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Postgraduate

Graduate Diploma Fashion Design Technology

Colourful African-themed top design using paint.
Work by Graduate Diploma Fashion Design Technology student, Hong Zhao.
College
London College of Fashion
Start date
September 2021
Course length
1 year (30 weeks)
The graduate diploma fashion design technology is a one-year intensive course enabling students to develop skills required for postgraduate study or entering the industry. With experimentation at the heart of everything, students are introduced to diverse approaches to research, leading towards a greater sense of integrity and identity in their designed outcomes. We have open briefs that negotiate outcomes with each students based on their individual creative fashion practice.
The negotiated approach to the briefs based on individual interests and practice facilitates a variety of postgraduate destinations including but not limited to fashion design, artefact, costume, critical thinking, and sustainability within fashion across various MA courses at UAL and beyond. Please note: This course will run at Level 6, which is equivalent to the final year of BA (Hons) degree, and is a preparatory course for students who want to study at postgraduate level.

Why choose this course at London College of Fashion

    • Critical thinking: course puts a great emphasis on the development of a perspective through an informed sense of agency within your fashion practice.
    • Orientation through diagnosis: We welcome students from diverse creative undergraduate educational backgrounds and support them in finding their direction through a diagnostic approach in fashion.
    • Educational opportunities: graduates have gone on to do a Master’s courses including fashion design in Menswear and Womenswear, Artefact, Costume, Future thinking (MA Fashion Futures), Creative Pattern and Garment Technology at institutions including LCF, CSM, Chelsea, and Wimbledon, in addition to the RCA, Westminster, Kingston, Goldsmiths, FIT New York and Aalto Helsinki.
    • The course offers an option of a guaranteed interview for an MA of your choice within the School of Design and Technology at LCF. For further details, please consult the Course Leader.
    • Industry Expertise: Course invites varied perspectives of visiting industry professionals who will inform creative discussions at different stages in the year. Previous visiting professionals include Richard Kilroy, Julie Verhoeven, Louise Gray, Claire Barrow, Emma Greenhill, James Buck, and Luke Brooks (Rottingdean Bazaar), Peter Jensen, Gabrielle Miller amongst others.
    • Industry Progression: Graduates are well-positioned to gain employment in varied industry roles in the area of design, technology, and future thinking.

Location

This course is based at Mare Street in Hackney. Find out about the local area, including London Fields, Bethnal Green and Hackney Central, in our local area guides on the Student Life pages.

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 Lime Grove 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.

Student and graduate work

  • Romina-Ferrari-1.jpg
    Work by Graduate Diploma Fashion Design Technology student, Romina Ferrari.
  • Elizaveta-Novikova.jpg
  • Romina-Ferrari-2.jpg
    Work by Graduate Diploma Fashion Design Technology student, Romina Ferrari.
  • Romina-Ferrari-3.jpg
    Work by Graduate Diploma Fashion Design Technology student, Romina Ferrari.
  • Raquel-De-Carvalho-Novais.jpg

Facilities

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

LCF archives and library

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

Mare Street

Design, pattern cutting & tailoring facilities

Discover our design studios and workshops across JPS, Mare street, Curtain Road and Lime Grove.

Mare Street Canteen

LCF's social spaces

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

Course overview

Graduate Diploma Fashion Design Technology provides the opportunity to explore and develop ways of working within a fashion design practice. 

Experimentation will be at the heart of the work you do whilst on the course, allowing you to contribute a greater sense of integrity in each project completed.  Within the Diagnostic and Development Project, time will be spent examining various ways of approaching design briefs and how different ways of researching can promote diversity within your work.  Through unpacking the traditional design process and considering new ways of conceptualising the journey applying sustainability, diversity and identity models you will be provided with the tools to uncover your own design aesthetic.  There is also a belief that combining studio practice with theory is a necessity and that they cannot be seen as two separate areas.  This will be applied through both the Fashion Practice and Critical Contexts unit and throughout the course as a whole. The final unit, Negotiated Major Project, will allow students to develop a specialist approach to their fashion practice and create a set of outputs that guide them towards the postgraduate course, industry or enterprise destination they wish to pursue. 

The course applies a genderless approach to the design process, working with students to ensure they understand who they wish to design for as supposed to outdated binaries and that your time spent exploring experimental processes can be applied to any relevant muse or consumer. 

As part of the LCF/UAL postgraduate network you will have the opportunity to meet likeminded designers from a wide range of backgrounds. Graduates will leave the course with an understanding and confidence in both conceptual and realistic fashion design outputs having studied in a city known for nurturing new talent. 

Students will progress from the course with a portfolio and realised design work to support future development. Some students study on the Graduate Diploma to further their knowledge and skills before moving into industry. Other students use this study opportunity to prepare graduates for suitable MA courses within the Design and Technology programme at LCF, including MA Fashion Design Technology Menswear, MA Fashion Design Technology Womenswear, MA Fashion Futures and MA Pattern and Garment Technology. Some graduates of this course will be in a position to gain employment in varied roles within the international fashion industry in the area of design and technology. 

