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Fashion Imaging with a Foundation Year - BA (Hons)

Currently viewing course to start in 2022/23 Entry. Switch to 2023/24 Entry

This four-year BA (Hons) Fashion Imaging degree course with a foundation year has been specifically designed to allow you to undertake an additional year of study, which will build stronger creative footings to ensure successful progression through your chosen degree course.

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

Overview

This four-year BA (Hons) Fashion Imaging degree course with a foundation year has been specifically designed to allow you to undertake an additional year of study, which will build stronger creative footings to ensure successful progression through your chosen degree course.

This course is open to International students.

What's covered in this course?

Foundation Year

Working in a lively and energetic environment, you will be given the freedom to expand your knowledge of practical skills, creative exploration and concept development, underpinned by broad critical understanding, academic writing and emerging design principles.

There will be a range of opportunities to work on collaborative projects and modules to enable you to develop as creative practitioners. BA teaching staff from across a number of schools will work with you throughout the course to prepare you for progression onto your chosen pathway.

After successful completion of the foundation year, you will have the flexibility to change direction onto a related undergraduate degree programme, should you wish to.

BA (Hons) Fashion Imaging

BA (Hons) Fashion Imaging combines new and traditional technologies with a strong knowledge of theoretical and practical skills, utilising BCU’s state-of-the-art facilities. Through creativity, experimentation, curiosity and original thinking, it enables you to become highly skilled and highly employable, eithers as creators of engaging fashion imagery, or in a wide range of related careers.

The course will develop your creative thinking through curiosity, research, and effective problem-solving, whilst input from guest lecturers and work placement opportunities will acclimatise you to industry practice. Being based within the School of Fashion and Textiles, you will have numerous opportunities to collaborate with fashion students, developing both your practical work and your professional network.

You will gain first-hand experience in a wide range of technologies, working in areas such as virtual and augmented reality, photography, illustration, moving image, animation and 360° video. You will have access to the University’s outstanding facilities and will learn to use industry-standard software and equipment. In so doing, you will develop a strong portfolio of technical skills that will enable the expression of your creativity, all within an encouraging and supportive environment.

Employability is embedded throughout the course. You will learn key skills through workshops, live briefs and modules focussed on moving you towards a wide range of employment opportunities. These could be within the fashion industry, such as photographers, illustrators, filmmakers or immersive media artists, or beyond in jobs such as creative directors, picture editors and production designers.

You will be guided by staff with industry expertise across a range of disciplines, who have worked for clients such as: BBC, British Telecom, Ciffonelli Paris, The Condé Nast Publications, Footpatrol, Fulham FC, HSBC, Kering, Liverpool FC, Microsoft, Marie Claire, The Royal Society of Arts and The Sunday Times Magazine.

By combining these elements together, this course will give you everything that you need to launch you into your future career.

Professional Placement Year

Every student has the option of a professional placement year, taken in your third year of study, making the course four years in total. This gives you the opportunity to gain important industry experience in preparation for your third year and significantly increase your chances of direct employment after you graduate.

This course combines theoretical and practical skills with traditional and cutting-edge technologies, utilising BCU’s state-of-the-art facilities. Through creativity, experimentation, and original thinking, it enables students to become highly skilled and highly employable creators of sophisticated and challenging fashion imagery.

Joe Miles, Course Director

Why Choose Us?

  • You’ll be studying on a course that has been designed in consultation with some of the world’s leading industry figures.
  • Optional modules and flexible briefs allow you to tailor the course to your own requirements and future aspirations. Under the guidance of experienced tutors, you will be able to take your work in the direction that you choose.
  • You will learn not just to create exciting and challenging fashion imagery, but also to question, understand and problem-solve. You will be encouraged to experiment, take risks and have fun whilst doing so.
  • You’ll be studying in one of Britain’s most diverse and exciting cities. Birmingham has one of the biggest media and creative arts communities outside London, with many of them based in the city’s Eastside district, home of our City Centre Campus.
  • You'll instantly become part of the Faculty of Arts, Design and Media’s 6,000-strong student community, and you will be supported by our highly experienced staff.
  • After your foundation year, you’ll be based at the state-of-the-art, £62 million Parkside Building, on our City Centre Campus within Eastside. It has extensive studio and workshop provision and cutting-edge equipment reflecting the broad range of study opportunities on offer. The building has been designed to actively promote shared space opportunities, for students to engage with others across the University as part of the learning experience.

Studying with us during the Covid-19 pandemic

The University has put in place measures in response to Covid-19 to allow us to safely deliver our courses. Should the impact of the pandemic continue in future years, any additional or alternative arrangements put in place by the University will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.

