Course specification and structure
Undergraduate Course Structures Postgraduate Course Structures


Course Specification

Validation status Validated
Highest award Bachelor of Arts Level Honours
Possible interim awards Bachelor of Arts, Diploma of Higher Education, Certificate of Higher Education, Bachelor of Arts
Total credits for course 360
Awarding institution London Metropolitan University
Teaching institutions London Metropolitan University
School School of Art, Architecture and Design
Subject Area Design
Attendance options
Option Minimum duration Maximum duration
Full-time 3 YEARS 7 YEARS
Part-time 6 YEARS 7 YEARS
Course leader  

About the course and its strategy towards teaching and learning and towards blended learning/e-learning

The BA (Hons) Fashion course seeks to inspire students and equip them for employment at the cutting edge of fashion in couture, design, manufacture and promotion. The course provides its students with specialist skills grounded in industry practice and process: a contemporary studio-based teaching and learning environment encourages critical engagement with the character, opportunities and constraints of the commercial and cultural contexts of fashion.

Consideration has been given to the following: the Subject Benchmark Statement (Art and Design 2017), the HE Qualification Framework, the University’s Strategic Plan and Student Charter, the University’s Undergraduate Regulations, the views and feedback of students, external examiners and employers or clients, developments within the subject area, and the changing needs of the cultural and commercial sectors and professions. Due consideration has also been given to inclusivity in course and assessment design.

Embedded in the Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design, the course draws on the strengths of teaching staff from across the School and the wide circle of academic and cultural contacts and collaborators attached to the School and University.
The teaching supports preparation for future careers in a wide range of professional occupations in the fashion and textiles industries. Graduates may find work as a designer, consultant, director, maker, buyer, stylist, technologist or product developer within industry or on a self-employed basis. Graduates may also seek employment in related fields such as fashion photography, promotion, journalism, education, curation, retail or digital media. The course will also prepare students for application to a postgraduate course, where appropriate.

The course seeks to provide and foster:

• learning through direct experience, connecting academic and creative studies;
• student choice in subject and style of learning;
• a culture of independent and critical thought, encouraging the challenging of received ideas and practice;
• employability attributes, through live projects engaging with external partners, a solid grounding in the essentials of fashion practice, institutions and companies that create a realistic environment of professional expectations for students, preparing students for graduate-level employment;
• engagement across the School and University, providing opportunities for collaborative project work during study;
• individualised learning and study support opportunities, that cater for different learning styles;
• awareness of the duty of all to understand the impact of their decisions and actions as fashion specialists and to strive to act responsibly.

Each year of study comprises of four year-long modules in the areas of concept and realisation, subject-specific industry practice and cultural and contextual studies (including professional practice).
Typically, students devise and develop practical projects under guidance, building up a reserve of sector-specific skills, testing and realising new ideas and design potential, and introducing collaborative work with peers. This approach ensures that the student is guided through the acquisition of knowledge and understanding, as the course progresses through the three years. Teaching methods include: studio practice, lectures, seminars, tutorials and workshops.

Students work through studios and projects developing a body of skills and understanding, developing and realising practical knowledge and applying critical solutions in encounters with new ideas and relevant theory. This ensures that the student is steadily guided through a progressive process of learning and technical competence, as the course unfolds. Every effort is made to make teaching as varied and student-centered as possible.

Lectures provide and encourage a critically informed view of a topic, contextualising the subject and illustrating applied approaches. Lectures provide students with a managed introduction to a theme, enabling them to continue with suggested or directed self-study.
Seminars enable students to debate and explore subjects, questions and assignments with peers and tutors, encouraging an open and collaborative approach to shared learning.

Tutorials support individual learning, allowing for individual approaches to study, and catering for individual interests. Tutorials can be diagnostic or can support specific assignment or project-related questions, and support differing student paths to achievement of learning outcomes.

External visits offer opportunities for vital direct experience with objects and sites of study, and to communicate with and learn from experts and specialists attached to partner institutions and bodies.

Live briefings and feedback are an important aspect of work-based learning, exposing students to experience of professional ways of working, of professional expectations of standards, and of the most current professional practice.

Critiques allow students to benefit from feedback on their own and others’ work, to contribute to that feedback, and are a valuable part of the peer-to-peer learning that is a core expectation and reason for University study.

