With the exception of the program changing its curriculum requirements during my 3rd year (and implementing it without notice -which i think is illegal), the fundamental courses that were required provided a well-rounded approach to Fashion. There was enough variety to allow each student to chart their own fashion course.
The curriculum was always changing and with new heads of programs coming in, I found the transition to my 3rd and 4th year very encouraging. New higher level courses were being offered that looked at fashion more as an academic discipline and gave us more variety for our degrees. Your last year is mainly comprised of a written and creative thesis, and a major reorganization of your portfolio to showcase during the Fashion Communication event.
I think the school definitely gives you insight to what employers expect, given the types of projects we were assigned. For example: develop a private label, create a mood board for the upcoming season, art direct for a fashion spread, create a magazine-format show, were just a few relevant projects. There were many industry professionals conducting courses and with their background and knowledge, their advice was immensely crucial to guiding our careers. Year after year, we learned how to keep improving our portfolio for it to be utilized in the working world. But, you have to take ownership of the program and design it to work for you. Otherwise, you’d just be throwing your money away. So as Tim Gunn says “Make it work!” Don’t waste your time if this is not what you want to do. You’d be occupying a space from somebody that might really deserve the opportunity. There are waiting lists for people trying to get into the program because of the school’s reputation and success of the alumni.
The absolute best part of the program was the critiques that we were engaged in within class. The implementation of these critiques really taught us how to analyze our work. With art being so subjective with no right or wrong answers, critical input from your peers is crucial. It really helped us gauge ourselves against one another. Throughout the experience, there were several fashion competitions with Flare, Shiseido, and McGregor Socks that were involved each year.
The worst part of the program was the inability to fast-track or take a semester off without being penalized to stay back another full year. People in the program who had credits fulfilled from other institutions still had to remain in the program for the entire length of the program, even if their last year was only comprised of a few credits. Some students who were gravely ill for merely one semester had to repeat an entire year of courses paying more tuition than necessary. However, I think some curriculum changes have taken place since I graduated, so this many not be as relevant anymore.