BSc Fashion Buying and Merchandising / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Fashion Product Development

Course unit fact file
Unit code MATS22031
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 5
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Department of Materials
Available as a free choice unit? No


This unit introduces students to the concept of product development management in the fashion apparel sector.


This unit aims to:

  • Develop an understanding of the product development process with a particular focus on range planning and trend analysis. 
  • Draw links between textile technology and the finished garment.
  • Demonstrate the links between marketing and product development.



Learning outcomes

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

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

Teaching and learning methods

This unit will make use of a variety of learning and teaching processes including: lectures, discussions, group activities and independent study. Blackboard will be used to present lecture notes, guided reading, articles and other information. Blackboard may also be utilised for assessment.



Knowledge and understanding

1A, Interpret the relevant product development theory relating to apparel

1B, Demonstrate the links between marketing and the product development process

1C, Develop process awareness of the stages involved in product development for the fashion industry ensuring accuracy in decision making within the process

1D, Have an appreciation of various product development methods using trends and market analysis tools

Contributing to developing the in programme specification learning outcomes and to assessment of:

  • An understanding of product requirement, innovation, enterprise and cost issues in relation to the production and usage of textile materials, with particular reference to sustainability, globalisation, and business ethics within a changing environment;


Intellectual skills

2A, Apply knowledge of product development to carry out a practical product development project

2B, Analyse trends using knowledge of trend development and prediction methodologies

2C, Draw on knowledge from marketing units to link features of product development with the marketing concept

2D, Synthesise methods of market research to inform fashion brands strategic product decisions

Contributing to developing the in programme specification learning outcomes and to assessment of

Problem-solving and decision making abilities using appropriate quantitative and qualitative skills including  identifying, formulating and solving business and technical problems associated, in particular, with the fashion and textile industries;

An ability to exercise original thinking and the ability to create, evaluate and assess a range of options together with the capacity to apply ideas and knowledge to a range of situations pertaining to materials and their applications; 

Articulate and synthesise their 1  -  Knowledge and understanding, attributes and skills in effective ways in the contexts of creative practice, employment, further study, research and self-fulfilment;

Practical skills

3A, Articulate and synthesise market and trend data through planning, conducting and evaluating research

3B, Produce product development visualisation boards and information appropriate for the fashion industry

3C, Work independently to source information from a wide range of sources

Contributing to developing the in programme specification learning outcomes and to assessment of:

  • An ability to use practical design communication methods effectively in a fashion and textile context; (BC1, BC2, DC1, DC5)
  • An ability to plan, implement and interpret the results of research studies;
  • An ability to use competently a range of general IT applications, together with specialised textiles, CAD and fashion software, and analysis software for business;

An ability to identify and employ appropriate sources of information


Transferable skills and personal qualities

4A, Communicate key concepts visually and in a written format and organise material effectively

4B, Contributing to developing the in programme specification learning outcomes and to assessment of:

4C, An ability to communicate effectively in writing and orally, including making presentations using graphics; (MD1)

4D, Critical awareness - the ability to: analyse information and experiences, formulate independent judgements, and articulate reasoned arguments through reflection, review and evaluation; formulate reasoned responses to the critical judgements of others; identify personal strengths and needs;

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written assignment (inc essay) 100%

Feedback methods

Feedback provided written and verbal 

Recommended reading

Main Sources:


  • The fashion industry : strategies and product development : Compiled by: Rachel Studd and Rachel Parker-Strak (2019) Pearson
  • Boardman, R., Parker-Strak, R., Henninger, C.E. (2020). Fashion Buying and Merchandising: The Fashion Buyer in a Digital Society, Routledge:
  • Brannon, E., (2000) ‘Fashion Forecasting’, Fairchild Publications,Inc.
  • Keiser,S, J &Garner, M, B (2008) ‘Beyond Design. The Synergy of Apparel Product Design’. 2nd ed., Fairchild
  • Jackson, T. & Shaw, D. (2009), ‘Mastering Fashion Marketing’, Palgrave Macmillan
  • Jackson, T & Shaw, D (2001) ‘Mastering Fashion Buying and Merchandising Management’: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Schneider, R. (2013) ‘Adobe for fashion: illustrator cs6’, the ultimate guide to drawing flats New York Cookie Graphics LLC
  • McKelvey, K. & Munslow, J. (2008) ‘Fashion forecasting’ Wiley-Blackwell
  • WGSN -
  • Edited –
  • Fashion Snoops  - via UoM library

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Practical classes & workshops 22
Independent study hours
Independent study 178

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Rachel Parker-Strak Unit coordinator

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