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Postgraduate

MA Fashion Cultures and Histories

Selection of fashion memorabilia including sunglasses and chokers.
Student work by Charlotte Allen | MA Fashion Cultures and Histories
College
London College of Fashion
Start date
September 2022
Course length
15 months

MA Fashion Cultures and Histories explores cultures of fashion, style and dress through critical fashion history and theory. The course equips students with high-level writing, research and analytical skills, preparing them to become informed critics and communicators, generating new knowledge about fashion in its multiple contexts, and shaping the ways it is understood.

Why choose this course at London College of Fashion

  • Unique course: MA Fashion Cultures and Histories is the only specialist history and theory course offered by a dedicated fashion college in London.
  • Focus on research: Students develop a suite of specialised skills, competencies and knowledge to generate independent and original research across academic and industry contexts.
  • Industry links: Students work closely with industry and cultural partners to communicate critical insights and knowledge, addressing current concerns and new directions within the field of fashion.
  • Leading Fashion Scholarship: the course is embedded within London College of Fashion’s Cultural and Historical Studies Department, a diverse and dynamic research community at the forefront of Fashion Studies.

Location


This course is based at Lime Grove in Shepherd’s Bush and John Prince's Street. Find out about the local area, including Holland Park and Notting Hill in our local area guides on the Student Life pages.

LCF's move


London College of Fashion is planning to move to a new single campus on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in 2023. This is part of a new development for London, prioritising culture, education and innovation, known as East Bank. Some students studying this course from September 2021 may start their studies in High Holborn and transfer to LCF’s new site in East London to complete them. Please see LCF’s move to the Olympic Park for more information about the College’s relocation.

About MA Fashion Cultures and Histories

Investigate fashion, dress and style in culture and society.

Graduate Showcase

Explore work by our recent students on the UAL Graduate Showcase

  • Costuming Moira Rose in Schitt's Creek
    Costuming Moira Rose in Schitt's Creek, Amelia Spinks, 2022 MA Fashion Cultures and Histories, London College of Fashion, UAL
  • 'Who is Not in the Room'
    'Who is Not in the Room', Iris See Wan Tsang, 2022 MA Fashion Cultures and Histories, London College of Fashion, UAL
  • Investing the Contemporary Visual Merchandiser
    Investing the Contemporary Visual Merchandiser, Melissa Collins, 2022 MA Fashion Cultures and Histories, London College of Fashion, UAL
  • DECIPHERING HINDUTVA IN THE INDIAN FASHION SYSTEM
    DECIPHERING HINDUTVA IN THE INDIAN FASHION SYSTEM, Vasundhra Solanki, 2022 MA Fashion Cultures and Histories, London College of Fashion, UAL
  • The Labour of Fashion Stylists' Assistants
    The Labour of Fashion Stylists' Assistants, Charlotte Allen, 2022 MA Fashion Cultures and Histories, London College of Fashion, UAL

Course trips and visits

  • NPG3.jpg
    , Oscar Wilde, Paul Bench and MA Fashion Cultures at the National Portrait Gallery.
  • YC1.jpg
    , Exploring Youth Club’s rich archives of photographic slides and rare printed materials on British youth cultures.
  • NAM3.jpg
    , The detail of a Bombay light infantry hussar’s jacket from the Indian army
  • KTA2.jpg
    , A selection of early John Galliano outfits, Kerry Taylor Auctions.

The History of Bras

LCF alum, Lorraine Smith talks to The Pool about the history of bras.

Cultural threads

Student work by Vanessa Lingham.

Latest news from this course

LCF facilities

  • Library, John Princes Street
    Library, John Princes Street Photography by: Ideal Insight
    LCF archives and library

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

  • Photo Studio, Lime Grove

    Media and communication facilities

    Take a tour of our media facilities from photographic studios to darkrooms.