Workshops offer students opportunities to engage in creative practice. Opportunities will be available to students to undertake workshop and studio practice relevant to their assignments or collaborative projects. The objective is to apply knowledge and/or acquire technical competence, to think critically and creatively, to master technique and develop the capacity to work independently and within teams.

Blended learning utilises the University’s VLE platform to support and reinforce reflective learning, to monitor progress through assignments, to foster peer-to-peer communication and collaborative research activity ,and to facilitate tutorial support for students and flexible approaches to learning

Project briefs develop from year to year in accordance with contemporary practice and opportunities for engagement with external partners that arise. Disciplinary research skills are embedded at the beginning of the course, and are built upon each academic year to ensure the maximum exploitation of the learning opportunities that projects and assignments offer. Students will graduate with a portfolio of work that will include written work and outcomes that exhibit analyses through the creation, manipulation, examination or curation of artefacts.

Critical and Contextual Studies run in parallel to the design and creative industry practice modules. These modules focus on transferable graduate skills in the field of academic scholarship and writing (alongside professional practice). Students need to be able to retrieve, analyse, interpret, articulate and structure information and knowledge for different purposes and audiences. These modules frame key skills of research within the specific context of art/ architecture/ design history and theory, taking into account the practice requirements of the industry, and its professional, legal, ethical and institutional contexts. Intensive blocks of learning in seminar and lecture presentations, alongside site visits, image analysis, case studies, and workshops aid acquisition of skills in presentation, visual and textual analysis and representation.

Digital Literacy is embedded in the curriculum through the use of the VLE and in curriculum delivery and expectations of digital capabilities as appropriate to task set and the level of study. Students make use of digital platforms alongside traditional approaches to research, develop and communicate their projects.

Course aims

The course philosophy embraces experiential learning and a self-reflective practice that will lead each student to an individual design approach and method. Through immersion in studio practice, students are encouraged and enabled to develop a practised understanding of their discipline, evolving approaches to working in collaboration with peers and through self-critique. The course aims to guide students through their acquisition of technical competence, knowledge of critical practice and understanding of theory, and ensures increasing understanding of how to apply this, as the course progresses.

The aims of this course are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s Framework for Higher Education Qualifications. The course aims to:

1. deliver a high quality education in fashion that will ensure graduates are knowledgeable, creative, technically able and work-ready (LO4, LO5, LO7, LO9, LO10, LO11);

2. foster critical understanding of and creative approaches to the cultural, technological and economic factors surrounding the professional practice of fashion for luxury, ready-to-wear and/or high street fashion markets (LO1,LO2,LO3,LO5, LO6, LO10);

3. foster self-reliance and openness to professional development, ensuring individual practice that is accurately positioned in relation to current economic, ethical, cultural, environmental, material, global needs (LO1, LO3, LO6, LO9);

4. develop confident entrepreneurial, promotional and presentational skills, encouraging experimental approaches and critical thought (LO5, LO6, LO7, LO9);

5. develop curiosity, independent enquiry and capacity to reason, critique and reflect upon practice through an integrated approach to practice and theory, research and analysis (LO3, LO6, LO11);

6. through in depth engagement with materials and making, imbue skills for professional and contemporary practice including subject knowledge, efficiency, confidence and autonomy relevant to individual interests, creative ambitions and sector conditions (LO4, LO8, LO10);

7. ensure an individual practice that is considered and positioned in relation to economic, ethical, cultural, environmental, material, global needs (LO5, LO6, LO8);

8. foster confident presentational skills, encouraging multidisciplinary approaches and critical thought (LO4, LO6, LO7);

9. create practitioners with an engaged and contemporary outlook on practice and culture (LO2, LO5, LO8);

10. through an integrated approach to practice and theory, research and analysis develop an understanding of the context for independent practice (LO1,LO4 , LO8, LO10, LO12);

11. enable skills for professional practice (subject knowledge, collaborative team work, confidence and autonomy) relevant to individual interests and creative ambitions (LO1, LO7,LO9, LO11, LO12);

12. deliver individuals who are able to inspire, challenge and create work that places them at the forefront of their chosen professional directions (LO2,LO3 , LO5, LO6, LO8, LO10, LO12).

