Manchester Metropolitan University

BA (Hons)

Fashion Buying and Merchandising

2018 entry

Features and benefits of the course

Technology and creativity are at the heart of our courses with a major emphasis on developing your business skills, and exposure to a wide range of   businesses and employers. Our courses give you the option of spending a year working in industry to gain valuable skills and contacts.  

• We’ll provide you with practical experience of the international fashion industry through optional overseas study trips. Previous destinations have included Shanghai, New York, Istanbul and Paris.

• You’ll benefit from the multi-million pound, newly refurbished facilities, with access to industry-standard equipment including more than 150 specialised sewing and joining  machines and equipment, 3D bodyscanner, sew-free bonding equipment, automated and laser cutting equipment, 3D printing and the latest digital pattern-cutting software.  

• Our students and graduates win many awards, including most recently the Arts Thread/Urban Outfitters Award, Humen Cup Silver Award, Drapers’ Company Award for Technical Textiles, the Survitec Group Award for Innovation in Functional Clothing Design, Best Gap Stylist at Vogue’s Fashion Night Out, and finalist at Graduate Fashion Week.  

Placement options

If you decide that you would like to gain a year's industry experience you can spend year 3 on placement within the fashion and clothing industry. Placement learning is a key element of the course as it allows you to apply university based knowledge, skills and understanding to the real world of work. It also gives you an advantage when you begin looking for your first job upon graduating! The day-to-day demands of such an experience are both challenging and inspirational.

Placement opportunities are available both in the UK and abroad. We have established links with companies such as Alexon, Aycem Group in Turkey, Dorothy Perkins, Tesco, George @ Asda, Flannels, Marks and Spencer, Matalan, Next, Primark, Puma, Reebok, Renfrew Collection in New York and Top Shop to name but a few.

Our dedicated Placement Team has developed excellent links with the fashion industry over the last 20 years. You will be offered support through a preparation programme of activities that includes guidance on selection procedures, working overseas, CV preparation and interview techniques.

During the Placement Year, although you will be supervised directly by the company you are employed by, you will also be allocated an Academic Mentor. They will provide support and guidance, assess your progress and generally monitor your welfare for the time you are away from the University.

About the course

Typical units of study may include

Year 1

In Year 1 your studies will concentrate on fashion buying and merchandising theory, concepts and principles and their influences on clothing manufacturing. You will study the fashion industry from the viewpoint of a buyer and gain an understanding of the information technologies a buyer uses.

Core Units
Business Communications

Business Communications focuses on all forms of communication within the fashion industry. This will provide you with the skills and confidence to present yourself and your work in a professional manner.

You will be introduced to how business communicates at all levels including; interpersonal skills, digital presentation, body language, interview skills,  CV introduction, understanding business culture, etiquette, processes and scheduling. Includes introducing various IT, CAD, PDM applications, understanding and evaluating these applications into relevant industry usage.

Fashion Buying and Retail

The aim of the unit is to provide you with opportunities to develop your skills and understanding of the buying environments in fashion retail.

This unit focuses on understanding the fundamentals of fashion: the socio-cultural construction, and fashion cycles and processes. You will be introduced to fashion retailing: retailing formats, organisational structure, growth strategy, purchasing and supply chain, consumer behaviour, and introduction to ethical issues and sustainability in the fashion context. You will explore the buying function in fashion retailing from supply to consumption and gain understanding of the role and responsibilities of a buyer as well as the career paths and operation-marketing interface and its impact on fashion buying performance. Topics will be introduced in lectures and supported by seminars, workshops, and in-session formative practical exercises. Each lecture will be supported with a number of academic and practitioner articles, divided into core readings and supplementary readings. Video presentations, visiting lecturers and study visits will be used, where practicable and applicable to support the programme.

Fashion Merchandising 1

Fashion Merchandising 1 provides an in depth understanding of the role and functions of modern merchandising. This seeks to intoduce the trading environments, merchandising, finance and management of a product through a critical path.  

Product Awareness
This unit will introduce students to the basic processes involved in product development and creation with specific reference to fabric selection and garment generation.

You will explore; the process of fabric creation - from fibre through to yarn and fabric construction; the application of colour and finish and the effect of this on both aesthetics and performance; an overview of garment development from design sketch, through pattern development to garment construction.

You will also discover the identification of appropriate fabric and construction methods for specific markets and customers and the appreciation of key terms used in fabric selection and garment creation.

Year 2

Year 2 allows you to demonstrate a critical understanding of fashion buying principles and their application. You will study the use of financial and quality management and gain a detailed understanding of production and information technology.

Core Units
Fashion Buying
Combining creativity, innovation and buying best practice, this unit will enhance the knowledge of fashion buying on a strategic level by introducing the diverse roles of import, brand and wholesale buying and agents within the production process.

Paying particular attention to the consumer, market place and contribution to profit the curriculum will enable you to research trends and develop range plans with reference to costing, seasons, product life cycle and production. The unit will also deliver the essential elements of national and international sourcing of products and components.
Fashion Import Merchandising

This unit aims to provide a greater depth of understanding of the merchandising function. It brings together innovative commercial processes and practical applications of finance to give an informed view of the merchandising role.

Product Development
The unit will develop your ability to solve problems by applying a knowledge of product development with an emphasis on range building.
Synergy / Professional Practice

This unit is designed to provide an opportunity for you to develop your career objectives, and enhance your problem solving skills whilst preparing you for work in the global fashion industry. You will be encouraged to expand and develop your fashion knowledge whilst working on exciting, diverse briefs.  

Year 3

If you decide to opt for the four year sandwich route, Year 3 will be spent on a full-time placement, with opportunities available in both the UK and abroad.

