• CollegeLCF
  • Start dateSeptember 2018
  • Course length1 year (September to June)

Graduate Diploma Fashion Design Technology

Places available 2018/19

This course has places available for UK and EU applicants only. Applications have now closed for international students.

You can apply for this course via the ‘How to apply’ section on this page.

The Graduate Diploma Fashion Design Technology is a one-year intensive course for students who want to develop and consolidate existing design principles, take risks and learn an experimental and reflective approach to understanding a design brief, centred around fashion product, with the view of progression onto a Masters or into industry or enterprise opportunities.

About this course

The course explores varied research methods and design processes, with the opportunity for creative and negotiated traditional or non-traditional outcomes that support Masters progression, employment or enterprise routes.

Please note: This course will run at Level 6, which is equivalent to the final year of a BA Honours degree, and is a preparatory course for students who want to study at postgraduate level, but currently need further knowledge and skills before being eligible for postgraduate study. Ideal candidates will come from a background of fashion design or related degrees, exceptions will be made from other courses if a proficiency of the subject can be shown through portfolio evidence.

Male model standing, in blue garments

Peng Tai, 2015

Male model on floor in blue clothing

Chang Zhang, 2015

Double page shoot spread of menswear
Work by Pei Hsuan Lee

Pei Hsuan Lee, 2015

black and white image of a man's legs and suit trousers
Work by Halyn Kim

Halyn Kim, 2015

blue illustration

Yang Cheng, 2015


Course detail

The Graduate Diploma Fashion Design Technology provides the opportunity to explore and develop ways of working within a fashion design practice.

Experimentation will be at the heart of the work you do whilst on the course, allowing you to contribute a greater sense of integrity in each project completed.  Within the Diagnostic and Development Project, time will be spent examining various ways of approaching design briefs and how different ways of researching can promote diversity within your work.  Through unpacking the traditional design process and considering new ways of conceptualising the journey applying sustainability, diversity and identity models you will be provided with the tools to uncover your own design aesthetic.  There is also a belief that combining studio practice with theory is a necessity and that they cannot be seen as two separate areas.  This will be applied through both the Fashion Practice and Critical Contexts unit and throughout the course as a whole. The final unit, Negotiated Major Project, will allow students to develop a specialist approach to their fashion practice and create a set of outputs that guide them towards the postgraduate course, industry or enterprise destination they wish to pursue.

The course applies a genderless approach to the design process, working with students to ensure they understand who they wish to design for as supposed to outdated binaries and that your time spent exploring experimental processes can be applied to any relevant muse or consumer.

As part of the LCF/UAL postgraduate network you will have the opportunity to meet likeminded designers from a wide range of backgrounds. Graduates will leave the course with an understanding and confidence in both conceptual and realistic fashion design outputs having studied in a city known for nurturing new talent.

Students will progress from the course with a portfolio and realised design work to support future development. Some students study on the Graduate Diploma to further their knowledge and skills before moving into industry. Other students use this study opportunity to prepare graduates for suitable MA courses within the Design and Technology programme at LCF, including MA Fashion Design Technology Menswear, MA Fashion Design Technology Womenswear, MA Fashion Futures and MA Pattern and Garment Technology. Some graduates of this course will be in a position to gain employment in varied roles within the international fashion industry in the area of design and technology.

Course structure

Block 1 (Weeks 1-15)

Diagnostic and Development Project (40 Credits)

Fashion Practice and Critical Contexts (20 Credits)

Block 2 (Weeks 16-30)

Negotiated Major Project (60 Credits)

Travelling across London

The renowned London College of Fashion library is at our John Prince’s Street site, and you will need to travel to this site, and possibly others, during your course to use the library, which is open seven days a week in term time, and for tuition and special events.

Course structure

The information outlined is an indicative structure of the course. Whilst we will aim to deliver the course as described on this page, there may be situations where it is desirable or necessary for the University to make changes in course provision, for example because of regulatory requirements or operational efficiencies, before or after enrolment. If this occurs, we will communicate all major changes to all applicants and students who have either applied or enrolled on the course.

Please note that due to staff research agreements or availability, not all of the optional modules listed may be available every year.

In addition, the provision of course options which depend upon the availability of specialist teaching, or on a placement at another institution, cannot be guaranteed. Please check this element of the course with the course team before making a decision to apply.

Webpage updates

We will update this webpage from time to time with new information as it becomes available. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact a member of the course team.

