Skip to main content

Pre-degree courses

Model sitting on the water with reflective water, holding a blue rose on his hand.
Model sitting on the water with reflective water, holding a blue rose on his hand.
Zichan Liang | Isolate | BA (Hons) Fashion Photography | London College of Fashion | University of Arts London

London College of Fashion (LCF) has two pre-degree courses for international students that offer a practical and theoretical introduction to the three areas of study we offer: fashion design, fashion media and fashion business.

Both International Preparation for Fashion (Certificate in Higher Education) (IPF) and Level 3 International Introduction to the Study of Fashion (IISF) courses allow you to explore a range of areas across this vast industry. They also prepare you for undergraduate study by developing your creative and conceptual thinking, research skills, professional visual presentation, as well as academic skills such as fashion histories and communication.

Our pre-degree courses are all based at our Lime Grove site in west London, a centre of excellence and pre-degree student community providing access to nearby UAL accommodation such as the Costume Store as well as a vibrant social programme helping you settle into London life. Facilities include library, studios, canteen and lounge, as well as an outdoor cinema screen for summers in the beautiful courtyard.

Our courses are a great way to explore the three areas of study we offer at LCF, before deciding which undergraduate course might be most suitable for you. We’ll work with you throughout your time on a pre-degree course to guide you and see where your talent lies for future study.


Is a pre-degree course right for me?

LCF’s pre-degree courses have been designed to develop your creative and academic skills, and they are for students that have not reached the level required to enter a specialist undergraduate course. You may not have had the opportunity to study fashion before, or you may need more time to develop in a specific area.

Taking one of our pre-degree courses is a great idea if you would like to work in the fashion industry, as you will explore the range of options available and develop other relevant skills.

Do international students need to take a pre-degree course?

It is not essential to have taken a pre-degree course for entry onto our undergraduate courses, and a number of applicants are offered undergraduate places without pre-degree study. However, our pre-degree courses have established reputations and offer students a range of teaching to prepare for degree level study. As a result, many applicants opt to take a pre-degree course before progressing into a specialist undergraduate course.

Ultimately each application is considered individually, and offers are made for the most suitable course, where possible. We are fortunate to receive a very high volume of applications and therefore competition for places is often high. For direct entry onto our design and several media and communication courses, we are looking for strong portfolios that meet the required level. Often, a pre-degree course is a great way to develop that portfolio.

Will applying for a pre-degree course affect my undergraduate application chances?

Applying for a pre-degree course won’t impact your undergraduate application. If you’re applying for one of our undergraduate courses, we strongly advise you to apply for one or both pre-degree courses as well.

We’ll assess each of your applications on their own merit and will make our decisions based on what we think is right for you. If we don’t think you’re ready for undergraduate study, we may be able to offer you a place on a pre-degree course, but only if you’ve applied for one or both.

Which is the right course for me?

Both progression courses are a creative introduction to all aspects of the fashion industry. Which course is right for you will depend on many factors including your education and experience, what you submit in your portfolio, your creativity, your research and investigation skills and your personal statement and English language level.

It is important to understand that both LCF pre-degree courses have been developed to support students across many areas and to progress them to the most suitable degree course.

If you’re still not sure which course is right for you then we strongly advise you to apply for both. We will then consider you for both and decide based on your portfolio and interview where relevant.

What kind of students are you looking for?

We are looking for a range of creative, motivated and hard-working individuals that will go on to become future makers, entrepreneurs, communicators and more.

Our courses teach through a combination of practical studio content as well as academic study, so an interest in all aspects is essential. We are also seeking students that have thoroughly researched the courses and understood the aims and objectives.

Importantly, students should have an open-mind about their future direction so that we can help you find the area of study you’re best suited to.

What level are the two courses?

International Introduction to the Study of Fashion is a level 3 course. If you plan to apply for a higher education loan in your home country, you should check to make sure level 3 courses are covered.

International Preparation for Fashion is a level 4 course.

How do the pathways work?

Both IPF and IISF have pathways that align to LCF’s three schools: School of Design and Technology, School of Media and Communication and Fashion Business School. The first stage of both courses is diagnostic, meaning you’ll explore a range of areas and topics across fashion.

After this, we will help identify the most suitable pathway based on your interests and skills, as well as the work you’ve completed on the course so far. You will then focus on this area in more detail for the remainder of your course, preparing you for undergraduate study in the relevant area and LCF School.

If you secure a place on one of our pre-degree courses, you should join with an open-mind and be ready to explore all the options on offer at LCF. Many students will begin their time with us thinking they want to study a particular undergraduate course, but once they engage with teaching and learning and explore the range of options, they find their potential aligns to another area or direction.

How do I progress onto an undergraduate course?

As an IPF or IISF student we will guide you to the options available at LCF for undergraduate study, and help you develop a range of skills and work to progress to a suitable undergraduate course.

We are currently reviewing the process of how students will apply for an undergraduate course. As soon as we have confirmed the process, we will update this page and our applicants.

Am I guaranteed to progress onto an undergraduate course at London College of Fashion?

Whilst a very high proportion of our IPF and IISF students do progress onto an undergraduate course at LCF, progression is not guaranteed.

All students on our IPF and IISF courses are however guaranteed an interview for admission onto an LCF undergraduate course. If you fail the course, you will not be able to progress to undergraduate study, although you may have the opportunity to retake units to pass the course at a later stage.

Where appropriate, we might guide students to apply to other UAL courses or other universities. Occasionally we might advise that students would benefit from alternative opportunities such as work experience.

How do I apply for an LCF pre-degree course?

To be considered for either course, you should apply directly to UAL using the link on the relevant course page. You cannot apply for our pre-degree courses through UCAS.

What is the deadline for applications?

The deadline for applications for 2023 entry has now passed. Applications for 2024 entry will open later this year.

Student accommodation

  • Photo of the exterior of a building at The Costume Store

    The Costume Store

    The Costume Store is a great place for UAL students to live and is located opposite North Acton tube station (Central Line), which offers quick and convenient access to many of the UAL College sites. Lime Grove is just 10 minutes away on the tube.

Further information

  • Lime Grove building
    Lime Grove | London College of Fashion | UAL

    Lime Grove

    LCF’s move to a new site as part of East Bank signals a new era for this loved West London location, steeped in history. For over a century, Lime Grove has been providing creative education and technical skills to young people.

  • Black and white image of female model with blurred, soft clothing.
    Kewal Gala, 'Late to my Wedding' Graduate Showcase 2021 | BA (Hons) Fashion Pattern Cutting | London College of Fashion | University of Arts London

    Undergraduate courses

    Undergraduate courses at LCF, nurturing the next generation of fashion professionals.

  • Woman holding a black ball against white wall
    Jeff Chun Hee Luu., Degree show work by Jeff Chun-Hee Luu 2013

    International student information

    Find out about studying at UAL as an international student.