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CHALLENGE FASHION. Create Change.

This MA will equip you with the knowledge to become an expert in ethics and sustainability, anticipating the demands of the future fashion industry.

The programme responds to significant industry, consumer and political demand for graduates who can effectively apply professional knowledge and communication skills to responsible design.

Positioned within the MA design community, this course offers a unique and creative approach in addressing environmental and social challenges facing contemporary fashion industry, utilising a range of design thinking and problem solving tools.

MA Fashion Design (Sustainable and Ethical) is a flexible course, suited to those who wish to work both academically and with an industry focus. You will have room for exploring new ideas, as well practical applications, that can bring positive change to the fashion industry. You will challenge fashion by fulfilling a self-directed project relevant to your professional trajectory. There is no requirement that you come from a design background.

You will have access to premium, industry facilities include a photography studio, machine room, print room, knit studio, and as well as a MA Fashion Design studio space.

This full-time research-driven, practice-based programme is one of five distinctive and creative Fashion Masters programmes offered at Northumbria that explore innovative, global challenges integral to the advancement of knowledge in the fashion discipline.

MA Fashion Design

MA Fashion Design(Womenswear)

MA Fashion Design(Menswear)

MA Fashion Design(Performancewear)

MA Fashion Design(Sustainable and Ethical)

 

What can I expect from this course?

Northumbria School of Design has been delivering Fashion education for over 60 years. As a discipline, the Fashion team, alongside their students, work with a variety of high-profile companies spanning the breadth of the market, from high street to key designer brands.

 

How will this course prepare me for my career?

Our collaborative work with industry partners creates a space for future thinking with knowledge exchange that enhances the curriculum and enables students to graduate into high profile employment both in the UK and internationally. Throughout the duration of their studies, our students develop a critical awareness of contemporary issues that inform practices across fashion design disciplines. Our graduates leave their studies with an advanced understanding of designing products that have increased purposeful performance across different areas in the industry, where fashion responds to future human and planet well-being. 

Ranked 11th in the UK for Design and Craft by the Guardian University Guide, and we are renowned for our pioneering and innovative course frameworks which meet the demands of industry and produce graduates who are ready to step straight into employment or further their post-graduate education.

Course Information

Level of Study
Postgraduate

Mode of Study
1 year full-time

Department
Northumbria School of Design

Location
City Campus, Northumbria University

City
Newcastle

Start
September 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

Funding and Scholarships

Discover the funding options available to you.

Graduate Showcase / REVEAL

The end of year showcase for our Creative Programmes

Videos / Fashion at Northumbria University, Newcastle

Take a look at one of our student fashion shows, exhibited live at London fashion week plus hear Dr. Alana James discuss the highlights of the Fashion MA (sustainability and ethical) in a master's in a minute (or so).

Discover NU World / A virtual journey through everything Northumbria has to offer.

Explore our immersive 360 tours, informative subject videos, inspirational student profiles, ground-breaking research, and a range of life at university blogs videos and articles.

Entry Requirements 2024/25

Standard Entry

Applicants should normally have:

A minimum of a 2:2 honours degree in a relevant discipline. Applicants with appropriate work experience and/or a relevant professional qualification will be considered.

International qualifications:

If you have studied a non UK qualification, you can see how your qualifications compare to the standard entry criteria, by selecting the country that you received the qualification in, from our country pages. Visit www.northumbria.ac.uk/yourcountry

English language requirements:

International applicants are required to have a minimum overall IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 with 5.5 in each component (or approved equivalent*).

 *The university accepts a large number of UK and International Qualifications in place of IELTS.  You can find details of acceptable tests and the required grades you will need in our English Language section. Visit www.northumbria.ac.uk/englishqualifications

Fees and Funding 2024/25 Entry

Full UK Fee: £9,250

Full EU Fee: £18,250

Full International Fee: £18,250



Scholarships and Discounts

Click here for UK, EU and International scholarship, fees, and funding information.

ADDITIONAL COSTS

All costs are mandatory: General programme - Design Tools, Media, A3 Sketchbooks, Materials relevant to student line of research . To be purchased annually Module specific DE7008 and DE7009 - Toile and pattern construction tools relevant to Student individual project needs. To be purchased once DE7003 - Relevant student material needs to complete specific project. To be purchased once

If you’d like to receive the latest updates from Northumbria about our courses, events, finance & funding then enter your details below.

* At Northumbria we are strongly committed to protecting the privacy of personal data. To view the University’s Privacy Notice please click here

How to Apply

Please use the Apply Now button at the top of this page to submit your application.

