Manchester Metropolitan University


International Fashion Business: Buying and Merchandising Management

2017 entry

Features and benefits of the course

  • Study visits to key international trade fairs and cities will offer relevant research opportunities for you to support course content.
  • You will be exposed to a broad range of market levels and future target markets from high street brands to small pioneering design companies.

Our Staff: Ms Clare McTurk

Clare McTurk Profile Image

Principal Lecturer in Fashion Business & Associate Dean for Student Experience

"Here at Manchester Metropolitan University, I am a core team member for the MA International Fashion Business courses and have over twenty years teaching and professional fashion industry experience."

We are connected with over 400 industry partners, ensuring our programmes are shaped to meet the needs of the international fashion business. This one-year industry-facing program offers you the opportunity to develop your specialist knowledge of International Fashion Buying and Merchandising from a managerial perspective.  Focusing on the complete cycle of the fashion industry from a global perspective, this programme offers you the opportunity to develop your commercial awareness, management skills and business acumen. Equipping you with an advanced knowledge in a specialist area that is rapidly growing in demand, you will develop the skills you need to enhance your employment prospects within both industry and research.

Clare McTurk Staff Profile

About the course

You will gain a deep understanding of the role of the buyer and merchandiser, and gain the ability to strategically plan and select a range of high quality garments, while considering the profitable development of a company.

By undertaking a variety of projects, you will learn how to analyse the factors that influence sales alongside personal and practical presentation skills. You will also learn how to build a range of profitable garments for wholesale, retail or online sales.

Typical units of study may include

Year 1

You will study units that will give you an in-depth understanding of how the processes of buying and merchandising operate in the global fashion industry.  Typical units may include:

  • Product
  • Organisation
  • Planning
  • Purchasing
  • Professional Practice
  • Perform

Core Units

During this unit you will enable develop an in-depth knowledge of corporate and international business strategy, cultivating high-level skills in the management of internal and external resources. You will look at how to generate creative solutions to issues that organisations face.

Topics you will cover include: organisational structure and behaviour, roles and responsibilities within fashion organisations, business performance, financial reporting and analysis , project management, demand forecasting, manufacture and distribution, conflict and change management, problem solving and team working.


In this unit you will research and develop an original idea, then transform this philosophy into a viable business or design proposition. You will synthesise visual, theoretical, technological, commercial and philosophical concepts to inform and inspire the development of innovative business propositions, fashion artefacts, or other relevant outcomes. This work will be informed by knowledge of contemporary culture, research into relevant consumer behaviours, and the relevant social/ethical implications or be primarily focused on a business led trading issue.


During this unit you will develop an investigative approach to range development.  You will critically examine factors that influence fashion sales, trends, costs and ethical implications in a global sourcing environment. 

Topics you will cover include: KPIs, Sales data and international trend analysis, design, brand and marketing strategies, trend implications on strategic range planning, product, category and brand management, range proposals and cost analysis, global sourcing and appliciton of sales on merchandising analytics, Ethical processes, systems and CSR policy.


You will investigate new advances in design methodology and consider the complexities of producing sophisticated garments or product ranges. This unit emulates the workplace, so you will work alongside students from different subject areas, to inform the planning and promotion of  new products and to explore the implications of the buyers decisions upon the marketer and vice versa.

This unit covers subjects including research methods, design processes, interpreting and communicating design briefs, sizing, anthropometrics and fit, colour trends and theory, textiles innovation and textile performance, quality assurance, garment innovation, manufacturing and specifications and visual communications and presentation methods.

Professional Practice

This unit will focus on developing your personal and professional skills, (through critical reflective writing). You will develop your skills in inter/intra organisational communication, cross cultural communication, team working, team building, motivation, negotiation, influencing, time management, working under pressure, reflective practice, continuing professional development.

This unit also covers advanced level and complex approaches to CVs and job applications, where to look for jobs, how to self-promote, how to find support after graduation and remain proactive.


Central to this unit are industry-related briefs, which will ask you to address global socio-economic issues and multifaceted business challenges.

Topics you will cover include: design research, development and creation of product ranges, consumer and commercial research and international sales projections, ethical and sustainable practice and developing innovative product solutions, supply chain strategies applying lean approaches and cost reduction tactics, strategic sourcing and development of new areas of supply, financial forecasting and budgeting, lead time and critical path analysis with time reduction policies. 

Programme Review

Each programme of study that we offer undergoes an annual review to ensure an up-to-date curriculum supported by the latest online learning technology. In addition, we undertake a major review of the programme, normally at 6-yearly intervals, but this can take place at a more frequent interval where required. Applicants should note that the programme currently provided may be subject to change as a result of the review process. We only make changes where we consider it necessary to do so or where we feel that certain changes are in the best interests of students and to enhance the quality of provision. Occasionally, we have to make changes for reasons outside our control. Where there are changes which may materially affect the current programme content and/or structure, offer holders will be informed.

Assessment details

Assessment includes written coursework assignments, reports, business plans, and project work. The assessments are work orientated.

Additional Information About this Course

Basic pre-entry course work exploring international fashion business is optional - completing it feeds into skills discussion and introductory sessions during the first few weeks of the course. Pre-coursework may only be required when a student applying doe

Teaching Staff

Your studies are supported by a team of committed and enthusiastic teachers and researchers, experts in their chosen field. We also work with external professionals, many of whom are Manchester Met alumni, to enhance your learning and appreciation of the wider subject. Details of departmental staff can be found at:

Typical entry requirements

This course will normally admit students with a good UK honours degree or international equivalent in a design or business related discipline. It is designed to allow students with a keen interest in the apparel industry to acquire a postgraduate qualification in a specific fashion business area. 

There’s further information for international students on our international website if you’re applying with non-UK qualifications.

How do I apply for this course?

The quickest and most efficient way to apply for this course is to apply online. This way, you can also track your application at each stage of the process.

Apply online now

If you are unable to apply online, you can apply for full- and part-time taught courses by completing the postgraduate application form. There are exceptions for some professional courses – the course information on our on-line prospectus will give you more information in these cases.

Please note: to apply for this course, you only need to provide one reference.

Career options after the course

This course will prepare you for a career within the complex and rapidly changing fashion landscape. You will gain the essential skills to work within this fast-paced industry at a managerial level.

Graduates have typically found career opportunities in fashion design, manufacture, product development, merchandising, buying, marketing and off-shore sourcing in destinations around the globe. Graduates having gained jobs with high-profile companies in worldwide locations including Burberry, X-Bionic, Boohoo, TJX Europe, Farmers New Zealand and JD Sports.

Confirmation of Regulator

The Higher Education Funding Council for England is the principal regulator for the University.

Important Notice

This online prospectus provides an overview of our programmes of study and the University. We regularly update our online prospectus so that our published course information is accurate and up to date. Please note that our programmes are subject to review and development on an ongoing basis. Changes may sometimes be necessary. For example, to comply with the requirements of professional or accrediting bodies or as a result of student feedback or external examiners’ reports. We also need to ensure that our courses are dynamic and current and that the content and structure maintain academic standards and enhance the quality of the student experience.

Please check back to the online prospectus before making an application to us.

The provision of education by the University is subject to terms and conditions of enrollment and contract. The current Terms and Conditions Applicable to the provision of the University’s Educational Services are available online. When a student enrolls with us, their study and registration at the University will be governed by various regulations, policies and procedures. It is important that applicants/students familiarize themselves with our Terms and Conditions and the Key Contract Documents referred to within. Applicants will be provided with access to an up to date version at offer stage. This can be found within the Information for Offer Holders document.