MA Fashion Retail Management

A fashion retail course aimed at students who wish to pursue a management, or creative, career in omnichannel fashion retailing, to shape current and future international fashion retailing strategy and operations.

Please note, the previously advertised flexible mode of study for this course is no longer available.

Graduating students from across the Fashion Business School took part in FBS Summit 16, a showcase of student work that included talks, film and products.

Students talk about their time studying MA Fashion Retail Management.

Film featuring MA Fashion Retail Management Alumni Course Leader Bethan Alexander and alumni.

MA Fashion Retail Management students give an in-depth view into the course 

Model in blanket, taken in black and white

Styling by MA Fashion Retail Management student Stefanie Dorfer - view Showtime profile.

Hear from students of the MA Fashion Retail (now MA Fashion Retail Management)

MA Fashion Retail students visit Bottega Veneta on a study trip to Italy

Students from this fashion retail course, visit Bottega Veneta in Italy.

MA Fashion Retail students visit Bottega Veneta on a study trip to Italy

Justin Cooke, CEO of innovate7 (previously Chief Marketing Officer at Topshop and Vice President of PR at Burberry) speaks to LCF students on this fashion buying course.

Read more on LCF News

Justin Cooke, CEO of innovate7 (previously CMO at Topshop and VP of PR at Burberry) speaks to LCF students.

Funding opportunities

Use UAL's fees and funding calculator to estimate how much your studies may cost you in your first year, and what funding may be available to you.

Use UAL’s scholarships search to find out what you might be eligible for.

Postgraduate loans of up to £10,000 are now available for eligible UK and EU students. A full list of eligibility criteria and information on applying can be found on the postgraduate loans webpage.


Course Leader

Bethan Alexander

Course Location

High Holborn

Study LevelPostgraduate
Study ModeFull time
Course Length12 months
Home/EU Fee


UAL Home/EU alumni receive a £1,000 discount

Course fees may be paid in instalments

International Fee


UAL International alumni receive a £1,000 discount
Course fees may be paid in instalments 

Autumn Term Dates11 Sep – 1 Dec 2017
Spring Term Dates8 Jan - 16 Mar 2018
Summer Term Dates16 Apr – 21 Sep 2018
Application Route

Direct to College

Application DeadlineApplications are accepted, and offers made, throughout the year. Early application is advised.

Content and structure

MA Fashion Retail Management is a dynamic and academically rigorous course. It is designed to equip students with essential retail management knowledge, international retailing expertise, brand development and creative direction skills demanded by fashion retailers operating in an increasingly competitive and global environment. The course encourages curiosity, critical thinking and cultivates an ability to deal with a range of contemporary issues in fashion retailing. It embraces leaders from industry, who share their insights on what is happening in fashion retail today, partners with industry on live projects and undertakes industry visits both locally and internationally; this integration ensures the course is highly relevant. The course has a growing reputation for recruiting high calibre international and home/EU students who go on to develop successful middle management fashion retailing careers globally.

Course Structure

Term One

Fashion Retail Management (20 credits)
Fashion Branding (20 credits)
Research Methods (20 credits)

Term Two

International Retailing Strategies (20 credits)
Creative Retail Spaces (20 credits)
Collaborative Unit (20 credits) - find out more

Term Three

Masters Project (60 credits)

Optional local and international study tours are offered to students throughout the year which incur an additional cost (E.g. travel and accommodation). Costs are circulated to students in advance for students to choose whether to attend or not. 

Travelling across London

The renowned London College of Fashion library is at our John Prince’s Street site, and you will need to travel to this site, and possibly others, during your course to use the library, which is open seven days a week in term time, and for tuition and special events.

Additional costs

In addition to tuition fees you are very likely to incur additional costs such as travel expenses and the cost of materials. We strongly suggest you read the information on our Additional Costs page.

Course structure

The information outlined is an indicative structure of the course. Whilst we will aim to deliver the course as described on this page, there may be situations where it is desirable or necessary for the University to make changes in course provision, for example because of regulatory requirements or operational efficiencies, before or after enrolment. If this occurs, we will communicate all major changes to all applicants and students who have either applied or enrolled on the course.

Please note that due to staff research agreements or availability, not all of the optional modules listed may be available every year.

In addition, the provision of course options which depend upon the availability of specialist teaching, or on a placement at another institution, cannot be guaranteed. Please check this element of the course with the course team before making a decision to apply.