Certain applications may need to be submitted via an external application system, such as UCAS, Lawcabs or DfE Apply.

The Apply Now button will redirect you to the relevant website if this is the case.

You can find further application advice, such as what to include in your application and what happens after you apply, on our Admissions Hub Admissions | Northumbria University



Modules

Module information is indicative and is reviewed annually therefore may be subject to change. Applicants will be informed if there are any changes.

DE7001 -

Design Thinking (Core,30 Credits)

You will learn concepts and principles of design thinking delivered in three knowledge portfolios; creative thinking, research principles and contemporary influences on design, these fields of knowledge are supported and informed by academic staff research specialisms.
Creative thinking methods will enable you to frame problems from multiple perspectives and synthesise new opportunities and possibilities from interrelated factors. You will develop a practical knowledge of advanced design research methods. Through contemporary influences you will learn to situate design in the contemporary world and identify the impact of external factors on your own design practice.
The underpinning knowledge and understanding will be applied in the context of a team project with industry or other collaborating organisation, which will help you learn effective ways of working in multi-cultural/multi-disciplinary teams. Recent industrial collaborations have included Procter and Gamble, The Centre for Process Innovation National Centre for Printable Electronics and the Academic Health Science Network.

Through this module you will learn about three fields of design knowledge described above, which you will interpret relative to your own practice and in line with your PDP. You will apply this knowledge in co-creative practice and will reflect on your experience to summarise the utility and limitations of methods employed.
You will appreciate the transferability of design thinking and will be able apply your knowledge in different contexts and domains.

More information

DE7002 -

Design Process (Core,30 Credits)

You will learn concepts, methods and principles aligned with three knowledge portfolios: Action research and reflective practice, cross cultural collaboration, innovation and enterprise. Whilst grounded in a literature review these fields of knowledge are also supported and informed by academic staff research specialisms.

You will learn about action research methods and will build your own action research process models and recording templates that you will apply in practice to facilitate your development as a reflective practitioner. In parallel you will learn about theories of enterprise and innovation and will apply this knowledge in action by exploring business models and intellectual property. You will also learn about cross-cultural collaboration by applying relevant concepts from literature whilst working in multi-cultural teams.

The underpinning knowledge and understanding will be applied in the context of a collaborative project with industry or other organisation, which will help you learn effective ways of working in multi-cultural/multi-disciplinary teams. Recent industrial collaborations have included projects with Lakeland, Tucano, Kitchen Craft, Thermo Fisher and the Tuke Insitute.

Through this module you will learn about three fields of design knowledge described above, which you will interpret relative to your own practice and in line with your PDP. You will apply this knowledge in co-creative practice and will reflect on your experience to summarise the utility and limitations of methods employed.
You will appreciate the transferability of design thinking and will be able apply your knowledge in different contexts and domains.

More information

DE7003 -

Project / Thesis (Core,60 Credits)

In this module you will learn to advance your Research Through Design and take a directional approach to your personal design brief.
You will develop your reflective practice and reach insights and analytical conclusions in your chosen field of study as outlined in your Personal Development Plan (PDP).
You will synthesise the learning from semesters 1 and 2 to create a Major Design Project and Thesis. These will evidence an analysis of advanced academic research, debates, and exploratory practice in the production of theories that demonstrate real world discipline specific value within an industry context.
You will be expected to take an increasingly autonomous approach to your studies at this stage in developing, embedding and clarifying personally developed research themes theories and experiences that will be realised through either;
Option 1: a focussed major design project (Component A) and written report (Component B) that will embed reflection as part of the design process
or
Option 2: a design thesis detailing your engagement with your PDP and reflection on your learning.
Your thesis will evidence your advanced design practice and written communication of theories and concepts appropriate at Masters level and relevant to both your chosen pathway (as described below) and more specifically your PDP.

MA Design/ MA Fashion Design/ MA Fashion Design: Performancewear/Womenswear/Menswear will enable you to take control of your design direction and align your own passion and motivation with the value you create for business and society. You will learn to hone your capabilities, refine the focus of your design contribution and create your ideal future professional self.

MA Design Management will give you the knowledge and tools to orchestrate design thinking and process at a strategic level in organisations. You will build a meta view of transferable design knowledge that will enable you to recognise the value of design within organisations and to provide effective leadership and management of design roles. You will learn to navigate complexity, and develop your understanding of how to build and manage organisational growth through brand, new product and service opportunities and strategic innovation.

