Creative Research and Fashion Practice
Salford School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology
In a nutshell
Are you ambitious to become a fashion designer who is confident in adapting to a fast-paced industry?
Are you ready to master creative technical skills and innovative design thinking in a state of the art, professional studio setting based in Salford, Manchester? Our MA Fashion Design is an intensive, specialist programme that will give you the tools to explore and refine your identity as a fashion design practitioner and entrepreneur.
Our close industry links from across the globe will provide you with a clear insight into a variety of possible career paths and professional opportunities, alongside working closely with a team of academics and demonstrators ready to support and push you towards your goals. Studying within the dedicated Arts and Media building you will have access to both subject-specific and non-traditional equipment and machinery that will help to elevate your ideas.
All of our project briefs begin by encouraging extensive research and innovative design thinking, leading to original and complex solutions built on fundamental industry principles including social, political, environmental and technical influences. With a focus on contemporary professional practice within the industry and more specifically the business of fashion, you will develop an understanding of approaches to entrepreneurship and business ownership. Sessions with international guest speakers and practitioners will ensure students are prepared for a new era of fashion business.
As part of this master’s degree in fashion design, you will produce your own fashion collection and will have the opportunity, if selected, to showcase it at New York or London Fashion Week. You will graduate with an industry-ready, professional portfolio and will have the entrepreneurial skills to start your own fashion label if that’s the right route for you.
Click here to watch our MA Fashion Show 2022 as part of London Fashion Week.
International applicants: Please check the international intakes page for the latest information and application dates.
Interested in finding out more about studying for a master’s degree in Fashion Design at Salford? Why not sign up for our upcoming Open Day and follow the Fashion Design Instagram.
- Have the opportunity to produce and, if selected, showcase your final collection at either New York or London Fashion Week
- Develop and refine extensive technical skills and understand professional contexts around the study of either menswear, womenswear or non-binary fashion
- Be part of international fabric sourcing trips, including opportunities in Paris and China
- Become a confident, resourceful, and creative fashion practitioner with a clear understanding of contemporary fashion contexts
- Graduate with a professional portfolio of work and relevant, professional skills ready to meet the demands of industry in a wide range of roles
This is for you if...
You are a dedicated, passionate and committed fashion design practitioner
You want to engage with professional and live projects
You are keen to explore contemporary issues relating to the fashion industry
All about the course
Over the course of three trimesters, you will have the opportunity to refine and enhance your skills in this MA Fashion Design programme. Immersed in a creative studio environment, you will work on projects that challenge you to reshape your existing artistic and practical skills, propose visionary solutions and bring your ideas to life through a personal portfolio and final collection.
As well as advancing your technical skills, this programme will give you a real appreciation of the fashion industry, preparing you as a creative practitioner with well-developed transferrable skills ready to meet industry needs. Within projects, you will consider trends, materials, consumer and season and will evidence a sophisticated awareness of the complex debates that shape and shift today’s fashion industry. You will develop your own identity and a strong commercial awareness ready for the future of fashion with a deep understanding of how the industry works.
Taking the skills, knowledge and conceptual thinking developed over your first two trimesters, your third trimester will require you to complete one final major project. You will fully realise an innovative fashion collection informed by contemporary practice and global markets appropriate to your personal direction and professional goals. You will have the freedom to take your project in any direction you wish.
This masters in fashion designing is delivered over eighteen months. At the end of the Fashion Design course, you’ll have the opportunity to attend and, if selected, present your collection at world-renowned fashion events, including London or New York Fashion Week. As well as this, you’ll be skilled at sourcing materials internationally through fabric fairs, agents and manufacturers in Paris and China; the latter being a unique experience within the UK at the postgraduate level.
You’ll also have the opportunity for extensive international travel to destinations that may include Tokyo, New York, Milan, Paris or Antwerp. (All international travel will be subject to successful visa application and current government guidance.)
Explore each module in more detail by looking at the full course breakdown below.
This module focuses on the understanding and application of a range of practice-based research methods. You will be encouraged to develop an individual line of inquiry that will be explored through a variety of creative research methods with support from lectures, seminars and tutorials.
