London is a capital of creativity and commerce, making it the perfect location for some of the world’s best-regarded fashion colleges.
Fashion school is not only about nurturing your creative talents – the most successful colleges also ensure their students are educated in running a business, marketing, styling and practical skills.
With some impressive alumni and faculty staff, any of the following colleges will give your fashion career the kick start it needs and help you on your way towards working in the fashion industry.
Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design
A list of Saint Martins graduates reads like a who’s who of fashion industry heavyweights – alumnis include Stella McCartney, Riccardo Tisci, Alexander McQueen and his successor Sarah Burton, among many many others. With such an impressive track record, it’s little wonder that CSM is widely regarded as one of the world’s best fashion schools.
If you study at Saint Martins, you’ll benefit from the skills and experience of teaching staff who have helped launch the careers of some of the UK’s most successful designers. The site on Granary Square is just a short walk from King’s Cross St Pancras, making it easy to commute to no matter where you are in the city.
London College of Fashion
The London College of Fashion is the only college in the UK that specialises in fashion education. As well as a wide selection of design courses, there are programmes focusing on beauty, fashion business and marketing, costume design, fashion journalism and photography. If sustainability is important to you, London College of Fashion also hosts the Centre for Sustainable Fashion – one of the research centres of the University of the Arts group – established and led by Dilys Williams. For a taste of the work the Centre undertakes, check out the short online course they created in partnership with Kering, hosted on Future Learn.
Westminster University’s fashion school is highly regarded and boasts Vivienne Westwood and former Burberry Creative Director Christopher Bailey as alumni. The department teaches BAs in Fashion Design, Fashion Business Management and Fashion Marketing and Promotion, with the option of 3-year full-time study or 4 years on a sandwich course where you can get out into the working world with internships and placements. Thanks to great industry connections, previous sandwich students have spent their third years with Acne Studios, Celine and Christopher Kane, to name just a few.
Royal College of Art
London’s RCA offers a small fashion design and textiles post-graduate programme. Zandra Rhodes and Erdem were former students here. The RCA has an international reputation and high student success rate, with 93% of graduating students going on to work in fields directly related to their area of study.
Condé Nast College of Fashion & Design
If you want to study in the heart of London and are looking for a college with excellent industry connections, then the Condé Nast College of Fashion & Design might just be the perfect choice for you. As well as a great portfolio of short courses including the Business of Beauty and Fashion Styling, there are bachelor and masters programmes in Fashion Journalism, Fashion Communication and Luxury Brand Management.
University of East London
UEL offers a fashion programme that includes textile design, digital fashion and an MA in Fashion Management. Students also have the option of working in the fashion industry for a year. There is a strong emphasis on vocational courses at UEL, which aims to give its students the skills they need to survive in the working world as well as achieve academic success. The University of East London prides itself on removing barriers to education and has a high student acceptance rate.
London College of Contemporary Arts
The London College of Contemporary Arts offers an undergraduate programme in Fashion Design with Buckinghamshire New University as the awarding body. If you can’t commit to a BA, there are Higher National Certificates and Diplomas available in Fashion and Textiles.