BSc Fashion Buying and Merchandising / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Fashion Business in the Digital Age

Course unit fact file
Unit code MATS34511
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 6
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Available as a free choice unit? No


ICT (Information and Communications Technology) has revolutionised the way we conduct business; from simple electronic calendars that automatically remind us of daily tasks and appointments, to virtually-integrated supply chains that coordinate on a global.


This unit aims to:

  • Develop a greater awareness of current real-world problems in the industry
  • Promote an in-depth understanding of effective management of digital technologies in contemporary business and their role in creating products and services of value, particularly in fashion and related industries
  • Provide an opportunity to explore and interrelate a range of strategic, tactical, and operational issues associated digital technologies and eBusiness in a contemporary setting, including inter alia innovative applications in service and product design, business process management, consumer relationship management, mass customisation, virtual organisation, and the extended enterprise
  • Develop an appreciation of the strategic impact of digital technologies and how effective management can secure competitive advantage.
  • Develop a professional portfolio demonstrating the ability to respond to an industry related project
  • Develop confidence by communicating using a range of digital processes, to a range of stakeholders in a professional and productive manner.


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

Lectures will be used to introduce and examine concepts, principles and techniques. Seminars/workshops will provide the opportunity for students to become fluent in the concepts and principles developed in lectures; and to develop competence in the application of these to a broad range of examples and case studies. A number of these sessions will be student-led with students reporting back, individually and in groups, on case studies and other exercises.


All sessions are supplemented with directed reading and formative “homework” assignments intended to promote “ownership” of the concepts introduced.


For the in-course assessment, each student will select a business or production process from the world of fashion business and evaluate the potential use of digital technologies to improve that process. The choice of process will be facilitated by unit tutors and guidance given on the scope of material to be covered.. Formative feedback will be given on early drafts.


General assistance throughout the module includes:

  • The provision of reading lists for each topic covered, with suggestions for further reading: where possible copies or links will be available on the Blackboard site for the unit.
  • An opportunity for you to speak briefly to unit tutors during and at the close of taught sessions (lectures and seminars).
  • Formative assessments throughout the unit to help students gauge their progress and to check their understanding.


All sessions are intended to be interactive and you are encouraged to engage with the learning process throughout.

The unit is supported throughout by the Blackboard learning environment which will include formative assessment tasks.



Knowledge and understanding

·         Formulate the principal steps of design or redesign of information-based business systems to meet a range of organisational needs

·         Critically review a range of contemporary applications of eBusiness in fashion, textiles and related industries, confidently identifying the philosophies and drivers motivating their use

·         Outline the strategic importance of effective management of eBusiness and its potential to secure competitive advantage

Contributing to developing programme learning outcomes and the assessment of:

·         Confidently distinguish the key elements of contemporary challenges and issues in fashion and textiles and use these systematically in strategic planning of operational responses.

·         Articulate the processes, procedures and practices of fashion retail, marketing, management and buying and merchandising strategies.

Evaluate the development, management and exploitation of IT systems within organisations, in particular those involved in financial planning and management. 

Intellectual skills

·         Appraise current and emerging practice(s) in the use of digital technologies and comment on strengths and weaknesses using balanced, logical and supported argument.

·         Confidently distinguish the key ingredients of complex problems; and use these to propose appropriate digital solutions to contemporary challenges in the fashion, textiles and related industries

·         Question orthodoxy using balanced, logical and supported argument

Contributing to developing programme learning outcome and the assessment of:

·         Identify and conceptualise appropriate theories, applying them to the fashion and textile industry.

Communicate mathematical and technological information with clarity, logic and accuracy

Practical skills

·         Confidently prescribe software applications for a range of tasks, e.g. data analysis, design communication, etc., within the context of fashion, textiles and related industries.

·         Act with increasing autonomy, with reduced need for supervision and direction, within defined guidelines.

Contributing to developing programme learning outcome and the assessment of:

·         Select, apply and evaluate appropriate numerical, statistical and physical testing methods for complex and open-ended tasks.

·         Select, evaluate and use relevant software applications, including spreadsheets, business applications, etc., for different tasks such as data analysis or design communication, within the context of Fashion and Textiles industry.

Identify and employ appropriate sources of information. 

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Engage effectively in academic discussion and present arguments in a professional manner

  • Communicate clearly, fluently and effectively in a range of styles appropriate to the context.

  • Contributing to developing assessment of the programme learning outcomes.

Assessment methods

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

Feedback methods

Written and verbal.


Recommended reading


  • Chaffey, D (2015). Digital Business and E-Commerce Management. Fifth Edition.  Harlow, Essex, UK: Financial Times/Prentice Hall.
  • Chaffey, D (2011). E-Business and E-Commerce Management. Fifth Edition.  Harlow, Essex, UK: Financial Times/Prentice Hall.
  • Checkland, P B and Holwell, S (1998) Information, Systems and Information Systems. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Chichester.
  • Curtis, G and Cobham, D (2008). Business Information Systems: Analysis, Design and Practice (5th Edition). Harlow, Essex, UK: Pearson Education/Prentice Hall.
  • Johnson, G, Scholes, K and Whittington, R (2008). Exploring Corporate Strategy (8th Edition). Harlow, Essex, UK: Prentice Hall/Pearson Education.
  • Laudon, KC and Traver, C Guercio (2018). E-Commerce. Business. Technology. Society.  Global Edition. Harlow, Essex, UK: Pearson.
  • Laudon, KC and Laudon, JP (2013). Management Information Systems. Global Edition. Harlow, Essex, UK: Pearson.
  • Laudon, K and Laudon, J (2012). Management Information Systems: Managing the Digital Firm (12th Edition). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education/Prentice Hall.
  • Vom Brocke, J, Seidel, S and Recker, J (Eds.) (2012). Green Business Process Management: Towards the Sustainable Enterprise. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.


  • Jones, A and Williams, L (2005). How ICT? Managing at the frontline. London: The Work Foundation
  • Open Mind/BBVA (2014). Reinventing the Company for the Digital Age. BBVA: Spain.  Not an academic text, but interesting read.


  • International Journal of Electronic Commerce
  • Journal of Interactive Marketing
  • Electronic Commerce Research and Applications
  • Internet Research
  • Computers in Industry (Elsevier)
  • European Journal of Information Systems (Palgrave McMillan)
  • Management Information Systems Quarterly (Association for Information Systems)


Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 35
Independent study hours
Independent study 165

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Delia Vazquez Unit coordinator

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