BA (Hons) Creative Direction for Fashion
Explore the role of creative direction within fashion communication and develop skills and knowledge to produce imaginative creative outcomes.
Become a professional and original image maker through the practical and theoretical study of fashion photography and its place within media and communications.
The BA (Hons) Fashion Photography course is situated in the School of Media and Communication, and allows study of fashion photography as both a practical and cultural discipline. The course is academically rigorous, with exploration of analytical and critical approaches to photographic imagery, together with study of the ideology, politics and context of fashion. You will learn the technical skills of photography, whilst exploring images from haute couture to street style, from advertising campaigns to designer look-books, from art gallery to shop window and from fanzine to glossy magazine, and develop an analytical and critical view of global style and the cultural landscape of the fashion industry. You will have the opportunity to take part in industry collaborations, and recent projects have been with River Island, Elizabeth Arden, CPL Aromas (makers of fragrances for Agent Provocateur and Jo Malone), Proctor and Gamble, Unilever, the V&A and English National Ballet, and the Richard Young Gallery.
Take a tour of LCF's world renowned fashion library, ideal for research and study.
Take a tour of Lime Grove's media facilities from photographic studios to darkrooms.
Explore our social spaces, for collaborative study and breaks, across our six sites in London.
This course is subject to revalidation. Revalidation is a process that makes sure students get a high quality academic experience. During revalidation there may be some changes to course content. Please contact us if you have any questions about this course.
BA (Hons) Fashion Photography will teach you the technical skills of photography and allow you to explore a range of imagery for commercial and editorial use.
You will have the opportunity to take part in industry collaborations, and recent projects have been with River Island, Elizabeth Arden, CPL Aromas (makers of fragrances for Agent Provocateur and Jo Malone), Proctor and Gamble, Unilever, the V&A and English National Ballet, and the Richard Young Gallery.
You will also experience location and studio shooting, using the excellent photography studios and darkrooms within the College, and you will explore digital image production and manipulation. You will experience working in teams and building relationships with stylists, make-up artists, model agencies and art directors. You will be encouraged to develop your own authentic take on fashion photography, and by the end of the course will be fully equipped to enter the industry as a professional and original image maker. Graduates from this course are working successfully across a broad range of media, including fashion, style, music and advertising.
Year one - stage one - level 4 - 120 credits
Term one: Introduction to Fashion Photography (20 credits); Image Construction (20 credits)
Term two: Introduction to Cultural and Historical Studies (20 credits); Capturing Fashion (20 credits)
Term three: Collaborative Practice: Fashion Spreads (40 credits)
Year two - stage two - level 5 - 120 credits
Term one: Cultural and Historical Studies (20 credits); Fashion Interactions (20 credits)
Term two: Situating Your Practice: Placement/Situating Your Practice: International Study Media/Situating Your Practice: Fashioned Spaces (40 credits)
Term three: Research Methods for Photography (20 credits); Future Choices (20 credits)
Third year - Stage Three - level 6 - 120 credits
Term one: Collaborative Experimental Practice (20 credits)
Terms one and two: Cultural and Historical Studies Dissertation (40 credits)
Term two and three: Final Major Project (60 credits)
Students on this course might be invited to participate in study trips. This may involve, for example, visits to key areas of capital cities, factories, stores and museums. Attendance on these trips is not compulsory but recommended. Details regarding timings and costs will be issued closer to the relevant trips.
In the first term you will study two units.
Introduction to Fashion Photography introduces 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 to your course.
The Image Construction unit contains a series of critical studies which will enable you to experiment with a variety of approaches to image making. You will be introduced to key genres in photography including Portraiture, Still Life, Street and Documentary, and the visual codes and conventions they are associated with. You will be encouraged to make links between these different types of photographic practice and Fashion and Beauty photography, incorporating the ideological, historical and technical elements you previously encountered and articulating them visually. In addition you will be introduced to key technical concepts in the construction of photographic images such as aperture, depth of field and lighting and encouraged to make links between the technical elements of the unit and how they relate to your personal practice and growth as a photographer.
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.
Capturing Fashion gives you the opportunity to explore and experiment with a variety of critically challenging photographic approaches to the visual representation of fashion. You will be introduced to the process of developing a visual language and expected to consider the importance of arriving at a signature style in contemporary Fashion Photography practice. You will be encouraged to explore the notion of photographic mode, and how key practitioners have shaped and employed it in their own distinctive way. The importance of subject matter and the way in which unique and authentic visions are fashioned will be emphasised, alongside an inquiry into the language and meaning of images and their impact on culture. You will build upon the technical abilities you have previously developed, in addition to acquiring new skills in the production of moving images, which adds to your skills base in preparation for professional practice.
