An industry work placement is a great opportunity to put the skills your develop on your course to practice in a real-life fashion environment.
We caught up with BA (Hons) Fashion Design student Josephine Goh about working overseas with major high street retailer H&M during the second year of her course.
Where did you do your placement and for how long?
I completed a 3 month paid placement at H&M’s Head Office in Stockholm, Sweden, as a Menswear Design Assistant. I wanted to work for a high street brand and experience working abroad so this internship was perfect for me.
By Aida Brown
BA (Hons) Fashion Branding and Communication Student
Myself and five other students from BA (Hons) Fashion Branding & Communication were picked to showcase our Trend Forecasting module work at BDA London’s Shoreditch studio as part of a live industry brief.
This amazing opportunity saw us present our work to their in-house Editor of ‘View’ – a retail trade publication which fashion brands use to inform their new clothing and product ranges. View is beautifully designed, reads like a magazine and of course it is very insightful.
As part of our application process, we invite students to attend our Applicant Taster Days. This aims to give every student a chance to experience the day in the life of a Fashion Business and Promotion student at Birmingham City University. Applicants get to meet the staff, ask lots of questions and experience a tour as well as a taster lecture to give them an insight into the content, experience and environment. We want to give you the best opportunity to find out if this is the course for you!
“We want to make sure every student is as educated as possible in their decision making and ultimately makes the right choice for their future. By holding the applicant days, we give them opportunity to get to know us, and the environment they’d be studying in…the real deal! What better way to find out?’
Sophie Johnson, Lecturer in Fashion Business and Promotion.
We asked our applicants on our latest Applicant Open Day to tell us about their experience so potential students know exactly what to expect from the day.
Our second-year BA (Hons) Textile Design students recently had a digital embroidery workshop with Pete Tarrant, of Digitek Embroidery, to develop their knowledge of the industry digital embroidery program, Wilcom. Pete has worked for a multitude of prestigious clients, including Ted Baker so we were extremely excited to gain insight and understanding of his profession, industry links and the resources he uses to create his work.
During the workshop, each student had the opportunity to digitise their design and stitch an embroidery sample on Digitek’s machine, which they kept for personal reference or added to their project development. The masterclass gave our students a deeper understanding of the Wilcom Digital Embroidery Suite and how to successfully direct the program’s capabilities to their digital embroidery.
‘Pete was brilliant at teaching us the vast possibilities of Wilcom. The workshop extended my understanding of the software hugely and I now feel very confident using and experimenting with design, achieving looks I hadn’t perceived before.’
Laura Wonnacott – Second Year Textile Design Student
By Kylie Hill
BA (Hons) Fashion Business and Promotion Student
For two years I studied A-levels in Art, Textiles and Psychology and then a year completing an Art & Design Foundation Diploma Level 3. I left this course knowing I wanted a career in fashion, but not necessarily in design.
After visiting and applying to many universities I decided Birmingham City University was the right choice for me, because of the BA (Hons) Fashion Business and Promotion (FB&P) course they offer and the wide range of topics covered. I was impressed by the breadth of career paths that will be open to me, at the end of this course and the opportunity to work on live briefs with companies, in my favoured industry areas.
Coming from a course that was design focused, I hoped that the FB&P course would give me further insight of the fashion industry, building on the knowledge I had gained working part-time at Topshop, for the past three years. This is exactly what the first module ‘Fashion Business Context’ has done for me! The structure of the module meant it involved students from all backgrounds and really engaged my interest and motivation in working towards my fashion career goals!
The Events Management module of BA (Hons) Fashion Business and Promotion has been running for 10 consecutive years now and continues to thrive. Its roaring success has made it a resounding favourite module for the Fashion Business and Promotion Students at BCU and with this year’s first event less than two weeks’ away, we wanted to know what the hype is all about!
Events Management is a live module in the second year of the Fashion Business and Promotion Degree, requiring students to work in teams to plan and execute a real life event. Not only do our students carry out this module as a live professional brief, but they start the project with zero budget and must use their entrepreneurial and negotiation skills to fundraise.
By Sophie Hawkesford – Print Designer
BA (Hons) Textile Design Graduate 2014
Hi! I’m a freelance printed textile designer and project manager for a textile design studio, and I want to give you a bit of insight into the wonderful career paths that are accessible with a textile design degree.
I think the title ‘textile designer’ is so easily misinterpreted because it is such a blanket term – people usually assume I just design clothing! There are so many different types of textiles that need designing; technical textiles, upholstery textiles, embroidery for textile application, printed textiles and not forgetting automotive textiles. The list goes on….and we haven’t even considered trend forecasting, wallpaper design and retail application!
Applying to study at University can be extremely daunting, especially when you aren’t entirely sure what career path you wish to pursue. I was quite naïve and narrow minded when I began my studies at BCU and did not quite understand the breadth and diversity of direction regarding creativity and employability in the textile industry.
Hopefully by the end of this post you will have discovered at least one new career path that is achievable after studying Textile Design, and be more informed than I was!
To support your application you will be asked to bring your portfolio to an Applicant Taster Day. As a Textile Design graduate I understand how nerve-racking it can be to collate your work into a focused portfolio, ready for a portfolio review. A well thought out portfolio is your tool to making a great first impression to your potential university tutors, as well as being a resource you will continue to use on your creative journey.
Your portfolio is a fantastic opportunity to show who you are beyond your paper application. It’s about your creative ability and your potential – make sure you let your personality shine through!
It is important to understand that portfolios are subjective so what you choose to include is up to you, but if you’re struggling with ideas of what to include or how to structure it take a look at the following guidance:
If you need any more help or information about creating your portfolio head to our School of Fashion and Textiles website.
By Kyri Kallis-Panesar
First year BA (Hons) Fashion Business and Promotion student
Last Saturday I was fortunate enough to be offered the opportunity to attend a catwalk show by BA (Hons) Fashion Design graduates who took to the runway at Birmingham New Street Station. Directed by the internationally acclaimed Birmingham City University alumnus Lee Lapthorne, the catwalk featured twelve collections of high-end fashion produced by BCU students.
By Karen Nutton
First Year Fashion Coordinator and Lecturer
The start of a new curriculum for BA (Hons) Fashion Design, saw the birth of a new collaboration between BCU and Newlife; a charity that supports disabled children, providing essential equipment for children with cancer, birth defects and diseases which often present lifelong challenges.