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Start date
September 2019
Course length
12 months / 45 academic weeks

Course summary

Applications open

Applications to this course are now open, please see 'How to Apply' tab for more details.

This full-time 45 (academic) week MBA at LCF provides candidates with applied and experiential learning, problem solving, and industry engagement.


The MBA course curriculum has been informed by industry engagement, cutting edge research and market intelligence. Candidates should typically have at least three years early experience in the industry, which may include work experience or own business, to apply. Individual professional development and building applied skills and knowledge are all key focuses on this course.

Chartered Management Institute
LCF MBA is accredited by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI). Graduating students may receive a CMI Level 7 Diploma in Strategic Management and Leadership in addition to their degree.

Great reasons to apply

  • Possible career pathways in buying and merchandising, retail headquarter functions or digital marketing management and international sourcing and distribution.
  • Benefit from LCF's unrivalled working relationships with leading organisations within the fashion industry.
  • Course units supported by LCF's expert innovation and research Hubs and Centres.


This course is taught at High Holborn and John Princes Street.

Course Leader for LCF MBA, Julie O’Sullivan

Latest news from this course


Library, John Princes Street

LCF archives and library

Take a tour of LCF's world renowned fashion library, ideal for research and study.

Business facilities at JPS and High Holborn

Business facilities at JPS and High Holborn

Take a tour of the lecture theatres and tutor rooms.

Mare Street Canteen

LCF's social spaces

Explore our social spaces, for collaborative study and breaks, across our six sites in London.

Course details

The MBA is uniquely focused on the wider fashion sector, enabling participants to broaden their careers beyond their own specific experiences, developing a greater strategic approach, confidence and understanding that can equip them for more senior roles and greater responsibilities.

You will be taught by staff with significant fashion business experience and access to the fashion industry through consultancies and research. LCF maintains close relationships with industry leaders, which underpins the MBA’s curriculum, enabling participants to learn from industry case studies and from sector specialists. This engaging learning experience will provide you with the opportunity to acquire new knowledge and skills to succeed in a wide variety of fashion enterprises. During the course you will be able to enhance your evaluative, analytical and problem-solving skills by combining growing theoretical knowledge with applied fashion industry knowledge. The MBA also supports students in building important soft skills relevant to career development, including networking skills, communication skills and resilience.

Course units

  • Unit 1 – International Business Strategy, Management and Leadership (20 credits)
  • Unit 2 – Operations 1: Fashion Product Development and Global Sourcing (20 credits)
  • Unit 3 – Fashion Marketing and Consumer Insights (20 credits)
  • Unit 4 – Finance and Risk Management (20 credits)
  • Unit 5 – Operations 2: Servicing Fashion Markets (20 credits)
  • Unit 6 – Innovation & Retail Futures (20 credits)
  • Unit 7 – Project Management and Consultancy Project (60 credits)

Sept - Jan

International Business Strategy, Management and Leadership

20 Credits

Operations 1: Fashion Product Development and Global Sourcing

20 Credits

Fashion Marketing and Consumer Insights

20 Credits

Feb - June

Finance and Risk Management

20 Credits

Operations 2: Servicing Fashion Markets

20 Credits

Innovation and Retail Futures

20 Credits

June - Oct

Project Management and Consultancy Project

60 Credits

Course units

International Business Strategy, Management and Leadership unit will enable you to explore a range of strategic business models and conceptual frameworks in the context of the fashion business environment. You will identify and analyse the importance of strategic planning to the achievement of organisational goals.

The need to source and develop commercially viable products is core to fashion retailing. The Fashion Product Development and Global Sourcing unit will provide an opportunity for you to explore the operational issues relevant to developing, sourcing and manufacturing fashion product and develop an in depth knowledge and understanding of fashion product development and supply chain management.

The dynamic global fashion marketplace is extremely demanding with consumers increasingly more sceptical and informed. You will explore in the Fashion Marketing and Consumer Insights unit how individual factors, social dynamics and brand relationships influence perceptions, attitudes and behaviours of fashion consumers. This will enable you to assess how different marketing strategies and programmes support fashion organisations to achieve corporate, business and/or functional objectives.

