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Postgraduate

MA Fashion (Womenswear Fashion)


College
Central Saint Martins
Start date
October 2021
Course length
18 months full-time (45 weeks)

MA Fashion has an international profile second to none. With extensive industry links, its graduates practice at the forefront of fashion.

We are no longer accepting applications for 2021/22 entry to this course.

This postgraduate course is about leading not following. It offers four pathways: Womenswear, Menswear, Knitwear and Textiles for Fashion. It is part of the Fashion programme.

Why choose this course at Central Saint Martins

  • Engaged design: MA Fashion places emphasis on developing individual abilities and analytical skills within each specialist pathway. It promotes the idea that progressive design is not solely a creative endeavour. It must also engage with markets, the industry and society in general and therefore be the result of an informed point of view.
  • Critical debate: You will be involved in debates generated by academics, professional speakers, projects and inter-pathway critiques.
  • Pathway structure: MA Fashion allows you to study on one of four separate, but interrelated pathways: Womenswear, Menswear, Knitwear and Textiles for Fashion.
  • Communication skills: The course focuses on presentation and communication alongside design-led skills. You will learn not only how to create the right product for market, but how to promote and articulate your ideas.

Scholarships, bursaries and awards

MA Fashion has a number of scholarships and awards available for first and second-year students who meet eligibility criteria.

Isabella Blow Foundation Scholarship
Grand Prix LVMH Scholarship MA Fashion
Jane Rapley Scholarships
L’Wren Scott Scholarship
The Sarabande Foundation Scholarship
Ports 1961 Scholarship
Self-Portrait Scholarship
UAL EU Transitional Awards
UAL Home Postgraduate £5,000 Scholarships
UAL International Postgraduate £40,000 Scholarships
UAL International Postgraduate £5,000 Scholarships

MA Fashion at London Fashion Week

View show galleries from 2006 to 2018 on Vogue.com:

2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006

Student Perspectives: MA Fashion

MA Fashion Show 2020

MA Fashion Show 2019, London Fashion Week

MA Fashion Show 2018, London Fashion Week

MA Fashion stories

Facilities

  • A room with people working at computers
    Credit: Image courtesy of Central Saint Martins Image courtesy of Central Saint Martins,
  • People working inside the digital print workshop at Central Saint Martins
    Image courtesy of Central Saint Martins,
  • A person using a large knitting machine
    Image courtesy of Central Saint Martins,
  • Two technicians in the print and dye workshop
    © Alys Tomlinson

Course overview

MA Fashion develops your imagination and creative identity. The course will provide a framework for self-directed work, backed by informed knowledge of your industry. It will broaden and deepen your existing expertise, providing you with the experience, sophistication and confidence to practice professionally at the forefront of the international fashion industry. The course is delivered by a team of practising designers and exceptional technical staff. With an ethos of guided experimentation, you will explore your individual style and define the context for your work while being challenged to innovate to the highest standards. 

The course provides the opportunity to study on one of four pathways: Womenswear, Menswear, Knitwear for Fashion and Textiles for Fashion. The inter-related pathways are all structured around the core subject of fashion. While much of your time and teaching will be concentrated within your selected pathway, there will be opportunities to work in collaboration with your colleagues from other pathways. 

Teaching is designed to provoke debate around approaches to fashion. You will be expected to carry out intensive personal research throughout your studies. Project-based teaching will help you develop your creative ideas, originality, aesthetic judgements and technical skills. You will learn to synthesise design and communication, enabling you to interact effectively with your colleagues and management in industry. 

Contact us

For queries relating to the Coronavirus outbreak, read our Coronavirus guidance for prospective students.

To register your interest and receive information and updates about studying at UAL, please complete this form.

If you can’t find the information you’re looking for or to ask a question, please contact us.

Course units

MA Fashion mediates between possibilities, ideals, and imagination. The curriculum brings together students from a wide range of fashion and textiles backgrounds as well as different cultures, significantly enhancing the energy of the curriculum. You will be expected to learn and problem solve from the experience of your peers, as well as your own. Strong emphasis is placed on creativity, personal and professional development and developing the skills necessary for employment in the fashion industry at the highest level.

Unit 1: Diagnostic Phase 

This unit begins with the diagnostic phase. This consists of a number of taught programmes designed to identify your abilities. This phase challenges assumptions and aims to broaden your creative thinking and knowledge of your specialist pathway. You will develop your design and communication skills and your market awareness in order to gain a perspective on the fashion industry.  

The second part of the unit, the negotiated phase, will further develop the areas covered in the diagnostic phase. You are expected to become more independent and experimental, initiating and managing your own projects in negotiation with the course team. 

Unit 2: Pre-collection; Independent Major Project Part 1 – Rationale, Research and Design Development 

This unit begins with the Pre-collection project, it will give you the opportunity to innovate and risk-take, while testing out possible design ideas and solutions in preparation for the start of your Independent Major Project.

