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Fashion (MA)


The master of arts in Fashion program is the only graduate degree of its kind in Canada. Fashion Studies examines the broader social, cultural and economic implications of the production, marketing and consumption of fashion. Working closely with faculty and experts in an academically rigorous environment, students will have the opportunity to develop advanced research skills by completing a written or creative Major Research Project (MRP). Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the field, we welcome applicants from a variety of undergraduate programs in fine arts, humanities, social sciences, design and business.

Degree awarded: MA

Administered by: Faculty of Communication & Design

Fashion graduate program website

word fileMA Fashion program, at a glance

PDF fileFashion graduate program calendar 2020-21


Course Code Degree Requirements: Master of Arts Credits


Master’s Research/Creative Project



Graduate Seminar



Research Methods



Theory/History Seminar I



Theory/History Seminar II



Studio Workshop I



AND 4 elective credits



Course code Course title Credits





Digital Studio



Fashion Entrepreneurship



Globalization and Fashion



Interactive Media



Ethics and Sustainable Design



Oral History and Ethnography



The Fashioned Body



Virtual Design



Art in Fashion



Diversity in Fashion



Special Topics Fashion Studies



Directed Studies in Fashion


  Restricted Electives  


Students may select up to two of these electives:



Advanced Colour Theory



Creativity in Design



Curation and Exhibition



Design, Text and Ideas



Human Centered Design


Master’s Research/Creative Project
Students will research and develop solutions to issues in their chosen area of specialization as identified and explored in the First Year of the program. In consultation with faculty advisors, they may choose to develop a major paper on their topic or develop a creative project with a written component. This would relate to fashion, including: design, communication, technology, presentation, curation, history and theory, management, and new venture development. This is a Milestone. Pass/Fail

FS8000 Graduate Seminar
This seminar series covers topics related to graduate study and professional practice, including: student/supervisory relationships; research plans; internships; library research strategies/citations; writing academic abstracts; research/grant proposals; ethics protocols; participating at academic conferences; creating oral presentations and posters; developing your resume/career plan; utilizing blogs, social media and personal branding to translate your academic degree into industry practice. Pass/Fail 1 Credit.

FS8001 Research Methods
Students will be introduced to the theories, methodologies and methods that take into account creative, humanities- based and social scientific perspectives. A second goal of the course will be to familiarize students with the research and information gathering process, with the use of library and library resources, electronic and online research, and creative and unusual research strategies. The third goal is to provide an introduction to the art of project design and the writing of proposals. 1 Credit

FS8002 Theory /History Seminar I
This course introduces students to key issues in the development of the fashion system. Emphasis will be placed on studying the histories and theories of dress from the middle ages to the present, examining specific case studies and situating debates in their historical context. Taking into account developments in the production and consumption of dress, focus will be on the signifying systems through which dress attains social meaning, considering factors such as gender, social class and cultural relations through trade. Students will critically assess and present readings in class, as well as complete assignments to increase their understanding of the factors and historical processes at work behind the fashion system in the West. 1 Credit

FS8003 Theory /History Seminar II
This course continues the study of critical debates and classic theories concerning the fashion system. Emphasis will be placed on developing analytical approaches to contemporary fashion, media and consumption while situating debates in their historical context. Discussions may include theories such as: production, marketing, and wearing of dress, gender, social class, sustainability as well as the visual and material cultures of clothing. Students will critically assess articles and current fashion events in the city, and will complete assignments designed to develop a solid understanding of current debates in the history and theory of fashion.
1 Credit

FS8004 Studio Workshop I
The Studio Workshop module focuses on the relationship between creative practice and academic theory and research. The course aims to challenge assumptions related to the production of knowledge and creativity.
Emphasis is placed on exploration, the creative process and questioning disciplinary boundaries. Topics related to cultural and creative industries are discussed in relation to creative work and labour. Students have to opportunity to engage with academic theory and research through various practices including, but not limited to, apparel design, communication design, video, interactive media, performance, textile design, craft, and community engagement projects. 1 Credit

FS8006 Internship
Internship possibilities include working in publishing, theatre, fashion television; medicine, space and sports garment development; new media, gaming, inter-active and virtual run-way design; museums, galleries, special collections, conservation; brand development as well as opportunities in manufacturing and branding. The Internship will include a seminar to develop and evaluate the individual internship plans. Pass/Fail. 1 Credit

FS8101 Digital Studio
In this project based workshop, students will creatively explore various aspects of digital design. Though students will work largely independently, researching their own specific areas of interest, they will benefit from the guidance of faculty and present this work in class as it develops. Students will critique each other’s work, and guest designers/researchers will focus the discussions towards theoretical, creative and practical considerations. It is expected that this multi-disciplinary approach will allow for interesting collaborations between students from a variety of backgrounds. 1 Credit

FS8102 Fashion Entrepreneurship
This course explores a variety of theoretical perspectives of entrepreneurship such as the social and economic function of entrepreneurs, cognitive and psychological aspects of entrepreneurs, and the new venture creation process as applied to the fashion industry. Students will have the opportunity to learn about entrepreneurs in the international and Canadian fashion industry by means of case studies, articles, seminars, and presentations.
Students will write a research paper based on entrepreneurship theories and interviews with fashion entrepreneurs. 1 Credit

FS8103 Globalization and Fashion
Increasingly, the fashion world is perceived to be global in scale; apparel design, production and marketing is carried out on a transnational scale, and the language of fashion increasingly references the ‘global’ village, drawing on a variety of international and ‘ethnic’ design details and approaches. What are the implications and lived realities of this global fashion system? This course will examine theories and narratives of globalization in light of business practices, fashion communication technologies and outlets, and the growing attention to the formation, cultivation, preservation, and at times, exploitation of community and cultural values. 1 Credit

FS8104 Interactive Media
Increasingly, designers are using new media and interactive designs to express the concepts and ideas that inform fashion. This course works towards an understanding of interactive theory and explores emerging technologies including web designs, video, sound, installation, wearable technology , and additional emerging media related to fashion. 1 Credit.

