MA Fashion Cultures

Investigate fashion, dress and style in culture and society. Examine the evolving relationship between fashion and film.

This course replaces MA History and Culture of Fashion and MA Fashion and Film and has two pathways: History and Culture; and Fashion and Film.

Please note, the previously advertised flexible mode of study for this course is no longer available.

Double page spread from LCF MA 16 Fashion Cultures and Psychology book

Read the MA16 journal

LCF MA Fashion: Culture, History, Psychology Book 2016

Double page spread from LCF MA 15 Fashion Cultures journal with photos of woman in clothes and text.

Read the MA15 journal

LCF MA 15 Fashion Cultures journal

Hear from MA15 Fashion Cultures students

Vivienne Westwood for Virgin Atlantic - Head pattern cutter
Vivienne Westwood for Virgin Atlantic - Head pattern cutter

Laura Jones, 2014 - view Showtime profile.

Behind the Scenes: Bath Fashion Museum Archive by MA Fashion Cultures student Lenna Stamatopoulou


Visit the blog

[IN]TANGIBLE: REDRESSING FASHION is the course blog for MA Fashion Cultures.

Vanessa Lingham's Cultural Threads exhibition extends the work of her Final Major Project on young Gypsy and Traveller women.

Funding opportunities

Use UAL's fees and funding calculator to estimate how much your studies may cost you in your first year, and what funding may be available to you.

Use UAL’s scholarships search to find out what you might be eligible for.

Postgraduate loans of up to £10,000 are now available for eligible UK and EU students. A full list of eligibility criteria and information on applying can be found on the postgraduate loans webpage.


Course Leader

Johannes Reponen

Johannes Reponen leads History and Culture pathway

Pamela Church-Gibson leads Fashion and Film pathway

Course Location

John Prince’s Street

Study LevelPostgraduate
Study ModeFull time
Course Length12 months / CPD up to 5 years
Home/EU Fee


UAL Home/EU alumni receive a £1,000 discount.

Course fees may be paid in instalments

International Fee


UAL International alumni receive a £1,000 discount
Course fees may be paid in instalments

Autumn Term Dates12 Sep - 02 Dec 2016
Spring Term Dates09 Jan - 17 Mar 2017
Summer Term Dates18 Apr - 22 Sep 2017
Application Route

Direct to College

Application DeadlineApplications are accepted, and offers made, throughout the year. Early application is advised.

Content and structure

Please note that for this MA course applicants will apply to one of the two pathways:


MA Fashion Cultures: History and Culture


MA Fashion Cultures: Fashion and Film

This new course, MA Fashion Cultures, offers a unique experience in fashion education at postgraduate level. The course has two specific but interrelated pathways: History and Culture; and Fashion and Film. On this course you will have the opportunity to study fashion and dress within its historical, social and cultural contexts. A dynamic in-depth exploration of theoretical and methodological perspectives will give you a grounding in the history of fashion and an underpinning of social and cultural theory for both pathways. You will then undertake more specialised study on your chosen pathway. On the History and Culture pathway you will investigate fashion as object, representation and practice through an interdisciplinary approach from both historical and contemporary perspectives. On Fashion and Film you will investigate the ongoing changing relationship between fashion, costume and forms of film as well as the relationship between cinema and consumption within a global context. While you will choose one pathway, you will have the opportunity to attend the lectures for the other pathway if you wish to, so you can gain the fullest possible understanding of a variety of disciplines and their impact upon visual and material cultures.

The pathways are led by renowned experts in their respective fields, and they are supported by research fellows, professors, authors, curators and historians who contribute to the course. Based in one of fashion’s most important cities, our students benefit from access to the special collections and archives of many leading institutions in London, including the V and A, Museum of London and the British Film Institute. You will also have the opportunity to work with other graduate students from the Culture and Curation Programme on some units of the course.

We attract students from a wide variety of academic and industry backgrounds, some of whom have completed theory-based first degrees, while others come with practice-based backgrounds. After completing their Masters studies, some students from both former courses have progressed to higher level research degrees, and others have established themselves in a number of related fields including curation, visual merchandising, styling, archiving, fashion buying, lecturing and research.

