Fashion Branding and Communication - BA (Hons)

Currently viewing course to start in 2024/25 Entry.

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
  • Location City Centre
  • School School of Fashion and Textiles
  • Faculty Faculty of Arts, Design and Media

This course is:

Available with Professional Placement year

Open to International Students

Overview

BCU really stood out to me when I first visited an Open Day. So I got to explore the studio spaces, have a tour around and get to see all the facilities that I could use. And I really like the appeal that the studio spaces were professional and open, and in an environment where I could mix with other creatives as well. It was also really refreshing to know that I could have a career in such a subject and they would help me achieve that.

One of my biggest highlights so far has definitely been my first module where I was able to make my own garment from scratch. This was the first time I was able to transform one of my own designs into a final garment. It felt amazing seeing this modelled on a friend. In my free time, I'm also a lover of second-hand shopping, which has led me to explore second hand and vintage shopping scene in Birmingham. Buying second-hand is really important to me, not only to find really unique pieces for my own wardrobe, but also consider sustainability when shopping.

The Parkside Grow Garden is a great addition to the studio spaces so students can grow plants and flowers to use in natural dyeing processes, which is another sustainable addition. I've definitely grown as a person while being at BCU, and I feel I'm becoming more comfortable as an individual, which I only hope grows as I continue throughout my time here. Fashion has always been my interest since I was young, and it was considered a sort of taboo in my country, but I still have the interest, I still have the curiosity to explore.

As an international student, I came from Nepal to UK and it was a new chapter in my life. When I came to Birmingham, it was sort of alien society to me. But the longer I was here, I've made UK friends, I've made some international friends as well. What I've enjoyed the most about the multitude so far is the wide range of the research areas that we have, the analytic parts of the industry, how things work, and then a deeper dive into what it means working as a team in the fashion industry.

Outside of studying, I've really enjoyed the change of lifestyle. Exploring Birmingham City, Digbeth and the exhibitions that we had. We also went to London for exhibitions and fashion shows. So it was quite exciting coming to BCU and coming to the UK. I think I'm rediscovering my creativity. I found myself just working and not really spending time on myself so I decided to pick up a hobby. I picked up knitting just on a whim and it kind of opened the floodgates for me. So I just did a Google search for textile courses that offered a foundation year and BCU popped up. I was super impressed with all of the facilities and the hands on time.

I cannot talk enough about how enthusiastic and supportive the tutors are. They are always willing to help. They have a depth of knowledge. I got to develop my skills and find my niche within the textile world, and I've made loads of friends and connections with students from all of the creative courses.

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 fashion professionals. There is also the opportunity to participate in live industry-based projects and competitions, working with all types of fashion, media and beauty brands. 

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 choose to follow our four-year professional placement option, which features a one-year industry internship.

Professional Placement Year

This course offers an optional professional placement year. This allows you to spend a whole year with an employer, following successful completion of your second year, and is a great way to find out more about your chosen career. Some students even return to the same employers after completing their studies.

If you choose to pursue a placement year, you will need to find a suitable placement to complement your chosen area of study. You will be able to draw on the University’s extensive network of local, regional, and national employers, and the support of our Careers teams. If you are able to secure a placement, you can request to be transferred to the placement version of the course.

Please note that fees are payable during your placement year, equivalent to 20% of the total full-time course fee for that year.

The best thing about the course is gaining true industry knowledge and skills, across many creative areas – all while having fun! By studying a wide range of subjects, I was able to pinpoint the exact section of fashion I wanted a career in.

Kesia Zissman

Why Choose Us?

  • You'll get to work on international industry competitions, such as Vogue New Talent.
  • 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

Open Days

Join us for an on-campus Open Day where you'll be able to meet us in person, hear from our trailblazing academics and explore our innovative £400m facilities.

Next Open Day: 23 March 2024

Book Now

Entry Requirements

These entry requirements apply for entry in 2024/25.

All required qualifications/grades must have been achieved and evidenced at the earliest opportunity after accepting an offer to help confirm admission and allow for on-time enrolment. This can also include other requirements, like a fee status form and relevant documents. Applicants can track their application and outstanding information requests through their BCU mySRS account.

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.

Please note: If you qualify for our BCU Accelerate scheme, you could receive an offer that is two grades below our normal entry requirements. Find out more about BCU Accelerate.

Level 2 qualifications
GCSE GCSE English Language or English Literature and GCSE Maths at grade C/4 or above. If you do not have these or are not undertaking them, we accept other Level 2 equivalents, or we may ask you to pass BCU's GCSE equivalency tests.
Irish Leaving Certificate (Ordinary Level) See level 3 entry requirements under Irish Leaving Certificate for full details.
Scottish National 5 English Language or English Literature and Maths at grade C or above. If you do not have these or are not undertaking them, we accept other Level 2 equivalents, or we may ask you to pass BCU's GCSE equivalency tests.
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 and BA (Hons) Fashion Design - Arts, Media and Publishing subjects preferred but other subjects also considered
  • BA (Hons) Fashion Branding and Communication and BA (Hons) Fashion Business and Promotion - Arts, Media, Publishing, Retail, Commercial Enterprise & Business 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 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.
  • 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 or above in Digital Production, Design and Development or Media, Broadcast and Production
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

Please select your student status to view fees and apply
  • UK Student
  • International Student

UK students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: BA (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2024

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees

International students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: BA (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2024

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 3 years
  • £16,085 in 2024/25

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.

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

  1. Register with UCAS
  2. Login to UCAS and complete your details
  3. Select your course and write a personal statement
  4. Get a reference
  5. Pay your application fee and submit your application

Guidance for 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.

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.

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

*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 120 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):

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

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):

Download course specification

Download now

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

Spencer's story

Recognising the new ‘Gorpcore’ trend at an early stage in its life-cycle, Spencer opted to undertake dissertation research based within this niche subject to kick off his final year of study. As part of his project, he interviewed global industry representatives from Arc’teryx and some of the findings from his project are now being used to inform future brand concepts. 

Georgia's story

Georgia used her skills gained on the course in creative direction, fashion styling, photography and graphic design to produce her final year film and zine project. The title ‘Second’ detailed the story-telling value of garments and their use in constructing identity for diverse and under-represented communities.


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


Live projects

Fashion Branding and Communication students have previously partnered with Birmingham company, Lounge Underwear for an exciting live brief aiming to empower women and support Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Collaborations like these give students an insight into the day-to-day running of a large online retailer and a chance to explore the job roles at the organisation. It also provides potential links for placements and graduate jobs.


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.


International

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 & Staff

Parkside article photo

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

Adam Guy

Course Director and Senior Lecturer, BA (Hons) Fashion Branding and Communication

Adam is a Creative Director and educator who works across print and moving image. He has 25 years working with music industry clients at Radio 1, 1Xtra and art directed print publications for fashion publishers such as EMAP. Adam was a founding member of the motion graphics studio Mainframe. More recently Adam has enjoyed success working as an...

More about Adam

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...

More about Helen