Course learning outcomes

On completion of this course, students will be able to:

Knowledge and Understanding
1. describe, understand and explore the intellectual and practical process of creative practice in fashion and the broader academic debates in related fields such as textiles, product and accessory design (CA2, CA3, CA5, CA7, CA9);

2. recognise how trends in fashion and developments or constraints in manufacturing processes and technologies influence each other and apply this knowledge to practice (CA2, CA9, CA10);

3. apply self-critical, investigative and evaluative practice, understand the contemporary and historical framework associated with fashion to enable insight while developing an individual perspective and approach (CA2, CA3, CA5, CA9);

Cognitive Intellectual Abilities
4. observe, investigate and synthesise complex visual and material effects towards the production of creative material solutions (CA1, CA6, CA8, CA9, CA10);

5. utilise disciplinary experimentation to challenge consumer perception of contemporary fashion design and related industries, bringing new ideas to market reception (CA1, CA2, CA4, CA7, CA9, CA10);

6. take responsibility for the content and signature of individual creative practice within professional and commercial contexts, demonstrating ethical sensitivity and a reflexive, innovative personal approach as a professional fashion designer (CA2, CA3, CA4, CA5, CA7, CA8, CA9, CA10);

Transferable Skills
7. competently apply individual critical, practical and creative strengths to self-promotion in order to professionally articulate practice intent visually, textually and orally (CA1, CA4, CA9);

8. respond to a defined industry brief and its constraints (including technological and aesthetic considerations), utilising creative opportunities towards professional project realization (CA6, CA7, CA9, CA10);

9. work professionally and effectively with others through collaboration and negotiation, in a variety of roles, as sole practitioner and within a multi-disciplinary team (CA1, CA3, CA4, CA9);

Subject-Specific Practical Skills
10. employ the necessary skills to select appropriate materials and processes suitable for the realisation of creative intent, taking into account specific aesthetic and material characteristics through processes such as pattern cutting, draping, modelling, toile making and garment realisation, fashion photography (CA1, CA2, CA6, CA8, CA10);

11. realise specialist applications for resolved fashion collections, from construction, detailing and communication appropriate to functionality (CA1, CA4, CA5, CA6,CA9);

12. apply knowledge of the fashion industry and the commercial contexts to effective career planning, strategically placing work within the clearly defined markets, price-point and product categories uniquely defined in the fashion industry (CA1, CA2, CA4,CA6, CA9, CA10).

Course learning outcomes / Module cross reference

Module Title Module Code Learning Outcomes
Critical and Contextual Studies 1 (3D) CP4011 LO1,LO2,LO3
Workshop Practice DN4005 LO1, LO4 LO5, LO10, LO11
3D Design Principles DN4006 LO1, LO4, LO10
Visual Research and Communication DN4007 LO1, LO4
Critical and Contextual Studies 2 (3D) CP5011 LO1, LO2, LO3, LO6, LO7, LO12
Materials, Technology and Markets DN5021 LO2, LO3, LO5, LO6, LO7, LO8, LO9, LO12

3D Design DN5011 LO1, LO6, LO10,
Design Resolution DN5006 LO1, LO2 ,LO4, LO5, LO6, LO7, LO10, LO11
Critical and Contextual Studies 3 (3D) Dissertation CP6011 LO1, LO3
World of Work DN6035 LO7, LO8, LO9, LO11, LO12

3D Project Design and Development DN6013 LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5, LO6,
Major Project Realisation; Fashion DN6014 LO1, LO2, LO3, LO5, LO6, LO7, LO8, LO9, LO10, LO11, LO12

Principle QAA benchmark statements

Art and Design 2017

Assessment strategy

The assessment strategy for the course has been designed holistically, to ensure manageable timing, workloads and clarity of expectations for students, and to avoid duplication of assessment of learning outcomes.

The assessment regimes for the modules and tasks are designed together with the briefs, prior to the start of the year, taking into account student, external examiner, professional collaborator and colleague feedback from previous instances. The requirements of briefs and their components, the assessment criteria, grading scheme and descriptors are published and explained to students at the start of the year and are designed to be used as consistently as possible, to avoid unnecessary complication. Assessment is related to the achievement of learning outcomes; qualification frameworks and subject benchmark statements are consulted to ensure clear language that is appropriate to level of study. Students are informed of the procedures for first, second and parity marking, and external examiner scrutiny of the assessment process and marks, to ensure that they understand and have confidence in the probity of the process and security of the final marks.

