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MA Fashion Communication: Fashion Critical Studies

College
CSM
Start date
January 2021
Course length
One year full-time (45 weeks)

This course is now open for entry in January 2021.

Coronavirus updates

If you're thinking about applying, or you've applied for a postgraduate course starting in 2020/21, see guidance for prospective students during the Coronavirus outbreak.

MA Fashion Communication: Fashion Critical Studies offers an academic approach to the study of fashion.

MA Fashion Communication is for dynamic students looking to thrive within the industry at the highest level. The course offers three pathways: Fashion Image, Fashion Journalism and Fashion Critical Studies.

This course is part of the Fashion Programme.

Why choose this course at Central Saint Martins

  • Joint projects: The course has opportunities for joint projects with other programmes across the College as well as with international media and fashion brands.
  • Expert teaching: The course team is made up of high-profile academics and industry professionals.
  • Established networks: MA Fashion Communication has extensive links with industry both in the UK and on a global stage.
  • Design in process: As part of the Fashion programme, you will have access to students on MA and BA Fashion, providing first-hand experience of how fashion designers work.

Open days

The next open days will be scheduled from June - October 2020. Please check back here by June to book online.

Scholarships, awards and funding

UAL UK/EU Postgraduate Scholarships
UAL International Postgraduate £5,000 Scholarships
UAL International Postgraduate £30,000 Scholarships and ISH accommodation award

Student Perspectives: MA Fashion Communication Critical Studies
Film by Zoë Vintilescu and Maria Toro, Fashion Communication students.

Fashion Communication stories

Diary of an intern

Third-year BA Fashion Communication: Fashion Journalism student, Dayna Tohidi, shares her experience of the CSM Museum & Study Collection. She reveals her highlights, from an unanticipated online encounter with a Wikipedia administrator to

Designing with Conversation

We talk to recent graduates exhibiting in Designing in Turbulent Times at the Lethaby Gallery. The designers here exploit creative tools to provoke or inform conversation

Facilities

Course overview

Over the last two decades, fashion has broadened its influence across the creative industries and many art forms. In parallel, new technologies have transformed how the fashion sector communicates with consumers. With the industry in this state of transition, it's more important than ever to analyse the impact of new media and to explore the needs of new consumers. 

MA Fashion Communication at Central Saint Martins embodies these paradigm changes. It explores the discipline through new, cutting-edge digital platforms and media as well as more traditional modes of communication. The course helps you to develop the professional skills to join the next generation of fashion theorists, analysts, writers, journalists, image-makers and visual communicators. It also helps you to anticipate and respond to fluid, fluctuating global communication channels.  

MA Fashion Communication offers three pathways. Fashion Journalism focuses on writing, editing and digital media, while Fashion Image is for innovative image-makers. The Fashion Critical Studies pathway offers an academic approach to the study of fashion. It develops your research skills, allowing you to contribute to the development of the field and debates in other disciplines. The pathway investigates the cultural and historical significance of fashion. You will explore fashion as an object, image, text and practice through disciplines including art, history, sociology, literature, politics and anthropology.  

While much of your time and teaching is concentrated on your pathway study, there are opportunities to work with your colleagues from other pathways and courses. This structure reflects the collaborative approach of the fashion industry. Across all pathways, the curriculum focuses both on the realities of the modern fashion industry as well as fashion theory, ensuring your work is informed by current knowledge and debates in your specialist area.  

Course units

MA Fashion Communication is designed to further progress your specialist skills. The course equips you with the skills needed for employment in the fashion communication industry at the highest level. Strong emphasis is placed on personal and professional development. The curriculum is enhanced by the energy which comes from the fusion of students across the pathways. You will interact with students from a wide range of backgrounds and cultures. As part of this, you will be expected to learn and problem-solve from their experience as well as your own.  

At key points in the year, you will interact with students on the MA Fashion course. Together, you will explore and participate in fashion communication projects in a live context. The course responds to external opportunities, integrating them into the timetable when possible. In January and February, the build-up to the MA Fashion show at London Fashion Week will allow you to take part in the organisation, production and communication of an international fashion show and exhibition. In May, there are opportunities to work with the BA Fashion students as they prepare for their degree show and exhibition.  

