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BA (Hons) Fashion Communication: Fashion History and Theory

College
CSM
Start date
September 2019
Course length
3 years, or 4 years with Optional Diploma in Professional Studies full time
UCAS code
4A37

Course summary

With the explosion of new media over the last ten-years, the fashion industry has been democratised.

Opportunities in fashion are no longer primarily focused on the role of designer - the fashion industry requires quality content in the form of words and image.

This course is part of the Fashion Programme.

Great reasons to apply:

  • Choose from three pathways: Fashion Communication & Promotion, Fashion History and Theory, Fashion Journalism
  • You'll partake in collaborations with external professionals and sponsors including L'Oreal Professionel, Dazed & Confused, Diadora, Grazia, Pringle of Scotland, British Museum, Museum of London, Alix Partners, From Somewhere and the Victoria and Albert Museum
  • You can take the opportunity to interrupt your course after two years full time study to do a work placement and qualify additionally for the Diploma in Professional Studies
  • Take advantage of the course’s excellent relationship with the international fashion community, to experience placements drawn from a wide and distinguished range of sources
  • Our graduates work across a wide spectrum of careers in Fashion Communication, working as writers, journalists, editors, stylists, photographers, art directors, set-desginers, fashion show producers, illustrators, curators, archivists, researchers, and retailers.

Open days

BA Fashion Communication open days are now finished. The next round of open days will take place from October to November 2019, please check back here in September 2019 to book.

Scholarships, awards and funding

Mead Scholarships and Fellowships
Yat Malmgren Bursary
The Fung Scholarships

Student Perspectives: BA Fashion Communication: Fashion History and Theory

Fashion Communication on Instagram

@fccsm
Looking đź‘€ forward to the new @marfajournal websit

Looking đź‘€ forward to the new @marfajournal website...

@fccsm
@michaelcostiff will be here at CSM next Thursday

@michaelcostiff will be here at CSM next Thursday (15th Nov) for a #FashionTalk. Attendance essential for all FC student...

@fccsm
@the_gentlewoman @pennyjanemartin #fashionjobs

@the_gentlewoman @pennyjanemartin #fashionjobs...

@fccsm
@loustoppard & rare picture of the fabulous #Carol

@loustoppard & rare picture of the fabulous #CarolineEvans at @bbc4radio (image from LOU Stoppard )...

Fashion Communication news

Creative Unions: Shared Territories

With our Creative Unions exhibition now open at Central Saint Martins, we take a closer look at the themes and works which comprise the show. The 53 works in the exhibition are […]

AnnieMackinnon_esc_4

Creative Unions: Annie Mackinnon

With our Creative Unions exhibition now open at Central Saint Martins, we take a closer look at the themes and works which comprise the show. Bringing together six designers and one design […]

Creative Unions: Material Identities

With our Creative Unions exhibition now open at Central Saint Martins, we take a closer look at the themes and works which comprise the show. The 53 works in the […]

1. Idenitity

Take Five: Momo Hassan-Odukale

With Degree Show season now behind us, we continue to take a look at our students’ final projects and the inspirations behind them. In her dissertation, BA Fashion Communication: Fashion […]

Fashion Profile: Alisa Ruzavina

In celebration of the diverse range of skills within our Fashion programme, we have commissioned a series of designer profiles from our second-year BA Fashion Journalism students. Showcasing the art […]

Facilities

A line of photographs hanging in a dark room

Photography

Find out more about our photography workshops

A desk of computers

Digital Media

Find out more about our digital media facility

Students working in the Digital Access workshop

Digital Access Print

Find out more about our digital print facilities

Course details

BA (Honours) Fashion Communication is part of the Fashion programme. It is aimed specifically at students who are passionate about fashion, but do not want to follow the design route.

From photographers, stylists, art directors, fashion-show producers, film-makers and public relations experts, to bloggers and social networkers, on-line marketers, ‘traditional’ writers, journalists, curators, commentators and theorists, BA (Honours) Fashion Communication aims to nurture you to become innovative, informed, responsible promoters, writers, communicators and observers, central to the industry’s future.

