Fashion Branding and Communication - BA (Hons)

UCAS Code:
W23M
Attendance:
Full Time (3 years), Sandwich (4 years)
Starting:
September 2017
Campus:

If you wish to pursue a career within the fashion industry, specifically fashion communication and branding, then this course is for you.

If your career interests include fashion styling and creative direction, fashion graphics and branding, or fashion journalism, this course reflects the changing nature of the fashion industry, and will teach you the multiple skills required.  

Your teaching team have a vast amount of  industry experience. Throughout the course you'll also be taught by visiting industry professionals, giving you a new perspective into the fashion business.  You'll also take part in exciting live industry based projects and competitions such as L’oreal Brand Storm.

You'll gain the skills you'll need to be a creative, confident, well-informed fashion communicator, ready for the industry. Your visual and written communication skills will develop across a broad range of creative media (photography and styling, art direction and graphics, print and digital design, branding strategy, journalistic writing and fashion film) associated with the fashion industry.

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

"The skills we gain create a varied portfolio and allow us to shape our work in a way that we choose, allowing us to apply for a mix of jobs after university. Covering trend, branding, print, layout and design for me has made me confident I can grow on these skills in a work environment and apply for jobs in all areas.”

Chloe Thorne, Fashion Branding and Communications graduate, 2016

  • You'll get to work on international industry competitions, such as L’Oreal Brand Storm.
  • You'll enjoy a vast archive of fashion publications dating back to the 1930s.
  • You'll have the opportunity to showcase your final-year work to industry leaders at events such as Graduate Fashion Week in London and our Arts, Design and Media (ADM) Faculty degree show in Birmingham.
  • You'll have the chance to visit international fashion cities such as London, Berlin, Copenhagen and New York.
  • You'll collaborate with other students from across the ADM faculty.
Student ambassador helps Open Day visitor

Open Days - June 2017

Our next University-wide Open Day will take place on Saturday 17 June 2017. Come along to find out more about our courses and see our facilities.

Register now - 17 June

To welcome all new home and EU undergraduate students starting in 2017 or 2018, we're giving at least £150 worth of credit to spend in a host of ways, on books and a range of learning materials. Even better, it doesn’t have to be repaid.

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

Where our students go

Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:

  • Asos 
  • Next 
  • Style Magazine 

And in jobs such as:

  • PR & marketing
  • Styling and photoshoot production

Entry Requirements

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

UK students
Essential

In addition to qualifications, applicants will also need a good portfolio.

Typical Offers
UK Qualification Requirements 2017/18
GCE A Level/ AS Level BBC at A-Level or 112 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A-Levels
Access to Higher Education Diploma Pass overall with 60 credits, 45 at Level 3 and 15 at Level 2. Must be in a relevant subject pathway
BTEC National Diploma (12-units not including early years) D*D* or combined with 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 112 UCAS points
BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units not including early years) DMM - 112 UCAS points
BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/ National Award (6-units not including early years) D* or combined with 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 112 UCAS points
BTEC Diploma in Foundation Studies in Art and Design Distinction
International Baccalaureate Diploma

For students who complete the full IB Diploma: Obtain a total of 14 points or above from three Higher Level Subjects

For students who do not complete the full IB Diploma: Obtain a total of 16 points or above from three Higher Level Subjects 

Irish Leaving Certificate 112 UCAS points - Higher Levels
Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher 112 UCAS points
Welsh Baccalaureate (core plus options) 48 tariff points combined with 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 112 UCAS points
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.
EU/International students
Essential
EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications Requirements 2017/18
IELTS speakers require IELTS 6.0
International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses).

For students who complete the full IB Diploma: Obtain a total of 14 points or above from three Higher Level Subjects

For students who do not complete the full IB Diploma: Obtain a total of 16 points or above from three Higher Level Subjects

In addition to the above, applicants will also need:
English Group A - Grade 4 or above
OR
English Group B and Ab Initio - Grade 5

Country-specific entry requirements and qualifications.

International Students

Entry requirements here

 

International students who cannot meet the direct entry requirements can begin their degree studies at Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC).

The UCAS tariff is changing

If you're considering applying for this course to start in September 2017 onwards, it's important to know that the UCAS tariff system is changing.

UCAS tariff points – the points system most universities use to compare different qualifications – will be introducing a new system on how points are calculated.

