Frequently Asked Questions

What experience does the Academy have?

Our mentors have a wealth of knowledge between them, many of them practicing designers and academics. They are responsible for teaching you the skills you need to thrive in the fashion industry and real-world, so we make sure these people have the right knowledge, skills, and creative experience needed to be your/lecturers mentors.  Our mentors have been teaching for several years and have a lot of experience in both the Fashion industry and education.   We highly recommend attending an open day or academy tour, where you'll be able to meet some of the JCA mentors in-person.  In the current situation when open days are not available, please visit our website and view our staff biographies.

What are the Academy Strengths

The strengths of JCA are that we are based in one of the most dynamic, vibrant and key fashion cities in the world, and fundamentally our DNA is the focused interest in supporting our student’s transition from higher education into entrepreneurship and entry to the exciting and fast-paced fashion industry, locally and/or globally.   We are able to provide access to fashion experts, industry links and partnerships from inside the contemporary luxury fashion and accessories industry.  We offer access to state-of-the-art resources and design facilities used in fashion design whilst being in the heart of the UK’s exciting and continually evolving fashion industry - a perfect mix for the aspiring fashion entrepreneur.

What percentages of your teaching staff are currently working in industry?

This is an important one! We see this as a very important part of fashion education, the active participation of your tutors in the industry will reflect in the lessons they teach you.  We feel it is very important for you to connect with your tutors and receive the necessary guidance from them. We also believe their active connections are important too, particularly when you are looking for advice and/or internships! Currently 50% of our staff cohort is working as fashion practitioners in the industry.  

Who wrote your curriculum and what makes it better than other institutions?

The curriculum was written by a collaborative team of fashion academics headed by the current director of teaching and learning, Susan Dillon, who has many years of fashion design experience, fashion teaching and is also a professional author of fashion management books and holds an MBA.  This was underpinned by the innovative thinking of the creative director and founder of the Jimmy Choo brand, Professor Jimmy Choo OBE, his thinking underpins the concept of fashion design education offered on all the courses at the Academy.

What is different about this school, compared to other fashion schools?

Every fashion school is different, however there are a lot of industry standards in the art styled university world that can make an experience at one school very similar to another. What makes JCA unique is that our school and courses are solely focused on Fashion. You concentrate on fashion and do not share resources with any other art or design discipline. Our courses have been designed to meet the needs of the industry based fashion entrepreneur and as such all our modules are taught through this lens and are underpinned with this thinking so you will graduate as fashion design entrepreneurs and be able to enter the fashion world equipped to start your own fashion business.

Is JCA accredited?

All of our courses at JCA are accredited by The University of WestLondon. It is alsowhere we have our franchised course BA Fashion Design & Accessories.  Further information can be found on ourwebsite. 

What are the most common jobs people get after doing this course?

Though we do not use jobs as the primary driver for our courses, they are designed through an entrepreneurial lens.  As such our students will progress, into the fashion industry or setting up small fashion companies or working as freelancers.  However, If students decide to pursue a position in a company rather than their own set up during the course, they will be encouraged to work with and support a small company with their personal entrepreneurial insight.  

What is the average class size?

A cohort may be around 60 students however a studio class size is around 20 students; Our classes are at least three hours long, giving tutors enough time to work closely with each student.

What kind of options will I have for paying for school?

The cost of tuition is typically one of the biggest deciding factors when choosing where to study, so we understand that consideration of all costs associated with your program of choice is important.  

To learn about what options may be available to you, please contact JCA's financial office for more information about tuition, fees and transfer of credit opportunities.

What will my classes and coursework be like?

At JCA we fuse a stimulating, creative mix of academic innovation with hybrid approaches to the learner journey, which means, you will be taught fashion themes such as Fashion Design, Materials Innovation, Branding and Communication through the practical lens of Enterprise and Entrepreneurship. The work done in your classes are all course-work based and you will not have to take any exams.

