Fashion Business and Promotion - BA (Hons)

Course Overview

The essential course information

UCAS Code:
W2N2
Award:
BA (Hons)
Attendance:
Full Time (3 years)
School:
School of Fashion, Textiles and Three Dimensional Design
Faculty
Birmingham Institute of Art & Design
Campus:
City Centre

This course is ideal if you aspire to a career in the fashion industry other than as a designer. It has been developed to enable you to combine your fashion interest with business and management skills while taking a creative approach and acquiring an excellent understanding of the fashion industry.

The course is unique in that it explores the roles of fashion professionals who play a key part in the fashion industry. These include trend forecasters, buyers, merchandisers, public relations, stylists, visual merchandisers, fashion event organisers as well as store management and fashion marketing.

Teamwork, communication skills, commercial awareness, aesthetic sensibility and keen observational skills are fundamental to commercial success to enable you to become a confident individual and co-operative team-worker in the fast moving and highly competitive world of fashion.

Key Facts

  • Uniquely combines creative fashion interests and industry roles with business and management skills – no other West Midlands institution offers such a course.
  • Explores the roles of key fashion professionals including trend forecasters, buyers, merchandisers, stylists, visual merchandisers, fashion event organisers as well as store management, PR and fashion marketing.
  • Staff team has direct industry experience, meaning the course is informed and supported by contemporary knowledge, practice, and contacts.
  • We put you in (fashionably) professional shoes – you get to go on regular industry visits, listen to guest speakers, and enjoy cultural trips to London and Paris (and maybe Barcelona and New York).
  • Chance to participate in an exchange with Politecnico di Milano, Italy or Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada as part of your second year.

Why Choose Us?

  • Uniquely matches creative fashion flair with a calculated management brain, giving you presence and credibility in a challenging sector.
  • The most promising third year work is showcased at the Graduate Fashion Week in London each June – an audience looking for talent to employ.
  • The Times Good University Guide 2010 ranks our Art and Design research in the UK’s top 10 – the highest-ranked institution outside London.
  • The research we carry out has a real-world purpose, and new discoveries always feed back into the teaching and insight you receive.
  • Almost 80 per cent of respondents to the National Student Survey praised the enthusiasm of Creative Arts and Design staff, and the clear way they explained their subject.
  • A multi-million pound investment into facilities now gives you a creative technological environment to rival any studio in the country.
  • We attract more art and design students from China and Malaysia than almost any other institution – the international regard in which we’re held has led us to offer design and animation courses on-site in Hong Kong and Thailand.
  • Creativity and innovation makes the air crackle – the 4,000-strong student community you’ll join, sees a challenge as a chance, an issue as an opportunity, and knows that there’s something beyond every horizon.

Download the Course Programme Specification

Entry Requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.

Typical UK QualificationRequirements 2014/15

At the point of application, you must have GCSE at Grade C or above in English Language and Mathematics. Equivalent qualifications and/or experience will be accepted. Applicants will also need a good portfolio.

GCE A Level/ AS Level BBC at A-Level or 280 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A-Levels
Access to Higher Education Diploma Pass overall with 60 credits, 45 at Level 3 and 15 at Level 2. Must be in a relevant subject pathway
BTEC National Diploma (12-units not including early years) D*D* or combined with other Level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 280 UCAS points
BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units not including early years) DMM - 280 UCAS points
BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/ National Award (6-units not including early years) D* or combined with other Level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 280 UCAS points
BTEC Diploma in Foundation Studies in Art and Design Distinction
International Baccalaureate Diploma 28 points overall
Irish Leaving Certificate 280 UCAS points - Higher Levels
Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher 280 UCAS points
Welsh Baccalaureate (core plus options) 120 tariff points combined with other Level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 280 UCAS points

If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.

Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.

Unconditional Offers 2014/15

If you are a full-time undergraduate applicant for the 2014/15 year, and show particular potential, we may be able to make you an unconditional offer if you make us first choice and satisfy certain criteria.

Learn more about unconditional offers >>

Typical EU/Non-EU (International) QualificationsRequirements 2014/15
IELTS 6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands
International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses). 28 points overall
Country-specific entry requirements and qualifications.

International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.

Learn more about BCUIC

Application Details

Full Time: Apply through UCAS.
UCAS Code: W2N2.
Apply via UCAS

Non-EU (International) students:. There are three ways for international students to apply: direct to the University, through a country representative or through UCAS. Please read our guidance on how to apply.

