Master in Digital Fashion Communication


Programme Description

Fashion is becoming increasingly digital.

The fashion industry needs communication managers that:

  • Master digital trends.
  • Are aware of the long-term socio-cultural processes that shape fashion.
  • Understand how fashion's ethical dimension and major sustainability challenges impact society.

Would you like to acquire:

  • Communication skills as applied specifically to the fashion industry?
  • The cutting edge tools to interact in a digital business environment?
  • The cultural sensitivity to communicate in a globalized market?

Be part of the first international Master of Science in Digital Fashion Communication offered as a Double Degree by ­Università della Svizzera Italiana and Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris, France).

Structure and contents

The MSc in Digital Fashion Communication (DFC) aims at preparing select students to pursue their careers in the fashion industry as specialists in digital communication.

The Master is a two-year (120 ECTS) Double Master's Degree offered jointly by USI - Università della Svizzera Italiana and Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and is entirely given in English. The courses offered in Paris will also be in English. The program is taught by a renowned faculty from both institutions and by a large number of guest lecturers and professionals of the fashion industry who will share their practical experience. Mobility is part of the learning experience offered by this Master. Students will study in two different locations (Lugano and Paris) and live two diverse cultures.

Internship and Master Thesis

In addition to providing students with the knowledge necessary to excel in their future careers, this master requires students to apply that knowledge and gain hands-on experience through two main activities: an internship and a master thesis.


During the last year of the master, students are required to complete a two-to-four-month internship (9 ECTS) in a company of their choice. Thanks to the mobility aspect of this master, students will have the opportunity to create an international network of contacts that will help them in finding the internship opportunity they desire.

Students can do their internship during their third or fourth semester, and in whichever location they prefer. In the fourth semester, students will only have an online course (DFC Lab) and their master thesis, which gives students the flexibility needed to find an internship outside of Switzerland or France if desired.

Master Thesis

During the 4th and last semester, students will be researching and writing their master thesis (18 ECTS) on a topic of their choice in the digital fashion communication domain.

The University Library of the Lugano Campus offers our students a rich collection of specialist literature available both online and offline. The Institute of Communication Technologies offers eye-tracking technologies and other useful tools for digital communication research.

More detailed information will be provided once enrolled in the master's.

Study Tours

Mobility is an important part of the learning experience offered by the Master in Digital Fashion Communication. Students are not only required to study in two different locations and live diverse cultures but are also encouraged to move and meet new realities in the fashion industry through a set of study tours.

Destinations will be chosen among Switzerland, Italy, Spain and France's fashion historical districts and industry hubs. The tours will include visits to factories, ateliers, museums, and company headquarters. All related activities, which might include case history presentations delivered by managers and industry experts, will be organized along with the whole duration of the program and will be accredited 3 ECTS, as a single course.

Travel and subsistence costs of study tours are not included in the tuition fee and are to be covered by the students.

Career Prospects

Graduating from this Master gives students:

  • A strong foundation in communication skills as applied specifically to the fashion industry: communication design and strategy, branding, content development, information management, and retrieval.
  • An in-depth understanding of the creation of fashion: the social history of fashion and culture, sustainability, and the fashion industry from a global perspective.
  • The cutting edge tools to effectively and profitably interact in a digital business environment: usability and web analytics, digital marketing, social media communication, e-commerce, and cybersecurity.

In addition to this, students will acquire the cultural sensitivity needed to effectively communicate in a globalized market, by experiencing the French, Italian and Swiss culture in their day to day activities. They also have the opportunity to learn or strengthen their knowledge of the Italian and French languages, which are of great importance in the fashion world.

Professional opportunities for graduates are related to omnichannel communication management and strategy for the fashion industry in any type of company, from small start-ups to large international corporations. Graduates are prepared to work in functions like digital and social media marketing, brand development, data and e-Commerce management, advertising and PR support, and CSR coordination.

Even if the master focuses on fashion communication, graduates might work in related experience-economy industries.


The formal requirement for admission to the MSc in Digital Fashion Communication is a Bachelor's degree in Social Sciences, Communication Sciences, Business Administration, Fashion, Art, Literature, Tourism, or in similar domains, granted by a recognized university.

To ensure the optimal ratio between learners and the faculty, the places offered are limited; therefore the selection can be subject to a Skype interview and can be effected on the basis of the academic results.

Valid candidates will be contacted to schedule an interview, typically within one to three weeks.

Candidates with a Bachelor's degree from a University of Applied sciences may be admitted with an additional requirement of 30-60 ECTS to be earned:

  • By attending in person, during the Master’s studies, a selection of our Bachelor’s courses and taking the exams during the regular sessions. The credits have to be earned before the end of the third semester. The courses are to be defined by the Master’s academic director.
  • By self-studying a selection of our Bachelor’s courses. In this case, the instructors of the assigned courses provide specific readings. Exams are organized when the student is ready. The courses are defined by the Master’s academic director. The reading and evaluation are in English. This option is very flexible: it allows for optimal programming of the workload during the studies and it also allows the process to be started before the beginning of the Master’s program. The credits have to be earned before the end of the third semester.
  • By attending Bachelor's courses at another recognized University prior to starting the Master’s studies. The university and the list of courses to attend have to be agreed with the Director of the Masters.


