BA (Hons) Fashion Illustration

Succeed as an original and innovative illustrator in fashion or related fields through developing your artistic talent and acquiring relevant professional, academic and business skills.

Painted illustrations of a woman in embellished dresses, by a student on this fashion illustration course.

Louise O'Keeffe, 2013 - view Showtime profile

Illustration by BA (Hons) Fashion Illustration graduate William Blower
William Blower

William Blower, 2010 - view Showtime profile

Movie style fashion illustrations

Nicola Wright, 2013 - view Showtime profile

T-shirts with monochrome crackle and symmetric patterns.

Alina Zamanova, 2015 - view Showtime profile

Still from student video for Biba

View industry project

House of Fraser asked students to create films promoting the iconic British brand BIBA.

Carmen hair straighteners packaging

View industry project

To celebrate their 40th anniversary, Carmen Hair (Remington) asked students to design a limited edition styling collection.

Student work for The Wallace Collection

View industry project

The Wallace Collection asked students to design illustrated gifts to be sold in the gallery shop.

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.


Course Leader

Sue Dray

Course Location

Lime Grove

Study LevelUndergraduate
Study ModeFull time
Course Length3 years
Home/EU Fee

£9,000 per year.

International Fee

£17,230 per year.

Autumn Term Dates26 Sep - 9 Dec 2016
Spring Term Dates9 Jan - 17 Mar 2017
Summer Term Dates18 April - 23 June 2017
Application Route


Application DeadlineApplications for 2016/17 entry are now closed. Applications for 2017/18 entry will open in Autumn 2016.
UCAS CodeW221
University CodeU65

Content and structure

The BA (Hons) Fashion Illustration course is situated in the School of Media and Communication, and prepares students for a career in fashion illustration and related fields through the exploration of a wide range of traditional and contemporary approaches to drawing and image creation. You will develop your drawing skills and experiment with different media, and have the opportunity to learn a wide range of illustration, graphic and visual communication skills, together with the academic, professional and business skills necessary to succeed in the contemporary creative industries. The specialist curriculum is underpinned by drawing, and this is enhanced by digital technology, photography, moving image and animation. You will learn research skills, both academic and visual, and will develop your own personal visual language, as well as writing a dissertation in the final year. The course provides students with opportunities for first hand experience of the industry through industry projects, placements and work experience. Recent live projects have been with Procter and Gamble, TIGI (Toni and Guy), Biba and the National Gallery. Students have participated in a number of national competitions, including involvement with the charities Orchid, Jeans for Genes and Just A Drop. 

BA (Hons) Fashion Illustration 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 are both worth visiting.

Course Structure

Year One  -  Stage One  -  level 4  -  120 credits 

Term One: Introduction to Study in Higher Education: Fashion Illustration (20 credits); Fashion Illustration and Drawn Images (20 credits)

Term Two: Introduction to Cultural and Historical Studies (20 credits); Cross Media Narratives (20 credits)

Term Three: Fashion Illustration and Moving Images (40 credits)


Year Two  -  Stage Two  -  level 5  -  120 credits

Term One: Cultural and Historical Studies (20 credits); The Client Brief (20 credits)

Term Two: Professional Development: Fashion Illustration(40 credits)

Term Three: Research Methods for Illustration (20 credits); Creative Directions (20 credits)


Third Year  -  Stage Three  -  level 6  -  120 credits

Term One: Concept and Research Development (20 credits)

Terms One and Two: Cultural and Historical Studies Dissertation (40 credits)

Term Two and Three: Final Major Project for Fashion Illustration (60 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

All courses will require you to spend money on necessary materials during the course, (stationery, and variables according to your subject) and, in some cases, equipment so that you start the course with what you need. Details of approximate additional costs for this course will be available as a download shortly. Please note that prices may change and we cannot guarantee that costs quoted will be exact.



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.

The extensive facilities at Lime Grove that support this course include the Mac suites, photography studios, edit suites, sound studios and other specialist areas which can be utilised if required.

Sue Dray is the Course Leader for BA (Hons) Fashion Illustration. She has an MA in Communication Design from Central Saint Martins, and was awarded a Teaching and Learning Fellowship in 2009 while at UCA. Her research interest is in experimental teaching of drawing strategies, and Reflective Drawing: A Case Study, published by the University for the Creative Arts, is an outcome from this research. She is a practising illustrator and has sold her work both nationally and internationally.

