BA (Hons) Fashion Illustration
|Study Mode||Full Time|
|Course Length||3 years|
|IELTS level||6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each skill|
£9,000 per year
£13,800 per year
|Autumn Term Dates||24 Sept - 07 Dec|
|Spring Term Dates||07 Jan - 15 March|
|Summer Term Dates||15 April - 21 June|
The BA Fashion Illustration course is situated in the School of Media and Communication, and prepares students for a career in fashion illustration and related fields through the exploration of a wide range of traditional and contemporary approaches to drawing and image creation. You will develop your drawing skills and experiment with different media, and have the opportunity to learn a wide range of illustration, graphic and visual communication skills, together with the academic, professional and business skills necessary to succeed in the contemporary creative industries. The specialist curriculum is underpinned by drawing, and this is enhanced by digital technology, photography, moving image and animation. You will learn research skills, both academic and visual, and will develop your own personal visual language, as well as writing a dissertation in the final year. The course provides students with opportunities for first hand experience of the industry through industry projects, placements and work experience. Live projects last year have been with Procter and Gamble, TIGI (Toni and Guy), Biba and the National Gallery. This coming year there will be a project with the Haymarket Theatre. Students have participated in a number of national competitions, including involvement with the charities Orchid, Jeans for Genes and Just A Drop.
BA Fashion Illustration is based at Lime Grove in Shepherd’s Bush, just west of Holland Park and Notting Hill. The area, which is rich in cultural influences from across the world, is home to Shepherd’s Bush Market and the many fabric shops lining the Goldhawk Road. There are numerous restaurants, cafes, delis and food stores, as well as the market, which reflect the many cultures of the people living there. Nearby is the Shepherd’s Bush Empire, an excellent venue for live bands, and the Westfield Shopping Centre, one of the largest retail complexes in Europe that caters for the luxury market as well as the high street. Holland Park with its Orangery and Leighton House Museum are both worth visiting.
UAL statement on learning and teaching
Courses in UAL span a broad range of art, design, communication, business, media, science and communication subjects. So the ways in which you learn and how your time is used will vary according to the specific course you are studying; this may be in studios, labs, classes, involve working alone, learning from peers in pairs or groups, or with external partners. Most importantly, no matter which course you enrol on, you will learn not only about your subject but also about how you learn and how to increase your knowledge base.
Our courses will guide you to take increasing responsibility and ownership of your work and your learning. We do this so that you will be ready and able to take full advantage of the full range of opportunities offered by the creative industries in the global economy.
UAL statement on assessment methods
Assessment always sounds austere and foreboding, but it is not. We see assessment as a very real part of learning, rather than just a means of looking back at past work and measuring achievement; we believe that assessment helps you plan future work and develop new ideas.
Your work will be assessed through projects or portfolios, with written papers or research journals, and, on some courses, examinations. You will be graded according to a set of marking criteria that relate to such things as research, subject knowledge, methodology, and your capacity to analyse and reflect on your achievements. So don’t be afraid of assessment - it is the way to progress.
Year One Stage One Level 4 120 credits
Term One: Introduction to Study in Higher Education (20 credits); Fashion Illustration and Drawn Images (20 credits);
Term Two: Introduction to Cultural and Historical Studies (20 credits); Fashion Illustration and Photographic Images (20 credits);
Term Three: Fashion Illustration and Moving Images (40 credits);
Year Two Stage Two Level 5 120 credits
Term One: Cultural and Historical Studies (20 credits); Introduction to Professional Practice (20 credits);
Term Two: Placement and Professional Brief (40 credits);
Term Three: Research Methods (20 credits); Professional Brief (20 credits);
Third Year Stage Three level 6 120 credits
Term One: Research Planning for Illustration (20 credits);
Terms One and Two: Cultural and Historical Studies Dissertation (40 credits);
Term Two and Three: Final Major Project for Illustration (60 credits);
In the first term you will study two units.
Introduction to Study in Higher Education gives you an understanding of your personal and professional development at university, with three core purposes: to introduce you to the necessary learning skills for undergraduate study; to show you where you are situated within the College and the University; and to help you understand what you will learn on your course and how you will develop your skills.
The Fashion Illustration and Drawn Images unit introduces you to the principles and skills of communicating ideas and proposals through fashion illustration. You will learn research skills that encourage you to recognise, interpret and demonstrate the importance of direct observation, visual analysis and synthesis. You will develop your visual vocabulary, using both traditional craft and digital techniques, and expand your sources of reference, linking research and content to fashion illustration. You will work collaboratively for part of this unit, since team work is an essential part of the fashion industry.
In the second term you will study two units.