Course Structure

12 months 3 terms level 7 180 credits

Block One September to January: Social and Cultural Theories (20 credits) (both pathways); Fashion Histories (20 credits) (both pathways); Research Methods (20 credits) (both pathways)

Block Two February to May: Circuits of Fashion (20 units) (History and Culture pathway) OR Fashion, Stardom and Celebrity Culture (20 credits) (Fashion and Film pathway); Gendering Fashion (20 credits) (History and Culture pathway) OR Film Concepts, Global Cinema (20 credits) (Fashion and Film pathway) ; Collaborative Unit (20 credits) (both pathways).

Block Three May to September: Masters Project (60 credits) (both pathways)

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.


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.

Pamela Church Gibson is the Pathway Leader for the Fashion and Film pathway and is an internationally recognised leader in fashion and film studies. She has published extensively on film, fashion, history and heritage, and significant titles include The Oxford Guide to Film Studies (1998), Fashion Cultures (2000), More Dirty Looks: Gender, Power and Pornography (2004) Fashion and Celebrity Culture (2011), The Time of Our Lives (2013), and Fashion Cultures Revisited (2013). She has contributed a number of essays in academic journals such as Fashion Theory and The Journal of British Cinema and Television, and widely used anthologies such as British Cinema (2005), and Cyberpunk Reloaded: The Matrix Trilogy (2014). Pamela Church Gibson is the editor of the peer reviewed journal Film, Fashion and Consumption and currently President of European Popular Culture Association.

Dr Shaun Cole is the Course Leader and Pathway Leader for the History and Culture pathway. He is also the Programme Director for the Curation and Culture Programme. He is a writer, lecturer and curator, and was formerly Head of Contemporary Programmes at the Victoria and Albert Museum, where he curated several exhibitions, most notably Graphic Responses to AIDS (1996), Dressing the Male (1999) and Black British Style (2004). He is a trustee of the Costume Society UK and associate editor of the journal Fashion Style and Popular Culture. Shaun Cole has also written and lectured on the subject of menswear and gay fashion and his publications include ‘Don We Now Our Gay Apparel’: Gay Men’s Dress in the Twentieth Century (2000), Dialogue: Relationships in Graphic Design (2005), The Story of Men's Underwear (2010), and Fashion Media: Past and Present (2013 coedited with Agnès Rocamora and Djurdja Bartlett). His writing has appeared in the peer reviewed journals Fashion Theory, Critical Studies in Men’s Fashion and Fashion, Film and Consumption, and key anthologies Defining Dress (1999), The Fashion Reader (2007, 2011). Men’s Fashion Reader (2008) The Men’s Fashion Reader (2009) and The Meanings of Dress (2012).

Dr Anna-Mari Almilla is Research Fellow in the Sociology of Fashion. She has BA and MA degrees in Art and Design, with the major subject of Clothing, from the University of Lapland, in Finland. She has a PhD from the Department of Sociology at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. She is both a designer and a sociologist, with interests in both the theory and the practice of dress and fashion. Her publications have focused on explorations of visibility and equality in the public sphere, and in public spaces, in particular that of Muslim women and veiling practices.

Nikola Mijovic is Lecturer in Cultural and Historical Studies. As well as teaching, Nikola is a film writer and director whose short films include Poetry Day at Buckingham Palace (12 minutes; UK 2007), Sacred War (11 minutes; Sweden 2005) and 777 (12 minutes; UK 2003). His published research has focussed upon aspects of film making and cultural reception of film.

Andy Lee is Senior Lecturer in Fashion Film Practice at London College of Fashion, University of the Arts, London. He has worked extensively on a number of promotional film productions in both directorial and editorial contexts. His recent projects include production work for highly-acclaimed accounts such as Procter & Gamble, Dune, Bertie and Oasis. He has extensive experience of working on multi-format platforms and is open to the endless palette of digital possibilities.


Masters graduates have an acknowledged advantage in the employment market, obtaining work in a wide range of vocational and academic fields related to fashion. Previous graduates of LCF's History and Culture of Fashion and Fashion and Film have progressed to lecturing in related fields in Europe and America, fashion curation and archival work, research, journalism, styling, retail consultancy, as well as to higher level research degrees (MPhil or PhD). Our graduates are working within the industry at institutions including Museum of London, the V and A, Parsons (Paris) and Garde Robe.

