BSc Fashion Buying and Merchandising / Course details

Year of entry: 2020

Course description

Fashion buying requires a strong commercial and analytical foundation. The course is designed to provide students with and appreciation of the creative fashion drivers needed to be a successful fashion buyer, such as the ability to pick out and identify trends, as well as a solid understanding of the business acumen required for the products they buy to be a commercial success. The strong textile science underpinning of the programme will offer students a unique understanding as to the technical performance and construction of the garments. The programme also provides an emphasis on the numerical and data analysis, skills and knowledge essential to fashion buying. The role of the fashion buyer in a multi-functional team within the business is also emphasised, for example the way in which the buyer interacts with marketers to understand consumer demand, as well as merchandisers to facilitate the flow of stock in the most profitable way. The changing nature of the supply chain, in terms of the speed to market and continual buying cycles is introduced, including fast fashion and seasonal buying strategies. Students who graduate from this programme would be ideally equipped with the knowledge and skills needed for a fashion buying or mechanising role.   

Read our Fashion Business brochure.

Special features

Students may apply to extend this degree to four years, and spend their third year either on industrial experience or studying abroad. 

For study abroad, exchange partners are offered through the Erasmus Exchange scheme in Europe and the Worldwide Exchange scheme. For more information about the Study Abroad Programme please consult the following: http://www.manchester.ac.uk/undergraduate/courses/studyabroad/

Students wanting to take the Industrial placement pathway are responsible for finding their own placement. They will work closely with the careers office and both the placement tutor and administrator to find a suitable placement.  They also have access to former placement providers who often take students each year.

Teaching and learning

If you choose to study textiles at Manchester you will enjoy great facilities. Our laboratories include textile chemistry, materials testing, manufacturing technology, information technology and computer aided design. We also have dedicated creative design studios and state-of-the-art multimedia learning packages.

Coursework and assessment

Assessment is normally by a mixture of traditional written examination and course work which includes laboratory reports and practical projects. You have the chance to simulate real-life experiences and your final year project gives you an opportunity to do genuine and original scientific research leading to a written dissertation.

If you choose to take the four-year pathway with industrial experience, your year in industry is assessed through a written report, appraisal by the host organisation and an oral presentation contributing 20% towards your final mark.

Course content for year 1

The first year establishes the fundamentals in fashion business, textile science and technology through the core units of Introduction to Fashion, Introduction to Management, Introduction to Marketing and Retail and Design Management and the core textile science units where students are introduced to fibres, materials, fabrics and textile production processes.

Course units for year 1

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Raw Materials for Fashion MATS11201 20 Mandatory
Fashion MATS11301 20 Mandatory
Fashion Marketing & Retail MATS11401 20 Mandatory
Fashion Function and Aesthetics MATS11502 20 Mandatory
Garment Technology MATS11602 20 Mandatory
Management and the Apparel Pipeline MATS11702 20 Mandatory

Course content for year 2

The second year builds on the principles introduced in the first year by exploring specific aspects of management and marketing in depth with subjects such as product development, branding and textile technology. The specialist focus of the programme in the second year considers buying and merchandising roles within fashion retailers with a particular emphasis on understanding the technical nature of the fashion products. There are some practical textile subjects focusing on clothing technology and a significant characteristic is a group project which integrates textile product design, manufacture and marketing skills.

Course units for year 2

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Fashion Buying & Merchandising MATS20422 20 Mandatory
Garment Production Technology MATS21201 20 Mandatory
Fashion Business & Analysis MATS22002 20 Mandatory
Fashion Product Development MATS22031 20 Mandatory
Operations Management MATS22601 20 Mandatory
Buying Communication MATS21502 10 Optional
Digital Branding MATS21702 10 Optional
Fashion Brand Promotion MATS21902 10 Optional
The In-Store Environment MATS22202 10 Optional
Commercial Design & Make MATS22232 10 Optional
International Business MATS22302 10 Optional
Sourcing & Distribution MATS22702 10 Optional
Fabric Structures & Colouration MATS22802 10 Optional
Displaying 10 of 13 course units for year 2

Course content for year 3

The final year provides an opportunity to consolidate and extend specialist knowledge in areas of buying and merchandising studied in previous years. You may choose from a range of fashion business option which compliment the buying and merchandising role such as marketing or a module with and international dimension. A final year project allows you to specialise in an area of your choice, for example focusing on developing a broader corporate strategy for a fashion business. Alternatively students could opt to take the Business Project which allows you to start up a company for the year.

Students may apply to extend this degree to four years, and spend their third year either on industrial experience or studying abroad. 

Course units for year 3

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Buying Strategy MATS34570 40 Mandatory
Business Ethics Sustainability & CSR MATS34502 20 Optional
Fashion Business in the Digital Age MATS34511 20 Optional
Business Project MATS34540 40 Optional
Fashion Project MATS34550 40 Optional
Sensors and Smart Textiles MATS34702 20 Optional
Technology Project MATS34800 40 Optional
Leadership in Action 20 Credit Unit UCIL20020 20 Optional

Scholarships and bursaries

Entrance Awards are available for students who have 6 Grade A's at GCSE and achieve A Level grades A*A*A - A*A*A* (or equivalent)

Facilities

We have a new dedicated CAD suite, fashion retail studio, access to textile and clothing process laboratories which include knitting and weaving facilities, multi-media and digital printing centre.

We are unique amongst UK Universities in that we have world class facilities for manufacturing textiles, including Jacquard weaving, computerised flat-bed knitting, digital printing and nano-fibre manufacturing. 

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: dass@manchester.ac.uk