FA6016 - Professional Practice and Portfolio

What will I learn on this module?

This Professional Practice and Portfolio module allows you the opportunity to frame your learning in an industry context. With employability at its core, this module provides career workshops focusing on developing an effective CV application and covering letter in response to advertised industry opportunities. Tutorials, seminars with guest speakers and self-branding sessions will help you practice your interview and networking techniques and develop an understanding of personal branding, self-promotion and professional practice necessary for an aspiring Fashion Communication graduate.

Your Personal Development Plan (PLP) will be created through discussion and negotiation with your lecturers and mentors. This will place your work and skills in a professional context and outline your ongoing career aims and ambitions, informing you of the direction, environment and competencies required to effectively exploit and move on available opportunities. PDP planning will map your critical steps into your next stage, whether further academic study, industry position or establishing your own business. This module provides career workshops focusing on developing an effective CV application and covering letter in response to advertised industry opportunities. Tutorials, seminars with guest speakers and self-branding sessions will help you practice your interview and networking techniques and develop an understanding of personal branding, self-promotion and professional practice necessary for an aspiring Fashion Communication graduate.

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 extended studio (X-Studio) environment is integral to this process, encouraging individual intellectual freedom and a creative collaborative community. The X-Studio embraces our physical studios and making workshops as well as our virtual spaces to create a flexible and rich environment that is responsive to your learning needs.

This dedicated approach has been developed over many years of continuous teaching innovation, research and industry collaboration. It has created a supportive extended studio culture that encourages you to learn flexibly, dynamically blending your learning and University experience between physical and digital interactions both in real-time and online at your own pace.

This extended studio culture not only helps you to become a more confident autonomous learner but also prepares you for a dynamic design industry in which an extended studio philosophy is current practice.

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

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 create digital portfolios and presentations, as well as image-based/multimedia submissions.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

• Tutorials with lecturers provide advice on the direction of your work and whether you are meeting Module Learning Outcomes. These will be timetabled, and will help you to progress your ideas.
• Project briefs are introduced via briefing sessions, 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, where possible. 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 delivery modes, with guided and independent learning
Additional study skills materials and workshops are available through Skills Plus at https://library.northumbria.ac.uk/skillsplus/ and Linkedin Learning
• 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 and learning material, e.g. module briefs, lecture content, video demonstrations, reading lists and weekly tasks, together with meeting spaces, discussion boards and notices
• Visiting professionals support relevant and current practice where possible

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. Independently source and critically engage with sophisticated research materials, theories and debates appropriate to your chosen specialism.

2. Display evidence of critical thinking in the development of your own specialism and practice which has relevance in cultural, aesthetic, technical and commercial contexts.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
3. Critically evaluate key source material, theories and concepts to identify and redefine problems or opportunities and to frame appropriate questions to achieve a solution.

4. Relate the communication process to its cultural function and identify your personal practice in relation to the media and communication continuum and broader contexts, defending your own practice and formulating reasoned responses to the critical judgement of others.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
5. Anticipate and accommodate change, value curiosity, and work within contexts of ambiguity, uncertainty and unfamiliarity.

How will I be assessed?


Personal Development Plan (2000 words) (1, 4)

Simulated interview, CV and Application Pack (3)


Portfolio Website and degree show / self-branding materials (2, 6, 5)





Module abstract

This module gives you the opportunity to utilise and elevate the knowledge and understanding that you have gained over the Fashion Communication programme, focusing on your personal and professional aims and ambitions and giving you the opportunity to frame your practice in an appropriate direction.

This module works in tandem with FA6015 Major Project to allow you to reflect on your experience and future professional and employability aspirations, through a Personal Development Plan (PDP), researching roles and opportunities within fashion and its related industries, with guidance from academics and the careers service. Lectures from alumni and industry professionals will help contextualise your learning and provide a road map for your own career aims. You will be supported to make steps toward your next stage through CV and application support, and mock interviews.
Production of a portfolio and self-branding materials will help you situate your practice in relation to industry, entrepreneurship or further study. You will prepare your work in formats ready to present at national and international design competitions, graduate exhibitions, degree shows and industry events.

Course info

UCAS Code WP29

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

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

Department Northumbria School of Design

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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