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MA Fashion

Course Description

The MA Fashion degree is aimed at ambitious, talented graduates looking to enter or progress in the fashion industry and be at the forefront of global innovation and creativity. Through theory and practice you will explore fashion within a diverse range of markets and contexts; challenging the boundaries of the discipline. The curriculum will be highly relevant to both fashion graduates and those already working in the industry looking to advance their skills and knowledge. With a focus on preparing you both intellectually and professionally for employment, the course will support students to master craftsmanship and couture techniques at the same time as developing innovative, conceptual designs that break new ground.

Visiting industry professionals and studio technicians will support your exploration of traditional technical skills such as pattern cutting, garment construction, bespoke tailoring, experimental cutting and draping methods; the traditions and craft of haute couture; hand and machine finishing techniques and the use of contemporary technologies. You will be guided to refine your practice and choose to specialise in either womenswear or menswear.

As the reputation of Fashion at NUA continues to grow we continue to invest. From our campus in the heart of Norwich’s cultural quarter you will have access to industry standard resources and exceptional facilities, including three fully-equipped open plan studios overlooking the river, providing a creative and supportive environment in which to refine and professionalise your practice. With industry standard equipment you will be encouraged to take risks, challenge yourself and be open minded as you progress to the high level of practice expected.

Creative thinking and innovation are at the core of the MA philosophy and you will engage with students from across the postgraduate community to share opportunities and debate contemporary issues. You will be given the opportunity to work within specialist workshops and studios across all University departments including photography, textiles and graphic design. Through professional collaborations, live projects, guest lectures and study visits you will begin to make contacts, promote your work and embark on your professional career whilst still a student. These complement the core studio, workshop and taught sessions on research methods, theoretical approaches and business and professional skills, meaning that on leaving NUA, graduates will be equipped to work within a broad spectrum of roles in the fashion industry.

Course Leader, Sue Chowles’ high profile career has seen her freelance for John Flett, Bodymap, Bernstock/Speirs and Harvey Nichols before forming international designer fashion label. As Design Director of Chowles-Munday she exhibited at London Fashion Week and was commissioned to design a collection exclusively for Liberty’s of London. Her distinguished career in fashion higher education has seen her fulfil lecturing positions at Nottingham Polytechnic, BA Subject Leader at the University of Brighton, MA Principal Lecturer at the London College of Fashion and the Sri Lankan Institute of Design and Technology. Her current research investigates the importance of preserving the integrity of couture craftsmanship and how it is vital that future generations are educated and informed to protect the heritage of traditional skills.

The course tutors - all industry practitioners themselves - have sold their own labels through Harrods and Harvey Nichols and worked for designers including French Connection, Nicole Farhi and Roland Mouret. With this technical and creative guidance you will be encouraged to experiment with processes and materials, and contextualise your work as the tutors support you in promoting your work within the creative sector. You will also learn how to place your work against the backdrop of design history and current trends, as you question and extend the boundaries of your design.

Scholarship and funding information is available. Norwich will be taken over by a festival of contemporary art in key venues across the city in the summer of 2016, as one of four host cities for the 8th edition of the British Art Show. The biggest touring exhibition of contemporary art in the UK has selected Norwich University of the Arts (NUA) as its lead partner in Norwich. See NUA website for details: http://www.nua.ac.uk

Visit the MA Fashion page on the Norwich University of the Arts website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Kate Cooper

2493.jpg The MA is really about your professional development and not just whilst you are on the course but also where you are heading.

I knew the reputation of NUA and I knew the facilities were good. When I came on the Open Day I just wanted to get started and try everything. Some people think you have to be in London to study Fashion but you don’t, the quality of teaching here is so good and you get so much more one-to-one time. I had heard of Sue Chowles and knew she had written the course at Brighton which made it a destination course and so when I heard she had written the course at NUA I was keen to study here.


N170 Postgraduate Student Scholarship - 8 Awards

TERMS & CONDITIONS FOR THE N170 POSTGRADUATE SCHOLARSHIPS 2015/161. In order to be eligible for a scholarship, you must:
a. Be a UK or EU citizen;
b. Have begun your Undergraduate Degree (UG) in September 2012 and been charged higher fee levels at a UK university;
c. Have completed your UG degree by the end of the 2014/15 academic year;
d. Not already hold a postgraduate degree or higher level of qualification;
e. Have made a formal application for postgraduate study at NUA, which must be for 1-year full-time study and
f. Have received a full or partial government maintenance grant in your final year of undergraduate study: i.e. 2014/15.2. You must have submitted a separate application form for postgraduate study by 1 May 2015 and ticked the box on this form to indicate that you wish to be considered for an N170 Postgraduate Scholarship. During May you will be sent further information on the scholarships, along with a scholarship application form. You must have returned the scholarship application form to NUA by 31 May 2015.3. The £10,000 scholarship will be awarded as a full fee waiver, with the remaining funds paid as a bursary on the following dates: 1 October 2015, 15 January 2016 and 15 May 2016. The final bursary payment on 15 May 2016 will only be paid if you are continuing onto the Masters project.4. If you withdraw at any point during the year, you will not be required to pay back the fee waiver or any bursary payments received to that point, but you will not be eligible for any future bursary payments. If you intermit during the year and return in 2016/17, you will receive any bursary payments not yet paid to you when you return, at the same points of the year as specified above (i.e. 15 January and 15 May). If you return from intermission after the end of 2016/17, you will not receive any outstanding bursary payments.5. Where there are more applicants than scholarships available, the successful applicants will be decided by a judging panel, who will base their decision on a balanced score of the interview, application
and quality of references. Those who have been awarded a scholarship will be notified by 10 July 2015.

Value of Scholarship(s)



NUA is offering eight £10,000 scholarships for 2015 entry. These scholarships are only available for full-time postgraduate students who are 2015 graduates, started an undergraduate degree in 2012 (new fee regime) and can prove they were receiving financial support (maintenance grant/bursary) during their time of study. Further criteria may include first generation higher education students and those from under-represented groups. The N170 scholarship will cover NUA postgraduate tuition fees plus an additional bursary up to the value of £10,000.

Application Procedure

You must have submitted a separate application form for postgraduate study by 1 May 2015 and ticked the box on this form to indicate that you wish to be considered for an N170 Postgraduate Scholarship. During May you will be sent further information on the scholarships, along with a scholarship application form. You must have returned the scholarship application form to NUA by 31 May 2015.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Entrants should normally have a BA (Hons) degree in a related subject or other qualifications (including non-UK) that the University considers equivalent. Relevant professional experience may be considered. The offer would mostly be based on a portfolio and usually an interview, in person or via Skype.

Course Fees

MA (Full-Time): £5,500; MA (Part-time; 2 years): £3,300 per year

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Recipient: Norwich University of the Arts

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