Study options

Master's Programme in Design - Fashion, Clothing and Textile Design

The Fashion, Clothing and Textile Design study option prepares the students to proactively and creatively tackle future global socio-technical challenges and innovate new sustainable and culturally inclusive design solutions for the global field of textiles and fashion. The studies educate designers equipped with the knowledge, skills and attitude for the future needs of fashion and textiles as creative force.
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Degree:

Master of Arts (Art and Design)

Application period:

1.12.2021 – 3.1.2022

Language of instruction:

English

Duration:

2 years, full-time

Eligibility:

Relevant Bachelor's degree

Field of study:

Art and Design

Credits:

120 ECTS

Organising school:

School of Arts, Design and Architecture

Tuition fees:

For non-EU/EEA citizens, €15000/y (Master’s studies)

The application period will open 1.12.2021 09:00 (UTC+2)

Applying to master’s programmes

Fashion, Clothing and Textile Design (FaCT) is one of the three majors of the Master’s Programme in Design, others being Contemporary Design (CoDe) and Collaborative and Industrial Design (CoID). In addition, the Master’s Programme in Design collaborates closely with the Master’s Programmes in Creative Sustainability (CS) and International Design Business Management (IDBM). All are two-year programmes, whereby students graduate with a Master of Arts degree in Design.

Grounded on research-based knowledge on the societal, cultural and global change, the studies in Fashion, Clothing and Textile Design nurture creative exploration and conceptual thinking on a high artistic and professional level. Moreover, the major provides understanding of the global industry and its impact on environment, society and business. Students are challenged to explore multidisciplinary collaboration and possibilities of new technologies, new materials and innovative design solutions. 

Aalto University is now ranked 6th in the world in the field of art and design by QS World University Ranking. The world-class teaching and facilities ensure that, upon graduating from the study option, graduates are able to:

  • Reconsider and reshape the current state-of-the-art in the field of textiles and fashion  
  • Proactively and creatively evaluate future socio-technical challenges and innovate new sustainable and culturally inclusive design solutions for the global field of textiles and fashion   
  • Identify their own aesthetic approach and find their own creative voice in the field of textiles and fashion  
  • Practice experimental, practice based and conceptual approaches in fashion and textile design   
  • Display the skills and attitude to co-innovate, cooperate and communicate with various stakeholders 
  • Apply design and process management skills and verge strategic and systemic thinking in product and material development  
  • Create future oriented products, services and systems as a member of a multidisciplinary or trans-disciplinary team and/or as an individual designer
  • Combine creativity, curiosity, continuous renewal and expression with analytical skills and practice
  • Understand how to lead and communicate design-driven, often complex processes with empathy, critical thinking and research-founded reasoning   
  • Comprehend how design contributes to socio-material transformations for a sustainable future  
  • Undertake design research to build knowledge to support and justify the practical work, and to possibly apply for education leading to a Doctor of Arts degree   

Tuition fees

15 000 € for non EU/EEA citizens in programmes instructed in English. Further information is available on Scholarships and Tuition Fees page (aalto.fi).

Career opportunities

The Master’s degree prepares graduates to drive their professional careers towards their personal areas of interest and specialization within the field. Graduates have the skills and knowledge needed to sustain a professional career in fashion and textile design industries as well as related media and education in a global setting. Graduates work as fashion and textile designers and creative directors, many graduates establish their own business. The Master’s studies also prepare students for a career in academic and corporate research. 

Postgraduate opportunities

Graduates from the major in Fashion, Clothing and Textile Design have the required knowledge to continue in doctoral studies at Aalto University or at another university in Finland or abroad. The Fashion/Textile Futures research group at Aalto University has been able to offer thesis topics which are integrated to ongoing research projects and offer research assistant opportunities to FaCT students. 

Language of instruction

In the Fashion, Clothing and Textile studies, the language of instruction is English.

Focus areas of research  

Design research at the School of Arts, Design and Architecture is at the international forefront of sustainable design, practice-based design research, human-centered design and co-design. Our research environment and culture enable goal-oriented research, imaginative experiments, critical discussion, and transdisciplinary collaboration.

The Fashion/Textile Futures research group explores new perspectives on fashion and textiles and approaches research in multi-faceted ways. A strong research focus is on sustainable fashion and textiles, but group members’ research activities and strengths also include material-based research, aesthetics and creativity studies, practice-based research, research on textile/fashion in connection to technology, and strategic fashion and textile management. 

Collaboration

Multidisciplinary collaboration between the six Aalto University schools is extensive. The School of Arts, Design and Architecture has a long tradition of successfully collaborating with external partners in projects and courses and nurture close relationships with a number of external stakeholders. Companies, research institutes, for profit, not-for-profit and public organizations frequently reach out to Aalto University as one of the leading design schools in Europe to work with students on real-world societal problems and business opportunities. 