Course units

Block 1 (Weeks 1-15) 
Diagnostic and Development Project (40 Credits) 
Fashion Practice and Critical Contexts (20 Credits) 

Block 2 (Weeks 16-30) 
Negotiated Major Project (60 Credits) 
  
Travelling across London 

The renowned London College of Fashion library is at our John Prince’s Street site, and you will need to travel to this site, and possibly others, during your course to use the library, which is open seven days a week in term time, and for tuition and special events. 

Course structure 

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 contact a member of the course team. 
  
Course Units: 
 

The Diagnostic and Development Project 
Creative fashion design relies on a deep, personal understanding of research that should originate from a multitude of sources and inspirations. To become an innovative designer within the industry requires the ability to take this information and respond by taking risks and alternate paths throughout the design process and beginning to understand what may make you different. This practice based unit aims to observe and challenge your use of both existing and unfamiliar methods of the research, design and technical processes to help inform your values as a designer. Through the introduction of different approaches to research and design this unit will encourage an experimental and reflective approach to understanding a design brief centred around fashion product. 

Fashion Practice and Critical Contexts 
The fashion industry is a field of cultural production that circulates highly symbolic objects across many overlapping and interconnected spaces of production and consumption. To work in this field requires a high amount of reflexivity and a tacit understanding of the aesthetic, social and political contexts in which fashion is produced. This unit affords you the opportunity to explore fashion in its cultural and historical contexts and to develop a theoretical underpinning to inform your design practice. You will learn how to apply academic and visual research methods in order to make sense of current issues in fashion practice and how to contextualise them through cultural and critical theory. 

Negotiated Major Project 
This final unit will consolidate the critical, conceptual and experimental content developed within block one and present the opportunity for you to devise, explore and realise a personal and in depth fashion practice-led unit. You will be expected to propose and critique the intentions of the project and justify any potential innovation with context to the fashion industry, in relation to both what you produce and how you present it. 

The project will be led by your continuously developing sense of aesthetic that reflects critically on your likes and dislikes as a practitioner whilst also providing the opportunity to explore and realise the challenges of your chosen brief. Visual research methodologies will be explored in relation to your studio practice giving you the ability to present a professional and self-directed project with appropriate fashion related outcomes that evidences your ability to construct, direct and organise an overall professional outcome. By evaluating and reflecting upon your own learning and skills you may direct this project towards postgraduate progression, entering the industry or considering personal enterprise. 

Learning and teaching methods

The following teaching and learning methods are employed to support the integrated achievement of the course outcomes using a blended learning mode of delivery: 

  • Online lectures. 
  • Online seminars. 
  • Physical workshops and practical demonstrations. 
  • Online individual and group tutorials. 
  • Physical and online critiques.
  • Physical and online peer critiques. 

Assessment methods

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

  • Design development portfolio. 
  • 2D/3D outcomes. 
  • Creative and experimental sampling. 
  • Technical commentary. 
  • Research folders. 
  • Written essay or verbal presentation.

Staff

Tarang Bharti is the course leader for the Graduate Diploma in Fashion Design and Technology, he studied BA (Hons) Fashion Design and Technology Womenswear at London College of Fashion as well as the PGCert in Learning and Teaching at UAL. Alongside his teaching practice, Tarang has been actively involved in the industry with the previous roles including brand manager for Rue-L, product development, and pattern cutting roles for brands such as Claire Barrow and J.Won London. Tarang also owns his leather accessories brand, where he challenges the idea of traditional luxury and craft through innovative use of material and experimental construction. Outside Fashion, Tarang has a photography practice and is currently studying MA Photography Arts at the University of Westminster, where his research enquiry is focusing on the relationship between Science, Photography and Art, through an Objective Ontological Enquiry in Documentary and Art Photography. Tarang firmly believes having a fashion practice should be a fluid term, with trans-disciplinary processes at the heart of it.


Anna Howard is the design lecturer for the Graduate Diploma in Fashion Design and Technology. Her art practice and design education is heavily led by research and intuitive learning through the act of making. Originating from her bachelor studies in Book Arts and Design Anna has maintained a dedication to independent publishing, and creative modes of disseminating new ideas generated through sourcing and collating archival material. She has worked with contemporary artists to produce small editions through her own business and works collaboratively on the imprint Eva.C. With a range of experience across multiple creative industries she has worked with establishments such as Donlon Books, LN-CC, Frame London and Wild Life Archive. Informed by collecting printed material, textiles, and design objects, Anna firmly believes in the power of narratives in objects.

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 or equivalent academic qualification;
  • Professional qualifications recognised as equivalent to an Honours degree;
  • OR a combination of formal qualifications and experiential learning which, taken together, can be demonstrated to be equivalent to formal qualifications otherwise required.

