applicants who want to apply directly to UAL, the direct application form may be found here:
For full details on the application process, visit the Undergraduate application page.
We continue to accept applications throughout the year, but please note that the equal consideration deadline is 15 January.
For advice and guidance with your application, please contact the UAL admissions team who can answer any specific questions that you may have regarding LCF's 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.
International applicants should contact the Admission Office by emailing email@example.com about portfolio requirements (if applicable), interview times and dates.
Deferred Entry is normally only allowed in exceptional circumstances. Please contact us before you submit your application if you are considering applying for deferred entry.
What Happens Next?
All application forms, personal statements and references are read and considered by the course team against the selection criteria listed on the Entry Requirements tab, under What We Look For.
If the course team wish to consider your application further, you will be invited for interview by the course team. If you are successful at the interview stage you will be offered a place. Applicants are not guaranteed an interview.
Please note that if you are unable to attend the College may not be able to re-schedule.
If you applied through UCAS the result of your application will be communicated to you via UCAS through ucastrack. You will only receive further communication directly from the College if your application has been successful. This will be in the form of a full offer pack including details of accommodation, fees, and other important information.
Showing your Work
All final year students are given the opportunity to profile their work online via Showtime. London College of Fashion can make no guarantee that your work (either in sum or in part) will be shown, exhibited or profiled in any way as part of your course. All student work appearing in College organised events, catwalk shows, exhibitions and other forms of showcase, is selected by a panel of senior staff and, in some instances, external industry judges.
In the first term you will study two units.
Introduction to Fashion Communication introduces you to your course and its subject specialism as well as to effective learning and studentship at undergraduate level. It will orientate you to the practices and knowledge-base needed to understand your discipline and help you to develop your skills for independent & collaborative learning, reflection and your own self development. Students come from many diverse educational backgrounds and a part of this unit will enable to reflect on your own background and how that shapes the way you approach your course.
The Fashion Critic unit introduces you to the subject of criticism specifically in relation to fashion. Who is a fashion critic? and What does a fashion critic do? will be key questions, and you will be encouraged to critically investigate the subject of fashion whilst considering your own position.
In the second term you will study two units.
Introduction to Cultural and Historical Studies introduces you to key concepts and ways of thinking about fashion and its context in society and culture. You will attend lectures, seminars and workshops, and do a significant amount of reading of academic texts in order to complete a formal academic essay for assessment. Completion of this unit will allow you to make an informed choice of subject for study in the second year Cultural and Historical Studies unit.
The Fashion Objects unit takes fashion objects as its starting point and you will investigate a broad range of commodities that are understood to be part of the culture of fashion. You will consider objects in museums and archives, garments seen on catwalks, retail items and products of fashion media, and you will look at the narratives behind these objects, their context and their use.
In the third term you will study Imaging Fashion where you will investigate the impact of the fashion image on social and cultural evolution by studying the practices of photographic image making and styling along with art direction, hair and make-up design, and fashion graphics. The unit is delivered as a collaborative project, which gives you the opportunity to work with your cohort across disciplines.
In the first term you will be able to study a Cultural and Historical Studies unit of your choice that will broaden or deepen your learning of areas relating to your interests in your chosen field. You will have the opportunity to participate in lectures, seminars and workshops with students from other courses within your School, and will read relevant academic texts and complete a formal academic essay for assessment.
Also in the first term, the Critical Spaces unit examines the spaces, real and virtual, that curatorial and editorial practitioners occupy. Both physical and digital environments are explored, and you will look at the relationships between objects, spaces and critical voices from retail environments, websites, catwalks, print magazines and online platforms to the gallery and the museum. You will consider the impact of context and the curatorial and editorial process.
Second term options:
Situating Your Practice: Communication Placement unit provides an opportunity to apply previous learning in a professional work environment. You will gain a deeper critical understanding and appreciation of professional practice within your discipline and in relation to contemporary debates and cultural contexts. The unit also demands a critical approach to the management of your own learning through reflection and planning as well as demonstration of suitable individual and collaborative professional working. The unit requires a minimum of 60 work placement hours.
