2025/26 entry Applications also open for 2024/25

BA (Hons) Fashion Design and Communication with Foundation Year

Start date:
Study mode:
Course duration:
4 years
Mt Pleasant
UCAS Code:
Grades/points required:
DDD-CDD (72-80)

Tuition fees

Home full-time per year
International full-time per year
All figures are subject to yearly increases. Tuition fees are subject to parliamentary approval.
General enquiries:
0151 231 5090
International admissions

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Why study Fashion Design and Communication with Foundation Year at Liverpool John Moores University?

  • The Foundation Year introduces students to contemporary art and design practices, including Art History and drawing, with a focus on the acquisition and development of core academic skills that are needed for successful transition into level 4 and completion of the degree
  • The FY supports students' induction and orientation to basic resources and workshops in the John Lennon Art and Design Building, and students will use the workshop areas and resources to develop module outcomes in a safe and appropriate manner, however, no dedicated studio space is provided
  • Take a virtual tour of last year's Fashion: Design and Communication degree show
  • Students have opportunities to study abroad or apply for art and design travel awards
  • Specialise in either Fashion Design or Fashion Communication
  • The programme is a member of the FTC (Association of Fashion and Textile Courses) as well as the Ethical Fashion Forum

About your course

The BA (Hons) Fashion: Design and Communication at Liverpool John Moores University offers you the opportunity to study either Fashion Design or Fashion Communication, while interacting within a creative, collaborative fashion environment.

The programme has been developed with two distinct pathways - each pathway benefitting from dedicated, separate studio spaces and teaching. The curriculum is delivered by specialists focused on their disciplines and close to the fashion community. You will be located in the award-winning John Lennon Art and Design Building within the School of Art and Design, which puts creative practice at its heart. During your studies, you will have a wealth of opportunities available to you, from live projects and competitions to developing an industry standard portfolio.

WATCH our short video where Fashion programme leader, Andrew Ibi talks about the degree


Innovation sits at the heart of our course, and the city of Liverpool is a source of inspiration for our students to grow and prosper as creative and forward thinking individuals. Following from Liverpool's tenure as European Capital of Culture in 2008, the city has flourished to become key destination for fashion and the visual arts. The School of Art and Design sits at the centre of the city's cultural renaissance and has forged close links with key arts organisations including Tate Liverpool, Liverpool Biennial and FACT.

Fashion Design and Communication tutors encourage an experimental individual approach to fashion, allowing you to create your own style within the framework of the course curriculum. This approach will enable you to progress into a wide-range of careers - from commercial and high-end design to self-employment, freelance work and postgraduate study. Students are able to work within their fields of choice building on a firm skillset to prepare them for careers in the industry.



In Fashion Design, students work from concept to final garment construction so they understand the process of design as well as the practical application. Research is essential to innovation and we embed fashion studies to further our students' individual interests. This knowledge is empowering and allows our graduates to work across a wide range of the fashion industry from High Street to Couture.

In Fashion Communication, our students are able to work across the whole syllabus, from branding, PR, marketing, photography and styling. With knowledge from location sourcing to final layout and editorial, they are able to offer specialist companies a whole package of transferable skills to work on a broad range of projects.

You will be able to keep up to date with the activities of students, staff and alumni of the Fashion: Design and Communications (BA Hons) degree by visiting our Instagram profile and following us on Twitter @fashion_ljmu

Foundation Year

The Foundation Year pathway (level 3) introduces students to core academic skills needed to thrive in High Education, and provides an introduction to art and design principles and practices that are required for students to study on the BA (Hons) programmes at Liverpool School of Art and Design.

This unique Foundation Year is a preparatory year of study shared by Architecture, Fashion: Design & Communication, Fine Art, Graphic Design & Illustration, and Interior Architecture degree programmes. It is ideal if you have the interest and ability to study for a degree, but do not have the qualifications to enter directly onto the first year of a full honours degree. The Foundation Year allows greater access to the undergraduate programmes through a series of general taught modules that gradually build in exposure to discipline-specific practices, to enable students to be ready to take their place on the first year of their chosen full-time HE course.

