Our practical postgraduate fashion design course is an ideal choice if you are passionate about developing a career in Fashion Design.
You’ll develop all the skills and knowledge needed to strengthen your personal creativity and style by taking a professional approach to fashion design.
You will plan your career and benefit from a series of topical lectures which explore major issues linked to the world of fashion design, followed by talks from leading industry practitioners. Many of our graduates go on to start up their own, or even develop existing family businesses.
Your learning will be focused on studio and workshop practice, featuring personal programmes of study and joint lectures and seminars.
You’ll also enjoy specialist interpretations of art, craft and design supported by our highly experienced course team.
Based at our city centre Parkside campus, you will have access to a wide range of conventional and CAD facilities available including digital print, digital Jaquard and a Gerber fashion CAD suite, as well as the opportunity to collaborate with a faculty full of creative students.
Your learning environment will encourage you to become an adaptable, flexible and knowledgeable graduate, equipped to pursue a career in the fashion industry.
Drop in to one of our informal postgraduate events - our staff and current students will be on hand to answer all of your questions.
Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.
Our blog is the online home for our community of aspirational, innovative and creative individuals. It’s for sharing our experiences and visionary ideas with each other, the industry and the world.
Either a good Honours Degree in a relevant subject or equivalent qualifications and experience.
A digital portfolio is a required as part of your application. This should evidence competency in those skills relevant to the area of practice you would like to focus on for your MA study, for example fashion design and garment construction.
|MA||Sep 2018||FT||1 year||£6,900 per year|
|MA||Sep 2018||PT||2 years||£3,450 per year|
|MA||Sep 2018||FT||1 year||£12,000 per year|
If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead. The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.
UK / EU students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.*
Your postgraduate personal statement is going to shine a light on your personal experience, academic success, personal skills and any other factors that will support your application for further study.
Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:
Studying a postgraduate course usually means you want to specialise in something. So what’s driving you?
Show that you’ve researched the course offering. What is it about this particular course that appeals to you? Is it the lecturers? The modules? Etc.
Tutors want to know that you can handle postgraduate study, so show them how your undergraduate experiences or work life has equipped you for a more advanced level of study. Key areas to address are research and group work but this can vary depending on your chosen course.
Add anything relevant that relates back to your chosen course and shows how your skills will contribute towards your learning. What extra-curricular activities have you taken part in? What awards have you won? What employment or voluntary experience do you have that has helped you develop transferable skills? How do these specifically relate to the course you are applying for?
You should also mention your future plans and how a postgraduate qualification fits in. Try to look beyond your postgraduate study – do you plan to jump straight into a specific career or follow your studies with a research degree? Lastly, use plain, professional English and, where possible, utilise the language of your chosen industry.
Get more information on writing personal statements.
*Non-EU students are not required to submit a personal statement when applying for this course.
You will have access to Moodle, the University’s online interactive learning platform, University blogs, and an online forum to cultivate the postgraduate community within the School and to highlight professional opportunities for MA Fashion and Textiles students.
You will also have use of the University Library, which includes a wealth of print and online learning resources. For students who need to improve their skills in digital literacy, including the use of specific software, the University offers training programmes through lynda.com.
Our courses include activities such as performance, exhibitions, field trips and production of works or artefacts which may require you to purchase specific equipment, instruments, books, materials, hire of venues and accommodation, or other items. Many of these activities are essential and compulsory parts of your learning experience.
The link below gives you an estimate of the possible costs associated with key activities on your course. Please bear in mind that these are only estimates of costs based on past student experience and feedback. The actual costs could vary considerably (either greater or lower than these estimates) depending on your choices as you progress through the course.
All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.
If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our pdf application form instead.
We offer further information on possible postgraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.
Did you know that you will soon be able to apply for a postgraduate loan of up to £10,000 for some courses and options?
This module will focus on the relationship between you and your work, including your ability to express issues and strategies, design content, technical issues and personal project management.
You will create a portfolio showing your development with samples – accompanied by a reflective, critical and contextual document (such as a journal or reflective commentary) and have a 10 minute Viva Voce assessment.
The purpose of this module is to gain a deeper understanding of your programme of study and how it relates to the wider context within the world of fashion. This is supported by a range of tutorials, seminars, lectures and progress reviews.
You will use a mixture of primary and secondary research to create and present a 15 minute original presentation to your peers that is organised, coherent, well-executed and has a clear communication. You will also submit presentation documentation (e.g. background research, speaking notes) alongside this.
You will have one compulsory module:
The aim of this module is to encourage you to engage in the strategic planning and project management of work activities and studies relating to fashion promotion design, personal development and career objectives.
You will complete a 3,000 word essay which outlines your research strategy.
You will also choose one of the following modules:
The purpose of this module is to build on your knowledge and experience from Portfolio 1, while introducing professionalism and employability into your work. This module aims to promote your creativity, aesthetic sensibility and an in-depth knowledge of a personally selected area of specialisation.
In conjunction with the Research Strategy module, this module will encourage you to be more proactive in the pursuit of gaining real industry experience or seeking out professional views on your work as well as vocational opportunities.
Garment Construction and Technology
You will be given the opportunity to participate in a series of independent workshops covering a variety of topics related to Garment Technology from creative cutting, technical development, CAD processes, to production planning to enhance your skills and knowledge of the industry.
You will create a portfolio showing development of your work, final sketches, test fabric or advanced sampling, along with a 10 minute Viva Voce assessment.
You will undertake a sustained, in-depth and theoretically informed research project exploring an area that is of personal interest to you. This project will contribute to the acquisition of key BCU graduate attributes; creative problem solver, enterprising, professional and a work ready and global outlook.