This module is intended to help you challenge your assumptions and broaden your creative perspective, as you develop an understanding of your pathway into a key area (e.g. menswear or womenswear). A series of fashion design briefs will provide the opportunity to develop your existing fashion skills, working towards a range of practical 2D or 3D outcomes. You will negotiate, explore and identify key themes that inform the next stage of your personal design practice.
Using initial research findings and in negotiation with tutors, you will be expected to become more independent and experimental, instigating and managing your own briefs. In the development of independent practice, you must consider the intended market, consumer, and season as part of your design process. In realising your direction of study you will have the opportunity to refine your personal vision both as a fashion designer and entrepreneur.
The aim of this module is to offer you the opportunity to critically engage in a major practice-driven project in which the emphasis will be on production, analysis and critical reflection in response to your personal design direction.
This is a significant piece of work where you are expected to produce a contemporary fashion collection and professional portfolio at master’s level, drawing on key skills and critical viewpoints developed in trimesters 1 and 2. You will be expected to demonstrate creative, bold and innovative approaches in your work.
Final design ideas must be comprehensive and appropriate for your intended markets and may also provide a platform from which you can launch the next stage of your business/career.
Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.
What will I be doing?
Reflective writing, business reports and presentat
As part of this master of arts in fashion design, your timetable will include a breakdown of your scheduled lessons with timeslots for you to explore your independent research interests.
Your classes will be based at our New Adelphi building.
This course uses a range of teaching and learning settings including lectures, seminars, workshops, tutorials, situated learning (e.g. ‘live’ projects) and independent learning. The aim is to create an environment that allows you to take ownership and direction of your work so that you develop as an independent learner.
Design practice at master’s level requires you to critically reflect on your own development. You’ll do this through self-directed projects where you’ll have the opportunity to negotiate your own learning and assessment requirements.
You’ll be assessed throughout this MA fashion design on a body of work and contextual research, including portfolios, exhibitions, publications and more. You’ll produce reflective journals, sketchbooks, statements, manifestos or business plans, as well as engage in technical work, including pattern making and garment construction. You’ll also give presentations as part of your studies.
You can negotiate the format of your submissions to align with your chosen project and to properly reflect contemporary fashion design practice.
BE A PART OF A CREATIVE, SUPPORTIVE COMMUNITY
All our Fashion courses are delivered by the Salford School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology. Our focus is to ensure that you have the skills you need to pursue your dreams, and we encourage our students, past and present, to collaborate with each other and achieve great things.
Each year - through the Create Student Awards – our School rewards the incredible achievements and successes of our final year and postgraduate students.
Whatever you choose to study with us, you’ll be mentored and supported by experts. And once you graduate, it won’t end there. You’ll join a thriving alumni network across Greater Manchester and beyond, meaning you’ll be supported professionally and personally whenever you need it.
This fashion design degree is based at our £55 million New Adelphi building, the home of design and creativity on campus.
When you study with us, you’ll learn from our experienced tutors and demonstrators, who’ll teach you how to use our design facilities, including specialist industrial machinery for fashion production. These include:
Studio space – dedicated areas for each course, giving you room to think and create.
MarkerSpace workshop - create digital rapid prototypes using 3D printers, CNC machines, laser cutters and more.
Photography studios - industry-standard photographic studios, which you can use in conjunction with darkrooms and digital printing facilities.
Workshops – from print to textiles, wood to metal, our range of workshops allow you to take your ideas from page to reality and work in a variety of media.
Mac suites - equipped with the industry-standard software you’ll need during your studies and in the world of work.
Explore our fashion facilities at New Adelphi or take a 360 tour of our New Adelphi building.
MEET THE FASHION TEACHING STAFF
Are you looking to learn more about the background of our fashion tutors and demonstrators, or put a face to a name?
What about after uni?