Students are taught together as a non-discipline specific group in four out of six modules with opportunities to split into discipline-specific groups in the 'Exploring Materials, Process and Practice' and 'Studio Practice Project' modules. This non-disciplinary structure is designed to promote cross-disciplinary thinking and learning experiences. Students are also part of a wider level 3 community within the Faculty of Arts, Professional and Social Studies and study two academic skills modules ('Preparing for Success: Academic Skills', and 'Investigating Liverpool') with foundation students across the faculty.

There is a focus on the attainment of core academic skills, including writing, referencing, computer and research skills.

The Foundation Year aims to:

  • Introduce students to contemporary art and design practices, including Art History and drawing
  • Introduce core academic and general skills across four modules and introduce discipline specific subjects in two modules
  • Foster the development of ideas through introductory 'exposures' and 'encounters' with materials, technologies and processes that replicate and simulate real-world interactions for making and collaborative practice
  • Support students' induction and orientation to basic resources and workshops in the John Lennon Art and Design Building, and use key workshop areas and resources associated with their programmes in a safe and appropriate manner
  • Acquire and develop the academic skills needed for successful transition into level 4 and completion of the degree
  • Engage students to develop a self-directed and independent approach to learning

Students will have access to specialist workshops and technical support in the John Lennon Art and Design Building to develop their practical skills but no dedicated studio space is provided. You will spent a significant amount of time working online in our virtual learning environment, CANVAS.

Once you pass the Foundation Year you will progress directly onto the first year of the BA (Hons) Fashion: Design & Communication degree. If you are a full-time UK student, you will qualify for student financial support for the full duration of your course (subject to eligibility criteria).

  • Take a guided tour of the School of Art and Design

    Take a guided tour of the School of Art and Design

"People in the industry are so shocked that I am able to do all technical stuff as well as the creative input. I feel like we really do have the upper hand when we leave, and a lot more opportunities than other graduates."
Sinead Russell, recent Fashion Communication graduate

Professional accreditation/links

The fashion team has a growing number of links with UK design support organisations such as the Fashion & Textile Association, Ethical fashion Forum and Graduate Fashion Week.

We also have strong links with local companies such as Matalan and BooHoo and Shop Direct, as well as national and international companies and designers who contact us directly for placements and live projects.

Fees and funding

There are many ways to fund study for home and international students


The fees quoted above cover registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examinations as well as:

  • library membership with access to printed, multimedia and digital resources
  • access to programme-appropriate software
  • library and student IT support
  • free on-campus wifi via eduroam

Additional costs

Although not all of the following are compulsory/relevant, you should keep in mind the costs of:

  • accommodation and living expenditure
  • books (should you wish to have your own copies)
  • printing, photocopying and stationery
  • PC/laptop (should you prefer to purchase your own for independent study and online learning activities)
  • mobile phone/tablet (to access online services)
  • field trips (travel and activity costs)
  • placements (travel expenses and living costs)
  • student visas (international students only)
  • study abroad opportunities (travel costs, accommodation, visas and immunisations)
  • academic conferences (travel costs)
  • professional-body membership
  • graduation (gown hire etc)


There are many ways to fund study for home and international students. From loans to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you'll find all of the information you need on our specialist funding pages.


As a Fashion graduate, there are all sorts of careers open to you within the fashion and related industries.

Students from the Fashion degree go on to forge successful careers as designers (Menswear and Womenswear), photographers, stylists, buyers, illustrators, PR officers, events managers and merchandisers, both in the UK, Europe and beyond. We are exceptionally proud of the achievements of our graduates.

Many have gained significant international recognition for their work including, Rosie Davies, founder of the London Fashion Agency; Alena Johnson winner of Who's Next Pret-A-Porter; Phillip Whitehead Ted Baker; Danielle Windsor (Viktor & Rolf and Zara); Kirsty Doyle, winner of Project Catwalk; Andrew Foxall (Neil Barratt and Foxall Associates) ,John Mooney (ASOS), Hannah Smith BooHoo, and Kerry Crone, Matalan. Others have gone on to work with companies such as Erdem, Alexander McQueen, Dazed & Confused, Ted Baker, Adidas, PR companies, Sane Seven and Paul Smith.

