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BA (Hons) Fashion Buying and Merchandising

Southwark Campus

Mode: Full-time

Overview

This course aims to prepare the students for a successful career within Buying and Merchandising. This innovative course has been designed by leading experts to establish a foothold into this global industry.

This course will give you an extensive overview of fashion buying, product development, sustainability, innovation and finance, as well as a thorough understanding of how a fashion business operates.

In this digital world you will establish key business skills which will enable you to become an entrepreneur and gain highly sought after entrepreneurial skills. You will also be involved in live briefs which will enable you to work directly on real business issues.

You will have the opportunity to study aboard for one semester. We have close relationships with universities in Australia, Canada, New York and Copenhagen with fantastic courses in fashion, sustainability, marketing and product development.

Additionally, you will benefit from world learning experiences within the UK and internationally. This includes industry head offices, trade shows and galleries.

Why study Fashion at LSBU?

Our multi-million pound Elephant Studios, with facilities including edit suites for visual effects, Mac lab, film studios and sound studios.
Inspiring location: a short walk to the Southbank Centre, National Theatre, BFI IMAX, Tate Modern, Royal Festival Hall, The Old Vic Theatre, and The Young Vic.
Work experience: through internships, a placement, a sandwich year in industry, or an industry mentor, you’ll create valuable professional networks.
Ranked 1st in London for graduate prospects in Art and Design (Sunday Times League Table 2020).
Key course information - ordered by mode
Mode Duration Start date Location
Mode
Full-time
Duration
3 years
Start Date
September
Location
Southwark Campus
Mode
Full-time (with sandwich year)
Duration
4 years
Start Date
September
Location
Southwark Campus

Modules

Year 1

  • Introduction to buying and merchandising 
    This module will explore the principles of fashion buying and fashion merchandising. You will discover the structure of fashion buying. You will explore several practical skills such as an introduction to textiles, critical path planning, presentation skills, trading environments, forecasting, buying from concept to consumer and brand buying. This module will also introduce you to merchandising and core principles of numeracy and Microsoft Excel. The opportunity to develop your creative skills through several workshops lead by professional practitioners will be explored. You will also be taught a variety of skills to help you navigate the expansive fashion industry, including digital presentation skills through InDesign. As a student on the course you will explore how to create professional documents relevant to your outcome.
  • Fashion marketing and management
    This module will introduce you to the core principles of fashion marketing and management. The marketing element of this module will explore the principles of brand growth and promotion using fashion case studies.  You will examine several fashion brands including e-commence, lifestyle and luxury brands. Using investigative skills, you will determine gaps within the market which could be explored. You will begin to understand the theoretical aspects of the fashion business, including ethical factors, micro and macro-economic concepts and range of diagnostic techniques for substantiated final outcomes and professional presentations/debates within class. You will deliver a final creative and visual theoretical outcome, underpinned with the knowledge gained from this module.
  • Fashion supply chain and sustainability
    This module will introduce the you to the fundamental elements of sustainability, from your product idea and plans, through to the manufacturing process and commercial product. Working as a small group, you will establish key roles and tackle both sustainable and manufacturing issues through your live brief. You will learn both practical and theoretical skills to enable you to strategically plan how to successfully manufacture through a sustainable and ethically supply chain. This module will take you through key parts such as supply chain management, work with industry and begin to understand the construction of a garment. Throughout your time on this module you will utilise your enterprise skills to address innovation and manufacturing globally, and develop your skills in professional pitching and presentation
  • Global fashion brands platforms
    As a future buyer or merchandiser, you will be tasked with understanding how to successfully range plan for an established fashion brand with ready-made product. The process of selective buying will be explored. You will understand what key demographics need and want and distinguish global brand platforms, pricing architecture, the branding buying cycles and fashion brand DNA. You will understand the key differences of selective buying with brands and product development. Both theory /practical skills will be utilised within this module, such as workshops and debates and range planning using textiles, mood boards and relevant imagery. Your final outcomes through a professional and creative presented report, magazine or Zine and several presentations throughout the module. This module will introduce you to several case studies to demonstrate an understanding of key business branding acumen.
  • Fashion promotion in context
    The global fashion industry is a vibrant, dynamic and ever-changing marketplace and this module seeks to situate the roles of the fashion promoter within a broader industry context. Key areas of Fashion Promotion are introduced alongside the new technologies, events and activities that have shaped them. Through a series of lectures and seminars, you will be encouraged to explore and critically evaluate core areas of contemporary practice; from fashion retailing, visual merchandising, advertising, public relations, celebrity endorsements, fashion shows and events to the production of fashion films and animations, strategic brand collaborations, editorial and fashion publications.
  • Brands, branding and social media
    This module adopts an applied approach to brands, branding and brand communication. Through engagement with key theoretical perspectives on the role of brands in consumers’ lives, with specific emphasis on the sociological and psychological, students will then proceed to identify a gap in the market to launch their own brand through social media, evidenced through an industry pitch.

