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Fashion CommunicationBA (Hons)

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.

Course details


Important You can read a comprehensive guide to this course containing full details in our Course Information Guide.

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.

What's covered?

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

  • Dissertation
  • Honours Project
  • Critical Reflection and Personal Promotion


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 learning

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.

How will my work be assessed?

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.

What can I do after this?

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

Graduate destinations

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
  • 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.

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 include GCSE English at grade C (old specification) or Grade 4 (new specification) or above OR a Level 2 equivalent such as functional skills qualification.

Portfolio requirements

As part of the selection process you will be required to attend a portfolio interview. A portfolio interview is to help introduce your work and interests. You will be invited to discuss previous projects, recent exhibitions and wider cultural issues. You should be able to identify stronger work, why you think it's successful and which directions you expect to take.

You should bring:

  • A portfolio of recent work (usually the present year of study)
  • At least one recent sketchbook
  • An example of written work (an essay)

A fashion communication portfolio is the professional way to present work. It should communicate an ability to imagine and to visualise. Above all the portfolio should present variety and a willingness to experiment. Include strongest pieces, this may be work that is considered 'unfinished' but shows a new direction, known as work in progress. The portfolio should ideally include:

  • Life drawings and/or other observational drawing; there should be a variety of media and processes, different poses, quick sketching and longer, more developed studies
  • Photographs as artwork
  • Studies and mixed media work such as painting, collage and montage
  • Developmental work from a sketchbook
  • The portfolio should be organised to follow personal themes. Provide a strong personal statement at the front along with an image that defines interests while setting the tone for work. Put the most recent project at the front.

Open Event - Higher Education Degrees, HNCs & HNDs

Saturday, 26 January 2019

Saturday, 22 June 2019

Our Higher Education Open Events are held at the Southend Campus on Luker Road. These events are the perfect opportunity to find out all you need to know about degree, HND and HNC courses on offer at South Essex College.


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If you have any questions, a course adviser is here to help you.

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
  • Venue Southend Campus
  • Starts Monday, September 30, 2019
  • Attendance Full time
  • Duration 3 years
  • Provision Higher Education
  • Cost £8000.00
  • Cost details Fees are per academic year for home and EU students.
Apply through UCAS