Fashion Communication BA (Hons)
Course code: W213
This programme offers direct entry to the fashion industry, specifically for careers in marketing, public relations, styling, fashion photography, visual merchandising, fashion buying, creative publishing, branding, trend forecasting and illustration.
Why study this degree at University Centre South Essex?
- You will work across a range of fashion and consumer areas including beauty, accessories, tech and lifestyle
- You will study a wide range of subjects including visual design, styling and photography, branding digital media, forecasting and industry-linked projects
- The course opens up a range of careers in the fashion and lifestyle sector
Important: Please note that this course is undergoing revalidation. This is the process by which we ensure the course continues to provide a high quality academic experience. During revalidation there may be some changes to the course content displayed on this page. Please contact us if you have any questions about the course.
The programme embraces changing technologies in fashion’s visual communication and marketing sectors. You will develop an understanding of marketing and promotion and how to generate concepts suitable for the fashion industry with accompanying marketing strategies. You will develop a personal signature within art direction, photography and styling whilst expanding skills further with graphic design and analytical report writing to support creative work.
The course is designed and led by tutors who are industry experts in the fields of marketing, design, styling, photography, fashion journalism, illustration and graphics.
You will need a minimum of 64 UCAS points from one or more of the following:
- A-levels, preferably in art and design
- BTEC National Diploma with a minimum of pass profile
- Access to Higher Education Diploma Level 3 (minimum 15 credits at merit or above)
- Higher National Diploma (for possible direct entry on to year two)
- Foundation Diploma in Art and Design Level 4
Other qualifications will be considered on an individual basis. You will also need GCSE English at grade C (old specification) or Grade 4 (new specification) or above OR a Level 2 equivalent such as functional skills qualification.
As part of the selection process you will be required to attend a portfolio interview. A portfolio interview provides you with the opportunity to introduce your work and interests. You should be able to discuss your work, why you think it's successful and which directions you expect to take. You should also be able to articulate why you want to study Fashion Communication and what you think the fashion communication industry involves.
You should bring with you:
- A portfolio of recent work (usually the present year of study)
- At recent sketchbook (if you have one)
- An example of written work (for example; an essay, a review or an article or report)
Please also feel free to bring your current work in progress to discuss.
We are also happy to see online or digital portfolios.
Your portfolio should demonstrate your creative ability and potential. The content of your portfolio will depend on what you are currently studying, but examples might include:
- Graphic design work
- Media work
- Art & design or business/marketing proposals
Year one units
- The Fashion Communication Landscape
- Visual Communication
- Historical & Contextual Studies
- Visual Forecasting
- Brand Promotion through Media Development
Year two units
- Digital Image
- Work Placement and Work Related Learning
- Cultural Contexts & Dissertation Proposal
- Personal Development Project
Year three units
- Honours Project
- Critical Reflection and Personal Promotion
Teaching & Learning
The learning outcomes in year one aid the discovery of key theories and principles in fashion marketing, in acquiring basic practical skills such as print and photography, and in developing a knowledge framework with a limited amount of independence.
In year two the learning outcomes steer towards industry requirements, in developing professional skills, and in synthesising knowledge with independence.
In year three, there is an emphasis on self-direction, working in teams, critical thinking and in problem solving. These are inherent within the unit learning outcomes. Units are delivered through a variety of methods of teaching and learning. These include practical workshops and demonstrations, group and individual projects, peer group presentations, lectures, seminars and tutorials. The course emphasises active participation and experiential learning, in combination with the development of research, analytical and critical skills.
You will use industry-standard Macs and the Creative Suite programs and have access to various facilities including the 3D, Fashion, Printmaking and Photography studios. You will also have access to hardware such as laser and vinyl cutters, 3D printers and scanners.
At Level 4 you have around 13 hours contact time per week, generally consisting of:
- Six hours of lectures/seminars
- Four hours of workshops (including dedicated one-to-one tutorials where necessary)
- Two hours of Contextual Studies (lecture and tutorials)
- One hour group critiques
Independent study and reading enables you to develop skills in working autonomously and to identify, plan and carry out a project. When not attending lectures, seminars or other timetabled sessions you are expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve research, working on individual projects and preparing presentations. Independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities, including the library at The Forum, The Learning Resource Centre and a dedicated course studio. For every hour of contact time with unit tutors you are expected to engage in a further 2-3 hours of independent study on average.
Assessment & Feedback
Coursework is assessed in a range of different ways in order to accommodate a variety of learning styles and aptitudes including:
- Portfolio submissions
- Group presentations
- Final pieces
- Written reports
- Physical or digital research folders
There are no examinations.
You will receive formative feedback as part of your one-to-one sessions with your unit teachers. You will also receive summative feedback on all formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback is intended to help you learn and you are encouraged to discuss it with your unit leader tutor. Feedback can be given in a range of different ways in order to accommodate a variety of learning styles and aptitudes including group critiques, recorded verbal feedback and written feedback.
We aim to provide you with feedback within 20 working days of hand-in (for al formal studio based coursework assessment). For the third year Dissertation Unit you will receive feedback and grades at the same time as your Final Creative Output Unit.
£8000 per year
Fees are per academic year for home and EU students.
The following course-related costs are included in the fees:
- Graduate Exhibition in London (exhibition stand), please note this does not include costs to develop personal FMP outcomes
- £30 of printing credit per year
Having developed your intellectual curiosity, creativity and imagination, you will be equipped for diverse and exciting careers within fashion photography, styling, graphic design, buying, fashion marketing and promotion.
Following completion of the BA (Hons) degree, you can progress to postgraduate study including the following Masters programmes at University of the Arts London:
- MA Strategic Fashion Marketing
- MA Fashion Retail Management
- MA Fashion Photography
- MA Fashion Communication
Student have progressed to gain excellent careers in many fields. The majority of graduates gain employment within the fashion or marketing industries, including:
- Public Relations Assistant for RewardStyle.com
- Marketing Assistant for Marks & Spencer - Ladieswear
- Visual Merchandiser for Next
- Public Relations Assistant for Simmi Shoes
- Senior Trainer and Professional Make-up artist for MAC
- Freelance Set and Costume Designer for TV/Film
- Masters in Education at Open University
- Freelance Fashion Photographer for Newspapers/Magazines
Students have also progressed to teach, working towards their PGCE.