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BA (Hons) Fashion Visual Merchandising and Branding

College
LCF
Start date
September 2019
Course length
3 years
UCAS code
5P60

Course summary

Applications open for 2019/20 entry. See the ‘How to Apply’ tab for more information

This course is for students who want to become Brand Managers and Visual Merchandising Managers within the fashion industry, learning how to harness the relationship between brand and consumer.

About

BA (Hons) Fashion Visual Merchandising and Branding facilitates understanding of all aspects of fashion visual branding and retailing, for value retailers to luxury design-led brands.

Great reasons to apply

  • Graduates have moved into roles including Regional Visual Merchandising Manager, Brand Manager and Marketing Co-ordinator
  • Frequent interaction with the fashion industry via project support, visiting speakers and access to industry research
  • Full-time and part-time study options available

Location

The course is based at High Holborn and John Prince’s Street. Find out about the local area, including Lincoln’s Inn Fields and Clerkenwell, in our local area guides on the Student Life pages.

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.

BA (Hons) Visual Merchandising and Branding talk about their window displays

Collaborative Student Project with ASOS - Fashion Business School

Fashion Business School Summit 2016

Portfolio gallery

Latest news from this course

Library, John Princes Street
Library, John Princes Street Photography by: Ideal Insight

LCF library and archives

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

Mfundo Mahlangu from BA Cordwainers Footwear- Product Design and Innovation; Photographer Alys Tomlinson

Footwear, accessories and jewellery facilities

Take a tour of Golden Lane's workshops and leather room.

Canteen, Mare Street
Canteen, Mare Street Photography by: Ideal Insight

LCF's social spaces

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

Course details

This course is subject to revalidation. Revalidation is a process that makes sure students get a high quality academic experience. During revalidation there may be some changes to course content. Please contact us if you have any questions about this course.

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

The academic year for this course is divided into Block 1 and Block 2.

Block 1 is of 15 weeks duration from late September to February. In accordance with the University timetable, there will be a four week holiday in December.

Block 2 is also of 15 weeks’ duration from mid-February to the end of June with a four week holiday for Easter.

Year one

  • Introduction to the Fashion Business for Fashion Visual Merchandising & Branding
  • Principles of Fashion Visual Merchandising
  • Fashion Branding for the Physical Environment
  • Introduction to Cultural and Historical Studies
  • Better Lives
  • Fashion Branding for the Digital Environment

Year two

  • Cultural and Historical Studies option
  • Consumer Insight for Visual Brand Communications
  • Brand Development: Fashion Store Design
  • Work Experience Based Learning

Diploma in Professional Studies (optional professional placement year)

Final year

  • Futures and Innovation
  • Fashion Visual Merchandising and Branding Strategy
  • Final Major Project

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


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.

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.

The customer experience of the physical brand environment from concept to completion is the focus of the Fashion Branding For the Physical Environment unit. You will explore how fashion businesses build brand identity, brand image and brand personality in the retail space. Connections between brand essence, visual brand identity and product presentation in relation to sustainable retail spaces and the consumer shopping journey will be made. This unit will be brand theory based with practical studio work included.

Better Lives

London College of Fashion, UAL (LCF) is a leader in fashion design, media and business education. We have been nurturing creative talent for over a century, offering courses in all things fashion. We encourage students to examine the past and challenge the present. To have inventive, assertive ideas that challenge social and political agendas. We give students the skills, opportunities – and above all, the freedom – to put those ideas into practice. By leading the way in fashion design, business, and the media, we influence culture, economics and our society. This unit will provide you with a solid understanding of LCF’ core values and how they connect to your practice. As part of this unit you will explore diversity, social responsibility and sustainability, themes which you will then apply to a selected project. At this stage the emphasis is on how you apply your thinking across these important themes to your practice. Your thinking is more important than a finished piece of work at this point. Fashion can change lives. Through teaching, specialist research, and collaborative work, this unit will get you thinking differently. We want you to use fashion to examine the past, build a sustainable future and improve the way we live. That’s why we call this unit ‘Better Lives’.


The Fashion Branding for the Digital Environment unit will develop your understanding of integrated digital environments and the customer experience. The structure, development and use of digital media and platforms for product promotion and retail aspects of the brand will be explored in depth. The digital and online brand experience from concept to completion will be investigated. Connections between brand essence, visual brand identity and product presentation in relation to the online shopping journey will be made.

Year two

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.

The Consumer Insight for Visual Brand Communications unit will introduce you to concepts of consumer behaviour and psychology through the investigation of how global 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. You will introduce applied research methods to help you to practically investigate how consumers respond to aspects of branded retail environments and explore the relationship between brand communication and the consumer. 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 digital context branding strategies. You will apply your consumer insight to the theoretical relationship between fashion branding and marketing communications in the physical retail and digital media space to generate creative and engaging brand solutions.

The Brand Development: Fashion Store Design unit broadens your design, visualisation and presentation skills which will enable you to expand on the key understanding of creative branding and visual merchandising in a professional context from concept to completion and installation.  You will be encouraged to link freehand drawing skills and industry standard software packages at a larger scale to the branded environment and explore industry practice to generate creative solutions for commercial spaces.  The relationship between design research, and design development in computer-generated contexts is fundamental to this unit and will provide you with a coherent framework for future two and three-dimensional concept development. Advanced techniques are explored and developed through a variety of creative applications whilst also evaluating commercial constraints on visual retail planning.

