BSc Fashion Buying and Merchandising / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Sustainable Sourcing and Distribution

Course unit fact file
Unit code MATS22702
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 5
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? No


The unit provides an understanding of the decision-making process required to ensure product expectations are met in a timely manner, balancing the desire for increased profitability along with the ethical and environmental factors which relate to global sourcing and distribtion practices.


This unit aims to:

  • Promote an in-depth understanding of sourcing and distribution theories and processes in the context of the buying and merchandising cycle. 
  • Provide an opportunity to explore the importance of supplier selection, trading relationships and ethical sourcing considerations that need to be made for fabrics and garments to get quality products into store or online at the right time and place.
  • Develop an understanding and critical appreciation of different configurations of inbound and outbound business systems in a global context.



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 will make use of a variety of learning and teaching processes including: lectures, discussions, group activities and independent study. The lectures will introduce topics and develop the theoretical subject knowledge, with directed reading and personal research encouraged to provide depth of understanding. Some lecture sessions will involve the use of worked practical exercises. The seminar exercises and group work will develop the skills and evaluate the importance and application of techniques. Blackboard will be used to present lecture notes, guided reading, articles and other supporting material. A factory visit will be included, where practical, to support the unit.

Sourcing and Distribution will be examined within the context of Buying and Merchandising and how this informs the decision-making process for business and industry. Crucially, we will examine what, where and when?

  • What garments are we sourcing?
  • Where are we sourcing from?
  • When and where do we deliver?

We will explore the relationship between where we source garments and how these choices affect retailers in terms of import buying, brand buying, and wholesale buying, expanding understanding of how we distribute and allocate garments throughout the business using corporate policy  and management strategies. 

The unit counts for 10 credits and comprises 12 lectures and 6 seminars, supplemented through private study and guided reading.



Knowledge and understanding

Understand relevant sourcing, supply and distribution theory relating to range and product planning for buying

Demonstrate knowledge required for fabric and garment sourcing

Intellectual skills

Appraise current and emerging practice in sourcing and distribution

Synthesise numerical data and information relating to sourcing and distribution planning 

Practical skills

Apply sourcing and distribution theory to case study examples

Evaluate information relating to the fashion, textiles and retail industry and use this to make informed judgements about sourcing and distribution challenges


Transferable skills and personal qualities

Synthesise and organise written material and numerical data from a variety of sources

Communicate key concepts orally and in a written format

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 100%

Feedback methods

Written and verbal - Following the June Exam Board

Recommended reading

Students are not required to purchase any textbooks for this module. The following are recommended reading and are available in the library:

Connell, D. (2010) A Buyer’s Life: A Concise Guide to Retail Planning & Forecasting, Fairchild, New York.

Davis Burns, L., Mullet, K.K. & Bryant, N.O. (2011) The Business of Fashion: Designing, Manufacturing, and Marketing, 4th Edition, Fairchild, USA.

Diamond, E. (2006) Fashion Retailing, A Multi Channel Approach, Pearson/Prentice Hall, USA.

Elliott, F. & Rider, J. (2007) Retail Buying Techniques, Mercury Business Books.

Wolfe, M.G. (2002) The World of Fashion Merchandising, Goodheart-Wilcox.

Goworek, H. (2009) Fashion Buying 2nd Edition, Blackwell Science, London.

Grove, V. (2011) Basics Fashion Management: Concept to Customer, Ava Publishing.

Jackson, T. & Shaw, D. (2001) Mastering Fashion Buying and  Merchandising Management  Macmillan Master Series.

Jones, R.M. (2006) The Apparel Industry 2nd Edition: Blackwell Science, London.

Keiser, S.J. & Garner, M.B. (2008) Beyond Design: The Synergy of Apparel Product Design. 2nd Edition, Fairchild, New York.

Marshall, L. & Rowland, F. (2013) A Guide to Learning Independently.  5th Edition, Open University Press, Buckingham.

Saunders, M. (1997) Strategic Purchasing And Supply Chain Management, 2nd Edition, Financial Times Press.

Scheduled activity hours Lectures 12

Independent study hours
Independent study 88

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Janine Dixon Unit coordinator

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