LCF Careers

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.

Entry requirements

Course entry requirements

Entry to this course is highly competitive: applicants are expected to achieve, or already have, the course entry requirements detailed below.

  • An Honours degree at 2.1 or above in a related discipline. Applicants with a degree in another subject may be considered, depending on the strength of the application.


  • Equivalent qualifications


  • Relevant and quantitative experience

Selection for interview will be made on the basis of your application, including the project proposal, the reference, and the supporting written statement.

Student selection criteria

The course seeks to recruit students from diverse socio-economic and cultural backgrounds, and welcomes applications from mature students. 

What we look for

The course seeks to recruit students who can demonstrate:

  • A clear academic interest in the study of fashion and /or film through a multidisciplinary approach
  • Evidence of cultural awareness and engagement with social and historical debate
  • Relevant experience of fashion and / or film
  • A capacity for intellectual enquiry and reflective thought
  • A developed and mature attitude to independent study and intellectual growth

English language requirements

All classes are conducted in English. The level required by the University for this course is IELTS 7.0 with a minimum of 6.0 in any one skill.

For more information, read the University's English Language requirements page.

International applicants

The International Recruitment Office at the London College of Fashion will help to guide you through the application process and answer any specific questions that you may have regarding our courses. 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.

To find out more about studying in London, please visit the International students section of our website.

How to apply

You can apply for this course using our online application form – the link to this is below. Before you apply, we recommend you take some time to read the following details about the application process, including guidance on the extra information we will ask you to provide.

Required information for all postgraduate course applications

You will need to enter the following information in the online application form:

  • Personal details (including full name; date of birth; nationality; permanent address and English language level)
  • Current and/or previous education and qualification details
  • Employment history
  • Referee details (this course requires two references, one of which should be academic).

Before you can submit the form, you’ll also need to agree to the terms and conditions for how we process your data – these are explained in the form.

Please note, if you’re an international applicant we will need to contact you separately to ask for copies of certain documents (for example, English language qualification/certificate and copies of any previous UK study visas). 

Extra information required for applications to this course

Once you have submitted the form, you will receive a confirmation email that includes links to where you should submit the extra information we require for the selection process:

Personal statement

The personal statement is your opportunity to tell us about yourself and your suitability for the course that you intend to study.

Some key points to consider:

  • Make sure that personal statement is your own work and is about you
  • Why you want to study the course you are applying to
  • Try to link your skills and experience required to the course
  • Demonstrate your interest and enthusiasm for the course and link these with your personality
  • Make sure it is organised and literate (grammar, spelling, punctuation check).


“Fashion cannot be fully understood without a knowledge and understanding of the culture which generates them”. Analyse one instance of the relationship between a fashion or dress and the culture in which it emerged.

The essay of 1500 words should be referenced and include a bibliography of works used in the essay.

Study proposal

Your study proposal should:

  • State briefly the background for the proposal
  • Determine the precise area of study
  • Set out clearly and concisely your aims and objectives for the period of study.

Your study proposal should have the following structure:


Introduce the idea for your work. Briefly outline recent developments prior to application. Describe the anticipated programme of study in detail, demonstrating your knowledge of the historical and contemporary context of your area of study.

Focus on specific areas or issues that underpin and frame the proposal.

Programme of study

Outline the sequence of practical and theoretical steps that you intend to follow. This will be vital to your programme of study in the development of your Masters Project Plan that you will work on from Term 1 onwards.

Describe the methods and methodologies that you will follow and their significance for your research, i.e. how you will research this topic. Any supporting material should appear in appendices at the end of the proposal.

Research sources

Give details of libraries, exhibitions, museums, galleries and special archives that you have visited as part of your research towards the proposal, or that you intend to use in your research.


Keep a full record of all original and documentary material consulted. List appropriate material using the Harvard Referencing System.

Applications for 2017 will open shortly.

