module specification

SJ4008 - Fashion History and Concepts (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Fashion History and Concepts
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Computing and Digital Media
Total study hours 300
219 hours Guided independent study
81 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Group Presentation 20%   10 minute group presentation on an emerging design talent
Group Coursework 20%   Group project: 3,000 words
Coursework 40%   1,500 word individual report
Coursework 20%   Class contribution - self reflective grid
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Monday Morning

Module summary

This module provides an introduction to the discipline of fashion through analysis and understanding of a range of social, practical and theoretical issues, studying how history has shaped today’s fashion media and marketing industry. Looking at fashion in a UK and international context, the module will outline the economic, social and historical significance of the fashion industry alongside an understanding of fashion terminology, product life cycles and the fashion industry’s seasons. Assessment will be through multimedia group presentation, group coursework, individual coursework and tutor moderated self reflection.

Module aims

  • To provide students with an introduction to the modern global fashion industry within a historical and global context
  • To explore the social, technological, political, cultural and economic significance and value of the fashion industry within global and UK economies
  • To develop skills in trend spotting and fashion forecasting by gaining an overview of  the development of the modern fashion industry
  • To acquire commercial and cultural understanding of major case studies, products, brands and trends from a historical and geographical perspective
  • To explore the challenges that have been overcome by the fashion industry and challenges the industry faces now and in the future


• Global overview of the fashion industry and associated lifestyle industries
• Core study of fashion through time – to develop a well-rounded, thorough and insightful understanding of fashion’s rich history
• Designers of note within modern history (including key case studies)
• Fashion seasons and cycles, from production to purchase
• Life cycle of a garment – from field to shop floor
• Trend spotting and forecasting in the fashion environment
• Key players in design, production, retailing, marketing, forecasting, media and public relations
• Understanding the context of the modern global fashion industry
• Economic significance of the fashion industry (globally and within the UK)
• Ethics, corporate social responsibility and sustainability in fashion
• World cities of fashion, their history and global trade
• Effect of political, economic, sociological and technological factors on global and local fashion
• Relationships between business environments and fashion cycles, zeitgeist and industry innovation

Learning and teaching

• Interactive workshops with a mix of teaching (with multimedia support), group work, case studies, field trips and individual learning
• Use of weblearn, including discussion forums, to share ideas and information and assess class contribution via journals and discussion boards
• Extensive reading to develop a thorough understanding of fashion history, trend terminology and pivotal developments in the industry
• One-to-one tutorials throughout the module and small group-based shared learning/exchange of ideas/critique of texts
• Regular debate and presentations to develop confidence and social/audience skills

Learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate how key points in fashion history relate to contemporary fashion trends and business
  • Be able to use knowledge and critical understanding of the fashion industry’s significance in a broader professional and academic context
  • Be able to identify trends and fashion concepts within the industry and within society
  • Demonstrate a good working knowledge of major fashion case studies, products, brands and trends within an academic and professional context
  • Be able to use historical context when analysing day-to-day challenges within the fashion industry workplace

Assessment strategy

To increase confidence, professionalism, teamwork and employability, students will engage in assessed group presentation, a group project including multimedia elements, a detailed individual report and self reflection on participation and engagement across the module, moderated through an online journal.

10 minute group presentation on an emerging design talent

Group project: 3,000 words plus multimedia on ethical challenges in the fashion industry. Individuals assessed on contribution and log.

1,500 word individual report to demonstrate original research/understanding of the production processes used by a specific brand/fashion company

Class contribution – self reflective grid


• Beckert, S (2015). Empire of Cotton: A New History of Global Capitalism. Penguin Books Ltd. London.
• DK (no named author) (2012). Fashion. Dorling Kindersley. London.
• Fukai, A (2006). Fashion. A History from the 18th to the 20th century. Taschen. Germany.
• Karekar, R (2014). Fashion Ethics and Sustainability: Bringing Change from High Street to Luxury. Lap Lambert Academic Publishing. Germany.
• Kelly, I and Westwood, V (2015). Vivienne Westwood. Reprints edition. Picador. London.
• Lavergne, M (2015). Fixing Fashion: Rethinking the Way We Make, Market and Buy Our Clothes. New Society Publishers. Canada.
• Watt, J (2013). Alexander McQueen: The Life and Legacy. Harper Design. New York.
• Wilson, E (2009). Revised edition. Adorned in Dreams: Fashion and Modernity. I B Tauris & Co Ltd. London.
• Ethical Fashion Forum:
• V&A Home Page - Victoria and Albert Museum: