• CollegeLCF
  • Start dateSeptember 2017
  • Course length3 years
  • UCAS code5P60

BA (Hons) Fashion Visual Merchandising and Branding

Places available 2017/18

This course has places available for international applicants. 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 LCF, visit the Places available page.

This course covers visual merchandising, marketing and branding for the fashion industry, providing industry experience and allowing you to work while you study.

About this course

BA (Hons) Fashion Visual Merchandising and Branding is a highly specialised course designed for individuals who want to work in the fashion industry in the areas of visual merchandising and / or branding. The course facilitates your understanding of all aspects of fashion visual branding and retailing at all levels of the market, from value retailers to luxury design-led brands. You will acquire an understanding of consumers, which will underpin your study of the relationship between brands and their customers.

  • British Display Society accredited

    BA (Hons) Fashion Visual Merchandising and Branding is recognised by the British Display Society as a UK ‘Centre of Excellence’: graduates may receive the award of ProDip.BDS upon successful completion of the course and have the opportunity of membership of the British Display Society whilst studying at LCF.

Collaborative Project: Year 1 Fashion Business Programme for ASOS

Graduating students from across the Fashion Business School took part in FBS Summit 16, a showcase of student work that included talks, film and products.

Hackett window display. Visual merchandising course and fashion branding course.

View industry project

Hackett 'Rising Stars' window display, created by LCF Fashion Visual Merchandising and Branding students.

Students making things in a workshop using plywood.
Photo by Hannah Puskarz

Students on BA Fashion Visual Merchandising and Branding.

A visual merchandising studio at our John Prince's Street site
Jas Lehal

A visual merchandising studio at our site

Facilities

  • LCF Library

    Take a tour of LCF's world renowned fashion library, ideal for research and study.

  • Fashion business facilities

    Take a tour of our fashion business facilities at John Prince's Street and High Holborn.

  • LCF's social spaces

    Explore our social spaces, for collaborative study and breaks, across our six sites in London.

Course detail

The course covers trend research, design development, store design and online visual merchandising, which will give you the necessary understanding and professional skills to be a confident visual merchandiser across an omni-channel environment.

The strategic contribution of visual merchandising and branding to the long term development of a retail business is emphasised by studying internationalism, sustainability, innovation, strategy and entrepreneurship. There are opportunities for collaborative projects with other students in the fashion business programme, where you will gain industry relevant knowledge and practice by working with a prestigious company. National and international industry professionals interact with the course on projects, as visiting speakers, and through industrial visits. The opportunity for a placement year between the second and final year of the course enhances the employability of students through offering valuable experience and contacts within the industry. LCF Careers offer support throughout the course on increasing your career profile, and, through First Move, continue support after graduation.

Course structure

Year one  -  stage one  -  level 4  -  120 credits 

Term one: Introduction to the Fashion Business for Fashion Visual Merchandising & Branding (20 credits); Principles of Fashion Visual Merchandising (20 credits)

Term two: Introduction to Cultural and Historical Studies (20 credits); Principles of Fashion Branding (20 credits)

Term three: Collaborative Project (40 credits)

 

Year two  -  stage two  -  level 5  -  120 credits

Term one: Cultural and Historical Studies (20 credits); Designing the Fashion Store (20 credits)

Term two: Research Methods, Consumer Behaviour and Psychology (20 credits); Visual Brand Communications (20 credits)

Term three: Fashion Visual Merchandising and Brand Development Project (40 credits)

 

Professional placement year (optional)

Diploma in Professional Studies

 

Final year  -  stage three  -  level 6  -  120 credits

Term one: Futures and Innovation (20 credits)

Terms one and two: Fashion Visual Merchandising and Branding Strategy (40 credits)

Terms two and three: Final Major Project (60 credits)

The course team arrange a variety of optional trips and visits to supplement your studies. These trips are often local and where possible provided at nil or reduced cost. Opportunities for extended trips to fashion industry events or areas of interest are usually offered in the first and second year and where these trips involve accommodation and travel costs we aim to offer good value for students.

Course units

Year one

In the first term you will study two units.

Introduction to the Fashion Business for Fashion Visual Merchandising & Branding introduce 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.

