Are you passionate about fashion? Do you want to develop your skills as a creative and work on inspired projects in photography, journalism, styling and emerging digital media?
This innovative programme is specially designed for students who are driven to forge successful creative careers in promotion and communication within emerging new career roles in a range of sectors:
- Footwear and accessories
The programme offers a diverse range of professional skills to meet the rapidly changing environment within the fashion industry.
It has been developed to be multi-disciplined in combining the three key areas:
Students will be equipped to strategically negotiate a career path in creative roles within the fashion and related industries. This is a creative, dynamic and rapidly evolving environment to work in, therefore, the diversity of career opportunities (particularly digital visual communication) which have emerged in recent years, require individuals who are capable of responding to change and diversity, whilst continuously evolving with it.
Students will also have the opportunity to gain valuable insight into current design practice by studying with fashion, footwear, accessories and textile design students on contextual modules.
The University has established links with industry in all of these sectors, and specialist guest speakers are regularly invited to share their knowledge and give guidance on professional career development.
Fully equipped studios offer students the opportunity to gain technical knowledge and subject specific skills, whilst optional study tours will put theory into practice. Previous tours have included Paris, Florence, Milan, New York and Tokyo.
Based 50 minutes from London, students at Northampton are able to maximise the potential for London-based work opportunities and to pursue research and visits to numerous world class galleries, museums and retail destinations.
Northampton is world-renowned for luxury ‘bespoke’ footwear. These brands are in partnership with the University, giving students opportunities to work in their Head Offices and in their flagship stores in London. These activities ensure that the students are well equipped to apply practical, creative and theoretical knowledge to industry practice.
Students will be encouraged to take on work placement opportunities each year over the summer.
The University’s journalism staff have all worked within the industry and students benefit from a range of contacts and experiences reflective of the modern journalism sector in print, broadcast and online.
Photographic students undertake a variety of work experience, and have recently collaborated with the Fashion division to photograph a design project in conjunction with Pittards, a manufacturer of luxury leather goods. Photography students have also undertaken commercial assignments commissioned by clients, such as Two Seasons (Billabong).
Graduate Fashion Week 2016
Just two miles away from Park Campus and linked by a regular weekday discounted bus service, Avenue Campus has an excellent reputation as an ‘Arts Centre for all’. It boasts theatre performances, exhibitions and its own art gallery, which exhibits work from established artists, students, graduates and University staff.
The campus is equipped with workshops, innovative laboratories and computer-aided design suites. Facilities available include Bassett Lowke Halls of Residence with various room options available to suit all budgets, the Students’ Union, student bar, restaurant and nightclub.
The University of Northampton
St George’s Avenue
The course aims to equip graduates with a broad range of creative and technical skills relevant to the fashion and associated industries. Our existing students have an excellent track record of success in national and international design competitions. Former fashion students have won awards at Graduate Fashion Week for textiles in 2013 and Footwear Design Student of the Year in 2014. Others have participated at international shows and events in Europe, China and India.
Projects will include devising and styling fashion shoots, developing promotional campaigns (involving digital and social media) producing magazines, and liaising with external organisations to develop strategic visions for the promotion of their products. Students will collate sequential stages of visual trend research, styling concepts, creative mood boards and storyboards. They will explore different genres of client styles, which take into consideration cultural nuances, celebrity media and subcultural themes. This will progress through to art direction, photography, writing fashion content and visual CAD manipulation and the final concept realisation in a variety of formats.
This stage involves an introduction to studio and workshop practice in fashion, photography, journalism and Digital/CAD technical skills, supported by a programme of contextual studies. Indicative content will include research into the following areas:
- design concepts
- celebrity culture
- digital media
- social networking
- visualizing trend predictions
- developing visual promotional/merchandising themes
Modules will cover contextual studies, digital fashion and styling, writing skills for journalists and photography for fashion.
The emphasis is placed on students’ ability to develop client concepts and implement them from research and theory to application and realization. Creative potential will continue to be supported through studio practice with design skills for journalism and photography in a design context. Understanding hair and make-up through current trend influences to create mood and atmosphere will also be a consideration.
Individuality will be actively encouraged with opportunities for students to apply for work experience. Projects will involve external contacts.
Modules will include contextual studies, client conceptual experience, design skills for journalists and photography in a design context.
The final year will see the consolidation and culmination of the previous years of research and study to build portfolios of work which will prepare the students for their chosen career path. Projects will involve creating professional fashion promotion and communication identities for nominated clients. Students will design and curate their own personal websites as promotional platforms. Their work will present them as industry-ready professionals and showcase their accumulated skills across fashion, journalism and photography.
Modules will include design context communication, creative fashion futures and a journalism practical project.
Previous tours have included:
- Paris to see ‘Premiere Vision’ (International trend and fashion textile exhibition). Indicative cost approximately £350, depending on size of travel group, and time of year.
- Florence/Milan to see ‘Lineapelle’ (international footwear and leather fair) including visits to the Ferragamo and Gucci Museums. Indicative cost approximately £500, depending on size of travel group, and time of year.
- New York Including visits behind the scenes at Macy’s department store and Anthropologie (lifestyle brand), and sourcing research into fashion and accessories, trims and new trends in visual merchandising and product styling. Visits to key museums (Fashion and Textiles Institute and Museum of Modern Art) are also included. Indicative cost approximately £990, depending on size of travel group, and time of year.