Natalie Brown is the Acting Programme Director for the Fashion Media courses, the Course Leader for  BA Costume for Performance and the Programme Director for the Performance courses, which include BA Costume for Performance, BA 3D Effects for Performance, and BA Hair, Make-up and Prosthetics for Performance. She trained in fashion and textile design at the London College of Fashion and the University of the Creative Arts at Farnham. Natalie has worked extensively in fashion, accessories and textile design, with a special interest in digital drawing in both two and three dimensions. Currently she creates body accessories for fashion. 


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 postgraduate level are encouraged to progress to suitable courses within the College, the University or elsewhere.

Many graduates prefer to seek employment as soon as they have completed their undergraduate studies. Recent graduates from this course are working at Browns Focus, Love magazine, and Vauxhall Fashion Scout. This year graduates have found freelance illustration work with Nike Sportswear, Drapers magazine, London Fashion Week, the milliner Piers Atkinson, Body Shop, Nine West, and Dazed and Confused.

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

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.

Two ‘A’ level passes at grade C or above PLUS passes in three GCSE subjects at grade C or above.

OR equivalent awards

Preferred subjects include Art, Design, English and Maths.

This course requires a minimum 160 UCAS tariff points.

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.

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 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in any one skill.

Please visit the UAL Language Requirements 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 strong 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 the projected career futures .

Portfolio and Interview Advice

For this course you will be required to upload a mini portfolio. Further instructions will be sent by the course administrator after application submission. International students should contact the International Office to find out about the portfolio application process.

All applicants invited for interview with the course team will be asked to complete a small drawing activity. This will aid and assist the course team in the interview process. Applicants should note the importance of the work in the portfolio presented at interview in determining whether or not you are offered a place.

For this course your portfolio should show evidence of: drawing / presentation skills; examples of creative visual imagery; research skills; experimentation; and engagement with technology for image production.

Applicants will be expected to demonstrate the following at interview: a strong interest in, and awareness of, contemporary fashion and fashion illustration; a cultural awareness of society; visual awareness evidenced through portfolio work; an interest in, and knowledge of, technical processes for image production; a motivation for working in fashion illustration; and a motivation to succeed on the course.

Please note that the majority of interviews for Home/EU applicants will take place in the week Monday 22 February to Friday 26 February.

International applicants should contact the International Office about portfolio requirements (if applicable), interview times and dates.

How to apply

Home EU Applicants

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

For advice about how to apply as an international applicant please visit the UAL International Application Advice page.

To apply, visit the Undergraduate section of LCF's Support for International Students page.

The International Recruitment Office at 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. 

Our contact details are:

International Recruitment Office, London College of Fashion, 20 John Prince’s Street, London W1G 0BJ

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7514 7656 / 7678 / 7629 / 7940

Or you can use the UAL Course Enquiry Form

Deferred Entry

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.  Depending on the quality of your application, you may be asked to submit a number of images of your work. If the course team wish to consider your application further, you will be invited to an interview where the course team will look at your portfolio and ask you questions to establish your suitability for the course. If you are successful at the interview stage you will be offered a place. Applicants are not guaranteed to be asked to upload work, nor are they 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.

Course units

Year One

In the first term you will study two units.

Introduction to Study in Higher Education: Fashion Illustration gives you an understanding of your personal and professional development at university, with three core purposes: to introduce you to the necessary learning skills for undergraduate study; to show you where you are situated within the College and the University; and to help you understand what you will learn on your course and how you will develop your skills. Emphasis is placed on the skills needed to locate, navigate and communicate information effectively and appropriately. You will be introduced to resources that support your studies.

The Fashion Illustration and Drawn Images unit introduces you to the principles and skills of communicating ideas and proposals through fashion illustration. You will learn research skills that encourage you to recognise, interpret and demonstrate the importance of direct observation, visual analysis and synthesis. You will develop your visual vocabulary, using both traditional craft and digital techniques, and expand your sources of reference, linking research and content to fashion illustration.
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 Cross Media Narratives unit will introduce you to narrative and story as a means of communicating to an audience. You will be paying specific attention to the fusion of traditional and experimental drawing techniques and digital technology. This unit explores the processes by which contemporary fashion imaging communicates style, content and context. Your visual literacy skills will be developed and extended through the investigation and application of associated technologies.

