MA in Fashion

  • Length
    1 year full-time
  • Department

Course overview

Explore the social and cultural context of fashion through both theory and practice. You will combine research, debate and ethics with making to cultivate new and inclusive ways of thinking, doing and being fashion.

The MA Fashion programme will enable you to:

Challenge traditional boundaries and perceptions of fashion

Understanding the context that shapes fashion and in turn it’s far-reaching social, cultural, economic and environmental impacts is key to this programme. This means developing an understanding of the complexity of fashion on all levels, questioning the hierarchy and spectacle of the prevailing fashion system and imagining alternatives.

We approach this through collaborative and experimental research, which enables students to develop individual and critical perspectives and the confidence to activate this knowledge in various professions across the creative industries. On graduating from the programme students will be equipped to cultivate innovative and inclusive ways of thinking, doing and being fashion.

Engage in interdisciplinary learning

The programme has been designed to provide an interdisciplinary environment in which research, critical debate and ethics combine with, and inform, practice. Outcomes during the year can be writings, short films, conceptual prototypes, imagery, garments or combinations of these. These diverse outcomes will be driven by students previous studies/professions/expertise, that may be in fashion design, fine art, journalism, anthropology, textiles or another related fields.

It is expected that students have the curiosity to explore both material and written forms through study and making practices. The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, field work, studio practice, excursions, workshops, seminars, collaborative and independent projects and exhibitions.

Students will also take option modules in the departments of Visual CulturesMedia and CommunicationsICCE (Institute for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship) and also from other specialisms within the Design Department. Students are expected to play an active role in the studio culture, group discussions and peer review.

Think and research through making

Studio practice is an integral part of the programme during which making is used as a reflective process to analyse and communicate. We wholly encourage students to be intellectually and viscerally engaged and to develop knowledge that is grounded in experience. Students are supported in gaining a clear purpose and focus in their practice and we provide guidance in creating meaningful work, whilst developing personal well-being.

The studio spaces and workshops at Goldsmiths are shared with the wider MA Design community and the Department of Art creating a vibrant and dynamic space for experimentation and discussion. Students are encouraged to work with the broad range of technical equipment available at Goldsmiths and to pursue their work in a way that is uninhibited by the traditional parameters of disciplines.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Ruby Hoette

Modules & structure

The MA in Fashion is a 180 credit programme consisting of three core taught modules totalling 60 credits, a final project worth 60 credits, and a further two modules totalling 60 credits to be taken from the Institute for Creative & Cultural Entrepreneurship (ICCE) and Media & Communications departments.

This is the main pathway for the programme, however there will also the opportunity to take option modules from the Department of Design depending on the students individual interests. 

Core modules

Module title Credits
  Fashion Constellations 15 credits
  Fashion Contexts 30 credits
  Fashion Narratives 15 credits

Examples of option modules from ICCE and Media and Communications:

Module title Credits
  Entrepreneurial Modelling 30 credits
  The City and Consumer Culture 30 credits

Goldsmiths Textile Collection

Students on the MA in Fashion work closely with the unique resources available at the Goldsmiths Textile Collection.

The Goldsmiths Textile Collection represents  the history of textiles at Goldsmiths from the 1940s to the present day and includes works by Goldsmiths alumni and other textile artists, ethnographic and historical textiles and dress, a host of exquisite teaching samples from the personal collection of Constance Howard, as well as an international reference library of books, slides, exhibition catalogues and other printed material. This eclectic and unique archive provides an invaluable on-site resource for emerging practitioners and professionals to develop their research and creative portfolios.

The Constance Howard Gallery, home of the Goldsmiths Textile Collection, has an active programme of textile-related exhibitions throughout the year. This programme includes shows curated with objects from the Collection and from associated research projects, as well as work by textile artists, students and alumni. Students on the MA in Fashion will work closely with the Textile Collection and Constance Howard Gallery as a resource for material and textual research with access to the archive's extensive holdings and the gallery as a project-space.


The MA in Fashion is assessed through a mix of individual and collaborative coursework, essays and projects. For each core module you will be able to choose between a written submission and a practical submission accompanied by a research report. You will be encouraged to select a form of assessment that is appropriate to demonstrate your knowledge, understanding and skills in relation to the course content. Blogs, webpages, essays, films, garments, presentations and exhibitions all feature as assessments in this programme.

Download the programme specification for this degree to find out more about what you'll learn and how you'll be taught and assessed.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.


Design at Goldsmiths is ranked:
1st in the UK**
11th in the world***


We’ve also been ranked by LinkedIn as one of the top graduate universities for designers, because so many of our graduates go on to find jobs in the industry.

Critique the status quo

We want you to go on to have your own self-sustaining practice that can change over time, so you’ll learn about design not just as a commercial enterprise, but also as a way to question and critique the status quo. 

