MA/MSc Fashion and Business

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This one-year programme is an industry-focused collaboration between Manchester Fashion Institute and the Business School at Manchester Metropolitan University.

The MA/MSc Fashion and Business course is aimed at fashion creatives who want to continue developing their creative practice whilst gaining a sound knowledge of business, students from a business background who wish to gain a professional understanding of the fashion industry and fashion marketing students who would like to explore creative areas of fashion practice underpinned by a knowledge of fashion business.

The course structure provides you with the opportunity to follow a personal route, which is tailored to your interests and career aspirations. All students completing the programme will exit with an MA or an MSc in Fashion and Business. The work that you generate throughout the course, presented through individual portfolios or bodies of work, will define your exit award.

The MA/MSc Fashion and Business is defined by product and commerce and all units have been selected to reflect the fashion industry from concept to consumer and beyond.

Features and Benefits

Career Prospects

Upon successful completion of this postgraduate degree, you will not only meet the immediate needs of a global industry, but you will also be equipped to lead the development of innovative new products and technological practice, to drive competitive advantage and to thrive in a climate of continuous change in the design, communication, and business areas.

The portfolio or body of work that you complete throughout this course maps onto your individual needs, dependent on your chosen career path. Therefore, whether it be industry employment, an entrepreneurial venture, social enterprise, freelance work or further postgraduate study that is your ambition, you will be well prepared to transition into employment. 

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Entry requirements

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

The course is academically rigorous and it will require you to embrace challenging, imaginative industry led briefs. Teaching and learning will be sustained by delivery within a studio culture, an interactive and dynamic environment that will support the collective development of ideas. The learning environment will also foster collaborative working, disciplined enquiry and independent critical thought.

Throughout the programme you will develop your skills in communication, teamwork and critical thinking further, helping to enhance your employability after graduation, whilst student led briefs and independent learning will ensure that you grow as an autonomous, creative thinker with specialist expertise. 

The units taught on this course are divided equally between the fashion and business specialisms and all shared units can be co-taught drawing on specialist expertise from both faculties. This ensures that you are fully benefiting from the cross-collaboration between Manchester Fashion Institute and the Business School. 

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Fashion Practices

This unit will form an intensive introduction to the nature of the fashion industry from concept to consumer and beyond. It will develop your understanding of the generation of ideas, critical analysis, innovation, ethics and sustainability and problem solving in cultural and commercial contexts related to the fashion industry.

You will work in teams and individually, to challenge contemporary conventions of international fashion practices through creative or analytical responses. The unit will require you to employ creative approaches to the design and development of future business models, prototypes, services or concepts. 

Logistics and Supply Chain practices

This unit examines the core concepts of logistics and supply chain management from both a global and regional perspective, utilising real business examples, case studies and theory. You will focus on topics including, retail logistics, transport modalities and operations, inventory management, sustainable supply chain management and more. 

Marketing in Practice

The Marketing in Practice unit introduces the tools and techniques associated with the business discipline of marketing. You will cover the recognised principles, models and concepts of marketing, and will examine these within a variety of practical organisational contexts such as service sectors, charities and not-for-profits. You will identify the role of marketing in the wider business and international environment, and analyse the role and influence of marketing in the development of a competitive business strategy.  

International Business and Emerging Markets

This unit will focus on economic and socio-political development, the current business environment and conducting business in selected emerging markets. You will look at some theoretical aspects of growth and development in order to address how markets emerge. You will also consider the development and business environment of selected markets including East Asia, China, India, Latin America and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). For each country and region there will be a considering of the opportunities and challenges of doing business in each market and there will be some assessment of what policy changes might be pursued to further the business environment and economic development. 

Fashion Realisation

This outward facing unit will enable you to engage with business, industry or academic partners directly, in order to work collaboratively to deepen your understanding of product realisation and its real-world complexity. This unit will extend and apply the skills and understanding that you acquired in the Fashion Practices unit, through engagement with collaborative partners and external organisations. You will have the opportunity to work on live projects as part of a team or as an individual, this will refine your specialists knowledge of professional fashion practice or business, and help to define your position as a future leader or innovator. 

International Brand Strategy

The International Brand Strategy unit will develop your understanding of the role of brands within modern day society, also you will learn how brands are developed and managed within an international context. You will examine brands in various contexts including goods industries, services, not-for-profit organisations and emergent brands from developing countries. 