  • Mare Street Canteen

    LCF's social spaces

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

Course overview

MA Fashion Cultures and Histories is a theory-based Master’s degree that provides students with a cross-disciplinary foundation in relevant, innovative and critical fashion histories and theories. It provides unique opportunities for students to develop high-level writing, research, and analytical skills in interrogating fashion as global industry, media, dress, and bodily practice. 

In responding to the developments in the media landscape and the need for socially, culturally and politically engaged professionals with theoretical and critical knowledge, the course aims to prepare researchers and critical innovators who can generate new thinking about fashion and help to shape the ways in which it is understood, presented and evaluated. In providing the tools for constructing compelling narratives about fashion for specialist and general audiences in multiple formats, the course prepares students for future-facing careers in research, publishing, education, museums, think tanks, institutes, within the fashion industry or to undertake further study in a fashion-related subject.

Contact us

Register your interest to receive information and updates about studying at UAL.

Contact us to make an enquiry.

Course units

Collaborative Challenge (20 credits); Cultural and Social Theory (20 credits); and Fashion Histories (20 credits) are taught in Block 1. Research Proposal (20 credits); Fashion Narratives (20 credits); and Research for Professional Contexts (20 credits) are taught in Block 2. MA Project is taught in Block 3. 

These units involve the types of learning and assessment outlined earlier in this document. Each student will have one 30 minute tutorial during the four core course units (Cultural and Social Theory; Fashion Histories; Fashion Narratives; Research for Professional Contexts), and work closely with tutors in three cross-college units (Collaborative Challenge; Research Proposal; MA Project). Students will also have a 20 minute pastoral tutorial in each Block to discuss their progress, goals and student experience.

Learning and teaching methods

Alongside more traditional methods, such as lectures, seminars, workshops, field trips, and group and individual tutorials, the course cultivates the following set of teaching and learning strategies. 

Enquiry-based learning

A core aspect of each unit is embedded activities that cultivate student-led enquiry into the areas under study. This includes, but is not limited to, strategies such as provocations that students are invited to independently research in preparation for class, and methods-based research such as participant observation in public spaces and sites that develop the themes of the set readings. This strategy elaborates the agency students have to shape the focus of their learning, which is otherwise primarily evident in their ability to research a topic of their choosing in each of their assessments.

Collaboration

The College-wide Collaborative Challenge, offered in Block 1, offers students a key opportunity to develop skills of collaboration within and external to their own cohort. Other units in the course builds on these abilities, such as the Research for Professional Contexts unit in which students are invited to collaborate in response to the live brief or critical debate. As collaboration is a core principle of this course, students will also be encouraged to initiate self-directed collaborative projects, such as public-facing events (talks, screenings, roundtables) to which prospective students, other MA cohorts within UAL, and alumni will be invited; and to organise and participate in enhancement activities, such as class trips and outings or extracurricular research activities. 

Knowledge Exchange

Given that this course seeks to intervene in and innovate both the fashion industry and the field of fashion studies, it follows that engaging with contemporaneous problems and debates would be a central component of this course’s pedagogy. The practice of this cohort is theory, and we will respond to pressing current issues through research, data collection and analysis, and critical thinking. The format for this work will be knowledge exchange, led by industry partnerships. 

Peer-to-Peer Learning and Feedback

Peer-to-peer learning and feedback connects to two of the five core principles of the course, community and criticality. Developing the skill of offering collegial and constructive criticism is key for a career in academia, one of the industries our graduates enter. This is embedded in the course, as students present their ideas in class and read and critique each other’s work as part of the ongoing formative feedback generated across Blocks 1 and 2. 

Expert Talks

Experts from the fashion industry and leading scholars from across UAL and other HEI’s are regularly invited to share their expertise with the students in an array of forms, including guest lectures, panels, and workshops. These talks are embedded in the curriculum, complementing and extending the core delivery. Students are encouraged to respond in the classroom as well as in their own scholarly practice, and to nominate scholars and practitioners who they wish to invite to speak to the cohort. 

