The best fashion schools in the world

Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design in London takes the first place position in this year’s Business of Fashion Global Fashion School Rankings

November 3 2017
Best fashion schools in the world

In Business of Fashion’s third annual Global Fashion School Rankings, Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design has been named the best fashion school for both undergraduate and postgraduate courses. 

The rankings, collated by the fashion media company Business of Fashion, run down the best fashion schools around the world for fashion programmes at both the undergraduate and master’s levels. This year, there is also a newly established ranking of business graduate courses within fashion institutions. 

Central Saint Martins in London takes the top spot in the undergraduate school ranking for the third year running, and it leads the graduate school ranking for the second year in a row. The UK is the most represented country in both the rankings.

The top 10 (listed below) of the undergraduate ranking is dominated by schools from Europe, and is rounded out by two universities from the US and one school from Israel. Some 50 schools have been ranked in total.

The postgraduate top 10 (listed below) includes two schools from Japan: one in seventh position and another, the Bunka Fashion Graduate University, making its debut in sixth place. There are 30 schools in total in the postgraduate ranking.

The fifth-place position is occupied by a US institution (Fashion Institute of Technology). The rest of the universities in the top 10 are located in Europe.

The methodology has been adjusted since last year to focus more on employability, recognising the fashion schools from North America, Europe and Asia that are successfully training graduates to secure positions in the industry.

For example, the Fashion Institute of Technology in the US moved from last year’s number 10 in the graduate ranking to this year’s number five. 

The ranking is based on 30 different data points gathered from 73 participating institutions in 20 different countries. The rankings were based on surveys completed by more than 11,000 students and alumni, feedback from more than 75 HR professionals, 70 fashion school academics and analysis from Business of Fashion.

The full results and methodology can be found here.


Best undergraduate fashion schools

2017 Rank 2016 Rank School Country
1 1 Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design UK
2 5 Parsons School of Design USA
3 4 Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp Belgium
4 7 London College of Fashion UK
5 3 Aalto University, School of Arts, Design and Architecture Finland
6 10 Shenkar College of Engineering and Design Israel
7 6 Fashion Institute of Technology USA
8 9 Polimoda Italy
9 2 Kingston University UK
10 6 University of Westminster UK

Best graduate fashion schools

2017 Rank 2016 Rank University Country
1 1 Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design UK
2 3 Institut Français de la Mode France
3 2 Royal College of Art UK
4 4 Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp Belgium
5 10 Fashion Institute of Technology USA
6 NR Bunka Fashion Graduate University Japan
7 7 Bunka Gakuen University Japan
8 5 London College of Fashion UK
9 9 Polimoda Italy
10 6 ESMOD International France

Best business graduate courses within fashion institutions

2017 Rank School Country
1 Institut Français de la Mode France
2 London College of Fashion UK
3 Savannah College of Art and Design USA
4 Fashion Institute of Technology USA
5 Polimoda Italy
6 Philadelphia University USA
7 LIM College USA
8 Istituto Marangoni International Italy
9 RMIT University Australia
10 Domus Academy Italy

Read more: Explore more of our subject rankings here 

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