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Central Saint Martins

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Graduate Diploma Fashion

College
CSM
Start date
September 2020
Course length
One year full-time (30 weeks)

Applications for 2020/21 entry will open in Spring 2020

The Graduate Diploma in Fashion prepares designers for the next stage of their careers.

Specialising in Womenswear or Menswear, you will leave the course with a portfolio and realised design work to support future study or entry into employment. This course is part of the Fashion programme.

Why choose this course at Central Saint Martins

  • Postgraduate progression – In the most recent graduating year, 85% of students applying for a postgraduate course were offered a place at leading providers including Central Saint Martins, London College of Fashion, IFM, the Royal College of Art and Parsons.
  • Industry projects – You will take part in staff-directed and industry projects to help you identify and develop your strengths and address areas for improvement. Previously, projects have been set by Alexander McQueen and NET-A-PORTER.
  • Communication support – You will have access to free in-sessional English language support classes taught in the context of art, design and communications.
  • Employability – Many of our graduates go on to work in high-profile fashion companies throughout the world.

Scholarships, awards and funding

Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarships:
Home/EU | International

CSM Fashion Fund

Find out how to support fashion's global future at CSM [PDF 2mb]

Student Perspectives: Graduate Diploma in Fashion
Student Renata Estefan talks about the course

Graduate Diploma in Fashion on Instagram

Graduate Diploma in Fashion stories

Take Five: Mariana Malta

With Degree Show Two: Design now open, we take a closer look at their final projects and the inspirations behind them. Graduate Diploma in Fashion student Mariana Malta’s final project […]

Gallery: Show Two Private View

Last night’s Private View for Show Two saw the Design Programmes take to the stage to unveil a wide array of final work. After months of preparations, and four weeks on from Show One, […]

Student work

Facilities

A person using a large knitting machine

Knit workshop

Find out more about our knit workshop

People working inside the digital print workshop at Central Saint Martins

Digital Access Print

Find out more about our Digital Access Print

Inside the print and dye workshop at Central Saint Martins

Print & Dye

Find out more about our Print & Dye facilities

Course overview

The Graduate Diploma in Fashion is structured to support designers, equipping them to work in the international market. The course offers fashion graduates, or those from closely related disciplines, the opportunity to take a fresh look at their work. You will specialise in Womenswear or Menswear, with opportunities to explore other specialisms such as knit or print. 

The course will support your creative development with design, technical and professional skills. Studies on the course are project-based, allowing you to experiment and redefine yourself in a creative environment. Through its tutorial structure, the course emphasises breadth and depth of research and an innovative approach to design. The curriculum will also introduce you to visual communication approaches, the articulation of design ideas and the development of presentation skills. You will graduate with a portfolio and realised design work which will support your progression into postgraduate study or entry into employment in the fashion industry. 

During your studies, you will be guided by current practitioners in the field of fashion. This will allow you to benefit from the learning and teaching methods which have produced some of the world’s leading fashion design professionals. Graduates from the course go on to work across a wide range of careers in fashion. Many graduates also go on to postgraduate study, including Master’s degrees in Fashion and Fashion Communication at Central Saint Martins, London College of Fashion, Goldsmiths, Parsons School of Design and Polimoda.

Course units

The course begins with projects which support you in identifying and developing your design strengths. You will develop your work in consultation with staff on an ongoing basis. As you progress throughout the course, projects will be negotiated with course staff and become increasingly self-directed. This will give you the opportunity to demonstrate independent learning in the context of your final projects.

Unit 1: Diagnostic: Research and Creative Development 

This unit has a diagnostic function, introducing you to the course team and the Fashion programme. You will be expected to present your work for presentation and critique. You will work on a number of projects, allowing the course team to assess your practice and support your development. You will also be introduced to London as a fashion and cultural capital and a resource for research. The unit culminates in a project which enhances and consolidates your skills in working creatively to a design brief. 

Unit 2: Final Project and Portfolio: Development and Resolution 

In this unit, you will define the rationale for your final design project. You will use the skills and knowledge developed in Unit 1 to realise design work which is targeted at a specific market. The major part of this period is given over to completion of the final project which defines what you have gained from the course. This comprises realised creative work, together with a portfolio of design work. This unit concludes with final assessment, examination and your degree exhibition. 

Mode of study 

The Graduate Diploma in Fashion is offered in full-time mode which runs for 30 weeks over one academic year. 

Credit and award requirements 

The course is credit-rated at 120 credits at HE Level 6. All units must be passed in order to achieve the Graduate Diploma and there is a single exit point. The classification of the award is derived from the marks of all units. 