Principles of Fashion Visual Merchandising and Branding introduces you to 2D and 3D design processes by exploring creative vision through drawing and appropriate media applications. You will be encouraged to explore, investigate and analyse a variety of subject matter, in order to facilitate the development of your design ideas through visualisation techniques and product installation. Basic techniques are explored and developed through a variety of creative applications relevant to visual retail environments. Through this unit you will begin to understand the relationship between design research, design development and product installation, and you will have a coherent framework for future 2D and 3D visual retail concept development.

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.

Principles Fashion Branding looks at the fashion brand as a holistic customer experience. The management of both product and retail aspects of the brand will be considered in depth, thereby covering the total branded offer. The brand experience from concept to completion will be examined across physical and online retail environments, Connections between brand essence, visual brand identity and product presentation in relation to the shopping journey will be explored. There will be a mix of theory-based work around brands and practical studio work.

In the third term you will undertake the Collaborative Project unit. This gives you the opportunity to work collaboratively with other students. This mirrors the real-world challenges faced by fashion enterprises that depend on close working relationships between departments. You will consolidate the knowledge and skills that you have already acquired, and the project will give you opportunities for fieldwork and research, as well as increasing your teamwork and presentation skills. The project will be concerned with the development and expression of brands in the marketplace, and will have an operational focus.

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 in the first term, the Designing the Fashion Store Environment unit introduces you to a variety of media used in the planning of visual retail activities. You will be encouraged to explore industry practice that makes good use of appropriate solutions in commercial spaces. More advanced techniques are introduced and developed through a variety of creative applications. The relationship between design research, design and design development in computer generated contexts is a fundamental part of this unit, and you will acquire a coherent framework for future two to three dimensional concept development. You will also explore commercial restraints on visual retail planning.

In the second term the Research Methods, Consumer Behaviour and Psychology unit will introduce you to concepts of consumer behaviour and psychology through the investigation of how consumers respond to a branded fashion retail environment. You will develop your understanding of what motivates consumers to shop and how fashion psychographics influence consumer identity and behaviour. The unit will introduce you applied research methods to help you to practically investigate how consumers respond to aspects of a branded retail environment.

Also in the second term, the Visual Brand Communications unit explores the relationship between brand communication and the consumer. You will investigate the wider marketing communications mix, including digital media platforms and the role of design in digital brand communications. The rise of online retailing has challenged traditional selling platforms and transformed the visual communication landscape and the role of the visual merchandiser. The virtual shopping representation, blended with the physical store experience requires new omni-channel branding strategies. You will examine the theoretical relationship between fashion branding and marketing communications and investigate how brand identities and personalities are built through online and physical retail and media space.

In the third term you will undertake the Fashion Visual Merchandising and Branding Project, which will broaden your design, visualisation and presentation skills. You will be able to expand on the key understanding of creative branding and visual merchandising in a professional context from concept to completion and installation. This unit links freehand drawing skills, industry software packages, and product handling skills at a larger scale to the branded environment. The unit is underpinned by relevant branding theory.

Professional placement year

You can opt to undertake the Diploma in Professional Studies for a period of industrial placement of at least 30 weeks duration. The placement is undertaken between the second year and final year of your course, and you will normally be working full-time in a company. You will be able to experience the pace, atmosphere and discipline of working in the industry through your involvement in the day-to-day activities of a fashion business. This will give you practical experience of the roles, functions and operations in the fashion industry that you have studied on your course. There is flexibility to combine a work placement overseas (minimum 20 weeks) with a period of overseas study (minimum 10 weeks). You will be required to write a negotiated report on your placement, which will focus on issues or opportunities related to the placement company. This will develop your study skills and allow you to demonstrate your research, analytical and evaluative skills. Successful completion of the year will give you the additional qualifications of a Diploma in Professional Studies

Final year

In the first term you will study the Futures and Innovation unit. You will look at current issues affecting the fashion industry in general and visual merchandising and branding in particular.  You will explore various trend indicators that are likely to point to important influencing factors in the future. The specific content of the unit will evolve as the fashion industry changes, but will focus on trends in design, materials and the retailing landscape. Scenario planning and futures forecasting will be investigated.