Technical Delivery

Technical delivery developing core skills of slide deck production and communicating research through appropriate media will be embedded in the curriculum to support the core course unit, Research for Professional Contexts. This provision has been discussed with the Technical Coordinator- Media, whose team will teach these competencies alongside academic and practice-based instruction in the classroom.

Assessment methods

Students on this course will produce:

  • Written, researched essays 
  • Written reviews
  • Group presentation (oral and slide deck)
  • Critical, researched outcome (format subject to student choice in negotiation with unit leader)
  • Written, researched dissertation

Staff

Caroline Stevenson is Head of Cultural and Historical Studies at London College of Fashion, providing academic leadership for the Cultural and Historical Studies Department and its curriculum across the college. Read Caroline's full profile here.

How to apply

Information for disabled applicants

UAL is committed to achieving inclusion and equality for disabled students. This includes students who have:
     
  • Dyslexia or another Specific Learning Difference
  • A sensory impairment
  • A physical impairment
  • A long-term health or mental health condition
  • Autism
  • Another long-term condition which has an impact on your day-to-day life
Our Disability Service arranges adjustments and support for disabled applicants and students. Read our Disability and dyslexia: applying for a course and joining UAL information.

Entry requirements

The standard entry requirements for this course are as follows: 

  • 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 
  • OR Equivalent qualifications 

APEL (Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning) 

Applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered in exceptional cases. The course team will consider each application that demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might, for example, be demonstrated by: 

  • Related academic or work experience (minimum of three years) 
  • The quality of the personal statement 
  • A strong academic or other professional reference 
  • OR a combination of these factors 

Each application will be considered on its own merit but we cannot guarantee an offer in each case. 

English Language Requirements 

IELTS level 7.0 with a minimum of 6.0 in reading, writing, listening and speaking. Please check our main English Language Requirements

Selection criteria

The course seeks to recruit students from diverse socio-economic and cultural backgrounds, and welcomes applications from mature students. The procedures fully comply with the Equal opportunities Policy of UAL and all interviewers have undertaken Fairness in Selection training.

The course seeks to recruit students who demonstrate some of the following:

  • a clear academic interest in the study of fashion through a multidisciplinary approach
  • evidence of cultural awareness and engagement with social and historical debate
  • relevant experience working in the fashion (or related) industries
  • a capacity for intellectual enquiry and reflective thought
  • a developed and mature attitude to independent study and intellectual growth

Making your application

This section includes all the information you need on how to apply, how your application is considered and what happens next.

UK/EU students can apply to a postgraduate course at LCF by completing a direct application.

Deferring your place

This course accepts requests from offer holders to defer their place for one academic year. Deferral requests are granted on a first-come, first-served basis until all deferral places are filled, or a deadline has been reached, whichever is sooner. Read our Admissions Policy for details, including how to request a deferral and by when.

External Student Transfer Policy

If you are currently studying at another institution and if you have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units/modules on your current PG course and wish to continue your studies at London College of Fashion, you can apply to transfer. The Admissions Tutor will consider applications on a case by case basis, subject to places being available. You must apply directly to the course via the course webpage as early as possible.

Please check our Student Transfer Policy for more important information and be ready to provide us with your current course handbook and transcripts.

Please be ready to provide an official document (translated into English if necessary) from your current university, explaining the learning outcomes of the units you have completed.

Extra information required for applications to this course


When you are submitting your application form, you will also need to provide the following pieces of documentation in support of your application:

Curriculum Vitae

You will be required to submit a Curriculum Vitae (C.V.) in support of your application. This should include your full education and employment history.

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.
  • Explain 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).

Written assignments

Choose one of the key areas of interest that you mentioned in your Personal Statement and write a short essay that explains why you think that it is an important and interesting area of study. Your key area of interest can be as focused and specific as you like— it could be a particular garment, a style of dress, a type of craft, the relationship between clothes and memory, the influence of digital culture on fashion media, etc.
This essay is your place to demonstrate your competencies of writing and research and to show us what you're interested in. You may write in the first person and we encourage creative approaches to the format of the academic essay. Essays should be referenced in a style familiar to you and must include a list of works cited.

