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Options with your subject : Fashion

Options with your subject: Fashion

The range of skills you develop while studying fashion makes you highly employable in both fashion design work and in a broader business sense within the industry...

Job options

Jobs directly related to your degree include:

Jobs where your degree would be useful:

Work experience

Contact fashion houses, designers, department and other retail stores and supermarket fashion labels to ask for the opportunity to gain some work experience. Some positions are paid and some, such as the numerous internships available, are unpaid. Most positions can be found by searching the websites of fashion companies.

In some cases, work experience may lead to a permanent job offer, but even if this is not the case, you will be gaining experience in the right field. If economic necessity means you have to work elsewhere in order to pay the bills, consider the possibility of spending one day a week in an unpaid work experience setting if you can, in order to gain relevant skills and build up contacts.

For listings of fashion-related work experience and voluntary placements, general information, and links about careers in the industry, see University for the Creative Arts - Careers .

Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.

Typical employers

Employers within the fashion industry range from top designers in well-established studios to high street retail outlets, supermarket clothing labels and manufacturing operations. Each of these offers different employment opportunities such as design work, creation, buying, marketing, PR. Consider other less obvious areas, too, such as costume design within the television and film industry, the fashion media, and internet companies.

Recruiters may attend graduate shows at universities and snap up the most talented designers there. The biggest retail chains run graduate trainee schemes for buyers and merchandisers. Employers often fill junior posts by contacting tutors and university careers services. Recruitment may also be done through niche agencies and the press.

Find information on employers in creative arts and design, retail, and other job sectors.

Skills for your CV

The portfolio that you will have started during your degree is the most vital tool you have in your search for a job in fashion. Your book should contain your coursework as a starting point but should also be continually developed. In the case of designers, it should contain themed collections of garments. It is your best chance to show your practical skills and impress upon a potential employer your natural creativity and flair.

Further study

The majority of fashion graduates go straight into employment after their studies but a small percentage go on to study a Masters, specialising in areas such as childrenswear, embroidery, theatrical costume, textiles, millinery or shoe design.

Other Masters courses may allow graduates to investigate the social, economic, ethical, environmental or cultural side of fashion in more detail. Some MAs in fashion are very practical and are assessed on that basis, for example, by requiring the student to deliver an innovative collection. Others involve essays and a dissertation.

For more information on further study and to find a course that interests you, see postgraduate study in the UK and search courses and research.

What do fashion graduates do?

Around 80% of fashion graduates are in employment six months after graduating. A small number, just over 5%, go on to further study, either full time or part time while working.

Of those in employment, around 15% are clothing designers. Other common jobs include marketing associate professionals, public relations professionals, buyers and procurement officers and textile designers.

Graduate destinations for fashion
Destinations Percentage
Employed 80.1%
Further study 3.4%
Working and studying 2%
Unemployed 9.6%
Other 4.9%
Types of work entered in the UK
Retail, catering and bar work 28.1%
Arts, design and media 26.2%
Marketing, PR and sales 15%
Secretarial and numerical clerks 7.3%
Other 23.4%

Find out what art and design graduates are doing six months after finishing their degrees in What Do Graduates Do?  

Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.


Further information

Written by AGCAS editors
November 2012

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