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Fashion Retail (MA)

Course Description

This course is designed to allow students to explore and produce creative strategies for fashion and retail brands, re-equipping them with the skills necessary to excel in the global fashion industry. The course merges practical skills, with leading academic research surrounding areas such as business, marketing, consumer behaviour, branding and fashion theory – giving a solid platform for graduates to move into the industry or progress in their chosen career path.

MA Fashion Retail is designed to accommodate a range of student backgrounds, from those already within employment looking to add to their existing skills, to design graduates looking to expand their knowledge of branding and retail strategy, or even those seeking a change in career. Learning activities will focus on the needs of individual students, allowing them to focus projects on their area of expertise or future career ambitions.

The course has been developed to meet global fashion industry demand for graduates with both creative skills and business acumen, particularly surrounding multi-channel retailing, digital and social media strategies, brand management, retail design, marketing and communication. The course will take an international focus, to ensure graduate relevance across global markets.

If you choose to study on a creative postgraduate course at the University of South Wales, you will also benefit from being part of a vibrant international student community.

See the website http://courses.southwales.ac.uk/courses/1557-ma-fashion-retail

What you will study

Students will benefit from an immersion into the contemporary fashion industry, with modules addressing both the creative skills and theoretical application necessary. The course will combine a creative focus with the acquisition of technical skills and professional expertise via experiential learning and the strategical application towards live and industry simulated briefs.

Selection of Modules include:

- Academic and Professional Practice for Fashion
This module is design to cater to students individual learning needs, whether that be focused on research into the fashion industry or towards research and academic skills required for Masters level study. Students will consider their own personal experience and future career aspirations along with a focus on creative digital visualisation skills and industry standard software.

- Fashion Retail Interactions
This module will explore the landscape of fashion retail to encourage students to engage with contextual understanding, looking into areas such as consumer behaviour, sales management, visual merchandising, buying, multi-channel retailing and marketing communication. Students can choose an area of specialism to produce a visual research book, demonstrating their skills in research and analysis.

- Fashion Retail Space and Place
This module will encourage innovative thinking as students question what retail is and what it could be in the future. Students will use industry standard 3D visualisation software to design their own retail space that will be focused on a specific market and consumer base, considering the store environment, use of multi-platform integration across all levels of fashion retail.

- Fashion Brand Design and Communication
This module will critically explore the nature of branding, with both theoretical understanding and creative and practical application. Students will be encouraged to select an existing fashion brand or retailer, researching fully utilising both primary and secondary research methods, before proposing an opportunity for re-branding or re-positioning of the brand. Students will utilise create software to produce promotional materials relating to their ‘new’ brand concept. This module is designed to run as a live brief with a brand.

- Strategic Fashion Retail Innovation
Students will be asked to think globally, exploring the impact of wider factors on the design of fashion retail strategies for innovation. Students will consider a consumer group in a specific marketplace and produce a strategy for international expansion. This strategy will be accompanied by creative promotional material to enhance students research and analytical skills, as well as their visual communication.

The final semester of the degree will include a 60-credit project, which will develop through one of the above modules. The final major project enables students to focus on their area of expertise, designing their own major project brief (with help from lecturers) that will showcase their advance fashion retail knowledge and design skills. Students will be guided on an appropriate project, before working with tutors to create an outcome that can be used as a discussion point in future interviews or exhibitions. Alternatively, students can choose an extended work placement, or reflection on their own work practice, to utilise work placed learning into their MA Fashion Retail.

Common Modules:
The Faculty understands the importance of a strong grounding in research knowledge and skills, enterprise and innovation as part of a balanced postgraduate education.

We also recognise that each student has different requirements of their postgraduate experience.

You can choose to study one of the following three, 20 credit common modules. Each of these has a different focus, enabling you to select the module that will be most beneficial to you.

- Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship
This module aims to develop your knowledge of the methods to identify, develop and manage enterprise and innovation in the creative sector. It will then help you apply this to your own entrepreneurial project.

- Research and Practice in the Creative and Cultural Industries
The focus of this module is on the development of research knowledge and skills, while also encouraging critical engagement with approaches to creative practice. You will also explore ideas, debates and issues in the creative and cultural industries.

- Research Paradigms
This module focuses on research paradigms and their theoretical underpinnings. It also looks at key conceptual tools drawn from a wide range of subject areas relevant to postgraduate research in the creative industries.

PLEASE NOTE: Modules are subject to change.

Learning and teaching methods

The academic staff have significant fashion industry experience within retail, business, design and marketing and have access to industry to bring guest speakers and attract world-renowned brands for live briefs in order to enhance the learning experience and networking opportunities.

Work Experience and Employment Prospects

This course is suitable for those looking to break into the fashion industry, along with those who are looking to take their current career towards a more senior role. This course would also suit those with a background in a more specific industry function (such as design and PR) to help them to enhance their skill-set and knowledge.

The course will give you rich knowledge of the fashion industry and a broad range of transferable skills. The skills and experience gained will allow you to go on to decision-making roles within fashion, in areas such as retail design, buying and merchandising, marketing, brand strategy, creative branding and management.

Assessment methods

The course is 100% course work and will include innovative and research informed teaching practices. Modules will include live project briefs from well-known fashion and retail brands to give you experience that reflects industry practice.

Visit the Fashion Retail (MA) page on the University of South Wales website for more details!

Entry Requirements

A good Honours degree in a relevant discipline, or an appropriate professional qualification, or HND/HNC and appropriate experience. International applicants will need to have achieved an overall IELTS grade of 6.5 with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component.

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