In every case, there is required formative assessment and feedback prior to summative assessment at set points. This is recorded so that it can be used by both students and staff to track further progress and engage support where it is required. Feedback follows good pedagogic practice in that it is constructed as ‘feed-forward’, with a focus on specific actions and strategies as to how to improve, not only on what requires improvement. Challenge to students is managed, so that students performing well in-year are encouraged to strive for excellence, while those performing less well experience clear, targeted and structured guidance, including notice of where they are doing well or are showing potential.

The course adheres to the University’s requirements for assessment and feedback turnaround times and to academic regulations for marking and second making sampling. Additionally, the course engages in Subject and School parity exercises to ensure that assessment standards are consistent. This is especially important in relation to studio delivery through which students on the same modules will be undertaking differing projects.

Organised work experience, work based learning, sandwich year or year abroad

Work- related learning is embedded in the course both formally in the professional studies modules in year two and three and throughout the course through live projects, industry visits, visiting speakers and events such as ‘Making a Living’ and ‘Celebration’ weeks.

Work-related learning is an integrated and mandatory part of the course, in line with the University’s policy of securing a work related learning opportunity for each undergraduate student during their studies, with at least 70 hours working on live projects for real organisations delivered through placement, live briefs, real entrepreneurial activities or short in term work placements built into the course. Students will experience a competitive recruitment process or pitching for opportunities, and they will be required to reflect on their experience of the project or placement and undertake forward career action planning.

The majority of tutors and lecturers on the course are practitioners and share their knowledge and experience with students throughout their course of study. The studio delivery of the course means that opportunities for work related learning through collaboration with external companies, agencies, institutions, competitions and professionals can be taken up as they arise, if appropriate to the programme of study.

Studios function as simulations of professional workplaces, with expectations of professional standards, conduct and delivery building as the students progress from level to level. During their final year, students are expected to work independently towards completion of professional portfolio of projects, culminating in exhibition of these in the annual summer show and associated events.

Course specific regulations

ACADEMIC PROGRESSION: As a condition of progressing from level 3 to 4, level 4 to 5 and level 5 to 6, students are required to have gained 120 credits per level, that is, by achieving pass marks (40%) in all four modules in the preceding level of study.

Level 6: In order to achieve an honours degree award on this course, students must have completed and passed each Level 6 module at 40% or above.

Part-time study is defined as 60 credits per year. Consequently, in part-time mode, the duration of study for a 360-credit degree will be 6 years. The prescribed pattern of study in this instance shall be as follows:

Year 1:
DN4005 Workshop Practice
DN4006 3D Design Principles

Year 2:
DN4007 3D Visual Research and Communication
CP4011 Critical & Contextual Studies 1 (3D)

Year 3:
DN5006 Design Resolution
DN5011 3D Design

Year 4:
DN5021 Materials, Technology and Markets
CP5011 Critical & Contextual Studies 2 (3D)

Year 5:
DN6014 Major Project Realisation: Fashion
DN6013 3D Project Design & Development

Year 6:
DN6035 World of Work
CP6011 Critical & Contextual Studies 3: Dissertation (3D)

Modules required for interim awards

All modules on the course are core and compulsory (there is no flexibility in choice or in the order in which modules may be taken). The part time route is prescribed (section 25).

Critical and Contextual Studies 1 (3D) CP4011
Workshop Practice DN4005
3D Design Principles DN4006
Visual Research and Communication DN4007
Critical and Contextual Studies 2 (3D) CP5011
Materials, Technology and Markets DN5021
3D Design DN5011
Design Resolution DN5006
Critical and Contextual Studies 3 (3D) Dissertation CP6011
World of Work DN6035
3D Project Design and Development DN6013
Major Project Realisation; Fashion DN6014

Arrangements for promoting reflective learning and personal development

The School’s studio system of curriculum delivery embeds reflective learning and personal development planning throughout the course.

Most summative assessment is at the end of year-long modules, with several formative assessment points formally instituted in the course of the year. At these interim formative assessment and feedback points, students reflect on their progress to date with their peers and course staff (with the benefit of feedback from professional partners), seek help where they identify the opportunity for improvement in learning strategies and outcomes, and make recommendations to themselves for future development. The feedback and student reflection is recorded and forms an action plan for the next period of study.

This system is highly individualised, but also benefits from peer engagement in studio critiques. The School’s programme of employability events and embedded work-related learning within the curriculum supports students’ personal development planning. Through these initiatives, students are increasingly able, as they progress from year to year, to understand the professional environment of their disciplines, the various opportunities available to them, and how to shape their learning according to their ambitions.