Introduction to Cultural and Historical Studies introduces you to key concepts and ways of thinking about fashion and its context in society and culture. You will attend lectures, seminars and workshops, and do a significant amount of reading of academic texts in order to complete a formal academic essay for assessment. Completion of this unit will allow you to make an informed choice of subject for study in the second year Cultural and Historical Studies unit.
Fashion Illustration and Photographic Images explores the construction of the photographic image as a visual communicator of style, content and context, and its relationship to fashion illustration. The development of your visual literacy will be extended through the acquisition of skills to produce photographically based creative statements. You will explore photography as a recording device, and how the photographic image may be worked and reworked in many ways across a variety of media. You will look at the processes and techniques of print media, together with how these are modified for online media.
In the third term you will do the Fashion Illustration and Moving Image unit, which introduces you to time-based media and the fundamental processes associated with the moving image. This is looked at with specific reference to illustration, animation and styling, and explores how atmosphere and communication of a particular style genre are created. You will be encouraged to examine the relevance, effectiveness and power of moving image, from social media to cinema, within the context of fashion promotion and communication. You will look at historical and global cinema genres and investigate their relationship to visual communication.
In the first term you will be able to study a Cultural and Historical Studies unit of your choice that will broaden or deepen your learning of areas relating to your interests in your chosen field. You will have the opportunity to participate in lectures, seminars and workshops with students from other courses within your School, and will read relevant academic texts and complete a formal academic essay for assessment.
Also studied in the first term, the Introduction to Professional Practice unit gives you the opportunity of working to a brief from an external client. You will be introduced to fashion as a business and will be given an overview of the roles that marketing, public relations, advertising and branding play within the fashion industry. You will learn how and when fashion illustration can be used. You will need to analyse the client brief, establish working methods to research the brand and the visual response that you will make, and professionally present your solution to the brief to the client.
In the second term the Placement and Professional Brief unit gives you the opportunity to experience the day to day reality of working in the industry through a work placement. You will learn about essential working practices within the industry, and will be able to observe the ways in which professional practitioners respond to a variety of situations. The placement gives you the opportunity to expand your network of contacts, which will be invaluable in your future career in the industry. You will be expected to complete a report on your placement, with evidence of awareness of brand specifics and identity, together with an analytical, reflective and evaluative approach to the placement.
In the third term you will do two units.
Research Methods provides you with an overview of a variety of different research methods that will underpin both your Cultural and Historical Studies dissertation and your Final Major Project in the third year. For the dissertation you will be introduced to the first two key stages, the literature review and the research, and how each relates to each other. You will also look at primary and secondary sources, ways of developing and originating research, and methods of appropriately realising the research for the dissertation. Parallel with this you will develop research ideas for the creative portfolio. These will depend on your particular direction and your career aspirations, and should form a balance with your dissertation.
The Professional Brief unit gives you the opportunity of working in a team on a live or simulated industry brief. You will be required to collaborate with team members, assume responsibility, organise and communicate in order to achieve a successful outcome. This gives you the opportunity to undertake a specific focussed role within the team and through collaboration realise a successful, creative, professional and appropriate solution to the brief.
In the first term you will do the Research Planning for Illustration unit. This builds on the work done so far and encourages you to further analyse research methodologies, and to build a formal structure of research into your practice. You will identify your existing skills and direction, and explore, select and utilise appropriate research to form a coherent base for the realisation of your Final Major Project.
In the first and second terms you will undertake a major piece of written work for the Cultural and Historical Studies Dissertation unit. This allows you to demonstrate your understanding of the critical and analytical perspectives developed within cultural and historical theory, and how you can apply these theoretical perspectives in a specific study, which you will have already identified in the third term of the second year. The dissertation gives you the opportunity to undertake primary and secondary research that examines in depth cultural issues relating to a particular aspect of fashion, lifestyle, the body, performance or the media, and to produce a written piece of work that reflects the critical debates around your chosen topic.
The Final Major Project for Illustration, undertaken in the second and third terms, gives you the opportunity to produce an extended body of practical work at an advanced conceptual, technical and aesthetic level. This will be a development from the range of cultural and practical work that you have undertaken so far on the course. The outcome will be directed towards a specific and clearly identified audience.
Learning and Teaching at UAL
Courses at UAL span a broad range of art, design, communication, business, media and science subjects. The ways in which you learn and how your time is used will vary according to the specific course you are studying; this may be in studios, labs or classes; involve working alone, learning from peers in pairs or groups, or with external partners. Most importantly, no matter which course you enrol on, you will learn not only about your subject but also about how you learn and how to increase your knowledge base. Our courses will guide you to take increasing responsibility and ownership of your work and your learning. We do this so that you will be ready and able to take full advantage of the range of opportunities offered by the creative industries in the global economy.