- Tokyo This trip is both cultural and practical, sourcing tips for innovative new creative examples of retailing, visual merchandising and product styling. Indicative cost approximately £1,300, depending on size of travel group, and time of year.
Presentations, written assignments, essays, creative portfolios, digital reports, research blogs, 2D and 3D pieces, and tests will form the assessment strategy.
Facilities and Special Features
Subject Futures Week
This is an event that takes place each year. It includes guest speakers from a wide and dynamic selection of art and design industry roles. The speakers will deliver talks, or workshops to enable students to understand and discuss the creative and professional key skills required to pursue specific career paths. Naturally, this is an excellent opportunity for students to build networking skills and contacts for work experience.
Guest speakers have included representatives from British Vogue, Peclers of Paris (trend prediction agency) and WGSN (world-renowned trend forecasting agency), fashion stylists, fashion illustrators, authors in the field of fashion careers, and designers for brands such as Karen Millen and Monsoon.
Other Special Features
The ICLT (Institute of Creative Leather Technology) is also located at the University and companies specialising in the leather industry regularly visit to discuss potential careers in this sector.
Photographic studios, journalism facilities and CAD rooms will be available, with support from tutors/technicians and demonstrators. Photographic facilities include two large studios (one with daylight, and the other with artificial lighting) to provide professional standard facilities for a wide range of studio-based photography using film or digital cameras. There are two digital Mac suites, the larger of which is a dedicated digital training room.
All students work digitally and produce their own websites, as well as contributing content to many professional external news and entertainment websites.
Current Software facilities and training will include:
Adobe Photoshop (Adobe Creative Cloud)
- an introduction to software packages and basic layout tools
- working with Layers, Text and Editorial tools
- integrating visuals into InDesign
Adobe InDesign (Adobe Creative Cloud)
- an introduction to software packages and basic layout tools
- building both creative and editorial multipage publications using creative layouts
- supporting visuals and use of tools within InDesign documents – Apple iMac OR PC
The versatility of the programme opens opportunities in a variety of established and emerging career roles including:
- Fashion blogger/vlogger
- Social media co-ordinator
- Digital fashion promoter
- Digital content creator
- Stylist for television and media
- Fashion and Lifestyle product stylist
- Visual merchandiser
- Multi media promoter
- Fashion catwalk producer
- Fashion promoter
- Fashion photographers assistant
- Fashion coordinator/buyer
The University of Northampton is a member of the ASBCI (Association of Suppliers to the British Clothing Industry) and The Textile Institute.
Journalism modules are accredited by the BJTC (Broadcast Journalism Training Council).
Students will have opportunities to apply for work experience throughout their period of study. Recent companies where fashion students have undertaken work experience include:
- Alexander McQueen (Fashion) London
- Vivienne Westwood (Fashion) London
- Michael Kors (Fashion) London
- Harvey Nichols (Fashion and Lifestyle) London
- Zandra Rhodes (Fashion Show) Paris
- Marks and Spencer (Fashion Show) London
- Lipsy (Women’s Fashion) London
- New Look (Fashion) London
- House of Jam (Fashion) London
- Jeffrey West (Men’s Fashion footwear) Northampton
- John Lobb (Footwear) Northampton
- Church’s Shoes (Footwear) Northampton
- Oxfam (Fashion) Northampton
Our graduates now work for brands including Ted Baker, Topshop, ASOS, Matthew Williamson, Roland Mouret, Doc Martens, Church’s Shoes, Grenson, and Cheaney’s – some of the most recognised names in fashion and footwear.
Work Related Learning
Students will have the option to apply for work experience at live events, typical example of which include:
- The Clothes Show Live (Birmingham)
- Stylist Live (London), including fashion, jewellery, cosmetics and lifestyle brands
- UK Bridal Fair (London)
- London Fashion Week (London)
- Moda (Birmingham)
- ASBCI Association of Suppliers to the British Clothing Industry (UK wide conferences)
- Made in Britain Exhibition (London)
These events usually take place over several days, with students fulfilling a variety of roles, which typically involve:
- liaising with the event management teams
- personal assistant to celebrity guests and industry speakers
- assisting in the VIP suites
- working in the PR office and ‘paparazzi’ suite
- dressing behind stage for the main live catwalk shows
These roles involve key skills of organisation, teamwork and time management to ensure the event management team and the fashion brands and exhibitors’ products are organised and presented in a manner commensurate with industry requirements. It is often the case that contacts and networking skills built up at live events provide students with further opportunities to expand their work experience and hence career development.
How to apply
For application information please see our how to apply page.
Standard entry requirements apply. A typical offer would be BCC at A-Level or DMM at BTEC . In addition, applicants are expected to have studied an Art or Creative/Humanities based subject at A-Level and equivalent (level 7 English for International). BTEC level 3 Diploma, or equivalent qualification, or a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design will also be accepted.
Applicants are interviewed and are requested to provide a portfolio of their own work in Art and Design. Students with relevant HND or Foundation Degree with a suitable profile of achievement may be admitted onto year two or three.
Fees and funding
Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 16/17 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.
|Part Time:||£1,280 per 20 credit module|
This course is available to international students.
Full-time international tuition fees
For information on our international tuition fees, please see our Tuition fees for international students page.
How to apply as an international student
For information on how to apply to study with us, please see our How to apply page.
Scholarships available to international students
For information on the scholarships available to you as an international student, please see our International scholarships page.