In the third term you will do the Collaborative Practice: Fashion Spreads unit, where you will be looking at how fashion spreads are constructed by contemporary fashion publishing, both in print and online, and how stories are told in fashion photography within different published contexts. You will explore the typographical relationships of image and text, the process of editing and the sequencing of images, and the world of print and online publishing and its promotional initiatives. You will examine the evolving relationship between typography, print and online media and digital imagery and how these elements influence consumption. Focusing on the correlation between the magazine format and marketing contexts, you will have the opportunity to communicate specific messages for fashion consumption that are art directed, constructed and staged. Through the editorial, advert and advertorial formats, you will create fashion stories and photographic narratives.
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.
Also studied in the first term, the Fashion Interactions unit introduces you to the notion of a real-life commission that will provide you with a forum to place your work in the public domain. You will be given an overview of the fashion photography industry so you can start identifying who your potential future clients might be. You will explore where your fashion images might become visible by looking at contemporary brands, platforms and new and emerging technologies in the context of the fashion and photographic industries. You will look at the relationship between photographic production, commissioning agencies and audiences, and this will assist you in preparing for professional practice and extending your network of professional contacts.
Second term options:
Situating Your Practice: Placement aims to develop your professional skills within an industry environment. On your placement you will be able to experience the pace, atmosphere and discipline of working in the industry. This will give you practical experience of the roles, functions and operations within the industry. The unit requires a minimum of 60 work placement hours.
Situating Your Practice: International Study Media provides an opportunity to apply previous learning whilst studying your subject in a different institution. You will develop skills within your practice and gain credits for your current course whilst engaging with the academic culture of your host institution. The unit also demands a critical approach to the management of your own learning through reflection and planning.
Please note: we are unable to guarantee that every course will have an agreement with a partner host institution. As such, this unit is subject to availability. There will be a selection and application process for students who are interested in applying to take this unit of study.
Situating Your Practice: Fashioned Spaces will introduce you to the processes, platforms and formats which are available for you to use in order to showcase your specialist creative practice. The unit will offer you the opportunity to situate, curate, produce and display your innovative body of work within a site-specific context and devise and promote its exposure to a real-life audience. During the course of the unit you will be able to experience your discipline as a public event, which will give you hands-on experience of the roles, functions and operations within the context of professional fashion community.
In the third term you will do two units.
Research Methods for Photography introduces you to the cultural and historical studies and practice-based research projects you will undertake in your final year, and will assist you in the preparation of your dissertation and final major project proposals. You will learn about the key stages in the production of research based on practice and a written element, and you will consider the relationship between primary and secondary sources. You will look at ways of developing and originating research that will underpin the research and development undertaken in your final year.
The Future Choices unit will emphasise the notion of entrepreneurship within the fashion image making industry and will require you to project and evaluate the risks and rewards in pursuing a specific venture. You will be introduced to a wealth of contemporary platforms and appropriate processes and encouraged to consider your artistic outputs as a vehicle for your creative and intellectual investigation in your final year. You will be required to reflect back on your journey on the course so you can select the interests and techniques you will be pursuing. Your conceptual and technical knowledge and experience of Print-Based Media, New Media and Post Production Processes will enable you to locate and propose the most creatively stimulating direction for you so you can make a considered study choice ahead of your final year.
Collaboration and experimentation are essential aspects of the creative process especially with regards to the fashion image industry. The Collaborative Experimental Practice unit will offer you an opportunity to explore and expand the parameters of your work by engaging in collaborations that facilitate experimentation, creative thinking, practical testing and reflective problem solving. Creative outcomes and focused experimentation derived from this unit could inform the process that you explore and expand upon in your Final Major Project next term.
In the first and second terms you will complete a major piece of written work for the Cultural and Historical Studies Dissertation unit. TThis allows you to demonstrate your understanding of the critical and analytical perspectives developed within cultural and historical theory, and how you can apply these theoretical perspectives in a specific study, which you will have already identified in the third term of the second year. The dissertation gives you the opportunity to undertake primary and secondary research that examines in depth cultural issues relating to a particular aspect of fashion, lifestyle, the body, performance or the media, and to produce a written piece of work that reflects on the critical debates and concerns addressed in the course.
The Final Major Project, undertaken in the second and third term, gives you the opportunity to produce a coherent and substantial body of work that evidences the consolidation of specific fashion image making knowledge that you have acquired throughout the course, and demonstrates an advanced level of conceptual, technical and aesthetic abilities, informed by a rigorous process of research. Your outcome should make a contribution to contemporary fashion image making, and should be directed towards a specific and clearly identified platform and audience.
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.