Assessment Methods at UAL
Assessment always sounds austere and foreboding, but it is not. We see assessment as a very real part of learning, rather than just a means of looking back at past work and measuring achievement; we believe that assessment helps you to plan future work and develop new ideas. Your work will be assessed through projects or portfolios, with written papers or research journals, and, on some courses, examinations. You will be graded according to a set of marking criteria that relate to such things as research, subject knowledge, methodology, and your capacity to analyse and reflect on your achievements. So don’t be afraid of assessment - it is the way to progress.
Developing your skills
All our undergraduate courses are concerned with the development of your personal and professional skills. On your course you will evolve from learning basic skills in your discipline through to a position where you are an independent creative thinker capable of making an effective contribution to the relevant sector of the fashion industry. PPD (Personal and Professional Development) skills are embedded in all units on every course. Speaker programmes with contributions from alumni, members of industry and others are a part of many courses, as are work placement opportunities in industry. Where relevant, students have the chance to attend trade fairs, enter industry competitions, visit exhibitions and go on field trips and visits. The central position of our John Prince’s Street site in the West End affords students easy access to all sectors of the fashion retail market. In addition, our position as a constituent College in the University of the Arts London means that our students have access to the wide range of activities and events that occur in all the Colleges and at the University’s centre. Last but not least, being in London gives every student opportunities to explore and be inspired by the cultural, intellectual and social life of one of the great capital cities of the world.
Our excellent resources for educating our students are two-fold: people and premises. People includes everyone at the College who contributes directly in some way to your education, whether as a subject tutor, a technician, an Open Access Officer, a librarian or a study support tutor. Premises include the buildings and the facilities contained in them, such as specialist machinery, design studios and workshops, lecture and seminar rooms, and the library.
The extensive facilities at Lime Grove that support this course include the Mac suites, photography studios, edit suites, sound studios and other specialist areas which can be utilised if required.
Sue Dray is the Course Leader for BA Fashion Illustration. She has an MA in Communication Design from Central Saint Martins, and was awarded a Teaching and Learning Fellowship in 2009 while at UCA. Her research interest is in experimental teaching of drawing strategies, and Reflective Drawing: A Case Study, published by the University for the Creative Arts, is an outcome from this research. She is a practising illustrator and has sold her work both nationally and internationally.
Calum Mackenzie is the Programme Director for the Fashion Media courses, which include BA Fashion Journalism and BA Fashion Illustration. He studied painting, print and photography at Manchester Polytechnic and Pratt Institute in New York. He has twenty years of teaching experience, most recently as Associate Dean for Fashion at UCA Epsom. As a practising artist he has exhibited internationally and has work in several collections. Currently he makes short film documentaries, most recently for the Tate Britain archives and the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Tony Glenville is the Creative Director for the School of Media and Communication and has done many jobs in fashion during his varied career. He has worked as a journalist on a number of publications, including Paris Vogue, the Financial Times, The Independent, the Evening Standard and Urban Junkies. He has styled Kate Winslet, is a familiar figure at the catwalk shows in the fashion capitals of the world, and has written Top to Toe: the Modern Man’s Guide to Grooming. His broadcast career has included the South Bank Show on John Galliano, and he was seen on television commenting on the fashions at the Royal Wedding of Prince William to Catherine Middleton.
Future Careers and Graduate Prospects
Graduates who wish to continue their education at postgraduate level are encouraged to progress to suitable courses within the College, the University or elsewhere.
Many graduates prefer to seek employment as soon as they have completed their undergraduate studies. Recent graduates from this course are working at Browns Focus, Love magazine, and Vauxhall Fashion Scout. This year graduates have found freelance illustration work with Nike Sportswear, Drapers magazine, London Fashion Week, the milliner Piers Atkinson, Body Shop, Nine West, and Dazed and Confused..
Enterprise and Employability at UAL
We know what it takes to be successful in your chosen field. Your tutors are professionals in their own right and understand what you need to help you establish your career. Staff in our dedicated Centre for Student Enterprise and Employability Service (SEE) are specialists at supporting you onto the right career path and at helping you to build up work‐relevant skills, knowledge and experience throughout your time here. You will also benefit from our many relationships with industry, which give our students exclusive opportunities and access to networks and funding.
Artists and designers tell us they value UAL’s informed engagement with their career development concerns across a whole spectrum of activities and practice interests and our ability to offer them practical advice, guidance and opportunities across the possible pathways open to them - as entrepreneurs and employees. Staff value the resources and skills UAL makes available to help them deliver effective professional and career development through the curriculum.
