BA (Hons) Fashion Public Relations and Communication
Learn the skills to become a creative communicator and innovative strategist for fashion brands that are responsive to the changes and challenges facing today’s fashion industry.
|Study Mode||Full time|
|Course Length||3 years|
£9,000 per year (tbc for 2017/18)
£17,230 per year (tbc for 2017/18)
|Autumn Term Dates||25 Sep - 8 Dec 2017 (tbc)|
|Spring Term Dates||8 Jan - 16 Mar 2018 (tbc)|
|Summer Term Dates||16 April - 22 June 2018 (tbc)|
|Application Deadline||Applications for 2016/17 entry are now closed. Applications for 2017/18 entry will open in Autumn 2016.|
Content and structure
The BA (Hons) Fashion Public Relations and Communication course is situated in the School of Media and Communication. The course gives you the opportunity to acquire knowledge and understanding of the various aspects of fashion communication, including communication and public relations theories, branding and the fashion industry, how relationships with various stakeholders are developed, the changing media landscape, the integrated nature of communication, crisis and reputation management, strategic planning, innovations in technology, developing and originating research, and fashion communication in a global context. You will explore fashion communication in cultural, social and business contexts, and this theoretical and practical work, together with your Cultural and Historical Studies, will ensure that you graduate with the professional and creative skills appropriate for PR and fashion communication. The course is taught by academic and industry-based experts, and there are excellent links with the industry through work experience, live industry-led projects, and an exciting programme of industry speakers.
BA (Hons) Fashion Public Relations and Communication 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.
Students on this course might be invited to participate in study trips. This may involve, for example, visits to key areas of capital cities, factories, stores and museums. Attendance on these trips is not compulsory but recommended. Details regarding timings and costs will be issued closer to the relevant trips.
Year One - Stage One - level 4 - 120 credits
Fashion Public Relations: Defining the Discipline and the practice (20 credits)
Situating Your Practice: Communication Placement / Situating Your Practice: International Study Communication / Situating Your Practice: Simulated Professional Practice (40 credits)
Creative Media Platforms (40 credits)
Year Two - Stage Two - level 5 - 120 credits
Cultural and Historical Studies (20 credits)
Crisis and Reputation Management (20 credits)
Situating Your Practice: Placement/Situating Your Practice: International Study Media/Situating Your Practice: Fashioned Spaces (40 credits)
Research Methods for Media (20 credits)
Strategic Communication Planning (20 credits)
Year Three - Stage Three - level 6 - 120 credits
Project Proposal: Fashion Public Relations and Communication (20 credits)
Terms One and Two
Cultural and Historical Studies Dissertation (40 credits)
Term Two and Three:
Final Major Project (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.
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.
The Lime Grove site is the centre for media studies at LCF and has extensive facilities, including Mac suites, photography studios, edit suites, sound studios and other specialist areas which can be utilised if required.
Sophia Plessas is the Course Leader for BA (Hons) Fashion Public Relations and Communication and has taught at LCF since 2009. She has been a senior academic on a number of courses, specialising in Fashion Branding and Communication for the past eight years. Before embarking on an academic career, Sophia worked in the fashion industry as a freelance stylist and producer, styling, among others, Dita von Teese, Amanda Palmer and Shinghai Shoniwa for a number of international publications. She possesses extensive branding experience having worked for a leading New Product Development Agency, creating new ideas and concepts for major brands such as Topshop, Oxfam and Virgin, and as a PR executive for the design industry.
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.
Emily Huggard is a fashion communications practitioner whose experiences spans over nine years. She has worked on strategic brand strategies for luxury, menswear and eyewear brands as well as FMCG strategies at Unilever. In her most recent position as PR and Marketing Manager for luxury eyewear brand Cutler and Gross, Emily managed the brand’s digital and social content, influencer campaigns; directed creative campaigns and branded video content as well as managed collaborations with partners such as Maison Martin Margiela and Victoria Beckham. At Unilever, she worked on the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty and on artistic initiatives for Absolut Vodka. Prior to this, she was Research Editor at FLARE, Canada’s leading fashion magazine. Her current freelance work includes brand consulting for London-based menswear, eyewear and travel brands.
She completed her MA in Strategic Fashion Marketing at London College of Fashion. Her research explores the effect of artistic collaborations on the brand image of luxury fashion brands, presented most recently at the 7th Art of Management & Organization Conference (AoMO) in Copenhagen in August 2014.
Niamh McEnery is a communications and marketing specialist with over 20 years experience working within the fashion industry across a variety of areas. After studying Fashion Design at Middlesex University she moved into Public Relations, working for brands such as Maxmara, Wallis, Red or Dead, Office/Offspring footwear and Timberland. Her diverse career has spanned over many different sectors within the industry; from freelancing, working for boutique fashion agency Red Rooster, in-house at Office/Offspring through to the large award winning consumer agency Shine Communications. More recently Niamh has been the Marketing Manager for Timberland, overseeing and managing the communications in the UK and Ireland, as well as the companies Urban boot business for Northern Europe.
Niamh is passionate about CSR, employee engagement and business ethics, holding strong knowledge and experience of the world of volunteering within this sector. Her experience has been gained through coordinating business community engagement programmes at Timberland, while managing the company's CSR agenda and volunteering events across Northern Europe. She continues to share her communications knowledge and skills through volunteering for a variety of community organisations and charities.
