BSc Fashion Buying and Merchandising / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Fashion Buying & Merchandising

Course unit fact file
Unit code MATS20422
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 5
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Department of Materials
Available as a free choice unit? No


Welcome to Fashion Buying and Merchandising. This handbook aims to provide you with the information about the unit, including aims, indicative content, proposed delivery, how to contact until staff and the assessment details.


This unit aims to identify the characteristics of the fashion buyer and merchandiser within the retail environment. It will develop an understanding of the day to day activities within the roles of buying and merchandising, whilst demonstrating knowledge of the process of buying and merchandising from concept to consumer. 

The unit counts for 20 credits and comprises of a series of lectures, seminars, supplemented through private study and guided reading.



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 provides a critical understanding of both fashion buying and fashion merchandising. The unit content will provide the students with a strong knowledge base of important industry standards involved in the key areas such as product development, costings, allocation, distribution and financial analysis of product ranges, thus allowing the students to develop key commercial skills for utilisation in industry.

Topics will be introduced in lectures; directed reading and personal research will be encouraged to provide depth of understanding.  Some lecture sessions will involve the use of worked practical exercises. Visiting lecturers and industry visits will be used, where practical, to support the unit.



Knowledge and understanding

Students will be able to identify and compare the role of a buyer and a merchandiser in the creation of a product range, from concept to carrier bag.

  1. Recognise the importance of the role of the consumer, the wider market, historical sales and the brand identity in fashion buying and merchandising.
  2. Analyse the importance of lead times and the use of the critical path in the product development process and supplier management.
  3. Analyse the importance of monitoring retail sales and the tools/calculations used to do this.

4.        Analyse the importance of technology and sustainability in the evolution of fashion buying &            merchandising.


Intellectual skills

  1. Identify and analyse key fashion buying and merchandising literature.
  2. Analysis of emerging and established buying and merchandising technologies used to create mass production of ranges.
  3. Identify and apply the use of calculations in buying and merchandising

Practical skills

  1. Locate and relate key industry reports and data relating to the fashion market
  2. Select and analyse big data platforms such as and see how it informs the creation of a product range and the monitoring of sales

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  1. Arrange material and data from a variety of sources to a professional standard
  2. Demonstrate analytical skills and the ability to justify your decisions.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 30%
Written assignment (inc essay) 70%

Feedback methods

Written and verbal



Recommended reading

Main Sources:

  • Clark, J., (2015). Fashion Merchandising, Palgrave, London
  • Diamond, J., Pintel, G., (2014). Retail Buying, Pearson Education Ltd
  • Grove, V., (2012). Concept to Customer, Ava Publishing
  • Hebrero, M., (2015). Fashion Buying and Merchandising, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Jackson, T., Shaw, D., (2001) Mastering Fashion Buying and Merchandising Management, Macmillan Master Series
  • Shaw, D., Koumbis, D., (2014). Fashion Buying, Fairchild New York.

Recommended Sources:

  • Clodfelter, R., (2012). Retail Buying: From Basics To Fashion, Fairchild Books
  • Diamond, E, (2006). Fashion Retailing, A Multi Channel Approach, Pearson/Prentice Hall, NJ
  • Elliott,F. & Rider, J., (2007). Retail Buying Techniques, Management Books Ltd
  • Gorgen Wolfe, M G, (1998). The World of Fashion Merchandising, Goodheart-Willcox
  • Goworek, H (2007). Fashion Buying 2nd ed., Blackwell Science, London
  • Jones, R. M., (2006). The Apparel Industry 2nd edition : Blackwell Science, London
  • Goworek, H, McGoldrick, P., (2015). Retail Marketing Management,
  • Varley, R (2001), Retail Product Management: buying and merchandising, Routledge.
  • Varley, R., Roncha, A., Radclyffe-Thomas, N., Gee, L., (2019). Fashion Management: A Strategic Approach, Red Globe Press

Websites to Look for Academic Journal Articles:

  • Emerald insight (access via library – databases)
  • Sciencedirect (access via library – databases)
  • Proquest (access via library – databases A-Z)
  • Google Scholar

Relevant Journals to Consult using E-journals via John Rylands Library Website

  • Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management
  • Journal of Global Fashion Marketing
  • Fashion Theory
  • European Journal of Marketing
  • International Journal of Retail and Distribution Management
  • Journal of Marketing
  • Journal of Retailing
  • Apparel International
  • International Journal of Clothing Science and Technology

Industry References:

  • WGSN
  • Drapers (access via the library website)
  • Edited  (access via library website)
  • Mintel  (access via library website)
  • Key Note (access via the library website)
  • Business of Fashion
  • Key note (access via library website)
  • Euromonitor
  • Bain
  • The economist
  • Newspapers/news sites such as BBC, The Telegraph, The Guardian, BBC, Wall Street Journal
  • Brand Channel ( 
  • Mckinsey ( - consultants
  • Accenture ( - consultants


Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 24
Independent study hours
Independent study 176

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Rosy Boardman Unit coordinator

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