The course comprises three named pathways, all of which have the communication of and about fashion at their core. Led by tutors who are expert practitioners, the pathways offer different approaches and a synergistic combination of fashion communication, awareness, historical and theoretical studies.

  • Fashion History and Theory concentrates on developing your understanding of the history of western fashion, and the development of a sound theoretical framework within which to analyse this knowledge.
  • Fashion Communication and Promotion focuses on understanding how fashion can be communicated and promoted creatively through different media, through a curriculum that includes, amongst other areas, branding, trends, styling, photography, graphics and the creative use of new digital platforms.
  • Fashion Journalism builds on the College’s forty-year track record in this area, and offers you the opportunity to focus on fashion writing for different audiences, media and markets. From traditional media to new platforms the pathway will anticipate and respond to industry’s insatiable demand for quality written content.

The course is uniquely taught alongside BA (Honours) Fashion, offering you, as communicators, first-hand insights into fashion design ‘in the making’.

Recognition of difference, nuance, diversity and cultural meaning is central to the course ethos. We encourage and support you to take advantage of the opportunities, challenges and benefits that this offers, to develop creatively and intellectually whilst increasing your technical and professional skills and knowledge.

Ultimately we aim for you to graduate as confident, responsible, adaptable Fashion Communication specialists who possess a depth of knowledge in your chosen fields underpinned by a breadth of knowledge and critical understanding of the social, economic and cultural factors which impact on the professional environments in which you will work.

BA Fashion Communication offers a choice of three named pathways (identified by separate UCAS codes). With the study of the communication of fashion as their core subject, these options represent a uniquely synergistic combination of fashion communication, design, historical studies and theoretical studies led by tutors who are expert practitioners. The pathway range allows you to study a specific area of Fashion Communication in depth, embracing different approaches to the subject and a range of creative opportunities within the industry.

The named pathways are:

  • Fashion Communication and Promotion
  • Fashion History and Theory
  • Fashion Journalism

The BA Fashion Communication curriculum is flexible, providing excellent scope for networking with the fashion industry. Active learning through project-based enquiry is a cornerstone. You'll do collaborative projects that involve working together in mixed pathway groups or with external professionals and sponsors (e.g. Monaco Museum of Modern Art, Liberty, Dazed & Confused, Victoria and Albert Museum). This promotes interdisciplinary peer learning. It helps you develop the ability to work with others, the capacity for independent learning, and greater awareness of the skills you'll need to further your career.

Visiting lecturers include Kay Barron, Laura Bradley, Caroline Evans, Kathryn Ferguson, Mandi Lennard, Penny Martin, Iain R Webb.

Length of study for all fashion communication pathways is three or four years. You can apply to interrupt your degree course after two years full time study to do a period of work placement (subject to academic approval). If you meet the approved requirements of this work placement period you'll qualify additionally for the Diploma in Professional Studies.

BA Fashion Communication runs for 90 weeks full time over three years, and is divided into three Levels, (or Stages) each lasting 30 weeks. The whole degree course is credit-rated at 360 credits, with 120 credits at each Level.

Under the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications the Levels for a BA are: Level 4 (which is stage 1 of the course), Level 5 (Stage 2) and Level 6 (Stage 3).

There's a progression point at the end of each Level and, in order to progress, all units of the preceding Level must normally have been passed.

If you're unable to continue on the course a Certificate of Higher Education (Cert HE) will normally be offered following the successful completion of Level 4 or a Diploma in Higher Education (DipHE) following the successful completion of Level 5.

To gain a BA (Honours), students must successfully complete 360 credits. The final award consists of marks from Level 6 units only, weighted according to their credits.

At enrolment you need to identify if you wish to study for three years full time or take the four-year mode. The work placement takes place at the end of Stage Two. A Diploma in Professional Studies is awarded on successful completion of this year.

Course units

Pathway outline - Fashion History and Theory

This pathway develops your understanding of the history of western fashion from the Renaissance to the present day, and provides you with a sound theoretical framework within which to analyse that history. The subject's interdisciplinary nature is addressed using a range of methodologies to analyse sources, drawing on approaches from cultural theory, material history and other fields. Fashion is studied as image, object and text. You'll be asked to consider the design, manufacture, promotion and consumption of fashion and to explore these areas within social, historical and cultural contexts.

