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Fashion Styling - MA

Our Fashion Styling course focuses on your ability to develop a personal creative style, entrepreneurial abilities and a professional approach. The course is primarily vocational and practical, and caters for those with career interests in contemporary fashion styling, visualisation and communications.

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.  Information about the arrangements the University has put in place for the 2021/22 academic year in response to Covid-19 and the emerging variants can be found here.


Should the impact of Covid-19 continue in subsequent years of your course, any additional and/or alternative arrangements put in place by the University in response 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.

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

Overview

Our Fashion Styling course focuses on your ability to develop a personal creative style, entrepreneurial abilities and a professional approach.

The course is primarily vocational and practical, and caters for those with career interests in contemporary fashion styling, visualisation and communications.

This course is open to International students.

What's covered in this course?

Throughout the course, you’ll explore and use different research methods to investigate how styling is used to promote fashion through marketing, advertising, events management, publicity or public relations. You’ll learn the skills and knowledge needed for a professional career in fashion styling, with opportunities to collaborate with other fashion students and work on live projects with industry.

Based at our city centre Parkside campus, you will have access to relevant software and computer equipment, and have the opportunity to collaborate with a faculty full of creative students.

Your learning environment will encourage you to become an adaptable, flexible and knowledgeable graduate, equipped to pursue a career in the fashion industry. 

Why Choose Us?

  • We are a significant provider of fashion and textile education and have an extensive portfolio of programmes and specialisations.
  • You’ll be given the opportunity to network and collaborate with other fashion students, our wider postgraduate community and beyond
  • We can help you develop your career goals in fashion, branding and promotion with opportunities for internships
  • Ideas and projects can be developed relating to your home town or country, comparing the European fashion sector with the rest of the world
  • From the start you’ll be able to work on live projects with business and industry

Fashion Styling overview image

Entry Requirements

Essential Requirements
Essential

Either a degree in a relevant subject such as fashion design, fashion communication, photography or media practice or equivalent qualifications and experience.

A digital portfolio is a required as part of your application. This should evidence competency in those skills relevant to the area of practice you would like to focus on for your MA study, for example fashion design and garment construction.

International Students

Entry requirements here

Fees & How to Apply

  • International students

Award: MA

Starting: Sep 2021

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 1 year
  • £7,700 per year
  • Full Time
  • 18 months (including Professional Placement - see below*)
  • £8,500 per year

Award: MA

Starting: Sep 2021

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 1 year
  • £13,200 per year
  • Full Time
  • 18 months (including Professional Placement - see below*)
  • £14,520 per year

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.

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.

*Professional Placement option

The Professional Placement version of the course is optional and is offered as an alternative to the standard version of the course.

This will allow you to complete a credit bearing, 20 week Professional Placement as an integral part of your Master’s Degree. The purpose of the Professional Placement is to improve your employability skills which will, through the placement experience, allow you to evidence your professional skills, attitudes and behaviours at the point of entry to the postgraduate job market. Furthermore, by completing the Professional Placement, you will be able to develop and enhance your understanding of the professional work environment, relevant to your chosen field of study, and reflect critically on your own professional skills development within the workplace.

You will be responsible for finding and securing your own placement. The University, however, will draw on its extensive network of local, regional and national employers to support you in finding a suitable placement to complement your chosen area of study. You will also benefit from support sessions delivered by Careers+ as well as advice and guidance from your School.

Placements will only be confirmed following a competitive, employer-led selection process, therefore the University will not be able to guarantee placements for students who have registered for the ‘with Professional Placement’ course. All students who do not find a suitable placement or do not pass the competitive selection process will be automatically transferred back to the standard, non-placement version of the course.

Portfolio Guidance

You will be required to submit a digital portfolio to complete your application. This can be submitted via your applicant portal. Please see our portfolio guidance page for tips on putting your portfolio together.

Personal statement

Students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.

Your postgraduate personal statement is going to shine a light on your personal experience, academic success, personal skills and any other factors that will support your application for further study.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Your passion and motivations

Studying a postgraduate course usually means you want to specialise in something. So what’s driving you?

Why this course?

Show that you’ve researched the course offering. What is it about this particular course that appeals to you? Is it the lecturers? The modules? Etc.

What makes you a good postgraduate candidate?

Tutors want to know that you can handle postgraduate study, so show them how your undergraduate experiences or work life has equipped you for a more advanced level of study. Key areas to address are research and group work but this can vary depending on your chosen course.

Relevant academic or work experience

Add anything relevant that relates back to your chosen course and shows how your skills will contribute towards your learning. What extra-curricular activities have you taken part in? What awards have you won? What employment or voluntary experience do you have that has helped you develop transferable skills? How do these specifically relate to the course you are applying for?

You should also mention your future plans and how a postgraduate qualification fits in. Try to look beyond your postgraduate study – do you plan to jump straight into a specific career or follow your studies with a research degree? Lastly, use plain, professional English and, where possible, utilise the language of your chosen industry.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

Course in Depth

Modules

In order to complete this course you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 140 credits):

The main portfolio module at PGCert stage focuses on the relationship between you and your work. The purpose of this module is to enable you to critically and creatively explore a broad area of practical and theoretical dimensions surrounding your personal Programme of Study, creating focus which will inform your development to Diploma stage.