The nature of fashion work is predominantly practical-based activity however, as we expect you to develop entrepreneurial and professional skills alongside practical design skills, written work is very much a part of the course therefore written assignments, report writing, CAD and presentation work is a key part of the work done in classes.  

Are the class’s lecture based or workshop based?

Our courses are a combination of contemporary and professional practice, critical and applied theory and design within the context and fusion of fashion enterprise and entrepreneurship.

To ensure students get the best of both worlds, we combine theory and practise through lectures that are included in some of our course modules. All practical work ie. Garment construction is workshop based and design work is undertaken in designated design studios.

How much reading and writing is required on the course?

As the courses are a mix of professional practice, critical and applied theory and design, there is a reasonable amount of reading of research related to your topics of study that will include some form of written submission  Some of our modules involve report writing and business plans, other forms of written submission will include research analysis or project reflections. We also take a look at digital writing such as blog posts and more professional approaches to written content.  But students need not worry, as we will support students in developing the correct conventions and etiquette for academic, professional or business writing.  

What is a typical day like?

A timetabled session will start at 9am or 1pm.You will work with tutors in that time and also independently. Most sessions will start promptly with an introductory lecture or presentation from your tutor explaining the day’s focus or challenge and as a lot of information is provided at this point so good timekeeping is essential. Some sessions may be a little shorter or some a little longer dependent on the topic or activity. For example, some of your practical sessions may run longer than other areas of study to encourage more development.

How much time do students spend in class studying per week?  

Students will be expected to attend all classes timetabled and these will normally take place between 9am and 5pm  on weekdays, however we may also include twilight or evening sessions in your timetables. Students will be expected in the Academy for contact time of up to 16 hours a week across a number of days.    Most classes are split into three-hour sessions. Students are also expected where possible to come into the academy for private study time, to gather an understanding of what it will be like to work full time within the Fashion Industry

Do we go on trips?

We organise a variety of trips and cultural visits each year. These will be local and global and will usually include a visit to a design studio, manufacturing company or marketing and branding studios in addition to research and inspirational venues.  Usually we would be looking at Key locations such as New York, Italy and Paris. We have yet to determine what we can and can’t do yet regarding travel and will update or information once the COVID pandemic has eased.  

What is the staff student ratio?

We work on a 1-20 staff student ratio.

What kind of support do you offer to students?

We have faculty and staff members who are there to support you when you need them. If you’re struggling with a design project, having trouble managing a heavy course load, or just need to talk when you’re feeling stressed, someone is always there.

How accessible are the student advice and careers officers?

We have a student advice team assigned to each course and an additional incubation advisor who can help you in providing the guidance you need to pursue the career you're passionate about.  

Do we get a mentor?

We deliver what we call mentor led education atJCA and our mentorship is embedded in our teaching and learning strategies to enable our students, alumni and professionals alike, the opportunity to support the JCA community, develop skills, expand our networks and share experiences.

Are internships available? How do you find them?

We have a comprehensive internship and incubation model that offers first class industry links and partnerships, and unique access to fashion insiders. Giving our students the opportunity to consider desirable opportunities within the fashion industry.

Are we taught in classrooms?

Studio practice is the main pedagogy at the Academy and every learner will have access to a dedicated design studio housed with core facilities. In addition our newly fitted workshops are equipped with industrial sewing machines, pattern-cutting tables and specialist sampling and manufacturing facilities.

Can I use the workshops when I want?

Students can and are encouraged to experiment and work in the workshops, during your studies, you will complete an induction on core machinery. Some machinery will need supervision at all times. Machinery will also need to be booked upon availability during some of your practical sessions.

What Computer equipment and facilities will I get access to? 

Students will have access to laptops and desktop computers for their use while in the Academy

What kind of technology and software will I use?

JCA uses the latest creative arts technology and software for example; adobe creative suite and Clo so that you’ll have marketable, relevant skills when you graduate.