module specification

MC4057 - Contextualising Fashion (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title Contextualising Fashion
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 15
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 153
9 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
105 hours Guided independent study
39 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 20%   10-minute group presentation
Coursework 80%   1,000-word individual essay
Running in 2024/25

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Friday Morning

Module summary

The module provides a motivational context for the co-creation of knowledge pertaining to sartorial culture. The content addresses a range of historical moments in the development of a ‘fashion system’ and examines how the inter-relationships between these elements inform changes in dress styles and practices. The pedagogical aims are to raise student awareness and understandings of (i) the relationships with globalisation, (ii) the impacts of technology, (iii) the creative trajectories underpinning the discipline and (iv) to develop abilities to articulate the discipline’s importance as a driver of contemporary culture. The key skills of academic reading & writing, analytical thinking and self-directed research are mobilised in completing assessment tasks predicated on constructively aligned learning outcomes. The learning experience complements that provided in other subject-specific modules and is designed to engage the whole of the Level 4 cohort together with international learners.


Contemporary Practice: spacialising the metropolis, high street vs. street-wear, material and immaterial cultures, menswear & the designer tailor, mundane markets versus avant-garde galleries LO 1

Fashion History: Cotton-opolis & the Industrial Revolution, dressmaker vs. designer, Great Masculine Renunciation, democratisation of fashion, austerity & the New Look, a golden age of couture, subcultural style, creative collaborations LO 2

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The module is delivered over a 12-week teaching period during a 15-week semester via a combination of lectures, workshops, seminars and other activities totalling three hours contact time per week. Seminars feature group discussion/analysis of case studies and may utilise a tactic of ‘flip-learning’ to provide opportunities for peer interaction. The module supports independent study through a virtual learning environment hosted on WebLearn, where students can access lecture notes, additional readings, coursework briefs, assessment guidelines and feedback, in addition to finding links to external resources. The university’s feed-forward initiative supports these independent learning strategies. Learning materials are posted in advance as part of a blended learning approach that allows students to plan their contribution to particular sessions.

Reflective learning is incorporated into the module – students are advised to keep a journal of experiences and personal development that charts the effectiveness of their learning. Personal Development Plans can be customised through negotiation of topics of personal interest for assessment and take advantage of learning opportunities as these arise during the module. Students are encouraged to actively engage with the subject, their peers, and the tutors through the module's online forums. Guest speakers are invited to give master classes or discuss career opportunities with students; employability is embedded throughout the module through consideration of the various job roles within the fashion industry and reflection on how the skills and knowledge developed during the module coincide with professional expectations.

Learning outcomes

On completion of the module, students will be able to:

LO1. Uncover and present evidence pertaining to the sartorial culture of a site in the metropolis

LO2. Recognize and describe the dress practices of a selected period from dress history with reference to appropriate socio-cultural contexts


Core Text:
Breward, C. (2003), Fashion, Oxford University Press

Recommended Texts:
Breward, C. & Gilbert, D. (2006), Fashion’s World Cities, Fairchild
Knox, K. (2012), Culture to Catwalk: How World Cultures Influence Fashion, A & C Black
Mendes, V. & de la Haye, A. (2010), Fashion Since 1900, Thames & Hudson
Steele, V. (2010), The Berg Companion to Fashion, Berg

Fashion Practice: The Journal of Design, Creative Process & the Fashion Industry