Garment Technology - MA

Attendance:
Full Time, Part Time
Starting:
September 2018
Campus:
Fees:
£6,900 per year for UK/EU Full Time 2018 entry (view all fees)
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If your interest is in the technical construction of garments, the engineering of fashion products and a career at the heart of the fashion industry this course is for you.

You will already have experience of garment construction and in this course you will be able to further refine your areas of interest and expertise. From CAD to couture you will have a range of choices before you as to how you develop your skills base and portfolio. You will also be encouraged to collaborate with industry and define a clear career path for yourself.

What's covered in the course?

Your learning will be focused on studio and workshop practice, featuring personal programmes of study and joint lectures and seminars.

You’ll also enjoy specialist interpretations of art, craft and design supported by our highly experienced course team.

The course provides a forum to discuss and analyse the professional, commercial and cultural dimensions of garment technology in contemporary society.

Based in The Parkside Building at our City Centre Campus, you will have access to a wide range of conventional and CAD facilities, including a Gerber fashion CAD suite, as well as 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?

  • Study with one of the largest and most experienced providers of fashion and textile education in the world
  • Benefit from a unified programme and work alongside textile, fashion and surface designers
  • Access a wide range of facilities, including digital print and a Gerber fashion CAD suite
  • Network and collaborate with other fashion students, our wider postgraduate community and beyond
  • Enjoy a vast archive of fashion publications dating back to the 1930s

This course is open to International students

School of Fashion and Textiles

Discover the School of Fashion and Textiles

Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.

Visit the School website

School of Fashion and Textiles Blog

Our blog is the online home for our community of aspirational, innovative and creative individuals. It’s for sharing our experiences and visionary ideas with each other, the industry and the world.

Read our blog

New £10,280 postgraduate loans

You may be able to take advantage of the government’s plans to make loans of up to £10,280 available for postgraduate study.

More about postgraduate loans

Entry Requirements

UK students
Essential

Either a good Honours Degree in a relevant subject 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, garment construction.

International Students

Entry requirements here

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
MA Sep 2018 FT 12 months £6,900 per year
PT 24 months £3,450 per year

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

International Students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
MA Sep 2018 FT 12 months £12,000 per year

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

The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.

Personal statement

UK / EU 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

.

*Non-EU students are not required to submit a personal statement when applying for this course.

What's included

You will have access to Moodle, the University’s online interactive learning platform, University blogs, and an online forum to cultivate the postgraduate community within the School and to highlight professional opportunities for MA Fashion and Textiles students. You will also have use of the University Library, which includes a wealth of print and online learning resources.

For students who need to improve their skills in digital literacy, including the use of specific software, the University offers training programmes through lynda.com.


Additional costs

Our courses include activities such as performance, exhibitions, field trips and production of works or artefacts which may require you to purchase specific equipment, instruments, books, materials, hire of venues and accommodation, or other items. Many of these activities are essential and compulsory parts of your learning experience.

The link below gives you an estimate of the possible costs associated with key activities on your course. Please bear in mind that these are only estimates of costs based on past student experience and feedback. The actual costs could vary considerably (either greater or lower than these estimates) depending on your choices as you progress through the course.

All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

View additional costs for this course

This course is available part-time

Got any questions?

Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.

Financial Support

We offer further information on possible postgraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.

Did you know that you will soon be able to apply for a postgraduate loan of up to £10,000 for some courses and options?

Postgraduate loans

Stage 1: Postgraduate Certificate

Modules include:

Portfolio 1
40 credits

This module will focus on the relationship between you and your work, including your ability to express issues and strategies, design content, technical issues and personal project management.

You will create a portfolio showing your development with samples – accompanied by a reflective, critical and contextual document (such as a journal or reflective commentary) and have a 10 minute Viva Voce assessment.

Professional Practice
20 credits

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. This is supported by a range of tutorials, seminars, lectures and progress reviews.

You will use a mixture of primary and secondary research to create and present a 15 minute original presentation to your peers that is organised, coherent, well-executed and has a clear communication. You will also submit presentation documentation (e.g. background research, speaking notes) alongside this.

Stage 2: Postgraduate Diploma

You will have one compulsory module:

Research Strategy
20 credits

The aim of this module is to encourage you to engage in the strategic planning and project management of work activities and studies relating to garment technology, personal development and career objectives.

You will complete a 3,000 word essay which outlines your research strategy. 

You will also choose one of the following modules:

Portfolio 2
40 credits

The purpose of this module is to build on your knowledge and experience from Portfolio 1, while introducing professionalism and employability into your work. This module aims to promote your creativity, aesthetic sensibility and an in-depth knowledge of a personally selected area of specialisation.

In conjunction with the Research Strategy module, this module will encourage you to be more proactive in the pursuit of gaining real industry experience or seeking out professional views on your work as well as vocational opportunities.

