Our MSc Ethics in Fashion is research led, and focuses on analysing the industry, whilst also exploring changes in practice and the diversity of stakeholders in the supply-chain.
It’s aimed at ethically-aware graduates, and established professionals, with a background in fashion, textiles, design, source management and corporate affairs. The course offers you the chance to refresh and extend your current knowledge and skills, using the outstanding fashion and textile facilities that we have to offer.
The full-time course starts in mid September and lasts one year. The course can also be taken part-time over two years.
The taught programme has been created for those wanting to work, or already working in the fashion and textiles industries, in design, sourcing management, buying, journalism and corporate affairs. The qualification provides a set of fresh perspectives and insights for an existing first degree qualification, or relevant experience in any of the above areas or similar for those wanting to be part of the dynamic changing industries.
The School of Textiles and Design, and the research staff have strong global industry and NGO links in design, corporate social responsibility reporting and corporate affairs, social enterprise. In addition teaching staff are Fellows of the Fellowship of 500, in the Ethical Fashion Forum. There are both courses, and research opportunities to work with local and international industry.
The programme has been designed to utilise selected core postgraduate courses offered within the School and introducing courses specific to Ethics in Fashion, thus encouraging inter-disciplinary participation and discourse, and membership of the a growing research community.
It’s excellent to see Heriot-Watt taking a lead in this key area. Brands and manufacturers are increasingly keyed into such topics and consumers are of course hugely engaged. We need designers and others in the fashion business who can integrate ethical thinking into their products.
A Masters of Science on Ethics in Fashion is exactly what was missing in fashion education. Sustainability and ethics are key issues for this industry. Those who are not able respect people and the environment in their supply chain cannot stay in the sector for long. Today, all major players have a CSR officer integrated in their business, a profile that didn’t exist until a few years ago. Having this MSc is a true work of innovation.
- Analyse the ethics in supply-chain practice
- Speculate on, and develop, effective methods of communicating ethics
- Identify and map outcomes and consequences of unethical and ethical practice
- Speculate and apply new criteria within the supply-chain
- Analyse the motivations and roles of consumers in the ethics discourse and practice
- Identify best practice models across the traditional fashion and textiles industries, social enterprise and non-governmental organisations (NGOs)
- Research independently the role of ethics in fashion practice and theory
Course contentDetailed course guide
Students working with their supervisor select and pursue courses to acquire knowledge and understanding in an area of fashion and textiles that supports their individual dissertation. The areas available across the School reflect the breadth of expertise relevant to fashion and textiles.
- Ethics in the Fashion Supply Chain
- Fashion Management
- Research Methodologies
- Design Context
- International Compliance and Ethics
- Communicating Ethics
- Brand Management
- Business Enterprise
- Consumer Motivations
- Research project
Students are assessed through a combination of individual and group written course work, and projects and the Masters dissertation. Emphasis is placed on rigorous academic standards as well as acquiring and developing a range of transferable industry skills and individual development. Assessment exercises can therefore include making effective visual and oral presentations, writing reports and as well as team and group work.
You should hold a good (first or second class) Honours degree or its non-UK equivalent in a relevant subject from a recognised British or Overseas University. In addition, work or project experience in a related company role will be taken into consideration as part of the application process.
How to apply
Applications are made by submitting a completed application form to the Postgraduate Office at the Edinburgh Campus. Additionally, before original decision can be given, applicants will be asked to supply documentation to provide proof of academic background and suitability as a candidate:
- A copy of your degree(s) certificates and relevant transcripts
- A portfolio of past work where appropriate and/or evidence of relevant work experience
- Proof of having being awarded a first degree(s)
- Proof of your ability in the English language if this is not your mother tongue
- Proof of how your tuition fee and personal maintenance costs are to be met
- Two academic referees
For full details about our application process including relevant forms and guidance notes, please contact us or visit our website
English language requirements
If your first language is not English, or your first degree was not taught in English, we’ll need to see evidence of your English language ability. The minimum requirement for English language is IELTS 6.5 or equivalent. Pre-sessional English courses are available for applicants at the Edinburgh Campus to improve on English language usage and study skills. Please note that completion of pre-sessional courses are not a guarantee of admittance. Please contact us for more information.
- 14 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with no more than one skill at 4.5);
- 10 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with minimum of 5.0 in all skills);
- 6 weeks English (for IELTS 5.5 with minimum of 5.5 in reading & writing and minimum of 5.0 in speaking & listening)
|Scotland / Non-UK EU||£7168||£3584||£896**|
|England / Northern Ireland / Wales||£7168||£3584||£896**|
* If you are unsure which category you fall in to, you should complete a fee status enquiry form, which allows us to assess your fees.
** Fee per course (module). Refer to the Course Content to see how many courses comprise the full programme.
Scholarships and bursaries
We aim to encourage well-qualified, ambitious students to study with us and we offer a wide variety of scholarships and bursaries to achieve this. Over £6 million worth of opportunities are available in fee and stipend scholarships, and more than 400 students benefit from this support.
View our full range of postgraduate taught scholarships.