Open Days

Join us for an on-campus Open Day where you'll be able to explore our campus and facilities in person. You'll be able to hear more about your chosen subject area in our course talks.

Next Open Day: Saturday 25 June

Book now

Entry Requirements

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

UK students
Essential

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
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
  • CDD / 80 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 80 pts

Access to HE Diploma

  • Pass with 60 credits overall. At least 45 credits at Level 3.
  • Arts, Media and Publishing 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)
MMP

Foundation Studies (Art and Design, and Art, Design & Media)

  • Pass
  • Considered with a maximum of 3 other Level 3 qualifications to obtain 80 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 11 points or above from two Higher Level Subjects
  • Considered with other acceptable level 3 qualifications to meet 80 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 24 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 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

MMP

Scottish Advanced Higher

  • Achieve a minimum of 80 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 DDD
  • Where a combination of Highers and Advanced Highers have been taken you must achieve (grades of DD in two Advanced Highers plus grades of DD in two Highers).

T-Levels

Pass overall (C or above on the core)

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.
Extra information for EU/International students
Essential
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.

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 based on the Retail Prices Index and the additional costs we incur each year to deliver our courses, maintain and develop our infrastructure and provide a range of support services, or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: BA (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2022

  • 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 based on the Retail Prices Index and the additional costs we incur each year to deliver our courses, maintain and develop our infrastructure and provide a range of support services, or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: BA (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2022

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 4 years
  • £13,500 in 2022/23

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead.

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.

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.

Portfolio Guidance

You are not required to submit a portfolio for this course.

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

Foundation Year

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

This module explores the term ‘practice’ as the process of making, developing and recording information. We will work with you to explore the development of your work based on a set project, looking at a number of documentation strategies while experimenting with a broad range of materials. You will have the opportunity to meet artists and practitioners through local gallery visits and in studio activities and will learn to analyse your work through tutorials and small group discussions.

Artists work in a globally influenced, culturally diverse, and technologically advancing world.

Their art is a dynamic combination of materials, methods, concepts, and subjects that challenge traditional boundaries and defy easy definition.

This module will look at experimental approaches to drawing to identify radical new solutions from the perspective of the contemporary world we live in.

During this module you will meet lecturers, researchers and partners from across BCU, the city and further afield to open your understanding of practiced based creative work.

Through lectures and workshops, you will be introduced to the versatility of subject areas in terms of ideas, development, research, materials, techniques and contexts.

Figuring out how the universe works might be a bit more than we need to do each day but paying attention to the future of the world we live in, is worth exploring.

Creative realisation is not just about the practice of producing creative responses, it is about identifying the factors that generate creative thinking and facilitating the process.

For this module you will draw on your own creative strategies to facilitate the development of a project that is appropriate for progression onto your chosen BA (Hons) course.

To identify the focus for your project you must research ‘Future Horizons’ from the rapidly changing world around you - anything that reflects new innovations, e.g. seismic changes, space travel, war, social conflict, internationalisation, environment, technology, architecture, bio-art etc. – whether great or small.

Year one

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

Your first module on BA (Hons) Fashion Imaging is designed to unlock your creativity, fire up your imagination and engage with some of the amazing and wide-ranging facilities at the University.

In this module, you will consider theory and practice, learning how they work together. You will be taught some of the core skills of image making, including workshops around how to read, critique and construct images and how you can control these techniques to enhance your own work.

As a course based around fashion imagery, it is essential to have an inherent understanding of fashion itself, one of the most exciting and diverse of all art forms.

You will look at elements such as emotion, theme and resonance within fashion design and how fashion imagery can accurately reflect this. To complement this, you will consider how to observe and represent the human form, through both traditional life-drawing techniques and 3D illustration in a virtual environment.

The final module of the year combines all the elements that you have learned so far, resolving them into a finished body of work.

Year two

In order to complete this course you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 100 credits):

In the introductory module to your second year, you will further explore moving image in a range of forms and gain a deeper understanding into the breadth and potential of fashion film, a broad, diverse and exciting medium in in its own right.

Identifying Direction allows you to undertake a brief that is specifically tailored to your chosen area of practice as you start to define your future career aspirations.

This module is based around a wide range of practical elective options. After reviewing these, you will choose the ones that are most appropriate to your own area of practice and most beneficial in your development as an image maker. This allows you to further tailor your education specifically to your own preferences and ambitions, effectively designing your own module. You will then apply your new skills to your work in order to continue the development of your creative portfolio.

In order to complete this course you 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+.

This 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.