UCAS Information

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

UK, EU and international students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.

You submit an application via the UCAS website with a list of up to five courses. All choices are confidential during the application process so universities and colleges considering an application cannot see your other choices. Applications must be completed by mid-January of the year that you wish to start university.

You can monitor the progress of your application using the UCAS Apply system.

Fees and Finance

Fees for students from the UK or EU countries?
Start Mode Duration Award Fees
Sep 2014 FT 3 years BA (Hons) £8,200 per year
Fees for students from non-EU countries (International)?
Start Mode Duration Award Fees
Sep 2014 FT 3 years BA (Hons) £10,500 per year

The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.

Additional costs

You will be able to access printing and materials at minimal costs through our workshops and may need to purchase you own small tools. There are additional costs for national and international field trips, if you participate in these.

Financial Options and Advice

We have deliberately tried to set fees that reflect the cost of course delivery in order to help our students avoid debt.

Full-time students won't have to pay for tuition fees until after their studies - there are government tuition fee loans available. If you are a full-time student, after leaving university you will start to pay back your loan once you are earning over £21,000 a year, at a rate of nine per cent on any income above £21,000. So if you were earning £25,000, you would pay back nine per cent of £4,000, or £30 per month.

Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis offers key facts on fees, loans and grants:

Financial Support

We offer further information on possible financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.

International Students

International Students at BCU

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 reputation for excellence is soaring globally, thanks to the superb links we forge with industry, our international alliances, and our focus on practical, vocational learning.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

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.

Learn more about BCUIC

Open Days

Saturday 4 October and Saturday 15 November 2014 (9am - 3pm)

Our Open Days provide you with the perfect opportunity to visit the University and discover just what we have to offer.

You can learn more about our courses, great teaching and links with leading employers - as well as our £260 million investment in facilities.

There is a non-stop programme of events and activities running throughout the day, so we recommend that you arrive at 9am to ensure you get the most out of the day.

Who is it for?

The day will cover all levels of study but is predominantly for undergraduate courses.

4 October Open Day
15 November Open Day

University Approach to Employability

Birmingham City University is committed to preparing students for successful employability and professional careers. We have an innovative approach to employability that will help you obtain an interesting and well-paid graduate job.

Read our Employability Statement to find out more.

Employment Opportunities

Our graduates work for companies such as Next, Topshop, ASOS, Tesco - F+F clothing, Sainsbury's - TU clothing, Claire's Accessories, Nars Cosmetics.

Our graduates progress into roles such as Buying, Marketing, Merchandising, Visual Merchandising, PR and Events.

We have very successful UK and overseas students in all of these areas. We also welcome applications from mature students.

92 per cent of our graduates are in work six months after graduation.  This has been consistent over the past three years.  50 per cent of our graduates are employed in managerial and professional roles, consistently in Buying and PR.

Students undertake a 3-6 week placement during their second year of study which provides them with industry connections.

Full Time

About KIS data

From September 2012, all universities and colleges are publishing standardised information for all undergraduate courses in the form of a Key Information Set (KIS). The KIS data is designed to meet the needs of prospective students and allow for informed decision-making when choosing a university course.

Putting our students first

We pride ourselves on our student satisfaction levels which have risen from 73 per cent to 83 per cent between 2010 and 2012. Our dedication to improving the student experience is illustrated by our award-winning student engagement, our close links with business and industry and our £180 million investment in new facilities.

Employability facts

82.2 per cent of graduates from the School of Fashion, Textiles and Three Dimensional Design who responded to our survey entered either employment and/or further study. The average full-time salary for a leaver was £15,600. Employers hiring leavers from the School include Bravissimo and Burberry London, in positions such as Assistant Buyer and Pattern Cutter.

Working with your Students’ Union

Improving student satisfaction is a priority commitment shared by both Birmingham City University and its Students’ Union. In its strategic planning, the Union has pledged to be more accessible, more relevant and provide more opportunity to engage with a diverse student community.

The Students’ Union is already a key stakeholder in supporting an excellent teaching experience at Birmingham City University, through joint projects such as the Extra Mile Teaching Awards and the Student Rep scheme, which allows students to share their ideas on how they are taught.

As Birmingham City University moves towards a two campus strategy where it can better support enhanced learning and student support facilities across a two-mile radius, the Students’ Union will also be better able to implement its commitment to improve communication and engage with its valued student membership.

Course Structure

The course is unique in that it explores the roles of fashion professionals who play a key part in the fashion industry. These include trend forecasters, buyers, merchandisers, public relations, stylists, visual merchandisers, fashion event organisers as well as store management and fashion marketing.

Teamwork, communication skills, commercial awareness, aesthetic sensibility and keen observational skills are fundamental to commercial success to enable you to become a confident individual and co-operative team-worker in the fast moving and highly competitive world of fashion.

Almost 80 per cent of respondents to the National Student Survey praised the enthusiasm of Creative Arts and Design staff, and the clear way they explained their subject.

A multi-million pound investment into facilities now gives you a creative technological environment to rival any studio in the country.

Course Modules

All modules are coursework based and last 4-8 weeks. There are no exams, assessments include written reports, presentations, mood boards, research, concept boards or live events.

At Levels 4 and 5 there are opportunities for work placements, 3 weeks at Level 4 and 6 weeks in Level 5, giving invaluable hands on experience and the opportunity to build contacts for the future.

In February we have an overseas trip to Paris and visit Premiere Vision and a trips to New York is currently being planned. We also have several visits to London each year to take in new exhibitions.

There are also opportunities for you to participate in an exchange with Politecnico di Milano, Italy or Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada as part of your second year.

Year 1
  • Visual studies and the fashion image
  • Buying and merchandising
  • Ethics and sustainability in fashion management
  • Visual merchandising
  • Fashion retail, marketing and the fashion economy
  • Professional development and human resource management 1
Year 2
  • Trends forecasting and product development for fashion and lifestyle retailing
  • Professional development and human resource management 2
  • Global trends and international retailing
  • Industrial placement
  • Fashion event management, media and PR
  • InDesign
Year 3
  • Independent project - realisation and production, creative strategy
  • Independent project - realisation and production, business strategy
  • Independent project - philosophy and self promotion
  • Independent project - exploratory innovations
  • Independent research project - perspectives

Module Descriptions

Year 1

Marketing – understanding the principals of marketing to develop an idea for a specific sector of the fashion market.

Buying and Merchandising – developing a range for a high street retailer taking into account catwalk trends, their consumer, colour palettes, sourcing and sizing.

Visual Studies – remaking a garment or bag into a revived product and styling it in a photo shoot for a chosen retailer.

Visual Merchandising - designing a window concept for a retailer using CAD, taking into consideration catwalk trends, a theme, the consumer and the brand.

Professional Development and Human Resources Management 1 – including a 3 week placement. Developing skills for finding a placement and understanding the recruitment process.

Ethics and Sustainability – looking at the issues surrounding fashion manufacture and product life cycle and developing a range with green considerations for a chosen retailer.

Year 2

InDesign- learning how to use the CAD package to produce professionally presented mood boards and look books to communicate strong visual themes.

Trends Forecasting & Product Development –Understanding forecasting techniques and how to apply them when developing a product for a future market.

Professional Development and Human Resource Management 2 – Further developing appropriate skills for finding a placement and understanding the recruitment process

Industrial Placement – work experience of your choice for 6 weeks.

Event Management – Creating a concept for a fashion event, planning, organising and executing the live event in order to raise money for a charity.

International Retailing & Global Sourcing – Looking at the International market place and understanding how brands operate on a global scale.

Year 3

Independent Project 1 – Exploratory Innovations – Ideas generation for developing a new innovation or business concept, researching national and global lifestyle trends.

Independent Project 2 – Research & Concept Development – research into the chosen market sector will inform a detailed written report to justify a concept for the current and future fashion market.

Independent Project 3 – Refinement- Using the research from the previous project a detailed business plan and creative package will be produced to professionally communicate the business idea.

Independent Project 4 – Promotion & The Future- Developing a self-promotional package preparing for the world of work and your future career.

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities. It’s no surprise that the Complete University Guide placed us in the UK top 10 for spending on facilities in both 2012 and 2013.

Enquiries

Prospective students from the UK or EU
  • Take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions for answers to a range of questions about our courses and studying here.
  • If you need further help, you can contact the Course Enquiries Team online by using the Course Enquiry Form.
  • Alternatively, call us on +44 (0)121 331 5595.
Prospective students from non-EU countries
  • International enquirers from non-EU countries may enquire via the International Enquiry Form.
  • Alternatively, call us +44 (0)121 331 6714.

Prospectus

For an overview of our undergraduate courses and a range of other information order a printed Prospectus or download a PDF of our Prospectus (16Mb).