MA Fashion: Design

Cambridge School of Visual & Performing Arts

Program Description

MA Fashion: Design

Cambridge School of Visual & Performing Arts


MA Fashion: Design is an intensive, contemporary and personalized postgraduate programme that develops an individual approach to fashion and a strong design direction. With unique industry opportunities including internships with our partner Hearst Magazines UK, you will develop the professional skills, confidence and creative focus necessary to launch your career as a new designer.

You will study in a fashion school led by award-winning designer and ‘queen of prints’ Holly Fulton, whose own label shows regularly at both Hong Kong and London Fashion Week. Under her creative direction, our fashion school produces versatile, creative individuals with a strong sense of personal identity and a considered, contemporary aesthetic, ready to operate within both the commercial and conceptual realms of fashion.

Unique Opportunities

This programme offers outstanding specialist tuition combined with extensive academic contact and studio access. As a Master’s student you benefit from:

  • Studying at a fashion school led by an award-winning contemporary designer and Creative Director.
  • Exclusive access to media and industry expertise, workshops, and internships through our partners including fashion media innovator Hearst Magazines UK, publisher of titles including Harper’s Bazaar, ELLE, and Esquire.
  • Expert tuition from industry-active professionals with a passion for teaching.
  • Intensive learning experience tailored to your needs and ambitions, with a high level of personalized support and 1:1 tutorial time.
  • Opportunities for work placements or industry mentoring as part of the course.
  • A postgraduate qualification you need to stand out and get ahead.
  • Collaborating with a creative, interdisciplinary and global postgraduate community.
  • Your own iMac, mannequin and studio workspace, open every day of the week.
  • Access to regular Life Drawing in our dedicated drawing studio.
  • A small, supportive and specialist creative arts college in a beautiful, historic and cultural city—a creative hotspot and home to one of the UK’s most dynamic and international student communities.

What to Expect

Throughout the intensive 12-month programme based in our central Cambridge studios, you will work closely with our team of inspirational and industry-active professional lecturers to refine your expertise and design process. You will deepen research skills and concept development, build your knowledge of contemporary contexts and critical debates, fashion business, fabrics, and technologies, and apply a unique approach to the creation and exhibition of a final collection with a clear personal signature and strong design direction.

The ethos of all our Fashion courses at CSVPA centers on creating a professional and stimulating environment in which students develop and explore their own creativity. Maintaining the 'atelier' approach at postgraduate level, with tightly monitored class sizes, high contact hours, extensive studio time and allocated working spaces, students have all the tools to advance their individual approach to design within a bespoke contemporary fashion context.

Working alongside like-minded designers and visual communicators across our MA programmes you will also develop the research skills that drive innovation. Shared inter-disciplinary modules question the ways that globalization, new technologies, and disruptive strategies drive contemporary practice. You will learn about issues shaping the fashion industry and its global impact (supply chains and labor, fabric and materials technologies, sustainable and zero waste design, and ethical marketing). As a member of our vibrant international learning community, you will reflect on what it means to be a responsible creative and global citizen of the 21stcentury.


The course offers opportunities for work experience or mentoring that helps you make industry contacts, build your CV and prepare you for work across the fashion industry. Our collaboration with industry partners including Hearst Magazines UK sets our programme apart. You can apply for an internship with one of their fashion-led brands to learn more about how contemporary fashion is communicated, in print and online. Previous fashion students have interned at ELLE, Esquire, and ELLE Ukraine, as well as fashion houses including Hussain Chalayan. Alternatively, as future fashion designers, you might identify and approach a mentor within the fashion industry, or create a professional or industry-facing project around your own emerging brand or label.

Industry insight & live briefs

This insight is further developed through live competitions and industry-set briefs which have included a speculative futures design project set by award-winning creative agency The District, a fashion editorial brief set by ELLE, and a fashion branding and communication project set by entrepreneurial fashion brand Sosandar. In addition, our programme of Visiting Lecturers has included innovative professionals working across fashion design, high street fashion design, production and branding, and fashion communication, illustration and media.


Our MA Fashion: Design programme is aimed at future fashion designers, but can also prepare you for roles across the fashion industry including pattern-cutting, garment technology, fashion business, fashion and brand management, retail buying and management, product development, visual merchandising, styling, textile design fashion illustration, fashion communications and media.

Resources & Facilities

All students on our MA programmes have access to a wide range of resources to support their studies and the hybrid nature of contemporary practice across art and design including:

  • Industrial sewing machines and technical support from garment technician.
  • Gerber technology.
  • Industry-standard software including Adobe Creative Cloud, Maxon Cinema 4D.
  • Photography studios and access to a wet darkroom.
  • Digital Media Suite and technical support.
  • Wood, Metal and Ceramics 3D workshops and technical support.
  • Prototype Lab (including 3D printer and laser-cutter).
  • Live performance studio.
  • Drawing studio.
  • Academic Skills Advisor (available for group and 1:1 tutorials).

In addition to facilities and expertise offered at CSVPA, students have been supported to collaborate with technology experts in Cambridge including engineers at University of Cambridge, Cambridge Makespace, as well as local digital printing industries.


20 years +

Educational Level
Successfully completed an Undergraduate Degree or equivalent qualification in fashion, fashion design, fashion textiles or a closely related subject.

CSVPA recognizes a wide variety of qualifications and/or relevant experience and encourages applications from all people, with a demonstrable interest and experience in their subject. Applications without the qualifications or disciplinary background identified above but who demonstrate relevant experience, necessary skills and intellectual achievement needed to succeed on the course will be considered. Equivalent experience must be evidenced through the additional submission of a professional CV.

In some cases, students may be required to complete a Graduate Diploma.

English Level
IELTS 6.5+ (no element under 5.5)

Portfolio & Personal Statement
A portfolio demonstrating appropriate skills, research and prior experience of the subject.
A Personal Statement that tells us about you, your approach to practice, and your ambitions and aspirations for the future.

September to September

Course Length
3 semesters

Falmouth University

Contact Time
Up to 15 hours per week

English Language
Up to 5 hours per week if required

Personal Statement

Please submit a short statement (300-400 words), telling us about yourself, your previous experience and your approach to creative practice. Please include:

  • Reasons for applying to our MA course.
  • Experience and skills. What were you doing before?
  • Your approach to art/design practice. What inspires, informs and influences what you do—and why?
  • Your goals. What do you hope to get out of the MA?

Your long-term ambitions. How do you think the postgraduate study will help you develop a career in the creative industries?

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated July 15, 2018
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2019
3 semesters
22,920 GBP
Home/EU: £13,500 / International students: £22,920
United Kingdom - Cambridge, England
Start date : Sept. 2019
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Sept. 2019
United Kingdom - Cambridge, England
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info