Admission to English-language graduate-level (Master) programs at USI requires a good command of the English idiom. Non-English native speakers applying for such programs, or whose previous degree was obtained in another language, are required to provide an internationally acknowledged language certificate equal to the B2 level, as defined by the Common European Framework of Reference for language learning (CEFR), or equivalent (e.g. TOEFL, IELTS, etc.).

The B2 level on the CEFR corresponds to the following scores in internationally acknowledged exams:

TOEFL Computer-based: 183
Internet-based: 65
Paper-based: 513
Cambridge English FCE (First Certificate English)
TOEIC Listening & Reading: 785
Speaking: 150
Writing: 160

Students admitted under the above-mentioned condition (with the exception of the Master in Cognitive Psychology in Health Communication) must achieve a C1 competence in English within the maximum time required to obtain the Master's degree.

The level can be certified either by attending a language course offered at USI during the Fall and Spring semester, and by taking the final exam, or by providing an internationally acknowledged language certificate*.

* The C1 level on the CEFR corresponds to the following scores in internationally acknowledged exams:

TOEFL Internet-based: 100
Cambridge English CAE (Advanced certificate), grade C or above
BEC (Business English), grade C or above
TOEIC Listening & Reading: 945
Speaking: 180
Writing: 180

Italian and French

The MSc in Digital Fashion Communication is taught completely in English. But since Lugano is located in the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland, students might be interested in acquiring the basics of Italian, in order to be able to get around in everyday life, or in preparation for their semester (or year) in Paris, would also like to learn or better their French.

USI offers courses in French, English, Italian and German free of charge for Bachelor/Master students, Ph.D. students, and academic and administrative staff.

For students, these courses are not part of the curriculum but are intended to improve their command of a language.

Application Procedure

To submit your application, please refer to the indications for filling out the online form available here:

Paper Application

Applications can also be submitted with the application form and required paper documents (email or fax submissions will be rejected) to the following address:

Università della Svizzera Italiana
Faculty of Communication Sciences
Admission Office
Via G. Buffi 13
CH-6900 Lugano

Required documentation

The following pieces of documentation have to be sent in paper form:

  • The completed application form (you may download it in pdf format);
  • Photocopy of past diplomas (Bachelor, licentiate, four-year degree, maturity);
  • Official transcript of results of university examinations;
  • Certified translation of any diplomas written in a language other than Italian, German, French, English, or Spanish;
  • Curriculum vitae (Resume)
  • Personal letter of motivation drafted by the candidate;
  • Official certification of proficiency in English;
  • Photocopy of an identity card or other documents;
  • Photocopy of residence permit for foreign nationals already domiciled in Switzerland.

Photocopy of past degree certificates

Where a candidate has not fulfilled all the requirements for the Bachelor's degree, licentiate or other, copy of the diploma may be sent at a later stage, but in any case no later than the beginning of the matriculation period. If so, please indicate the expected date of the award and enclose an official document issued by the awarding institution confirming these terms.

Letter of motivation

Candidates are required to draft a letter (not more than one page) introducing themselves and explaining their particular interest and reasons for seeking admission to a given Master's degree.

Registration fee

The Lisbon convention regulates the recognition of university degrees between signatory countries and considerably simplifies the administration of admission procedures. For this reason, candidates whose previous degree studies were completed in countries outside this Convention (see list below) are invited to pay an application fee of SFr. 100 accounting for the higher administrative costs of processing more complex files. If the candidate is admitted, the fee will be deducted from the amount of the tuition fee for the first semester. The administrative fee is not refundable in other cases: if admission is not granted, or if the candidate decides to withdraw or fails to matriculate.

Application deadline

  • Applications will be accepted starting from mid-November.
  • The application deadline is August 31.
  • The application deadline for candidates who need a visa is May 31.
  • Late applications will be considered only in case of available places.


Tuition fees for the Master's degrees amount to CHF 4,000 per semester. Applicants whose official residence was in Switzerland or Liechtenstein at the time of the final high school exam (Maturità) pay a reduced semester fee of CHF 2,000.

Tuition fees are payable at the beginning of each term, by the deadline indicated on the invoice; fee payment is an essential condition for matriculating or renewing one's enrolment.

Last updated Mar 2020

About the School

USI is a young and agile university that offers its students a quality education and an enhancing study experience. International faculty teach students with an interdisciplinary, engaging, and intera ... Read More

USI is a young and agile university that offers its students a quality education and an enhancing study experience. International faculty teach students with an interdisciplinary, engaging, and interactive approach, leaving room for practical application. The quality of the study curricula is complemented by USI small size, by its cosmopolitan environment and its informal and dynamic culture. These elements make USI a hub of opportunity open to the world, where students can engage in direct dialogue with their professors and define their educational path, discover unexpected horizons, and embrace international careers. Read Less
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