This programme provides the student with an advanced introduction to the challenges and possibilities of organizing and presenting a public, professional, creative and coherent fashion design project. Based around the development of a substantial fashion collection, its presentation in a show and a credible and detailed plan for marketing and further elaboration, the programme also offers supervision on an agreed dissertation topic and two courses in management and marketing from the College’s MBA program. The core of the programme is the fashion design project. Under faculty supervision, the student is required to devise a coherent and attractive fashion collection. The student oversees the development of the project, from thematic exploration and target market identification for the range, through initial drawing and drafting, pattern development, test cutting and sewing, fitting, final decision making and assembly, management and marketing of the public show, and creating a credible plan for marketing the collection for wider creative and commercial expansion in the fashion industry. The student will be involved in all areas of the project, though with faculty input will be expected to engage and lead others to assist and collaborate in seeing the project through to presentation and onward development. All aspects of the project, including the decision making processes that went into creating the collection, a critical analysis of the collection’s content, a photographed and videotaped documentation of the final garments and culminating show and a critical review of the collection, are gathered together in a portfolio. Additionally, the programme requires the research and writing of a substantial dissertation (5,000 words plus illustrative material) on an aspect of the history or contemporary practice of fashion and its relationship to culture and society, the topic to be agreed with an assigned supervisor. The dissertation module (9 credits) and the faculty panel’s evaluation of fashion design project portfolio and collection show (21 credits) provide the basis for the greater part of the degree. Two additional courses from the College’s MBA offerings (or approved alternate courses) make up the remainder of the programme.
Students prepare the performance project and dissertation over the fall and spring semesters, with delivery of them taking place at an agreed point over the summer, but before the completion of the academic year at the latest. The two taught classes are taken in the fall and spring semesters, with one completed in each of the semesters.
Entry to the program is decided on the basis of an interview, and the submission of a portfolio of work demonstrating the applicant’s experience and skills in the field in which the applicant proposes to work. An undergraduate degree is not required for entry to the program, though one may be cited in the application portfolio in support of the application.
A graduate of the programme will have demonstrated a superior ability to create, manage and deliver a substantial professional fashion collection. Along with the academic courses, the skills demonstrated in the making of the fashion design project and the portfolio will provide the graduate with an enhanced understanding of the practical and artistic requirements of producing a major credible, coherent and desirable collection. These skills and abilities, along with the dissertation that demonstrates an understanding of the broader socio-cultural context in which fashion exists and which it both reflects and shapes, will provide an excellent platform for the development of a career in the fashion industry.