While this pathway analyses fashion history, it also engages with the contemporary fashion industry. You'll work with students from other fashion pathways on projects that will enrich your understanding of the design process, cut and construction, and communication and promotion to make stimulating connections between theory and practice.

Stage One

This stage lays the foundation for the development of your skills, knowledge and ideas through practical or technical workshops, lectures and seminars. While focusing on the unique aspects of your chosen pathway, Stage One introduces you to related pathways, encouraging you to research, explore and develop individual strengths and approaches.

Stage Two

This stage carries you deeper into your pathway, allowing you to develop a variety of approaches through individual and often experimental responses while acquiring the discipline demanded by professional practice. Through a combination of studio work, formal tutorial guidance, seminars, lectures, external projects, competitions, critiques, personal research, independent study and team projects, you'll explore the breadth of your subjects and develop your individual talents in relation to them. During this stage you'll benefit from the learning experience gained from helping our final year students prepare work for the degree shows.

You may also have the opportunity to go abroad (at your own expense) during this year to visit trade shows or fashion collections relevant to your field of study.

At the beginning of the summer term, students on the four-year programme are involved in the planning and preparation for their work placement. Exceptionally, three-year full-time students may apply to transfer to the four-year mode to do a work placement. Such applications have to be made via the Placement Administrator.

Stage Three

The focus during Stage Three is on the further development of your individuality and independence as you initiate, develop and complete your final degree project. Your course work helps you locate, explore and exploit your strengths while identifying areas that may require further attention or focus.

In the summer term you will show work in a degree examination exhibition.

Cultural Studies

In Stage One you'll attend lectures on a range of cultural themes, including course-specific options and broader aspects of popular culture, art and design. This gives you an opportunity to discuss cultural issues and to develop your communication, research and writing skills through encounters with students from other courses.

Within your cultural studies programme, elective studies complement and underpin your main study area.

In Stage Two you begin work on your degree dissertation research. This allows you to carry out an extended body of research on a subject of your choice in negotiation with your tutor. The dissertation is a written project involving structured analysis of a chosen aspect of visual, textual or spatial culture that is completed in Stage Three. It may be weighted at 20 or 40 credits, balanced with your main study practice. Your dissertation consolidates your research and writing skills, offering you a unique opportunity to develop a cultural study of your own.

Personal and Professional Development, (PPD) helps to prepare you for employment and career development by providing you with skills to enable you to take responsibility for your own learning. The core study of all the fashion pathways also helps develop many of these transferable skills, which play their part in equipping you for a professional career and the generic activities of creative practice.

PPD is integral to BA (Honours) Fashion Communication and is embedded in many aspects of both the studio and cultural studies programmes as a planned part of their structure and learning content. PPD activities take place in all Stages of the degree course and aim to improve your capacity to understand what and how you are learning and to help you to review, plan and take responsibility for your own learning. A considerable number of the skills learned in the academic context of BA (Honours) Fashion Communication have a wider value and use in other areas of life. These transferable skills are highly valued by employers.

Industry collaborations

Working with paying clients on live briefs will give you valuable commercial experience which may mean your work being taken forward for production or, if so desired, in the purchase of your intellectual property. All paid projects are conducted within a carefully developed legal framework, which includes student agreements to protect your work and help you realise its commercial value.

Recent client projects in the Fashion programme include: H&M | Diadora | Pringle | Umbria Cashmere | Philips | Derry - City of Culture 2013 | Dr Martens | Dyloan | Bally | Italian Trade Commission | British Horseracing Authority.

Once you’ve graduated, you may be picked as part of a small team to work on a live creative brief, organised by our Business and Innovation department, under the supervision of an experienced tutor. This can be a valuable first step in working professionally in a chosen discipline and has resulted in graduates being hired by clients.

