In the first term you will study two units.
Introduction to the Fashion Business for Fashion Visual Merchandising & Branding introduce you to your course and its subject specialism as well as to effective learning and studentship at undergraduate level. It will orientate you to the practices and knowledge-base needed to understand your discipline and help you to develop your skills for independent & collaborative learning, reflection and your own self development. Students come from many diverse educational backgrounds and a part of this unit will enable to reflect on your own background and how that shapes the way you approach your course.
Principles of Fashion Visual Merchandising and Branding introduces you to 2D and 3D design processes by exploring creative vision through drawing and appropriate media applications. You will be encouraged to explore, investigate and analyse a variety of subject matter, in order to facilitate the development of your design ideas through visualisation techniques and product installation. Basic techniques are explored and developed through a variety of creative applications relevant to visual retail environments. Through this unit you will begin to understand the relationship between design research, design development and product installation, and you will have a coherent framework for future 2D and 3D visual retail concept development.
In the second term you will study two units.
Introduction to Cultural and Historical Studies introduces you to key concepts and ways of thinking about fashion and its context in society and culture. You will attend lectures, seminars and workshops, and do a significant amount of reading of academic texts in order to complete a formal academic essay for assessment. Completion of this unit will allow you to make an informed choice of subject for study in the second year Cultural and Historical Studies unit.
The customer experience of the physical brand environment from concept to completion is the focus of the Fashion Branding For the Physical Environment unit. You will explore how fashion businesses build brand identity, brand image and brand personality in the retail space. Connections between brand essence, visual brand identity and product presentation in relation to sustainable retail spaces and the consumer shopping journey will be made. This unit will be brand theory based with practical studio work included.
In the third term you will undertake the an option unit. This gives you the opportunity to work collaboratively with other students. This mirrors the real-world challenges faced by fashion enterprises that depend on close working relationships between departments. You will consolidate the knowledge and skills that you have already acquired, and the project will give you opportunities for fieldwork and research, as well as increasing your teamwork and presentation skills. The project will be concerned with the development and expression of brands in the marketplace, will have an operational focus, and will address key themes such as sustainability, ethics, entrepreneurship and globalisation. You will begin to look at the industry from a managerial viewpoint.
The Fashion Branding for the Digital Environment unit will develop your understanding of integrated digital environments and the customer experience. The structure, development and use of digital media and platforms for product promotion and retail aspects of the brand will be explored in depth. The digital and online brand experience from concept to completion will be investigated. Connections between brand essence, visual brand identity and product presentation in relation to the online shopping journey will be made.
In the first term you will be able to study a Cultural and Historical Studies unit of your choice that will broaden or deepen your learning of areas relating to your interests in your chosen field. You will have the opportunity to participate in lectures, seminars and workshops with students from other courses within your School, and will read relevant academic texts and complete a formal academic essay for assessment.
The Consumer Insight for Visual Brand Communications unit will introduce you to concepts of consumer behaviour and psychology through the investigation of how global consumers respond to a branded fashion retail environment. You will develop your understanding of what motivates consumers to shop and how fashion psychographics influence consumer identity and behaviour. You will introduce applied research methods to help you to practically investigate how consumers respond to aspects of branded retail environments and explore the relationship between brand communication and the consumer. The rise of online retailing has challenged traditional selling platforms and transformed the visual communication landscape and the role of the visual merchandiser. The virtual shopping representation, blended with the physical store experience requires new digital context branding strategies. You will apply your consumer insight to the theoretical relationship between fashion branding and marketing communications in the physical retail and digital media space to generate creative and engaging brand solutions.
The Brand Development: Fashion Store Design unit broadens your design, visualisation and presentation skills which will enable you to expand on the key understanding of creative branding and visual merchandising in a professional context from concept to completion and installation. You will be encouraged to link freehand drawing skills and industry standard software packages at a larger scale to the branded environment and explore industry practice to generate creative solutions for commercial spaces. The relationship between design research, and design development in computer-generated contexts is fundamental to this unit and will provide you with a coherent framework for future two and three-dimensional concept development. Advanced techniques are explored and developed through a variety of creative applications whilst also evaluating commercial constraints on visual retail planning.
The Work Experience Based Learning unit gives you the opportunity to apply your subject knowledge in a work-based context. This could be a work placement or internship, a live industry consultancy or a simulated industry project within the fashion industry. You will undertake an industry scoping exercise to identify suitable opportunities for your work based learning experience and deliver a reflective account of this and assess your performance against appropriate professional criteria.
Professional placement year (optional)
You can opt to undertake the Diploma in Professional Studies for a period of industrial placement of at least 30 weeks duration. The placement is undertaken between the second year and final year of your course, and you will normally be working full-time in a company. You will be able to experience the pace, atmosphere and discipline of working in the industry through your involvement in the day-to-day activities of a fashion business. This will give you practical experience of the roles, functions and operations in the fashion industry that you have studied on your course. There is flexibility to combine a work placement overseas (minimum 20 weeks) with a period of overseas study (minimum 10 weeks). You will be required to write a negotiated report on your placement, which will focus on issues or opportunities related to the placement company. This will develop your study skills and allow you to demonstrate your research, analytical and evaluative skills. Successful completion of the year will give you the additional qualifications of a Diploma in Professional Studies.
In the first term you will study the Futures and Innovation unit. You will look at current issues affecting the fashion industry in general and visual merchandising and branding in particular. You will explore various trend indicators that are likely to point to important influencing factors in the future. The specific content of the unit will evolve as the fashion industry changes, but will focus on trends in design, materials and the retailing landscape. Scenario planning and futures forecasting will be investigated.
In the first and second terms you will undertake the Fashion Visual Merchandising and Branding Strategy unit. This gives you the opportunity to develop your understanding of corporate strategy and business models, which will enable you to analyse fashion strategies at both corporate and business levels. You will also learn how to formulate strategic plans for businesses in different contexts, such as online and international markets. You can choose a specialist direction that reflects your career aspirations.
Throughout the final year you will do your Final Major Project. This gives you the opportunity to develop your project proposal from your initial idea, and negotiate your final project brief within the general area of visual merchandising and branding with your supervisor. This will reflect your particular interests and your future career aspirations, and the final outcome of your project will be a considerable body of work. This will be communicated to a relevant audience via an appropriate medium as the culmination of your project.
Showing your work
All students are advised to set up a profile on portfolio.arts.ac.uk, UAL’s new portfolio platform, which can be done at any point during your time at LCF and will last for up to 12 months after graduation. This platform is often used to source student work for promotional use on the website, social media and for print and can be a great way of getting your work seen. You may also be asked to have a portfolio profile for the selection process when it comes to degree shows.