Learning and teaching methods

  • Project work 
  • Briefing documents and meetings 
  • Learning through research 
  • Critiques  
  • Presentations 
  • Demonstrations 
  • Peer learning 
  • Independent study 
  • Self-evaluation 
  • Technical teaching and support: pattern cutting and garment construction 

Assessment methods

  • Portfolio 
  • Projects 
  • Collection 
  • Self-evaluation 
  • Supporting research and development work 

Staff

Hywel  Davies

Hywel Davies

Programme Director, Fashion

Course Leader: David Kappo
Design Tutor: Aimee McWilliams
Fabric and Fibre: Veronica Shattuck
Designer/Cutter: Kaori Homma
Course Technical Co-ordinator: Becky Edwards
Course Lead Administrator: David Mansfield
Home/EU Student Administrator: Richie Kaboh
Overseas Student Administrator: Colin Tebb

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:

  • An honours degree in a relevant discipline such as fashion, fashion textiles, accessory design, or jewellery design
  • 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 score of 6.5 or above, with at least 5.5 in reading, writing, listening and speaking (please check our main English language requirements webpage).

Selection criteria

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

Evidence of research skills:

  • You should provide evidence of your creative exploration of research (research sketchbooks, examples of materials/images that you collect for inspiration)
  • Ability to develop ideas in visual form
  • Please evidence your ability to produce design solutions which make an imaginative use of imagery, colour, materials and technical skills shown in sketchbooks, illustrations etc.

3D sense:

  • Please provide examples of your ability to translate two-dimensional design into three-dimensions (actual garments are not required – photographs or digital images will be accepted).

Sensitivity to fabric and colour (including digital images of fabric samples where appropriate):

  • Evidence of use of fabrics and colour application e.g. swatches either attached to design drawings or on a separate sheet.

Technical skills:

  • Specification drawings to show in detail your understanding of garment construction e.g. seam placements, darts etc. and design details e.g. collar, cuff details.

In addition to the skills demonstrated in the portfolio, you should demonstrate by means of your personal statement in the application, your:

  • Reason for choosing the course
  • Motivation and commitment
  • Awareness of contemporary fashion design
  • Capacity for self-reflection
  • Communication skills.

What we are looking for

We are seeking students who are dedicated, motivated, ambitious, hardworking and serious about progressing their fashion careers by using the course as a stepping stone to the College's MA Fashion or other postgraduate courses or to gaining employment in the fashion industry. Students are expected and encouraged to take full advantage of all that London offers as a fashion, social and cultural capital.

Making your application

You should apply by clicking on the link to the direct form below. 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.

Transfers

If you have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units/modules on your current PG course at another institution and wish to continue your studies at Central Saint Martins, you can apply to transfer. The Admissions Tutor will consider applications on a case by case basis subject to places being available.  You must apply directly to the course via the course webpage as early as possible.  Click here for important information about our UAL External Student Transfer Policy which covers what you need to include in your application.

Deferred entry

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

Start your application now

Before you apply, please take time to read the guidance below. You will be asked to provide the following information 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

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?

We cannot consider your application if you do not provide all of the information above.

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by 28 February 2020 for equal consideration.  However this course will consider applications after that date, subject to places being available.

There are two ways international students can apply:

  • One of our official representatives in your country
  • A direct application.

If you are applying directly you click on the link to the direct form below. 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.

Transfers

If you have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units/modules on your current PG course at another institution and wish to continue your studies at Central Saint Martins, you can apply to transfer. The Admissions Tutor will consider applications on a case by case basis subject to places being available.  You must apply directly to the course via the course webpage as early as possible.  Click here for important information about our UAL External Student Transfer Policy which covers what you need to include in your application.

Deferred entry

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

Start your application now

Before you apply, please take time to read the guidance below. You will be asked to provide the following information 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

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?

Immigration history check

You will need to complete an immigration history check to establish whether you are eligible to study at UAL.  If you do not complete the check we will not be able to proceed with your application.

We cannot consider your application if you do not provide all of the information above.

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by 28 February 2020 for equal consideration. However this course will consider applications after that date, subject to places being available.


After you apply

Communicating with you

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

What happens next

Initial application check

We check your application to see if you meet the standard entry requirements for the course.  If you do, you will be invited to upload a full digital portfolio through the UAL Portal.

Full Portfolio Review

Your portfolio should be no more than 30 pages and must include:

  • A minimum of four projects including, where applicable, the final major project
  • Fashion design projects from your first degree – or equivalent
  • Sketchbooks/swatch books/illustrations.

Please organise your work by project, with supporting work presented alongside final outcomes.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

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

Fees & Funding

Home/EU fee

Tuition fees for 2019/20: £10,890.

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

Use our Fees and Funding Calculator to estimate how much your studies may cost you in your first year, and what funding may be available to you.

International fee

Tuition fees for 2019/20: £19,930

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

Use our Fees and Funding Calculator to estimate how much your studies may cost you in your first year, and what funding may be available to you.

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 Graduate Diploma in Fashion is one of a number of related courses in the Fashion programme.

During their studies students are guided by some of the most eminent and experienced current practitioners in the field of fashion enabling them to benefit from the teaching and learning methods which have produced some of the world's leading fashion design professionals.

The Graduate Diploma in Fashion has been created to produce mature and sophisticated designers equipped to work in and design for the international market. You will leave the course with a portfolio and realised design work that will effectively support entry into employment in the fashion industry and access to postgraduate study.

