module specification

SJ5079 - Styling and Journalism (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Styling and Journalism
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Computing and Digital Media
Total study hours 150
105 hours Guided independent study
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 10%   Video of styling exercise with 300 word report
Coursework 30%   Portfolio of 4 short pieces, 1200 words.
Coursework 45%   Final coursework 2,000 words: article with images and log, to include one video blog piece and links to social media
Practical Examination 15%   Contribution in class: 60% on practical peer-styling exercise, 40% on journal
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Friday Morning

Module summary

This module offers an  introduction to styling within fashion journalism and related industries, underpinned by an understanding of the relationship between the media and industry, surveying the cultural and global business issues which fashion journalists must understand. Merchandising and trend-spotting will be examined along with the role of the stylist in media and marketing.

Formative assessment will involve weekly assignments which explore different arenas for and types of styling, developing employable skills in sourcing and resourcing looks and products for writing, photography, retail, events, blogging/vlogging, trends and catwalk shows, and new media networking. These will be discussed in class and on the class blog.

Summative assessment will join these strands and take the form of a major styling project, focusing on a specific fashion business, event, publication or store, chosen in consultation with the module teaching team.

Assessment tasks will be:  a first piece of video; a portfolio of four short pieces (no more than 300 words each, with images for each); a final piece of up to 1,000 words which creates an original story with 10 self-created images (or can be video of 2 minutes), with an analytic log of research and sourcing (up to 1,000 words); and engagement with class, assessed through self-reflective journal.

Module aims

The main aims of this module are:

  1. To enable students to develop key skills for the particular requirements of styling;
  2. To foster the skills of articulate and analytical commentary in print, broadcast and online, to fit the demands of an expanding industry;
  3. To develop awareness of the resources and sources which stylists use across the fashion and events industries;
  4. To develop students' awareness of contemporar practice within the fashion industry and the social, cultural and historical contexts within which the industry continues to develop.
  5. To enable students to relate their own work to industry demands.


In this exciting and ever-evolving module, students cover styling within the fashion industry in context: the nature and meaning of fashion, how stylists are used within the fashion business environment, and the relationship between the media and the fashion industry.
Most classes will be workshop-based, with guest speakers and lectures interspersed with students’ own active writing, sourcing of products and presentation.
Portfolio work, inside and outside class, will include: basics such as who uses stylists and how, from shop windows to catwalks and photo-shoots; the logistics of the fashion shoot: design, photographer, clothing, caption writing; accessories; locations and backgrounds; the fashion column: how to mark your mark with a unique style, whether blogging or writing for magazines; catwalk and trend forecasting and spotting; beyond fashion to events, launches and lines. 
Students’ use of and sensitivity to images will be crucial.

Classes will discuss and explore: beauty, design, celebrity; the job of the stylist: what a fashion correspondent or editor for a newspaper or magazine does and how they work with stylists; the fashion magazine planning process and its influence on products and stores; criticizing magazines: identity, audience, involvement. The role of social media.

The class blog will allow all contributions to be shared and peer-assessed.

These two strands will be merged in the summative assessment, which will be a major project using original research, in which students display evidence of critical awareness (of other stylists) and their ability to combine new and interesting display ideas (not just from PR). This piece should contain writing, images and a list of sourced products in either a piece of fashion writing or video. It should also connect to online social media – Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr or similar.

Learning and teaching

Teaching methods include lectures, workshops, guest speakers, seminar discussion and tutorials.  Workshops will focus on producing real journalism-compatible styling within class and outside it. Students are expected to attend and must participate. 

In seminars, workshops and tutorials they are expected to raise issues, ask questions and seek feedback to enable them to reflect on practice, as they must on the class blog.

In enhancement weeks, field trips, guest speakers, screenings and participation in newsdays will complement one-to-one tutorial and coaching sessions.
In addition to guided reading, students are expected to read and use new media critically. They should readily use a variety of sources (primary and secondary).
Blended learning will be facilitated through blogs, the virtual learning environment, twitter and photo-sharing social media. Reflective learning will be emphasized through the online journal.

PDP will be supported.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, having completed all the tasks set,  students should be able to:

  1. Use a range of specialised techniques and skills from resourcing to writing, imaging and shoots, including PR profiles;
  2. Communicate a critical understanding of the specialist expectations and context of the fashion journalist for stylists, through sharp and focused writing and creation of fashion shoots and/or events styling;
  3. Articulate  and explain the role of the stylist in the promotion of goods and services within and alongside the fashion industry;
  4. Create styles and images which serve the differing forms,  platforms and scope of fashion journalism;
  5. Critically analyse fashion-related styling across media for its cultural and commercial significance;
  6. Show how their work has made them more employable, through an online p[ortfolio of work.

Assessment strategy

This module will be assessed by an initial video piece; followed by an interim portfolio: a set of four original short pieces (no more than 300 words each, with images): which will cover the essentials of styling across print, TV, video and the web.  New media and blogging, links to other sites and images must be included.
In addition, engagement with class will be assessed through an online journal.

A final piece of up to 1,000 words with at least 10 images -- or 2 minutes’ video -- will feature in-depth original research creating a styled event, display or shoot for a specific fashion business, publication or event, chosen in consultation with the module teaching team.
An analytic log of up to 1,000 words will explain research and sourcing methods, with lists of contacts.

Four assessments in total (see Sec 19) with an indicative mapping of Learning outcomes and the assessment components:

1) Coursework 1 [LOs 2,3,4,5]
2) Coursework 2 [LOs 1 to 5]
3) Coursework 3 [LOs 1 to 6]
4) Practical Exam [LOs 1 to 6]


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