The programme provides many opportunities to meet prospective employers in the fashion industry. For instance, you may take an active role in Graduate Fashion Week (GFW) where the programme won the Drapers Award for the best GFW publication.

As well as going directly into employment, some of our students go onto to study at postgraduate level in the UK and abroad. The Liverpool School of Art and Design offers students the opportunity to progress onto a range of Masters degrees including MA Fashion Innovation and Realisation, which provides students with opportunities to explore personal concepts and themes to a higher level.

The MA offers students the opportunity to work collaboratively with students studying Fine Art, Graphics Design and Illustration and Art in Science.

Student Futures - Careers, Employability and Enterprise Service

A wide range of opportunities and support is available to you, within and beyond your course, to ensure our students experience a transformation in their career trajectory. Every undergraduate curriculum includes Future Focus during Level 4, an e-learning resource and workshop designed to help you to develop your talents, passion and purpose.

Every student has access to Careers Zone 24/7, LJMU's suite of online Apps, resources and jobs board via the LJMU Student Futures website. There are opportunities for flexible, paid and part-time work through Unitemps, LJMU's in-house recruitment service, and we also offer fully funded Discovery Internships.

One-to-one careers and employability advice is available via our campus-based Careers Zones and we offer a year-round programme of events, including themed careers and employability workshops, employer events and recruitment fairs. Our Start-Up Hub can help you to grow your enterprise skills and to research, plan and start your own business or become a freelancer.

A suite of learning experiences, services and opportunities is available to final year students to help ensure you leave with a great onward plan. You can access LJMU's Careers, Employability and Start-up Services after you graduate and return for one-to-one support for life.

Go abroad

LJMU aims to make international opportunities available to every student. You may be able to study abroad as part of your degree at one of our 100+ partner universities across the world. You could also complete a work placement or apply for one of our prestigious worldwide internship programmes. If you wanted to go abroad for a shorter amount of time, you could attend one of our 1-4 week long summer schools.

Our Go Citizen Scheme can help with costs towards volunteering, individual projects or unpaid placements anywhere in the world. With all of these opportunities at your feet, why wouldn’t you take up the chance to go abroad?

Find out more about the opportunities we have available via our Instagram @ljmuglobalopps or email us at: goabroad@ljmu.ac.uk.

A life-changing experience 

There's so much more to university than just studying for a degree.

What you will study on this degree

Please see guidance below on core and option modules for further information on what you will study.

Further guidance on modules

Modules are designated core or optional in accordance with professional body requirements, as applicable, and LJMU’s Academic Framework Regulations. Whilst you are required to study core modules, optional modules provide you with an element of choice. Their availability may vary and will be subject to meeting minimum student numbers.

Where changes to modules are necessary these will be communicated as appropriate.

Level 3

Core modules

Exploring Materials, Process and Practice
20 credits

This practical and workshop-based module focuses on guiding you in adopting a cross-disciplinary fusion of learning and thinking through introductory projects. The module introduces you to basic Art & Design practices through introductory 'exposures' and 'encounters' with materials, technologies and processes.

Drawing and Culture
20 credits

The module activities will challenge your understanding of 'drawing' itself, and you will be exposed to novel drawing methods, such as haptico-visual drawing and virtual reality drawing. A series of drawing workshops will introduce you to a variety of basic drawing approaches and encourage experimentation with a range of materials and media. You will be expected to record experiments and visual ideas during these sessions.

Studio Practice Project
20 credits

This module introduces you to key concepts and activities that underpin your discipline-specific study at higher education through participation in practical projects. You will be asked to record primary and secondary visual research in sketchbooks and document experimentations. The module will also include contextual lectures and workshop activities to develop your creative and technical confidence.

Preparing for Success: Academic Skills
20 credits

This module provides you with the integrated skills required for academic success. You will develop your skills of creating posters, constructing bibliographies, and sourcing relevant materials. Alongside this you will learn to identify and understand academic writing and referencing techniques. The multi-disciplinary syllabus and assessment tasks will enable you to acquire the academic skills needed for successful transition into Level 4 and the completion of the degree.

Investigating Liverpool
20 credits

This module provides you with the necessary skills to develop a research project on the Liverpool City region from your particular subject perspective. You will explain academic research methods, write a coherent piece of academic work based on an understanding of Liverpool, and locate relevant research to support your project. The module will help you to develop an independent approach to learning.