FS8105 Ethics and Sustainable Design
The ethics and sustainability of design practices are coming under increasing scrutiny. Fashion, with its rapid cycles of production and consumption, is central to these debates. Starting with the Industrial Revolution, this course considers the historical trajectory of issues including mechanization, labour practices and human health in the textile and garment industries. With this context in mind, students then engage in debates over current and pressing problems such as the environmental impact of textiles, recycling, sustainability and labour markets. Students will produce a research paper or other approved creative project related to a specific topic covered in the course. 1 Credit

FS8106 Oral History and Ethnography
Oral history and ethnography techniques allow us to research hidden or undervalued aspects of the experience of making, purchasing and wearing clothing. Dress is both a public and private expression of our selves, a form of nonverbal communication which often goes unrecorded in traditional literature on fashion. This course gives students the practical and theoretical skills to conduct a series of oral history interviews and write a research paper based on their findings. It will prove particularly effective in investigating topics such as sub-cultural styles, ethnicity, disability and sexuality in contemporary Canadian society. 1 Credit

FS8107 The Fashioned Body
This course will address the historical and contemporary framing of the human form in Western culture, focusing specifically on the centrality of the body in the fashion systems of the past, present and future. Various theoretical approaches will examine the role and function of the body in a variety of contexts - from the marketing and imaging of bodies in the fashion industry, to a consideration of dress as a material form of cultural meaning and communication that is reliant on social ideologies of the body. 1 Credit

FS8108 Virtual Design
This course explores developing technologies that have created a new environment for design. ‘Virtual’ markets, whether online, interactive, or gaming based, have provided a new market economy. Increasingly, fashion has proved to be an important component of this economy. This course will provide a theoretical overview of the phenomenon, placing the virtual world in a social and historical context. Practical aspects of designing for this market will be considered and students will create an avatar, create clothing, and display this in an online fashion show. 1 Credit

FS8109 Art in Fashion
This course covers the complex and interrelated histories of art and fashion from the Eighteenth century to the present. Topics covered include: fashion and portraiture during the Romantic period; Pre-Raphaelite dress and nineteenth-century Aestheticism; Impressionism and the fashioning of modernity; Symbolism and the sartorial styles of the Fin de Siècle; twentieth-century avant- garde movements; and Postmodernism and contemporary clothing culture. 1 Credit

FS8110 Diversity in Fashion
This seminar course explores the construction, negotiation and subversion of identity and difference through the production and consumption of fashion. We begin by exploring interdisciplinary theoretical
perspectives on identity, diversity and inclusion. We then critically examine how people from various categories of identity—such as size, race, disability, gender and sexuality—experience, challenge and re-imagine fashion through fashion media and dress. 1 Credit

FS8111 Special Topics Fashion Studies
An advanced level seminar/studio course on topics to be determined. Program faculty members propose limited duration courses arising from major research projects or current issues. 1 Credit

FS8112 Directed Studies in Fashion
This course is for students who wish to gain knowledge in a specific area for which no graduate level classes are available. Students who are approved to take the course are assigned a suitable class advisor most familiar with the proposed content. A program of supervised, advanced study related to the student's area of concentration will be negotiated on an individual basis with the supervising faculty member. 1 Credit.

FS8201 Advanced Colour Theory
This course begins with a conceptual review of basic colour theory and reviews issues studied in earlier courses such as colour systems, interaction and harmony. The course will provide students with advanced knowledge in the following specialized areas: colour and lighting, colour psychology/emotions, symbolism, forecasting, branding, visual merchandising, graphic design, ethnic colour usage, science, measurement, technology, management, and careers in colour. Antirequisite: FSN501. 1 Credit

FS8202 Creativity in Design
This course will explore creativity in design, concentrating on research and process. Referencing material from a broad spectrum of sources while exploring various techniques to enhance creativity, such as brain-storming, intrinsic motivation, lateral thinking and innovative forms of visualization, students will produce original work. Antirequisite: FSN 712. 1 Credit

FS8203 Curation and Exhibition
This studio course will allow students to work with the School's collection and others in order to learn sound curatorial practices. Students will have the opportunity to examine both private and public collections in order to curate small exhibitions and to develop catalogues which document, disseminate and critique garments, materials, accessories and designer's portfolios and other fashion related material. Antirequisite: FSN 711. 1 Credit

FS8204 Design, Text and Ideas
This course introduces students to the area of Visual Culture, focusing on key subjects in art and design and their relationship to social theory in the Modern period. Visual signifying systems such as symbolism, iconography and semiotics will be covered, with an emphasis on art and design that engages with social, ecological or environmental issues. Antirequisite: FSN 503. 1 Credit

FS8205 Human Centered Design
prioritizes design solutions engineered for the specific needs of the end user by actively involving them in the needs analysis and prototype design/development processes. This course focuses on the research and design of specialized products, services and environments for diverse target markets, specific demographics and ethnicities, health care, safety/protection, medical conditions, athletic activities, and for those individuals that are physically challenged with an overall emphasis on design innovation.
Antirequisite: FFD 510. 1 Credit