Fashion directly contributes nearly £21 billion to the UK economy and employs nearly a million people across a wide spectrum of roles and provides diverse job opportunities. The industry needs people with many different talents ranging from designers to business developers, strategists to writers, new media specialists, to photographers … and even accountants!
A degree in fashion will give you the historical and contextual knowledge that other routes into the industry might not provide. Industry projects can set a course apart and give you valuable experience while you're studying.
Will my degree be recognised?
This is not really an issue with fashion degrees. You are far more likely to be judged on the quality of your portfolio and the work experience you have gained whilst studying than the quality of your university.
However, there are still universities and fashion schools that are better connected to the fashion industry and it is worth considering this when planning to study design abroad.
Does it make sense to study fashion abroad?
This really depends on you. There are many good fashion schools in the United Kingdom so it is not necessary to go abroad in order to find a good quality education. It is worth bearing in mind though that the fashion capitals of Paris, Milan, Amsterdam and Dublin are just on the doorstep!
For all fashion disciplines from design and styling to fashion business, communication and new media, it is important to ensure that your university offers you plenty of practical experience of the working environment and opportunities to network in the fashion world. You should look for a university that can offer you excellent work placements and internships. This will assist you in finding a job after you graduate.
What grades do I need to get in to fashion school abroad?
Grades are not usually the issue for design courses. In common with British universities, greater emphasis will be placed on your portfolio and any practical skills you have already amassed. Some colleges such as Istituto Marangoni will teach you all that you need to know and in some cases will require no previous knowledge. Obviously a keen interest in fashion is vitally important and it is worth remembering that this is not an easy subject so hard work will be required.
What else should I bear in mind?
Talent alone is not enough to guarantee success in the fashion world – ensure that the course you choose covers practical business elements. It is worthwhile investing in your skills to ensure that you have a competitive advantage.
Where should I look for fashion degrees abroad?
You can find fashion schools all around the world, from USA to Australia and throughout Europe, for example Fashion Design at Griffith College in Dublin, Fashion Business, Communication & Design courses at Istituto Marangoni, with the option to study in Milan, Paris or London, or Fashion and Design at Willem de Kooning Academy.