Content of the studies

Overall, the Master’s in Design – Fashion, Clothing and Textile Design comprises a total of 120 ECTS credits. Main compulsory studies are selected from the major’s study offering. Students will also participate in joint studies of the Department of Design (12 ECTS) and will produce a thesis project around a design subject (30 ECTS). In addition, students choose elective studies according to their Personal Study Plan.

The first-year major studies build on the student’s previous knowledge in fashion and textile design. Sustainability is the grounding for all studies, and the first semester starts with the course Sustainable Fashion and Textile Design. The autumn continues with one of the two alternative compulsory courses focusing either in textile or clothing design. In addition to further compulsory programme and major studies, the first-year curriculum includes alternative and elective studio-based and project-based courses. The second-year studies consist of the Master’s thesis and selection of advanced workshop courses and further major and elective studies. The personal study plan including compulsory and elective studies is adjusted to support the student’s personal study track and the thesis process.

Throughout the studies in Fashion, Clothing and Textile Design, emphasis is given to innovating new ecologically and culturally sustainable solutions. In the studies, creative practice is combined with analytical skills, and the basics of academic and design-research methods in the exploration of trends and phenomena. Students are encouraged to innovate and re-think current practices in fashion and textiles as well as design business and industry. The studies support the student’s personal creative vision and skills in a forward-thinking approach in product and material development, and cultivate a practice-led approach. Fundamental design skills, such as design for functionality, aesthetics, and diversity, are essential in the studies. 

Design-driven experimentation and critical thinking extend the core of fashion, clothing and textile design studies, and students are challenged to explore the possibilities of new technologies and innovative design solutions in both physical and digital media in multidisciplinary teams. The studies emphasize the student’s capability to take part in collaborative work and nurture an entrepreneurial mindset. 

For further details on the education content, see the study guide for academic years 2020-2022.

Further information about the programme fact.aalto.fi.

 

Tracks within the study option  

The study tracks in the major in Fashion, Clothing and Textile Design are defined as experimental, artistic and commercial. The personal study plan can also be a combination of these. Graduation in the two-year target-time is achieved through careful planning of the personal study path. The study plan builds on knowledge from the previous studies and encourages students to tailor their personal study paths with offerings from other programmes. The scope of the alternative studies and elective studies - with integration of possible minor or an internship - is guided by the student’s academic advisor. 

Internationalisation

Upon joining Aalto University, students are welcomed to an international community of competent, creative and responsible individuals. 15% of the students and 40% of the faculty in the University come from across the world, bridging students with the global design network. The School of Arts, Design and Architecture has strong connections to other leading design schools and universities across the globe. Students are encouraged to apply for internships and exchange studies as well as gain experience by taking part in international competitions, exhibitions, conferences and trade fairs to further enrich their personal learning path.

Study-option-specific evaluation criteria 

Applicants meeting Aalto’s general eligibility criteria for master's studies will be evaluated and ranked according to the evaluation criteria decided in advance for each study option. The applications to Master’s Programme in Design - Fashion, Clothing and Textile Design (FaCT) will be evaluated based on the following criteria.

 

Phase I

Artistic and/or design practice (1)

What is evaluated

Demonstrations of artistic and/or design work or assignments

What we look for in an applicant/Admission requirements

 

Artistic and design skills and insights, ability to create fresh and inventive design solutions individually and in teams, vision and creative thinking​, conceptualisation skills, ability to open the design processes behind featured projects, design skills and technical competence relevant to the field

Method of demonstrating competence

Portfolio

 

Suitability (1)

What is evaluated

Applicant’s further suitability to the study option, motivation, and commitment for studies/communication skills

What we look for in an applicant/Admission requirements

Motivation, commitment​ and goal-orientation, creative thinking,​Vision​, Focus of the studies in the programme, writing and language skills​

Method of demonstrating competence

Motivation letter

 

Relevance of previous studies

What is evaluated

Content and quantity in relation to the applied study-option-specific requirements

What we look for in an applicant/Admission requirements

Bachelor of Arts degree in the field of art and design or completed equivalent studies in the field of fashion, clothing and textile design.

Method of demonstrating competence

Transcript(s) of records, degree certificate(s)

 

Academic performance

What is evaluated

Grades of the previous degree(s)

What we look for in an applicant/Admission requirements

Bachelor of Arts degree in the field of art and design or completed equivalent studies fashion, clothing and textile design. Following course grades are emphasised: artistic and design skills, theoretical competence, bachelor thesis.

