• CollegeLCF
  • Start dateSeptember 2018
  • Course length1 year

International Preparation for Fashion (Certificate in Higher Education)

Applications for 2018/19 entry to this course have now closed.

This exciting and challenging course prepares you for entry into specialist undergraduate study at London College of Fashion, through a varied programme that combines study in fashion with communication and academic skills.

About this course

The International Preparation for Fashion (Certificate in Higher Education) course is designed for international students (non EU countries) who want to progress on to a BA Honours programme (3/4 years) or an Integrated Masters programme (4/5 years) at London College of Fashion.


Course detail

This exciting and challenging preparatory experience course allows you to explore your creative, academic and professional potential in fashion. The Academic Language and Communication element of the course supports academic study skills and language development.

The diagnostic first term, followed by two terms in one specialist area will support you in making appropriate choices for undergraduate study at LCF.

Throughout the first term, the course team will direct you to the most appropriate area of fashion for your particular skills, talents and ambitions so that you can concentrate on either Fashion Business, Fashion Design or Fashion Media. 

Successful completion of this course will guarantee the offer of a place on an undergraduate course at this College. 

International Preparation for Fashion (Certificate in Higher Education) is based at Mare Street in Hackney. The surrounding area boasts a number of east end art galleries, fashion and clothing enterprises, interesting shops, Broadway market and the famed Hackney Empire theatre. London Fields, with its excellent open air lido (heated in winter), and Victoria Park provide nearby green spaces, and the Regent’s Canal runs through the area from east to west. A short bus ride will take you to the V & A’s Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green and the Geffrye Museum in Kingsland Road. 

Course structure

Year one  -  stage one  -  level 4  -  120 credits 

Term one: Introduction to Study in Fashion (20 credits)

Term one and term two: Cultural and Historical Studies for Fashion (20 credits)

Term one, term two and term three: Academic Language and Communication for Undergraduate Study (20 credits)

Term two: Specialism Studies: (20 credits)

Term three: Personal Progression Project (40 credits)

Course units

Term one

Introduction to Study in Fashion gives you the opportunity to the range of fashion related subjects in each of three main areas: fashion business and management; fashion design and technology; and fashion media and communication. This diagnostic unit gives you the opportunity to consider which specialist pathway is most suited to your talents and potential. It will also introduce you to a variety of skills essential for successful study at undergraduate level, and will help you to identify your strengths and those areas in need of development through the introduction of Personal and Professional Development (PPD).

This unit will give you the opportunity to explore, at a preparatory level, a range of fashion-related subjects before focusing on your specialist pathways in term two of the course.

The unit will introduce you to a range of research methods and applications in the development and evaluation of ideas, visual communication and presentation of concepts for appropriate fashion audiences. 
The diagnostic process will introduce you to all three specialist areas at London College of Fashion:

  • Fashion Media and Communication,
  • Fashion Business and Management,
  • Fashion Design and Technology.

It will help you and your tutors find your specialist pathway and signpost to future progression opportunities. It will establish a range of creative approaches to learning used within a higher education context and will allow you to explore the variety of resources that will support your educational career whilst at London College of Fashion. It will introduce you to a variety of skills essential for successful study and help you to identify your strengths and areas in need of development through the introduction of Personal and Professional Development (PPD).

At the end of the Introduction to Study in Fashion unit you will continue in a specialist pathway for term two and three of study.

Term one and term two

Cultural and Historical Studies for Fashion aims to prepare you for the theoretical study of fashion. It will introduce you to the concepts and methods which shape the study of fashion from the broad discipline of Cultural Studies and will prepare you for subsequent undergraduate study in this area. The unit supports you in acquiring academic literacy and competencies and will therefore focus on the development of skills in academic communication in a number of formats both written and spoken combined with the acquisition of subject knowledge which draws on the broader discipline of Cultural Studies.  The unit will introduce the critical, communication and analytical skills that are essential to study on a range of Undergraduate Programmes at London College of Fashion.

Term one, term two and term three

Academic Language and Communication for Undergraduate Study aims to prepare you to be academically able to enter the first year of a range of undergraduate degree programmes at London College of Fashion. The unit supports you in acquiring academic literacy and study skills. You will develop specialist vocabularies; 

enhance your language proficiency and understanding of academic conventions. The unit aims to aid you in becoming a self-directed learner and to gain transferable language and learning skills to prepare you for undergraduate university study.

In the second term you will progress to the most suitable pathway:

Specialism Studies: Fashion Business and Management will provide you with a range of academic, creative and specialist subject knowledge relevant to the business and management areas of the fashion industry. You will be encouraged to be open-minded in exploring and developing ideas for presentations for the variety of business audiences. You will conduct and evaluate research, develop ideas and learn to employ the appropriate techniques for the presentation of ideas within the context of fashion business and management.

Specialism Studies: Fashion Design and Technology will introduce you to a range of creative, practical and theoretical approaches within the subject of fashion design and technology allowing you to develop a preparatory body of knowledge and skill. You will be introduced to the importance of research as the basis for the creative development of ideas for a range of fashion products. You will carry out and evaluate original research, develop ideas and make use of the appropriate techniques for visual presentation.

Specialism Studies: Fashion Media and Communication will introduce you to a range of media subjects providing you with the opportunity to develop creative, practical skills and subject knowledge for fashion media content whilst introducing the techniques for the generation of original ideas for target markets. You will conduct and evaluate research, develop ideas and learn to employ the appropriate techniques for the presentation of ideas within the context of fashion media and communication.

Term three

The Personal Progression Project unit will enable you to take responsibility for your own learning through the development and construction of a project proposal in response to your negotiated specialist pathway. The unit provides practical, theoretical and contextual activities in the development of a personally established project. You will carry out investigations around an issue, or issues, connected with your chosen specialist area by proposing and realising a project which integrates planning, research, development, process, evaluation, reflection, and future progression within a chosen professional context. 

Building on knowledge gained in previous units you will use a range of research methods and applications in the development and evaluation of ideas, visual communication tools and the presentation of concepts.


Sarah Le Marquand, course Leader IPF Sarah holds a degree in Fashion and textiles and is a Fellow of the higher Education. She has extensive knowledge and experience of working on art and design foundation courses prior to working on the IPF (Certificate HE). She also has worked in Beijing, China to deliver 2 condensed art foundation experiences, to a cohort of students and observed by, teaching staff and key management. Her key research interests have been in the quality of student learning, focusing on assessment. Her past research has been disseminated through conferences, staff development, student induction and publication. Prior to entering a career in education she designed her own label and worked as a buyer for a high end designer womenswear independent retailer.

Suzanne Rankin-Dia, Academic Language and Language Acquisition Skills Lecturer, is an English for Academic Purposes (EAP) lecturer on the International Preparation for Fashion (IPF) cert. HE course. She holds a BA in French and an MA in Education and has worked at HE level for 20 years in France, Senegal and the UK. She has been working with International students at UAL since 2001. She has a particular interest in global citizenship and multiple perspective approaches to teaching and learning and aims to implement innovative and creative approaches into an EAP classroom and to empower International students to reach their full potential.

Joanne McVey, Academic Language and Language Acquisition Skills Lecturer and has over 12 years teaching experience in Italy, Brazil and the UK. Having previously worked in the commercial furniture and fabric sector for nearly 10 years, working for the designer store The Conran Shop. Whilst at the UAL Language Centre, she developed an Academic skills syllabus and material for short intensive courses preparing students for entry to Undergraduate level. In addition to this she has provided on course support for Foundation programmes for both CSM and LCC. She is now currently studying for an MA in Culture Language and Identity with a particular interest in research connected to intercultural communication and cultural awareness.

