skip to main content

London College of Fashion

an image

MA Fashion Cultures

Start date
September 2018
Course length
12 months

Course summary

Places available 2018/19

This course has places available for UK and EU applicants only. Applications have now closed for international students.

MA Fashion Cultures offers students a unique opportunity to study fashion and dress within its historical, theoretical, social and cultural contexts to become informed critics and communicators.


This course offers an individualised experience in fashion education at postgraduate level. There are two specific but interrelated pathways: History and Culture; and Fashion and Film. Theoretical and methodological perspectives give a grounding in the history of fashion and an underpinning of social and cultural theory for both pathways.

Great reasons to apply

  • Graduates of this course have progressed to careers in curation and archives, journalism, styling and retail consultancy.
  • The only MA course to offer a specific Fashion and Film pathway.
  • The opportunity to combine theoretical focus with the production of a practice based piece.


This course is based at John Prince’s Street, Oxford Circus. Find out about the local area, including Marylebone, Mayfair and Soho, in our local area guides on the Student Life pages.

Student and graduate work

About MA Fashion Cultures

Investigate fashion, dress and style in culture and society.

The history of bras

Alumna Lorraine Smith talks to The Pool about the history of bras

Behind the Scenes

Bath Fashion Museum Archive by student Lenna Stamatopoulou

Vanessa Lingham - Cultural Threads exhibition

A project about young Gypsy and Traveller women

Portfolio gallery

Latest news from this course


Better Lives Lectures: Youth

After the fantastic lectures on Social Innovation and Women, the Better Lives lecture series concluded last week with the final instalment focusing on the topic of Youth. The evening included spoken word […]


Library, John Princes Street

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 details

On the History and Culture pathway you will investigate fashion as object, representation and practice through an interdisciplinary approach from both historical and contemporary perspectives. On Fashion and Film you will investigate the ongoing changing relationship between fashion, costume and forms of film as well as the relationship between cinema and consumption within a global context.

While you will choose one pathway, you will have the opportunity to attend the lectures for the other pathway if you wish to, so you can gain the fullest possible understanding of a variety of disciplines and their impact upon visual and material cultures.

Course structure

12 months, 3 terms, level 7, 180 credits

Block one (September to January)

Social and Cultural Theories (20 credits – both pathways)

Fashion Histories (20 credits – both pathways)

Research Methods (20 credits – both pathways)

Block two (February to May)

Circuits of Fashion (20 units – History and Culture pathway) OR Fashion, Stardom and Celebrity Culture (20 credits – Fashion and Film pathway)

Gendering Fashion (20 credits – History and Culture pathway) OR Film Concepts, Global Cinema (20 credits – Fashion and Film pathway)

Collaborative Unit (20 credits – both pathways) – find out more

Block three (May to September)

Masters Project (60 credits – both pathways)

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.

Course structure

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.

Course units

The Cultural and Social Theory (core unit) unit outlines and examines important concepts and theories that have been developed through sociology and cultural studies. You will explore the work of a number of social and cultural theorists whose writings have been key to the interdisciplinary examinations of fashion. During the unit, through empirical examples, you will learn to locate these theoretical terms and concepts in the context of fashion studies, as well as to evaluate their usefulness for different areas of fashion studies. This unit will help you establish a common language and set of theoretical principles which can be employed in your analysis of, and writings about, fashion and dress.

The Fashion Histories (core unit) unit will provide an introduction to the key moments in fashion history from 1700 onwards. It will also offer a critical historiography that will allow you to situate the facts and perspectives of fashion history within the broader areas of study that underpin a theoretical investigation of fashion. It will establish the key methods by which fashion historians, curators and theorists have examined their subject, and will stress the benefits of adopting an interdisciplinary perspective.

The purpose of the Research Methods (core unit) unit is to provide you with an overview of the range of research methods, approaches and tools that are available to you in order to conduct your postgraduate project. The unit will cover philosophy and ethics in research, primary and secondary research methods including quantitative, qualitative and visual research methods, how to analyse, evaluate and disseminate research findings. The unit will consider research in a range of contexts relevant to the cultural and creative industries and enable you to understand the relationship between theory and practice.

In the Circuits of Fashion (optional unit) unit the stages of fashion and dress - production, distribution, mediation/representation and consumption - will be examined to give you a sense of how these areas are interlinked to create fashion systems and cycles. The unit investigates issues surrounding the design and production of clothing and the promotion, selling and representation of fashion in the public sphere. It will work towards an understanding of fashion as the embodiment of the design and manufacture processes in a material form. It will also stress the benefits to be gained from an analysis of the promotion and representation of clothing and the body through retail display, advertising, journalism and film.

