module specification

MC4057 - Contextualising Fashion (2019/20)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2019/20
Module title Contextualising Fashion
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 15
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 150
6 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
105 hours Guided independent study
39 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 40%   15-minute visual presentation
Coursework 60%   2,000-word essay
Running in 2019/20
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Friday Morning

Module summary

The module seeks to provide a motivational learning experience and to stimulate the co-creation of knowledge pertaining to the cannon of sartorial culture. The module content addresses a range of historical moments underpinning the development of a ‘fashion system’ and examines how the inter-relationships between these elements contribute to and inform changes in dress styles. Discussion and analyses of the globalisation, the impacts of technology, the metropolis and creative practice are designed to raise awareness of the importance of the discipline 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 the module’s constructively aligned learning outcomes. The learning experience complements that provided in the other subject-specific modules designed to engage all L4 students on the Fashion Marketing & Business Management programme


Contemporary Sartorial Culture: the fashion-music nexus, celebrity culture, sustainable design, technology, sartorial practice and social media, fashion cities, menswear and the New Fogies, fashion professionals as the new arbiters of taste, centre and periphery in sartorial culture LO1

Fashion History:  Dressmaker vs. designer, the Great Masculine Renunciation, Cotton-opolis and the Industrial Revolution, Chanel and the democratisation of fashion, austerity and ration-fashion, the New Look, subcultures, the decade style forgot, power dressing, design collaborations in the C21th LO2

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The module is delivered over a 13-week teaching period, through a combination of workshops, lecture presentations and seminars totalling three hours contact time per week. Seminars feature group discussion and analysis of case studies or 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. Lecture materials and seminar/workshop tasks 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 and 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 conveyed during the module line-up with professional expectations.

Learning outcomes

LO1. Find and present evidence pertaining the sartorial environment of a geographically defined site in the metropolis

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

Assessment strategy

The assessment strategy consists of two components, each informed by reflection, professional practice and subject-specific scholarship.

Assessment component 1: provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate achievement of LO1 through in a visual presentation exploring the sartorial culture of selected location in the metropolis. As a group assessment, the task offers L4 students the chance to interact with, and learn from, other members of the cohort.

Assessment component 2: provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate achievement of LO2 through production of an (illustrated) essay addressing dress practices from a self-selected period of fashion history. As an individual assignment the task enables students to evidence research, analytical thought and academic writing skills developed throughout the module


Core Text:
Breward, C. (2003), Fashion, Oxford University Press
           Other Texts:
Black, S. (2011), Eco Chic:  The Fashion Paradox, Black Dog Publishing
Breward, C. & Gilbert, D. (2006), Fashion’s World Cities, Fairchild
Church Gibson, P. (2011), Fashion and Celebrity Culture, Berg
Fletcher, K. (2008), Sustainable Fashion and Textiles, Earthscan
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