Major Project: Perform

For the Major Project unit, you will choose between either the Perform or Dissertation options.

This unit will allow you to devise, negotiate, plan and disseminate a substantial piece of research, and to develop outcomes in relation to innovative business or design concepts.

You will research and develop an original idea and transform this philosophy into a viable design proposition. You will coordinate 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 your knowledge of contemporary culture, research into relevant consumer behaviours, and relevant social/ethical implications.

The final project could be Fashion Artefacts or Products, Practice-based research, Industry based research, Technological Innovations, Business plans or strategies, Marketing or Promotion Strategies, Monograph, Exhibition or Event or Digital Media.

You will also have the opportunity to engage in a short internship as part of this unit. This will be negotiated and depend upon their individual outputs for the masters project.

Major Project: Dissertation

For the Major Project unit, you will choose between either the Perform or Dissertation options.

This unit will allow you to devise, negotiate, plan and disseminate a substantial piece of research, and to develop outcomes in relation to innovative business or design concepts.

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

For your dissertation, you will undertake a substantial piece of original research (between 15,000-17,000 words). You will be required to identify the macro and micro organisational context for your dissertation and the objectives of your research (this should be in light of a client’s briefing if applicable). You will review and analyse the relevant literature in your chosen area of interest and construct a framework to underpin your research. You will also apply an appropriate methodology for collecting and analysing primary data with due regard to ethical considerations, and critically discuss the methodology use for secondary data where applicable. This data should be interpreted and presented clearly, integrating data from different source where applicable. You will then appraise the implications of your research outcomes, looking at the wider impact, in response to strategic issues. 

Likely Optional Units

The Political Economy of International Business

This unit explores, in depth, the corporate political activities and the associated non-market strategies of multinational enterprises (MNEs), which are becoming increasingly important in international business. In this unit you will examine how and why MNEs interact with governments, non-governmental organisations and international institutions on a range of contemporary issues including climate change, tax havens and international development. You will also be required to analyse what implications these interactions have for the global economy and society. 

Fashion Communication

In the Fashion Communication unit, you will challenge contemporary conventions of communication and promotion practices, through creative or analytical responses. You will conduct original, contextual research from a variety of different sources and develop a self-directed body of portfolio work. 

Fashion Product Development

In this unit, you will research and develop an original idea and transform this into a viable professional output, within a realistic industry context. It will bring together visual, theoretical, technological, commercial and philosophical concepts, whilst being underpinned with the advanced technical skills that you will have learnt throughout the course. The body of work you produce in this unit will be informed by knowledge of contemporary culture, research into relevant issues within the global fashion industry, as well as relevant social and ethical implications. 

Strategy for Digital

This unit will develop your understanding of how digital and social media communications can be integrated into an organisational communication strategy. You will review emerging techniques and assess their impact within digital strategy. 

Internship Project

In the Internship Project unit, you will be provided with the support to develop the necessary skills to successfully source and obtain an internship. The taught sessions will provide you with guidance and direction to support needed to acquire an appropriate internship, which may pre-defined, drawing on course related content or defined by the need of the business. 

Supply Chain Operations Management

In this unit, you will examine the dynamics of supply chains at a detailed and analytical level. You will develop your understanding in areas such as manufacturing systems, material flow, process layout and analysis, inventory, replenishment systems, lean thinking and sustainable operations. 

Critical Perspectives of Ethics and Sustainability

For this unit, you will work as part of a group on a case study company of your choosing, writing a report on how to implement/improve on an issue of corporate social responsibility within the company. This will develop your ability to think critically, conduct research, draw appropriate conclusions and make recommendations in real-world situations. 

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 masters qualification typically comprises of 180 credits, a PGDip 120 credits, a PGCert 60 credits and an MFA 300 credits. 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:


Additional information about this course

You will be required to participate in a summer task prior to starting the course. This will take the form of a preparatory project, which is linked to one of your first term units. This task will be supported by online resources made available by the University. 

Placement options

Short-term Industry Internships

The Fashion and Business course has an emphasis on professional skills development with embedded curriculum links to employability skills developed as part of the learning, teaching and assessment process. In both the Perform and Internship Project units there will be the opportunity to undertake a short internship in industry, and you will be given the support and guidance needed to successfully source and acquire a suitable internship.

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.

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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

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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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.

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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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