Fashion, Enterprise and Society MA

Year of entry

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Start date
September 2024
Delivery type
On campus
12 months full time
Entry requirements
A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) or equivalent qualification.
Full entry requirements
English language requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component
UK fees
£15,250 (Total)
International fees
£30,250 (Total)

Course overview

Fashion design students in workshop

Prepare for a career as a successful innovator and future leader in the fashion industry with this varied and engaging course. You’ll develop in-depth knowledge and understanding of the rapidly evolving fashion industry and develop your own creative, enterprising, and strategic business design skills.

You will be equipped to challenge existing business practice and propose new and innovative solutions for a more sustainable and socially responsible fashion industry. You’ll study the challenges faced by social enterprises today and the process of setting up a new business. At the same time, you’ll learn about new opportunities for the fashion industry, be that through innovation in fashion product development or advancements in fashion marketing and communication and the digitalisation of the fashion industry.

Delivered collaboratively between School of Design and Leeds University Business School (LUBS), you will be taught by experts across fashion and business. This will enable you to view the fashion industry from a range of perspectives, including social, cultural, and commercial perspectives.

You will develop strong research skills throughout the programme, with your learning culminating in a final major research project, which can be tailored to your own research interests and career aspirations. This independent research project can take a variety of forms. For example, you could produce a traditional dissertation on a fashion related topic of your choice, or alternatively, a more creative, industry-led piece of research such as a business proposal.

MA Fashion Enterprise and Society is built upon the three pillars of design, business and research.

You will study the three design-led specialist fashion modules: Fashion Marketing and Creative Realisation, Fashion Sustainability and Society, and Fashion Futures. You will also study two business-led modules: Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Creation and New Venture Creation. Research in Design and Enterprise will provide you with an array of skills to prepare you for your Major Research Project and the industry.

Specialist facilities

The School of Design offers excellent facilities and technical support for developing your creative skills. We have a range of dedicated spaces where students can work independently. The School also has a number of practical workshops, studios and specialist facilities, including: the Sculpture Studio; 2D Art Studio; Fashion Design Studio; Knit and Weave Studio; Photography Studio; Digital Print workshop; Laser cutting and 3D Print workshop; Printmaking Workshop; XLab for Immersive Technologies and 3D workshop. We provide access to a team of excellent technicians across the full range of skills who can help you to realise your work to reach its potential.

The School also provides a range of other support to enhance the student experience and prepare students for the workplace, including: free dedicated software; a wide range of technical induction programmes; free access to Linked-in-Learning Tutorials; free cameras and video recorders on loan; supporting a Degree Show; external promotion; and Visiting Speakers, who are well known figures from industry or other institutions around the world.

MA Fashion Enterprise and Society students may find our excellent fashion-related research resources, such as the School’s Yorkshire Fashion Archive and access to the Marks and Spencer’s (M&S) Company Archive, of particular interest. The M&S Company Archive includes documents, advertising, photos, films, clothing and merchandise from throughout Marks & Spencer’s history, offering a fascinating insight into the changing nature of branding and advertising over time. Students also have access to the International Textile Collections, which collects, preserves and documents textiles and related areas from around the world.

Course details

Throughout the MA Fashion Enterprise and Society course you will develop key skills and knowledge relating to the fashion industry, enterprise and research. Taught by both the School of Design and Leeds University Business School (LUBS), you will acquire industry-relevant skills and knowledge across the year-long programme, equipping you to work within a variety of roles and sectors on completion of your MA.

Within the School of Design, in Semester 1, you will explore the current state of the global fashion industry, developing your understanding of fashion supply chains and management, and your understanding of the impact of the fashion industry on both the environment and society. You will also learn key fashion marketing and consumer theories and practices, and build upon this learning in Semester 2, utilising your own critical and creative thinking to reflect on existing fashion business practice and propose new industry-relevant solutions. You will also develop your creative design and communication skills in Semester 2, enabling you to professionally present your own innovative and original concepts and proposals to industry audiences.

Your LUBS modules, studied across Semester 1 and 2, complement your School of Design modules by allowing you to develop your specialist knowledge of entrepreneurship and enterprise in Semester 1, and applying this knowledge in Semester 2 to formulate your own business plan for a new venture.