In the first and second terms you will undertake the Fashion Visual Merchandising and Branding Strategy unit. This gives you the opportunity to develop your understanding of corporate strategy and business models, which will enable you to analyse fashion strategies at both corporate and business levels. You will also learn how to formulate strategic plans for businesses in different contexts, such as online and international markets. You can choose a specialist direction that reflects your career aspirations.

Throughout the final year you will do your Final Major Project. This gives you the opportunity to develop your project proposal from your initial idea, and negotiate your final project brief within the general area of visual merchandising and branding with your supervisor. This will reflect your particular interests and your future career aspirations, and the final outcome of your project will be a considerable body of work. This will be communicated to a relevant audience via an appropriate medium as the culmination of your project.

Staff

Edward Stammers is the Course Leader and has an MA in Fashion Merchandise Management and a PG Cert in Education. He is a Fellow of the British Display Society and has worked in the visual merchandising industry for twenty-five years, managing global visual merchandising and marketing campaigns as Design and Project Manager for Rootstein Display Mannequins. His research interests centre on the function and perception of the mannequin form and the challenges to the mannequin that are developing from the increased use of digital technology within the fashion retail environment.

Sarah Bailey is a Senior Lecturer and has a BA (Hons) in Design Arts and Media, and a PG Cert in Academic Practice in Teaching and Learning in Arts, Design and Communication. She is a freelance visual merchandising consultant for a number of individual fashion retail clients and brand consultancies, and has over fifteen years of industry experience working with some of the biggest UK fashion and interiors blue-chip retailers. Sarah also teaches short courses in her subject at London College of Fashion and Central Saint Martins, and has written a fashion visual merchandising book, published by Bloomsbury Press in 2014.

Johnny Martin FCA is Entrepreneur in Residence at London College of Fashion. He is professionally, The Numbers Coach – an experienced director who now passionately explains business numbers and jargon to help young businesses find their business model. He is a British Library Business & IP Centre partner and runs regular workshops, as well as being a mentor for the Royal College of Art Innovation Unit.

Helen Beney is Programme Director for the Fashion Business Programme within the Fashion Business School. She has an MA in Higher Education, is a fellow of the Higher Education academy and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing. Helen has also been awarded her HEA (Higher Education Academy) Senior Fellowship as recognition for her impact and influence through leading and managing within a learning and teaching context. She has worked in the fashion industry for thirty years and has held Buying, Design  and Merchandising Director roles in a number of British brands including Arcadia. Helen specialises in product strategy and  consumer insight development.

Rob Lakin is the Creative Director for the School of Science and Management, and started his career designing fashion menswear, womenswear and childrenswear, working for a number of brands within Coats Viyella plc and the Sears Group plc. He has extensive experience of Far East product development, manufacturing, sourcing, and CMT operations. From 2008 to 2013 Rob headed up London College of Fashion’s Flexible Programme: a unique specialist portfolio of part time undergraduate courses representing Fashion Business, Fashion Media, and Fashion Design. He has been responsible for enhancing the student experience through the development of a creative curriculum, with a variety of live industry collaborative projects including CoolBrands, Brands Incorporated, and Amnesty International. Rob continues to make a major contribution to the creative identity of the School through the design and development of new courses aimed at international students allowing them to successfully prepare for an exciting academic undergraduate career at London College of Fashion.

Craig Crawford is Founder of CrawfordIT, a London based consultancy that drives momentum and growth through digital innovation for brands such as Hugo Boss, Jaeger, matchesfashion.com, Diane von Furstenberg, MaxMara, and Tory Burch.  Prior to this, Craig Crawford was Burberry’s VP in IT Strategy, Architecture and Relationships for seven years. As a creative with nearly 30 years’ experience in global fashion brands, Craig is often referred to as “the right brain of IT.” Craig is also Chairman of Product Innovation Apparel, where he connects global industry leaders and technology innovators. He advises fashion tech start-ups in both the UK and US. His articles, videos, and webcasts appear on both sides of the Atlantic. As an Adviser for London College of Fashion, Craig brings industry relevance to the classroom.

How to apply

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.

Home / EU applicants

This section includes information on how to apply, course entry requirements, selection criteria, information about interviews and portfolio advice.