Encountering Art History
20 credits

This module introduces you to the discipline of Art History. You will learn: how to undertake visual analyses of art works, how to adopt and understand key art historical terminology, how to acquire knowledge of important periods and artists in art history, and how to review exhibitions.

Level 4

Core modules

Fashion Practice
20 credits

The aim of this module is to learn how to articulate and present ideas and information in a comprehensible visual and oral form. You will increase your understanding of the discipline of fashion and promote individual focus through the execution of fashion related activities. You will learn how to embed the use of Design Process to create original fashion outcomes from independently researched sources.

Visualisation and Technology
20 credits

The aim of this module is to develop an awareness of professional fashion practice through the professional presentation of a body of artwork/design documentation. You will develop fashion communication skills, enabling the visualisation of fashion ideas and outputs in a professional format.

Visual Direction and Technical Development
20 credits

This module will allow you to develop and extend your knowledge of materials and technical processes in a fashion context.

An Introduction to Contextual Research
20 credits

Within this module, you will explore key concepts and themes concerning historical and contemporary cultural significance in relation to studio practice and wider contexts of fashion design and communication. You will also develop knowledge and understanding of research methods which underpin fashion practices.

Contextual Research and Development
20 credits

This module will allow you to develop key concepts and ways of thinking about fashion practices in both design and communication with relation to context and culture. You will also engage in debate and analysis to broaden and deepen your understanding of contemporary fashion practices resulting in a written assignment and a physical or digital artefact.

Introduction to Fashion
20 credits

Within this module, you will independently learn through reflective practice and self-critical analysis to learn how to promote the use of a logical Design Process towards the creation of original fashion outcomes from independently research sources. You will learn to create an awareness of fashion and promote experimentation through alternative and innovative approaches to fashion practice.

Level 5

Core modules

Visual Language and Technical Exploration
20 credits

The aim of this module is to promote investigation into a range of technical processes to enhance creative concepts. You will have the opportunity to build confidence in a creative and conceptual approach to digital and traditional media. It will also provide you with the knowledge of 2D and 3D 'processes' for sampling.

Fashion Research in Practice
20 credits

The aim of this module is to explore key concepts and themes in relation to studio practice and wider contexts of contemporary fashion design and communication. You will be able to engage in critical debate and analysis to broaden your knowledge and understanding of contemporary fashion practices.

Critical Contextual Investigation
20 credits

The aim of this module is to gain a deeper understanding of contemporary theoretical design issues and contemporary fashion issues through a written assignment leading to a proposal for Level 6 Research Project.

Creative Direction and Technical Application
20 credits

Within this module, you will examine traditional and contemporary technical approaches in-depth for use within studio practice. You will also develop a range of visual and conceptual approaches to research methods for creative process. The aim of this module will allow you to explore links and synergies between industry and studio practice to inform and guide project work.

Optional Modules

Fashion Design Focus
20 credits

The aim of this module is to promote the effective use of research methodologies and promote individual focus through a variety of fashion related activities. It will introduce you to industry practices and enables you to build a practical knowledge of research design development trials to a high standard working towards professional outputs.

Fashion Design Context
20 credits

The aim of this module is to develop the opportunity to understand in depth research methods and design processes from concept to translation. You will be able to produce a body of work in relation to market level and professional practice. The aim of this module is to introduce you to industry practices and enables you to build practical knowledge.

Fashion Awareness
20 credits

This module gives you the opportunity to build your own profile in your chosen specialist pathway identifying your strengths to continue to develop. You will produce a body of work in relationship to a customer profile and market level. You will explore new media and applications to build confidence in content and presentation awareness.

Fashion Direction
20 credits

This module will focus on the exploration of digital and mixed media outputs to a professional standard via a number of trials. You will produce a body of work in context to market level and professional practices. You will also be able to develop an understanding of time management skills to produce outcomes in sequence and on time.

Study Semester Abroad - Fashion
60 credits

This module provides the opportunity for you to experience a variety of alternative and new approaches to your subject specialism at an approved overseas partner institution. Modules studied must be agreed in advance and must be appropriate for the student's programme of study. Assuming successful completion of the semester abroad, mark-bearing credit will be awarded. The grade conversion scale to be used will be made available in advance of the year abroad.

