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BSc Fashion Buying and Merchandising / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course description

Fashion buying requires a strong commercial and analytical foundation. The course is designed to provide students with an 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 the course offers students a unique understanding as to the technical performance and construction of the garments.

This course focusses on the role of the fashion buyer, as well as the numerical and data analysis skills which are essential to fashion buying. Fashion buyers have to work well in a multifunctional team, such as liaising with marketers and merchandisers to understand consumer demand in order to facilitate the flow of stock in the most profitable way, and so the course emphasises collaboration within business. The changing nature of the supply chain, including fast fashion and seasonal buying strategies, is also explored on this course.

Special features

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Where ideas come to life

In our new Home of Engineering and Materials , we're ripping up the rule book to offer a truly innovative teaching and learning experience. You'll have access to world-leading sustainable research facilities and some of the most unique, industry-leading equipment and instrumentation in the sector to meet today's requirements and those of the future. 

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. Find out more about the Study Abroad Programme

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 Buying MATS11301 20 Mandatory
Fashion Marketing MATS11402 20 Mandatory
Fashion Function and Aesthetics MATS11502 20 Mandatory
Garment Technology MATS11602 20 Mandatory
Management and the Apparel Pipeline MATS11701 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
Sustainable Sourcing and 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 MATS34571 40 Mandatory
Business Ethics Sustainability & CSR MATS34502 20 Optional
Fashion Business in the Digital Age MATS34511 20 Optional
Business Project MATS34542 40 Optional
Fashion Project MATS34552 40 Optional
Technology Project MATS34802 40 Optional
Leadership in Action Online Unit UCIL20030 20 Optional

Scholarships and bursaries

The University of Manchester is committed to attracting and supporting the very best students. We have a focus on nurturing talent and ability and we want to make sure that you have the opportunity to study here, regardless of your financial circumstances.

For information about scholarships and bursaries please visit our undergraduate student finance pages and our the Department funding pages.

Facilities

The Department of Materials is home to an extensive array of unique facilities and equipment, across both materials science and engineering, and fashion business and technology.

Our new Home of Engineering and Materials opened in 2022 and is a place like no other. This is where engineers, material scientists and fashion students collaborate, innovate and make their mark on the world. Unleash your potential in our creative, academic playground that signals the evolution of a proud history of innovation spanning almost 200 years.

In this very special place, we're ripping up the rule book, offering you a truly innovative teaching and learning experience. As well as our creative classrooms, you'll also have access to world-leading sustainable research facilities in our new buildings.

Our variety of spaces allows for greater collaboration for all our students, and it is the place to connect and tackle real-life challenges together. So, a chemical engineer could be sat alongside a materials scientist working on clean water, or bump into a fashion student developing their own sustainable brand, or an aerospace engineer sending a rocket into space. It is a place like no other for interactions and one of the biggest communities of engineers and materials scientists in any University in the world.

Dive into a world of possibilities, whether you are interested in aerospace, robotics, or sustainable fashion, there's a home for you here. Explore Our Home for Engineering and Material Science .

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

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

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