Teaching is a broad based mix of formal lectures, group seminars, tutorials, practical workshops, studio-based activities and visual and verbal presentations, often to external industry representatives. Assessment occurs generally at the close of each teaching module but may be broken down into smaller sections to deliver verbal critique of elements of the module and to acclimatise the student to public presentations.
Students are expected to engage in self-directed learning when not in scheduled lessons developing work and encouraged to maintain a level of drawn work in sketch books to support practical sessions.
Learning through practical application and manufacture are key components. The course is directed by highly experienced staff who have all worked in industry and advise and train intimate apparel and the wider fashion industry globally. The course benefits from visiting lecturers from the wider fashion/intimates industry and often staff from other courses to support teaching and learning e.g. graphic, typology and presentation skills.
Students engage with international design competitions such as The Leathersellers Award, The Hand & Lock Prize and have won awards including New Lingerie Designer of the Year. External client projects with industry are a feature of the course and have included: Luxury French label Aubade, Stretchline Innovation Prize, Gossard Game Changing Competition, Lepel Swimwear Competition, Miraclesuit Swimwear USA, and H&M Lingerie competition Sweden.
Gillian Proctor Programme Leader for Contour Fashion received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the UK Lingerie Awards in 2013 in recognition of her career spanning the past 30 years. Gillian chairs the IIIA and staff team have received numerous teaching awards.
You will be taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials, seminars, group work and self-directed study. Assessment is through coursework (presentations, essays and reports). Your precise timetable will depend on the optional modules you choose to take, however, in your first year you will normally attend around 14 hours of timetabled taught sessions (lectures and tutorials) each week, and we expect you to undertake at least 25 further hours of independent study to complete project work and research.