Fashion Branding and Communication with a Foundation Year - BA (Hons)
- UCAS Code: 1008
- Level: Foundation
- Starting: September 2021
- Study mode: Full Time (4 years)
- Location: City Centre
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
About foundation courses
The foundation course is an exciting step towards your chosen degree. It provides an opportunity to develop skills to equip you on your professional journey into the creative industries.
The programme encompasses elements of fashion design, fashion business and textile design degree routes. It provides a platform for you to share with and learn from others, while developing visual communication skills and processes. It will help you in building confidence and independence ready for the next stage of your degree.
We aim to excite, engage and challenge you, pushing you to develop into a capable student with a great fashion and textiles aesthetic as well as an enthusiasm to learn.
This four-year programme has been specifically designed to allow you to undertake additional level three study, to ensure you are successful on your chosen degree programme.
After successful completion of your foundation year, you will have the flexibility to switch (should you wish to change direction) onto a number of related undergraduate degree programmes within the School of Fashion and Textiles.
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.
This course is open to International students
Discover the School of Fashion and Textiles
Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.
What our students say
We're very proud of the diverse, exciting student population we have on the Foundation Year in the School of Fashion and Textiles. Every year, we welcome many students from across the UK and beyond, so who better to tell you their experience?
We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.
80 UCAS tariff points.
At the point of entry, students will need Maths and English Language GCSEs grade 4 (C) or above.
|LEVEL 2 QUALIFICATIONS|
Irish Leaving Certificate (Ordinary Level)
|See level 3 entry under Irish Leaving Certificate for full details|
|Scottish National 5||
|Minimum overall score of 6.0, with no less than 5.5 in each band.|
|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 80 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 80 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
Scottish Advanced Higher
|Pass overall (C or above on the core)|
UAL Extended Diploma in Art & Design
UAL Extended Diploma in Creative Media Production & Technology
UAL Extended Diploma in Performing and Production Arts
|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.
Extra information for EU/International students
|EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications||Requirements|
Minimum overall score of 6.0, 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.
Applications from mature students (21+) with alternative qualifications and/or considerable work experience will be considered on their merits.
- UK students
- International students
Award: BA (Hons)
Starting: Sep 2021
- Full Time
- 4 years
- £9,250 per year
- Apply via UCAS
Award: BA (Hons)
Starting: Sep 2021
- Full Time
- 4 years
- £13,200 per year
£150 free credit (home/EU students only)
For 2021 entry, all new home/EU undergraduate students will receive £150 worth of free credit to spend in a host of ways, on books and a range of learning materials.
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.
You will receive £5 print credit in each year of your course, available after enrolment.
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.
You will be able to download SPSS and Nvivo to your home computer to support with your studies and research.
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.
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.
Project materials (mandatory)
This course includes project work that requires you to develop and produce a portfolio or collection. You'll be expected to provide the materials for use in your individual major projects; costs will vary depending on the materials selected, but are likely to be in the region of £10 - £50 for your foundation year.
Excess printing (optional)
Once you have spent your £5 credit, additional printing on campus costs from 5p per sheet.
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.
You may wish to purchase subscriptions to additional journals and websites.
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
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.
Your study will involve reading and analysis, discussion and debate, and practical activities which allow you to test and implement your skills and knowledge. In addition to attending classes you will be required to complete preparation and follow-up tasks and activities to support your learning.
In order to complete this course you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):
Fashion and Textiles are two very large and interrelated global industries, they encompass many different job roles. The two disciplines also support a variety of related approaches and activities ranging from business to art practices.
This module will provide an overview of processes and skills that are essential to fashion and textiles and also give you the opportunity to develop the skillset and knowledge that interests you. You will be allowed to develop personal approaches that can incorporate one or a mixture of making, business analysis or communications.
This module will focus on techniques and strategies for identifying and researching trends, documenting them and how trend analysis can be used in professional practice. In response to seminar discussions and workshops you will experiment with layout and physical compositions to produce a visual interpretation of your findings. You will analyse past, present and future trends using a variety of primary and secondary sources. You will evidence ongoing reflective practice which includes written and visual analysis.
This module will allow you to develop an understanding of how the world and lifestyles are changing and how fashion and textiles respond to these changes. Through lectures and workshops, you will be introduced to a range of themes, discussion topics and techniques for future gazing and predicting social and industrial changes, and the development of subcultures and innovations as a result of this and the impact back on to society.
This module you will allow you to plan, develop and deliver a project that draws on your own, personal creative strategies to facilitate the realisation of ideas appropriate for progression on your BA course.
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.
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.
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.
Foundation student project
Students on the Fashion and Textiles Foundation took part in The Signature Project where they used personal creative strategies to show off a range of skills and showcase their personal design style in preparation for the next step of their chosen degree.
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.
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.
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.
Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)
International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.
BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.
Popular home countries
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.
Foundation Year Course Director
Louise’s Masters in textile design established the foundation for her design journey. From this platform, Louise started to build a career as an interior designer, regional design manager, stylist, and as a lecturer in fashion and textiles. Louise now has over 10 years' teaching experience as a lecturer.
As a designer maker, Louise has developed her own business, growing her knowledge within this creative sector, continually learning new techniques, technical know-how and client facing skills in order to develop the final products ready for market.
Louise still actively works as an interior design consultant where she is able to use her extensive experience and creativity to interpret clients’ needs into inspiring schemes that meet their specification and budget. Ongoing research supported with regular visits to design shows ensures she is always aware of current fashions and trends.