Neil Drabble is Course Leader for BA (Hons) Fashion Photography course at LCF, and an Associate Lecturer on the BA (Hons) Fine Art Photography course at Camberwell. Critical thinking and active experimentation drive his practice, which encompasses a wide range of disciplines, strategies, and approaches, comprising photography, sculpture, painting, text, performance, and curation. He has worked for numerous publications world-wide on portrait/fashion assignments, including Vogue, Tatler, GQ, Elle, The Face, i-D, Arena, Harpers & Queen, The Sunday Telegraph, The Observer. Drabble’s work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally and featured in, among others, galleries including: Tsinghua University Visual Art Centre, Beijing; Gooden Gallery, London; Stone Crop Gallery, USA; Form Content, London; and APT, London. His work is featured in several prominent collections including the Victoria & Albert Museum and the National Portrait Gallery. Drabble’s first book, Tree Tops Tall, was published by SteidlMACK. In 2016 Neil Drabble was the recipient of the prestigious SUARTS award for teaching excellence.
Itai Doron is the Programme Director for Fashion Media courses. He is an established photographer with particular interests in fashion, portraiture, social documentary, body politics, identity and queer theory. Working as a lens-based artist since graduation from Goldsmiths College of Art, Itai has twice received the UAL research project award to develop a body of work on immigration, combining social documentary with notions of fashion. Itai has a proven track record of public dissemination of visual and written work through exhibitions, publications, and academic research and was invited to deliver talks and lectures about his research at various international academic conferences. He has exhibited at the White Cube gallery in London, and participated in numerous group and solo exhibitions in the UK, Europe, Japan, Israel and the United States. He has authored a selection of photography books, including End Of Real in 2005, Yassin in 2009, Chokras’ Mahal (Boys' Palace) in 2011, and Fifteen Minutes With You in 2012.
Michiel Meewis is a Dutch photographer who is a Lecturer on the BA (Hons) Fashion Photography course at LCF. As an alumnus of the London College of Fashion with a Masters in Fashion Photography himself, Michiel was awarded the first place in the category ‘fashion’ by the International Photography Awards Competition. His photographic series have been featured on record covers and numerous publications including Wallpaper*, Fucking Young! Magazine, Port and l’Officiel amongst others. Michiel’s practice as a photographer, mainly exploring the changing perception of masculinity within menswear fashion over time, has resulted in his work being exhibited nationally and internationally. He also works closely with companies such as Lacoste, Viktor & Rolf, Heineken, United Nude, Bikker Shoes, Bazar Coffee and Agi & Sam, developing and building relationships to support the student experience in every way. He obtained his BFT (Bachelor Film and Television) at the Netherlands Film and Television Academy with his exam film ‘About Roses’, which was nominated for a Student Oscar® by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in the category of ‘Best Foreign Film’.
Joanna Piotrowska is part-time lecturer on the course and since graduating from the Royal College of Art, Joanna has participated in various exhibitions including: Dawid Radziszewski Gallery, Warsaw, (2016); Southard Reid, London, (2015), FROWST, Ethnographic Museum, Cracow, (2015), Project Space, Northern Gallery of Contemporary Art, Sunderland, (2014), Project Space, Hayward Gallery, London, (2014), Bloomberg New Contemporaries, ICA, London, (2013), Prada Foundation, Milan, (2016), Sadie Coles, London, (2016), Chapter Gallery, Cardiff, (2017). Joanna works commercially as a fashion/fine art photographer and is represented by Mini Title in London. Clients include: Dazed Magazine, Office Magazine, Modern China Weekly Magazine, Tank Magazine, REVUE amongst others. Joanna’s first book “Frowst” published by MACK Books, was awarded the Leica Prize, and nominated for Paul Huf Award at FOAM Museum in Amsterdam. In November 2016 Joanna was the recipient of the Reda Prize – an award sponsored by CAMERA – Italian Centre for Photography.
We are committed to making university education an achievable option for a wider range of people and seek to recruit students from diverse socio-economic, cultural and educational backgrounds. We are committed to supporting all our students in achieving their potential both during and after their courses.
This section includes information on how to apply, course entry requirements, selection criteria, information about interviews and portfolio advice.
Applications are now open for 2018/19 entry.
You must apply through Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), where you’ll need the following information:
Go to ‘Apply’ from the UCAS home page, where you will be able to register and create a password that gives you unique access as you complete your application form.
Contact us on:
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7514 7344
Or you can use the UAL Course Enquiry Form
Please note that the equal consideration deadline is 15 January.
For full details on the application process, visit the Undergraduate application page.
This section includes information on how to apply, course entry requirements, selection criteria, information about interviews and portfolio advice.
Applications are now open for 2018/19 entry.
International applicants may apply through one of three routes only:
Further information on applying via UCAS is provided on the Applying through UCAS page.