The course focuses on your ability to develop a personal creative style, design methods and a professional approach to fashion design. Throughout the course you are encouraged to undertake relevant career planning and research. A series of topical lectures are provided exploring major theories and debates related to the world of fashion. These are followed by talks from industry practitioners.
Your learning will be based around studio and workshop practice, with personal programmes of study and joint lecture and seminar programmes. Art, craft and design interpretations of the disciplines are all supported and our highly experienced course team recognise the importance of having a personal and distinctive approach to your work and study. There are also ample opportunities to collaborate, exchange ideas and broaden your perspective.
You’ll also benefit from our close connections with manufacturers, and get to experiment with a wide range of materials to create new and innovative products.
Situated within the School of Fashion and Textiles, there is a wide range of conventional and CAD facilities available including digital print, digital Jaquard and a Gerber fashion CAD suite. There are also specialist facilities available in 3D prototyping, glass and ceramics.
To support your learning you are encouraged to develop links appropriate to your studies, these have previously included DuPont, Emap, Celine, and Nicole Farhi.
Your programme will include a mixture of practical projects and written work. You will develop a portfolio of work that showcases your abilities and ideas and is executed and managed in a professional manner.
At each stage you will also write reports that encourage you to develop a critical and contextual framework within which to understand your practice and future career choices.
You are assessed using a mixture of tutorial reviews, project work submissions and oral exams.
You will be given opportunities to work alongside your peers in the wider Postgraduate Fashion and Textile community in order to create a fashion show. This annual ‘Vision for the Future’ fashion show is used as a fundraiser for charity. It is a collaborative project that relies entirely on student initiative within the course and beyond, and promotes peer tutoring and mentoring.
In addition to our focus upon you as fashion designer, there are also opportunities for you to network with the professional world, and engage in external activities such as collaborating on projects that enhance the student experience and provide ‘real life’ experience.
Students from MA Fashion Design, MA Fashion Management, MA Fashion Promotion and MA Fashion Styling collaborated to organise an end of year MA Fashion Show for charity.
21 MA Fashion Design students showcased their collections, while MA Fashion Management, MA Fashion Promotion and MA Fashion Styling students took key roles in organising the spectacular event, fuelled by student man power and talent, against the challenge of no event budget.
The fashion show is key in giving students an experience of creative production on a live project which they can take away as a show reel as part of their portfolio. Supporting Cancer Research UK, the show raised £430 for charity.
MA Fashion Design connects you to contemporary design roles and teaches you how to continue learning and developing your practice as a professional after completing your course. The MA also has a proven track record in enabling students to progress to a PhD level of study.
Over the course we visit trade fairs and exhibitions in London. You also have the opportunity to arrange your own trips to fashion, retail and cultural events and locations in Europe.
During the Diploma stage you are given the opportunity to visit Paris for the world’s premier fabric show, Premier Vision. The show offers up the season’s fashion directions some 18 months in advance, and is a useful tool to introduce you to all stages of the supply chain within which fashion design sits.
If you would like to ask any questions about how this course can help you achieve your career ambitions, you are welcome to email the Course Director on Jasbir.Kaur@bcu.ac.uk . Alternatively, you can register for our next postgraduate open day or call our Course Enquiries Team on +44 (0)121 331 5595.
Our programme is designed to ensure that upon graduating, you are:
The successful completion of the course will deepen your practical and theoretical insights and techniques, giving you the confidence to build your own professional career as a designer. You will also develop your critical skills such that you can form, evaluate and communicate complex concepts that reflect your individuality and independent thought.
You will develop your creativity, your aesthetic sensibility and an in-depth knowledge of a personally chosen area of specialisation, which will equip you with the necessary skills to gain meaningful employment.
The course regularly invites alumni back to share their experiences since graduating. This will help you to clarify and deepen your understanding of the professional context of your practical work and your own professional ambitions.
Live collaborations, internships and work experience can form part of your projects and studies, and you’ll benefit from the networking opportunities this provides on an individual basis.
You are encouraged, particularly during the PgDip and MA stages of the course, to seek external experiences and feedback from professionals and companies active in fashion design.
Often students can arrange placements to begin immediately after they have finished the course. You are able to identify companies or places for work experience through the Research Strategy module. The course team will also help you apply for, or prepare for, placements and work experiences.
OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.
It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.
Our postgraduate fashion design graduates are well prepared for a number of roles, including freelance and designer maker practices, designers, buyers, and industry managers.
Many of our past students have started their own companies and labels.
Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.
The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.
Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:
Our course welcomes students from across the world. We have an excellent reputation globally, as well as over 20 years’ experience teaching international students.
Many of our Fashion Design students choose to develop projects directly linked to their home countries and conduct field research around the world.
We are proud of our extensive international graduate community, which has a particular focus in Asia.
“One of the best things about BCU is that there are perfect facilities for me to process my creative ideas. We have different kinds of embroidery machines, looms, photo shooting studios, a laser-cut workshop and even a 3D printer. I also got a great internship experience at a global design company in London and which was arranged by the career team at the university.”
International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.
BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.
“Throughout my time at BCU, I have learned and explored new things in different workshops with great facilities and support by staff, which has benefited my portfolios and my future career. I've also made many new friends who are so talented and have the same passion as me, which has been a good motivation!”
You’ll be based in our School of Fashion and Textiles, within The Parkside Building. The Parkside Building is part of our new multi-million pound City Centre Campus development in the heart of Birmingham's Eastside development.
Jasbir is Deputy Director of Postgraduate Programmes in Fashion and Textiles and has extensive experience in commercial textile design and magazine production. Her work is published internationally and she has specific research interests in South Asian fashion.