Course units

Cultural and Social Theory (Core Unit)

This unit outlines and examines important concepts and theories that have been developed through sociology and cultural studies. You will explore the work of a number of social and cultural theorists whose writings have been key to the interdisciplinary examinations of fashion. During the unit, through empirical examples, you will learn to locate these theoretical terms and concepts in the context of fashion studies, as well as to evaluate their usefulness for different areas of fashion studies. This unit will help you establish a common language and set of theoretical principles which can be employed in your analysis of, and writings about, fashion and dress.

Fashion Histories (Core Unit)

This unit will provide an introduction to the key moments in fashion history from 1700 onwards. It will also offer a critical historiography that will allow you to situate the facts and perspectives of fashion history within the broader areas of study that underpin a theoretical investigation of fashion. It will establish the key methods by which fashion historians, curators and theorists have examined their subject, and will stress the benefits of adopting an interdisciplinary perspective.

Research Methods (Core Unit)

The purpose of this unit is to provide you with an overview of the range of research methods, approaches and tools that are available to you in order to conduct your postgraduate project. The unit will cover philosophy and ethics in research, primary and secondary research methods including quantitative, qualitative and visual research methods, how to analyse, evaluate and disseminate research findings. The unit will consider research in a range of contexts relevant to the cultural and creative industries and enable you to understand the relationship between theory and practice.

Circuits of Fashion (Option Unit)

Here the stages of fashion and dress – production, distribution, mediation/representation and consumption – will be examined to give you a sense of how these areas are interlinked to create fashion systems and cycles. This unit investigates issues surrounding the design and production of clothing and the promotion, selling and representation of fashion in the public sphere. It will work towards an understanding of fashion as the embodiment of the design and manufacture processes in a material form. It will also stress the benefits to be gained from an analysis of the promotion and representation of clothing and the body through retail display, advertising, journalism and film.

Fashion and Gender (Option Unit)

This unit will address at the ways in which gender, identity and sexuality have been formed and influenced by fashion and how fashion and dress can be articulated through these subject formations. It will look at identity, mediation and representation through a gendered lens. It will examine how female gendered identities have been expressed through dressed appearance and the influence of feminist thinking and theory. In recent years attention has been paid to the imbalance of the secondary position of study of men’s fashion and masculinities in relation to fashion and dress. In order to redress this imbalance this unit will specifically address men, masculinity, fashion and dress.

Film, Fashion, Stardom and Celebrity Culture (Option Unit)

This unit examines the close, increasingly symbiotic relationship of film and fashion in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Its potency in the heyday of Hollywood was due to a ‘star system which offered middle-class and working-class women the chance to see new fashions and changing styles for themselves. ‘Celebrity culture’ arguably became a rival force at the close of the last century, and now dominates contemporary visual culture in all its forms, serving as a motor to power a rapidly-changing global economy .The unit examines the two concepts of its title through a series of case studies and theoretical work.

Film Concepts, Global Cinema (Option Unit)

This unit examines the main concepts which have informed the study of film, with the auteur theory, the notion of genre and the studio system among them. The critical debates around ideas of ‘national cinema’ will lead to a study of the way in which Hollywood dominance, established during the First World war, has been challenged in different parts of the world and in a variety of ways. The unit will also look at ‘audience studies’, reception theory and work on the costuming of cinema in different national contexts.

Collaborative Unit (Core Unit)

This unit is designed to provide an opportunity to innovate, explore developmental processes and to engage with collaborative working practices. You will be encouraged to engage in the professional negotiation and networking skills that you will need in order to be successful in the cultural and creative industries. The emphasis of this unit is on student led collaboration, the nature of which may be within your own course, with students on other courses via an exchange or with industry. The project that you undertake will depend upon your discipline and the specific requirements of your course. Further details will be available in your unit handbook.

Masters Project (Core Unit)

The Masters Project is an important piece of work central to achieving the course aims, which will provide an opportunity for you to demonstrate your knowledge and skills in relation to the course learning outcomes. Throughout the Masters Project, you are guided and supported by tutorials and peer and staff evaluation at interim stages. You will be allocated a supervisor for your project and will complete a learning contract outlining how you intend to develop and deliver your project. The Masters Project may take a variety of forms by negotiation and is assessed by presentation in an agreed format.

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