MSc International Fashion Retailing

Year of entry: 2023

Course unit details:
Contemporary Issues in Fashion and Textiles

Course unit fact file
Unit code MATS61452
Credit rating 20
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Department of Materials
Available as a free choice unit? No


This unit explores issues in the contemporary international fashion environment from a strategic perspective and to analyse the factors influencing the nature and development of the textile and apparel industry with consideration of the implications for organisational performance.


This unit provides an introduction to relevant issues that influence the contemporary international fashion environment and evaluates the antecedents and effects on the performance of fashion companies and associated organisations throughout the supply chain. It focuses on the role of innovation as a response to shifts in industry practice, to address contemporary issues such as such as sustainability, material production and digital technologies. 

More specifically, this unit aims to:

1.            Provide a critical appreciation of the role of textile production to the success of fashion apparel organisations

2.            Examine contemporary issues in in the fashion and apparel industry

3.            Examine the role of innovation on current and future practice within the global textile and fashion industry.

Brief Syllabus:

•             Fundamentals of fabric production (knitting and weaving), dyeing, printing and finishing.

•             Innovations in fabric production (knitting and weaving), dyeing, printing and finishing.

•             Contemporary issues in the textile and apparel industry

Overall, the unit will build students’ skills and understanding of fibres, textile production and supply chain management in order to meet the challenges and opportunities of a global market environment.

Learning outcomes

A greater depth of the learning outcomes will be covered in the following sections:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Intellectual skills
  • Practical skills
  • Transferable skills and personal qualities

Teaching and learning methods

This unit makes use of a variety of learning and teaching processes including: lectures, problem-based learning, practical sessions; case studies, and discussions. Blackboard will be used to present lecture notes and supporting materials for the unit. The lectures with develop the theoretical subject knowledge, whilst the case studies and discussions will evaluate the importance and application of techniques, with practical sessions visualising these findings. Blackboard will also be utilised for assessment using Turnitin.

Knowledge and understanding

  • Evaluate in-depth and advanced resources pertaining to the theoretical and practical understanding of their subject, discipline, or profession in an international context
  • Demonstrate professional and academic responsibility, integrity and ethical considerations in an international context

Intellectual skills

  • Demonstrate high level cognitive skills of critical thinking, analysis and synthesis

Practical skills

  • Find, evaluate, synthesise and use information from a variety of sources
  • Express complex ideas and argument coherently in appropriate formats

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Demonstrate global citizenship
  • Implement independent learning strategies to support continued professional development as a self-directed learner

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written assignment (inc essay) 100%

Feedback methods

Written and verbal.

Recommended reading

  • Baugh, G. (2018). The fashion designer's textile directory. Barrons Educational Series, Incorporated.
  • Sinclair, R.  (2014).  Textiles and Fashion: materials, design and technology.  Woodhead Publishing Ltd, UK.
  • Steed, J.  Basics Textile Design 01: Sourcing Ideas: Researching Colour, Surface, Structure, Texture and Pattern.  AVA Publishing. 
  • Taylor, M. A. (2007) Technology of Textile Properties, Forbes Publications UK.
  • Udale, J. (2014). Textiles and Fashion: Exploring printed textiles, knitwear, embroidery, menswear and womenswear. Bloomsbury Publishing.
  • Weetman, C. (2020). A circular economy handbook for business and supply chains: Repair, remake, redesign, rethink. Kogan Page Publishers.

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Joanne Conlon Unit coordinator

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