This module provides an opportunity for you to apply your knowledge and skills to an external, professional brief. The brief will be set by an external client/agency, in consultation with your supervisor, and it could be a ‘real life’ problem to be solved, or a simulation. It is an opportunity for you to engage in a professional manner with an aspect of your subject area, which contributes to the development of employability skills within the supportive infrastructure of the University.

Core modules are guaranteed to run. Optional modules will vary from year to year and the published list is indicative only.

Year three

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

Having developed and defined your area of practice through Level 5, you will now refine your work as you enter your final year of study. ‘Refining Practice’ is centred around the seventeen ‘sustainable development goals’ proposed by the United Nations. These will be considered on both a personal and industry level, helping you develop responsible practice, both as a student and into your professional career.

This module continues the strong employability theme that runs throughout the course and helps you to prepare for your future career whilst still a student. It also defines the content of your next module, ‘Major Project’, ensuring that it fully supports your chosen career path.

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.

Download course specification

Download now

On our Fashion Imaging course, you will be encouraged to experiment and investigate ideas which develop your individual creativity and enable you to become a highly creative and innovative fashion imagemaker.

The foundation year gives you the opportunity to experiment with a range of materials and approaches, encouraging you to push boundaries and take risks with your work. Through lectures, workshops and collaborative opportunities, you will refine your practice, explore your own personal style and develop a critical understanding of the fashion industry.

The second year introduces you to essential study and research skills, critical thinking, and collaboration. You will learn core skills including how to read and construct images for commercial and editorial use. You will explore photography studios and lighting, green screen, storyboarding, and vlogging, along with a range of software used by fashion imagemakers. Your practice is supported by workshops, tutorials and self-directed learning.

During your third year, you will develop these skills to a more focused and advanced level, and will be encouraged to further consider your professional career. You will be taught key professional skills such as approaching potential clients, art direction and project management, equipping you with some of the vital industry skills required to work as part of a creative team

The final year allows you to strengthen your own creative identity through guided project work and independent research, and will learn how to translate important concepts into visuals, whilst also developing your portfolio and honing your technical skills. In our Career module you will construct a fully formed and viable career plan that maps your route into employment or continuing education at the end of the course with input from the University’s Business School.

Employability

You will learn of range of skills which will be key to enhancing your future employability both within the creative fields and beyond. Specifically, you will learn to:

  • Understand and appreciate sustainable and ethical practice.
  • Respond creatively and effectively to a brief and the needs of a client.
  • Use a range of key employability skills such as self-marketing, client liaison and team-working.
  • Utilise a wide range of technical skills and interdisciplinary practice, echoing the creative industries.
  • Use problem-solving skills - applicable to a wide range of disciplines and careers.
  • Work independently and effectively.

You will also learn skills in wide a range of relevant software, from the Adobe programs to 3D and virtual reality software.

Placements

You will have the option of a professional placement year, taken in the fourth year of study, making the course five years in total.

This gives you the opportunity to gain important industry experience in preparation for your final year and significantly increases your chances of direct employment after you graduate.

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

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:

Facilities & 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

Joe Miles

Course Leader BA (Hons) Photography and BA (Hons) Fashion Imaging

Specialising in commercial and editorial photography for national and international clients Joe works freelance alongside his work for the University. Experienced in both film and digital photography he is currently working with RED cameras, combining moving and still image. His extensive list of clients include: BBC, British Telecom, Fulham FC,...

More about Joe

Jonathan Griffiths

Lecturer in Graphic Communication. Video and Motion Graphic – Designer, Director.

A video and motion graphic designer, director, and company owner, Jonathan has over 15 years of creative and digital agency experience. He has worked for national and international creative studios and brands. Within two years his company received direct commission from clients such as PayPal, Town Hall Symphony Hall and London’s Footpatrol store...

More about Jonathan

Adam Francis

Adam Francis is a fashion designer, specialising in menswear and with experience in a wide range of areas, including creative direction, branding, web design and socially responsible design practice. Adam has over 12 years’ experience teaching creative direction in fashion design, fashion communication and associated software packages.

More about Adam

Jo Newman

Foundation Course Director

Jo chose a career in education so that she could provide students with learning environments where conversations, ideas and materials can be selected, combined, analysed and shared, offering them a way of socializing, caring and questioning to grow their learning with meaning for their futures. She champions the integration of...

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Jane Watts

Foundation Lecturer

Jane is an interdisciplinary practitioner, and began her career in textile design. She has since worked as National Craft Advisor for the Women’s Institute in the charity sector, and has 20 years’ experience of teaching in higher education across a range of creative programmes. Alongside running the BA Art Business programme, Jane is also...

More about Jane