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Undergraduate

BA (Hons) Fashion Visual Merchandising and Branding

Close up shot of moulded shapes in a variety of pastel colours
BA (Hons) Visual Merchandising and Branding © Maximilien Dirand | London College of Fashion | University of Arts London
College
London College of Fashion
UCAS code
5P60
Start date
September 2023
Course length
3 years / 4 years (with placement year in industry)

This course covers visual merchandising, marketing and branding for the fashion industry, providing industry experience and allowing you to work while you study.

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.

Course overview

Introduction
 
Your BA (Hons) Fashion Visual Merchandising and Branding course will prepare you for the challenges and expectations of  industry by responding to the current and emerging demands of the sector within the contemporary curriculum. 

Today’s challenging and competitive professional environmentrequires multidisciplinary visual merchandising and branding experience, you will master an extensive variety of practical and digital design skills that include all aspects of visual retail display and branding for fashion spaces.  

What to expect 

  •     You will 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 digital visual merchandising that will give syou the necessary understanding and professional skills to become a confident visual merchandiser and branding expertacross  omni-channel environments. 
  •     Engagement with the strategic contribution of visual merchandising and branding to the long-term development of retail businesses, supported by studying internationalism, sustainability, innovation, strategy and entrepreneurship.  
  •     You will engage and interact with National and Iinternational professionals with the course on projects and industry visits
  •     The dynamic curriculum is delivered through challenging industry-focused projects including Work Experience Based learning opportunities, it combines theory and practice and allows you to personalise your learning with a variety of topics and assessment types. 

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 or enterprise 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.  You also have the opportunity to work with industry in your second year as part of the curriculum.

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; 40 credits.
  •     Fashion Branding for the Physical Environment; 20 credits
  •     Fashion Cultures and Histories; 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
  •     Curating the Consumer Experience; 40 credits
  •     Brand Development: Fashion Store Design; 20 credits.
  •     Work Experience Based Learning; 20 credits
  •     Futures and Innovations; 20 credits.

The Diploma in Professional Studies (DiPS), The Enterprise Diploma in Professional studies (E-DiPS) and The Diploma in Creative Computing (CCI) between stage 2 and 3, carry 120 credits, and constitute independent awards. Credits achieved on DiPS or E-DiPS or CCI are not part of the final degree award. 

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


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

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
  •     Collaborative Learning
  •     Online learning
  •     Workshop practice
  •     Open access work
  •     Visiting speakers
  •     Demonstrations
  •     Self-directed study

British Display Society

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

Student and graduate work

  • Nadeen-Elwi-Graduate-Showcase-2021.png
    Student work by Nadeen Elwi | BA (Hons) Fashion Visual Merchandising and Branding | London College of Fashion | 2021
  • Leah-Coles-Graduate-Showcase-2021.png
    Student work by Leah Coles | BA (Hons) Fashion Visual Merchandising and Branding | London College of Fashion | 2021
  • Mattis-Rump-Graduate-Showcase-2021.jpg
    Student work by Mattis Rump | BA (Hons) Fashion Visual Merchandising and Branding | London College of Fashion | 2021

Winning Design Proposal for Stella McCartney

BA (Hons) Fashion Visual Merchandising and Branding student, Mattis Rump

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

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.

  • LCF at Stratford Exterior Design
    LCF at Stratford Exterior Design
    LCF's move

    LCF is moving to a new single campus on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in 2023. Find more information about the College’s relocation.

Staff

Demetra Kolakis

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

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

Jonathan Baker is a senior lecturer and subject specialist in Fashion Visual Merchandising. 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 22 years. He studied MAs 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, Lisbon, and Cape Town. Jonathan is the Author of Fashion Visual Merchandising published by Bloomsbury Press in (1stEd.) 2014 and (2ndEd.) 2021.

Sarah Bailey

Sarah Bailey is a Senior Lecturer at London College of Fashion where she specialises in working collaboratively with industry fashion brands such as Liberty and Stella McCartney. She is a leading Visual Merchandising and Creative Consultant with more than 20 years global fashion and retail experience. Her clients have included: Fenwick, Charlotte Tilbury, Harrods, and Museum of London. Previously she was former course director at London College of Fashion, where she launched the BA Fashion Visual Merchandising and Branding Degree. Sarah has a master's degree in Academic Practice in Art, Design and Visual Communications and is a fellow of The Higher Education Academy. Sarah is author of Visual Merchandising for Fashion book published by Bloomsbury Press, and has been featured in The Financial Times, Vogue, Drapers Record and on the BBC.

Fees and funding

Home fee

£9,250 per year

This fee is correct for 2023/24 entry and is subject to change for 2024/25 entry.

Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students.

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

International fee

£25,970 per year

This fee is correct for 2023/24 entry and is subject to change for 2024/25 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 will generally be charged international fees. The rules are complex so read more about tuition fees and determining your fee status.

Scholarship search

Entry requirements

The standard minimum entry requirements for this course are:

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

  •     112 UCAS tariff points from two or more A Levels (preferred subjects include Art, Design, English and Maths);
  •     Distinction, Merit, Merit at BTEC Extended Diploma (preferred subjects Art & Design);
  •     Distinction at Foundation Diploma in Art and Design;
  •     Merit at UAL Extended Diploma;
  •     Access Diploma or 112 new UCAS tariff points from the Access to HE Diploma;
  •     112 new 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  

Apply now

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

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

University code:          U65

UCAS Code:                 5P60

Deferring your place

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

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 18:00 PM (GMT) on  25 January 2023 for equal consideration. However this course will consider applications after that date, subject to places being available.

You can only apply to the same course once per year. Any duplicate applications will be withdrawn. Applications for this course can only be accepted for this year of entry.

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 decide if they are able to make an offer based on the work you have demonstrated. It may be, however, that the tutor wishes to speak with you further about your work and so you will be invited to attend an online interview. At the interview the Academic Reviewer will discuss your portfolio that you submitted in PebblePad; it will be possible to show more of your work during the interview if the tutor feels it necessary for you to do so.

Please note that not all applicants will be invited to attend interview.

If you are made an offer, you will have the opportunity to engage with course teams at a number of planned engagement activities, where you will be able to ask any questions you may have and also speak to current students studying on the course.

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, how your application is considered and what happens next.

There are 2 ways international students can apply to an undergraduate course:

You must apply through UCAS, where you will need the following information:

  • University code – U65
  • UCAS course code – 5P60

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

You can only apply to the same course once per year. Any duplicate applications will be withdrawn. Applications for this course can only be accepted for this year of entry. Applications for deferred entry cannot be accepted. Read the UAL international application advice for further information on how to apply.

Deferring your place

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

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 18:00 PM (GMT) on  25 January 2023 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 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.

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 decide if they are able to make an offer based on the work you have demonstrated. It may be, however, that the tutor wishes to speak with you further about your work and so you will be invited to attend an online interview. At the interview the Academic Reviewer will discuss your portfolio that you submitted in PebblePad; it will be possible to show more of your work during the interview if the tutor feels it necessary for you to do so.

Please note that not all applicants will be invited to attend interview.

If you are made an offer, you will have the opportunity to engage with course teams at a number of planned engagement activities, where you will be able to ask any questions you may have and also speak to current students studying on the course.

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.

Careers

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.