The skills and critical perspectives acquired during Unit 1 and in the Pre-collection project will inform the direction of your Independent Major Project, Part 1. The project, which will include a written rationale, a consistent body of preliminary research and initial design development, must result in a comprehensive portfolio appropriate for its intended specialist audience, showing a clear understanding of both its related market and context.

Unit 3: Independent Major Project Part 2 – 3D Realisation and Portfolio

The rationale, research and design development produced in Unit 2 will form the basis of this final course unit. You will realise these ideas in a garment or textile collection and an accompanying portfolio.

Mode of study 

MA Fashion is offered in full-time mode which runs for 45 weeks over 18 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

During your course you will engage with learning and teaching that includes both online and face-to-face modes. Typically, this will include:

  • Briefing documents  
  • Learning through research 
  • Critiques 
  • Presentations 
  • Interdisciplinary group and teamwork 
  • Demonstrations 
  • Talks by professional speakers  
  • Independent study 
  • Self-evaluation. 

Assessment methods

  • Diagnostic projects 
  • Negotiated projects 
  • Supporting briefs, rationales and development work 
  • Portfolio of research, design development and materials 
  • Collection of designs 
  • Independent major project 

Staff

Course Director: Fabio Piras
PA to MA Course Director: Debbie Lotmore

All Pathways Unit One Leader: Louise Gray
Womenswear/Menswear Fashion Pathway Leader:
Jane Shepherd
Womenswear Fashion Pathway Tutors: Julie Verhoeven
Menswear Fashion Pathway Tutor: Nasir Mazhar
Textiles for Fashion/Knitwear Pathway Leader: Fleet Bigwood
Textiles for Fashion Pathway Tutor: Birgitte Appleyard
Knitwear Fashion Pathway Tutors: Nicos Efstathiou

All Pathways Unit One Leader: Louise Gray
All Pathways Fashion Studies Tutor: Reba Maybury

All Pathways Technical Studies Leader: Mark Tarbard
MA Fashion Studio Technician: Sanae Matsunaga

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:

  • A first or upper second-class honours degree in Fashion Design, Knitwear or Printed Textiles with a strong fashion bias 
  • 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 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 as demonstrated in a portfolio of work presenting four design projects:

  • Creative exploration; Compiling and using project-related research
  • The ability to develop and articulate design ideas in visual form 
  • Technical skills; 3D sense; Sensitivity to fabrication 
  • Visual communication skills

And by means of a personal statement in the application:

  • Reason for choosing the course; commitment
  • Capacity for self-reflection 
  • Potential to benefit from the course

What we are looking for

We are seeking both recent fashion graduates and practising professionals who are self-motivated and determined about their discipline and wish to progress or start their careers in the fashion industry by using the Course to explore and articulate new perspectives within their practice.

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.

Deferring your place

This course does not allow offer holders to defer. If you want to start later, please re-apply when applications open for that academic year.

Transfers

If you are currently studying at another institution and if you have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units and modules on your current postgraduate course 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.

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

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

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 the information above.

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 / portfolio / book an interview, through the portal.  You should check your UAL Portal regularly for any important updates and requests.

Please add csm.ukeu@arts.ac.uk to your contacts to ensure that you do not miss any important updates re: your application to UAL.  Also consider altering your spam or junk mail filter to ensure that emails from @arts.ac.uk get through to you.

Application deadline

15 May 2021

We are no longer accepting applications for 2021/22 entry to this course.

When you’ll hear from us

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

There are two ways international students can apply:

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.

Deferring your place

This course does not allow offer holders to defer. If you want to start later, please re-apply when applications open for that academic year.

Transfers

If you are currently studying at another institution and if you have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units and modules on your current postgraduate course 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.

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

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

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

Whether you are applying online or through a UAL representative 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 the information above.

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 / portfolio / book an interview, through the portal.  You should check your UAL Portal regularly for any important updates and requests.

Please add csm.international@arts.ac.uk to your contacts to ensure that you do not miss any important updates re: your application to UAL  Also consider altering your spam or junk mail filter to ensure that emails from @arts.ac.uk get through to you.

Application deadline

15 May 2021

We are no longer accepting applications for 2021/22 entry to this course.

When you’ll hear from us

Once you’ve sent in your application, this will be sent through to our course teams for review. 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

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 digital portfolio through the UAL Portal.

Digital portfolio

Your portfolio should be no more than 30 pages showcasing your best work.   It should consist of project-based work demonstrating 2D, and 3D fashion design development as well as your research skills.

You can create the pages in any layout (For example: presentation boards) but they should be uploaded as jpeg images.

