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Level 3 International: Introduction to the Study of Fashion

Chloe Lo
London College of Fashion
Start date
September 2024
Course length
1 year

International: Introduction to the Study of Fashion is a preparatory and diagnostic course designed for International students who want to progress to an undergraduate course at London College of Fashion.

Why choose this course at London College of Fashion

  • Bespoke programme: this course is designed for students who are committed to studying at London College of Fashion but who require greater exposure to the breath of undergraduate and potential career opportunities available.
  • Academic skill development:the course provides an embedded, accredited and integrated programme of academic study skills, language and communication development.
  • Introduction to the fashion industry:the course combines contextual studies with an introduction to all aspects of the global fashion industry.
  • Outstanding facilities: Based at our dedicated UAL Pre-degree Studies site in Lime Grove, West London, you’ll have access to facilities including a dedicated library, learning zones and digital suites, workshops, photography and media facilities and a loan store.

Course overview

The (Level 3) International: Introduction to the Study of Fashion course is a dynamic and transformative one year full time course that has been designed and written by a team of leading practitioners from within the University of the Arts London. This course is specifically created for international students who have clear aspirations to progress to one of the three-specialist fashion undergraduate Schools at London College of Fashion. The introductory year of study will prepare you for the level and demands of work that you will be undertaking in the first year of your undergraduate course, and ensure that your academic skills and language proficiency are at an appropriate level for continued and successful study.

Course units

During terms one of the course you will undertake an exploratory and diagnostic programme of study introducing you to the potential scope of the fashion industry and highlighting possible future undergraduate course and career choices. The course will introduce the specialist subject areas of the college; Fashion Business, Fashion Media and Fashion Design through an integrated programme of study. All students will study all areas of the curriculum allowing you to experience the breath of opportunities before focusing on one specific discipline in terms two and three of the course.
You will be introduced to a variety of teaching and learning styles designed to make you an effective and autonomous learner. The units will emphasise the importance of research, analysis and ideas development for creative solutions and concepts. Your course will launch your personal and professional development (PPD) ‘journey’, promoting the importance of critical evaluation and reflection within your work.
You will study academic English language and study skills, including the development of reading, writing, speaking and listening. These four essential language skills will be tested and reinforced throughout the course enabling your progression to undergraduate study.
During the course, the emphasis will be on the development of your knowledge, skills and understanding of fashion as a subject area. You will be supported and mentored by tutors in identifying and matching your skill set to ensure that you negotiate the most appropriate progression route for your future studies and career aspirations.
The final term of the course allows you to work on a self-initiated final personal project which will culminate in the development of your progression portfolio designed to support your progression to undergraduate study at LCF. It is expected that by this stage you will be capable of investigating, developing and realising your ideas with a growing level of competence, professionalism, independence and confidence.
Throughout the course, you will be expected to develop your cultural, contextual and intellectual understanding of fashion.

Student and graduate work

LCF facilities


Fiona Howard, Course Leader, has specialist knowledge and experience of working on Level 3 fashion courses and working with international students. Fiona is also a graduate herself from London College of Fashion. Fiona has worked across a wide range of areas in the fashion industry including having her own label, freelance work and employed as head designer for womenswear design companies that supplied high street stores such as Topshop, Miss Selfridge and Harvey Nichols. Fiona also has experience with textile manufacturers and the film and theatre costume industry.

Carlyn McGuire is Design Pathway Lead. She is a graduate from Central Saint Martins and has been teaching fashion design development and fashion media at London College of Fashion since 2016. Carlyn has over 12 years teaching experience, working across colleges and universities in London. Carlyn is currently a lecturer on the international Introduction to the Study of Fashion, teaching fashion media and multi discipline pathways, as well as well as visual studies throughout the course.

Mark Quincey is Academic Language and Language Acquisition Skills Lecturer. Mark has been teaching English language for over 15 years and also works as an IELTS examiner. Several of those years were spent teaching at universities in Japan before he returned to the UK and began working to prepare bespoke academic and exam preparation focused English courses for international students in the UK who were preparing for IELTS, GMAT, TOEIC and other academic exams as well as providing support to BA and MA students studying subjects as diverse as Art and Law. Mark now works with LCF’s level 3 and 4 students and the UAL professional to ensure our students’ language skills reach the level required by their courses.

Sarah Batho is Business Pathway leader on International Introduction to Fashion. (FE level 3). With over 20 years of involvement in the fashion and textile industry, Sarah spent the majority of her career working as a buyer for some of the UK’s biggest high street companies. She joined London College of Fashion as a guest speaker and quickly became more involved with the college, ending up as the business pathway leader for IIF in 2017.  Sarah combines an in-depth working knowledge and creative passion of the subject, introducing students to a broad range of business related topics, ensuring all are fully prepared for onward BA progression study.  She also lectures at other institutions in the South East to post graduate level.