The Finance and Risk Management unit provides you with a comprehensive knowledge of domestic and international financial operations, financial risk management, corporate finance as well as the practical skills in financial and analytical techniques and their use in fashion. Applying the main financial management tools of analysis such as valuation, financial statement analysis, capital budgeting, cost of capital, and capital structure, you will assess the various types of financing available to fashion businesses and gain knowledge of how risk dynamics affect how financial markets operate, and what implications they have on the fashion industry and brands.

Servicing the needs, wants and demands of fashion consumers requires agility in the operational structures that plan, distribute and sell fashion products in a range of fashion markets. As part of the Servicing Fashion Markets unit you will explore the theories, models, technologies and systems of procurement and trading to develop an understanding of the key performance indicators used in fashion operations management and build cross functional awareness relevant to outbound logistics.

As fashion retail is highly dynamic and innovative you will explore change management, market disruption and crisis management frameworks applied to the contemporary fashion retail ecosystem. You will examine tools for future proofing alongside emergent models of consumer behaviour and retail management thinking to develop a toolkit for sustainable Innovation & Retail Futures.

The course culminates in the Project Management and Consultancy Project unit. This is a significant piece of work that gives you the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills acquired over the course. Focusing on practical and academic issues and reflecting any of the subject areas covered over the course from a strategic management perspective you will seek out consultancy opportunities and apply the project to a specific organisation. Project management will underpin this unit and will develop leadership and problem solving techniques.

Showing your work

All students are advised to set up a profile on, UAL’s new portfolio platform, which can be done at any point during your time at LCF and will last for up to 12 months after graduation. This platform is often used to source student work for promotional use on the website, social media and for print and can be a great way of getting your work seen. You may also be asked to have a portfolio profile for the selection process when it comes to degree shows.

Learning and teaching methods

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Student-led seminars
  • Group tutorials
  • Individual tutorials
  • Technical workshops
  • Multi-media presentations
  • Academic databases / internet sources
  • Self-directed learning
  • Directed reading
  • Case studies
  • Guest speakers
  • Peer critique
  • Business games
  • Formative feedback
  • Professional development workshops

Assessments methods

  • Consultancy project (scoping and planning)
  • Consultancy project report
  • Group projects
  • Visual report (text supported with infographics)
  • Business reports
  • Case-studies and case study based timed essays
  • Critical essays
  • Portfolio based project
  • Live negotiations
  • Presentations through a range of media
  • Professional development digital portfolio


Julie O’Sullivan is Course Leader for LCF MBA and Post Graduate Certificate in Buying and Merchandising and has extensive cross-sector industry senior management experience, including the luxury sector as the Merchandise Manager for Gucci in the UK. She was a partner in an award winning commercial photography business. She has an MBA. Her career in Higher Education began as the Business Development Manager for the Creative Industries at Brighton University. She developed knowledge exchange opportunities with SME’s and business entrepreneurs across fashion, e-marketing, photography and digital television. She has over 14 years of Higher Education course leader and teaching experience, developing and delivering fashion business curriculum. She delivers across a number of courses in the Fashion Business School; including PG Cert Buying and Merchandising, MA Strategic Fashion Marketing, MA Fashion Retail Management, MSc Cosmetic Science and BA Buying and Merchandising. Specialisms include Buying and Merchandising, Sourcing and Supply Chain Management, Business Strategy and Strategic Market Development. Julie is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and was nominated in 2016 by students for a Teaching Award – Highly Recommended.

Liz Gee is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and as a Chartered Manager is a fellow of the CMI. Liz has fashion industry financial experience as Treasurer of Debenhams plc and as a Corporate Banker with Barclays plc. A Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Liz completed her MA in Academic Practice at UAL in 2014 with a thesis on the pedagogy of enterprise and employability and has received two UAL awards for Teaching Excellence. Liz’s subject related research interests lie in new funding paradigms for fashion businesses and she is currently writing several chapters of a textbook entitled Fashion Management: A Strategic Approach due for publication in early 2018.

Dr Ana Roncha is the Course Leader for MA Strategic Fashion Marketing. She lectures in the fields of Business Strategies, Strategic Branding, Marketing Communications and Marketing Management.  Ana holds a PhD in Design and Marketing Management for the Fashion Industry and previous degrees in Communication with a focus in Fashion. With over 14 years of experience creating high-impact strategic programs for international fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands, Ana has previously worked in house as a Brand and Communications Manager as well as on Branding and Communication Studios for brands such as Puma, L'Oreal, MoMa, Salsa Jeans, Storksak and Guy Laroche.