Method of demonstrating competence

Transcript(s) of records, degree certificate(s)

 

Other areas of competence

What is evaluated

Work experience and other acquired knowledge/achievements e.g. publications, non-formal education, competitions

What we look for in an applicant/Admission requirements

Study time​, work experience, internships​, activity in studies, competitions, exhibitions etc.​

Method of demonstrating competence

Curriculum vitae

 

Phase II

Suitability (2)

What is evaluated

Applicant’s further suitability to the study option, motivation, and commitment for studies/communication skills

What we look for in an applicant/Admission requirements

Communication and language skills​, suitability and talent for the field, Readiness to challenge own learning and thinking, motivation for the field, commitment and study plan

Method of demonstrating competence

Interview

 

Artistic and/or design practice (2)

What is evaluated

Demonstrations of artistic and/or design work or assignments

What we look for in an applicant/Admission requirements

Originality, ability to open the design processes behind featured projects, vision and creative thinking​

Method of demonstrating competence

Portfolio

The portfolio submitted in the first phase will be the base for evaluation.

 

Evaluation process

The applicants will be first evaluated based on Aalto’s general eligibility requirements. Applicants meeting the general eligibility criteria for master's studies will be evaluated and ranked according to the evaluation criteria that has been decided in advance for each study option.

The selection process for applicants who meet the general eligibility criteria comprises of two phases: 

 

Phase I

In Phase I, the applicants are evaluated based on the following criteria

  • Artistic and/or design practice (1)
  • Suitability (1)/Motivation letter
  • Relevance of previous studies
  • Academic performance
  • Other areas of competence

Descriptions of the selection criteria can be found in the above tables.

Only the applicants who ranked highest in the preliminary evaluation will be invited to phase II in the selection process.

 

Phase II

Part of the applicants are invited to the second phase. The invitation to the second phase is sent to the applicants at latest seven days in advance. Selected applicants will be invited for a face-to-face interview. The interviews can be conducted online.

In Phase II, the evaluation is based on the following criteria

  • Suitability (2)/Interview
  • Artistic and/or design practice (2)

Descriptions of the selection criteria can be found in the above tables.

The interview is intended to evaluate the applicant’s potential to complete the studies successfully.

The final selection decisions will be made based on the evaluation conducted in Phase II.

 

Study-option-specific documents requested

The documents requested from all applicants are listed on the Aalto University website (https://www.aalto.fi/en/study-at-aalto/applying-to-masters-programmes). In addition, applicants to this study-option are requested to provide the following study-option-specific documents:

 

Portfolio

In the portfolio, applicants display work that shows their artistic expression and design skills. The portfolio must contain diverse samples of the applicant’s previous artistic, professional and/or scientific activity, yet the maximum number of cases presented in the portfolio can be five (5). The art and design work can be provided as illustrations or drawings, photographs of slides and technical drawings.

The work contained in the portfolio must be catalogued, listing at least the title and/or theme, materials used, size, purpose and year of completion of each piece. The catalogue must also detail where and when the work has been exhibited, displayed or published and whether the work is based on individual or group work. The contribution of the applicant in the work should be stated in case the work has been completed in a group. The applicant’s name, address and phone number and the degree program applied for must be indicated clearly on the portfolio.

The portfolio should be uploaded as a single PDF-file. Maximum size for the portfolio is 1.0 GB. Name the file as: Portfolio-surname-firstname.pdf.The intake committee will only evaluate the material displayed in the PDF-file. Links to external material (e.g. website) or video material will not be considered during the intake process.

The submitted portfolio will be used as the method demonstrating competence in both Phase I and Phase II of the selection process.

The lack of this application document will adversely affect the evaluation of your application.

 

Motivation letter

Write a motivation letter explaining your reasons for applying for this major and your particular interest(s) in the field as well as your goals and expectations for the studies to be completed at the School of Arts, Design and Architecture.

Describe your strengths and interests, your vision of design, fashion, clothing and textiles aspects related to your work, and your creative goals. You should also include your study plan indicating your core interests.

The motivation letter should answer to the following questions:

  1. Why do you want to study in the Fashion, Clothing and Textile Design major at Aalto University?
  2. What are you aiming to do after completing the master’s programme?
  3. What is the role of the master’s programme for your professional development?

The maximum length of the letter of motivation is 4000 characters.

The lack of this application document will adversely affect the evaluation of your application.

 

Curriculum vitae

The application must include the applicant’s CV with personal data, educational background, work experience, exhibitions, publications and articles, awards and grants, study trips and positions of trust.

Lack of this application document will adversely affect the evaluation of your application.

 

Transcript(s) of records, degree certificate(s)

Eligible applicants for the programme have earned a Bachelor of Arts (Art and Design) or completed equivalent studies.

Lack of this application document will adversely affect the evaluation of your application.

 

Language of application documents

All the application documents should be submitted in English.

 

Read more about Fashion, Clothing and Textile Design (FACT) community on their website

Read more about Fashion, Clothing and Textile Design (FaCT) community on their website

The application period will open 1.12.2021 09:00 (UTC+2)

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