Year 2

  • Fashion product 
    This module will introduce the you to the final elements of developing your product. You will explore core key skills in product development, combined with enterprise skills to establish a commercial and profitable final collection. Throughout this module you will understand the essentials of range building , experiment with the fabric, textiles and study the inner makings of a garment construction. Key elements such as range planning, future trend forecasting and planning will build on your fundamental skills from year 1 of your course. In this module both practical and theoretical skills that enable you to strategically plan how to design, cost and sell your product will be developed, and his module will enable you to understand how to build a commercial collection. During your time on this module, your presentation skills to pitch will be strengthened. Additionally, you will examine the financial elements of planning and trading your collection as a successful merchandiser.
  • International retail communications
    This module will introduce the you to the fundamental elements of international communication. You will explore a series of key elements to successfully connect brands to consumers. You will learn new skills underpinned with technology and innovation to help examine areas such as advertising, technology, digital communication (social media, Apps etc) and visual merchandising using VR and AR. You will look at the changing landscape of the technology used within stores. This module will investigate the changing retail industry, consumption habits and economy. During your time on this module, you will study several industry case studies exemplifying the changing landscape of retail communications, from PR and advertising to social media and VR. This theoretical module comprises of many layers which open the retail environment to understand the commercial, cultural, technological and anthropocentric factors. This module will focus on a theoretical outcome, which draw upon key elements from Year 1.
  • Fashion events and promotion
    Meticulously planned fashion events are firmly locked into the promotional mix to support designers and brands to provide healthy returns on their investments. This module investigates the planning, management and promotional activities associated with fashion events such as fashion shows, fashion weeks, press days, trade shows, “pop up” shops, photo-calls, launches, exhibitions and virtual events, directed at both industry professionals and the public. You will explore the use of spectacle and multi-sensory environments to communicate messages in ways that can affect the audience on emotional, psychological and physical levels, together with the vast array of social media, PR and promotional strategies used to attract and support them. You will be encouraged to promote your work and the work of your peers through planning and managing your own fashion event at the culmination of the module.
  • Fashion, retail and consumer trends
    This module explores insights into what consumers value now and what they will value next, in the context of fashion and retail. The importance of trend forecasting is introduced, and students will learn the role of this specialist sector in predicting consumer behaviour and attitudes, influencing the collections of fashion designers, identifying predictive shopping behaviours and shaping the customers retail experience. Topics will encourage students to critically evaluate the changing ethical and moral standards within established and emerging fashion markets.
  • Creative industries
    This module conceptualises the notion of creativity, unpicking what constitutes ‘the creative industries’. Taking a critical look at contemporary tactics and strategies that define cultural production, the module introduces aspects such as organisational behaviours, policy frameworks, cultural and civic contexts, and issues around value and monetisation of creativity. Furthermore, the module supports students to develop a creative project around their own creative interests and expertise, through questioning for themselves what it means to be creative, reflecting on how their creative practice sits within an industry context and how it is valued. Students apply the theoretical and critical frameworks presented onto a creative project developed through work experience or mentorship.
  • International live brief
    This course offers students the opportunity to learn design thinking principles and apply those in order to solve real world problems. Students work in interdisciplinary and international teams, collaborating across programs at LSBU, and with interdisciplinary teams of their peers at Ryerson University, Canada. Their aim is to build prototypes that can address real-world problems and challenges raised by clients based both in London and Toronto. Supercourse teams work closely with supervisors to learn new skills in digital creativity, collaborative practice, documentation and presentation skills.