Mandeep Ahira is Cert HE IPF Pathway Tutor and Pathway Leader for Fashion Media & Communication on the International Preparation for Fashion course. Mandeep is responsible for introducing students to the wide range of exciting opportunities in fashion media. He uses his professional experience of lens-based and contemporary interactive media to inform his teaching and learning practice. Mandeep has a growing research interest in alternative pedagogies and curricular innovation. He also works on the Fashion Media Degree. Mandeep’s professional practice is focused on the interaction between video, print and digital formats. He continues to work as a freelance filmmaker and editor.

Ronke Fashola is the Business Pathway Leader for the IPF level 4 course. Overseeing the business, fashion buying, merchandising, marketing and finance, Ronke spent 10 years working as a fashion buyer for various different brands in the UK, Germany and Hong Kong. Ronke also runs her own clothing brand which is sold in various boutiques in the UK. Most recently Ronke started the Future of Fashion which invites leading figure heads such as Cath Kidston to talk. Future of Fashion enables start-up companies and young brands to have a platform to learn, support and grow from each other. David Garner, Senior Lecturer LCF International IPF Referral Officer 

David Garner, Senior Lecturer LCF International IPF Referral Officer 

Supporting staff

  • Martha Zmpounou Drawing & Art Lecturer
  • Heidi Stokes Tutor Business IISF
  • Eleanor Warrington Tutor Business
  • Sina Shamsavari Lecturer Cultural Historical Studies (Intl Office)

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.

Please note: This course is for international students only (non EU countries).

Applications for 2018/19 entry to this course have now closed.

Applicants may apply through one of the following routes only:

  • Through overseas representatives in your country.
  • Through UAL's online application process (applications now closed).

The admissions team at London College of Fashion will help guide you through the application process and answer any specific questions that you may have regarding our courses tailored for international students. This may include portfolio advice, the application process and fee advice. We offer a ‘drop-in’ facility for applicants who may be in London and wish to obtain further course and admissions information. Please contact us for further information on this facility. We can also arrange a tour of our facilities if we are given prior notice.

Application process

Stage 1 - Pre Application Enquiries
Enquires about LCF, courses and application processes are supported by LCF Admissions.

If you have questions regarding making an application please contact the admissions team at London College of Fashion lcf.international@arts.ac.uk.

Stage 2 - Application Enquiries
Application information is coordinated by UAL Admissions. 

Once you have made an application a member of the UAL Admissions team will contact you and support the next steps of the process. 
UAL central admissions team ual.internationalapply@arts.ac.uk.

Stage 3 - Interview Enquiries

Interviews are arranged by LCF Admissions.

If you have reached interview stage and have any questions please contact the admissions team at London College of Fashion lcf.international@arts.ac.uk
London College of Fashion Admissions Team, 20 John Prince’s Street, London W1G 0BJ 
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7514 7656 / 7629  

Stage 4 - Offer Enquiries
Offer information is managed by UAL Admissions. 

If you have questions regarding your offer - please contact a member of the UAL Admissions team UAL central admissions team ual.internationalapply@arts.ac.uk.

Portfolio and course guidance

This document offers guidance for the portfolio and interview stage of applying.

Entry requirements


  • An internationally recognised qualification which is equivalent to one A level at Grade C or above, plus passes in five other subjects at GCSE Grade C or above (UK qualifications). For equivalent International qualifications, you can consult the UCAS Guide.

Exceptionally, applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered if the course team judges the application demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might, for example, be demonstrated by: related academic or work experience; the quality of the personal statement; a strong academic or other professional reference; or a combination of these factors.

English language requirements

All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language you will be asked to provide evidence of your English language ability when you enrol.

The level required by the University for this course is IELTS 5.5 with a minimum of 4.5 in any one skill.

Please visit the UAL Language Requirements page. Read carefully and look at the relevant documents.

You must take the IELTS Academic Test for UKVI, no other test can be accepted.