Graduates of the course progress to postgraduate study on a wide range of well established courses in London, the UK and elsewhere in Europe including: Central Saint Martins' MA Fashion (Womenswear and Menswear) and MA Textiles Futures courses; MA Fashion at the Royal College of Art; MA Fashion at Arnhem; MA Fashion Design and Technology (Womenswear and Menswear), MA Digital Fashion, MA Fashion Marketing and MA Footwear Design (all at London College of Fashion); MA Design and Environment at Goldsmiths and MA Fashion at Westminster University, or go on to establish design careers in London, the UK and Europe as well as their home countries.

Student perspectives

Adam Andrascik, USA: MA Womenswear CSM

Looking back on my time on the Graduate Diploma in Fashion course, of all the things I gained, I feel that the most important was a sense of self-confidence in my work. Through various self-guided projects, I became more comfortable with making decisions about the direction I wanted my work to progress, along with identifying any faults along the way. It also helped me to look at the way I design in a more objective sense, where my aesthetic fit in amongst other labels, and how I could differentiate myself in that landscape.

For me, the course was not only about gaining self-confidence, but a better understanding of fashion on an international scale. Along with various projects, I had the opportunity to acclimatize myself to London through work experience with such labels Richard Nicoll and Jonathan Saunders, along with taking part in both London and Paris fashion week. I was also encouraged to integrate myself into the fashion and design culture of London, in an effort to open myself up to the idea that inspiration doesn’t always need to come from an obscure art book or magazine. Needless to say, most of the friends I have today I met within the first few months of that experience.

At the end of the course, I felt I had the right tools needed to create and construct a professional collection, which was new and directional, along with the confidence to build a personal design aesthetic. Soon afterwards, I was accepted on to MA Womenswear at Central St. Martins, graduated and debuted my collection during LFW 2010, and have since completed my first solo presentation for Spring Summer 2011. I’ve been featured in Dazed Digital, POP Magazine, Style.com, Fashion 156, and an upcoming book shot by Rankin.

Sol Ahn, China: MA Menswear RCA

Personally, I think Graduate Diploma was the perfect course for me to take a quick peek at what  London’s (and of course, one of the world’s) most famous fashion school is like. More specifically, it helped me to grasp better ideas of London fashion, like an A to Z guidebook of London fashion.  I could learn where to buy fabrics from, how to revamp my portfolio, and the first project (the London Project) even taught me where to hang out to see all the fashionable people.   Moreover, it was just such a great place to get to know people from all the different continents around the world.  Even just by being in the school, I could see the most fashionable people passing by in the hallways.   I was really surprised to realise how fabulous they look but also how hard all of them were working.  Saint Martin’s whole ambiance was very creative, the energy from people was amazing, but obviously, it was a really tough course and the amount of work was demanding. It was almost like an intensive boot camp to completely reshape me to be a better fashion designer.  The course surely pushed me really hard

Plus, for me, it helped me deciding my future plans, so that I am doing my MA now.  Overall, I am really satisfied that I did the course, that I did actually recommended it to the people I know who are actually thinking about doing their MA (or further studies) in London, but don’t know where to start.

Katya Ford, Russia: MA Menswear CSM

I was happy to take the Graduate Diploma course last year. It gave me a great experience and a great opportunity to apply for an MA course this year. In spite of the fact that the course seems to be quite a long one, as it lasts the whole year, it is still a very hard one. We had many projects going one by one and sometimes we had to do two projects at the same time which was quite tough but this type of working process prepares you for the work in fashion industry or for the study on MA. I am so grateful for my tutors David Kappo and Tristan Webber who helped me during the course and I am happy to know them. A good thing about the course was to have different artists and designers coming to work with us. For example, we had Katie Eary for our London project and Richard Gray for our Muse project and that it was a pleasure to work with them!

Yulia Kondranina, Russia: MA Womenswear CSM

I had a great experience since my arrival at Central Saint Martins.  I enjoyed my time at this course and have met a lot of interesting people.

I have also benefitted hugely from this course which helped me to open my mind and understand the fashion industry better from the inside.  The various tasks and projects I have done have taught me varied ways of designing garments, sourcing inspiration and ideas, and consequently I now feel that I can design a collection confidently and be able to work independently.

Yejon Park, Korea: MA Menswear RCA

I finished a BA course in Korea, and worked as a womenswear designer.  Through this course I learned a great deal about how to manage my time according to the schedule that MA courses go through, and the importance of expressing my illustration ideas through to realisation as actual garments.

I feel that it was a very important diagnostic phase to prepare myself for further development in finding out what my strengths and weaknesses are. My tutor was very passionate in helping me realise what to do to enhance my abilities in the most productive way, and I was able to see a clearer way forward after each tutorial.

MA studies are tough, and I think I would have had trouble adjusting without what I've learned in Graduate Diploma.  I am relieved I took the course.

Megha Garg, India

I have launched my own label and have been selected to showcase my collection in Lakme Fashion Week (one of the biggest fashion weeks in India).
The collection that I had sent to be selected for was my final collection at CSM. This collection was developed under the guidance and supervision of the course tutors, who I learnt a lot from and owe my success to as their time and patience with me helped me grow as a designer.

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