Supporting staff

  • Sing Hang Tam Tutor Adobe Suite
  • Liza Betts, Lecturer Cultural Historical Studies (Intl Office)

Fees and funding

International fee


This fee is correct for 2024/25 entry and is subject to change for 2025/26 entry.

Students from countries outside of the UK will generally be charged international fees. The rules are complex so read more about tuition fees and determining your fee status.

Scholarship search

Entry requirements

The standard minimum entry requirements for this course are:

  • Successful completion of school education to at least Level 2.

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 5.0 with a minimum of 4.5 in reading, writing, listening and speaking. You must take the IELTS Academic Test for UKVI, no other test can be accepted. Please check our main English Language Requirements 

Selection criteria

The course team seeks to recruit students who can demonstrate:

  • A broad interest in fashion as a future career
  • Motivation to succeed on the course
  • Motivation to progress to an undergraduate course at LCF
  • An interest in increasing your skills through personal and professional development (PPD)

We are looking for focused students and all students will study the same units and do the same projects in Term One before going into the relevant specialist pathway in Term Two. Please note that you may change direction as a result of consultation with the course team, in conjunction with the work done in the diagnostic first term.

Apply now

Application deadline

This course is only open to International students. Please apply using the International applicants tab.

Apply now

Application deadline

28 February 2024 at 1pm (UK time)

If there are places available after this date, the course will remain open to applications until places have been filled.

Apply to UAL

Start your application

Apply with a UAL Representative

Based across the world, our local UAL representatives can support you with your application from your home country. Check to see if there is a representative available in your country currently.

Find your representative

How to apply

Follow this step-by-step guide to apply for this course

Step 1: Initial application

You will need to submit an initial application including your personal statement and digital portfolio.

You’ll need to submit these via PebblePad, our online portfolio tool.

Personal statement advice

Your personal statement should be maximum 500 words and include:

  • your reasons for choosing the course
  • your current creative practice and how this course will help you achieve your future plans
  • any relevant education and experience, especially if you do not have any formal academic qualifications.

Visit our personal statement page for more advice.

Step 2: Digital portfolio

For your portfolio, we would like you to focus on at least 1 of the following tasks. You can cover all of them if you think this best demonstrates your knowledge and skillset but it is not compulsory. You should also include other work that you have completed in your current studies or free time. Your portfolio must be maximum 30 pages long.

Task 1:

  • Make individual drawings by hand of 4 items in your wardrobe. They can be on a hanger or freestanding. They do not need to be on models.
  • 2 should be in pencil only and show details of seams and construction.
  • 2 should be in colour or mixed media.
  • Please do not use digital drawing tools.

Task 2:

  • Create 3 photos that show your creative approach to contemporary fashion imagery.
  • These photos should communicate a fashion statement and something unique to you.
  • Think about how you can reflect your personal aesthetic, personality, culture and more in your images. We want to see your creative style.

Task 3:

  • In 300 words, describe a new idea for a fashion concept and explain what makes it new and unique.
  • It could be a new brand, shop or product but it must represent a gap in the market for contemporary fashion.
  • If relevant, you can use images to support your idea.

For more support, see our Portfolio advice and PebblePad advice.

Step 3: Interview

You may be invited to an interview following our review of your application. All interviews are held online and last 15 to 20 minutes.

For top tips, see our Interview advice.

You also need to know

Communicating with you

Once you have submitted your initial application, we will email you with your login details for our Applicant portal.

Requests for supplementary documents like qualifications and English language tests will be made through the applicant portal. You can also use it to ask questions regarding your application. Visit our After you apply page for more information.

Visas and immigration history check

All non-UK nationals must complete an immigration history check. Your application may be considered by our course teams before this check takes place. This means that we may request your portfolio and/or video task before we identify any issues arising from your immigration history check. Sometimes your history may mean that we are not able to continue considering your application. Visit our Immigration and visas advice page for more information.

External student transfer policy

UAL accepts transfers from other institutions on a case-by-case basis. Read our Student transfer policy for more information.

Alternative offers

If your application is really strong, but we believe your strengths and skillset are better suited to a different course, we may make you an alternative offer. This means you will be offered a place on a different course or at a different UAL College.

Deferring your place

We do not accept any deferral requests for our pre-degree courses. This means that you must apply in the year that you plan to start your course and you will not be able to defer your place to start at a later date.


Graduate prospects

If you successfully complete this course, you will gain a qualification and will have the opportunity to progress to an undergraduate course at LCF, provided you meet all the conditions of your offer. Which course you may be offered will be dependent on the quality of the work done by you through the course. Applicants for an undergraduate course are guaranteed an interview, however this may not be necessary in all cases, as we may be able to make a decision based on your application and the work you have done during your course.

A very small number of students, in exceptional circumstances, may progress to our International Preparation for Fashion course (level 4), where it is in the interests of the student to develop their skills further before undertaking a three or four year undergraduate course at LCF.