Level 6

Core modules

Final Major Project/s
40 credits

This module provides the opportunity for you to produce a body of work that demonstrates a broad understanding of professional practical outputs within the fashion industry.

Professional Practice
20 credits

This module will equip you with a range of research methods to inform graduate career and postgraduate study options and give you a deep understanding of professional practice in your chosen field of study. It will offer you the opportunity to engage with and undertake external projects to enhance your understanding of industry practice.

Research Project
20 credits

The aim of the Research Project is to deepen critical and theoretical engagement based on your chosen topic. You will facilitate the application and interpretation secondary and primary research methods to a focused fashion studies topic within a research project framework.

Studio Project/s
40 credits

The Studio Project/s provides the opportunity for you to develop your own programme of study via a series of projects. The aim of this module is to produce a creative body of work demonstrating a range of design applications in relationship to target audiences and support the development of research methodologies to apply to a range of concepts and outputs. This will strengthen the components of the Personal Development Portfolio focusing towards employability.

Teaching and work-related learning

Excellent facilities and learning resources

We adopt an active blended learning approach, meaning you will experience a combination of face-to-face and online learning during your time at LJMU. This enables you to experience a rich and diverse learning experience and engage fully with your studies. Our approach ensures that you can easily access support from your personal tutor, either by meeting them on-campus or via a video call to suit your needs.

Teaching delivery is a combination of one-to-one tutorials, small seminar groups, online activities and lectures as well as peer review and critiques. These activities are supported by a series of practical workshops. Tutorials may include personal tutoring for personal development planning (PDP) when you can discuss your academic and future career plans with your personal tutor.

Work-related Learning

Throughout the course you will be encouraged to view your work in the context of professional practise and get as much hands-on experience as you can before embarking on your career. This could be in the form of work placements or internships to really get a taste of the fashion industry and practice the skills you have learnt on the course. You will have the opportunity to speak to visiting lecturers from industry to find out more about the business of fashion and what careers are on offer.

In addition to placements we have lots of exciting live projects in house where students can get involved in a variety of opportunities to get first hand experience of fashion design and communication real life projects.

Graduates and current students have had placements with a variety of designers, stylists and retailers including:

  • Christopher Raeburn
  • THINK Publicity
  • Wallpaper Magazine
  • Giles Deacon
  • McQ
  • Preen
  • Jonathan Saunders
  • Peter Pilotto
  • Pony Step Magazine
  • Future Classics
  • LOOK Magazine
  • Richard Nicoll
  • Felder Felder
  • London Fashion Agency
  • Luella
  • Warehouse
  • Matalan
  • Ottoman Hands
  • Chase PR
  • Blow PR
  • London Fashion Week

The courses engages regularly with competitions and live projects with organisations as diverse as Fashion Awareness Direct, Artsthread, BooHoo, English National Ballet, Dr Martens, Show Studio and Matalan. These projects enable students to get real life experience and gain an understanding of industry practice whilst studying.

Support and guidance

Dedicated personal tutor, plus study skills support

If you decide to pursue this degree course, you will join a supportive and creative environment where talent is nurtured and you are encouraged to really stretch boundaries. You will be expected to work independently and under pressure at times but our specialist staff will be on hand to guide you and give support when needed.

From the moment you begin your studies, you will be allocated a personal tutor, giving you plenty of opportunities to discuss course-related matters and your personal development at any time.


Assessment varies depending on the modules you choose, but will usually include a combination of exams and coursework.

If you choose the Fashion Design Pathway, you will be expected to produce research and design development including samples, toiles, garments, illustration, photography and blogs. If you opt for Fashion Communication, you will also be expected to produce a body of research linked to a series of projects that could include Branding, Styling, PR, Blogs, Photography, Trends and Magazine editorial/s.

Other forms of assessment include written dissertation and reports, a personal development planning folder or a CV, biography, press release and/or blog.

Constructive feedback, whether formal or informal, is crucial in helping you to improve your performance and your tutors will always be on hand to help you evaluate your own work and assess progress.