Throughout the modules and the course therefore, in this way, students build bodies of work, including reflections on progress and achievement, and planning for their future achievement of targets.

Career, employability and opportunities for continuing professional development

Employability skills are integrated throughout the course. During their final year, students are expected to work independently towards completion of a professional quality portfolio of project development and outcomes, culminating in exhibition of these in the annual graduate fashion show. Level 6 students are encouraged to develop entrepreneurial opportunities during the course and apply for and participate in subject-specialist work placements as well as gain professional experience appropriate to their discipline throughout the course.
Industry competitions, work placements and industry experience through live briefs are an integral part of becoming a practitioner and give undergraduates the opportunity to experience and participate in creative problem solving whilst working in teams with others. Experience of real working environments supports the emphasis of professional standards and undoubtedly increases confidence and currency of fashion skills. In addition, the course has collaborative links with the creative industries directly through visiting professional designers, makers and industry specialists who regularly teach and mentor throughout the programme. These live projects, critiques, reviews, exhibitions and fashion design and illustration competitions particularly foster understanding of professional demands and attributes.
Work-related learning is an integrated and mandatory part of the course, with at least 70 hours working on live projects for real organisations delivered through placement, live briefs and real entrepreneurial activities built into the course. The level six module ‘Portfolio’ is designated as the placement or work-related learning module. Students will experience a competitive recruitment process or pitching for opportunities, and they will be required to reflect on their experience of the project and undertake forward career action planning.

Students can also benefit from support and guidance from the Careers and Employability services and the University’s business incubator unit, ‘Accelerator’.

Career opportunities

If you want a career in fashion or you’re keen to undertake a Fashion MA, this is the perfect degree for you. Designed to help widen your opportunities and skill set and advance your career in fashion, the course focuses on the professional presentation of project ideas. From the first year of study, you’ll develop your knowledge and understanding of the industry whilst working on real-world creative briefs set by professional design bodies. You’ll also have the opportunity to enter designated professional competitions, undertake consultancy commissions and research projects, and take part in London and Paris fashion week – all of which will enhance and develop your future career prospects.

Following graduation, you could enter any number of roles – from working for a well-known brand at a junior level to becoming a freelance designer, or even setting up your own label. Other career paths include becoming a retail buyer, stylist, technologist, fashion writer or design journalist.

Entry requirements

In addition to the University's standard entry requirements, you will normally be expected to obtain:

  • a minimum of grades BBC in three A levels in relevant subjects from the arts, humanities and social sciences (or a minimum of 112 UCAS points from an equivalent Level 3 qualification in relevant art and design subjects)
  • English Language GCSE at grade C/grade 4 or above (or equivalent)
  • Applicants living outside the UK will be required to submit a portfolio of work via email

We encourage applications from International/EU students with equivalent qualifications and also accept mature students with diverse backgrounds and experiences.

Suitable applicants living in the UK will be invited to a portfolio interview.

If you do not have traditional qualifications or cannot meet the entry requirements for this undergraduate degree, you may still be able to gain entry by completing the Fashion and Textiles Extended Degree (with Foundation Year).

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa may need to provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

Official use and codes

Approved to run from 2014/15 Specification version 1 Specification status Validated
Original validation date 24 Jun 2014 Last validation date 24 Jun 2014  
JACS codes W200 (Design Studies): 100%
Route code FSHION

Course Structure

Stage 1 Level 04 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
CP4011 Critical & Contextual Studies 1 (3D) Core 30 CITY AUT+SPR TUE AM
DN4005 Workshop Practice Core 30        
DN4006 3D Design Principles Core 30        
DN4007 3D Visual Research and Communication Core 30        

Stage 2 Level 05 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
CP5011 Critical & Contextual Studies 2 (3D) Core 30 CITY AUT+SPR THU AM
DN5006 Design Resolution Core 30        
DN5011 3D Design Core 30        
DN5021 Materials, Technology and Markets Core 30        

Stage 3 Level 06 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
CP6011 Critical & Contextual Studies 3: Dissertation (3D) Core 30 CITY AUT WED PM
          CITY AUT WED AM
DN6013 3D Project Design & Development Core 30        
DN6014 Major Project Realisation: Fashion Core 30        
DN6035 World of Work Core 30