MA Fashion Buying and Merchandising Management

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This is a one-year, industry-led programme, which gives you the opportunity to develop specialist knowledge of contemporary fashion buying and merchandising from a managerial perspective. Developed in conjunction with industry specialists to inform innovative projects and maintain contemporary content and foster innovative projects.

Throughout your Masters you will develop professional, managerial and personal abilities, including commercial awareness, negotiating and relationship management skills, alongside developing your visual skills in a business context to enable you to operate successfully within the global industry.

You will also gain an in-depth knowledge of finance, industry developments, profit margins, pricing, sales strategies and turnover and how to confidently convey your ideas through successful communication and contemporary presentation.

Features and Benefits

Career Prospects

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.

Learn more about graduate careers

Entry requirements

This course is suitable for students with a variety of academic and professional backgrounds and will normally admit students with a good UK honours degree or international equivalent in any subject.  It is designed to allow students with a keen interest in fashion to acquire a postgraduate qualification in a specific fashion business area.

Overseas applicants will require IELTS with an overall score of 6.5 with no less than 5.5 in any category, or an equivalent accepted English qualification. Accepted English qualifications can be viewed here.

Course details

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.

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

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

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.


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.


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.


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. 


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 application of sales on merchandising analytics, Ethical processes, systems and CSR policy.

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. 

Manchester Fashion Institute

Manchester Fashion Institute is a multi-disciplinary partnership that brings together fashion expertise and talent from across the University, Manchester and the world.

An international hub that connects education, research and enterprise to inspire the next generation of industry leaders, the institute empowers students to create opportunities for academic and professional development by taking advantage of our cutting-edge resources and unrivalled connections.

More about the department

Taught by experts

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.

Meet our expert staff


UK and EU students

UK and EU students: Full-time fee: £8,500 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Non-EU and Channel Island students

Non-EU international and Channel Island students: Full-time fee: £16,000 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional Information

A Masters qualification typically comprises 180 credits, a PGDip 120 credits, a PGCert 60 credits, and an MFA 300 credits. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of study provided the course is completed in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional costs

Specialist Costs


Specialist paper for presentation or printing/photo print. Samples of clothing, accessories or trims and materials. Students stationary, organisational tools, folders. Recommended books that form core reading as specified on the units may be purchased but are available through library services. Students often choose to buy a laptop however all required IT and software are available on campus and students can borrow campus laptops.

Placement Costs


Optional study tour and factor visits, related travel expenses such as food and drink, tickets or use of public transport. Students sometimes gain placements during the final project and this can mean national/ international travel and short-term accommodation.

Professional Costs


Other Costs

Depending on live projects and other optional briefs and competitions, there may be some small spend of travel or associated costs. This is often supported by the department and reasonable costs reimbursed.

Postgraduate Loan Scheme

Loans of up to £10,906 for many Postgraduate Courses

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Alumni Loyalty Discount

Rewarding our graduates

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Want to know more?

How to apply

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 postgraduate 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.

You can review our current Terms and Conditions before you make your application. If you are successful with your application, we will send you up to date information alongside your offer letter.


Programme Review
Our programmes undergo an annual review and major review (normally at 6 year intervals) to ensure an up-to-date curriculum supported by the latest online learning technology. For further information on when we may make changes to our programmes, please see the changes section of our Terms and Conditions.

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. Please check back to the online prospectus before making an application to us to access the most up to date information for your chosen course of study.

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