Formative and summative feedback is given throughout the year at key points for each module.

Course tutors

Our staff are committed to the highest standards of teaching and learning

I am a versatile and creative visual designer with a broad range of experiences and skills across the fashion industry. I have worked professionally in the fields of Menswear Design, Contemporary Retailing & Buying, Costume Design & Styling and Design Consultation. I have spent the last few years working in academia, developing research around social trend and its impact on Design/Fashion and Sustainability as well as developing tomorrow's crop of young, expressive and professional talent.


What you can expect from your School

Rated a Top 10 Art School in the 2021 Guardian University League Tables.

Cross-disciplinary learning in art and design subjects takes place in the Liverpool School of Art and Design 's John Lennon Art and Design Building, based in the Mount Pleasant Campus. Here students studying a variety of disciplines, including Architecture, Art in Science, Exhibition Studies, Fashion, Fine Art, Graphic Design, History of Art and Museum Studies and Interior Architecture, will have the opportunity to develop their work in state-of-the-art workspaces and facilities within a stimulating and critically demanding environment.

Entry requirements

Please choose your qualifications below to view requirements

Grades/points required from qualifications: DDD-CDD (72-80)

Qualification requirements

GCSEs and equivalents

Evidence of Grade 4 or grade C or above in English Language and Mathematics/ Numeracy on their application form. No exceptions considered in lieu of Maths

GCSE Equivalences accepted:
• Key Skills Level 2 in English/Maths
• NVQ Level 2 Functional skills in Maths and English Writing and or Reading
• Skills for Life Level 2 in Numeracy/English
• Higher Diploma in Maths/English
• Northern Ireland Essential Skills Level 2 in Communication or Application of Number
• Wales Essential Skills Level 2 in Communication or Application of Number

A levels



Extended Diploma: MMP

Access awards

Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications

Pass overall with a minimum of 72 points, including relevant subjects

Access awards

Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications

International Baccalaureate

Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications

OCR Cambridge Technical

Extended Diploma: MMP

Irish awards

Irish Highers - Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications.

T levels

Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications.

You need to obtain the required UCAS points from a related subject area.

Additional requirements

  • Interview required

    • to attend a Teams interview during which you will provide evidence of your learning capability, study opportunity and commitment to postgraduate study.

    We recommend applications are submitted by July to allow sufficient time for these to be considered and for interviews to be arranged before the programme commences. Applications will however be considered up until the end of August.

International requirements

  • Other international requirements

    We welcome overseas applicants who will be considered in line with normal entry requirements. Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of English Language capability of IELTS of 6.0 (5.5 in each subtest) or equivalent.

Further information

  • DBS, Occupational Health requirements
    • A reference
    • A satisfactory portfolio of work - please note we are unable to consider your application until this is received. When applying please attach a PDF portfolio containing 5 images of your own recent artworks. Images must be professionally labelled with details of media, dimensions, date, and title. Artworks made more than 3 years ago may be included if these relate to a direction you wish to focus on during postgraduate study.

    If you do not provide a portfolio at the point of application, you will be contacted to submit this to our attachment upload facility.

    Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

    • RPL is accepted on this programme

    Is a DBS check required?


International entry requirements

Find your country

Please Note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check.

Application and selection

Securing your place at LJMU

UCAS is the official application route for our full-time undergraduate courses. Further information on the UCAS application process can be found here https://www.ljmu.ac.uk/study/undergraduate-students/how-to-apply.

We are looking for students with an enthusiasm for fashion with a keen interest in contemporary style and image. You should be 100% dedicated to research into current and historical fashion cultures, and possess the following essential qualities:

  • An enthusiasm for Art & Design based subjects
  • Capable of discussing Art & Design issues
  • The ability to analyse and reflectively criticise
  • Visual awareness and communication

Fashion: Design and Communication is a broad and varied creative discipline. Applicants will be interviewed in groups and are required to bring a portfolio of work. A portfolio is simply a collection of drawings, images and documents that represent your work. It could include photographic content, film, written text, graphics, illustrations and other communication mediums. It should contain a well-presented collection of work that is creative and imaginative. Applicants may also present work on social media or relevant platforms.

The university reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the university. Where this does happen, the university operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.
Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.