If applying through UCAS, you will need the following information:
We continue to accept applications throughout the year, but please note that the equal consideration deadline is 15 January.
For full details on the application process, visit the Undergraduate application page or contact the UAL admissions team who can answer any specific questions that you may have regarding LCF's courses tailored for international students. This can include guidance for your portfolio, advice on the application process and fee advice. We offer a ‘drop-in’ facility for applicants who may be in London and wish to obtain further course and admissions information.
Entry to this course is highly competitive: applicants are expected to achieve, or already have, the course entry requirements detailed below.
The standard minimum entry requirements for this course are:
Exceptionally, applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered if the course team judges the application demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might, for example, be demonstrated by: related academic or work experience; the quality of the personal statement; a strong academic or other professional reference; or a combination of these factors.
All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language you will be asked to provide evidence of your English language ability when you enrol.
The level required by the University for this course is IELTS 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each skill.
Please visit the UAL Language Requirements page. Read carefully and look at the relevant documents.
What we look for
The course team seeks to recruit students who can demonstrate:
For this course you will be required to upload a mini portfolio. Further instructions will be sent by the course administrator after application submission. International students should contact the International Office at email@example.com to find out about the portfolio application process.
For this course your portfolio should show evidence of: ability to generate original photographic concepts; fashion and image awareness; ability to experiment and research extensively; technical competence; and ability to edit and present work effectively.
Applicants will be expected to demonstrate the following at interview: the reasons why they want to do this course; what they think they can contribute to this course; what informs their photographic inspirations; and how they will be able to cope with the academic component of the course and the integrated critical theory with practice.
All application forms, personal statements and references are read and considered by the course team against the selection criteria listed in the Entry requirements and What we look for sections.
Depending on the quality of your application, you may be asked to submit a number of images of your work. If the course team wish to consider your application further, you will be invited to an interview where the course team will look at your portfolio and ask you questions to establish your suitability for the course. If you are successful at the interview stage you will be offered a place. Applicants are not guaranteed to be asked to upload work, nor are they guaranteed an interview.
Please note that if you are unable to attend, the College may not be able to re-schedule.
If you applied through UCAS the result of your application will be communicated to you via UCAS through ucastrack. You will only receive further communication directly from the College if your application has been successful. This will be in the form of a full offer pack including details of accommodation, fees, and other important information.
Deferred entry is normally only allowed in exceptional circumstances. Please contact us before you submit your application if you are considering applying for deferred entry.
Applicants on some courses may be invited to attend an Interview. Further details will be sent to you with your interview letter, confirming location and date. International applicants should contact the Admission Office by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org about portfolio requirements (if applicable), interview times and dates.
Please note: the information outlined is an indicative structure of the course. Whilst we will aim to deliver the course as described on this page, there may be situations where it is desirable or necessary for the University to make changes in course provision, for example because of regulatory requirements or operational efficiencies, before or after enrolment. If this occurs, we will communicate all major changes to all applicants and students who have either applied or enrolled on the course. Please note that due to staff research agreements or availability, not all of the optional modules listed may be available every year. In addition, the provision of course options which depend upon the availability of specialist teaching, or on a placement at another institution, cannot be guaranteed. Please check this element of the course with the course team before making a decision to apply.
We will update this webpage from time to time with new information as it becomes available. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please use the enquiry form above.
This applies for the 2018/19 academic year.
Tuition fees for undergraduate degree courses have been set at £9,250 per year for full-time study. This applies from the 2017/18 academic year, subject to changes in the law. Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students, in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Please visit our Undergraduate tuition fees page for more information.
This applies for the 2018/19 academic year.
In addition to tuition fees you are very likely to incur additional costs such as travel expenses and the cost of materials. Please read the information on our additional costs page.
Find out about the accommodation options available and how much they will cost.
There are a number of scholarships and awards available to students on this course. Use our search tool to find out more information.
All of our undergraduate courses are concerned with the development of your personal and professional skills. On your course you will evolve from learning basic skills in your discipline through to a position where you are an independent creative thinker capable of making an effective contribution to the relevant sector of the fashion industry. Personal and Professional Development (PPD) skills are embedded in all units on every course. Speaker programmes with contributions from alumni, members of industry and others are a part of many courses, as are work placement opportunities in industry.
Graduates who wish to continue their education at postgraduate level are encouraged to progress to suitable courses within the College, the University or elsewhere.
Many graduates prefer to seek employment as soon as they have completed their undergraduate studies. Some graduates have gone back to their home countries to build successful careers as freelance fashion photographers. Others stay here in London to establish their careers, and notable recent examples of graduates who have done this include Wendy Bevan, Rama Lee, Sean and Seng, and Neil Bedford.