Your final year draws together everything you have encountered over the duration of your studies so that you are ready to embark upon a successful career and also gives you the skills to enable you to continue to progress to the top of your profession.  This year enables you to develop a strategic approach to the evaluation of international fashion markets, organisations, opportunities and consumers in manufacturing and retail environments. You will also undertake either an honours project or a business project which will allow you to demonstrate your individual strengths and areas of specialism.

Core Units
Fashion Business Strategy
This unit provides an overview of the high level business challenges, decision making and planning that businesses undertake.
Fashion Supply Chain Management
The unit addresses the core business practices that exist  between suppliers, logistics service providers and retailers in the global  fashion industry.

You will learn to identify the main stake-holders and their roles in the international  fashion supply chain.  You will be provided with an understanding of the importance of efficient inventory management and distribution systems for the delivery of product to end use consumers.  You will gain  an appreciation of the importance of logistics strategy  in providing organisations with competitive advantage. 
People Management

This unit recognises that the most important business resource and interaction relates to people, and that you will soon start to recruit and manage these people. This unit will focus on the key aspects of managing and developing people.

This unit will provide an overview of the value of people as a resource within a large organisation and for business start up. You will discover the importance of teamwork and motivation, looking at the concept of people within a company's culture, including the stages of recruitment, development, mentoring, managing suppliers, managing teams and conflict resolution, together with the legal aspects relating to people within the workplace. Leadership is also explored and the theories of leadership and how these have evolved over time.

Likely Optional Units
Business Project

This unit is predominantly independent, action-based learning; being involved in teamwork and setting up a new fashion business facilitates the development of key profession-specific skills and a broad spectrum of employability skills.

The process of small business start-up is informed early in the programme by lectures and guided workshops. The focus is on active and participative learning as you run the business yourself with an academic tutor acting as business mentor. You will adopt the role of company directors with specific remits within the company and work together towards the development of an appropriate Business Model. The Business Model informs the production and presentation of a cohesive Business Plan which is subsequently acted upon. As the business team runs the company, you have the opportunity to put theory into practice and to utilise and reflect upon business practices and the development of your professional skills in preparation for employment.??

Research Project

This unit enables you to carry out an individual project on a topic of your choice. You will conduct research on a selected subject and present it in an appropriate manner. Your studies will cover topics such as:iInformation searching, appraising literature, preparation of a proposal including resources required and an action plan, engagement with the University’s Academic ethical framework, collection of data/information/ideas and analysis of findings.


As part of our drive to deliver the very highest quality programmes we are reviewing our undergraduate courses to ensure an up-to-date curriculum supported by the latest online learning technology. Some of the details given here may not yet reflect these improvements and information will be updated as it becomes available.


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.

Methods of Assessment

Individual and group project work, written assignments and examinations.

Assessment Weightings and Contact Hours

10 credits equates to 100 hours of study, which is a combination of lectures, seminars and practical sessions, and independent study. A 3 year degree qualification typically comprises 360 credits (120 credits per year). The exact composition of your study time and assessments for the course will vary according to your option choices and style of learning, but it could be:

  • Year 1 25% lectures, seminars or similar; 75% independent study
  • Year 2 25% lectures, seminars or similar; 75% independent study
  • Year 3 25% lectures, seminars or similar; 75% independent study
  • Year 1 75% coursework; 25% examination
  • Year 2 75% coursework; 25% examination
  • Year 3 55% coursework; 45% examination
Optional foundation year
  • Study 25% lectures, seminars or similar; 75% independent study
  • Assessment 100% coursework

Additional Information About this Course

Optional placement year requires professional conduct and the completion of the minimum weeks required to pass a sandwich degree AND the minimum weeks required by the employer as per the contract.

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

These typical entry requirements apply to the 2017 academic year of entry and may be subject to change for the 2018 academic year. Please check back for further details.

UCAS Tariff points/Grades required


112 UCAS Tariff Points at A2 (Grades BCC-BBC) or acceptable alternatives e.g. BTEC Subsidiary Diploma, Diploma, Extended Diploma at Level 3 (Grades DMM)

Specific GCSE requirements

GCSE English Language and Mathematics at grade C or grade 4. Equivalent qualifications (eg. Functional Skills) may be considered

Non Tariffed Qualifications

Pass Access to HE Diploma in a relevant subject with a minimum 112 UCAS Tariff Points

International Baccalaureate points

26 IB Diploma Points

IELTS score required for international students

6.0. with no element below 5.5

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

Additional Requirements

 Personal statement should demonstrate a background and/or experience in and/or a commitment to the fashion industry.

A Foundation Course is also available UCAS Course Code N591

Your career prospects after the course

The fashion and textiles industries are fast-paced, continuously evolving and truly global.

There are opportunities worldwide for those with a degree in this exhilarating area.

Due to the practical application of the academic knowledge gained on our courses, we find that our graduates are highly employable.

The optional placement year available on some of our courses allows you to gain great experience to kick start your career.

Employment opportunities exist in a wide variety of sectors in the industry from independent design houses to high street chains.

Previous graduates have gone on to a wide range of careers with companies such as River Island, Next, Dolce & Gabbana, Top Shop, Abercrombie and Fitch, Reebok, ASOS and many more companies in the UK and abroad.


In 2014, over 94% of our graduates went directly into work or further study within 6 months of graduation

DHLE survey 2014, for all respondents available for employment or further study and whose destinations are known

How do I apply for this course?

Applications through UCAS

Remember to use the correct institution code for Manchester Metropolitan University on your application: our institution code is M40

Unistats Information

Find out more about Unistats and the Key Information Set.

Find out more about Unistats and the Key Information Set.

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.

Undergraduate Study