Studying with us in 2021/22
It is possible that the 2021/22 academic year may be affected by the ongoing disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Any arrangements put in place by the University for the 2021/22 academic year will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, pandemic-related/health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.
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.
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
Our next Virtual Open Day is taking place on Saturday 20 March. It's the perfect opportunity to virtually tour our facilities, hear from some of our staff and get a feel of what it's like to study at BCU.
Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.
We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.
112 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels.
|LEVEL 2 QUALIFICATIONS|
|Irish Leaving Certificate (Ordinary Level)||See level 3 entry under Irish Leaving Certificate for full details|
|Scottish National 5||
|IELTS||Minimum overall score of 6.0, with 6.0 in writing and no less than 5.5 in the remaining three skills.|
|Plus one of the following Level 3 (and above) Qualifications|
|A Level and Advanced VCE||
|AS and AS VCE||Considered with a maximum of 3 other Level 3 qualifications (AS Levels must be in different subject to A-Levels) to obtain 112 pts|
|Access to HE Diploma||
|Foundation Studies (Art and Design, and Art, Design & Media)||
|IBO Certificate in Higher Level||
|International Baccalaureate Diploma||
|Irish Leaving Certificate (Highers)||Pass the Irish Leaving Certificate with a minimum of 112 tariff points, achieved in five Higher level subjects. This must include English Language and Maths taken at either Ordinary Level (minimum grade O1-O4 (or A-C/A1-C3)) or Higher level minimum grade H1/H7 (or A-D / A1-D3 up to and including 2016.|
|OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma||DMM|
|Scottish Advanced Higher||
|UAL Extended Diploma in Art & Design||Merit overall|
|UAL Extended Diploma in Creative Media Production & Technology||Merit overall|
|UAL Extended Diploma in Performing and Production Arts||Merit overall|
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.
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|
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).|
International students who cannot meet the direct entry requirements can begin their degree studies at Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC).
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
Award: BA (Hons)
Starting: Sep 2021
Award: BA (Hons)
Starting: Sep 2021
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.
UK 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.
There are three ways to apply:
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.
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.
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.
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:
Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?
If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.
Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.
Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.
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.
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.
Based on the past experience of our students, you might find it helpful to set aside about £50 for each year of your studies for your personal stationery and study materials. All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.
The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.
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.
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.
In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 80 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 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.
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 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.
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):
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.
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.
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:
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+.
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.
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):
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Fashion Branding and Communication graduate
During her course, Paige completed an industry work placement at a Birmingham-based publishing company, working on various publications and magazines. Her experience working in this industry gave her the skills and confidence to start her own publishing business.
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 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.
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.
Our students come from around the world but our fashion design course is most popular with international students from:
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.
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.
Helen has 13 years of experience working as a Senior Creative Manager for international fashion retail brands such as Urban Outfitters. She has been heavily involved in creative project management, specialising in store openings, store re-fits and spatial planning. Her industry career has provided insights into all forms of visual communication and brand promotion as well as project management. Helen’s specialisms include brand narratives, brand storytelling, experiential retail, consumer experiences and visual literacy.