The freedom to experiment

You don’t have to know what kind of a designer you’ll be: we give you the time and the freedom to experiment, use tools, explore materials and discover different modes of making. Many of our students have already worked in the design industry and are keen to develop their theoretical understanding of the discipline, and have the opportunity to explore their practice without the confines of commercial restrictions.

Industry leaders

Our graduates are industry leaders: many have gone on to work at top organisations and design companies such as Pentagram, Dyson and Selfridges, while many others have set up their own studios and enterprises.

Find out more about the Department of Design.

**The Guardian University Guide 2016

***QS World University Rankings by subject 2016


Student work

Student profiles


"It is a privilege to have access to fully equipped workshops, textile labs and fashion archives, to see exactly how far fashion has gone and how far it can still go."

"The MA in Fashion has so far been such a great experience. I took my BA degree in Public Relations, and after that I interned for a few fashion companies, so I chose to study fashion to get a more academic knowledge on the subject. Four months into the programme, I already feel confident about my knowledge both in the glamorous side of the fashion world, but also in the less charming side, a side which one can only examine by looking at the industry from the inside.

Coming from a background of studying only being done in the library or online, I could have never imagined that my research for a project could be so interesting, that it would involve walking around the streets of London, observing and taking photos, making short films or reading through fashion magazines. One of the reasons I enjoy my Masters is that it constantly encourages me to challenge my own thoughts and viewpoints; the attitude of the teachers is inspiring me to step out of my comfort zone, and it is such a great feeling to feel like I have a safety net around me and to not be afraid to fail. Also, it is a privilege to have access to fully equipped workshops, textile labs and fashion archives, to see exactly how far fashion has gone and how far it can still go.

By the end of my degree I would expect to have both a broad and solid knowledge on the different aspects of the fashion industry, but also to have found a more specific area of interest I would like to focus on in the business of fashion." 


"I was confident that the MA Fashion course would inspire me to find new and meaningful ways of engaging with the fashion industry."

"The MA in Fashion is an interdisciplinary course that has changed the way I think about the subject and industry. The course modules are provided through a combination of theoretical-based lectures and practical workshops, where students explore methods of traditional design and craft, as well as new technology. Although I currently work in fashion media, one of the most interesting things for me has been having the opportunity to engage with textiles, because it has given me a deeper understanding of the design process. I have also enjoyed experimenting with visuals like photography and video as part of my research methods during the MA. I chose Goldsmiths because I was confident that the MA Fashion course would inspire me to find new and meaningful ways of engaging with the fashion industry. After graduating I plan to work on various projects, which will contribute to a more sustainable future within the industry."

Entry requirements

You should have (or expect to be awarded) an undergraduate degree of at least second class standard in a relevant/related subject. 

You might also be considered for some programmes if you aren’t a graduate or your degree is in an unrelated field, but have relevant experience and can show that you have the ability to work at postgraduate level.

Equivalent qualifications
We accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.

English language requirements
If English isn’t your first language, you’ll need to meet our English language requirements to study with us.

For this programme we require:

IELTS 6.5 (with a minimum of 6.5 in the written test and no individual test lower than 6.0)

If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for postgraduate-level study.

How to apply

You apply directly to Goldsmiths using our online application system. 

Before submitting your application you’ll need to have:

  • A personal statement
    This should briefly outline your background and previous academic/professional experience and how this will equip you for Post Graduate studies in fashion. You should articulate your personal approach to dress/textiles/fashion and your goals after completing the programme. Finally we would like you to articulate why you believe the MA in Fashion at Goldsmiths specifically is suited to you practice and career aspirations and what you expect to gain from your study experience. This can either be uploaded as a Word Document or PDF, or completed online.

          Please see our guidance on writing a postgraduate statement

  • A PDF portfolio of practical work or sample of writing
    The portfolio should include selections from your sketchbook. We would like to see research, concept development and process in addition to outcomes. If your practice is primarily written then please provide a sample of writing that best reflects your skills and approach. Both the portfolio or written sample should refer to or illustrate relevant professional experience that indicates your current interests.  Please make sure your PDF file is no larger than 5MB.
  • Details of your education history, including the dates of all exams/assessments
  • The email address of your referee who we can request a reference from, or alternatively an electronic copy of your academic reference
  • If available, an electronic copy of your educational transcript (this is particularly important if you have studied outside of the UK, but isn’t mandatory)

You'll be able to save your progress at any point and return to your application by logging in using your username/email and password.

When to apply

We accept applications from October for students wanting to start the following September. 

We encourage you to complete your application as early as possible, even if you haven't finished your current programme of study. It's very common to be offered a place that is conditional on you achieving a particular qualification. 

Late applications will only be considered if there are spaces available.

If you're applying for funding you may be subject to an application deadline.

Selection process

Admission to many programmes is by interview, unless you live outside the UK. Occasionally, we'll make candidates an offer of a place on the basis of their application and qualifications alone.

Find out more about applying.

Fees, funding & scholarships

Find out more about tuition fees.

Find out more about funding opportunities for home/EU applicants, or funding for international applicants. If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an application deadline.

Related content links