The Work Experience Based Learning unit gives you the opportunity to apply your subject knowledge in a work-based context. This could be a work placement or internship, a live industry consultancy or a simulated industry project within the fashion industry. You will undertake an industry scoping exercise to identify suitable opportunities for your work based learning experience and deliver a reflective account of this and assess your performance against appropriate professional criteria.

Diploma in Professional Studies (optional professional placement year)


The Diploma in Professional Studies (the Diploma) is a University of the Arts London Award for a period of professional placement of at least 30 weeks duration. The placement is undertaken after successful completion of stage 2 of the four-year Bachelor’s degree or a five-year integrated Master’s degree. The 30 weeks must be completed in full.

The Diploma in Professional Studies aims to:

  • develop an appreciation of the culture and practice of the work place;
  • put course content and study into perspective;
  • develop transferable skills;enhance students' opportunities for career or academic progression.

There is flexibility to combine a placement in industry either in the United Kingdom or overseas (of at least 20 weeks) with a period of studying abroad (of at least 10 weeks). It is recommended that the placement in industry be with one organisation for a minimum of 30 weeks (if you are not undertaking a period of studying abroad) to benefit fully from your placement experience. In exceptional circumstances more than one placement in industry can occur to meet the minimum requirements for the award of the Diploma. During the placement, your academic studies continue through the compilation of a written report and reflection, which focuses on the opportunities and challenges relating to the professional placement. This not only continues the development of your study skills but also allows the ongoing development of your research, analytical and evaluative skills.

Final year

The Futures and Innovation unit 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.

You will also 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.

Showing your work

All students are advised to set up a profile on portfolio.arts.ac.uk, 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.

Staff

Edward Stammers is the course leader and (acting) programme director for the Fashion Business Programme 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.

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.

Associate lecturers

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 minimum entry requirements for this course are:

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

  • Two A Level Passes at Grade C or above (preferred subjects include English, Maths, Art, Business Studies, Media Studies and Languages);
  • Merit, Merit, Merit at BTEC Extended Diploma;
  • Merit at Foundation Diploma in Art and Design;
  • Merit at UAL Extended Diploma;
  • Access Diploma or 96 new UCAS tariff points from the Access to HE Diploma;
  • 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 such as International Baccalaureate Diploma
  • and Six GCSE passes at grade A*-C or grade 9-4, with a grade C or 4 for Maths.

Entry to this course will also be determined by assessment of your portfolio.

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
  • 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 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in reading, writing, listening and speaking. Please check our main English Language Requirements 

Selection Criteria

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.

Making your application

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

How we assess your application

Your application form is reviewed when you apply to the University. If you have achieved or expect to achieve the standard entry requirements we will invite you to submit a mini portfolio. The mini portfolio is assessed by Academic Reviewers who will select applicants to attend an interview. Please note that not all applicants are invited to attend interview. When you have attended your interview we will advise you of your outcome through UCAS Track.

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

University code:          U65

UCAS Code:                 5P60

We do not consider applications for Year 2 and Year 3 Entry for this course.

London College of Fashion 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 15th January for equal consideration. However this course will consider applications after that date, subject to places being available.

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 Selection Criteria sections.

Depending on the quality of your application, you may be asked to submit a number of images of your work. 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.

If the course team wish to consider your application further, you will be invited to our interview week (18th to 22nd February 2019) where the course team will look at your portfolio and ask 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. Applicants will be expected to demonstrate the following at interview: a strong interest in fashion and visual imagery; an awareness of technology; a critical and analytical approach; a motivation to succeed on the course; and a motivation for working as a womenswear designer.

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

If you applied through UCAS the result of your application will be communicated to you via UCAS through UCAS Track. 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.

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

How we assess your application

Your application form is reviewed when you apply to the University. If you have achieved or expect to achieve the standard entry requirements you will be invited to submit a portfolio of no more than 45 images. Your portfolio is assessed by our academic team who will select applicants to attend an interview. Please note that not all applicants are invited to attend interview. When you have attended your interview we will advise you of your outcome.

There are three ways international students can apply to an undergraduate course at London College of Fashion:

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

University code:          U65

UCAS Code:                 5P60

Campus code:             There is no Campus Code for this course

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 application will be withdrawn.

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

We do not consider applications for Year 2 and Year 3 Entry for this course.

London College of Fashion 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 15th January for equal consideration. However this course will consider applications after that date, subject to places being available.

What happens next

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 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 references are read and considered by the course team against the selection criteria listed in the Entry Requirements and Selection Criteria sections.

Depending on the quality of your application, you may be asked to submit a number of images of your work. 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.

If the academic team wish to consider your application further, you will be invited to attend an interview either in person or via telephone where an international academic will look at your portfolio and ask questions to establish your suitability for the course. 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 and a motivation to succeed on 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.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

If you applied through UCAS the result of your application will be communicated to you via UCAS through UCAS Track. If you have applied directly or through an agent, we will notify you through the UAL portal. 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.


After you apply

After you’ve submitted your application, you’ll receive a confirmation email providing you with your login details for the UAL Portal. We’ll use this Portal to contact you to request any additional information, including inviting you to upload documents or book an interview, so please check it regularly.

Once we’ve reviewed and assessed your application, we’ll contact you via UCAS Track or the UAL Portal to let you know whether your application has been successful.

Potential changes to 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 use the register your interest form above.

Fees & Funding

Home / EU fee

£9,250

This applies for the 2019/20 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

£19,890

This applies for the 2019/20 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.

Scholarship search

Careers and alumni

All of our undergraduate 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:
  • An on-course work experience or placement year. Please note, this is not available on every course; please see the Course Details section for information about work placement opportunities.
  • 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.
Graduates who wish to continue their education at postgraduate level can 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.

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