The Womenswear programme encourages the development of students’ individual design identity through the translation of their personal research into design. Within the discipline there are four areas of separate design specialisation, including: knitwear, footwear, accessory design and millinery.
During the programme, students are given the opportunity to develop their individuality and creativity through concentrating on the following subjects: research and development of design ideas, colour, fabric and yarn sourcing, dedicated technical workshops relevant to the specialism selected, drawing and portfolio presentation.
Professional presentations and portfolio development focus on communication skills and the ability of students to present their work coherently and intelligently. External, industry-set projects are selected primarily to provide students with the experience of working professionally, and are timetabled in both first and second years. These professional contacts frequently lead to sponsorship, international placements and freelance design work for our students.
Students also undertake the Critical & Historical Studies lecture and seminar programme, culminating in the submission of a dissertation at the start of their second year.
In their second year, students are expected to work more independently, developing a precollection and a final collection. Every student will have the opportunity to show their work at the end of their final year. In addition, selected students will have the opportunity to show their final collection in the catwalk shows.
Critical & Historical Studies
The RCA provides a unique environment for postgraduate art and design students to reflect upon their own practice, and to engage with students from their own and other disciplines. The role of Critical & Historical Studies (CHS) is to support the studio programmes in enabling these critical engagements to take place. The courses offered by CHS to first year studio-based MA students propose an intellectual framework within which they can begin to establish a coherent relationship between theory and practice.
In the autumn and spring terms there are a series of College-wide seminars and lectures. The autumn term series will relate to your particular discipline (though it is possible to elect to join a series being offered to students on other programmes) whereas the spring term series will be more broad-based and cross-disciplinary in nature.
In the spring and summer terms, a CHS tutor will give you individual tutorials to support the development of a dissertation which is submitted at the start of the second year. The dissertation should be between 6,000–10,000 words in length – this is a major piece of work and you will be not be able to submit for the Final Examination until you have passed this assessment.