MA Sustainable and Ethical Fashion will give you the knowledge and tools to orchestrate design thinking and process at a strategic level in organisations. You will build a meta view of transferable design knowledge that will enable you to recognise the challenges of responsible practice within the fashion industry. You will learn to navigate complexity, and develop your understanding of how to build and manage organisational growth through brand, new product and service opportunities and strategic innovation.

On completion you will have the skills and abilities to make a positive impact in the design industry, and the knowledge and experience to be able to make purposeful contribution to the world.

More information

DE7010 -

Fashion Product Lifecycle (Core,30 Credits)

During Fashion Product Lifecycle (DE7010) students will have the opportunity to explore the environmental and social impact of fashion products within the context of the global supply chain. From fibre to consumer, the garment lifecycle is a complex and integrated system requiring extensive knowledge and understanding before innovative, more responsible solutions can be proposed. It is with this depth and rigour that this module begins to investigate alternative business models and lifecycles reflective of contemporary challenges in fashion including the circular, second-hand and sharing economy methodologies.

Students will critically examine existing paradigms in fashion through their creative process, implementing transferable skills such as research principles and creative thinking methods in a move towards becoming a reflective practitioner. Analysing the three key stages of the product lifecycle: design, manufacture and use, opportunities for change will be explored utilsing appropriate design tools and methods.

This module reflects the changing landscape of the fashion industry, moving forward from dated linear models of production and consumption, towards the adoption of principles to address ethical and sustainable challenges within a fashion context. Long associated with negative environmental and social impact, this module facilitates students in their exploration of alternative innovation models, emerging technologies and progressive system solutions.

More information

DE7011 -

Responsible Design (Core,30 Credits)

During Responsible Design (DE7011) students will have the opportunity to develop an extensive understanding of the role design can play in creating systemic change in a linear fashion model (i.e. take, make, dispose). During the critical analysis of alternative processes, including the circular, sharing and second-hand economies, the potential these approaches could have to reduce negative environmental and social impact will be explored.

Through the application of innovative design strategies, students will begin to develop a series of innovative solutions to address the contemporary societal challenges currently facing the fashion industry. These methods will include: design for circularity, emotionally durable design, design for behaviour change and the implementation of product life-extension strategies (re-use, repair, recondition etc.)

Students will work collaboratively utilising approaches such as co-creation and participatory design in the development of multi-stakeholder cooperation and a human-centric approach necessary in the principles of responsible design. Considering design as a key-tool for change, this module aims to embed knowledge and create informed, progressive change-makers, prepared to disrupt the way fashion is made, consumed and disposed.

More information

YB7000 -

Academic Language Skills for Design & Fashion (Core – for International and EU students only,0 Credits)

Academic skills when studying away from your home country can differ due to cultural and language differences in teaching and assessment practices. This module is designed to support your transition in the use and practice of technical language and subject specific skills around assessments and teaching provision in your chosen subject. The overall aim of this module is to develop your abilities to read and study effectively for academic purposes; to develop your skills in analysing and using source material in seminars and academic writing and to develop your use and application of language and communications skills to a higher level.

The topics you will cover on the module include:

• Understanding assignment briefs and exam questions.
• Developing academic writing skills, including citation, paraphrasing, and summarising.
• Practising ‘critical reading’ and ‘critical writing’
• Planning and structuring academic assignments (e.g. essays, reports and presentations).
• Avoiding academic misconduct and gaining credit by using academic sources and referencing effectively.
• Listening skills for lectures.
• Speaking in seminar presentations.
• Presenting your ideas
• Giving discipline-related academic presentations, experiencing peer observation, and receiving formative feedback.
• Effective reading techniques.
• Developing self-reflection skills.
• Discussing ethical issues in research, and analysing results.
• Describing bias and limitations of research.

More information

Modules

Module information is indicative and is reviewed annually therefore may be subject to change. Applicants will be informed if there are any changes.

DE7001 -

Design Thinking (Core,30 Credits)

You will learn concepts and principles of design thinking delivered in three knowledge portfolios; creative thinking, research principles and contemporary influences on design, these fields of knowledge are supported and informed by academic staff research specialisms.
Creative thinking methods will enable you to frame problems from multiple perspectives and synthesise new opportunities and possibilities from interrelated factors. You will develop a practical knowledge of advanced design research methods. Through contemporary influences you will learn to situate design in the contemporary world and identify the impact of external factors on your own design practice.
The underpinning knowledge and understanding will be applied in the context of a team project with industry or other collaborating organisation, which will help you learn effective ways of working in multi-cultural/multi-disciplinary teams. Recent industrial collaborations have included Procter and Gamble, The Centre for Process Innovation National Centre for Printable Electronics and the Academic Health Science Network.

