Fashion Business and Promotion - BA (Hons)

Currently viewing course to start in 2024/25 Entry.

Our BA (Hons) Fashion Business and Promotion degree course enables you to explore a range of roles within the fashion industry, beyond the making and production of clothing....

  • 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:

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.

Our BA (Hons) Fashion Business and Promotion degree course enables you to explore a range of roles within the fashion industry, beyond the making and production of clothing.

Guided and supported by a knowledgeable, industry-experienced staff team, you will gain an education across the different fashion sectors and develop skills in order to undertake a number of industry roles, including Buying, Marketing and PR, Trends forecasting and Event Management.

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.

This course is open to International students.

What's covered in this course?

You will learn how fashion roles work together, as well as commercial and consumer and  competitive awareness. 

You will work on a live project, as well as industry focused briefs across the first two years and  benefit from regular industry guest speakers. 

Throughout the course, we will develop your business knowledge and language, preparing you for delivering presentations, teamwork, writing reports and build skills in creating both paper and digital visual work with the aid of CAD packages. 

In your final year, you will work on projects that support your independent interests and develop your self-promotion skills ready for industry.

"The Fashion Business and Promotion course has taught me a variety of transferable skills, from hard skills like Adobe software to boosting my confidence with presenting, networking, and creativity. The course inspires and encourages an innovative and problem-solving approach to the fashion industry which has helped spark my passions and set me up to achieve my future career goals.

"The course is the perfect mix of creativity, academics, and real industry skills, which has allowed me to secure a wide range of internships ranging from marketing and content creation to buying and merchandising. Going into my final year I already feel set up and excited to enter the industry and make my mark!"

Charlotte Butler

Katherine Millward

Katherine Millward is a final year Fashion Business and Promotion student whose final year project, beauty brand ReRooted Beauty, won the New Business Award at Graduate Fashion Week 2023. The brand's  concept revolves around using waste from the fruit industry and using it within cosmetics – considering packing – production and marketing.

Read in full

Why Choose Us?

  • In your final year, you will have the opportunity to create something that inspires you and showcase your final work to industry, tutors and the public at Inspired Festival.
  • You’ll study a variety of fashion business models to gain a broad knowledge of the fashion industry and work on live projects with fashion brands such as Selfridges and Next.
  • The course provides creative and visual fluency, equipping you with the toolkit to operate in the competitive, international fashion market place.
  • Our academic staff all have industry experience working for big brands such as Armani and Burberry.
  • Integrated work placements provide you with the essential experience to get ahead in the fashion industry and graduate with valuable experience.

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 £340m 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 Digital Business Services 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.

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 £50 - £100 if you choose to print your work.

Specialist equipment (mandatory)

This course requires the purchase of specialist equipment, including a laptop (variable cost).

Excess printing (optional)

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

Placement expenses (optional)

If you choose to undertake a placement, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst living or working away from home.

Field trips (optional)

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

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 you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):

Year two

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

Year three

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

Download course specification

Download now

The first two years of the course allow you to explore the multi-faceted disciplines that are integral to the way that the fashion business operates.

The third year then allows you to refine your expertise through negotiated projects and tailor your work to become an expert in your chosen field.

Guest speakers have included buyers from George and River Island, social media and PR experts from Missguided, marketing and PR industry managers and fashion bloggers.

You'll gain commercial awareness through a series of live industry projects, industrial placements and opportunities for competitions. 

Projects

We have previously linked with Selfridges in Birmingham to help understand the scale of visual merchandising in a department store. Students applied trends and key drivers to new concepts and presented their ideas to the store manager.

Within the Buying and Merchandising module we have worked with Next and Superdry to develop a range of products suitable for their profile of the consumer. Applying the fashion trends, considering lead times of the product, critical path and costs and competitive shop. This was supported with Illustrator workshops and feedback guest talks from the head office team.

You will also gain experience of Event Management, working in teams to generate a live event. Students have to consider the marketing of the event, networking with businesses locally for support, negotiation, problem solving and crisis management, all skills relevant to how to manage, market and deliver an event.