Unit 1: Investigation 

Unit 1 is devised to challenge your assumptions and broaden your thinking. It will encourage to develop greater knowledge of your specialist subject, as well as the international aspects of the fashion communications industry. You will also study fashion and its histories within the context of art and design theory and practice. This will deepen your understanding of the impact of the social, economic and cultural role of fashion in society. You will explore the disciplines, rigour, operational aspects and the inter-disciplinary nature of the fashion industry. You will acquire a commercial and market awareness in order to gain an international perspective. 

This is complemented by first-hand observation of how fashion collections are created and how fashion designers work. One project in this unit will allow you to work collaboratively with MA Fashion students as they prepare for their show during London Fashion Week. This mutually beneficial project may involve analysis of the designers’ collections and the creation of visual or written content to promote their collections. 

Unit 2: Specialist Major Project – Planning, Preparation and Negotiated Phase 

The skills, knowledge and new approaches you acquire during Unit 1 will support and inform your direction in the planning, preparation and negotiation of your self-initiated major project in Unit 2.  

Unit 3: Specialist Major Project – Realisation and Presentation Phase  

Having completed Unit 2, in the final unit of the course you will fully realise and present your major project.  

Mode of study 

MA Fashion Communication is offered in full-time mode which runs for 45 weeks over 12 months. You will be expected to commit 40 hours per week to study, which includes teaching time and independent study.  

Credit and award requirements 

The course is credit-rated at 180 credits.  

On successfully completing the course, you will gain a Master of Arts (MA degree).  

Under the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications, an MA is Level 7. All units must be passed in order to achieve the MA but the classification of the award is derived from the mark for the final unit only.  

If you are unable to continue on the course, a Postgraduate Certificate (PG Cert) will normally be offered following the successful completion of 60 credits, or a Postgraduate Diploma (PG Dip) following the successful completion of 120 credits.

Learning and teaching methods

  • Student-centred learning 
  • Critiques 
  • Peer learning 
  • Individual studio tutorials 
  • Group tutorials 
  • Research sessions 

Assessment methods

  • Presentations 
  • Projects 
  • Critiques 
  • Research 

Staff

Course Leader: Roger Tredre
Fashion Critical Studies Pathway Leader:
Jane Tynan

How to apply

Opportunities for all

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

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

Entry requirements

The standard entry requirements for this course are as follows:

  • First-class or upper second-class honours degree from art and design BA courses or from disciplines such as history, literature, languages, history of art, visual culture, film studies and media studies
  • Or an equivalent EU/international qualification.

AP(E)L – Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning

Exceptionally applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered. The course team will consider each application that demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might, for example, be demonstrated by:

  • Related academic or work experience
  • The quality of the personal statement
  • A strong academic or other professional reference

Or a combination of these factors.

Each application will be considered on its own merit but cannot guarantee an offer in each case.

English language requirements

IELTS level 7.0 or above, with at least 6.0 in reading, writing, listening and speaking (please check our main English language requirements webpage).

Selection criteria

We select applicants according to potential and current ability in the following areas:

  • High level of ability in academic writing and critical thinking
  • Excellent communication skills and a strong interest in fashion
  • Excellent research and writing skills
  • Proven track record of analysing fashion critically through writing
  • Excellent knowledge of historical and contemporary fashion.

What we are looking for

We are looking for students who may have graduated from art and design BA courses or from disciplines such as history, literature, languages, art history, visual culture, film studies and media studies.

Making your application

This course is now open for entry in January 2021.

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

When to apply

We recommend you apply by the end of September at the very latest to avoid disappointment. Your application will only be considered after you have successfully completed an online application and submitted required documents/ a digital portfolio (if necessary).

We reserve the right to close applications earlier than the deadline above subject to spaces available.

Start your application now

Required information for all postgraduate courses

Before you apply, please take time to read the guidance below. You will be asked to provide the following items and upload documents when completing the online application form:

General information

  • Personal details (including legal full name, date of birth, nationality, addresses)
  • Current English language level
  • Current and/or previous education and qualification details
  • Employment history.

