Fashion Journalism

BA (Hons)

2018 entry

Fashion journalists communicate breaking news, future trends and industry issues to the public. Whether reporting from a front seat at a fashion show, interviewing a celebrity in a new retail campaign or uncovering what really happens in sweatshops of developing countries, the life of a fashion journalist is stimulating and fast-paced.

This dynamic and highly creative course encourages you to explore the vast landscape of fashion and lifestyle media, whilst equipping you with the journalistic skills needed to become a versatile and creative fashion communicator.

Our School of Fashion has been ranked in the top 20 by The Guardian's 2017 university league table.

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Length of study:

Three years full-time


September 2018


UCA Epsom

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Course overview:

This course’s unique philosophy revolves around the idea of the voice – training and finding the voice in Year One, developing and widening that voice in Year Two, and expressing and promoting each voice’s unique attributes in Year Three.

You’ll develop skills through individual and collaborative work in both studio and industry environments, including a work placement and live project briefs.

Over the three years, you’ll build a portfolio of work of various styles and techniques, across a range of markets and communication platforms. The course culminates in a graduate portfolio demonstrating each individual’s skills and interests.

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Course content - 2018 entry

In the first year, you'll be introduced to the University and the technical workshops and facilities available to you. On the course you’ll learn the technical and conceptual skills that will give you a solid foundation from which to explore your areas of specialist activity.

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change.

Course modules

  • Fashion Journalism 1

    This unit introduces you to some of the most commonly used journalistic styles and areas of focus adopted by the contemporary fashion journalist. These include, specifically, developing an eye for a good story, ensuring stories are timely, areas we examine and people we cover. We'll also look at the diverse range of platforms on which we communicate fashion and investigate the differences of styles between them. We'll do this in terms of style, structure, focus and language.

  • Fashion Vocabulary

    We discover the language of fashion. This means terminology and utilising descriptive language to enable readers to picture what we're discussing, going beyond the surface and appearance of accompanying visuals.

  • Fashion Media and Industry

    This unit examines the industry itself. It enables you to consider yourself, at this early stage, within it, through the production of a portfolio of work you've undertaken in the past. This helps you to reflect your initial career aspirations and areas of potential investigation for work placement/study abroad in Year 2. You'll also gain a greater awareness of complementary industries to fashion within the greater ' lifestyle' or 'creative industry' arena.

  • Introduction to Fashion History and Theory

    Establishes the basic framework of historical knowledge. This is vital for developing a contextual understanding and also introduces the tools for visual and textual analysis.

The second year focus is on finding your own specialist way of working and you’ll be encouraged and supported to start working more independently. During this year you may also have the opportunity to complete an industry work placement or even study abroad.

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change.

Course modules

  • Fashion Journalism 2

    This unit helps find and train our journalistic voices, through discovering research methodologies and techniques to offer voice depth and broad appeal. We know that an effective headline and initial reportage can grab attention, and that thoughtful use of description, terminology and appropriate imagery can help the reader trust us.

  • Fashion Publishing

    In this unit, you'll be expected to work as part of a group to develop a vision for a new magazine, identify an appropriate audience and create a product that aligns with both. As part of the process, we'll explore the typical structures and hierarchies of fashion titles across numerous platforms. And we'll look at how they elicit information about their audiences.

  • Work Placement and Portfolio

    You'll experience the workings of a sector of that industry first hand, through a mandatory work placement period of a minimum of three weeks, either with the same or multiple provider. Adopting the process of investigation, application, interviewing and participation, you'll then reflect on these experiences both directly. You'll also do this indirectly, through the curation and production of a portfolio, allowing the input of these experiences to further shape your career pathway and/or aspirations for the future.

  • Theories of Culture, Identity and Communication

    This unit introduces key issues and academic debates circulating in contemporary discussion of design culture. We'll provide interdisciplinary theories and methods for analysis, drawing on dominant theories of explanation and engaging in current debates. An important consideration is to demonstrate the significance of theory - in understanding the contexts of practice - through lively and contentious debate in seminars.

  • Study Abroad (optional)

    This optional unit gives you the chance to spend time in an overseas educational institution.

The third year will see you achieve a greater level of independence with self-managed research, study and practice, resulting in a final major project and a written dissertation.

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change.

Course modules

  • Innovation in Fashion Publishing

    You're asked to select an area of fashion publishing, including (but not limited to) specific market sectors, platforms of dissemination, specific publishers or specific titles. You'll conduct a detailed research analysis of the area's past and present, culminating in ideas for its future. You're encouraged, where possible, to not limit yourself to the UK, but adopt a more international perspective.

  • Final Major Project and Portfolio 2

    You'll create what's fundamentally your own brief - producing two outcomes, a final major project and a portfolio that both exclusively demonstrate your skills, abilities, motivations, interests and a personal manifesto of creative practice.

