Fashion is a fast moving and highly diverse international industry encompassing a wide range of markets and creative, production and communication practices. It also has historical and social significance for our understanding of some of the important values underpinning our culture. Recognition of this diversity and cultural meaning is central to the degree course's rationale and structure. By helping you develop appropriate intellectual and practical skills, BA Fashion enables you to benefit from such diversity and to rise to the challenges it presents. This course is part of the Fashion programme. The degree course's philosophy is to create a learning environment in which innovation and originality are nurtured within a range of different but closely related pathways. We aim to produce versatile fashion specialists able to solve problems creatively while drawing on a deep knowledge of their chosen fields and a critical understanding of the social, economic and cultural factors influencing their professional environment. BA Fashion offers a choice of five named pathways (identified by separate UCAS codes). With the study of fashion as their core subject, these options represent a uniquely synergistic combination of fashion design, historical studies and theoretical studies led by tutors who are expert practitioners. The pathway range allows you to study a specific area of fashion practice in depth, embracing different approaches to the subject and a range of creative opportunities within the industry. The named pathways are: Fashion Design Menswear Fashion Design Womenswear Fashion Print Fashion Design with Knitwear Fashion Design with Marketing The BA Fashion curriculum is flexible, providing excellent scope for networking with the fashion industry. Active learning through project-based enquiry is a cornerstone. You'll do collaborative projects that involve working together in mixed pathway groups or with external professionals and sponsors (e.g. L'Oreal Professionel, Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton, Tie Rack, Solstiss, Liberty, Paul Smith, Victoria and Albert Museum). This promotes interdisciplinary peer learning. It helps you develop the ability to work with others, the capacity for independent learning, and greater awareness of the skills you'll need to further your career. Visiting lecturers include Wakako Kishimoto, Mark Fast, Emma Cooke and Jean-Pierre Braganza. Length of study for all design pathways is three or four years. You can apply to interrupt your degree course after two years full time study to do a period of work placement (subject to academic approval). If you meet the approved requirements of this work placement period you'll qualify additionally for the Diploma in Professional Studies. BA Fashion runs for 90 weeks full time over three years, and is divided into three Levels, (or Stages) each lasting 30 weeks. The whole degree course is credit-rated at 360 credits, with 120 credits at each Level. Under the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications the Levels for a BA are: Level 4 (which is stage 1 of the course), Level 5 (Stage 2) and Level 6 (Stage 3). There's a progression point at the end of each Level and, in order to progress, all units of the preceding Level must normally have been passed. If you're unable to continue on the course a Certificate of Higher Education (Cert HE) will normally be offered following the successful completion of Level 4, or a Diploma in Higher Education following the successful completion of Level 5. To gain a BA (Honours), students must successfully complete 360 credits. The final award consists of marks from Level 6 units only, weighted according to their credits. At enrolment you need to identify if you wish to study for three years full time or take the four-year mode. The work placement takes place at the end of Stage Two. A Diploma in Professional Studies is awarded on successful completion of this year. Course outline This pathway is for designers who want to contribute innovative ideas to marketing activities operating alongside the international design industry today. Clothing, at the heart of lifestyle choice, is marketed in association with beauty products, music, food, interiors, fine art and more. Within this contextual mix, our graduating students play an important role as designers, marketing specialists and fashion consultants. The pathway benefits from collaboration with sponsors and from teaching by a range of practitioners working in design and marketing. They include specialists in fashion design, forecasting, branding, product development, public relations and advertising. Acknowledging the importance of global communication, the pathway introduces you to processes for communicating design information to international manufacturers and consumers within specific markets, actual or projected. Your presentations will feature personal signature clothes aligned to labelling and packaging ideas and must be supported by a convincing rationale linking product to consumer. Today's global fashion design and marketing industry demands creative, articulate, highly organised individuals with communications flair. This pathway meets that demand. Main study - Stage One This stage lays the foundation for the generation and development of design ideas through practical or technical workshops. While focusing on the unique aspects of your chosen pathway, Stage One introduces you to related pathways, encouraging you to research, explore and develop individual strengths and approaches. Main study - Stage Two This stage carries you deeper into your pathway, allowing you to develop a variety of approaches through individual and often experimental responses while acquiring the discipline