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Undergraduate

BA (Hons) Fashion Visual Merchandising and Branding

Digital exhibition
BA (Hons) Visual Merchandising and Branding © Maximilien Dirand
College
London College of Fashion
Start date
September 2021
Course length
3 years / 4 years (with placement year in industry)
UCAS code
5P60

The course is a unique educational experience reflecting the current demands in industry through a contemporary curriculum to equip students for industry. Today's marketplace requires multidisciplinary visual merchandising and branding experience, you will master a wide arrange of design skills that includes all aspects of visual retail display and fashion branded spaces. Students develop expertise in visual merchandising, digital visual merchandising, spatial design and branding practices through a curriculum that explores the design process from conceptualization through fabrication.

Course closures

We are no longer accepting applications from home students for 2021/22 entry to this course. Please check this page regularly as places may become available later in the cycle and if they do, we will reopen applications.

Why choose this course at London College of Fashion?

  • The course is future facing and a leader in its field
  • You’ll partake on live and collaborative briefs with clients and project partners developing a professional network
  • 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
  • Our graduates work across a wide spectrum of careers in visual merchandising, digital visual merchandising, experiential visual designers, set-designers, spatial designer, visual branding and brand developers / managers.

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.

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 / John Prince's Street 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.

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.

Student work

  • VMB-Alexander-McQueen.jpg
    , Student work exploring the visual brand identity of Alexander McQueen BA (Hons) Fashion Visual Merchandising and Branding Photography by Sarah Bailey
  • VMB-Alexander-McQueen-1.jpg
    , Alexander McQueen BA (Hons) Fashion Visual Merchandising and Branding Photography by Sarah Bailey
  • VMB-Alexander-McQueen-2.jpg
    , Student work exploring the visual brand identity of Alexander McQueen BA (Hons) Fashion Visual Merchandising and Branding Photography by Sarah Bailey

BA (Hons) Visual Merchandising and Branding final year student work by Miriam Dunn

BA (Hons) Visual Merchandising and Branding final year student work by Rhianna Mounsey

What's it like to study BA (Hons) Fashion Visual Merchandising and Branding 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

LCF facilities

  • 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
    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 social spaces

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

Course overview

Introduction 

BA (Hons) Fashion Visual Merchandising and Branding equips students for the industry by reflecting the current demands through a contemporary curriculum. Today’s marketplace requires multidisciplinary visual merchandising and branding experience and students will master a wide array of design skills that include all aspects of visual retail display and fashion spaces.  

What to expect 

  • Students develop expertise in visual merchandising, digital visual merchandising, spatial design and branding practices through a curriculum that explores the design process from conceptualisation through fabrication. 
  • The course covers trend research, design development, store design and online visual merchandising which will give students the necessary understanding and professional skills to become confident visual merchandisers 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.  
  • National and international professionals interact with the course on projects, as visiting speakers, and through virtual industrial visits. 

Work experience and opportunities 

There are opportunities for collaborative projects where students will gain industry relevant knowledge and practice by working with a prestigious company. There is an opportunity to undertake an optional industry placement year between the second and final year of the course which will enhance the employability of students by offering valuable experience and contacts within the industry as well as earning an additional Diploma in Professional Studies qualification. 

Mode of study 

BA (Hons) Fashion Visual Merchandising and Branding runs for 90 weeks in full time mode. It is divided into 3 stages over 3 academic years. Each stage lasts 30 weeks. 

Course units

The units you will study in Year 1, Stage 1, Level 4 are as follows:

  • Introduction to Visual Merchandising & Branding; 20 credits
  • Principles of Fashion Visual Merchandising; 20 credits
  • Fashion Branding for the Physical Environment; 20 credits
  • Fashion Cultures and Histories; 20 credits
  • Better Lives; 20 credits
  • Fashion Branding for the Digital Environment; 20 credits

The units you will study in Year 2, Stage 2, Level 5 are as follows:

  • Critical Issues in Fashion Research; 20 credits
  • Consumer Insight for Visual Brand Communications; 40 credits
  • Brand Development: Fashion Store Design; 40 credits
  • Work Experience Based Learning; 20 credits

The units you will study in Year 3, Stage 3, Level 6 are as follows:

  • Futures and Innovation; 20 credits
  • Fashion Visual Merchandising and Branding Strategy; 40 credits
  • Final Major Project; 60 credits

A 20-credit unit is approximately equivalent to 200 hours of learning time, which includes a mixture of taught time, independent study and assessment.