This PG Cert module aims to broaden your understanding and knowledge appropriate to the subjects and practices in the course. The purpose of this module is to gain a deeper understanding of your Programme of Study and how it relates to the wider context within the world of fashion and textiles. This is supported by a range of tutorials, seminars, lectures and progress reviews.

The aim of this PG Dip module is to encourage you to engage in the strategic planning and project management of work activities and studies relating to your Programme of Study, personal development and career objectives.

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 practical outcome with accompanying reflective, critical and contextual material. The main consideration when choosing your topic is that it must be relevant to your programme and you should consider the relevance of this topic to your future academic or professional development.

In order to complete this course you must successfully complete at least 40 credits from the following indicative list of OPTIONAL modules.

The purpose of this PG Dip module is to enable you to identify and frame your research relative to the context of your Programme of Study. The module brings to fruition your developments from the Certificate stage, exploring an area that is of personal interest to you. The module aims to improve your powers of reflection, critical and contextual evaluation and to help you develop applied scholarship in relation to an area of professional practice defined within your programme of study.

The purpose of this PG Dip module is to identify and perceive the nature of professionalism relative to the context of your Programme of Study.

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

Our course will equip you with the latest knowledge, skills and resources to help you investigate areas of personal and work-based interest.

You’ll develop your studies around your personal career ambitions and enjoy visits to leading fashion events. You can additionally arrange interviews with industry professionals working in fashion promotion in the UK or globally.

As a graduate you’ll be able to apply your knowledge and practical skills to fashion styling.

Assessment methods

You will be assessed through a mixture of practical projects and written work i.e. tutorial reviews, project work submissions and oral exams.

You will develop a portfolio of work that showcases your abilities and ideas and is executed and managed in a professional manner. At each stage you will also write reports that encourage you to develop a critical and contextual framework within which to understand your practice and future career choices. 

Classroom projects

You will be given opportunities to work alongside your peers in the wider Postgraduate Fashion and Textile community in order to create a fashion show. This annual ‘Vision for the Future’ fashion show is used as a fundraiser for charity. It is a collaborative project that relies entirely on student initiative within the course and beyond, and promotes peer tutoring and mentoring.

In addition to our focus upon you as fashion communicator, there are also opportunities for you to network with the professional world, and engage in external activities such as collaborating on projects that enhance the student experience and provide ‘real life’ experience.


Postgraduate Fashion Finale Raises Money for Charity

Students from MA Fashion Design, MA Fashion Management, MA Fashion Promotion and MA Fashion Styling collaborated to organise an end of year MA Fashion Show for charity.

21 MA Fashion Design students showcased their collections, while MA Fashion Management, MA Fashion Promotion and MA Fashion Styling students took key roles in organising the spectacular event, fuelled by student man power and talent, against the challenge of no event budget.

The fashion show is key in giving students an experience of creative production on a live project which they can take away as a show reel as part of their portfolio. Supporting Cancer Research UK, the show raised £430 for charity.

Employability

Enhancing your employability skills

You’ll experience excellent opportunities for work experience and live industry briefs, giving you practical, professional exposure and an awareness of the challenges and opportunities in the fashion styling sector.

In addition to our expert staff, you will meet a wide range of visitors from industry who will offer insight into current business practices and issues.

Your research and experience of presenting your work in a professional manner makes you highly aware of current trends, cultural matters and industry practise.

You’ll also learn about working in teams and benefit from collaborating with other students across our extensive postgraduate fashion community.

The course is designed to ensure that upon graduating, you are:

  • A better and more confident fashion communicator
  • A reflective individual who has learnt how to keep developing as a fashion media professional
  • An independent thinker and researcher able to initiate your own creative projects individually and/or collaboratively
  • Able to conceptualise and discuss the nature of your work both orally and in writing
  • Critically aware of the context of your professional practice relative to the marketplace and the wider culture

Placements

Live collaborations, internships and work experience can form part of your projects and studies, and you’ll benefit from the networking opportunities this provides.

You are encouraged, particularly during the PgDip and MA stages of the course, to seek external experiences and feedback from professionals and companies active in fashion styling. 

Often students can arrange placements to begin immediately after they have finished the course.  You are able to identify companies or places for work experience through the Research Skills module. The course team will also help you apply for, or prepare for, placements and work experiences.

OpportUNIty

OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.

International Students

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

Our international students

Many of our students choose to develop projects directly linked to their home countries and conduct field research around the world.

Our course welcomes students from across the world. We have an excellent reputation globally, as well as over 20 years’ experience teaching international students.

We are proud of our extensive international graduate community, which has a particular focus in Asia.

Facilities and Staff

Parkside and Curzon Buildings

Our Facilities

You’ll be based in our School of Fashion and Textiles, within The Parkside Building. The Parkside Building is part of our new multi-million pound City Centre Campus development in the heart of Birmingham's Eastside development.

Our staff

Claire Ritchie

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

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

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

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

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

More about Claire

Alison Rapsey

Course Director - BA (Hons) Fashion Business and Promotion

Alison has over 11 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 Dorothy Perkins and Burton stores in management roles and went on to the role of Ladieswear Manager in a newly opened Emporio Armani in 2000.

More about Alison

Jasbir Kaur

Jasbir is Deputy Director of Postgraduate Programmes in Fashion and Textiles and has extensive experience in commercial textile design and magazine production. Her work is published internationally and she has specific research interests in South Asian fashion.

More about Jasbir