Research is integral to your degree, and you will develop advanced research skills across semester 1 and 2, developing your understanding of the research process, quantitative and qualitative data, and primary and secondary research methods. This learning will enable you to understand, problem-solve and address real-world challenges, supported by research, in both academic and industry contexts.

In Semester 3, you will apply all of the knowledge and skills acquired throughout the programme to complete your final major research project, tailoring both the subject and type of output to your individual research interests and career aspirations.

The Programme Leader for this course is Dr Caroline Hemingray.

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

Fashion Sustainability and Society (Semester 1, 15 credits)

In this module, students will investigate the current management theories and practices within the global fashion and textile industry. The implications of sustainability efforts (such as net zero and the circular economy) on the industry, environment and society will be critically examined, and possible future scenarios for a more equitable and sustainable industry explored.

Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Creation (Semester 1, 15 credits)

This module aims to integrate knowledge of entrepreneurship with new enterprise design. It will help students create an advanced understanding of the process of new enterprise design within the context of enterprise skills and the theory of entrepreneurship.

Research in Design and Enterprise (Semester 1 and 2, 30 credits)

This module provides students with an understanding and insight into research processes that can be applied to both design and academic research. It introduces a broad range of advanced research methods, focused on techniques and issues appropriate to academia, design, enterprise, management and marketing. Students will develop essential skills and competencies to enable them to become critical, reflective and creative researchers, able to problem-solve and contextualise research for a range of real-world contexts and applications.

Fashion Marketing and Creative Realisation (Semester 1 and 2, 30 credits)

In the first part of this module, students will develop their understanding of the fashion industry structure and the fashion marketplace through theoretical tools, such as the marketing mix and PEST analysis. The role of the consumer will also be understood through consumer behaviour theories, such as target marketing and market segmentation. Students will utilise and apply their theoretical knowledge into real-world contexts, developing, justifying and presenting their own creative and viable fashion business solutions. Students can choose from a range of outputs, as to how they communicate their new fashion business development proposals, and may focus on either the creative or the strategic aspects of how they will implement their concepts.

Fashion Futures (Semester 2, 15 credits)

In this module, students will explore how innovation challenges exiting norms in fashion and use this research to inform the development and design of their own future-looking fashion concepts. Students are encouraged to critique the status quo of the existing fashion industry and propose new solutions which address a specific aspect of the garment lifecycle to make a positive impact in response to social, cultural, environmental and economic factors within a rapidly changing world.

New Venture Creation (Semester 2, 15 credits)

This module will support you in developing a new venture as a live case study, giving you the chance to explore the potential of your ideas by working with tutors, entrepreneurs/practitioners, and your peers to develop and evaluate a new venture idea. Once you have decided the focus of your project, you will work on developing a portfolio around your new venture initiative. The portfolio will enable you to produce a business plan for the venture at the end of the module. As an independent project, you will develop your venture using your initiative. Throughout the module a series of interactive workshops will support you in developing your idea while working with your peers in challenging your assumptions and developing solutions. This action-orientated module provides a ‘virtual’ experience of developing a new venture from scratch, which should be of relevance to your future new venture creation activities – either in start-ups or in helping to grow established organisations.

Major Research Project (Semester 3, 60 credits)

This module is the culmination of students learning from semester 1 and 2 of the MA Fashion Enterprise and Society programme. Students will use their advanced understanding of the research process, subject knowledge, critical thinking and creative problem-solving skills, developed throughout the programme, to complete their major research project. Students will work independently, supported by supervisors, to produce a professional research output suitable for either an academic or industry context. Example outputs could include a dissertation, journal paper or business proposal.

Learning and teaching

Creative and critical problem solving is central to our teaching in the School of Design. Your learning will be enhanced by a range of contemporary teaching methods which encourage active learning and are underpinned by inclusive and authentic learning activities, including team working, creative workshops and industry facing scenarios.

We follow a campus based blended learning approach; you’ll have a range of resources in the virtual learning environment which are accessible at all times, including videos and pre-work to help you prepare for your classes. You’ll attend lectures which are carefully designed to invite engagement and participation, seminars to enable you to delve deeper into key topics, workshops to experiment and learn practical and creative skills, and tutorials so that you can discuss your work in progress. Your module tutors have dedicated office hours, which means there’s always the opportunity to ask questions.