The Diploma in Professional Studies carries 120 credits, and constitutes an independent award. Credits achieved on the Diploma are not part of the final degree award.

The Diploma year is a single unit, undertaken as a form of full time study, with placement activity at its core. For those who take up the option of studying the Diploma, the experience is designed to be an integrated and assessed part of a student’s journey through the course. It allows students the opportunity to experience the atmosphere, pace and discipline of working in the industry, through total involvement in the day-to-day activities of a company. It will build on the knowledge gathered through course work to practically demonstrate the roles and functions, and operations typical of the fashion industry and the student’s chosen specialism.

All students are entitled to a tutorial package that consists of:

  • one tutorial per stage for the duration for their course of study at LCF;
  • group tutorials as required;
  • an appropriate level of confidentiality.

Learning and teaching methods

The following teaching and learning methods are employed to support the integrated achievement of the course outcomes:

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Critiques
  • Studio based workshops
  • Workshop practice
  • Open access work
  • Visiting speakers
  • Demonstrations
  • Self-directed study

Assessment methods

The following assessment methods are employed to support the integrated achievement of the course outcomes:

  • Set projects
  • Critical and peer appraisals
  • Written critiques
  • Self evaluation
  • Portfolio development
  • Technical workbooks
  • Case studies
  • Industry based projects
  • Individual negotiated projects
  • Dissertation

Staff

Demetra Kolakis is the Course Leader for BA (Hons) Fashion Visual Merchandising and Branding at the University of the Arts London.She holds a BA from Columbia University, a BFA from Concordia University, and a MA from UAL and is currently pursuing a PhD at UAL.  Research interests include the interplay between consumption, production and experience in relation to contemporary fashion, modernism, visual culture and cultural processes.  Her current research interests are the sensory characteristics and atmospheric qualities of the built fashion environment and their relationship to behaviour.Her work has been exhibited at pop ups, galleries, and international shows including Project, Premiere Vision NYC, Trunk, Atelier, Who’s Next, Ideal Berlin, Best Shop Berlin, Designers Against Aids, and Premium Berlin. She has been a speaker at international conferences and a visiting lecturer in universities worldwide teaching fashion spatial design literacy and practices. In 2018, she received the UAL Teaching Award for excellence in teaching. In 2019, received a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Edward Stammers is the 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.

Jonathan Baker is a senior lecturer.  He is also a freelance industry consultant, writer and blogger and former Chief world Expert in Visual Merchandising for Worldskills.org.  Jonathan previously worked within the retail and visual merchandising industry across 18 high street brands, including Topman, Topshop, Burtons, and has taught for 19 years.He studied MA’s in Design at Central St. Martin’s and Art in Architecture (UEL), has also taught Visual Merchandising at several international universities and presented as a guest speaker at conferences in New York, Moscow, Beijing, Herfei, Shanghai, Amsterdam, London, Dubai, Rome, Panama, Guatemala and Lisbon.  Jonathon is the Author of Fashion Visual Merchandising published by Bloomsbury Press in 2014.

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.

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.

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.

  • 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

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.

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

University code:          U65

UCAS Code:                 5P60

Deferring your place

This course allows offer holders to defer. If you have an offer of a place, but you would like to defer starting for a year, please contact our Admissions Service as soon as possible via your UAL Portal. Make sure you check our Admissions Policy before requesting a deferral.

If you are an EU offer holder, it is important to consider that, from 2021-22, you may be charged International fees, which are higher. Read our Coronavirus guidance for prospective students for details.

Transfers

If you are currently studying somewhere else on a course in an equivalent subject area and would like to transfer to this course, you can transfer to:

  • Year 2 - if you’ve completed 120 credits in Year 1.
  • Year 3 - if you’ve completely 240 credits in Years 1 and 2.

Apply via UCAS and choose Year 2 or 3 for your POE (Point of Entry)

Please check our Student Transfer Policy for more important information and be ready to provide us with your current course handbook and Year 1/Year 2 unit transcripts.

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

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by 29 January 2021 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.

If you have achieved or expect to achieve the standard entry requirements we will invite you to submit a portfolio via PebblePad, our online submission tool, which should include a number of images of your work. You can upload a maximum of 30 images which best shows your work – please note however that you do not have to provide this exact number. PebblePad refers to ‘images’ when you upload your work - think of each 'image' as a page in your physical portfolio.