Course units

The Diagnostic and Development Project

Creative fashion design relies on a deep, personal understanding of research that should originate from a multitude of sources and inspirations. To become an innovative designer within the industry requires the ability to take this information and respond by taking risks and alternate paths throughout the design process and beginning to understand what may make you different. This practice based unit aims to observe and challenge your use of both existing and unfamiliar methods of the research, design and technical processes to help inform your values as a designer. Through the introduction of different approaches to research and design this unit will encourage an experimental and reflective approach to understanding a design brief centred around fashion product.

Fashion Practice and Critical Contexts

The fashion industry is a field of cultural production that circulates highly symbolic objects across many overlapping and interconnected spaces of production and consumption. To work in this field requires a high amount of reflexivity and a tacit understanding of the aesthetic, social and political contexts in which fashion is produced. This unit affords you the opportunity to explore fashion in its cultural and historical contexts and to develop a theoretical underpinning to inform your design practice. You will learn how to apply academic and visual research methods in order to make sense of current issues in fashion practice and how to contextualise them through cultural and critical theory.

Negotiated Major Project

This final unit will consolidate the critical, conceptual and experimental content developed within block one and present the opportunity for you to devise, explore and realise a personal and in depth fashion practice-led unit. You will be expected to propose and critique the intentions of the project and justify any potential innovation with context to the fashion industry, in relation to both what you produce and how you present it.

The project will be led by your continuously developing sense of aesthetic that reflects critically on your likes and dislikes as a practitioner whilst also providing the opportunity to explore and realise the challenges of your chosen brief. Visual research methodologies will be explored in relation to your studio practice giving you the ability to present a professional and self-directed project with appropriate fashion related outcomes that evidences your ability to construct, direct and organise an overall professional outcome. By evaluating and reflecting upon your own learning and skills you may direct this project towards postgraduate progression, entering the industry or considering personal enterprise.

Showing your work

All students are advised to set up a profile on portfolio.arts.ac.uk, UAL’s new portfolio platform, which can be done at any point during your time at LCF and will last for up to 12 months after graduation. This platform is often used to source student work for promotional use on the website, social media and for print and can be a great way of getting your work seen. You may also be asked to have a portfolio profile for the selection process when it comes to degree shows.

Learning and teaching methods

  • Briefings, tutorials and feedback
  • Lectures
  • Workshops
  • Seminars
  • Studio sessions
  • Presentations
  • Research methods
  • Design processes
  • Group tutorials
  • Collaboration group work
  • Peer feedback
  • Open Access

Assessments methods

  • Portfolio of work
  • 3D realisation
  • Presentations
  • Academic writing
  • Negotiated outcomes
  • Peer reviews
  • Formative tutorials and fittings


James Pegg studied BA(hons) Textile Design at Glasgow School of Art before completing his MA Fashion at Central Saint Martins and the PGCert in Learning and Teaching at UAL. James has been teaching at London College of Fashion since 2008 as a Design Lecturer on the BA(hons) Fashion Design Technology Womenswear Course prior to becoming Course Leader on the Graduate Diploma in 2013. James’s interest in fashion education and research range from experimentation and challenging students’ understanding of their work to the importance of new gender roles in the design process. Outside of UAL, James has a ceramics practice that considers themes of dynamic colour and movement and how playfulness has an important role as a maker. He believes having a fashion practice should be seen as a fluid term, with trans-disciplinary processes at the heart of it.

Tarang Bharti (3D Realisation Tutor) studied BA(hons) Fashion Design Technology Womenswear at London College of Fashion as well as the PGCert in Learning and Teaching at UAL. Tarang worked for a number of fashion brands such as Claire Barrow and J.WON as a pattern cutter and product developer helping to develop creative responses to cut and shape. Tarang also has his own accessories brand which explores the idea of traditional luxury and innovative detailing.

How to apply

Opportunities for all

We are committed to making university education an achievable option for a wider range of people and seek to recruit students from diverse socio-economic, cultural and educational backgrounds. We are committed to supporting all our students in achieving their potential both during and after their courses.

Home / EU and international applicants

This section includes information on how to apply, course entry requirements and selection criteria.

Please note, this course has places available for UK and EU applicants only for 2018/19 entry. Applications for 2018/19 entry for this course are now closed for international applicants. Applications for 2019/20 entry will open in Autumn 2018.

Both Home/EU and international students can apply for this course using our online application form – the link to this is below. Before you apply, we recommend you take some time to read the following details about the application process, including guidance on the extra information we will ask you to provide.

Alternatively, international applicants can apply through an overseas representative in your country.

