On the BA Fashion Design: Communication pathway, you will research and analyse the market you wish to compete in before beginning your creative process. You will then research, develop, design, style, photograph or film your work. You will learn to produce marketing strategies based on your customer profile and market sector to promote your work. You will develop a sensitivity to current promotional tools and investigate marketing trends.
You will learn the mechanisms and structures of the fashion industry – from inception to production and promotion. You will be encouraged to explore and experiment in your design work. Marketing knowledge is framed as a focus rather than a constraint. It will allow you to produce collections which are contemporary and innovative, and also demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the market they are created for.
This pathway benefits from collaborations with sponsors and teaching from visiting practitioners. This may include specialists in fashion design, forecasting, brand identification, new product development and public relations. The Communication pathway also acknowledges the importance of international communication. In this context, you will learn processes for communicating design information to international manufacturers and consumers.
Unit 1: Introduction to the Fashion Programme and to Studying at CSM
Unit 2: Research Creative Development and Technical Skills Part 1
Unit 3: Research Creative Development and Technical Skills Part 2
Unit 4: Cultural Histories and Theories (Fashion)
In Stage 1, you will improve your skills, understanding and approaches to learning. You will focus on the skills needed to communicate information effectively. You will be introduced to resources which support your studies. Units 2 and 3 will provide a foundation in the generation and development of design ideas. Through practical workshops, you will learn the unique aspects of the Communication pathway. You will also be introduced to other course pathways. In Unit 4, you will focus on a range of research methods used to analyse relevant objects, images, spaces and cultural practices.
Unit 5: Research Methods and Approaches (Fashion)
Unit 6: Further Development of Pathway Expertise Part 1
Unit 7: Further Development of Pathway Expertise Part 2
Unit 8: Positioning and Professional Preparation
Unit 5 offers a range of research methods and approaches which will support you in undertaking more self-directed study. This may include visual and material culture, social theory and media studies. In Units 6 and 7 you will explore the breadth of your subject, developing your individual talents. Learning includes studio and formal tutorial guidance, seminars, lectures, external projects and competitions, critiques, personal research, independent study and team projects. Unit 8 encourages you to consolidate the necessary skills to develop and articulate your own practice. You will further enhance your knowledge of industry with a focus on your future employability.
Unit 9: Degree Project Research and Development
Unit 10: Dissertation
Unit 11: Degree Project Resolution and Presentation
Stage 3 gives you the opportunity to manage your own learning. You will begin to define your individual creative identity as a designer. In addition you will submit a proposal for your creative marketing project, relevant to your collection. By the end of Unit 9, you will have completed the initial research and design phase of your degree collection.
Your dissertation represents the culmination of your cultural studies work for your degree. It extends your research, analytical and communication skills. You will focus on a selected aspect of visual, textual, material, social, media or spatial culture. In some cases, students may wish to place greater emphasis on the dissertation. There is a route in place to accommodate this which you must make an application for. This will allow you to demonstrate a focused study of your chosen subject. In the final unit of the course, you will complete your degree collection and market presentation.
Diploma in Professional Studies
Between Stage 2 and Stage 3 of the course there is an option for you to work with industry for the duration of an academic year (across three terms/two blocks) and complete a Diploma in Professional Studies. Whilst the Diploma is an optional aspect of the course, it is designed as an integrated and assessed part of your journey through the course, if you do take up this option. The Diploma results in a standalone qualification (rated at 120 credits), which involves researching, undertaking and reflecting on a 100 day/20-week (minimum) placement related to your professional interests and aspirations. The Diploma provides a valuable opportunity to make professional contacts and to develop your personal employability skills.
Mode of study
BA Fashion Design runs for 90 weeks in full-time mode. It is divided into three stages over three academic years. Each stage lasts 30 weeks.
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 360 credits, with 120 credits at each stage (level).
On successfully completing the course, you will gain a Bachelor of Arts with Honours (BA Hons degree).
Under the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications the stages for a BA are: Stage 1 (Level 4), Stage 2 (Level 5) and Stage 3 (Level 6). In order to progress to the next stage, all units of the preceding stage must normally be passed: 120 credits must be achieved in each stage. The classification of the award will be derived from the marks of units in Stages 2 and 3 or only Stage 3, using a dual algorithm.
If you are unable to continue on the course, a Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE) will normally be offered following the successful completion of Level 4 (or 120 credits), or a Diploma in Higher Education (DipHE) following the successful completion of Level 5 (or 240 credits).