2022/23 Full-time Postgraduate course
Master of Science
Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Belfast School of Art
The course develops resourceful, flexible and creative managers and entrepreneurs to lead and innovate within the fashion and textile retail industry.
You may be a recent graduate who wishes to develop the skills, knowledge and qualifications needed to pursue a managerial career within the dynamic Fashion and Textile Retail Industry. You may aspire to starting your own business or brand or may already have your own business. You may work in fashion and textile retailing and wish to increase your employability, confidence and potential for career advancement. You may be passionately interested in countering some of the ethical, political, social and economic implications surrounding the industry. This course helps you to increase your knowledge and understanding of the industry and challenges you to develop creative and innovative strategies, products and systems to create a sustainable and commercially viable future vision for fashion and textile retail.
In this section
The MSc in Fashion and Textile Retail Management gives graduates and industry returners the opportunity to engage with the retail management knowledge, international retailing perspectives and creative direction skills demanded by fashion and textile retailers within a competitive global environment. You will Investigate contemporary issues within fashion and textile retailing including branding, disruptive technologies, innovative creative retail spaces, consumer retail experience and behaviour, trend prediction, ethics, sustainability and potential futures. Supported by industry mentors, collaborative projects and industry and academic networking opportunities, you will develop the skills and knowledge necessary to engage in; project management, creative business problem-solving, visionary product and brand development as well as organisational development strategies. You will also have the opportunity to engage with a range of optional practical workshops including: styling, design and garment construction, fashion illustration, photography, fabrics and functionality and CAD.
You will explore design thinking strategies and investigate innovative retailing formats and branding strategies through case studies, industry speakers and collaborative projects. This will also increase your awareness of a range of appropriate solutions for a variety of fashion and textile retail environments.
The course will help you develop sector-specific professional skills and provide a research environment that will give you opportunities to collaborate and engage with external industry, cultural and government bodies. You will improve employability and interpersonal skills and be encouraged to expand entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial thinking through real-life, project-based learning collaborations.
The course encourages the examination of design futures, fashion and textile design theory, fashion thinking, ethics, politics, marketing and sales, sustainability, consumer behaviour and new methods of production and fabrication to develop individual, critical responses to the fashion and textile retail industry.
1/2 day per week semester one (usually Wednesday morning plus four Thursday and Friday blocks during semester one and two.
Semester three: 2 day workshop at beginning of the semester followed by two to three tutorials
Additional optional workshops, visits and demonstrations may take place on other days.
The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.
Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:
As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until close to the start date and may be subject to some change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days and periods of attendance will be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.
Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10- or 20-credit modules (more usually 20) and postgraduate course typically 15- or 30-credit modules.
The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.
Postgraduate Master’s courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.
Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.
Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be a combination of examination and coursework but may also be only one of these methods. Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes. You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessment. The precise assessment will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification and the assessment timetable. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Normally, a module will have 4 learning outcomes, and no more than 2 items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised.
Calculation of the Final Award
The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6, (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).
Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Master’s degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.
All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study. In Master’s degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.
The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 59% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.
Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (25%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (18%) or Lecturers (57%).
We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic staff (81%) are accredited fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.
The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise. The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff. This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.
Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.
Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.
A globally recognised hub of creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship.
High quality apartment living in Belfast city centre adjacent to the university campus.
At Student Wellbeing we provide many services to help students through their time at Ulster University.
Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.
Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.
In this section
This module aims to provide students with an understanding of the role business plays within the creative industries. By focusing on developing students'entrepreneurship awareness it seeks to ensure that they are equipped with the skills needed to establish sustainable creative practices
This interdisciplinary module provides students with the opportunity to critically explore and explain contemporary value creation perspectives, practices and challenges within the fashion and textile retail marketplace.
This module enables students to develop an understanding of the user needs and challenging the existing through independent, innovative and disruptive thinking. Students will observe and develop empathy with the target user. This module will enable students in the process of questioning: questioning the problem, questioning the assumptions, and questioning the implications, allowing deeper investigation and critical evaluation of knowledge and understanding of the wider theoretical development of design as a discipline.
This module gives students an opportunity to engage with and investigate contemporary issues within fashion and textile retailing, and to develop an understanding of the global perspectives and challenges including; branding, creative and design thinking, ethics, new technologies and potential futures as well as the opportunity to gain practical experience in associated disciplines such as styling, digitising marketing merchandising, garment making and print. The module also helps students to identify diverse, creative and strategic forms of; thinking, innovation and organisation that contribute value to fashion and textile enterprises and shape the future of the fashion industry. Students will have the opportunity to work individually, in teams and with external organisations, to direct own study and to encourage strategical and practical engagement with learning and future opportunities. This module prepares students for developing a masters project.
This module involves a sustained period of self-motivated creative, theoretical and practical engagement with a particular aspect(s) of fashion and textile retailing. It enables the production of a research project relevant to the focus of the student's Masters programme. The module encourages the investigation and development of innovative retailing formats and branding strategies and an increased awareness of a range of appropriate solutions for a variety of fashion and textile retail environments, realised through the final project. key skills and knowledge concerning the management, documentation, evaluation and dissemination of the creative, commercial and/or practice-led research process are also realised. It is envisaged that students will develop a project that will allow them to do one of the following: Start their own business or collaborative retail platform; develop the skills to create and sell their own brand within this sector; innovate, challenge or evolve parts of the industry; evaluate alternative and emerging market trends: investigate and develop new strategies/ policies/ branding/ products/ modes of practice/ concepts to benefit the industry and/ or their employer.
We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.
In this section
Applicants must hold a degree with at least 2ii Honours standard in any design practice, visual Arts or cognate subject or equivalent.
Applicants are welcomed with degrees from different disciplines accompanied by a rationale for applying for the programme
Applicants may wish to demonstrate their ability to undertake the course through the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL).
The programme supports and encourages continuing lifelong learning Applications from professionals with extensive professional, industrial and/or commercial experience but lacking recent or higher level academic qualifications. APL (Advanced Prior Learning) will be considered as evidence of exceptional ability appropriate to the course.
Applicants will be required to provide a short written statement outlining their areas of interest, relevant experience, skills and knowledge and provide evidence that they can deal with the intellectual and practical rigours of the programme.
Applicants may be required to attend for interview.
English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.
Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.
Discussed on an individual basis at course level.
Typically we require applicant for taught programmes to hold the equivalent of a UK first degree (usually in a relevant subject area). Please refer to the specific entry requirements for your chosen course of study as outlined in the online prospectus. We consider students who have good grades in the following:
Typically, we require applicants for taught programmes to hold the equivalent of a UK first degree.
Please refer to the specific entry requirements for your chosen course of study as outlined in the online prospectus.
The comparable US qualifications are as follows:
In this section
Many varied career options exist in both the local, regional and international market. This course of study can lead to a range of careers including becoming leaders, entrepreneurs, and intrapreneurs within the fashion and textile retail industry. Participants may also develop skills within a range of associated careers including fashion and lifestyle public relations, styling, merchandising and brand management, as well as enhancing career progression prospects.
There are a number of opportunities for industry placements subject to employer application and interview.
In this section
Students purchase materials for their own coursework.
Consumable workshop contribution of up to £100 is optional and contributes to materials used by students.
Field trips may incur additional costs.
Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.
Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.
We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.
There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.
Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.
Please contact the course team for more information.
Maureen Collins, Course Director
The teaching has been inspirational, I am really enjoying the course.