Situating Your Practice: International Study Communication provides an opportunity to apply previous learning whilst studying your subject in a different institution. You will develop skills within your practice and gain credits for your current course whilst engaging with the academic culture of your host institution. The unit also demands a critical approach to the management of your own learning through reflection and planning.
Situating Your Practice: Simulated Professional Practice provides an opportunity to apply your previous learning and further develop your individual practice. The unit will simulate a professional working environment where you will be encouraged to collaborate with students across your course, programme and the wider University in order to respond creatively to a brief which will be detailed in your unit handbook. The unit also demands a critical approach to the management of your own learning through reflection and planning.
In the third term in the Documenting Fashion unit you will explore the relationship between moving image, message and delivery as a form of critical practice in fashion. Moving image as a form of fashion media and communication has greatly increased in importance due to the possibilities allowed by online publishing platforms. The processes of research, writing, filming and editing collaboratively will highlight the complex processes involved with creating a narrative and will emphasise the interdisciplinary nature of practice in contemporary fashion media.
Also in the third term, you will study the Research Methods unit, which introduces you to the variety of research methods that are used in both new and traditional media. This will help you to prepare for the Cultural and Historical Studies dissertation that you will undertake in your third year, and allows you to explore the relationship between theory and practice. You will learn about the literature review and the primary and secondary research necessary to undertake your dissertation. You will construct your research proposal, both visual and written, undertake some preliminary research, and formulate a plan for future research into your chosen topic.
In the first term Campaign Research gives you the opportunity to interrogate issues such as diversity, sustainability, law, intellectual property rights, globalisation, and corporate social responsibility, as well as ethical and political dimensions relating to fashion. Your investigation will include an overview of these issues in relation to the fashion and lifestyle industries and the organisational structures that exist within these industries. You will collate, analyse and evaluate your findings to inform the Campaign unit undertaken later in the year.
In the first and second term the Cultural and Historical Studies Dissertation allows you to demonstrate your understanding of the critical and analytical perspectives developed within cultural and historical theory and your ability to apply these theoretical perspectives to a specific study. Following on from the work undertaken in the second year in Research Methods, you will undertake further research and write your dissertation. The unit gives you the opportunity to undertake a substantial piece of written work, underpinned with appropriate primary and/or secondary research, that examines in depth cultural issues relating to fashion, lifestyle, the body, performance or the media, and which reflects on the critical debates and concerns addressed on the course.
Campaign is the first unit at postgraduate level and is undertaken in the second and third terms. You will use the research collected in the first term unit and negotiate a project based on one aspect of this research. You will use your chosen discipline as a vehicle to explore and critique the chosen issue. You will be encouraged to independently seek out collaborators to complete this unit, partially or wholly, as a live project, an industry collaboration or entrepreneurial initiative using practical and critical tools. You will negotiate and agree the outcome for this unit with your tutor.
In the first term you undertake the Concept Proposal and Development unit, which prepares you for the final Master’s Project. You will collate, analyse and evaluate sources, whilst exploring and defining research methodologies appropriate to postgraduate study. Your proposal must identify an original and innovative approach to a substantial project applying knowledge and an understanding of criticism that you have developed on this course. You will produce written work that supports your proposal by framing the concepts that you will explore. You will undertake the research necessary to underpin your Master’s Project.
The Masters Project unit takes place over Term Two and Term Three, and consolidates the knowledge gained in earlier units. You have the opportunity to produce a self-initiated, professionally executed, practice-based project. This work can take a variety of forms, which will be negotiated by you and your tutor. You will utilise your discipline as a means of exploration and critique specifically for an area of the fashion and lifestyle industries. Your substantial body of practice work will be underpinned by a dissertation.
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