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Fashion Branding and Communication - BA (Hons)

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.

  • Level Undergraduate
  • Study mode Full Time/Sandwich
  • Location City Centre
  • School School of Fashion and Textiles
  • Faculty Faculty of Arts, Design and Media

Course overview

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.

This course is open to International students.

What's covered in this 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.

Fashion-Branding-Communication

Entry Requirements

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

Essential Requirements

112 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels.

LEVEL 2 QUALIFICATIONS
GCSE
  • GCSE English Language at grade C/4 or above
  • GCSE Maths at grade C/4 or above
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
Irish Leaving Certificate (Ordinary Level) See level 3 entry under Irish Leaving Certificate for full details
Scottish National 5
  • English Language at grade C or above
  • Maths at grade C or above
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
IELTS 6.0 overall with no less than 5.5 in each band.
Plus one of the following Level 3 (and above) Qualifications
A Level and Advanced VCE
  • BBC / 112 UCAS points
  • A maximum of 4 subjects are considered. These can be other A/S Levels (as long in a different subject) A-Levels or Level 3 equivalents.
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
  • Pass with 60 credits overall. At least 45 credits at Level 3.
  • BA (Hons) Textile Design, BA (Hons) Fashion Design, BA (Hons) Garment Technology, BA (Hons) Costume Design and Practice - Arts, Media and Publishing subjects preferred but other subjects also considered
  • BA (Hons) Fashion Branding and Communication & BA (Hons) Fashion Business and Promotion - Arts, Media, Publishing, Retail, Commercial Enterprise & Business subjects subjects preferred but other subjects also considered.
  • BSc (Hons) Gemmology and Jewellery Studies - Arts, Media and Science subjects preferred but other subjects also considered.
  • Pearson BTEC National Extended Diploma (2016 – present)
  • Pearson BTEC Extended Diploma (QCF) (2010 - 2016)
  • BTEC Level 3 National Diploma (2002 – 2010)
DMM
Foundation Studies (Art and Design, and Art, Design & Media)
  • Distinction
  • Considered with a maximum of 3 other Level 3 qualifications to obtain 112 pts
IBO Certificate in Higher Level
  • 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
  • Considered with other acceptable level 3 qualifications to meet 112 UCAS Tariff Points
  • For students who do not already hold a GCSE in English Language at Grade C/4 or above Standard Level English Language (not literature) English A - Grade 4 or above or English B - Grade 5 from the IB Diploma will be accepted
  • For students who do not already hold a GCSE in Mathematics at Grade C/4 or above Standard Level Maths, grade 5 or above from the IB Diploma will be accepted
International Baccalaureate Diploma
  • Obtain a minimum of 28 points overall
  • For students who do not already hold a GCSE in English Language at Grade C/4 or above Standard Level English Language (not literature) English A - Grade 4 or above or English B - Grade 5 from the IB Diploma will be accepted
  • For students who do not already hold a GCSE in Mathematics at Grade C/4 or above Standard Level Maths, grade 5 or above from the IB Diploma will be accepted
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
  • Achieve a minimum of 112 tariff points achieved in either three Advanced Highers or from a combination of two Advanced Highers plus two Highers.
  • Where three Advanced Highers have been taken achieve a minimum of grades CCD
  • Where a combination of Highers and Advanced Highers have been taken you must achieve (grades of CD in two Advanced Highers plus grades of CC in two Highers).
T-Levels Merit overall
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
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

6.0 overall with no less than 5.5 in each band.

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.

Fees & How to Apply

  • International students

Award: BA (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2022

  • 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 2022

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees

Sorry but we are unable to display the fee breakdown for this course at this time. Please check back later.

Access to computer equipment

You will require use of a laptop, and most students do prefer to have their own. However, you can borrow a laptop from the university or use one of our shared computer rooms.

Printing

You will receive £5 print credit in each year of your course, available after enrolment.

Field trips

All essential field trips and associated travel costs will be included in your course fees.

Access to Microsoft Office 365

Every student at the University can download a free copy of Microsoft Office 365 to use whilst at university and for 18 months after graduation.

Key software

You will be able to download SPSS and Nvivo to your home computer to support with your studies and research.

Key subscriptions

Subscriptions to key journals and websites are available through our library.

Free access to Rosetta Stone

All students can sign up to the online learning language platform for free through the Graduate+ scheme.

LinkedIn Learning

Free access to LinkedIn Learning, which offers over 5,000 in-depth and bite-sized courses.

Free Adobe Creative Cloud licence

Students studying on this course can request a free licence to install the entire suite of applications on up to two personal devices.

Exhibitions (mandatory)

Students may be required to enter Graduate Fashion Week.

Excess printing (optional)

Once you have spent your £5 credit, additional printing on campus costs from 5p per sheet.

Books (optional)

All module key texts will be in the University library, but in limited numbers. You may choose to purchase a copy.

Field trips (optional)

This course includes the option of additional trips that may enhance your experience, at extra cost.

Project materials (optional)

You'll be expected to provide the materials for use in your end of year shows and physical course work; costs will vary depending on the materials selected, but are likely to be in the region of £40 per year.

Accommodation and living costs

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.

Guidance for UK students

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.

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

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.

Course in Depth

Year one

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.

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):

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.

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):

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.


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.


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.

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.


Employability

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


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.

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.

International Students

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.

Facilities and Staff

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

Claire Ritchie

Programme Leader MA Fashion Media Masters | Course Director BA (Hons) Fashion Branding and Communication

Working as a fully inter-disciplinary practitioner, Claire has been exploring the interface of fashion and a range of allied disciplines spanning the commercial and conceptual design fields. Following initial studies in applied fashion design, she has been busy styling spaces and bodies since 1995.

Claire's academic expertise merges fashion with project management, creative direction, styling, fashion photography, fashion film, retail display, curated space, multi-sensory branding, marketing, consumer behavior and youth subcultures. Having recently qualified as one of the world’s first BPS accredited fashion psychologists; she also designs experiences and artefacts, which examine the space between art, fashion and the senses. Her research interests lie within the realm of niche populations and their representation or empowerment through fashion.

Claire has taught for 25 years in fashion, design and business schools in the UK and overseas. She has held academic management, lectureships and external examiner roles at a range of UK and International higher education institutions including the role of Associate Head of the Department of Design at the University of the West of England and Head of the School of Fashion and Design at London College of Contemporary Arts. Claire has also held permanent lecturing positions at London College of Fashion, Nottingham Trent University, Southampton Solent, Coventry University and The University of Northampton, as well as working as an associate lecturer at the University of West London and The University for the Creative Arts with a specialization in creative visual fashion promotion.

Claire’s international appointments include Visiting Professorships at Grenoble Graduate School of Business, La Rochelle Business School, The National Institute of Fashion and Design, Uzbekistan, Yerevan State Academy of Fine Arts, Armenia, The School of Fashion and Design, Manila, and Mod’Art, Paris.

More about Claire

Helen Grainger

Lecturer

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.

More about Helen