demanded by professional practice. Through a combination of studio work, formal tutorial guidance, seminars, lectures, external projects, competitions, critiques, personal research, independent study and team projects, you'll explore the breadth of your subjects and develop your individual talents in relation to them. During this stage you'll benefit from the learning experience gained from helping our final year students prepare work for the degree shows. You may also have the opportunity to go abroad (at your own expense) during this year to visit trade shows or fashion collections relevant to your field of study. At the beginning of the summer term, students on the four-year programme are involved in the planning and preparation for their work placement. Exceptionally, three-year full-time students may apply to transfer to the four-year mode to do a work placement. Such applications have to be made via the Placement Administrator. Main study - Stage Three The focus during Stage Three is on the further development of your individuality and independence as you initiate, develop and complete your final degree project. Your course work helps you locate, explore and exploit your design and communication strengths while identifying areas that may require further attention or focus. In the summer term you complete your degree work for examination. As part of this process design pathway students participate in an assessment presentation of collections, normally in the form of a fashion show. You'll also show work in a degree examination exhibition. Cultural studies The cultural studies programme is designed to enhance your communication, research, critical and writing skills. The discipline involves the study of cultural and creative processes, but goes beyond history and theory of art and design to encompass various aspects of cultural knowledge. In stage one and two you attend lectures and seminars on units relating to the city and creative culture, you explore key cultural concepts and choose from a range of elective choices such as art and fashion, postcolonialism, visual cultures, the body and sexuality. In the final stage of your degree you undertake dissertation research under the supervision of an assigned tutor who supports your research on a subject of your choice. It may be weighted at 20 or 40 credits. The dissertation is a written project where you explore an aspect of visual, textual material or spatial culture. There are many areas to explore in the cultural studies programme such as art, design, technology, concepts of taste, material culture, multiculturalism, identity politics, gender, consumerism, ethics, sustainability and media studies. Personal and Professional Development, (PPD) helps to prepare you for employment and career development by providing you with skills to enable you to take responsibility for your own learning. The core study of all the fashion pathways also helps develop many of these transferable skills, which play their part in equipping you for a professional career and the generic activities of creative practice. PPD is integral to BA Fashion and is embedded in many aspects of both the studio and cultural studies programmes as a planned part of their structure and learning content. PPD activities take place in all Stages of the degree course and aim to improve your capacity to understand what and how you are learning and to help you to review, plan and take responsibility for your own learning. A considerable number of the skills learned in the academic context of BA Fashion have a wider value and use in other areas of life. These transferable skills are highly valued by employers
BA Fashion graduates work across a very wide spectrum of careers in fashion. While a few go on to become household names, the majority choose not to establish their own labels, working successfully and influentially as company designers, freelancers and consultants or as journalists, stylists, photographers, illustrators, editors and retailers. Each year, a number of BA Fashion graduates go on to study at postgraduate level, many at Central Saint Martins. Recent BA Fashion alumni activity demonstrates the breadth of student activity within the sector. Many of our graduates go on to work at major fashion labels around the world. In London, these include Alexander McQueen, Ghost, Holland & Holland, Katharine Hamnett. In the UK, Burberry, Paul Smith, Hussein Chalayan. In Italy, Benetton, Etro, Alberta Feretti, Antonio Berardi, Prada, Versace. In Paris, Martin Margiela, Kenzo, Christian Lacroix, Martine Sitbon, Dior, Chloe, Louis Vuitton. In New York, Donna Karan, Style Council and in Japan, Comme des Garçons. Some have set up their own labels. These include Boroaksu, Clements Ribeiro, Stella McCartney, Hussein Chalayan, Sinha-Stanic, Matthew Williamson. Developing your links Located at the heart of the London fashion industry, BA Fashion is able to link education and industry providing students with 'live' projects and professional feedback. The BA Fashion course has also developed an excellent relationship with the international fashion community, so that placements for its students are drawn from a wide and distinguished range of sources. Student’s benefit enormously from studying in London. While there are other fashion courses on the outskirts of the capital, none can offer you the daily stimulation and advantages of being in the middle of an international cultural and fashion centre, surrounded by all levels of the retail market and sectors of the industry within which you will later find employment. Current collaborations across the design pathways include work with L'Oreal Professional, Triumph, Liberty, Tie Rack, Paul Smith, Dior and Christian Dior Couture.