Collaboration with staff and your peers is the foundation of our teaching and learning, giving students input into their learning journey. During the course you will study alongside students from other MA programmes in Design and LUBS. Here you will benefit from our community of learners, to contribute their diverse perspectives and to encounter those of others, with global industry practices in mind.

A typical week may include eight to ten hours of in-person and online study which provide a rich resource to support further investigation in your private study time. Private study is important at university and a potentially significant change from the way you have been taught previously. This is space where you can reflect and critique materials from taught sessions, including further reading, writing, and creative development. You will be guided through this process by your tutors to help you develop your knowledge and research skills. The ability to work independently is a key skill to your development as a creative and professional thinker. You’ll also have the ongoing support of your Academic Personal Tutor. 

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.


On MA Fashion Enterprise and Society you will be assessed through a variety of authentic and inclusive assessment methods, examples of which may include: portfolios of research and practical work; presentations; business proposals; communications campaigns; reports; as well as more traditional assignments, such as essays. Some of your assessments will involve collaboration with your peers. This collaboration could be in the development of concepts and proposals and/or various forms of visual and textual communication in response to problem-based issues.

The nature of assessment will change as you progress and develop throughout your programme.

  • In Semester 1, your assessments are designed to establish your understanding and acquisition of new knowledge, academic and research skills.
  • In Semester 2, your assessments will challenge you to demonstrate how you have developed your understanding of the specialist subject areas, and how you analyse and creatively apply your new knowledge and skills in relation to real-world, local and global industry contexts.
  • Finally, in Semester 3, you will undertake a final major research project, which will require you to work with a high level of independence and self-directed study, with support from your tutors.

To support you as you navigate assessment, we provide formative as well as summative assessment. Formative assessment gives staff an opportunity to give you feedback on personal progress, in good time before a summative deadline. Given the range of assessment types, formative assessment and feedback enables you to reflect upon your personal progress, and establish which forms of assessment allow you to play to your strengths.

Authentic assessment means relevant assessment; relevant in terms of contemporary contexts and also relevant to your personal interests and your future aspirations. The authenticity of assessment is an important consideration in how we design assignments and project briefs. This means that we think carefully about the relevance of assessment outcomes; not only in academic terms but also in terms of your chosen career path, skill development needs and the future of work in your chosen discipline. Where appropriate, there will be an element of choice in your assessment. Some projects will allow you to choose the focus and format of your submission.

Dialogic teaching methods emphasise in-class discussion and support staff/student debate. This approach to teaching and learning enables staff to hear all student voices.

While remaining considerate of module and programme learning outcomes, where relevant and beneficial, we strive to adopt a flexible approach to assessment design. This flexibility allows us to respond to student voice, maintain an agility that allows us to react to global, social and cultural change and respond swiftly to opportunities to devise projects with our industrial partners. We aim for all assessment to be relevant, meaningful and engaging.


Entry requirements

You’ll need a bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) or equivalent qualification specialising in one the following subjects: fashion design, marketing, management, business or textiles.

You’ll also be required to respond to the questions in the supporting statement section of the online application form.

Please note that meeting the entry requirements of this course doesn't guarantee an offer of a place.

Applying from China

Due to the large numbers of applications we receive, we’re only able to offer places to applicants who have attended selected Chinese institutions. With regret, any applications we receive from applicants awarded a qualification in China from an institution that isn’t on this list will be rejected.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our postgraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

This pre-sessional course is designed with a progression route to your degree programme and you’ll learn academic English in the context of your subject area. To find out more, read Language for Business Management and Enterprise (6 weeks) and Language for Business: Business Management and Enterprise (10 weeks).

We also offer online pre-sessionals alongside our on-campus pre-sessionals. Find out more about our six week online pre-sessional.

You can also study pre-sessionals for longer periods – read about our postgraduate pre-sessional English courses.

How to apply

Application deadline:

We operate a staged admissions process for our courses, with selection deadlines throughout the year.

If you do not receive an offer at a particular stage in the process, you will be either notified that your application has been unsuccessful, or that is has been carried forward to be considered at the next stage.

Please see our How to Apply page for full details and the application deadlines for each stage.

The ‘Apply’ link at the top of this page takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.

