Grad School Profile: The London College of Fashion

WornThrough is taking a new approach to its Graduate School Profiles.  Feel free to email us with feedback or leave a comment below.  If you attend a graduate program in this field and feel it should be profiled, please email Worn Through.

The London College of Fashion is a part of network of art and design institutions associated with the University of the Arts in London, England.  Its close proximity to continental Europe allows many students the chance to conduct research on specific topics in the world of fashion design, business, history and culture.  This diverse program offers postgraduate degrees for those interested in pursuing higher education in the fashion industry and beyond.

This university has many advantages when it comes to postgraduate academic success.  MA degrees range in a variety of topics, from broader studies of Costume Design and Fashion Business, to more narrowly-focused interests like Fashion and Film, Fashion Photography and History and Culture of Fashion.  Other comparable institutions typically only allot one or two classes on such subjects for their students to explore, making the London College of Fashion unique.

Most (if not all) of the programs can be completed within a 15-month period for full-time students.  Conceivably, an enrollee can earn two degrees of higher education in the same amount of time it takes to earn a Masters from a typical university elsewhere.  Interested students can also earn a MA by working on a research or a project independent of the degrees offered, allowing scholars the freedom to develop their own coursework and curriculum.

Students can work towards a PhD but must apply for the Research Degree program.  This is a unique opportunity for students to devote their time to researching a specific subject without the strict guidelines of PhD courses found in other universities.  According to their website, “Research students’ study is self-directed but they are expected to work conscientiously and independently within the parameters of the guidance offered by supervisors and the College.”  In this way, the student creates their own method of study and is not expected to teach or take classes, endure language supplements, publish regularly, etc.

The London College of Fashion’s most notable undergraduate alumni is footwear mogul Jimmy Choo, but several other contributors to the field of fashion studies have emerged as well.  These include Dr. Djurdja Bartlett, author of FashionEast: the Spectre that Haunted Socialism, and Amber Jane Butchart, buyer and archivist for  Readers at the institution include Judith Clark, curator of several exhibitions including Anna Piaggi: Fashion-ology, Spectres: When Fashion Turns Back at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.  Alumni success rate is uncertain based on information available on the internet, but current students and graduates seem to explore a wide variety of opportunities both in the United Kingdom and abroad.

There is some debate as to whether or not a post-graduate degree earned abroad holds the same depth as one received in the United States.  The different degree requirements and the condensed nature of these programs are sometimes seen as a disadvantage to American employers.  It might be pertinent to inquire about post-graduate job success, and if any foreign students have had trouble finding employment opportunities.  As of now, only MA diplomas are awarded – there are no MFA or MBA programs.

This university would be beneficial for a student who has a specific research or industry focus and would like to enhance their education further through more in-depth study.  I would also recommend this school for those who prefer a more flexible, independent approach to higher education, especially if ones research interests lie in British or European fashion.  More information can be found on The London College of Fashion’s website.

Contributor Jenna has also written a fantastic review of the 2011 MA student show at the university.  Please take look at the post to find more information about each program and to read insightful student interviews.

Related Articles

1 Comment

  • Basia szkutnicka May 29, 2011 10.55 am

    We also have a unique Study Abroad programme at LCF
    which can serve as a step up to higher level study if you are a graduare from and international fashion programme or indeed looking to transfer credits.
    I am the Director of the programme, should any further info be required, please mail me
    Basia Szkutnicka


Leave a Comment

Monthly Archive


Available now: Punk Style by Worn Through founder, Monica Sklar, PhD. Find it at :, Powell's Books, or a bookseller near you.