  • Dissertation

    This is a period of self-directed individually-negotiated research on a subject related to the contextual and/or theoretical concerns of your discipline or chosen area of practice.

  • Or Combined Dissertation and Critical Reflection

    Consists of two periods of sustained, individually negotiated research on subjects which are likely to be related to the contextual and/ or theoretical concerns of your chosen areas of practice. This is towards the provision of structured argument. In the first section, you'll undertake a dissertation, by engaging with research appropriate to you chosen subject area. In the second, you'll undertake an individually negotiated project of critical research and reflection that provides a contextual framework for, and analysis of, your own practice and/or visual interests.

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change.

Course modules

International study

Find out more about studying in the UK, or studying part of your course abroad at one of our partner institutions (study abroad option not available on all courses).

Course connections

On this course, you'll be exposed to a world of opportunities

The course is taught by practising journalists and editors with a wide range of skills and experience working for newspapers, magazines, websites, blogs, broadcast and television, having worked for titles such as:

  • FHM
  • Time Out
  • Harrods
  • Selfridges
  • The Independent
  • Metro
  • The Sunday Times
  • The Guardian
  • InStyle
  • The Daily Express
  • The Sunday Express
  • Channel 4 –
  • Topman
  • Pop Magazine.

Fashion Journalism at our Epsom campus enjoys close fashion and creative industry links across multiple media and fashion companies, enabling students to undertake work placements with magazines such as:

  • Elle
  • Vogue
  • Dazed and Confused
  • Love and InStyle.


Our students also undertake placements with:

  • Independent magazines
  • PR agencies
  • Advertising agencies
  • Model agencies
  • High street brands
  • Designer labels
  • Individual stylists
  • Creative directors
  • Fashion designers.


In addition to this, our unique Core Lecture Programme invites guest speakers from different levels of industry, across a many different disciplines and backgrounds. Recent speakers have included editors, authors, photographers, stylists, curators and publishers.

Graduate employability from our Fashion Journalism degree is very high, as the transferable skills acquired throughout the course open the doors to a range of different roles within fashion and the wider creative industries. This course doesn’t just produce writers and journalists, but also marketing and PR professionals, and digital and social media content managers. Graduates have also pursued careers in fashion styling and buying. Examples of graduate destinations include:

  • Net-a-Porter
  • Oasis
  • Liberty
  • The Tate
  • Bloomingdales
  • The Financial Times
  • The Metro
  • John Lewis
  • Jigsaw UK
  • Harrods
  • Grazia
  • Glamour
  • Harper’s Bazaar
  • FHM
  • House of Fraser 
  • Men’s Health
  • ASOS
  • Dazed & Confused
  • The Huffington Post.

You may also like to consider further study at postgraduate level.

How to apply - 2018 entry

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Entry requirements - 2018 entry:

As a leading creative arts university, we want to attract the best and most creative minds in the country – so we take a balanced approach to candidate assessment, taking both individual portfolios and exam results into account. 

That’s why your portfolio is an especially important part of your application to study with us – and we can help. Our academics can offer you expert advice on how to showcase your creative work and build a portfolio that will make your application stand out. More advice on how to create an exceptional portfolio is also available here.

Entry requirements

Along with your portfolio, the standard entry requirements* for this course are:

One of the following:

  • 112 new UCAS tariff points (equivalent to 280 old UCAS tariff points), see accepted qualifications
  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4)
  • Distinction, Merit, Merit at BTEC Extended Diploma
  • Merit at UAL Extended Diploma
  • 112 new UCAS tariff points from an accredited Access to Higher Education Diploma in appropriate subject
  • 27-30 total points in the International Baccalaureate Diploma with at least 15 IB points at Higher level.

And four GCSE passes at grade A*-C and/or grade 4-9 including English (or Functional Skills English/Key Skills Communication Level 2).

Other relevant and equivalent Level 3 UK and international qualifications are considered on an individual basis, and we encourage students from diverse educational backgrounds to apply.

*We occasionally make offers which are lower than the standard entry criteria, to students who have faced difficulties that have affected their performance and who were expected to achieve higher results. We consider the strength of our applicants’ portfolios, as well as their grades -  in these cases, a strong portfolio is especially important.

Your portfolio

Your portfolio should feature up to 12 single-sided (or six double-sided) A4 sheets of work, preferably examples of journalism or writing in a journalistic style (or essays if not) and any visual examples of your work – these should include pieces you feel represent your experience of and/or interest in fashion and writing. You might also want to represent any experience or knowledge of computer- aided design and visual communication through layouts and imagery, but this is not essential. Please collate your work in a disposable folder, with photocopies or printouts rather than the originals, as these are examined further after the interview process, and it’s not always possible to return them.

More portfolio advice

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Student regulations

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