What happens next

All application forms, personal statements and relevant documents are read and considered by the course team against the selection criteria listed in the entry requirements and selection criteria sections. If you meet these requirements, you will be asked to submit a video task and attend an interview.

Video task

We'd like you to submit a 2-3 minute video to help us learn more about you.

  • Please speak clearly in English and face the camera.
  • Your video task is submitted via PebblePad.
  • Read our guidance for more information about how to submit your video task and the file types we accept.

As part of your video task, please respond to the following direction:

  • We would like you to tell us about why you have applied to the MA Fashion Cultures and Histories, what you hope to study on the course and how you feel you will use what you learn in your future career.

Interview

If you are selected for interview, these will take place online using Teams from Microsoft – please ensure that you download this software prior to the interview date; this is available as a free download from the Microsoft website. We will send you further details at a later point about how we will connect with you for your interview.

If you are successful at the interview stage you will be offered a place. Please note that applicants are not guaranteed an interview.

Please note that if you are unable to attend, the College may not be able to re-schedule.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

The result of your application will be communicated to you through your UAL Portal. If your application has been successful, you will receive a full offer pack including details of accommodation, fees, and other important information.

Applications for this course can only be accepted for this year of entry. Applications for deferred entry cannot be accepted.

Application deadline

12 January 2022 or 13 April 2022

The equal consideration deadline has now passed. However, this course will remain open to applications until places have been filled. We recommend you submit your application as early as possible to allow the Admissions team to quickly resolve any queries.

If this course requires a portfolio, we will request this separately after initial processing of your application is complete. Once we request your portfolio, you will have 7 days to submit it.

When you'll hear from us

This course receives a high volume of applications. We need to make sure that we give all applications equal consideration, so the course team will review them in two rounds. This means that offers won’t be sent to successful applicants until after the relevant application deadline date. Outcomes for Round 1 will be released by 31 March 2022 and outcomes for Round 2 will be released by 30 June 2022.

Remember to check the outcome of your application in the UAL Portal. If you apply in Round 1 and don’t hear back from us, we will consider your application within Round 2.

Find out more about what happens after you apply.

This section includes all the information you need on how to apply, how your application is considered and what happens next.

There are 2 ways international students can apply to a postgraduate course:

Read our immigration and visa information to find out if you need a visa to study at UAL.

You can only apply to the same course once per year. Any duplicate applications will be withdrawn.  Read the UAL international application advice for further information on how to apply.

Deferring your place

This course accepts requests from offer holders to defer their place for one academic year. Deferral requests are granted on a first-come, first-served basis until all deferral places are filled, or a deadline has been reached, whichever is sooner. Read our Admissions Policy for details, including how to request a deferral and by when.

External Student Transfer Policy

If you are currently studying at another institution and if you have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units/modules on your current PG course and wish to continue your studies at London College of Fashion, you can apply to transfer. The Admissions Tutor will consider applications on a case by case basis, subject to places being available. You must apply directly to the course via the course webpage as early as possible.

Please check our Student Transfer Policy for more important information and be ready to provide us with your current course handbook and transcripts.

Please be ready to provide an official document (translated into English if necessary) from your current university, explaining the learning outcomes of the units you have completed.

Extra information required for applications to this course


When you are submitting your application form, you will also need to provide the following pieces of documentation in support of your application:

Curriculum Vitae

You will be required to submit a Curriculum Vitae (C.V.) in support of your application. This should include your full education and employment history.

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.
  • Explain 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).

Written assignments

Choose one of the key areas of interest that you mentioned in your Personal Statement and write a short essay that explains why you think that it is an important and interesting area of study. Your key area of interest can be as focused and specific as you like— it could be a particular garment, a style of dress, a type of craft, the relationship between clothes and memory, the influence of digital culture on fashion media, etc.
This essay is your place to demonstrate your competencies of writing and research and to show us what you're interested in. You may write in the first person and we encourage creative approaches to the format of the academic essay. Essays should be referenced in a style familiar to you and must include a list of works cited.