Through this module you will learn about three fields of design knowledge described above, which you will interpret relative to your own practice and in line with your PDP. You will apply this knowledge in co-creative practice and will reflect on your experience to summarise the utility and limitations of methods employed.
You will appreciate the transferability of design thinking and will be able apply your knowledge in different contexts and domains.

More information

DE7002 -

Design Process (Core,30 Credits)

You will learn concepts, methods and principles aligned with three knowledge portfolios: Action research and reflective practice, cross cultural collaboration, innovation and enterprise. Whilst grounded in a literature review these fields of knowledge are also supported and informed by academic staff research specialisms.

You will learn about action research methods and will build your own action research process models and recording templates that you will apply in practice to facilitate your development as a reflective practitioner. In parallel you will learn about theories of enterprise and innovation and will apply this knowledge in action by exploring business models and intellectual property. You will also learn about cross-cultural collaboration by applying relevant concepts from literature whilst working in multi-cultural teams.

The underpinning knowledge and understanding will be applied in the context of a collaborative project with industry or other organisation, which will help you learn effective ways of working in multi-cultural/multi-disciplinary teams. Recent industrial collaborations have included projects with Lakeland, Tucano, Kitchen Craft, Thermo Fisher and the Tuke Insitute.

Through this module you will learn about three fields of design knowledge described above, which you will interpret relative to your own practice and in line with your PDP. You will apply this knowledge in co-creative practice and will reflect on your experience to summarise the utility and limitations of methods employed.
You will appreciate the transferability of design thinking and will be able apply your knowledge in different contexts and domains.

More information

DE7003 -

Project / Thesis (Core,60 Credits)

In this module you will learn to advance your Research Through Design and take a directional approach to your personal design brief.
You will develop your reflective practice and reach insights and analytical conclusions in your chosen field of study as outlined in your Personal Development Plan (PDP).
You will synthesise the learning from semesters 1 and 2 to create a Major Design Project and Thesis. These will evidence an analysis of advanced academic research, debates, and exploratory practice in the production of theories that demonstrate real world discipline specific value within an industry context.
You will be expected to take an increasingly autonomous approach to your studies at this stage in developing, embedding and clarifying personally developed research themes theories and experiences that will be realised through either;
Option 1: a focussed major design project (Component A) and written report (Component B) that will embed reflection as part of the design process
or
Option 2: a design thesis detailing your engagement with your PDP and reflection on your learning.
Your thesis will evidence your advanced design practice and written communication of theories and concepts appropriate at Masters level and relevant to both your chosen pathway (as described below) and more specifically your PDP.

MA Design/ MA Fashion Design/ MA Fashion Design: Performancewear/Womenswear/Menswear will enable you to take control of your design direction and align your own passion and motivation with the value you create for business and society. You will learn to hone your capabilities, refine the focus of your design contribution and create your ideal future professional self.

MA Design Management will give you the knowledge and tools to orchestrate design thinking and process at a strategic level in organisations. You will build a meta view of transferable design knowledge that will enable you to recognise the value of design within organisations and to provide effective leadership and management of design roles. You will learn to navigate complexity, and develop your understanding of how to build and manage organisational growth through brand, new product and service opportunities and strategic innovation.

MA Sustainable and Ethical Fashion will give you the knowledge and tools to orchestrate design thinking and process at a strategic level in organisations. You will build a meta view of transferable design knowledge that will enable you to recognise the challenges of responsible practice within the fashion industry. You will learn to navigate complexity, and develop your understanding of how to build and manage organisational growth through brand, new product and service opportunities and strategic innovation.

On completion you will have the skills and abilities to make a positive impact in the design industry, and the knowledge and experience to be able to make purposeful contribution to the world.

More information

DE7010 -

Fashion Product Lifecycle (Core,30 Credits)

During Fashion Product Lifecycle (DE7010) students will have the opportunity to explore the environmental and social impact of fashion products within the context of the global supply chain. From fibre to consumer, the garment lifecycle is a complex and integrated system requiring extensive knowledge and understanding before innovative, more responsible solutions can be proposed. It is with this depth and rigour that this module begins to investigate alternative business models and lifecycles reflective of contemporary challenges in fashion including the circular, second-hand and sharing economy methodologies.