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. The portfolio is assessed by Academic Reviewers who will select applicants to attend an online interview. If you are selected to attend an online interview the Academic Reviewer will discuss your portfolio that you submitted in PebblePad.  You will be able to show more of your work during the interview but it is easier to see your portfolio in PebblePad.

Please note that not all applicants are invited to attend interview.

LCF Interview week

Due the ongoing restrictions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and government advice, LCF has taken the decision not to continue with our planned interview week and face to face interviews for this academic cycle in 2021. Places will be offered based on work submitted by applicants as part of their PebblePad portfolio.

Offer holders will have the opportunity to engage with course teams at a number of planned engagement activities.

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.

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

If you choose to apply though UCAS – Universities and Colleges Admissions Service – 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.

Deferring your place

This course allows offer holders to defer. If you have an offer of a place, but you would like to defer starting for a year, please contact our Admissions Service as soon as possible via your UAL Portal. Make sure you check our Admissions Policy before requesting a deferral.

Transfers

If you are currently studying somewhere else on a course in an equivalent subject area and would like to transfer to this course, you can transfer to:

  • Year 2 - if you’ve completed 120 credits in Year 1.
  • Year 3 - if you’ve completely 240 credits in Years 1 and 2.

Apply via UCAS and choose Year 2 or 3 for your POE (Point of Entry)

Please check our Student Transfer Policy for more important information and be ready to provide us with your current course handbook and Year 1/Year 2 unit transcripts.

If you are an International applicant and studying outside the UK, please complete your Direct application and then contact us via your UAL Portal to ask to be considered for Year 2/Year 3.

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

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by 29 January 2021 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 - 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. At interview 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 and funding

Home fee

£9,250 per year

This fee is correct for 2021/22 entry and is subject to change for 2022/23 entry. Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students.

Home fees are currently charged to UK resident nationals. However, the rules are complex. Find out more about our tuition fees.

From 2021/22 entry, most EU students will be charged the International tuition fee rate, depending on your individual circumstances. If you started your course in October 2020 or earlier, you’ll continue to pay Home (UK) fees for the duration of your course. Read more advice for EU students.

International fee

£22,920 per year

This fee is correct for 2021/22 entry and is subject to change for 2022/23 entry. Tuition fees for international students may increase by up to 5% in each future year of your course.

Students from countries outside of the UK are currently charged international fees. The rules are complex so read more about our tuition fees.

From 2021/22 entry, most EU students will be charged the International tuition fee rate, depending on your individual circumstances. If you started your course in October 2020 or earlier, you’ll continue to pay Home (UK) fees for the duration of your course. Read more advice for EU students.

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 this course have gone on to work in a number of interesting roles including: Digital Visual Merchandiser, Junior Retail Space and Installation Designer, Retail Space and Events Designer, and Senior Store Planning Project Manager. Graduates have found employment with notable brands such as: Burberry, Axel Arigato and Alexander McQueen.

Industry projects

Oltre Frontiera Progetti

LCF collaborated with global Visual Merchandising and Retail Design specialists Oltre Frontiera Progetti to offer a once in a lifetime Visual Merchandising Student Award exclusive to BA Fashion Visual Merchandising & Branding final year students 2019-20.

One final year student was given the opportunity to be mentored and supported by key industry professionals and receive an award of £3000, plus the opportunity to take an internship in Milan after graduation.

Students were asked to pitch a presentation summarizing a range of their previous Visual Merchandising and Retail Design experience and present their Final Year creative project proposals.

Final year student Ashvini Sivakumar was delighted to be selected as the winner of the Oltrefrontiera Progetti Visual Merchandising Award.

LCF VM Students X Stella McCartney Collaboration 2020

Students from the BA Fashion Visual Merchandising and Branding degree course at London College of Fashion worked in collaboration with the Stella McCartney Global Visual Merchandising team to design a new Pop Up branded space to launch the new Shared Capsule which is part of the Members & Non Members Only Collection at Stella McCartney.

The Shared Capsule explores the idea of shared objects between people who share the same sense of style and values. Themes of sustainability, digital activity, and narrative environments were explored by the students to create a commercially viable and interactive customer experience. MNMO is a material response to achieving fluidity and the innate need to be connected and personified by the next generation. The aim of the visual merchandising student design project was to design a collective space to celebrate individual style whilst encompassing values of diversity and inclusivity.

The pop up was intended to launch in Beijing, China and then to 10 other main city locations around the world including Old Bond Street in London. The students were mentored by the Head of Visual Merchandising & Instore Experience at Stella McCartney and Sarah Bailey Senior Lecturer at London College of Fashion.