What happens next

Immigration History Check

After you have applied, you will need to complete an Immigration History Check to identify whether you are eligible to study at UAL. Do be aware, if you do not complete the Immigration History Check we will not be able to proceed with your application.

Initial application check

All application forms, personal statements and relevant documents are read and considered by the course team against the selection criteria listed in the entry requirements and selection criteria sections. If you meet these requirements, you will be asked to submit a video task and attend an interview.

Video task

We'd like you to submit a 2-3 minute video to help us learn more about you.

  • Please speak clearly in English and face the camera.
  • Your video is submitted via PebblePad.
  • Read our guidance for more information about how to submit your video task and the file types we accept.

As part of your video task, please respond to the following direction:

  • We would like you to tell us about why you have applied to the MA Fashion Cultures and Histories, what you hope to study on the course and how you feel you will use what you learn in your future career.

Interview

If you are selected for interview, these will take place online using Teams from Microsoft - please ensure that you download this software prior to the interview date. This is available as a free download from the Microsoft website. We will send you further details at a later point about how we will connect with you for your interview.

If you are successful at the interview stage you will be offered a place. Please note that applicants are not guaranteed an interview.

Please note that if you are unable to attend, the College may not be able to re-schedule.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

The result of your application will be communicated to you through your UAL Portal. If your application has been successful, you will receive a full offer pack including details of accommodation, fees, and other important information.

Applications for this course can only be accepted for this year of entry. Applications for deferred entry cannot be accepted.

Application deadline

12 January 2022 or 13 April 2022

The equal consideration deadline has now passed. However, this course will remain open to applications until places have been filled. We recommend you submit your application as early as possible to allow the Admissions team to quickly resolve any queries.

If this course requires a portfolio, we will request this separately after initial processing of your application is complete. Once we request your portfolio, you will have 7 days to submit it.

When you'll hear from us

This course receives a high volume of applications. We need to make sure that we give all applications equal consideration, so the course team will review them in two rounds. This means that offers won’t be sent to successful applicants until after the relevant application deadline date. Outcomes for Round 1 will be released by 31 March 2022 and outcomes for Round 2 will be released by 30 June 2022.

Remember to check the outcome of your application in the UAL Portal. If you apply in Round 1 and don’t hear back from us, we will consider your application within Round 2.

Find out more about what happens after you apply.

After you apply

There are no official deadlines to submit your application. Applications are accepted, and offers are made throughout the year. The course will be closed once spaces are filled so we advise that you apply early.

Fees and funding

Home fee

£11,550

This fee is correct for 2022/23 entry and is subject to change for 2023/24 entry. Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students on courses lasting more than one year. For this course, you can pay tuition fees in instalments.

Home fees are currently charged to UK nationals and UK residents who meet the rules. However, the rules are complex. Find out more about our tuition fees and determining your fee status.

International fee

£23,610

This fee is correct for 2022/23 entry and is subject to change for 2023/24 entry. Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students on courses lasting more than one year. For this course, you can pay tuition fees in instalments.

Students from countries outside of the UK will generally be charged international fees. The rules are complex so read more about tuition fees and determining your fee status.

Scholarship search

Careers and alumni

All our postgraduate courses offer career development, so that you become a creative thinker, making effective contributions to your relevant sector of the fashion industry.

LCF offers students the opportunity to develop Personal and Professional Development (PPD) skills while studying through:

* Access to to speaker programmes and events featuring alumni and industry.

* Access to careers activities, such as CV clinics and one-to-one advice sessions.

* Access to a graduate careers service

* Access to a live jobsboard for all years.

* Advice on setting up your own brand or company.

Career paths

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 have gone on to lecture in related fields in Europe and America, worked in fashion curation and archives, 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&A, BBC, Parsons, Kerry Taylor Auctions and Garde Robe, as well as for commercial brands such as Net-a-Porter and Burberry.