More about the new tariff

From A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BA (Hons) Sep 2017 FT 3 years £9,250 per year Apply via UCAS
SW 4 years £9,250 per year (excluding sandwich 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
BA (Hons) Sep 2017 FT 3 years £12,000 per year
SW 4 years £12,000 per year (excluding sandwich 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 broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.

Guidance for UK/EU students

UCAS

UK and EU 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
 Register with UCAS
 Login to UCAS
 Complete your details
 Select your course
 Write a personal statement
 Get a reference
 Pay your application fee
 Send UCAS your application

Non-EU (International) students

There are three ways to apply:

1) Direct to the University

You will need to complete our International Application Form and submit it 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

Once your application has been received, you will be invited to submit a digital portfolio of up to 10 pages.  This should include a variety of examples of your creative work. This could be art, textiles, graphics, film or photography.  Along with your creative examples, you should also include a piece of written work.  This could be an essay or report associated with your current study. Your portfolio should be saved as a PDF or a PowerPoint file and the file size should be no larger than 5MB.

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.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

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

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 not available part-time

Got any questions?

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

Loans and Grants

Financial Support

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

Year one

Year one modules give an introduction to the field of fashion branding and communication. You will build on the skills required to work in this area, alongside learning the key concepts of fashion branding and communication.

Publication Design
20 credits

This module allows you to learn computer programmes InDesign and Photoshop, and utilise your graphic skills. You will also develop your knowledge of contemporary fashion publications.

Writing for Fashion
20 credits

This module explores writing for fashion publications, both online and print. You will learn and refine the skills and techniques that can be used in this area.

Trend Forecasting
20 credits

This allows you to learn about the process of trend forecasting, from key drivers and trend impacts, through to developing a trend prediction book for their chosen area. 

Visual Literacy
20 credits

This is an opportunity to develop your creative direction and styling skills, while creating a visual narrative and structure to your own photoshoot.

Creative Fashion Branding Communication
40 credits

You will learn the key theories of fashion communication, and explore how these are currently used across digital formats. You will then choose an optional creative outcome, which can be either series of fashion images or film, or an online piece of fashion journalism for a blog or publication.

Year two

Year two modules build upon your knowledge and skills gained in year one, and apply this to a more external focus, including industry competitions and internships, thus allowing you to focus on your professional and career goals.

Competition Briefs
40 credits

Live industry competitions allow you to develop your entrepreneurial, brand strategy and communication skills.

Fashion Practitioner Research Project
20 credits

This module enables you to select your own fashion practitioner within your chosen area of practice. You will then present your findings to a peer audience, allowing you to develop your research and presentation skills.

Brand Generation
40 credits

This module examines the area of brand strategy and relevance and allows you to conceptualise and create your own brand. You will then develop a creative portfolio to illustrate your brand and its different elements.

You will also choose one of the following 20 credit modules:

Work Placement
20 credits

This module allows you to select an area of the industry you are specifically interested in focusing on and take a internship which will develop your professional practice and networking.

You can also take part in the international Erasmus exchange programme this year and choose to follow our four-year sandwich option, which features a one-year industry internship.

Collaborative Practice
20 credits

The 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. Collaboration is a vital employability skill within the Creative Industries and this module allows you to develop these skills, making use of University facilities and with the support of academic staff.

Year three

In your final year you will focus on the area of the fashion industry you intend to work in. You are able to tailor your final-year projects to an area of the industry you're most interested in, and supports your career ambitions.

Major Project
40 credits

You will explore an area of specific interest and write a 6,000 word document on this.

Independent Final Project
60 credits

In this module you can develop a creative outcome connected to your research project. This could be developing your own fashion publication, creating your own brand, or developing an extension for a specific brand. 

Self Branding and Promotion
20 credits

This module focuses on you preparing to graduate from university into your chosen career path. Portfolio, CV and online promotional material will be developed in preparation for graduation.

You'll gain the skills you'll need to be a creative, confident and well-informed fashion communicator ready for the industry. Designers, brands and industry influencers all need strong visual communicators with a creative edge and commercial awareness.

You'll develop an all-round, in-depth understanding of the world of fashion communication and branding. It is an ideal choice if you are imaginative and committed to exploring the very best of the fashion sector.

You'll spend approximately 8 hours per week in taught sessions and workshops and 22 hours per week in independent study.


