Bethan Alexander has successfully achieved a UAL Teaching Scholars’ Award for her work as MA Fashion Retail Management Course Leader and a project that created a mentoring network for her students in two strands. The first supports the transition into M-level study, and the second enables students to access industry mentors to support their progression into employment.

Introduced in 2015, the UAL Teaching Scholars’ Award is a prestigious award that celebrates teaching at UAL. It formally recognises staff who have demonstrated a sustained commitment to excellence in teaching and learning. Deputy Vice-Chancellor Simon Ofield-Kerr presented the awards at Camberwell College of Arts, other recipients were Shibboleth Schechter, Dr Pratap Rughani, Ian Thompson, and Graham Barton.

Bethan Alexander has successfully achieved a UAL Teaching Scholars’ Award for her work as MA Fashion Retail Management course leader .

Bethan Alexander has successfully achieved a UAL Teaching Scholars’ Award for her work as MA Fashion Retail Management Course Leader.

Successful teaching applicants receive funding and support over a two-year period to develop an aspect of their teaching practice that is designed to both impacts on student learning and develop their leadership roles within the wider teaching and learning community. We caught up with Bethan after the awards to hear her story and dig deep into the course.

Congratulations on receiving the prestigious UAL Teaching Scholars’ Award 2018. How does it feel being recognised by the award?

Fantastic! I’m very grateful and excited to have the opportunity to be funded and supported over the next 2-years to develop an aspect of my teaching practice that will specifically enhance the postgraduate student experience.

Can you tell us about the mentoring and network project you created for the students which the awarding board championed you for?

The aim of the project is to pilot a postgraduate mentoring network for students studying MA Fashion Retail Management, with a dual aspect: intra-alumni peer mentoring and inter-sector (HEI and industry) mentoring schemes. The objectives are threefold:

  1. To establish how mentoring fits within the collaborative learning model.
  2. An inter-alumni approach – supporting the transition process to M-level study and empowering self-directed learning and 2b) An inter-sector approach – partnering students and industry to support the transition and advancement of employability.
  3.  To determine the broader effects of mentorship on all stakeholders in order to propose its wider establishment within the provision offer for LCF postgraduate students.
Bethan Alexander with Deputy Vice-Chancellor Simon Ofield-Kerr.

Bethan Alexander with Deputy Vice-Chancellor Simon Ofield-Kerr.

How will the project enhance the students and their ability to work with the industry?

The project hasn’t started yet – I have 2 years to realise it – 2018-2020. Winning the award is just the beginning. I’m very excited about getting it up and running.

What is MA Fashion Retail Management and where do alumni go onto?

MA FRM is a fashion retail course aimed at students who wish to pursue a management, or creative, career in omnichannel fashion retailing, to shape current and future international fashion retailing strategy and operations. It bridges the gap between management and creativity and is one of only three known courses worldwide offering a Fashion Retail Management specialism at postgraduate level – it’s unique selling point. It has a track record in successfully integrating industry into the learning and teaching, ensuring the course is academically rigorous yet dynamic and highly relevant. This is evidenced in its exceptional employability achievements, for example, in 2015-2016, 46% of students secured employment before graduating. Careers are diverse and really reflect the changing nature of the industry: retail analysts, buying and merchandising, retail operations, business development, retail marketing communications, retail brand management, creative direction, consultancy and own start-ups across market levels from luxury to fast fashion.

Alumni can connect with LCF in the following ways: