Fashion Branding and Communication - BA (Hons)

  • UCAS Code: W23M
  • Level: Undergraduate
  • Starting: September 2020
  • Study mode: Full Time (3 years), Sandwich (4 years)
  • Location: City Centre

Do you want a fashion degree that will enable you to pursue a career within the industry, specifically fashion communication and branding?

Then this course is for you. Its unique mix of both fashion communication and branding will give you the skills you will need to be a creative, confident, well-informed fashion communicator, ready for the industry.

What's covered in the course?

You will be taught by an industry-experienced teaching team and by visiting industry professionals. There is also the opportunity to participate in live industry-based projects and competitions, such as working with Textile View 2 magazine, and L’oreal Brand Storm.

You will develop visual and written communication skills across a broad range of creative media (creative direction and styling, art direction and graphics, print and digital design, branding strategy and journalistic writing) associated with the fashion industry. There will also be the chance to showcase your final-year work to industry leaders, at events such as Graduate Fashion Week in London.

Based at our City Centre Campus, you will have access to photography studios and equipment, relevant software and computer equipment, as well as a faculty of creative students to collaborate with. You can also take part in the international Erasmus exchange programme and choose to follow our four-year sandwich option, which features a one-year industry internship.

"Covering trend, branding, print, layout and design has made me confident I can grow these skills in a work environment and apply for jobs in all areas.”

Chloe Thorne, School of Fashion and Textiles graduate, 2016

Why Choose Us?

  • You'll get to work on international industry competitions, such as L’Oreal Brand Storm.
  • You'll enjoy a vast archive of fashion publications dating back to the 1930s.
  • You'll have the opportunity to showcase your final-year work to industry leaders at events such as Graduate Fashion Week in London and our Arts, Design and Media (ADM) Faculty degree show in Birmingham.
  • You'll have the chance to visit international fashion cities such as London, Berlin, Copenhagen and New York.
  • You'll collaborate with other students from across the ADM faculty.

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Meet or Beat scholarship for undergraduate students

Meet or beat our entry requirements and you could be eligible for an achievement scholarship worth £1,000.

*Terms and Conditions apply - some undergraduate courses are not eligible for this scheme. The £1,000 scholarship is made up of an £850 scholarship and £150 free credit to spend in an online shop.

Find out more 

This course is open to International students

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Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.

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School of Fashion and Textiles Blog

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.

Read our blog

Where our students go

Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:

  • Asos 
  • Next 
  • Style Magazine 

And in jobs such as:

  • PR & marketing
  • Styling and photoshoot production

Entry Requirements

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

Essential Requirements
Typical Offers (UK students)

At the point of entry, students will need Maths and English Language grade 4 (C) or above.

Plus, you must have achieved or be completing one of the following:

UK Qualification Requirements
GCE A Level/ AS Level BBC at A-Level or 112 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 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 280 UCAS points
BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units not including early years) DMM - 112 UCAS points
BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/ National Award (6-units not including early years) D* or combined with 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 112 UCAS points
BTEC Diploma in Foundation Studies in Art and Design Distinction
International Baccalaureate Diploma

Obtain a minimum of 28 points overall. Students who do not complete the IB Diploma will be considered on the basis of their IB Certificates if they obtain a total of 14 points or above from three higher level subjects and alongside other acceptable level 3 qualifications to meet 112 UCAS Tariff Points.

Irish Leaving Certificate Pass the Irish Leaving Certificate with a minimum of 112 tariff points, achieved in four Higher level subjects.
Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher Achieve a minimum of 112 tariff points achieved in either three Advanced Highers or from a combination of two Advanced Highers plus two Highers.
Welsh Baccalaureate (core plus options) Grade Pass plus grades CC at A-Level (or equivalent qualifications) combined with 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 112 UCAS points
Other qualifications
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.
Additional information for EU/International students
Essential

In addition to qualifications, International applicants will also need a good digital portfolio. EU applicants will not be required to submit a portfolio as part of their application.

Please see your country page for further details on the equivalent qualifications we accept.

In addition to the academic entry requirements listed above, international and EU students will also require the qualifications detailed in this table.

EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications Requirements
IELTS

Minimum overall score of 6.0, with 6.0 in writing and no less than 5.5 in the remaining three skills.

If you do not meet the required IELTS score, you may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English courses. Please note that you must have a Secure English Language Test (SELT) to study on the pre-sessional English course. More information.

International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses).

 Country-specific entry requirements and qualifications.

 

International students who cannot meet the direct entry requirements can begin their degree studies at Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC).

Mature Applicants

Applications from mature students (21+) with alternative qualifications and/or considerable work experience will be considered on their merits.

From A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels

Don’t meet our entry requirements?

You could apply for a foundation course or a course at our International College. These routes have lower entry requirements and act as the bridge to a full degree. To find out more, please select your status:

Home student International student

  • UK/EU students
  • International students

Award: BA (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2020

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Study Year £9,250
  • Placement Year £1,650

Sandwich Fees

Our Sandwich courses incur a fee during the placement year, the costs for years when you attend the university for study, and the cost for the placement year are shown here.

Award: BA (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2020

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 3 years
  • £12,800 per year
  • Study Year £12,800
  • Placement Year £12,800

Sandwich Fees

Our Sandwich courses incur a fee during the placement year, the costs for years when you attend the university for study, and the cost for the placement year are shown here.

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 up to a maximum of five per cent.

Guidance for UK/EU students

UCAS

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

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

Applying through UCAS
 Register with UCAS
 Login to UCAS
 Complete your details
 Select your course
 Write a personal statement
 Get a reference
 Pay your application fee
 Send UCAS your application

Non-EU (International) students

There are three ways to apply:

1) Direct to the University

You will need to complete our International Application Form and Equal Opportunities Form, and submit them together with scan copies of your original academic transcripts and certificates.

2) Through a country representative

Our in-country representatives can help you make your application and apply for a visa. They can also offer advice on travel, living in the UK and studying abroad.

3) Through UCAS

If you are applying for an undergraduate degree or a Higher National Diploma (HND), you can apply through the UK’s Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

You can request a printed form from your school or nearest British Council office. You will be charged for applying through UCAS. Birmingham City University’s UCAS code is B25 BCITY.

Portfolio Guidance

If you are an International student and your application is progressed, you will be asked to submit a portfolio of your creative work. Your portfolio is your opportunity to show us examples of your work and creative interests to support your application.

Please see our international portfolio guidance page for guidance on how to create and submit your portfolio. 

Please note that if you are a UK/ EU student you will not be required to submit a portfolio.

Personal statement

UK / EU students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.*

The personal statement gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Course choice

Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?

Career plans

If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.

Work experience

Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.

School or college experience

Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.

Non-accredited skills or achievement

eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.

You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

*Non-EU students are not required to submit a personal statement when applying for this course.

Additional costs

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.

View additional costs for this course

Worried about personal statements?

Worried about personal statements?

If you've got no idea where to start or just want to check you're on the right track, we’ve got expert advice and real examples from our students to help you nail your personal statement. You can even download our ultimate personal statement guide for free.

Get personal statement advice

Loans and Grants

Financial Support

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

Year one

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 80 credits):

Fashion Writing and Design for Publications
40 credits

Writing for fashion and design for publications is an opportunity to explore the world of fashion journalism and magazines. Creating and writing for print publications and online copy remains both relevant and a necessity throughout the fashion industry.

Good journalists act as a bridge between the specialist world of fashion and the readers. Different publications have different audiences and this affects their tone of voice as well as choice of imagery and layout.

Trend Forecasting
20 credits

Trend Forecasting is the identification of future concepts that drive what we will be doing and consuming in the future. The process is a vital tool to ensure products and creative concepts are launched at the right time, and marketed to the right consumer.

Visual Literacy
20 credits

This module is an exploration into visual literacy and the art of visual story telling within the fashion image. You will learn the different techniques used in visual communication in the fashion industry, with specific focus on editorial content for magazine publications.

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete the following OPTIONAL module (totalling 40 credits):

Creative Fashion Branding Communication
40 credits

Creative Fashion Brand Communication is an exploration into the exciting and yet complex world of brand communication. This module will give you an opportunity to choose a brand of your choice, and define and explore their specific the channels of communication, through a thorough exploration into its brand touch points. You will create a report including both written and visual, you explain the current communication activity of your brand.

 
Core modules are guaranteed to run. Optional modules will vary from year to year and the published list is indicative only.
Year one credits

Year two

Year two modules build upon your knowledge and skills gained in year one, and apply this to a more external focus, including industry competitions and internships, thus allowing you to focus on your professional and career goals.

In order to complete this course you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 100 credits):

Industry Competition Briefs
40 credits

This module is based on a competition set by Style Birmingham. Style Birmingham is a fashion and lifestyle media platform, which has been established in the city for over a decade.

Fashion Practitioner Case Study
20 credits

This module is an opportunity to increase your knowledge of the individuals who shape and create the world of fashion communication. The project aims to further develop your research and presentation skills as well as prepare you for work placement. You will select a fashion practitioner of your choice, you will then use a range of research skills to gather information about the practice and work of the creative. This should include primary and secondary research from multiple sources, this will also be fully Harvard referenced.

Brand Generation
40 credits

The branding of creative concepts, product, and services form an important consideration in communicating and promoting creative outcomes. In-depth analysis of a chosen market and the commercial viability of your proposal will support an informed approach to a given brief or client. Generating such a rationale promotes good practice in validating a desired direction and design.

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete at least 20 credits from the following list of OPTIONAL modules:

Work Placement
20 credits

The purpose of this module is to enable you to develop professional attributes and subject skills through experience in the work place, and to critically reflect upon your learning in that context. You will normally be expected to arrange your own placement, with support from academic staff and ADM Careers+.

Collaborative Practice
20 credits

The module is an opportunity to learn and critically reflect on the skills of collaboration by enabling you to create an interdisciplinary project with students from complementary disciplines, or with academic staff. Collaboration is a vital employability skill within the Creative Industries and this module allows you to develop these skills, making use of University facilities and with the support of academic staff. Within this module framework, several kinds of collaborative opportunities are available. For example, with the approval of your supervisor, you can determine a project based on your own interests; your supervisor may set you a predetermined project to enable you to work with other students in a way that is appropriate to your subject area; or there may be opportunities for you to collaborate with staff on research projects. In all cases, you must apply your subject skills to an interdisciplinary project which will be agreed in advance with your supervisor.

 
Core modules are guaranteed to run. Optional modules will vary from year to year and the published list is indicative only.

Year three

In your final year you will focus on the area of the fashion industry you intend to work in. You are able to tailor your final-year projects to an area of the industry you're most interested in, and supports your career ambitions.

In order to complete this course you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):

Major Project
40 credits

The purpose of the module is to enable you to undertake a sustained, in-depth and theoretically informed research project exploring an area that is of personal interest to you. It is important that we can support you appropriately, so you will be guided towards choosing a research topic which is relevant to your discipline and in which your lecturers have expertise. The outcome may take the form of a written dissertation or a practice-based portfolio.

Independent Final Project
60 credits

The Independent Final Project is an opportunity to focus on a specific area related to future career aspirations, and develop a piece of work that reflects this. It could include creating a magazine or digital publication, developing a branding concept, a brand extension opportunity or a communication strategy. This will be grounded in extensive research both primary and secondary, with industry insight, innovation and justification.

Self Branding and Promotion
20 credits

The aim of this module is to critically reflect on good practice and experience and prepare you for the progression into industry and relevant opportunities. Self-branding and Self-promotion are key in preparing to enter the creative industries. Portfolio preparation, interview prep, online branding and applications all offer a need to present yourself appropriately, confidently and succinctly.

You'll gain the skills you'll need to be a creative, confident and well-informed fashion communicator ready for the industry. Designers, brands and industry influencers all need strong visual communicators with a creative edge and commercial awareness.

You'll develop an all-round, in-depth understanding of the world of fashion communication and branding. It is an ideal choice if you are imaginative and committed to exploring the very best of the fashion sector.

You'll spend approximately 8 hours per week in taught sessions and workshops and 22 hours per week in independent study.


Our classes

Students on this course are creative, passionate individuals who enjoy working both individually and as part of a group. Lectures are classroom-based and full of discussion and interaction. Regular visiting industry speakers provide insight and inspiration.

Practical and primary research is fundamental to all modules and you'll be encouraged to visit relevant exhibitions and cities. Collaboration is key to the fashion industry and to this course. You'll have the opportunity to work with other students from different courses across the faculty on photoshoots, films, magazines and exhibitions all as part of your study.

Student stories

Chloe's story

Student Chloe Thorne created, genderless fashion brand, ZIE, which included a brand identity based in response to market trends and consumer demand. Chloe's work included a full branding package, photoshoot and marketing material.

Melissa's story

Student Melissa Poulton created a magazine concept for a new men’s magazine. Based on research which identified a gap in the market for a new male consumer currently not catered for, primary research involved interviewing the editor of GQ and a work placement there, which inspired her magazine VANN. Involving photoshoots, interviews with local bands, and creative illustrations, Melissa's concept also won an award at Graduate Fashion Week for New Media in 2015.

Download our lookbook to see examples of student work


View more examples of student work...

Study and work abroad

If you are interested in undertaking part of your studies abroad, the Erasmus scheme may be of interest to you. It allows higher education students to study for part of their degree in another European country.

It is open to undergraduates in their second year (or above) and offers a unique opportunity to enhance your CV and experience new cultures. If you study with us you will have access to an Erasmus co-ordinator, who can provide information about which institutions we have links with.

Find out more

Further study

Further study can be taken at the university on our postgraduate course MA Fashion Promotion.

Trips and visits

Trips run across the three years, with regular visits to London and other UK cities. As well as this, trips to New York, Berlin and Copenhagen are also on offer.

Enhancing employability skills

Employability is embedded throughout the course with relevant skills, such as Adobe InDesign and Photoshop, being taught as well as professional skills such as copywriting, creative narrative, trend forecasting and brand strategy. Graduates from this course have gone on to work in roles that use these skills within the creative industries.

Placements

Students have taken internships within a wide range of fashion companies, such as fashion publications GQ, InStyle magazine, Grazia magazine, The Daily Mail and Suitcase magazine. Others have gained experience with Selfridges, ASOS and Topshop

OpportUNIty

OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

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.

Student stories - Holly Jayne Smith

BA (Hons) Fashion Design graduate

Holly Jayne Smith, secured the British Council International Residency Award for her bold and colourful creations.

Holly’s striking collection included high hats and bold prints, patterned with monochrome stripes, and was featured on the catwalk at Graduate Fashion Week 2014.

As part of Holly’s prize, she travelled to Casablanca and spent time with winners of the Moroccan Talent Award to produce a collection, inspired by her time in the country.

Firewalking

BCU Graduate+

Through our courses we give you the skills and experience needed to get a head start when applying for jobs. But we offer something extra too – Graduate+.

Our unique programme gives you the chance to develop valuable skills outside of the more formal classroom learning. We award points for Graduate+ activities (including firewalking!) and these can be put towards a final Graduate+ award.

More about Graduate+

Graduate jobs

The type of industry job roles that graduates would move in to could include: art direction and creative direction, styling, photoshoot production, magazine production and editorial content, brand management and fashion graphics, social media content creation and management, trend forecasting, journalism and copywriting for brands and magazines, and fashion film creation.

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:

Additional information

Our course is particularly popular with students from Brunei. The Brunei Birmingham Society aims to strengthen the community cohesion of the Bruneians in Birmingham by organising events ranging from religious festivities to cultural and sports-based events.

The society welcomes any potential Bruneians planning to study in Birmingham and is happy to answer questions about student life in Birmingham.

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

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

Popular home countries

Our students come from around the world but our fashion design course is most popular with international students from:  

Brunei Flag

Brunei

Parkside and Curzon Buildings

Our Facilities

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.

Our staff

All staff on the course have extensive experience in the fashion industry, drawing on a wide range of roles, from brand strategy to trend forecasting and creative direction. 

See a full list of our staff

Lindsay Pressdee- staff profile

Lindsay Pressdee

Course Director, BA (Hons) Fashion Branding and Communication

After graduating Lindsay started her own fashion brand, which led to a Carnaby Street shop and concessions in Topshop and Debenhams in central London. Lindsay oversaw all elements of the brand from product and design, brand imagery, marketing materials, trade shows and exhibitions. Lindsay has also worked with a range of international brands on trend forecasting, brand and product strategy, including M&S, ASOS, Paul Costelloe, House of Fraser, Adams, and Puma. She has travelled internationally to research and deliver trend forecasting reports to Foschini Group SA, Poland, New York and Paris.