Staff

Hywel  Davies

Hywel Davies

Programme Director, Fashion | Course Leader, BA Fashion Communication

Cally  Blackman

Cally Blackman

Stage 1 Leader BA Fashion History and Theory | Acting Pathway Leader, BA Fashion History and Theory

Jane  Tynan

Jane Tynan

Cultural Studies Coordinator

BA Fashion Communication: Fashion Communication and Promotion Joint Pathway Leader: Claire Robertson
BA Fashion Communication: Fashion Communication and Promotion Joint Pathway Leader: Oleg Mitrofanov
BA Fashion Communication: Fashion Journalism Pathway Leader: Judith Watt
BA Fashion Communication: Fashion Journalism Stage One Leader: Clare Coulson
BA Fashion Communication: Fashion, Communication and Promotion Stage One Leader: Carol Morgan 
BA Fashion Communication Lecturer: Professor Iain R Webb
Fashion History and Theory: Professor Caroline Evans
Fashion History and Theory: Marketa Uhlirova
Fashion Communication and Promotion: Martin Andersen

How to apply

Opportunities for all

We are committed to making university education an achievable option for a wider range of people and to supporting all of our students in achieving their potential both during and after their courses.

We welcome applications from people with disabilities. If you have a disability (e.g. mobility difficulties, sensory impairments, medical or mental health conditions or Asperger’s syndrome) we strongly encourage you to contact us on disability@arts.ac.uk or +44 (0)20 7514 6156 so that we can plan the right support for you. All enquiries are treated confidentially. To find out more, visit our Disability & Dyslexia webpages.

Entry requirements

The standard entry requirements for this course are as follows:

One or a combination of the following accepted full level 3 qualifications:

*          2 A Levels at grade B or above (one of which should be in a humanities subject, requiring essay based answers e.g. History, History of Art, English Literature, Philosophy)

*          Or equivalent EU/International qualifications, such as International Baccalaureate Diploma

And three GCSE passes at grade 4 or above (grade A*-C), including one modern European language.

Entry to this degree course is highly competitive.  Selection is determined by the quality of your application, indicated primarily in your writing and statement.

APEL - Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning

Exceptionally applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered. 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

*          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 6.5 or above, with at least 5.5 in reading, writing, listening and speaking (please check our main English Language requirements webpage).

Selection criteria

We select applicants who can demonstrate current ability and potential to:

Work imaginatively and creatively with the written word and visual presentation:

  • Engage with experimentation and invention
  • Show imagination and ambition in proposals for their work
  • Take informed risks.

Demonstrate a range of skills and technical abilities:

  • Through examples of written work, demonstrate a range of approaches
  • To writing, originated from personal experience or textural and visual research and progressed through logical stages to a finished outcome
  • Demonstrate an awareness of planning and time management skills
  • Evidence their ability to critically reflect and evaluate their achievements.

Provide evidence of intellectual enquiry within your work:

  • Demonstrate relevant research skills
  • Evidence their ability to critically reflect and evaluate their achievements.

Demonstrate cultural and historical awareness and/or contextual framework of your work:

  • Evidence an interest in fashion history, theory and contemporary culture
  • Identify social, historical and/or cultural influences on their work.

Articulate and communicate intentions clearly:

  • Discuss their work in individual and group situations
  • Present their work, concepts and ideas appropriately and effectively.

Demonstrate commitment and motivation in relation to the subject and the course:

  • Develop their own ideas and address both set and personal briefs
  • Show willingness to collaborate
  • Show initiative
  • Reflect your knowledge of this course.

What we are looking for

In this fast-moving global industry it takes hard work, flexibility and passion to succeed. This course is aimed specifically at applicants who are passionate about fashion, but do not want to follow the design route: spirited, informed and mature individuals who want to be innovative, confident, responsible, informed, skilled and adaptable graduates who will become the fashion photographers, stylists, art directors, fashion-show producers, film-makers and public relations experts, bloggers and social networkers, on-line marketers, ‘traditional’ writers, journalists, curators, commentators and theorists of the future.

Making your application

For EU applicants concerned about Brexit, please see our dedicated page: Brexit Information for Students.

You should apply though Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) and you will need the following information:

University code:          U65

UCAS Code:                 4A37

We do not consider applications for Year 3 Entry for this course.

Central Saint Martins does not accept applications for deferred entry.  You should therefore apply in the year you wish to study.

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by 15 January 2019 for equal consideration.  However this course will consider applications after that date, subject to places being available.

