The course provides you with a dedicated context to develop a bespoke strategy for your professional development, including applying for opportunities such as work experience, finding mentorships, residencies or internships, helping you to develop industry contacts, build your CV, develop your creative portfolio, and to prepare you for work in a variety of roles in the cultural and creative industries, as well as establishing an independent art or design practice. Our collaboration with industry partners including Hearst Magazines UK sets our programme apart. You can apply for an internship with one of their brands to experience how fashion is communicated in print, online and in live events. Previous students have worked as fashion and communications interns at Esquire, ELLE, and ELLE Ukraine. These placements have helped previous students develop lasting professional contacts —and even their first magazine design jobs.
This insight is supported by live industry-set briefs in fashion communication and branding, including a print editorial fashion shoot set by fashion director of ELLE, and a live branding project set by the entrepreneurial women behind new fashion launch Sosandar. In addition our programme of Visiting Lecturers has included experienced and innovative professionals working in fashion illustration, high-street fashion brand management and creative direction, and fashion magazines with talks by leading influencers such as Tom Meredith, Creative Director and Anne-Marie Curtis, Editor-in-Chief of ELLE.
As well as futures in fashion media, this degrees prepares students for careers as free-lance stylists, PR specialists, visual merchandisers, e-commerce and marketing officers, trend and colour analysts, fashion brand managers and strategists, product editors and fashion event planners. Other opportunities include: fashion management; product development; luxury brand management; marketing; buying; retail; consultancy; logistics; ethics and sustainability; and fashion journalism.
Study Block 1 invites you to build your skills, knowledge and understanding for effective visual branding of fashion.
Image & Identity - 40 credits
This module builds core skills and your essential knowledge and understanding of principles and strategies for the effective branding of fashion. In Image + Identity you will explore a variety of fashion image-making practices. You will examine current traditional and digital platforms in which images are circulated, and analyse how these platforms are used to engage audiences and define brand identity.
Lectures will introduce key principles and contemporary branding strategies in global contexts, building awareness of current debates around social responsibility and ethical practice. You will use this theoretical knowledge in practical projects that encourage you to develop digital, conceptual and visual storytelling skills through creative styling, photography, moving image, and fashion graphics and media.
Regular workshops help you develop essential skills in digital mobile technology, as well as relevant industry-standard software (e.g. Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, as well as opportunities to experiment with TV Paint, Cinema 4D, After Effects and Premiere).
Alongside these projects you will deepen your understanding of the important and changing role of the ‘image’ (still and moving) in the communication of fashion today, through lectures, seminars and study visits that engage you with historical and contemporary case studies at the cutting edge of fashion communication in the digital and post-digital world.
Research Practice - 20 credits
In this module you will learn alongside artists, designers and visual communicators from across our MA programmes. You will develop advanced research skills and methods, understand the importance of primary and secondary research, analysis of objects, images and texts, develop your critical thinking, and build confidence with academic study skills and conventions needed for successful study at postgraduate level.
You will go on to apply these skills to research projects that explore the theoretical landscape of contemporary creative practice. You will examine case studies from a variety of different disciplines that make use of current critical methodologies—including archives and collections, design activism, institutional critique, collaboration, participation and co-design, material and object studies, culture jamming, hacking and disruptive design, and identity, ethnography and auto-ethnography as the dynamic research tools through which concepts are created, analysed and critiqued.
Semester two looks ahead, and the modules are designed to prepare you for a future in professional creative practice.
Communication, Event & Experience - 40 credits
In this module you will apply the skills, knowledge and confidence developed last term to events, campaigns, live or digital experiences, and other new and exciting platforms and spaces in which fashion brands are communicated in the contemporary world. You might put create film, put on a fashion show, curate an exhibition, organise a photo shoot, or collaborate on a digital or live experience. It gives you the space and time to pursue individual interests, and test out your creative concepts in public, industrial and/or commercial situations.
You will be supported to find appropriate collaborators in industry, technology, commercial fashion industry or academic research to develop ambitious projects that explore a focused area of interest. By considering all aspects of visual branding, promotion and creative communication you will develop a holistic approach, and the projects you create here might test out and explore the area you develop for your final project in the final semester. At the same time industry projects and live briefs will sharpen your professional approach, as well as gain public exposure and feedback for your work.
Creative Futures - 20 credits
Your position as an emerging designer will be strengthened through Creative Futures, in which you will work with other MA students to explore design and communication in a social context, exploring the critical, technological, environmental, geopolitical and ethical issues that impact on contemporary creative practice—and the ways in which artists and designers today are responding to the challenges we face today, while speculating about what tomorrow may bring.
Key to MA Fashion: Branding & Creative communication are the work placement opportunities this term. You will be helped to apply for an internship in the UK or internationally, including opportunities in fashion media offered by our partner Hearst Magazines UK. The chance to get insight and experience of contemporary communication of fashion in print, on digital and in real life is a unique aspect of our MA course, and has led to magazine design jobs for previous students.
By building on your engagement with the contemporary professional practice of your discipline and the exploratory projects you have completed, you will have the confidence to develop a proposal for your final MA project to be realised in Semester 3.
Independent Major Project - 60 credits
Over the final summer term you will focus on your Independent Major Project – an independent enquiry-based project that gives you the freedom to take your practice in your own individual direction, and be responsible for a total promotional campaign. It’s all about self-direction, originality and ambition: you will lead the project—but you will be guided and supported every step of the journey, with regular group seminars, 1:1 tutorials and technical support to deliver your final outcome.
We will also support you to think ahead: we will work with you on publicising yourself, getting exposure for your work, building your own personal brand, and perfecting an industry-ready professional portfolio or showreel, ready for job interviews, freelance work or further study.
The MA culminates in a group show where you will consider the professional and public presentation of your Independent Major Project, working together to design and promote an event that celebrates the end of your studies—and marks the next step into an exciting creative future.
Previous fashion communication and promotion graduates have used this experience to create diverse and ambitious final projects including: fashion animation and film; experimental fashion photography; interactive digital design (including a fashion retail app); lookbooks; fashion maps; digital holographic and augmented reality fashion experience; and the launch of a new gender-neutral fashion magazine.