If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Documents and information you’ll need

  • A copy of your degree certificate and transcripts, or a partial transcript if you’re still studying (including an official English translation if necessary)
  • A personal statement in response to the questions asked in the supporting statement section of the application form, which explains why you wish to study this particular course and your future career plans
  • Evidence of your English language qualifications, if English is not your first language

Next steps

Applicants may be invited to attend an interview with the programme manager either by phone, Skype or in person.

The Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures receives very large numbers of high-quality applications and regrets that it cannot make offers to all of its applicants. Some particularly popular schools may have to reject many that hold the necessary academic qualifications.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Admissions Policy 2025

This course is taught by

School of Design
Leeds University Business School

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UK: £15,250 (Total)

International: £30,250 (Total)

There are additional costs of study that students need to cover. We estimate that these additional costs could be as described below, but this amount may vary depending on how you decide to respond to university briefs and the range of materials and techniques you decide to adopt.

Equipment and material costs

Depending on how students choose to respond to module briefs, students may need to cover some printing and their own basic materials (e.g. pens, pencils, paper, ruler, etc.) and more course specific materials (e.g. sketchbooks, specialist papers, fabrics and materials etc.). The approximate cost of these items in recent years has been between £10 and £60.

Computers and digital equipment 

To ensure you can make the most of your studies at Leeds, you’ll need to make sure your laptop meets the system requirements for your course.

Some modules require the development of work using Adobe Creative Cloud and other relevant software. As required by your programme, the School will provide you with a free Adobe CC account when you arrive. We also use a blended learning model where you’ll need to access course materials and video conferencing using a computer or mobile device (e.g. laptop, tablet, smartphone). Costs for a laptop will vary depending on the exact specification. You should expect to pay between £800–£2,500. 

If you’re buying a new laptop for your studies, then we recommend that you wait until you’re registered as a student so that you take advantage of discounts given to university students. Delaying purchasing also allows you to find out from your programme leader what you need and what you do not need. Depending on your circumstances you can benefit from a laptop loan or further support from our Financial Assistance Fund.

You’ll have access to further digital equipment in our studios and using our loan scheme. However, you may decide to purchase your own equipment, which will result in additional optional costs. Examples are: Drawing tablet (£50–£500); Digital camera (£200–£1500); etc. 

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs. 

Read more about paying fees and charges.

For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.

Additional cost information

Computers and digital equipment

To ensure you can make the most of your studies at Leeds, you’ll need to make sure your laptop meets the system requirements for your course.

Depending on your circumstances you can benefit from a laptop loan or further support from our Financial Assistance Fund.

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more on our living costs and budgeting page.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government.  Find out more at Masters funding overview.

Career opportunities

Flexibility, resilience and transferable skills are desirable attributes for creative industry professionals. In the School of Design, as well as providing you with research-led, industry informed subject-specific knowledge, we aim to equip you with the best possible skills for a variety of future careers. Design thinking, combined with excellent research and criticality skills are increasingly valued across a wide range of sectors; therefore, your degree from the University of Leeds opens opportunities across disciplines and multiple industries, as well as in your programme related specialism.

On completion of this course you’ll have a strong understanding of the fast-paced and dynamic fashion industry, be equipped to challenge the accepted norms, and be a leader for the future fashion industry, capable of making meaningful changes for a more responsible and innovative fashion industry. You’ll have developed research and critical skills that make you an independent thinker, reflecting critically on the information you have and then drawing your own conclusions. All of these qualities are highly valued by employers in a range of industries.

Recent MA Fashion Enterprise and Society graduates have gone on to careers in a number of different fields and roles, including; Buying Assistant, Business Analyst, Marketing Specialist, Senior Stylist, Press Assistant and Art Director. They have gone on to work at companies including; Browns Fashion, Prada Group, Mint Velvet, C.P. Concept, Dover Street Market, Fashion Revolution,, Monsoon Accessorize, Condensé Paris, & Other Stories and Hallmark. We also have recent graduates who have gone on to PhD study or to set up their own business.

Careers support

MA Fashion Enterprise and Society students regularly hear from fashion industry experts through our visiting lecturer programme. This supports our students with their industry awareness, understanding of future possible career paths and networking.

Programme teams also support our postgraduate students with identifying and articulating their transferable skills and experience for industry. The Careers Centre also provides a range of help and advice to help students plan their career, and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after they graduate. Find out more at the MyCareers website.

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more about Careers support.