Graduating from a fashion design master’s programme puts you in a strong position to apply for a variety of roles within the fashion industry. You may decide to join an existing fashion house as a fashion designer, pattern cutter, or textile designer, among many other roles. Alternatively, as a resourceful and independent fashion entrepreneur with excellent skills and business understanding, you might decide to set up your own fashion label.
The skills and knowledge you gain from this course will also help you in a number of other industries. For example, you could work in retail as a buyer or visual merchandiser. You’ll also have the skills to work in an editorial capacity as a fashion stylist or a fashion writer. Having a solid understanding of the fashion world will give you access to a number of specialist career options.
After graduating, you may also choose to continue your research through a practice-based PHD.
Graduates showing strong academic and research skills can pursue a further postgraduate path through our Postgraduate programmes on a full-time or part-time basis subject to a satisfactory proposal.
The programme team for this fashion design postgraduate course works with a number of key organisations and companies each year. These include the Maxmara Fashion Group based in Italy, H&M based in Stockholm, B-Bax based in China and a range of locally-based fashion brands in Manchester.
You’ll also benefit from our membership with the British Fashion Council. As a result of this, we’re able to take part in important competitions with significant fashion brands, as well as being invited to showcase portfolio work at industry events. We have won the British Fashion Council Best Colleges Portfolio award many times in recent years and this is a testament to our industry-ready portfolio of work.
Our contacts within the industry provide you with significant opportunities to develop an understanding of what it’s like to work in fashion, as well as build relationships with relevant contacts.
In China, we have partnership agreements that provide students with unique employment prospects, including teaching and working with design brands while establishing their own fashion label.
What you need to know
To gain a place on this MA Fashion Design degree, you’ll have to submit a personal statement and meet our entry requirements when you apply.
Within your MA Fashion Design personal statement (up to 500 words), we’ll want to understand:
• what motivates you and what current experiences do you have in fashion design?
• how have you been involved and what did you do?
• what designers, makers and artists inspire you?
• why do you want to work in the fashion sector?
• why is the University of Salford and this Fashion Design master’s the right choice for your future goals.
As part of the application process for MA Fashion Design you will be expected to submit a portfolio of work that demonstrates your creative and practical design skills. Please ensure your work is well scanned and presented:
• Ensure your portfolio is submitted as a PDF attachment and not as an online link.
• PDF file size of complete portfolio should be no more than 25mb (please make sure resolution of all pages and images are 72dpi to ensure work can be seen clearly)
Elements to include within your portfolio:
• Prepare a digital portfolio of design work up to 30 pages approx. (no less than 28 pages(.
• You can include within the portfolio a range of work including sketches, design development work, mood boards, concept ideas, illustrations, technical drawings, and any photography of products or garments that you have made. Also, any other creative work that demonstrates your skills within art, design and digital media.
• Ensure that at least one project is complete, demonstrating your whole design process from concept to research development and experimentations, design sketches, illustrated final line of collection or outfit and photography of garment made.
• Ensure work is presented in the order of projects, ideally with the most recent project/work first.
• Select and curate as part of your portfolio your very best work and garment samples.
Standard entry requirements
Relevant undergraduate degree, normally at 2:1 or above, and supporting portfolio of practice.
Applicants with an undergraduate degree of 2:2 will be considered where a high quality portfolio of practice is presented.
If you are an international student and not from a majority English speaking country, you will need IELTS 6.5 with no element below 5.5. We accept qualifications from all around the world. Find your country to see a full list of entry requirements.
We also accept a range of other English language qualifications. If you do not have the English language requirements, you could take our Pre-Sessional English course.
Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)
We welcome applications from students who may not have formal/traditional entry criteria but who have relevant experience or the ability to pursue the course successfully.
The Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) process could help you to make your work and life experience count. The APL process can be used for entry onto courses or to give you exemptions from parts of your course.
Two forms of APL may be used for entry: the Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) or the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL).
|Type of study||Year||Fees|
|Full-time home||2023/24||£9,630per year|
|Full-time international||2023/24||£19,395per year|
You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding, materials and portfolios, and general subsistence on trips and visits.
Scholarships for International Students
If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our scholarships. Explore our international scholarships.