London College of Fashion, part of University of the Arts London, is the kind of school dreams are made of. With alumni like Jimmy Choo, Jonathan Anderson, William Tempest or Alek Wek, and industry links to LVMH, WGSN or Puma, London College of Fashion has earned its place at the top of fashion education.
Established in 1906, LCF offers “courses in all things fashion, from business to design and fashion curation. With over 70 undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, and 165 short courses across every subject.” It also has a Foundation Diploma and other pre-degree courses that can set you up with a better chance to get in the course of your choice afterwards.
University of the Arts London, which include six colleges (London College of Fashion, Central Saint Martins, London College of Communication, Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon) is ranked number two in the world for art and design education (QA World University Rankings 2021), second only to Royal College of Art, which focuses on postgraduate studies. UAL is where half of the London Fashion Week designers of 2017, over half of all Turner prize winners and two-thirds of the British Designer of the Year winners got their education. Ten UAL alumni also have Oscars and 30 have BAFTAS.
There are no two ways to look at it: London is the place to be for art and design education.
How hard is it to get into London College of Fashion?
It really depends on the course you choose to apply for. Getting into UAL is no small feat in general, no matter which college you apply for. The university is the largest design and specialist university in Europe, but big doesn’t mean there’s room for everyone. The acceptance rate over the entire UAL is about 22% (with CSM coming in at only 6% acceptance rate).
UAL is “the world’s biggest factory for making trouble,” according to UAL Chancellor Grayson Perry, but you have to earn your place to be allowed to make trouble.
LCF’s acceptance rate is close to that of the entire university, with 23% acceptance rate for undergraduate and 36% for postgraduate courses.
Here are some examples of minimum entry requirements for London College of Fashion courses:
BA (Hons) Fashion Design and Development requires:
One or a combination of the following accepted full level 3 qualifications.
– Two A Level Passes at Grade C or above (preferred subjects include English, Maths, Art, Design, Textiles and Science);
– Pass Foundation Diploma in Art and Design;
– Merit, Pass, Pass at BTEC Extended Diploma in Art & Design;
– Pass at UAL Extended Diploma; Access Diploma or 64 new UCAS tariff points from the Access to HE Diploma;
– 64 new UCAS tariff points (equivalent to 160 old UCAS tariff points) from a combination of the above qualifications or an equivalent full Level 3 qualification;
– or equivalent EU or non-EU qualifications such as International Baccalaureate Diploma; and three GCSE passes at grade A*-C or grade 9-4.
You’ll also need a strong portfolio, language skills (minimum IELTS level of 6.0) and demonstrate “a current awareness of fashion for product in terms of material developments, new designers and fashion trends, a potential to achieve a high standard of technical manufacture, an ability to record and develop design ideas through the vehicle of drawing, the ability to work as a member of a team and the ability to work independently to develop your own knowledge and skills acquired on the course.
For a postgrad degree like London College of Fashion MBA, you’ll need:
– 2.1 degree at Undergraduate Level, or equivalent.
– and 3 years of work experience, to include employment, self-employment, internships, work placements in fashion related sector
– IELTS level 7.0
Getting into LCF (or any other colleges within UAL) isn’t easy. The requirements are high, acceptance rates low and the competition is tough. But this is one of the reasons UAL is ranked number two in the world: there is an intense selection process even before students set foot on the various campuses.