Students will critically examine existing paradigms in fashion through their creative process, implementing transferable skills such as research principles and creative thinking methods in a move towards becoming a reflective practitioner. Analysing the three key stages of the product lifecycle: design, manufacture and use, opportunities for change will be explored utilsing appropriate design tools and methods.

This module reflects the changing landscape of the fashion industry, moving forward from dated linear models of production and consumption, towards the adoption of principles to address ethical and sustainable challenges within a fashion context. Long associated with negative environmental and social impact, this module facilitates students in their exploration of alternative innovation models, emerging technologies and progressive system solutions.

More information

DE7011 -

Responsible Design (Core,30 Credits)

During Responsible Design (DE7011) students will have the opportunity to develop an extensive understanding of the role design can play in creating systemic change in a linear fashion model (i.e. take, make, dispose). During the critical analysis of alternative processes, including the circular, sharing and second-hand economies, the potential these approaches could have to reduce negative environmental and social impact will be explored.

Through the application of innovative design strategies, students will begin to develop a series of innovative solutions to address the contemporary societal challenges currently facing the fashion industry. These methods will include: design for circularity, emotionally durable design, design for behaviour change and the implementation of product life-extension strategies (re-use, repair, recondition etc.)

Students will work collaboratively utilising approaches such as co-creation and participatory design in the development of multi-stakeholder cooperation and a human-centric approach necessary in the principles of responsible design. Considering design as a key-tool for change, this module aims to embed knowledge and create informed, progressive change-makers, prepared to disrupt the way fashion is made, consumed and disposed.

More information

YB7000 -

Academic Language Skills for Design & Fashion (Core – for International and EU students only,0 Credits)

Academic skills when studying away from your home country can differ due to cultural and language differences in teaching and assessment practices. This module is designed to support your transition in the use and practice of technical language and subject specific skills around assessments and teaching provision in your chosen subject. The overall aim of this module is to develop your abilities to read and study effectively for academic purposes; to develop your skills in analysing and using source material in seminars and academic writing and to develop your use and application of language and communications skills to a higher level.

The topics you will cover on the module include:

• Understanding assignment briefs and exam questions.
• Developing academic writing skills, including citation, paraphrasing, and summarising.
• Practising ‘critical reading’ and ‘critical writing’
• Planning and structuring academic assignments (e.g. essays, reports and presentations).
• Avoiding academic misconduct and gaining credit by using academic sources and referencing effectively.
• Listening skills for lectures.
• Speaking in seminar presentations.
• Presenting your ideas
• Giving discipline-related academic presentations, experiencing peer observation, and receiving formative feedback.
• Effective reading techniques.
• Developing self-reflection skills.
• Discussing ethical issues in research, and analysing results.
• Describing bias and limitations of research.

More information

Any Questions?

Our Applicant Services team will be happy to help.  They can be contacted on 0191 406 0901 or by using our Contact Form.



Northumbria University is committed to developing an inclusive, diverse and accessible campus and wider University community and are determined to ensure that opportunities we provide are open to all.

We are proud to work in partnership with AccessAble to provide Detailed Access Guides to our buildings and facilities across our City, Coach Lane and London Campuses. A Detailed Access Guide lets you know what access will be like when you visit somewhere. It looks at the route you will use getting in and what is available inside. All guides have Accessibility Symbols that give you a quick overview of what is available, and photographs to show you what to expect. The guides are produced by trained surveyors who visit our campuses annually to ensure you have trusted and accurate information.

You can use Northumbria’s AccessAble Guides anytime to check the accessibility of a building or facility and to plan your routes and journeys. Search by location, building or accessibility feature to find the information you need. 

We are dedicated to helping students who may require additional support during their student journey and offer 1-1 advice and guidance appropriate to individual requirements. If you feel you may need additional support you can find out more about what we offer here where you can also contact us with any questions you may have:

Accessibility support

Student Inclusion support



All information is accurate at the time of sharing.

Full time Courses starting in 2023 are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but may include elements of online learning. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with additional restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors, potentially to a full online offer, should further restrictions be deemed necessary in future. Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.

 

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We continuously review and improve course content in consultation with our students and employers. To make sure we can inform you of any changes to your course register for updates on the course page.


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Find out about our distinctive approach at 
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If you’d like to receive the latest updates from Northumbria about our courses, events, finance & funding then enter your details below.

* At Northumbria we are strongly committed to protecting the privacy of personal data. To view the University’s Privacy Notice please click here

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