Showing your work
All final year students are given the opportunity to profile their work online via Showtime. London College of Fashion can make no guarantee that your work (either in sum or in part) will be shown, exhibited or profiled in any way as part of your course. All student work appearing in College organised events, catwalk shows, exhibitions and other forms of showcase, is selected by a panel of senior staff and, in some instances, external industry judges.
For details of the wide range of careers support provided for students, please visit our Careers Support page.
Opportunities for All
We are committed to making university education an achievable option for a wider range of people and seek to recruit students from diverse socio-economic, cultural and educational backgrounds. We are committed to supporting all our students in achieving their potential both during and after their courses.
Course Entry Requirements
Entry to this course is highly competitive: applicants are expected to achieve, or already have, the course entry requirements detailed below.
Two ‘A’ level passes at grade C or above PLUS passes in three GCSE subjects at grade C or above
OR equivalent awards
Preferred subjects include Art, Design, English and Maths.
This course requires a minimum 160 UCAS tariff points.
Exceptionally, applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered if the course team judges the application demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might, for example, be demonstrated by: related academic or work experience; the quality of the personal statement; a strong academic or other professional reference; or a combination of these factors.
This course requires portfolio evidence.
English Language Requirements
All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language you will be asked to provide evidence of your English language ability when you enrol.
The level required by the University for this course is IELTS 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in any one skill.
read carefully and look at the relevant documents.
Student Selection Criteria
What We Look For
The course team seeks to recruit students who can demonstrate:
- A strong interest in fashion, visual imagery and an awareness of technology
- An understanding of the need for a critical and analytical approach to the area of study
- An approach suited to the demands of the course and the projected career futures
This might, for example, be demonstrated by: related academic or work experience; the quality of the personal statement, a strong academic or other professional reference; or a combination of these factors.
Portfolio and Interview Advice
All applicants invited for interview with the course team will be asked to complete a small drawing activity. This will aid and assist the course team in the interview process. Applicants should note the importance of the work in the portfolio presented at interview in determining whether or not you are offered a place.
For this course your portfolio should show evidence of: drawing / presentation skills; examples of creative visual imagery; research skills; experimentation; and engagement with technology for image production.
Applicants will be expected to demonstrate the following at interview: a strong interest in, and awareness of, contemporary fashion and fashion illustration; a cultural awareness of society; visual awareness evidenced through portfolio work; an interest in, and knowledge of, technical processes for image production; a motivation for working in fashion illustration; and a motivation to succeed on the course.
You apply online through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) at http://www.ucas.com
Go to ‘Apply’ from the UCAS home page, where you will be able to register and create a password that gives you unique access as you complete your application form.
The University code is U65.
The UCAS code for this course is W221.
The deadline for equal consideration of your application is 15 January 2013.
Contact us on:
- Telephone: +44 (0)20 7514 7563 / 7582 / 7344
- Course enquiry form
For specific details on how to apply as an international applicant please click on the following link:
The International Recruitment Office at the London College of Fashion will help to guide you through the application process and answer any specific questions that you may have regarding our courses. This may include portfolio advice, the application process and fee advice. We offer a ‘drop-in’ facility for applicants who may be in London and wish to obtain further course and admissions information. Please contact us for further information on this facility. We can also arrange a tour of our facilities if we are given prior notice.
Our contact details are: International Recruitment Office London College of Fashion 20 John Prince’s Street London W1G 0BJ.
- Telephone: +44 (0)20 7514 7656/7678/7629
- Course enquiry form
Deferred Entry is normally only allowed in exceptional circumstances. Please contact us before you submit your application if you are considering applying for deferred entry.
What Happens Next?
All application forms, personal statements and references are read and considered by the course team against the selection criteria listed under What We Look For. Depending on the quality of your application, you may be asked to submit copies of a small number of pieces of your existing work (not more than ten pieces). If the course team wish to consider your application further, you will be invited to a full portfolio review and interview where the course team will look at your work and interview you. If you are successful at the interview stage you will be offered a place. Applicants are not guaranteed a portfolio review or an interview.
Please note that if you are unable to attend the College may not be able to re-schedule.
If you applied through UCAS the result of your application will be communicated to you via UCAS through ucastrack. You will only receive further communication directly from the College if your application has been successful. This will be in the form of a full offer pack including details of accommodation, fees, and other important information.
Applicants have the right to ask for feedback if their application is unsuccessful. Requests must be made in writing to the Student Administrator, and we will respond within 20 working days.
Some courses charge a fee for the bulk purchase of materials and/or equipment used on the course. Further details will be supplied at a later date.