- Ali Cook, Co Founder and Creative Director, Wool & The Gang
- Lucy Dachtler, Senior Global Digital Marketing Manager, Global
- Charlotte Jacklin, Freelance Digital and Social Media Consultant, Editor and Founder of Betty Magazine
- Jane Fearnley, Associate Director, Ogilvy Public Relations
- Catherine Morris, Founder of Iroquis Public Relations
- Phil Reay-Smith, Head of Media, Ogilvy Public Relations
- Martyn Roberts, Director, Fashion Scout & Graduate Fashion Week
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. Graduates from the previous BA (Hons) Fashion Public Relations course are now working with prestigious public relations companies, including The Communications Store, M&M Management, Hill and Knowlton, and the creative agency Exposure. With the changed emphasis of this revalidated course we are confident that graduates will be highly employable as strategic communicators in the global fashion 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.
‘A’ level passes at grade C or above (this course requires 240 UCAS tariff points) PLUS passes in five other GCSE subjects at grade C or above to include English
OR equivalent awards
Preferred subjects include English, a foreign language and Media Studies.
This course requires a minimum 240 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.
Applicants selected for interview will be asked to bring an example of their writing (academic or creative) and/or a creative project that they have worked on for discussion. You will be asked to leave a copy with the interviewers.
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 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:
- An interest in fashion public relations and the communication of brands
- A strong interest in fashion and how it is communicated to audiences, such as consumers and the media
- An enthusiasm for writing and the potential to enhance their writing skills to the professional level required by a strategic communicator
- An interest in culture, current affairs, trends and the media in all its forms
- Strong interpersonal skills and the potential to develop a research-based strategy for the client
Advice for applicants selected for interview
Applicants selected for interview will be asked to bring an example of their writing (academic or creative) and/or a creative project that they have worked on for discussion. You will be asked to leave a copy with the interviewers.
Applicants will be expected to demonstrate the following at interview: what particular strengths you can bring to the course; your leisure interests and reasons for those interests; an awareness of different media and their capacity to influence public opinion; an understanding of strategic communications; your future ambitions in fashion communications; a knowledge of key players in this field; and an awareness of key influences in fashion today.
Interviews will be held at an off-site location in London to accommodate those applicants that have received an interview invite. Further details will be sent to you with your interview letter.
Please note that the majority of interviews for Home/EU applicants will take place in the week Monday 20 February to Friday 24 February 2017.
International applicants should contact the International Office about portfolio requirements (if applicable), interview times and dates.
How to apply
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 attend the College for interview with 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.
Fashion Public Relations: Defining the Discipline and the Practice unit introduces you to the role of public relations and communication in fashion. By looking at the structure of the global fashion industry and the influence of fashion communication on society, you will gain an understanding of the significance of the role of the fashion communicator. This unit will develop your knowledge of the core concepts and definitions of communication as well as the theories and models that currently inform the discipline. You will learn to distinguish the functions of communication and PR and how they interact, yet differ, from other disciplines such as marketing and advertising. Furthermore, this unit will make you aware of the various audiences and stakeholders the fashion communicator interacts with.
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.
In Understanding the Fashion Brandyou will explore the concept of branding in the fashion industry. Through studying brand models and theories you will begin to understand how brands create and maintain a distinctive voice and identity. You will develop your awareness of both the visible and tangible elements of a brand and the emotional and intangible elements that create a connection between brands and their audiences. You will explore techniques and the processes of brand analysis, and will learn appropriate technical skills.
In the third term you will do theCreative Media Platforms unit, which builds on your skills in researching and deconstructing brands. You will examine the relationship between the fashion communication industry and the media. You will develop an understanding of how fashion brands connect and communicate with audiences and tell their brand story through the use of various communication tools, techniques and platforms as well as through generating their own content. You will work in a group on a focused and creative communication campaign.
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. Options cover the broad cultural context of professional practice in media and communication. 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 Crisis and Reputation Managementunit gives you knowledge and understanding of how fashion brands and corporations manage, enhance and protect their image and reputation through corporate communication strategies. You will acquire the tools to identify the internal and external issues, reputational threats and opportunities faced by brands and corporations. You will explore the ways in which they build their profiles using long-term strategies, and you will have the opportunity to apply this knowledge by developing an innovative response to a crisis.
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.
Research Methods for Media provides an introduction to and an overview of a number of different research methods for the collection of material relevant to your final year studies. For Cultural and Historical Studies, the unit will assist in the preparation of your dissertation proposal through considering primary and secondary sources, ways of developing and originating research, and ways of realising the research appropriate to cultural and historical studies. You will also undertake research, both primary and secondary, that will inform the development of a public relations plan to be undertaken in the Strategic Communication Planning unit.
The Strategic Communication Planningunit gives you the opportunity to create a strategic communication and public relations plan that utilises the developments in technology that offer innovative opportunities for communication. You will consider planning frameworks, which will enable you to select and apply creative tactics to implement and evaluate your strategy. You will interpret and apply your findings from the Research Methods for Media to each stage of the planning process.
In the first term you will undertake the Project Proposal: Fashion Public Relations and Communication unit. Building on your research skills, you will choose a brand and develop a proposal for your Final Major Project. The focus of this unit is to identify a specific communication need for your brand, based on thorough and well-analysed primary and secondary research. You will evaluate and apply your findings to define a specific communication opportunity for your chosen brand, and develop a sound case for the direction of your final project, with an outline of a creative and targeted strategy. You will include a plan for further research and a projected schedule for the implementation of your strategy in your Final Major Project.
In the first and second terms you will undertake a major piece of written work for the Cultural and Historical Studies Dissertationunit. 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, undertaken in the second and third terms, gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your learning to date through a self-set and independently managed project. Building on the research you have already completed, you will develop the strategy outlined in your project proposal and realise it through an innovative and distinctive communication and PR campaign. This campaign will cover a twelve month period for the brand or organisation, and will include creative and viable tactics to address the issues and opportunities identified. You will demonstrate your final campaign visually, verbally and in writing in the execution of a professional presentation.
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