In the third term you will do the Fashion Illustration and Moving Images unit, which introduces you to time-based media and the fundamental processes associated with the moving image with specific reference to illustration. You will be encouraged to examine the relevance, effectiveness and power of moving image, from social media to cinema, within the context of fashion promotion and communication. During this unit you will be introduced to understanding the requirements of the brand and client within the fashion industry.

Year Two

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 studied in the first term, The Client Brief unit will build upon your prior knowledge of fashion imaging in the context of the demands of the fashion industry. You will be applying knowledge of the role of the illustrator in the fashion industry and your relationship to marketing, public relations, advertising and branding. You will be working with an external client, either simulated or actual, and you will analyse the brief to ensure full understanding of the requirements. You will establish working methods to ensure your response to the brief includes the specific fashion illustration requirements for your client and a professional approach to presentations. This unit will increase your awareness of product knowledge, and you will research and investigate competitive brands and markets.

In the second term the Professional Development: Fashion Illustration unit will provide you with the opportunity to further develop your skills and applied learning to a live or simulated industry experience. You will be introduced to CV writing and techniques to promote your career progression. This unit will increase your awareness of the realities of the industry, and you can expect to take an analytical and reflective approach to projects, which could include a period of work experience, simulated industry projects, live competitions, workshops and / or collaborative opportunities.

In the third term you will do two units.

Research Methods for Illustration provides you with an overview of a variety of different research methods that will underpin both your Cultural and Historical Studies dissertation and your Final Major Project in the third year. For the dissertation you will be introduced to the first two key stages, the literature review and the research, and how each relates to each other. You will also look at primary and secondary sources, ways of developing and originating research, and methods of appropriately realising the research for the dissertation. Parallel with this you will develop research ideas for a visual research proposal for a notional research project, and will formulate a plan for future research into your chosen area. Your preliminary research will include both primary and secondary sources.

In the Creative Directions unit you will increase your knowledge of professional illustrative and collaborative working practices. You will work in a small team to undertake the research for a simulated or real professional brief. You will be required to collaborate, assume responsibility, organise and communicate with the team to collate your research to culminate in a joint oral and visual presentation. You will also consolidate your professional illustrative skills and develop a signature style. You will have the opportunity to explore individual interests and platforms and channel your creative direction into a context such as drawing, experimental image creation, packaging design, animation, app design creation, graphic design, books, publications or website design.

Year Three

In the first term you will do the Concept and Research Development unit. This unit requires you to expand your research practice and skills, and will be a space for you to experiment, develop and cultivate your ideas for a Final Major Project proposal. You will consider the theoretical and professional contexts of your project and develop an appropriate methodology, paying attention to narrative, audience and production values. You will explore new ideas, processes, and methods, and will take risks and experiment with design and production values, working to an intended outcome. The way that you structure your work within this unit is up to you; for example you may choose to focus on one line of enquiry, or produce a series of smaller test projects, or explore a range of visual and theoretical research avenues and methods.

In the first and second terms you will undertake a major piece of written work for the Cultural and Historical Studies Dissertation unit. This allows you to demonstrate your understanding of the critical and analytical perspectives developed within cultural and historical theory, and how you can apply these theoretical perspectives in a specific study, which you will have already identified in the third term of the second year. The dissertation gives you the opportunity to undertake primary and secondary research that examines in depth cultural issues relating to a particular aspect of fashion, lifestyle, the body, performance or the media, and to produce a written piece of work that reflects the critical debates around your chosen topic.

The Final Major Project for Illustration, undertaken in the second and third terms, gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your specialist skills and specific interests through an individual body of work. You will test your ability to respond innovatively to the challenges involved in your chosen context. The structure and outcomes of your project will be determined through your project proposal. You will identify and construct individually negotiated outcomes to develop your concepts. You will be expected to plan and organise your time carefully with reference to your written project proposal. You will develop your research, methods and approaches and produce a significant body of work that demonstrates innovation, design development, application of skills and a heightened level of understanding of fashion illustration in its broadest terms.

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