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

Selection criteria

The course seeks to recruit students from diverse socio-economic and cultural backgrounds, and welcomes applications from mature students.

The course team seeks to recruit students who can demonstrate:

  • The potential to develop their practical and critical abilities through academic study
  • Critical knowledge of a subject area
  • A capacity for intellectual inquiry and reflective thought
  • An openness to new ideas and a willingness to participate actively in their own intellectual development
  • Initiative and a developed and mature attitude to independent study

Extra information required for applications to this course

When you are submitting your application form, you will also need to provide the following pieces of documentation in support of your application:

Curriculum vitae

You will be required to submit a Curriculum Vitae (C.V.) in support of your application. This should include your full education and employment history.

Personal statement

The personal statement is your opportunity to tell us about yourself and your suitability for the course that you intend to study.

Some key points to consider:

  • Make sure that personal statement is your own work and is about you.
  • Why you want to study the course you are applying to.
  • Try to link your skills and experience required to the course.
  • Demonstrate your interest and enthusiasm for the course and link these with your personality.
  • Make sure it is organised and literate (grammar, spelling, punctuation check).

 

Portfolio

You will be required to submit a digital portfolio with a maximum of 30 images that you consider would help support your application. Submit your portfolio via the university’s digital portfolio tool, PebblePad. More details will be sent to you after you have submitted your application. You should include essential development work from sketchbooks to portfolio final presentations with photography of garments. Label and present any visual work with care, including dates and captions. If selected for interview, you will be asked to bring garments with you and additional portfolio work.

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.

UK/EU students can apply to a postgraduate course at LCF by completing a direct application.

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.

External Student Transfer Policy

If you are currently studying at another institution and if you have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units/modules on your current PG course and wish to continue your studies at London College of Fashion, 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.

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

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

What happens next

All application forms, personal statements and relevant documents are read and considered by the course team against the selection criteria listed in the Entry requirements and Selection Criteria sections. The course team will select applicants to attend an interview. Interviews may be conducted in person, via telephone or via Skype.

If you are successful at the interview stage you will be offered a place. Please note that applicants are not 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

The result of your application will be communicated to you through your UAL Portal. If your application has been successful, you will receive a full offer pack including details of accommodation, fees, and other important information.

Application deadline

15 March 2021

We recommend you apply as soon as possible before this date, for equal consideration. We may still be able to accept applications after this date, depending on availability.

When you’ll hear from us

Once you’ve sent in your application, our course teams will review it closely. We’ll be in touch shortly after you apply with information about next steps. Find out more about what happens after you apply.

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

There are two ways international students can apply to a postgraduate course at LCF:

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.

External Student Transfer Policy

If you are currently studying at another institution and if you have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units/modules on your current PG course and wish to continue your studies at London College of Fashion, 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.

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

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

What happens next

Immigration History Check

After you have applied, 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 relevant documents are read and considered by the course team against the selection criteria listed in the Entry requirements and Selection Criteria sections. The course team will select applicants to attend an interview. Interviews may be conducted in person, via telephone or via Skype.

If you are successful at the interview stage you will be offered a place. Please note that applicants are not 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

The result of your application will be communicated to you through your UAL Portal. If your application has been successful, you will receive a full offer pack including details of accommodation, fees, and other important information.

Application deadline

15 March 2021

We recommend you apply as soon as possible before this date, for equal consideration. We may still be able to accept applications after this date, depending on availability.

When you’ll hear from us

Once you’ve sent in your application, our course teams will review it closely. We’ll be in touch shortly after you apply with information about next steps. Find out more about what happens after you apply.


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 the UAL Portal to let you know whether your application has been successful.

Fees and funding

Home fee

£11,220 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 on courses lasting more than one year. For this course, you can pay tuition fees in instalments.

Home fees are currently charged to UK resident nationals. However, the rules are complex and you can find out more on our tuition fees pages.

From 2021/22 entry, most EU students will be charged the International tuition fee rate, although this may depend 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 on our Brexit information webpage

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.  For this course, you can pay tuition fees in instalments.

International fees are currently charged to students from countries outside of the UK. However, the rules are complex and more information can be found on our tuition fees pages.

From 2021/22 entry, most EU students will be charged the International tuition fee rate, although this may depend 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 on our Brexit information webpage

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

The Graduate Diploma in Fashion Design Technology is located within the Graduate School at LCF. This course prepares graduates for suitable MA courses within the Design and Technology programme at LCF, including MA Fashion Design Technology Menswear, MA Fashion Design Technology Womenswear, and MA Pattern and Garment Technology.

Graduates have previously secured places on MA progressions within UAL and LCF, CSM, Chelsea and Wimbledon in addition to the RCA, Westminster, Kingston, Goldsmiths, Aalto Helskinki, Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp.

Alternatively, graduates of this course will be in a position to gain employment in varied roles within the international fashion industry in the area of design and technology.