Bethan Alexander is the Course Leader for MA Fashion Retail Management. Bethan is a passionate spokesperson, consultant, senior lecturer and researcher with an expert lens on fashion business strategy, omnichannel retailing, retail futures and fashion brand management. Having spent 18 years working internationally in senior management roles with fashion brands including Converse, Elle, Kangol and establishing her own consultancy business, Brand Baker, Bethan brings the same verve to her academic role. Within Higher Education, Bethan has held senior lecturing positions at London College of Fashion, University of East London and has guest lectured at more than 15 global HE institutions. Bethan is a published author, international conference presenter and active researcher. Her research spans Multi-Sensory Fashion Retailing, Customer Brand Experiences Online and Offline and Innovative Retail Formats. Bethan holds a first-class Bachelor of Science degree in Consumer Product Management: Fashion, a Master of Science degree with distinction in Fashion Marketing & Distribution and a PG Certificate in Teaching & Learning for Higher Education. Bethan is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and was nominated in 2015 and 2016 by students for a Teaching Excellence Award – Winner and Highly Commended respectively.

Dr Cherie Chen is is the Subject Leader of Finance and Economics and has extensive experience teaching at postgraduate level. She had worked at multinational financial companies such as Standard Chartered Bank, Allianz Assets Management, Zurich Financial Group and Swiss Reinsurance within senior management. Her research area is behavioural finance.

Kirsty Nevett is Lecturer in Retail Management/Operations/Strategy. Kirsty has worked in the fashion industry for over ten years as buyer and then a business development and innovation expert working for Harrods, Lyle & Scott and Gloverall in Europe, the USA and the Far East. Kirsty has extensive experience in fashion retailing from store management and retail operations to buying, merchandising and new business innovations. She is a graduate of Glasgow Caledonian University with a BA in Business and an MSc in Fashion Marketing. Her research interests lie in the future of fashion, with particular interest in how new technologies in both retail and product are engaging, converting and retaining consumers.

How to apply

Opportunities for all

We are committed to making university education an achievable option for a wider range of people and to supporting all of our students in achieving their potential both during and after their courses.

We welcome applications from people with disabilities. If you have a disability (e.g. mobility difficulties, sensory impairments, medical or mental health conditions or Asperger’s syndrome) we strongly encourage you to contact us on or +44 (0)20 7514 6156 so that we can plan the right support for you. All enquiries are treated confidentially. To find out more, visit our Disability & Dyslexia webpages.

Entry requirements

Each candidate will be assessed on their own merit:

  • 2.1 degree at Undergraduate Level, or equivalent.
  • 3 years work experience, to include employment, self-employment, internships, work placements in fashion related sector
  • IELTS 7.0 with a minimum of 6.0 in any one skill to ensure language proficiency

English language requirements

All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language you will be asked to provide evidence of your English language ability when you enrol.

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

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is the world’s most popular English language proficiency test for higher education and it can be taken in more than over 140 countries.

For more details regarding English language requirements, please visit the UAL Language Requirements page. Please read the information carefully and look at the relevant documents.

Student selection criteria

(1) People who want to study for an MBA curriculum, with a specific focus on the fashion sector. This could include people who have been working in fashion or those who are particularly gravitating towards the fashion industry from different industries and want to take full advantage of a fashion context at MBA level;

(2) High achievers who have the potential to be future fashion industry leaders able to inspire, manage, direct and lead;

(3) Global citizens able to interact effectively within an international student cohort: the cohort will have a mix of International, European and Home students;

(4) Professional experience: Minimum 3 years work experience required in the wider fashion sector (to include relevant employment, self-employment, internships, work placements)

People with intermediate to senior managerial / consultancy experience who want to accelerate their career and undertake more senior roles within organisations operating in the fashion, lifestyle and related industries. This includes:

  • Self-funded candidates who invest in their personal and professional development;
  • Candidates sponsored by employers who have been identified for career progression as part of staff development initiatives;

Entrepreneurs who have created their own business and want to explore strategies and tools to manage this more effectively, expand it and grow it;

(5) Academic qualifications: students should possess an undergraduate qualification (Upper Second Class, First Class Degree or equivalent). Students with qualifications not specifically relevant to business and management but with significant work experience will also be considered given the generalist / career development nature of the course;

(6) English Language Requirements: evidence of language proficiency for those students for whom English is not a first language: the level required for this course will be IELTS 7.0 with a minimum of 6.0 in any one skill.  This is in line with other PG courses at LCF.