You will engage in discussions and debates  and you will look at issues surrounding fashion business, and offer solutions for the next generation.


Student Work

Elizabeth Hudson

Page of Elizabeth Hudson's student project focusing on the puffer jacket, with colour palette and key words of cocooning, comforting, shapeless, smooth and protective

A first year module exploring factors affecting the fashion industry for future forecasting, Elizabeth identified post Covid impacts around more localised shopping, wellbeing and the athleisure casual market generated the need for more cocooning, soft, comforting clothes. A soft colour palette and puffer jackets will be key. Using Indesign to present her findings and learning about business theories like PESTLE she helped create a considered and future proof concept.

Employability

Enhancing your employability skills

Employability and being ready for the world of work is very important to us and the course offers a range of modules that will develop relevant industry skills.

Our aims are to:

  • To produce industry-ready graduates, who can creatively contribute to fashion and its related industries in local, UK or global markets.
  • To provide opportunities for you to explore, practice and challenge the inter-relationships between the commercial environment, creative thinking and technical practice.
  • To employ a range of teaching and learning methods, in which you are able to synthesis theories, concepts and fashion practice within local, national and global market places.
  • To develop student confidence and professionalism through fluency in verbal communication, as well as coherent written and visual presentation skills.
  • To stimulate commercial awareness and activity through project management, live and team projects, industrial liaison and visits, industrial placement and competition at all levels.
  • To instil cooperation, competition and an entrepreneurial approach in all student achievements.

Placements

As is the nature of the industry, our students often get the chance to work in many opportunity to undertake 72 hours of work placement at the end of the second year - you will be supported by the Careers team and a series of workshops to help you secure a placement and how to reach out and network. In additional we are offering a professional placement when you may wish to take a year out to carry out more than one longer term placement.

Placements have previously seen students undertake a range of roles, working with leading brands like Superdry, Selfridges and Next taking on roles in blogging, social media, PR and buying.


Links to industry

The College of Fashion and Textiles works with local, national and international businesses to enhance student learning through placements, workshops, live briefs and guest lectures from industry professionals.

We have great links with the visual merchandising team at Birmingham’s Selfridges branch, as well as Next and Superdry.

Working in industry


Graduate jobs

Many of our students go on to become buyers, influencer marketing managers, social media managers, event managers and PR assistants, finding opportunities with brands such as Next, Boohoo, Superdry, Gymshark and Lounge.

Sophie Ordidge works with Superdry in their sustainability team. 

Leila Smith set up her own PR company straight out of University. 

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:

Our international students

Our School is particularly popular with students from China and Malaysia.

Our International Office in Shanghai was established in 2007 and we work hard to develop strong working relationships between both countries.

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

Alison Rapsey

Course Director BA (Hons) Fashion Business and Promotion

Alison has over 17 years of teaching experience joining Birmingham City University as a lecturer in Fashion Retail Management in 2006. Following her years of dedication to the department, in 2012 she became Course Director for BA(Hons) Fashion Business and Promotion. Alison began her work in the fashion industry by working for Arcadia, across...

More about Alison

Beth White

Senior Lecturer BA (Hons) Fashion Business and Promotion

Beth White is a Senior Lecturer on BA (Hons) Fashion Business and Promotion and the Collaborative Practice Co-ordinator and School Lead for Enterprise and Employability at Birmingham City University. Beth has published widely on the impact of intellectual negotiation, and participatory democracy and the importance of collective decision making...

More about Beth

Annette Clarke

Lecturer in BA (Hons) Fashion Business and Promotion

Graduating from De Montfort University with BA(Hons) Fashion & Textiles, the early phase of Annette's career was as a Designer for Christian Dior Lingerie, Paris. Moving into fashion buying she developed extensive buying experience at a senior executive level, managing multi-channel product strategy and product development across a wide...

More about Annette

Adam Francis

Senior Lecturer

Adam is a Senior Lecturer in Fashion Business and Promotion at Birmingham City University. He is a fellow of the Higher Education Academy with a background in menswear, fashion visualization and socially conscious messaging that informs a teaching practice.

More about Adam