Student selection criteria

What we look for

The course team seeks to recruit students who can demonstrate:

  • A focused interest in a particular area of fashion, such as fashion business, fashion media or fashion design
  • A broad interest in the arts, the media and current affairs
  • Motivation to succeed on the course
  • Evidence of research and investigative skills

We are looking for focused students and all students will study the same units and do the same projects in Term One before going into the relevant specialist pathway in Term Two. Please note that you may change direction as a result of consultation with the course team, in conjunction with the work done in the diagnostic first term.

Interview advice

You need to submit a PORTFOLIO OF WORK to help us understand your experience and level which we can discuss at interview. A portfolio is a collection of work to communicate your creative skills and knowledge. This should include a variety of your work (i.e. more than one project) and represent your interests, investigation, explorations and final conclusion(s).

Fashion Business orientated applicants should:

  • present evidence of written and numerical skills 
  • demonstrate an interest in fashion through both visual and text-based evidence

Fashion Media orientated applicants should:

  • present evidence of communication skills through a visual portfolio that may include evidence of, for example, photography, styling, illustration or journalism.
  • provide evidence of written skills
  • demonstrate an interest in fashion

Fashion Design orientated applicants should:

  • present evidence of creative skills through a visual portfolio that may include evidence of drawing, photography, 3D work or other media
  • provide evidence of written skills
  • demonstrate an interest in fashion

Extra information

Deferred entry

Deferred Entry is normally only allowed in exceptional circumstances. Please contact us before you submit your application if you are considering applying for deferred entry.

What happens next?

All application forms, personal statements, supporting work and references are read and considered by the International Academics against the selection criteria listed in the Entry Requirements and What We Look For sections.

If you meet, or are likely to meet, the entry requirements you will be selected for an interview. If you are successful at interview you will be offered a place. 

Interview week

Applicants on some courses may be invited to attend an Interview. Further details will be sent to you with your interview letter, confirming location and date. International applicants should contact the Admission Office by emailing lcf.international@arts.ac.uk about portfolio requirements (if applicable), interview times and dates.

Potential changes to course structure

Please note: 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 use the enquiry form above.

Fees and funding

This course is open to international students only

International fee


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.

Careers and alumni

Developing your skills

All of our undergraduate courses are concerned with the development of your personal and professional skills. On your course you will evolve from learning basic skills in your discipline through to a position where you are an independent creative thinker capable of making an effective contribution to the relevant sector of the fashion industry. Personal and Professional Development (PPD) skills are embedded in all units on every course. Speaker programmes with contributions from alumni, members of industry and others are a part of many courses, as are work placement opportunities in industry.

Graduates who wish to continue their education at postgraduate level are encouraged to progress to suitable courses within the College, the University or elsewhere.

Career paths

Students who successfully complete the course gain a Certificate in Higher Education award, which is recognised nationally and internationally.

The course represents the scope of opportunity within the global fashion industry and reflects the progression opportunities available to the three undergraduate Schools of London College of Fashion:

  • School of Fashion Business.
  • School of Design and Technology.
  • School of Media and Communication.

The course will encourage you to maximise your individual potential. It will provide the stimulus and creative environment necessary to support your progression, through theoretical, multidisciplinary and experimental approaches to your studies. You will develop a range of transferable skills that will support both your development on the course and in your future educational career.

You will embark on a specialist pathway and be supported throughout your studies towards an appropriate undergraduate course in negotiation with your tutors. Application from the International Preparation for Fashion (Cert HE) course to undergraduate courses at London College of Fashion is via direct entry application to the UAL Central Admissions Office. Students who successfully complete the course gain a Certificate in Higher Education award, which is recognised nationally and internationally. Successful completion of this course will guarantee the offer of a place on a degree or Integrated Masters course at the London College of Fashion providing you pass all units and your progression interview. Please note that the offer will be conditional on meeting UAL Language Centre test outcome with a minimum of 6.0.

You may need to hold a further up-to-date IELTS test (or equivalent certificate) depending on your destination course entry requirements.