Personal statement – all pathways

Your personal statement should give us information about yourself and why you want to join the course. (Write between 300-500 words)

  • What are you doing at the moment educationally, professionally, personally?
  • Why do you wish to study on this course?
  • What is your relevant experience?
  • Do you have any relevant skills?
  • Why do you think you are a suitable candidate for acceptance

Assignment – Fashion Critical Studies pathway only

Students are required to submit an academic research essay of approximately 1500 words. This would specifically address debates in the history and theory of fashion and the body. Sources for all quotes should be clearly listed at the end of the piece.

Do complete all the required information and/or upload the necessary documents, otherwise we will not be able to proceed with your application.

The application form can be saved as you fill it out, so you do not need to complete it all at once. You will also have the chance to review all the information and make any necessary amendments before you submit the application form.

After you have successfully submitted your application online, you will receive an email confirming your application and providing your login details for the UAL Applicant Portal.  Please do log into your applicant portal as this is where we will send you important updates and requests, as well as allowing you to contact us with any questions you may have about your application.

What happens next

We read and consider all application forms. Subject to your meeting the entry requirements and consideration of your supporting documentation, preliminary selection is based on your documentation of work and supporting information. You may then be invited to attend an interview or portfolio review, either in person or by telephone/skype.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

You will receive the outcome of your application through the UAL Applicant Portal.

Deferred entry

Please note that CSM does not accept application for deferred entry.

This course is now open for entry in January 2021.

When to apply

We recommend you apply by the end of September at the very latest to avoid disappointment. Your application will only be considered after you have successfully completed an online application and submitted required documents/ a digital portfolio (if necessary).

We reserve the right to close applications earlier than the deadline above subject to spaces available.

Start your application now

Required information for all postgraduate courses

Before you apply, please take time to read the guidance below. You will be asked to provide the following items and upload documents when completing the online application form:

General information

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

Personal statement – All pathways

Your personal statement should give us information about yourself and why you want to join the course. (Write between 300-500 words)

  • What are you doing at the moment educationally, professionally, personally?
  • Why do you wish to study on this course?
  • What is your relevant experience?
  • Do you have any relevant skills?
  • Why do you think you are a suitable candidate for acceptance?

Assignment

Students are required to submit an academic research essay of approximately 1500 words. This would specifically address debates in the history and theory of fashion and the body. Sources for all quotes should be clearly listed at the end of the piece.

Do complete all the required information and/or upload the necessary documents, otherwise we will not be able to proceed with your application.

Immigration History Check (for International Applications only)

Whether you are applying through a UAL representative or direct application you will need to complete an Immigration History check. If you do not complete the Immigration History Check we will not be able to proceed with your application and portfolio review.

What happens next

We read and consider all application forms.   Subject to your meeting the entry requirements and consideration of your supporting documentation, preliminary selection is based on your documentation of work and supporting information. You may then be invited to attend an interview or portfolio review, either in person or by telephone / skype.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

You will receive the outcome of your application through the UAL Applicant Portal.

Deferred entry

Please note that CSM does not accept application for deferred entry.

Entry can only be deferred in exceptional circumstances. Please contact us before submitting your application if you're considering applying for deferred entry.


Fees & Funding

Home/EU fee

Full time tuition fees: £11,920 (2019/20).

£1,000 discount for all students who have completed a PG Dip/Cert or an undergraduate course including Grad Dip/Cert, at UAL.

You can pay course tuition fees in instalments for this course.

ELQ

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

International fee

Full time tuition fees: £22,500 (2019/20).

£1,000 discount for all students who have completed a PG Dip/Cert or an undergraduate course including Grad Dip/Cert, at UAL.

You can pay course tuition fees in instalments for this course.

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.

Scholarships and awards

There are a number of scholarships and awards available to students on this course. Use our search tool to find out more information.

Scholarship search

Careers and alumni

The Fashion Critical Studies pathway responds to new and expanding employment opportunities in the fashion industry and beyond, whereby academic research skills are required for research roles in museums, business and education. Students will find employment in media as journalists and researchers, in business as archivists and brand managers, in museums and galleries as curators and researchers, in academia as researchers and lecturers. Some students will go on to pursue advanced research towards a PhD in this area.

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