You must apply through Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), where you’ll need the following information:

  • University code: U65
  • UCAS code: 5P60

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.

Contact us on: 

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7514 7344

Or you can use the UAL Course Enquiry Form

Please note that the equal consideration deadline was 15 January.

For full details on the application process, visit the Undergraduate application page.

International applicants

This section includes information on how to apply, course entry requirements, selection criteria, information about interviews and portfolio advice.

International applicants may apply through one of three routes only:

Further information on applying via UCAS is provided on the Applying through UCAS page.

If applying through UCAS, you will need the following information:

  • University code: U65
  • UCAS code: 5P60

For applicants who want to apply directly to UAL, the direct application form may be found here:

We continue to accept applications throughout the year, but please note that the equal consideration deadline was 15 January.

For full details on the application process, visit the Undergraduate application page or contact the UAL admissions team who can answer any specific questions that you may have regarding LCF's courses tailored for international students. This can include guidance for your portfolio, advice on 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. 

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:

  • Two A Level Passes at Grade C or Above 96 new UCAS tariff points (equivalent to 220 old UCAS tariff points) Preferred subjects include English, Maths, Art, Business Studies, Media Studies and Languages;
  • or Merit at BTEC Extended Diploma;
  • or Merit in Foundatin Diploma in Art and Design;
  • or Merit at UAL Extended Diploma;
  • or Access Diploma or ’96 tariff points from the Access to HE Diploma;
  • or 96 new UCAS tariff points (equivalent to 220 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 Six GCSE passes at grade A*-C with a grade C for Maths.

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 are expected to show evidence of work experience or placement.

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 and understanding of retail branding and visual merchandising
  • The potential for creating original visual merchandising concepts
  • Fashion industry experience
  • An ability to work as part of a team
  • An ability to undertake self-directed study
  • A motivation to succeed on the course

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 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 at lcf.international@arts.ac.uk to find out about the portfolio application process.

For this course your portfolio should show evidence of: ability to present ideas through visual communication; a level of research, experimentation and development; technical and practical abilities; and effective presentation techniques.

Applicants will be expected to demonstrate the following at interview:

  • An interest in fashion visual merchandising and branding
  • An awareness of and interest in contemporary retail environments
  • An understanding of research, design, design development and realisation
  • A motivation for working in fashion visual merchandising and branding
  • A motivation to succeed on the course

What happens next

All application forms, personal statements and references are read and considered by the course team against the selection criteria listed in the Entry requirements and What we look for sections.

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 with the course team. They 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.

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.

Interview week

Applicants on some courses may be invited to attend an Interview. Further details will be sent to you with your interview letter, confirming location and date. International applicants should contact the Admission Office by emailing lcf.international@arts.ac.uk about portfolio requirements (if applicable), interview times and dates.

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 structure

Please note: 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.

Fees and funding

Home / EU fee

£9,250

This applies for the 2017/18 academic year.

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 years for new and continuing students, in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Please visit our Undergraduate tuition fees page for more information.

International fee

£17,920

This applies for the 2017/18 academic year.

Additional costs

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

Accommodation

Find out about the accommodation options available and how much they will cost.

Scholarships and awards

There are a number of scholarships and awards available to students on this course. Use our search tool to find out more information.

Scholarships search

Careers and alumni

Developing your skills

All of 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.

Graduates who wish to continue their education at postgraduate level are encouraged to progress to suitable courses within the College, the University or elsewhere.

Career paths

Graduates from the Foundation Degree in visual merchandising and retail branding, which is replaced by this course, are working in a number of roles including visual merchandisers at Ralph Lauren UK, Ralph Lauren Hong Kong, Marks and Spencer Head Office, House of Fraser, Ikea and White Company, as Senior Visual Merchandiser at House of Fraser, as Regional Visual Merchandising Manager for River Island and Marks and Spencer, as Brand Manager at Topshop, as a freelance conceptual designer at SCG Brand Consultancy, Uk as US Marketing coordinator at Jack Will, as Events and Promotion Coordinator at Benefit, as Senior Product Marketing Executive at Harvey Nichols and as visual display artists at Anthropologie, Fenwick and Brooks Brothers.