Course Title: Fashion Design Research A

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Fashion Design Research A

Credit Points: 12


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


315H Architecture & Design


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 2 2012


City Campus


350H Fashion & Textiles


Sem 1 2013,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 1 2014,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 1 2016,
Sem 1 2017,
Sem 1 2018,
Sem 1 2019


City Campus


350H Fashion & Textiles


Sem 1 2016,
Sem 1 2017,
Sem 1 2018,
Sem 1 2019

Course Coordinator: Tarryn Handcock

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 2781

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 8.12.006

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

BH103 Honours students should have satisfactorily completed the prerequisite courses GRAP2458 Fashion Design Studio 6 and GRAP2230 Fashion Studies 3 before you commence this course.

MC246 Masters students should have satisfactorily completed theoretical and contextual studies within the discipline in preparation for study at a post-graduate level before commencing this course, and be enrolled in the co-requisite course GRAP2646 Advanced Fashion Design Studio 1.

Note it is a condition of enrolment at RMIT that you accept responsibility for ensuring that you have completed the prerequisite/s and agree to enrol concurrently in co-requisite courses.  For your information please refer to RMIT Course Requisites policy



Course Description

In this course you will develop critical skills in the gathering, analysis, assessment and presentation of knowledge in the philosophy, theory and practice of fashion design, as well as its historical, social and cultural contexts. You will also acquire advanced knowledge of current research projects in fashion design. By the end of the course you will have developed a proposal for a research thesis or project, on a topic of your own choosing in consultation with the lecturers.

Please note that if you take this course for a Bachelor Honours program, your overall mark in this course will be one of the course marks that will be used to calculate the weighted average mark (WAM) that will determine your award level. (This applies to students who commence enrolment in a bachelor honours program from 1 January 2016 onwards. See the WAM information web page for more information.)

Please note that if you take this course for a Masters program, your overall mark in this course will be one of the course marks that will be used to calculate your Grade Point Average (GPA) that will determine your award level (See the GPA information web page for more information.)

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

BH103 Program Learning Outcomes

In this course you will develop the following program learning outcomes:

  • The ability to apply conceptual, critical and creative thinking that addresses relevant issues and informs imaginative and innovative design proposals, so that you can make advanced decisions independently with clarity and maturity
  • The ability to reflect upon and assess the global context of fashion, so as to apply your advanced skills for life-long learning and enable you to contribute confidently to an ever-evolving industry
  • The ability to engage in research within the broader context of design, utilising digital and information systems, discipline-specific discourse, conceptual frameworks, with reference to the work of others in the field
  • The ability to develop an effective leadership ethos that extends awareness of the global, social, cultural and ethical values of design


MC246 Program Learning Outcomes

In this course you will develop the following program learning outcomes:

  • Research and creatively solve problems, demonstrating independent expert judgment and ethical responsibility relating to your professional practice in the broader system of fashion.
  • Critically analyse, synthesise and reflect on social, cultural and design issues related to fashion, both local and international, at a micro and macro level, to extend and challenge knowledge and practice in the discipline of fashion design.
  • Professionally communicate design and creative propositions, processes and outcomes to address specialist and non-specialist audiences while working with cultural differences in an appropriate manner.
  • Implement research methodologies and methods to design and execute substantial applied and research projects, evaluate the outcomes and contribute to the fashion profession and the field of knowledge in the discipline.


Upon successful completion of this course you will be able to:

  1. Initiate and develop a research thesis or project in the philosophy, theory, practice, history and/or sociology of fashion design, both independently and in consultation and collaboration with other researchers in the field
  2. Gather, analyse, assess and present knowledge gained through research, in a form appropriate to the nature of the thesis or project, including as an oral/visual presentation and a formal, written proposal
  3. Formulate research questions and develop a research methodology appropriate to the thesis or project
  4. Summarize, analyse and evaluate current and/or historical research in the field, in the form of a contextual review (literature review and community of practice)
  5. Demonstrate, where appropriate, a critical understanding of the relationship between fashion design research and fashion design practice, and knowledge of the role and importance of ethics and responsibility to a research project


Overview of Learning Activities

This course will be delivered in a range of formats, which may include lectures by staff and guests, interactive tutorials & seminars, workshops, field trips, student presentations and individual consultations, and delivery of content online. It will also require a high degree of self-directed research.

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems.  

A list of recommended learning resources will be provided by your lecturer and research teaching staff, including books, journal articles and web resources. You will also be expected to seek further resources relevant to the focus of your own learning.

There are no recommended references for this course. Some texts and other resources may be recommended to you on an individual basis. It is an important to this course that you develop your skills in discovering and evaluating resources appropriate to your own research topic. Weekly readings and other resources may be recommended to you for discussion in tutorials. Where possible these will be made available to you on Canvas.

RMIT Library provides extensive resources for fashion and textiles students.

Search the library and consult the Fashion and Textiles subject guides for more information. The library also provides guides on academic referencing and assistance is available via phone, chat and email. Watch this short video on Getting started with fashion and textiles library resources.



Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program learning outcomes. Please refer to the program guide in order to familiarise yourself with program assessment methods. At the beginning of each project you will receive a copy of the: brief, teaching schedule and assessment rubric. The rubric should be consulted regularly, as it allows you to self assess and manage your progress. It will be used by your course lecturer/s to assess your project work upon completion.

Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks.

If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the Program Manager or  Equitable Learning Services if you would like to find out more.

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions which are available for review online

A student charter summarises your responsibilities as an RMIT student as well as those of your teachers.