Application form

You will need to enter the following information in the online application form:

  • Personal details (including full name; date of birth; nationality; permanent address and English language level)
  • Current and/or previous education and qualification details
  • Employment history

Before you can submit the form, you’ll also need to agree to the terms and conditions for how we process your data – these are explained in the form.

Please note, if you’re an international applicant we will need to contact you separately to ask for copies of certain documents (for example, English language qualification/certificate and copies of any previous UK study visas).

Extra information required for applications to this course

When you are submitting your application form, you will also need to provide the following pieces of documentation in support of your application:

Personal statement

The personal statement is your opportunity to tell us about yourself and your suitability for the course that you intend to study.

Some key points to consider:

  • Make sure that personal statement is your own work and is about you
  • Why you want to study the course you are applying to
  • Try to link your skills and experience required to the course
  • Demonstrate your interest and enthusiasm for the course and link these with your personality
  • Make sure it is organised and literate (grammar, spelling, punctuation check).


You will be required to submit a digital portfolio with a maximum of 30 images that you consider would help support your application. Submit your portfolio via the university’s digital portfolio tool, PebblePad. More details will be sent to you after you have submitted your application. You should include essential development work from sketchbooks to portfolio final presentations with photography of garments. Label and present any visual work with care, including dates and captions. If selected for interview, you will be asked to bring garments with you and additional portfolio work.


Entry requirements

Admission policy

You will be required to submit an application form and digital portfolio. Successful applicants may then be required to have an interview where further visual work should be presented.

Entry requirements

An applicant will be considered for admission who has already achieved an educational level equivalent to an Honours Degree.

This educational level may be demonstrated by:

  • possession of the qualification named below;
  • possession of equivalent qualifications;
  • prior experiential learning, the outcome of which can be demonstrated to be equivalent
  • to formal qualifications otherwise required;


  • a combination of formal qualifications and experiential learning which, taken together, can be demonstrated to be equivalent to formal qualifications otherwise required.

For International qualifications see the International Qualifications Guide [PDF - 913KB]

Students may have a background in fashion styling, promotion, art direction, hair and make up, or another relevant discipline within the creative industries as either professional experience or gained through an appropriate educational qualification.

Applicants should be able to demonstrate the ability to research and source material across the fashion media spectrum, with an understanding of related cultural and historical contexts. Students should be conversant with the various formats with which fashion media styling is shown. For example still and moving image, editorial, catwalk, hair and make up.


Admissions procedure

Applications to the course are welcome from all suitably qualified individuals. The course seeks to recruit students from a wide range of backgrounds including:

  • An Honours degree or equivalent academic qualification; 
  • Professional qualifications recognised as equivalent to an Honours degree; 
  • Prior experiential learning, the outcome of which can be demonstrated to be equivalent to formal qualifications otherwise required;


  • A combination of formal qualifications and experiential learning, which, taken together, can be demonstrated to be equivalent to formal qualifications otherwise required; 
  • Have an IELTS level of 6.5 or equivalent if English is not your first language.

Student selection criteria

The course team seeks to recruit students who can demonstrate:

  • the potential to develop their practical and critical abilities through academic study
  • critical knowledge of a subject area
  • a capacity for intellectual inquiry and reflective thought
  • an openness to new ideas and a willingness to participate actively in their own intellectual development
  • initiative and a developed and mature attitude to independent study

English language requirements

All classes are conducted in English. The level required by the University for this course is IELTS 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each skill. For more information, read the University's English Language requirements page.

Fees and funding

Home / EU fee

£10,600 (2018/19). 


This course has an undergraduate-level qualification as an entry requirement, and the quoted Home/EU fee rate reflects the fact that most students enrolling on this course will already possess an undergraduate-level qualification. Home/EU applicants for this course who do not already have an undergraduate-level qualification, or students in receipt of Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA), may pay a reduced fee.

International fee


This applies for the 2018/19 academic year.

Additional costs

In addition to tuition fees you are very likely to incur additional costs such as travel expenses and the cost of materials. Please read the information on our additional costs page.


Find out about the accommodation options available and how much they will cost.

Career paths

The Graduate Diploma in Fashion Design Technology is located within the Graduate School at LCF. This course prepares graduates for suitable MA courses within the Design and Technology programme at LCF, including MA Fashion Design Technology Menswear, MA Fashion Design Technology Womenswear, and MA Pattern and Garment Technology.

Graduates have previously secured places within UAL and LCF, CSM, Chelsea and Wimbledon in addition to the RCA, Westminster, Kingston, Goldsmiths, Aalto Helskinki.

Alternatively, graduates of this course will be in a position to gain employment in varied roles within the international fashion industry in the area of design and technology.