Our classes

Students on this course are creative, passionate individuals who enjoy working both individually and as part of a group. Lectures are classroom-based and full of discussion and interaction. Regular visiting industry speakers provide insight and inspiration.

Practical and primary research is fundamental to all modules and you'll be encouraged to visit relevant exhibitions and cities. Collaboration is key to the fashion industry and to this course. You'll have the opportunity to work with other students from different courses across the faculty on photoshoots, films, magazines and exhibitions all as part of your study.

Teaching breakdown

valuelabelcolor
26 Time in lectures, seminars and similar MidnightBlue
70 Time in independent study RoyalBlue
4 Time on placement LightSkyBlue

Assessment breakdown

Student stories

Chloe's story

Student Chloe Thorne created, genderless fashion brand, ZIE, which included a brand identity based in response to market trends and consumer demand. Chloe's work included a full branding package, photoshoot and marketing material.

Melissa's story

Student Melissa Poulton created a magazine concept for a new men’s magazine. Based on research which identified a gap in the market for a new male consumer currently not catered for, primary research involved interviewing the editor of GQ and a work placement there, which inspired her magazine VANN. Involving photoshoots, interviews with local bands, and creative illustrations, Melissa's concept also won an award at Graduate Fashion Week for New Media in 2015.

Download our lookbook to see examples of student work


Graduate Fashion Week

Fashion at Birmingham City University is a key fixture at Graduate Fashion Week, and students from this school regularly win awards and nominations for their work. Our past students have won the Fashion Publication Award.

Graduate Fashion Week

View more examples of student work...

Study and work abroad

If you are interested in undertaking part of your studies abroad, the Erasmus scheme may be of interest to you. It allows higher education students to study for part of their degree in another European country.

It is open to undergraduates in their second year (or above) and offers a unique opportunity to enhance your CV and experience new cultures. If you study with us you will have access to an Erasmus co-ordinator, who can provide information about which institutions we have links with.

Find out more

Further study

Further study can be taken at the university on our postgraduate course MA Fashion Promotion.

Trips and visits

Trips run across the three years, with regular visits to London and other UK cities. As well as this, trips to New York, Berlin and Copenhagen are also on offer.

Enhancing employability skills

Employability is embedded throughout the course with relevant skills, such as Adobe InDesign and Photoshop, being taught as well as professional skills such as copywriting, creative narrative, trend forecasting and brand strategy. Graduates from this course have gone on to work in roles that use these skills within the creative industries.

Placements

Students have taken internships within a wide range of fashion companies, such as fashion publications GQ, InStyle magazine, Grazia magazine, The Daily Mail and Suitcase magazine. Others have gained experience with Selfridges, ASOS and Topshop

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.

Student stories - Holly Jayne Smith

BA (Hons) Fashion Design graduate

Holly Jayne Smith, secured the British Council International Residency Award for her bold and colourful creations.

Holly’s striking collection included high hats and bold prints, patterned with monochrome stripes, and was featured on the catwalk at Graduate Fashion Week 2014.

As part of Holly’s prize, she travelled to Casablanca and spent time with winners of the Moroccan Talent Award to produce a collection, inspired by her time in the country.

Firewalking

BCU Graduate+

Through our courses we give you the skills and experience needed to get a head start when applying for jobs. But we offer something extra too – Graduate+.

Our unique programme gives you the chance to develop valuable skills outside of the more formal classroom learning. We award points for Graduate+ activities (including firewalking!) and these can be put towards a final Graduate+ award.

More about Graduate+

Graduate jobs

The type of industry job roles that graduates would move in to could include: art direction and creative direction, styling, photoshoot production, magazine production and editorial content, brand management and fashion graphics, social media content creation and management, trend forecasting, journalism and copywriting for brands and magazines, and fashion film creation.

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:

Additional information

Our course is particularly popular with students from Brunei. The Brunei Birmingham Society aims to strengthen the community cohesion of the Bruneians in Birmingham by organising events ranging from religious festivities to cultural and sports-based events.

The society welcomes any potential Bruneians planning to study in Birmingham and is happy to answer questions about student life in Birmingham.

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

Popular home countries

Our students come from around the world but our fashion design course is most popular with international students from:  

Brunei Flag

Brunei

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.

Our staff

All staff on the course have extensive experience in the fashion industry, drawing on a wide range of roles, from brand strategy to trend forecasting and creative direction. 

See a full list of our staff

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