Sunday, June 26, 2016

I've probably said it many times before but I am currently studying fashion journalism at Southampton Solent University. If you are interested in studying this course at Solent or at another uni then I thought I would tell you all about it.

If you are wanting to study this course because you have the pretty idea of living the fashionable high life flying around the world interviewing designers and celebrities, hoping to meet the Kardashians then this isn't the course for you. You have to want to and enjoy writing or be interested in social media and blogging and also be prepared to work hard and from the bottom, as thats what it takes to get somewhere. 

Why I picked this course? 

I decided to choose this course because I have always enjoyed English and writing about fashion and beauty is something I've wanted to do. As there is no beauty journalism course but I knew fashion would incorporate that then I knew this was the one for me. I never really wanted to go to uni I thought there would have been another route into journalism which was better for me. But I enjoyed learning and knew I had to learn to be a journalist before I could apply for internships and jobs so this is why I chose this route. Of course you don't to have to do that but for me it was the best way.

What universities I looked at and applied to?

When it came to choosing which universities to look at and apply for there was quite a lot but as fashion journalism isn't run all over the country it was quite easy to narrow it down. I had a look on the ucas website for all the institutions which did this course then narrowed it down by location first as I knew I didn't want to move that far away, two hours was really the limit for me. Once I had done that I looked at their websites and the ones which I thought had the most enjoyable courses I ordered prospectuses for and booked open days. I applied to go to Nottingham trent (print journalism, fashion promotion and communication), Southampton Solent (fashion journalism, magazine journalism) and London College of Fashion. The first open day I went to was LCF with my friend Peighton, I really enjoyed the sound of the course and the opportunities they gave along with contacts they had but the intense fashion student vibe was in the air so it put me off slightly. With that in mind I ended up withdrawing my application from them. I also looked at Nottingham trent which I thought was a great uni and would have gone there for my insurance if Southampton did not have two courses I liked the sound of. 

So, Southampton Solent, I went on a private open day for this uni looking specifically at the journalism side to the uni. This one really stood out to me as they specialise in more arty and media based subjects with good equipment, excellent links and plenty of opportunities. I also really liked the sound of the course as it was not just journalism it has fashion theory, photography, PR, blogging, social media and magazine design into one. Meaning you could build your skills in many different areas. It was a clear winner for me as I knew this was the uni I wanted to go to. 

Course overview 

For my course like many others it last three years with are six modules every year. For first year there was two assignments for each of those units. It was taught with the traditional mixture of lectures and seminars and also tutorials when hand in dates were close. Lectures are where we mainly just took notes from the powerpoint and the lecturer would talk through them whereas seminars were slightly more interactive in the none theory units. All of my assignments were coursework so consisted of essays and portfolios mainly which is what stood out for me when choosing. Many people would say fashion journalism is an easy degree but it really is not there is a lot of work in it. When doing assignments there is a lot of prep and work to do before you can even begin the assignment in this course. 

Language of fashion - this was the theory unit for the first term which covered subcultures, barthes, fashioned body, image analysis and more. For the first assignment we had to produce a research folder on the topic we were doing for our essay. For my 2000 word essay (the second assignment) it was on subcultures so I had to research how two subcultures have bubbled up todays fashion. With the research folder I had to include all my lecture and seminar notes and then my own reading for it every week. Although, the folder was a lot of work I did enjoy doing it and having something that was slightly creative for a theory based unit. 

Fashion writer - my favourite unit of the first term. For this we had to have two portfolios one was for writing blog posts and the other was writing articles in different styles so throughout the lectures we were taught how to write interviews, profiles, columns etc and then practiced this in seminar tasks.

Design skills - this unit could of been very enjoyable but due to staffing problems it led to us being messed around. The first assignment was due quite early on in the term, requiring us to compare and contrast two magazine covers. The second assignment was to create our own double page spread and CV using indesign. 

The second and third term included the final three modules. 

Fashion photography - probably the module that my seminar group enjoyed the most as we had lots of fun messing around with the equipment and doing shoots. These two assignments again worked hand in hand with the essay being a reflection of what photos I was going to create in my portfolio. The theme of the portfolio was a tribute to David Bowie so we had to create portraits which would reflect that for our chosen publication. Also in our portfolio we had to include technical things we had learnt, practice shoots and research about Bowie and the magazine chosen. 

Multi-platform journalism - this unit had a lot of work to it with a quite picky lecturer. Although, it did include one of my favourite assignments as we were able to set up a blog to reflect on our first year at university and what the unit was like. The lectures focused on how we could become well rounded journalists which our second assignment then tested as we had to produce a feature, blog version of the feature, audio or video element and a email pitch. So we really were freelance journalists for the term. 

Trends in digital journalism - this was actually my least favourite module of the year. It is another theory based unit which included studying content analysis where we had to look at how a brand was diverse in an essay. The second essay was I didn't mind as much as we were able to pick from a set of questions with my focus being on fashion blogging. 

Overall, that is what my course consisted on and although it was stressful and a lot of work it paid of and I'm excited to carry on. 

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