Webpage updates

We will update this webpage from time to time with new information as it becomes available. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact a member of the course team.


Johnny Martin FCA is Entrepreneur in Residence at London College of Fashion. He is professionally, The Numbers Coach – an experienced director who now passionately explains business numbers and jargon to help young businesses find their business model. He is a British Library Business & IP Centre partner and runs regular workshops, as well as being a mentor for the Royal College of Art Innovation Unit.


On successful completion of the MA Fashion Retail Management, graduates actively contribute to the development of retail management, whether that be in international development, brand management, buying and merchandising, store operations, research or creative direction. They will be equipped with the critical, professional and creative skills required to flourish in a range of different sectors within the retail industry from start-up businesses to multinational fashion retailers and luxury brands.

The MA also provides an excellent preparation for higher level research degrees (MPhil or PhD) in fashion related subjects, in theory or practice.

Graduate destinations include Net A Porter, Stylus, ASOS, Burberry, Ralph Lauren, Tom Ford, Debenhams, Marks & Spencer, Harrods, Monsoon, TM Lewin, H&M, Fendi, Coach, Louis Vuitton, Mood Media, L’Oreal, Kering Group, Christian Dior, Fenwick, Michael Kors, Zara plus setting up own retail businesses.

LCF Careers

LCF Careers provides a comprehensive career management service supporting our students to become informed and self-reliant individuals able to plan and manage their own careers.

Entry requirements

Course entry requirements

Entry to this course is highly competitive: applicants are expected to achieve, or already have, the course entry requirements detailed below.

  • An Honours degree at 2.1 or above in a related discipline. Applicants with a degree in another subject may be considered, depending on the strength of the application.


  • Equivalent qualifications


  • Relevant and quantitative industrial experience for a minimum of three years.

Selection for interview will be made on the basis of your application, including the personal statement, written essay and outline Masters project proposal.

Student selection criteria

The course seeks to recruit students from diverse socio-economic and cultural backgrounds, and welcomes applications from mature students.

What we look for

The course seeks to recruit students who can demonstrate:

  • A strong commitment and motivation towards a career in an aspect of fashion retail.
  • Awareness and relevant experience of fashion
  • Appropriate knowledge and skills commensurate with planned entry into the course.

English language requirements

All classes are conducted in English. The level required by the University for this course is IELTS 7.0 with a minimum of 6.0 in any one skill.

For more information, read the University's English Language requirements page.               

International Applicants

The International Recruitment Office at the London College of Fashion will help to guide you through the application process and answer any specific questions that you may have regarding our courses. This may include portfolio advice, the application process and fee advice. We offer a ‘drop-in’ facility for applicants who may be in London and wish to obtain further course and admissions information. Please contact us for further information on this facility. We can also arrange a tour of our facilities if we are given prior notice.

International applicants should contact the Admission Office by emailing about portfolio requirements (if applicable), interview times and dates.

How to apply

You can apply for this course using our online application form – the link to this is below. Before you apply, we recommend you take some time to read the following details about the application process, including guidance on the extra information we will ask you to provide.

Required information for all postgraduate course applications

You will need to enter the following information in the online application form:

  • Personal details (including full name; date of birth; nationality; permanent address and English language level)
  • Current and/or previous education and qualification details
  • Employment history

Before you can submit the form, you’ll also need to agree to the terms and conditions for how we process your data – these are explained in the form.

Please note, if you’re an international applicant we will need to contact you separately to ask for copies of certain documents (for example, English language qualification/certificate and copies of any previous UK study visas).

Extra information required for applications to this course

Once you have submitted the form, you will receive a confirmation email that includes links to where you should submit the extra information we require for the selection process:

Curriculum Vitae

You will be required to submit a Curriculum Vitae (C.V.) in support of your application. This should include your full education and employment history.

Personal statement

The personal statement is your opportunity to tell us about yourself and your suitability for the course that you intend to study.

Some key points to consider:

  • Make sure that personal statement is your own work and is about you
  • Why you want to study the course you are applying to
  • Try to link your skills and experience required to the course
  • Demonstrate your interest and enthusiasm for the course and link these with your personality
  • Make sure it is organised and literate (grammar, spelling, punctuation check).