Please remember:

  • The quality of the work is more important than the quantity
  • Work should be organised by project

The only files that can be uploaded as part of the portfolio are:

  • Images: bmp, gif, jpg, jpeg, png
  • Audio: mp3, mp4, ogg, wav, wma
  • Video: avi, mp4, mpg, mpeg, mkv, mov, wmv

Portfolio advice

Your portfolio should demonstrate creative development, whether for a college project or in your personal work. By creative development, we mean ideas that have originated through your own experience and research and progressed towards potential visual proposals. Ideas, visual research and experimentation are more important than finished design solutions and can be shown in 2D work, or through photos of 3D objects and maquettes.

It is important that the creative work you include reflects and demonstrates your thinking, initiative and personal commitment to a particular project, theme or idea.  We are interested in you as an individual, your personal interests, your creativity and initiative in finding out about your proposed area of study. We would also like to know about your favourite designers and artists, where you have seen their work at first hand and how you have acquired more information about the work that interests you.

For more portfolio advice please visit the Portfolio advice page.

Following the review of the portfolio we select a small number of applicants to move on to the next stage of the process.  These applicants will be invited to an interview.  Reviews normally take place from March to April.

Interview

This takes place from April.

Interviews normally take place from April.  In addition to the skills demonstrated in the portfolio and in the written statement, the applicant’s potential ability will be assessed using the following criteria during the interview:

  • Potential to benefit from the course
  • Reasons for choosing the course
  • Communication skills
  • Motivation and commitment
  • Fashion point of view.

We interview either online or by telephone.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

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

Feedback

This course receives a high number of applications, and unfortunately we cannot provide feedback to everyone who is unsuccessful. We can only provide feedback after you have had an interview.

If you would like to request feedback – please email csm.ukeu@arts.ac.uk. We are only able to provide feedback to you directly, or to someone you have told us in writing can receive it on your behalf.

Each and every application is carefully considered by a member(s) of our academic team. With so many strong applicants to choose from, it is often a very difficult decision to make. If you are unsuccessful, you are welcome to apply to us again in the future.

Fees and funding

Home fee

£8,065 for year one; £4,845 for year two.

The above fees for Years 1 and 2 of this course are correct for students starting Year 1 in 2021/22. Years 1 and 2 fees are 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

£20,560 for year one; £12,340 for year two

The above fees for Years 1 and 2 of this course are correct for students starting Year 1 in 2021/22. Years 1 and 2 fees are 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

MA Fashion graduates have established notable careers as Designers and Design Directors worldwide, some have chosen to build reputations under their own labels.

Alexander McQueen, Alistair Mackie | AnOther Man, Professor Andrew Groves, Ann-Sofie Back, Ashish, Bora Aksu, Charles Jeffrey, Charlotte Knowles, Christoffer Lundman | Tiger of Sweden, Christopher Kane, Christopher Shannon, Chopova_Lowena, Craig Green, David Koma, Daniel Lee | Bottega Veneta, Eftychia, Faustine Steinmetz, J JS Lee, John Alexander Skelton, Kiko Kostadinov, Kim Jones | Dior Homme, Louise Gray, Mark Fast, Marques 'Almeida, Mary Katrantzou, Masha Ma, Matty Bovan, Halpern, Palmer Harding, Peter Jensen, Phoebe English, Rejina Pyo, Richard Nicoll, Richard Quinn, Roksanda, Rottingdean Bazaar, Sadie Williams, Sies Marjan, Shelley Fox, Simone Rocha, Stefan Cook, Todd Lynn, Yuhan Wang.

Destinations for our alumni as designers and design directors include:

Acne Studio, Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Bottega, Veneta, Brioni, Burberry, Chloé, Coach, Christian Dior, Courrèges, Diane Von Furstemberg, Dries Van Noten, Dunhill, Emilio Pucci, Givenchy, Gucci, Helmut Lang, J.W.Anderson, Jil Sander, Kenzo, Lemaire, Loewe, Louis Vuitton, Lululemon, Maison Margiela, Marc Jacobs, Margaret Howell, Marni, McQ, Missoni, Mulberry, Neil Barrett, Paul Smith, Ports 1961, Prada, Pucci, Salvatore Ferragamo, Stella McCartney, Tiger of Sweden, Tom Ford, Tommy Hilfiger, Tory Burch, Uniqlo, Valentino, Vera Wang, Versace, Victoria Beckham, Yeezy.

Womenswear

Graduates of this pathway start their professional practice at the forefront of global fashion.

Some recent destinations include: Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Burberry, Courrèges, Gucci, Jil Sander, J.W. Anderson, Loewe, Marni, Stella McCartney, Versace.

Others have launched their own label. New womenswear designers to watch are: Charlotte Knowles, Yuhan Wang, Eftychia, Ernesto Naranjo, Johannes and Chopova-Lowena. They join more established young names such as Michael Halpern.

Alumni