There are three ways international students can apply to an undergraduate course at Central Saint Martins:

You can only apply to the same course once per year whether you are applying via UCAS, UAL representative or using the UAL online application system. Any duplicate applications will be withdrawn.

For further advice on how to apply please visit the UAL International Application page.

If you are applying via UCAS you will need the following information:

University code:          U65

UCAS Code:                 4A37

You can only apply to the same course once per year whether you are applying via UCAS, UAL representative or using the UAL online application system. Any duplicate applications will be withdrawn.

For further advice on how to apply please visit the UAL International Application page.

We do not consider applications for Year 3 Entry for this course.

Central Saint Martins does not accept applications for deferred entry. You should therefore apply in the year you wish to study.

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by 15 January 2019 for equal consideration. However this course will consider applications after that date, subject to places being available.

Immigration history check

Whether you are applying online via UCAS or through a UAL representative or direct application you will need to complete an immigration history check to establish whether you are eligible to study at UAL.  If you do not complete the check we will not be able to proceed with your application.


After you apply

Communicating with you

After you have successfully submitted your application, you will receive an email confirming we have successfully received your application and providing you with your login details for the UAL Portal.  We will request any additional information from you, including inviting you to upload documents / book an interview, through the portal.  You should check your UAL Portal regularly for any important updates and requests.

What happens next

Initial application check

We check your application to see if you meet the standard entry requirements for the course.  If you do, you will be invited to submit a written assessment.

If you meet the entry requirement you will be asked to submit written work.

Written Work

You need to submit an 800 words essay demonstrating an aptitude for studying fashion as object, image or text.

Interview

Following the review of assessed work we select a small number of applicants to move on to the next stage of the process.  These applicants will be invited to an interview.

If you are unable to attend the interview in person, you will be invited to interview via Skype.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

You will receive the final outcome of your application through UCAS track.

Fees & Funding

Home/EU fee

ÂŁ9,250 (2018/19). TBC

Tuition fees for undergraduate degree courses have been set at ÂŁ9,250 per year for full-time study. This applies from the 2018/19 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

ÂŁ19,350 (2018/19).

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.

Scholarship search

Careers and alumni

BA Fashion Communication graduates work across a very wide spectrum of careers in fashion.

Our graduates work across a very wide spectrum of careers in the Fashion communications industry. From curators and archivists to journalists, stylists, photographers, fashion show producers, illustrators, editors and retailers the range of career opportunities is wide

Many of our graduates have gone on to work with important fashion companies throughout the world:

Love Magazine | Port Magazine | The Telegraph | Pop Magazine | Acne Paper, Burberry | 10 Magazine | SHOWstudio.com | Grazia Magazine | Six Creative | Vogue Turkey | Vogue.com | Reiss | Proud Galleries | Gainsborough & Whiting Show Production | Orphan Creative NYC | Alexander McQueen | Burberry | Margaret Howell | Bonhams | Asos.com | Daphne Guinness Collection | Christian Louboutin | Somerset House

Recent graduates have also entered postgraduate study on the following courses:

Royal College of Art | Goldsmiths | London College of Fashion | Royal College of Art/ Victoria and Albert Museum | The Courtauld Institute of Art

Developing your links

Located at the heart of the London fashion industry, BA (Honours) Fashion Communication is able to link education and industry providing students with 'live' projects and professional feedback. The BA (Honours) Fashion Communication course has also developed an excellent relationship with the international fashion community, so that placements for its students are drawn from a wide and distinguished range of sources.

Students benefit enormously from studying in London. While there are other fashion courses on the outskirts of the capital, none can offer you the daily stimulation and advantages of being in the middle of an international cultural and fashion centre, surrounded by all levels of the retail market and sectors of the industry within which you will later find employment.

Current collaborations across the design pathways include work with L'Oreal Professional, Triumph, Liberty, Tie Rack, Paul Smith, Dior and Christian Dior Couture. Fashion History and Theory students collaborate with Pringle of Scotland. SHOWstudio.com, Somerset House Embankment Galleries, Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, Historic Royal Palaces/ Kensington Palace and Alexander McQueen

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