Garment Construction and Technology
40 credits

You will be given the opportunity to participate in a series of independent workshops covering a variety of topics related to Garment Technology from creative cutting, technical development, CAD processes, to production planning to enhance your skills and knowledge of the industry.

You will create a portfolio showing development of your work, final sketches, test fabric or advanced sampling, along with a 10 minute Viva Voce assessment.

Stage 3: Masters

Major Project
60 credits

You will undertake a sustained, in-depth and theoretically informed research project exploring an area that is of personal interest to you. This project will contribute to the acquisition of key BCU graduate attributes; creative problem solver, enterprising, professional and a work ready and global outlook.

Your learning will be based around studio and workshop practice, with personal programmes of study and joint lecture and seminar programmes. Art, craft and design interpretations of the disciplines are all supported and our highly experienced course team recognise the importance of having a personal and distinctive approach to your work and study. There are also ample opportunities to collaborate, exchange ideas and broaden your perspective.

Situated within the School of Fashion and Textiles, there is a wide range of conventional and CAD facilities available including digital print, digital Jaquard and a Gerber fashion CAD suite. There are also specialist facilities available in 3D prototyping, glass and ceramics.

You’ll develop creative and practical skills which are ideally suited to gaining a career in garment technology.

Learning through studio and workshop practice, you’ll also benefit from our close connections with manufacturers, and get to experiment with a wide range of materials to create new and innovative products.

To support your learning you are encouraged to develop links appropriate to your studies, these have previously included Burberry, Karen Millen and Next.


Assessment methods

Your programme will include a mixture of practical projects and written work. 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 reflective reports that encourage you to develop a critical and contextual framework within which to understand your practice and future career choices.

You are assessed using a mixture of tutorial reviews, project work submissions and oral exams.

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 garment technologist, 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.

View more examples of student work...

Trips and visits

Over the course we visit trade fairs and exhibitions in London. You also have the opportunity to arrange your own trips to fashion, retail and cultural events and locations in Europe.

During the Diploma stage you are given the opportunity to visit Paris for the world’s premier fabric show, Premier Vision. The show offers up the season’s fashion directions some 18 months in advance, and is a useful tool to introduce you to all stages of the supply chain within which garment technology sits.

Further study

MA Garment Technology connects you to contemporary design roles and teaches you how to continue learning and developing your practice as a professional after completing your course.

Enhancing employability skills

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

Our programme is designed to ensure that upon graduating, you are:

  • A better and more confident designer
  • A reflective practitioner who has learnt how to keep developing as a designer
  • 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 creative practice relative to the marketplace and the wider culture.

The successful completion of MA Garment Technology will deepen your practical and theoretical insights and techniques, giving you the confidence to build your own professional career as a garment technologist. You will also develop your critical skills such that you can form, evaluate and communicate complex concepts that reflect your individuality and independent thought. You will develop your creativity, your aesthetic sensibility and an in-depth knowledge of a personally chosen area of specialisation, which will equip you with the necessary skills to gain meaningful employment.

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 individually.

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 design. 

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 Strategy 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.

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

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

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

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

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.

Learn more about BCUIC

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities.

The Parkside Building is part of our new multi-million pound City Centre Campus development in the heart of Birmingham's Eastside development.

Home to the Birmingham School of Architecture and Design, School of Fashion and Textiles, and School of Visual Communication, the five-floor site is packed with fashion design workshops, studios and social 'collision spaces.'

The campus also provides extensive workshop space, and the very latest in industry-standard equipment reflecting the broad range of study opportunities on offer.

You will have access to Vicon 3D, an external tracking motion capture facility, and Gypsy, an exoskeleton-based motion capture system to extend the many possibilities for production of 3D animation and films.

There's also a comprehensive range of tools and machinery in the wood and metal workshops.

You can use the latest in high-tech digital print, plus a range of other facilities including:

  • Editing and animation suites with unique equipment
  • Digital Visualisation Hub
  • Traditional print
  • Photographic studio and darkroom
  • High power laser cutters and rapid prototyping systems
  • Theatre
  • Fashion workshops
  • Computerised looms and printers
  • Art shop
  • Library
  • Café

We are committed to showcasing the best student concepts and collections in exhibitions and on catwalks that include London Fashion Week, London Free Range, New Designers and Birmingham Made Me.

External Parkside Building and Water Feature
Parkside building from Curzon building
Parkside Interior
Fashion Studio Image CRM March 2017
Fashion Studio WS sewing busy
Fashion Studio WS 1
dress stands 1
Fashion Studio Dress Stands 1
ADM_FAS_Pattern Cutting Extra
Costume Design and Practice Room Pattern Cutting MS 1
TECHNICIAN_Extra
Garment Tech IDigit board 2
Garment Tech IDigit board 1
Garment Tech IDigit software 1
Garment Tech Gerber 1
Garment Tech Gerber software 1
Garment Tech Plotter 1

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.

UK prospective students:

UK enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5595

EU / International prospective students:

International enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5389

Already applied?

Email the applications team

+44 (0)121 331 6295