FA4005 - Fashion Media and Communication

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What will I learn on this module?

This module introduces you to the role of the fashion journalist and image-maker, and the social, cultural, ethical and commercial context in which they work. You will explore the changing nature of fashion and how it is communicated through print and digital media. In a lecture and seminar series, you will explore cultural and media studies and how they impact upon Fashion Communication. You will also be introduced to some of the principal theoretical approaches to fashion, equipping you with the tools to critically analyse its representation in advertising, marketing and editorial. You will explore the fashion industry’s relationship with the media, and the constraints and opportunities faced by journalists working in fashion.

This will inform your own journalistic practice, and in practical studio sessions you will have the opportunity to develop a wide range of skills associated with media communication, including news and feature writing, reviewing, styling, magazine design and film. You will undertake research into contemporary photographic and creative visuals in order to create imagery to complement and enhance the textual elements. The work of designers, stylists and art directors will be considered and become your informed and creative visual vocabulary. Print and digital visuals will be examined and you will start to develop your visual handwriting as a fashion image-maker.

You will compile portfolios of practical work, which will include written articles, magazine double-page spreads and studio portraits, You will also work in a small group to put together a creative fashion film. Your portfolios will be accompanied with process books and reflective analysis, where you will discuss the ethical and industry context of your work. Industry briefs and the opportunity to take part in national competitions allow you to work with input from industry partners such as Oh Comely and Vogue.

How will I learn on this module?

Learning and teaching strategies on Fashion Communication encourage you to acquire a flexible and imaginative approach to problem solving through enquiry-based learning. You will become an active participant in your learning, integrating creative practice with academic and intellectual skills.

The studio environment is integral to this process, encouraging individual intellectual freedom and a creative collaborative community. Hands-on participation and the exploration of theories, concepts and processes enable you to display evidence of creative thinking through the exploration and communication of strategies with a purposeful outcome. This type of experiential activity engages you in self-initiated research, encouraging independent judgement and critical self-awareness.

Lecturers with years of industry experience and supporting research will guide you through the module, developing your understanding of professional standards and practice. Guest speakers from the fashion and media industries, including editors and stylists, will help you situate your own work in a professional context.

Cultural, critical, and communication studies provide a social and theoretical context to the subject discipline, developing your knowledge and insight into your own personal practice within a social, moral, ethical and commercial setting. A framework of industry facing collaborative projects/work experience and study abroad provides you with the opportunity to hone specialist skills, professional qualities, enterprise and entrepreneurial capabilities through real-life scenarios.

You are encouraged to advance your visual literacy and to be aware of current issues and debates. Working in groups, you learn to be flexible and collaborative, to identify and redefine problems in a creative way and focus on solutions that are both relevant and empathetic.

Traditional, new and emerging technologies are used both in the delivery and realisation of outcomes, and you will learn to present your work and ideas, using a range of media and communication tools to a variety of audiences in different situations. You will use dedicated Mac Labs and studio based iMacs to create digital portfolios and presentations; use of the photography studio and faculty film cameras will be encouraged for image-based/multimedia submissions; video tutorials and digital reading /research materials are available through the module site to support learning and understanding.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

• Studio tutorials with module tutors provide advice on the direction of your work and whether you are meeting Module Learning Outcomes. These normally take place during timetabled sessions, and will help you to progress your ideas.
• Project briefs are normally introduced via a briefing session, where the task is fully explored by both staff and students
• Live projects with industry and regional, national and international external partners extend the practical study of the subject area within an industrial context. They are also designed to support student confidence in their ability to handle professional practice within the creative industries
• Students experience a range of teaching, learning and assessment methods and course work is largely project based
• Modules are delivered through a combination of lecture supported group tutorials and studio activity, practical demonstrations, studio teaching, guided and independent learning. Practical skills are delivered through workshop activities
• Additional study skills materials and workshops are available through Skills Plus at http://nuweb2.northumbria.ac.uk/library/skillsplus/topics.html?l3-0.
• Students are expected to maintain a project plan and are encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning
• English language support is provided for international students
• University student services offer specialist support e.g. financial, disability, mental health, international student support etc.
• eLP includes all relevant documentation e.g. module guides, lecture material, reading lists together with discussion boards and notices
• Visiting professionals support relevant and current practice

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. Demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of fashion communication research methodologies through a contextual studies question

2. Understand production processes and professional practices within the media, cultural and communicative industries

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
3. Evidence your independent judgement in your ability to generate and explore ideas through visual and written fashion communication

4. Evidence ability to effectively use film in the realisation of fashion communication outputs

Personal Values Attributes
5. Show a fundamental awareness of ethical issues and responsible practice through critical evaluation of your own fashion journalism output

How will I be assessed?

Assessment will be conducted through;

Formative feedback received from tutors and peers during studio, workshop and seminar engagement.

Formal formative feedback
Formal formative tutorials will provide feedback and informally record academic progress. Students will be given verbal feedback and a letter grade to indicate the level at which they are currently achieving the MLOs.

Summative assessment
By collecting a variety of evidence/outputs from the learner via multiple dimensions (coursework, observations, presentations, etc.) Tutors will assess the learner’s overall performance holistically with a (single grade/ single grade in multiple components)

Project Portfolio (Week 8) of: fashion journalism articles including evidence of primary and secondary research; magazine double-page spreads and cover, demonstrating understanding of target publication, audience and market; one-minute fashion film plus accompanying booklet, produced in groups; process book; and 500-word reflective evaluation on professional practice. There will be several formative assessment points and feedback sessions during the module to support production of portfolio elements.

1500 word essay (Week 6) on a topic setting fashion in industrial or theoretical context (title to be set). There will be a formal formative tutorial during the module to provide guidance on the essay.

Additional forms of assessment practice may take place within projects in the form of peer assessment/ self-assessment, which may contribute to the overall module outcome.





Module abstract

This module explores the principles and practice of fashion media, and the cultural, ethical and commercial context in which they operate. In lectures and seminars, you will debate the key issues in the fashion industry, both past and present, and will be introduced to some of the principal theoretical approaches to fashion. In studio-based sessions, meanwhile, you will develop the skills associated with fashion journalism, including news and feature writing, magazine design, styling and studio photography. You will also produce a one-minute creative fashion film in a small group. You will build on these to carry out your own academic research and produce an essay on a particular aspect of the fashion industry.

Course info

UCAS Code WP29

Credits 40

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Northumbria School of Design

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2020

Fee Information

Module Information

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