Extra information required for applications to this course

When you are submitting your application form, you will also need to provide the following pieces of documentation in support of your application:

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:

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 (include references/bibliography but these are outside of word count) on the following topic: 'See now, Buy now' a fundamental shift in fashion business models or a marketing tactic? Discuss.

Making your application

Home / EU and international applicants

This section includes information on how to apply, course entry requirements and selection criteria.

We aim to recruit a diverse and well-integrated student cohort from a range of academic disciplines. We promote equality and diversity on the grounds of age, caring responsibilities, disability, gender, nationality, race, religious belief, sexual orientation and socio-economic class.

2019/20 entry

Both Home/EU and international students can apply for this course using our online application form through the link 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.


Admission policy/selection criteria

Students will be asked to complete a written essay, submit an up to date CV and a personal statement, transcripts of latest qualifications, IELTS or equivalent (where appropriate) and in addition complete a basic numeracy test, and answer questions on an article under a time constraint. Students will be selected if they meet the minimum requirements for the course and interviews will take place in person, on the phone or through alternative mediums e.g. Skype. Applications are welcome from all individuals regardless of age, gender, race, class, sexuality and religion.

  • Candidates will want to study an MBA curriculum, with a specific focus on the fashion sector;
  • Candidates will evidence a global perspective and an ability to interact effectively within an international student cohort;
  • Competency in writing a well researched and referenced essay submitted with the application;
  • Basic numeracy in the numeracy test under a time constraint;
  • An ability to understand and answer questions on an article under a time constraint;
  • Minimum 3 years work experience in the wider fashion sector, (to include relevant employment, self-employment, internships, work placements) Candidates may be asked to provide 1 employer reference;
  • Minimum 2.1 (or equivalent) Honours degree at Undergraduate Level;
  • IELTS 7.0 with a minimum of 6.0 in any one skill to ensure English language proficiency.


International applicants can apply in the same way as on the Home/EU tab

Fees & Funding

Home / EU fee


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

International fee


UAL International alumni receive a £1,000 discount

Additional costs

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


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.

Scholarship search

Careers and alumni

All our postgraduate courses offer career development, so that you become a creative thinker, making effective contributions to your relevant sector of the fashion industry.

LCF offers students the opportunity to develop Personal and Professional Development (PPD) skills focused on the UAL Creative Attributes Framework while studying through:

* Access to to speaker programmes and events featuring alumni and industry.

* Access to careers activities, such as CV clinics and one-to-one advice sessions.

* Access to a graduate careers service

* Access to a live jobs board for all years.

* Advice on setting up your own brand or company.

Career paths

Through the curriculum and extra curricula opportunities, MBA Graduates will be well prepared to secure positions in the rapidly changing fashion sector. Research by OC&C (2016) identifies future growth in central office roles, significant shifts in required graduate skills and a “fight for talent” amongst recruiters. MBA graduates will be able to demonstrate “cross-functional awareness”, an understanding of end-to-end activities and contribute to the achievement of key performance indicators for the business on cost control and profit maximisation.

It is expected that these graduates will take ownership of their own career planning, demonstrate strong interpersonal skills and be able to work in flexible, multi-functional teams to innovate solutions to business problems. They will be exposed to the latest research, industry practice and the “seismic shifts” in technology and internationalisation that challenge the industry. MBA graduates will be analytical, able to ask the right questions of the abundance of Big Data available. Some employers show a preference for MBA graduates in their business, others favour MBA graduates on Graduate Management Trainee Schemes and retail consultancy.

Career choices can include retail management, international sourcing, logistics management, buying and merchandising, human resource management, consumer insight and digital marketing management and roles in implementing strategic transformation and roadmaps. Our MBA graduates will also elect to develop their own businesses or work in Social Enterprises related to the sector.

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