Write a 500 word essay (excluding references/bibliography) on the following topic:

'The impact of omnichannel fashion retailing'

Masters project proposal

The Masters project proposal is an outline of a potential research project you intend to do for your final Masters project. At Masters level you must demonstrate a systematic understanding of knowledge and originality in its application. The Master's project is a chance to do this, applying what you have learnt to a focused research project.

The proposal should contain the following sections:

  • Title
  • Context – a brief outline of the topic using some relevant sources to support your suppositions
  • Rationale – justification for the project.
  • Aim (1)
  • Objectives (4-5)
  • Methodology outline – how you will realise your project
  • Reference list (the sources used in the context).
  • Note: this should be different to the essay on ‘The Impact of Omnichannel Fashion Retailing’.


Course units

Fashion Retail Management

This unit provides an introduction to the multidisciplinary field of fashion retail management. Taking an international perspective, it examines the retail environment, including an overview of fashion consumers and consumption trends. It surveys retail evolution within the context of omnichannel retailing, providing a thorough understanding of the cross channel strategies adopted by fashion retailers to gain competitive advantage. It includes exploration of business strategy concepts and an understanding of the main challenges fashion retailers face as they seek to navigate complex environments. It investigates the core operational elements of fashion retail business including financial aspects such as operational costs and efficiency approaches and how key performance indicators are set and used, the effective and efficient use of human resources to support the retail operation, the need to understand the fashion supply chain network, corporate social responsibility strategies, the opportunities for channel alignment within buying & merchandising practices, and an evaluation of retail places and spaces, location strategy and operational management.

Fashion Branding

The international fashion consumer increasingly seeks the tangible and intangible benefits of a wide variety of local and international fashion brands. Fashion brands and their associated marketing communications have now reached revered status throughout the global economy. The design, development, marketing and retailing (DDMR) of fashion brands have now become an increasingly important and integrated part of many fashion businesses. You will investigate and examine all aspects of international fashion brand marketing and look at its significant modern growth from both a European and global perspective. This will enable you to acquire a sound theoretical and practical understanding of strategic fashion brand development and management.

Research Methods

The purpose of this unit is to introduce you to the range of research methods, approaches and tools that are available to you in order to conduct your post graduate project. The unit will cover philosophy and ethics in research, primary and secondary research methods, including quantitative, qualitative and visual research methods, and how to analyse, evaluate and disseminate research findings. The unit will consider research in a range of contexts relevant to the cultural and creative industries and enable you to understand the relationship between theory and practice.

International Retailing Strategies

With the increasing globalisation of fashion retailers, a knowledge and understanding of international retail structures and systems are essential requirements for those wanting to pursue a management career in the fashion industry. This unit will enhance your analytical and planning abilities in developing appropriate strategies for international market entry and expansion. The unit will equip you to analyse relevant theories and models and apply them to real fashion retailer situations. The internationalisation of retailer strategies through physical and virtual stores will be explored to guide new omnichannel and digital routes to market.

Creative Retail Spaces

This unit provides a blend of theoretical and practice-based knowledge and skills, and examines a variety of visual strategies that can be applied to the retail environment. It considers the use of 2D (including online and virtual environments) and 3D design to present and communicate fashion. This will enable you to explore and develop the concept of customer experience with experiential and sensory design in a multi-channel environment, designing and implementing creative technologies to fit with the retail brand and exploration of the convergence of the physical and virtual store. As well as practice-based learning underpinned with theoretical knowledge, the process and leadership of the management of retail projects in independents, high street and luxury markets will be addressed through the established discipline of project management.

Collaborative Unit

This unit is designed to enable you to innovate, engage in developmental processes and participate in collaborative working practices. You will be encouraged to develop the professional negotiating and networking skills that you will need in order to be successful in the cultural and creative industries.
The nature of this collaboration may be within your own course, with students on other courses or with industry. The project that you undertake will depend upon your discipline and the specific requirements of your course. Further details will be available in your unit handbook.

Masters Project

The Masters Project is an important piece of work central to achieving the course aims, which will provide an opportunity for you to demonstrate your knowledge and skills in relation to the course learning outcomes. Throughout the Masters Project, you are guided and supported by tutorials and peer and staff evaluation at interim stages. You will be allocated a supervisor for your project and will complete a learning contract outlining how you intend to develop and deliver your project. The Masters Project may take a variety of forms by negotiation and is assessed by presentation in an agreed format.

Enquire about this course

If you haven’t found the information you’re looking for or want to ask us a question about this course, please fill out our enquiry form.

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