    Year 3

    • Optional placement year
      This course also offers an optional 3rd year sandwich option that provides the opportunity to spend your third year on an industry placement to enhance your employability. Students can choose to take a year out between Levels 5 and 6 in order to gain industry experience by working for one year in an organisation or company of their choice. This allows students to apply the knowledge and skills learned at Levels 4 and 5 to a practical industry context. The Course Director will help students who opt to take a sandwich year identity and approach an appropriate placement context. The students also benefit from a second semester of work placement for a minimum of 10 weeks.

    Year 4

    • Creative research project
      The Creative Research Project (CRP) provides a platform for you to demonstrate your ability to work independently to produce a critical piece of work responding to research in the form of a dissertation, practice-based dissertation or detailed marketing report.Each format is encouraged and supported and a suitable research question, arising out of agreed individual interests and will be negotiated with CRP supervisors. Through group and individual tutorials, students will determine the nature, form, breadth and depth of the research project to produce a substantial body of work.
    • Enterprising futures
      This module focuses on enterprise and employability, encouraging you to find your strengths, recognise your potential and maximise your opportunities for connecting with industry professionals. You will be supported in a process of critical self-reflection from which you will develop a personal and professional strategy around a series of aims and objectives. Maximising work placements, industry mentorships and professional networking opportunities are encouraged and you will demonstrate a strategic, resourceful and professional approach to advancing your skills and building valuable industry links.
    • Fashion retail
      This module will fuse together ‘Enterprising Futures’ and ‘Creative research Project’. Using the knowledge and strategic planning you will establish a connection within fashion retail. You will discover a wider sense of the creative and fashion industry, from beauty, art and textiles to music and media. You will explore your own destination. You will discover how to develop a USP for a profitable project or service by working directly with a live brief. This module will enable you to experiment fundamental ideas which will be linked to your final Major Project and ‘Fashion Future’ project. This will help push forward your employment opportunities.
    • Future fashion
      This module will encourage students to develop their group work and work across fashion courses, and to understand how fashion interacts with the world in different industries. You will explore fashion with science, fashion with nature, fashion with engineering, fashion with architecture, amongst others. You will be encouraged to innovate and develop your ideas into a reality and produce a final innovative outcome ready to present to industry. You will produce a tangible product. In this final project, students will be encouraged to show experimentation across several different skills sets: Product development, technology, innovation, media and marketing, which will all be explored and developed.
    • Major project portfolio
      Using current market research, sector knowledge and insights developed from the Creative Research Project, students will negotiate and develop a Major Project Portfolio. The module is the culmination of students’ creative visual practice and will form the basis of future professional practice and postgraduate study. Lectures and tutorials encourage students to be entrepreneurial and strategic in developing project proposals that are relevant to personal career ambitions in fashion promotion and that seek to remain at the forefront of creative innovation. Students are encouraged to revise and refresh self-promotional materials that are relevant to their specialist areas of practice and devise a collaborative strategy with their peers to launch themselves and their work to appropriate industry audiences. This might take the form of a collaborative exhibition, pitching for business start-up/incubator funding, or a multitude of entrepreneurial and enterprising activities that support a successful and purposeful transition into industry.

      Employability

      Entrepreneurship is something we value greatly. Together with experiential learning and live briefs, this course will equip you with the skills you need for a successful career in a dynamic industry.

      This course is special because you can identify your subject interests, focus on them and strategically plan their pathways into industry.