The Fashion and Gender (optional unit) unit will address at the ways in which gender, identity and sexuality have been formed and influenced by fashion and how fashion and dress can be articulated through these subject formations. It will look at identity, mediation and representation through a gendered lens. It will examine how female gendered identities have been expressed through dressed appearance and the influence of feminist thinking and theory. In recent years attention has been paid to the imbalance of the secondary position of study of men’s fashion and masculinities in relation to fashion and dress. In order to redress this imbalance this unit will specifically address men, masculinity, fashion and dress.

The Film, Fashion, Stardom and Celebrity Culture (optional unit) unit examines the close, increasingly symbiotic relationship of film and fashion in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Its potency in the heyday of Hollywood was due to a ‘star system which offered middle-class and working-class women the chance to see new fashions and changing styles for themselves. ‘Celebrity culture’ arguably became a rival force at the close of the last century, and now dominates contemporary visual culture in all its forms, serving as a motor to power a rapidly-changing global economy. The unit examines the two concepts of its title through a series of case studies and theoretical work.

The Film Concepts, Global Cinema (optional unit) unit examines the main concepts which have informed the study of film, with the auteur theory, the notion of genre and the studio system among them. The critical debates around ideas of ‘national cinema’ will lead to a study of the way in which Hollywood dominance, established during the First World war, has been challenged in different parts of the world and in a variety of ways. The unit will also look at ‘audience studies’, reception theory and work on the costuming of cinema in different national contexts.

The Collaborative Unit (core unit) unit is designed to provide an opportunity to innovate, explore developmental processes and to engage with collaborative working practices. You will be encouraged to engage in the professional negotiation and networking skills that you will need in order to be successful in the cultural and creative industries. The emphasis of this unit is on student led collaboration, the nature of which may be within your own course, with students on other courses via an exchange or with industry. The project that you undertake will depend upon your discipline and the specific requirements of your course. Further details will be available in your unit handbook.

The Masters Project is an important piece of work central to achieving the course aims, which will provide an opportunity for you to demonstrate your knowledge and skills in relation to the course learning outcomes. Throughout the Masters Project, you are guided and supported by tutorials and peer and staff evaluation at interim stages. You will be allocated a supervisor for your project and will complete a learning contract outlining how you intend to develop and deliver your project. The Masters Project may take a variety of forms by negotiation and is assessed by presentation in an agreed format.

Showing your work

All students are advised to set up a profile on, UAL’s new portfolio platform, which can be done at any point during your time at LCF and will last for up to 12 months after graduation. This platform is often used to source student work for promotional use on the website, social media and for print and can be a great way of getting your work seen. You may also be asked to have a portfolio profile for the selection process when it comes to degree shows.

Learning and teaching methods

  • Academic essays
  • Reviews
  • Presentations
  • Practical work
  • Crits, reviews and tutorial

Assessments methods

  • Museum, gallery, retail and archive visits
  • Lectures and Seminars
  • Master classes
  • Student directed events
  • Research methods
  • Briefings, tutorials and feedback
  • Writing classes
  • Speaker programme
  • Debates and discussions


Johannes Reponen is the Course Leader for MA Fashion Cultures and MA Fashion Media Practice and Criticism. Alongside this, he works as the editor of Address - Journal of Fashion Criticism and writes for a number of international fashion publications. He is currently completing practice-based PhD research on fashion criticism at London College of Fashion.

Pamela Church Gibson is the Pathway Leader for the Fashion and Film pathway and is an internationally recognised leader in fashion and film studies. She has published extensively on film, fashion, history and heritage, and significant titles include The Oxford Guide to Film Studies (1998), Fashion Cultures (2000), More Dirty Looks: Gender, Power and Pornography (2004) Fashion and Celebrity Culture (2011), The Time of Our Lives (2013), and Fashion Cultures Revisited (2013). She has contributed a number of essays in academic journals such as Fashion Theory and The Journal of British Cinema and Television, and widely used anthologies such as British Cinema (2005), and Cyberpunk Reloaded: The Matrix Trilogy (2014). Pamela Church Gibson is the editor of the peer reviewed journal Film, Fashion and Consumption and currently President of European Popular Culture Association.

Dr Anna-Mari Almilla is Research Fellow in the Sociology of Fashion. She has BA and MA degrees in Art and Design, with the major subject of Clothing, from the University of Lapland, in Finland. She has a PhD from the Department of Sociology at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. She is both a designer and a sociologist, with interests in both the theory and the practice of dress and fashion. Her publications have focused on explorations of visibility and equality in the public sphere, and in public spaces, in particular that of Muslim women and veiling practices. Read Anna-Mari's full profile (ADD LINK)

Nikola Mijovic is Lecturer in Cultural and Historical Studies. As well as teaching, Nikola is a film writer and director whose short films include Poetry Day at Buckingham Palace (12 minutes; UK 2007), Sacred War (11 minutes; Sweden 2005) and 777 (12 minutes; UK 2003). His published research has focused upon aspects of film making and cultural reception of film.

