Fashion Public Relations: Defining the Discipline and the Practice unit introduces you to the role of public relations and communication in fashion. By looking at the structure of the global fashion industry and the influence of fashion communication on society, you will gain an understanding of the significance of the role of the fashion communicator. This unit will develop your knowledge of the core concepts and definitions of communication as well as the theories and models that currently inform the discipline. You will learn to distinguish the functions of communication and PR and how they interact, yet differ, from other disciplines such as marketing and advertising. Furthermore, this unit will make you aware of the various audiences and stakeholders the fashion communicator interacts with.
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.
In Understanding the Fashion Brand you will explore the concept of branding in the fashion industry. Through studying brand models and theories you will begin to understand how brands create and maintain a distinctive voice and identity. You will develop your awareness of both the visible and tangible elements of a brand and the emotional and intangible elements that create a connection between brands and their audiences. You will explore techniques and the processes of brand analysis, and will learn appropriate technical skills.
In the third term you will do the Creative Media Platforms unit, which builds on your skills in researching and deconstructing brands. You will examine the relationship between the fashion communication industry and the media. You will develop an understanding of how fashion brands connect and communicate with audiences and tell their brand story through the use of various communication tools, techniques and platforms as well as through generating their own content. You will work in a group on a focused and creative communication campaign.
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. Options cover the broad cultural context of professional practice in media and communication. 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 Crisis and Reputation Management unit gives you knowledge and understanding of how fashion brands and corporations manage, enhance and protect their image and reputation through corporate communication strategies. You will acquire the tools to identify the internal and external issues, reputational threats and opportunities faced by brands and corporations. You will explore the ways in which they build their profiles using long-term strategies, and you will have the opportunity to apply this knowledge by developing an innovative response to a crisis.
Second term options:
Situating Your Practice: Communication Placement unit provides an opportunity to apply previous learning in a professional work environment. You will gain a deeper critical understanding and appreciation of professional practice within your discipline and in relation to contemporary debates and cultural contexts. The unit also demands a critical approach to the management of your own learning through reflection and planning as well as demonstration of suitable individual and collaborative professional working. The unit requires a minimum of 60 work placement hours.
Situating Your Practice: International Study Communication 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: Simulated Professional Practice provides an opportunity to apply your previous learning and further develop your individual practice. The unit will simulate a professional working environment where you will be encouraged to collaborate with students across your course, programme and the wider University in order to respond creatively to a brief which will be detailed in your unit handbook. The unit also demands a critical approach to the management of your own learning through reflection and planning.
Research Methods for Media provides an introduction to and an overview of a number of different research methods for the collection of material relevant to your final year studies. For Cultural and Historical Studies, the unit will assist in the preparation of your dissertation proposal through considering primary and secondary sources, ways of developing and originating research, and ways of realising the research appropriate to cultural and historical studies. You will also undertake research, both primary and secondary, that will inform the development of a public relations plan to be undertaken in the Strategic Communication Planning unit.
The Strategic Communication Planning unit gives you the opportunity to create a strategic communication and public relations plan that utilises the developments in technology that offer innovative opportunities for communication. You will consider planning frameworks, which will enable you to select and apply creative tactics to implement and evaluate your strategy. You will interpret and apply your findings from the Research Methods for Media to each stage of the planning process.
In the first term you will undertake the Project Proposal: Fashion Public Relations and Communication unit. Building on your research skills, you will choose a brand and develop a proposal for your Final Major Project. The focus of this unit is to identify a specific communication need for your brand, based on thorough and well-analysed primary and secondary research. You will evaluate and apply your findings to define a specific communication opportunity for your chosen brand, and develop a sound case for the direction of your final project, with an outline of a creative and targeted strategy. You will include a plan for further research and a projected schedule for the implementation of your strategy in your Final Major Project.
In the first and second terms you will undertake a major piece of written work for the Cultural and Historical Studies Dissertation unit. This 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 the critical debates around your chosen topic.
The Final Major Project, undertaken in the second and third terms, gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your learning to date through a self-set and independently managed project. Building on the research you have already completed, you will develop the strategy outlined in your project proposal and realise it through an innovative and distinctive communication and PR campaign. This campaign will cover a twelve month period for the brand or organisation, and will include creative and viable tactics to address the issues and opportunities identified. You will demonstrate your final campaign visually, verbally and in writing in the execution of a professional presentation.
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.