      By the time you graduate you’ll already have a professional network in place and will have had some work experience, through internships, a placement, a sandwich year in industry or an industry mentor.

      Graduates from this course go on to work as fashion promoters, fashion marketing managers, digital marketing managers, brand managers, creative directors, retail marketing managers and merchandise managers.

      There are still many more related career paths you could take:

      • Brand management
      • Buying
      • Fashion Merchandising
      • Brand development
      • Product Development
      • Event Management
      • Sustainability manager
      • Manufacturing manager
      • Textile Buyer
      • Creative Director
      • Fashion journalism
      • Fashion marketing
      • Public relations
      • Trend forecasting

      Employability Service

      We are University of the Year for Graduate Employment for the second year in a row - The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018, 2019.

      At LSBU, we want to set you up for a successful career. During your studies – and for two years after you graduate – you’ll have access to our Employability Service, which includes:

      • An online board where you can see a wide range of placements: part-time, full-time or voluntary. You can also drop in to see our Job Shop advisers, who are always available to help you take the next step in your search.
      • Our Careers Gym offering group workshops on CVs, interview techniques and finding work experience, as well as regular presentations from employers across a range of sectors.

      Our Student Enterprise team can also help you start your own business and develop valuable entrepreneurial skills.

      Professional links

      Opportunities to work within industry during your study are what this course is all about. You’ll have the chance to undertake industry internships or placements, and to have an industry mentor. You can also take a sandwich year working in the industry.

      You can expect to meet members of our large and enthusiastic network of fashion industry contacts, both during your studies and through frequent networking events. Students can expect to meet managers from: Arcadia, Hugo Boss, Lipsy, COS, H&M, Adidas, Burberry, Net-a-Porter, ASOS, Purple PR, London Fashion Week and much more.

      Placements

      This course also offers an optional 3rd year sandwich option that provides the opportunity to spend your third year on an industry placement to enhance your employability. Students can choose to take a year out between Levels 5 and 6 in order to gain industry experience by working for one year in an organisation or company of their choice. This allows students to apply the knowledge and skills learned at Levels 4 and 5 to a practical industry context. The Course Director will help students who opt to take a sandwich year identity and approach an appropriate placement context. The students also benefit from a second semester of work placement for a minimum of 10 weeks.

      Teaching and learning

      Our teaching and learning strategy seeks to reflect and apply the educational philosophy of the institution and the rationale, aims and learning outcomes of the course. The acquisition of knowledge and understanding will be delivered through a variety of strategies:

      Lectures

      These allow key topics to be introduced and investigated across each academic level. Guest speakers from business and academia will bring specialist knowledge into the classroom.

      Seminars and workshops

      These will support the lectures with a strong focus on small group activities to encourage the active participation of students, develop peer learning and promote the sharing of knowledge and support amongst our diverse student body. These sessions promote dialogue and debate and offer a platform for the exploration of theory and practice.

      Group work and in-class presentations

      To promote inclusivity, active participation and effective communication skills, students will work together to share knowledge and develop an understanding of co-operative practice and teamwork. The successful use of verbal and non-verbal presentation styles are key skills taught in relation to pitching to clients / planning high-impact presentations.

      Group tutorials ‘Learning Teams’

      Both tutor and student led to encourage appropriate and effective communication styles in a professional context. Group tutorials allow the sharing of ideas amongst peers and the evaluation of opinions within a diverse student body. This enables students to develop and evaluate logical arguments and encourages students to be accepting and open minded to new ideas and divergent ways of thinking.

      Individual tutorials

      Supporting students on a one-to-one level is useful in the evaluating progress. As students move through the course there is a shift towards more self-directed study and individual tutorials support the practical application of skills in more specialist and professional contexts.

      Practice-based workshops

      Providing opportunities to learn and develop practical skills through technical instruction, focusing on the safe and effective use of equipment and the professional techniques employed in fashion industry. This may take place in a lecture theatre, seminar room, studio, computer lab or ‘on-location’.