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 and international applicants

Applications for 2018/19 entry for this course are open to Home/EU applicants only. Applications for 2019/20 entry will open in Autumn 2018.

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

2018/19 entry

Both Home/EU and international students can apply for this course using our online application form – the link to this is below. Before you apply, we recommend you take some time to read the following details about the application process, including guidance on the extra information we will ask you to provide.

Alternatively, international applicants can apply through an overseas representative in your country.

Application form

You will need to enter the following information in the online application form:

  • Personal details (including full name; date of birth; nationality; permanent address and English language level)
  • Current and/or previous education and qualification details
  • Employment history

Before you can submit the form, you’ll also need to agree to the terms and conditions for how we process your data – these are explained in the form.

Please note, if you’re an international applicant we will need to contact you separately to ask for copies of certain documents (for example, English language qualification/certificate and copies of any previous UK study visas).

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).


“Fashion cannot be fully understood without a knowledge and understanding of the culture which generates them”. Analyse one instance of the relationship between a fashion or dress and the culture in which it emerged.

The essay of 1500 words should be referenced and include a bibliography of works used in the essay.

Study proposal

Your study proposal should:

  • state briefly the background for the proposal;
  • determine the precise area of study;
  • set out clearly and concisely your aims and objectives for the period of study.

Your study proposal should have the following structure:


Introduce the idea for your work. Briefly outline recent developments prior to application. Describe the anticipated programme of study in detail, demonstrating your knowledge of the historical and contemporary context of your area of study.

Focus on specific areas or issues that underpin and frame the proposal.

Programme of study

Outline the sequence of practical and theoretical steps that you intend to follow. This will be vital to your programme of study in the development of your Masters Project Plan that you will work on from Term one onwards.

Describe the methods and methodologies that you will follow and their significance for your research, i.e. how you will research this topic. Any supporting material should appear in appendices at the end of the proposal.

Research sources

Give details of libraries, exhibitions, museums, galleries and special archives that you have visited as part of your research towards the proposal, or that you intend to use in your research.


Keep a full record of all original and documentary material consulted. List appropriate material using the Harvard Referencing System.

Apply for MA Fashion Cultures: Fashion and Film

Apply for MA Fashion Cultures: History and Culture

Applications for 2018/19 entry for this course are now closed to International applicants. Applications for 2019/20 entry will open in Autumn 2018.

Entry requirements

Entry to this course is highly competitive: applicants are expected to achieve, or already have, the course entry requirements detailed below:

  • 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;


  • Equivalent qualifications;


  • Relevant and quantitative industrial experience for a minimum of three years.

Selection for interview will be made on the basis of your application, including the personal statement, the supporting written assignment and project proposal. If you are selected for interview you may be asked to bring a portfolio of previous design work and/or may be required to undertake a written aptitude test.

Student selection criteria

The course seeks to recruit students from diverse socio-economic and cultural backgrounds, and welcomes applications from mature students.

What we look for

The course seeks to recruit students who can demonstrate:

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

English language requirements

All classes are conducted in English. The level required by the University for this course is IELTS 7.0 with a minimum of 6.0 in each skill.

For more information, read the University's English Language requirements page.

International applicants

The Admissions office at the London College of Fashion will help to guide you through the application process and answer any specific questions that you may have regarding our courses. This may include portfolio advice, the application process and fee advice. We offer a ‘drop-in’ facility for applicants who may be in London and wish to obtain further course and admissions information. Please contact us for further information on this facility. We can also arrange a tour of our facilities if we are given prior notice. Our contact details are:

Address: London College of Fashion, International Office, 20 John Prince's Street, London W1G 0BJ.

If you have a question, you can contact our International Recruitment Office by calling +44 (0)20 7514 7656 / 7678 / 7629 or completing our register your interest form.

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

Fees & Funding

Home / EU fee


This applies for the 2018/19 academic year.

UAL Home/EU alumni receive a £1,000 discount.

Course fees may be paid in instalments.


Home/EU students whose chosen course is at a level equivalent to, or lower than, a qualification that they already hold, will be charged the fees shown above, plus an additional £1,100 (called the 'ELQ' fee). Students in receipt of Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs) are exempt from ELQ fees and will pay the original fee, regardless of the highest qualification held. For enquiries relating to ELQ fees, please complete this register your interest form.

International fee


This applies for the 2018/19 academic year.

UAL International alumni receive a £1,000 discount.

Course fees may be paid in instalments.

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.


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.


Postgraduate loans of up to £10,000 are now available for eligible UK and EU students. A full list of eligibility criteria and information on applying can be found on the postgraduate loans webpage.

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 of LCF's History and Culture of Fashion and Fashion and Film 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 and A, Parsons (Paris) and Garde Robe, as well as for commercial brands such as Net-a-Porter and for magazines.


Amber  Butchart

Amber Butchart

Fashion Historian and Associate Lecturer

Order a college guide



Find us