      Self-managed learning

      Students are expected to undertake self-directed study for each module of the course. A 20 credit module will involve 200 hours of study and a 40 credit module will involve 400 hours of study overall. This study time is broken down into classroom-based ‘contact hours’ and ‘student managed learning hours’ (a breakdown of these hours are included within each module descriptor for the course). Self-managed learning activities should supplement and consolidate classroom based activity and include: researching and developing practical outcomes for project based work, reading recommended texts and relevant journal articles, application of knowledge to additional problem based exercises, engaging in coursework, group discussion and review of key topics. Many of these activities are supported in the virtual learning environment (VLE).

      Resources to support studies

      The course content draws on the opportunities offered by our brand new, advanced production facilities located in at LSBU. Students have access to equipment and studio spaces, such as the Photography and individual Fashion Learning Space, LSBU’s Print Lab and Mac Labs ensure students are able to produce professional quality outcomes and collaborate with a highly creative community of undergraduate and postgraduate practitioners.

      Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)

      To support the exchange of information between staff, students and student collaborators. This virtual environment also provides access to the most up-to-date information at a modular and course level, acting as a central hub whereby students can find links to important information about staff and course resources i.e. libraries, computer labs, studios and equipment stores (including opening hours). Further information about additional services that LSBU provides around student support can be found on the university website.

      Staff

      Entry requirements

      • Interview and/or creative portfolio. Your portfolio may demonstrate any of the following; photography, creative business plans, styling, writing and designing
      • A Level BCC; 104 UCAS points
      • BTEC Extended Diploma MMM;  96 UCAS point
      • Access to HE qualifications with 9 Distinctions 36 Merits; 96 UCAS points
      • Equivalent level 3 qualifications worth 106 UCAS points
      • Applicants must hold 5 GCSEs A-C including Maths and English or equivalent (reformed GCSEs grade 4 or above).
      • We welcome qualifications from around the world. English language qualifications for international students: IELTS score of 6.0 or Cambridge Proficiency or Advanced Grade C.

      How to apply

      Instructions for Home/EU applicants
      Mode Duration Start date Application code Application method
      Mode
      Full-time
      Duration
      3 years
      Start date
      September
      Application code
      TBC
      Application method
      Mode
      Full-time (with sandwich year)
      Duration
      4 years
      Start date
      September
      Application code
      TBC
      Application method

      Accommodation

      Once we have made you an offer, you can apply for accommodation. You can rent from LSBU and you’ll deal directly with the university, not third party providers. That means we can guarantee you options to suit all budgets, with clear tenancy agreements and all-inclusive rents that include insurance for your personal belongings, internet access in each bedroom and on-site laundry facilities.

      Or, if you’d rather rent privately, we can give you a list of landlords – just ask our Accommodation Service.

      Read more about applying for accommodation at LSBU.

      Finance

      You don't need to wait for a confirmed place on a course to start applying for student finance. Read how to pay your fees as an undergraduate student.

      Prepare to start

      Applicant events

      After you’ve received your offer we’ll send you emails about events we run to help you prepare for your course.

      Enrolment

      Before you start your course we’ll send you information on what you’ll need to do before you arrive and during your first few days on campus. You can read about the process on our Enrolment pages.

      Fees and funding

      For more information, including how and when to pay, see our fees and funding section for undergraduate students.

      Please check your fee status and whether you are considered a Home, EU or International student for fee-paying purposes and for our regulatory returns, by reading the UKCISA regulations.

      See our Tuition Fees Regulations (PDF File 143 KB) and Refund Policy (PDF File 102 KB).

      Possible fee changes

      The University reserves the right to increase its fees in line with changes to legislation, regulation and any government guidance or decisions.

      The fees for international students are reviewed annually and the University reserves the right to increase the tuition fees in line with the RPIX measure of inflation up to 4 per cent.

      Scholarships

      We offer several types of fee reduction through our scholarships and bursaries. Find the full list and other useful information on our scholarships page.