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MA Fashion Retail Management

Start date
September 2019
Course length
12 months

Applications are open for 2019/20 entry. International applications are now closed.

Scroll down to the How to apply section below.

This dynamic fashion retail management course is for students aspiring to enter a  career  in omnichannel fashion retailing, to shape current and future international fashion retailing strategy and operations.

Why choose this course at London College of Fashion?

  • Specialist course: this is one of the very few specialist Fashion Retail Management Masters courses available.
  • Balanced curriculum: this course bridges the gap between management and creativity, and balances academic theory with practice.
  • Industry links: the industry integration drives relevancy and dynamism.
  • Employability opportunities: the course has strong employability opportunities on graduation, and an industry reputation for relevance.


The course is based at High Holborn. Find out about the local area, including Lincoln’s Inn Fields and Clerkenwell, in our local area guides on the Student Life pages.

London College of Fashion is planning to move to a new single campus on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in 2022. This is part of a new development for London prioritising culture, education and innovation, known as East Bank. Students studying this course will begin their studies at High Holborn and are likely to be transferred to LCF’s new site in East London, to complete their studies there, from September 2022. Please see ‘4Fashion: LCF’s move to the Olympic Park’ for more information about the College’s relocation.

Course trips

Course projects gallery

MA Fashion Retail Management at LCF

What brands are students working with on the MA Fashion Retail Management at London College of Fashion, and what have they learnt from these experiences?

Students of MA Fashion Retail Management speak about the course at London College of Fashion
MA Fashion Retail Management Alumni Film
About MA Fashion Retail Management

Students give an in-depth view into the course


Library, John Princes Street
Library, John Princes Street Photography by: Ideal Insight

LCF library and archives

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 High Holborn

Take a tour of lecture theatres and tutorial rooms across our central London sites.

Mare Street Canteen

LCF's social spaces

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

Latest news from this course

Fashion Means… Retail

Guest Blog: The updated retail fashion store “Are fashion stores out of fashion?” was a question discussed by Nathalie Remy, a McKinsey & Co partner in her last talk about changing […]

Fashion Means… International

As part of our Fashion Means Business blog series in celebration of the launch of our Fashion Business School, we are exploring some of the key issues in fashion business. This time, MA Fashion Retail […]

Course overview

MA Fashion Retail Management 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.

Why apply for this course

  • One of the very few specialist Fashion Retail Management Masters courses available
  • Bridges the gap between management and creativity
  • Balances academic theory with practice
  • Industry integration drives relevancy and dynamism
  • Creative Retail Spaces unit is unique and distinctive from others
  • The course has strong employability opportunities on graduation
  • The course has an industry reputation for relevance
  • The course has an excellent reputation with students

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)

Industry integration and projects

Industry integration drives course relevancy and dynamism and is a cornerstone of the student experience on MA Fashion Retail Management. This is realised through industry keynote talks, industry panel discussions, master classes and industry projects aligned to the various units of study. Past industry projects have been undertaken for John Smedley, Thomas Pink, Dalziel and Pow, Checkland Kindleysides and Diesel to name a few. The recently initiated sponsored master’s Project has engendered partnerships with Longchamp, Jigsaw, Urban Outfitters and Holition.

Industry visits

Field visits are scheduled during the first two terms, allowing students behind the scenes access directly related to the unit of study. Recent field visits have offered students the opportunity to visit a working factory at John Smedley and Mulberry and to discuss retail strategy, operations and retail technology and innovation with Melissa Galeria, Longchamp, Jigsaw, Arket, Urban Outfitters, Selfridges, Superdry and Flux Innovation Lounge plus attendance and participation in trade events like Retail Design Expo, Retail Business Technology Expo and the International Expansion Summit.

International study tours

Optional local and international study tours are offered to students as an extended learning opportunity to look at retailing with an emphasis on global fashion retail markets and innovative retail concepts. These are arranged in collaboration with host HE partners and have included lectures and field trips in Paris, Milan and New York. These are offered throughout the year which incur an additional cost (E.g. travel and accommodation). Place are limited and costs are circulated to students in advance for students to choose to attend.

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.

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.

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.

Course units

The Fashion Retail Management 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.

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. In the Fashion Branding unit 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.

The purpose of the Research Methods 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.

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. The International Retailing Strategies 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.

The Creative Retail Spaces 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.

The Collaborative 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.

Some recent project partnerships include the Diesel flagship store takeover, Ecco leather, Holition, Kering, Tateossian, Tom Ford Beauty and V&A along with projects at LCF’s Digital Anthropology Lab. 2016-17 saw 24 industry briefs with Diesel and Kering returning, together with Net a Porter, Martina Spetlova and Ottoman Hands to name a few.

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.

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

  • Academic skills for master’s level study
  • Lectures, seminars, tutorials
  • Online and digital learning
  • Library inductions
  • Collaborative group work projects
  • Presentations
  • Field trips
  • Master classes
  • Guest speakers
  • Feed forward (formative assessment) sessions
  • Optional international study tours

Assessments methods

  • Critical essays, business reports, case studies and dissertation
  • Presentations
  • Formative assessment (including peer assessments)
  • Practice-based assessment including visual outputs
  • Reflective statements and self-evaluation
  • Workflow portfolio of work


Bethan Alexander is the course leader for MA Fashion Retail Management. Bethan is a passionate spokesperson, 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 Fashion Product Management, 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. She successfully achieved a UAL Teaching Scholars Award in 2018 and was recognised in 2015, 2016 and 2018 by students for a Teaching Excellence Award. Read Bethan Alexander's full profile here.

Shuyu Lin’s expertise lies in value creation and appropriation in the fashion ecosystem. Her research aims to extend the application of network-based strategic management and social capital theories to the discipline of aesthetic innovation. Exploring both structural and relational mechanism in open innovation has been at the centre of her research interest. Following a BA in Journalism, Shuyu pursued her career in the fashion industry as a PR consultant and fashion editor. She then received the degree of MSc in Management with Marketing and PhD in Management from the University of Bath.

Dr Mirsini Trigoni holds a first class BA degree in Interior Design, Decoration and Product Design. She completed a MA degree in Art in Architecture and a PhD in set design, target audiences and visual communication. She has worked as an interior designer and display designer in Athens and in London. Her expertise lies in the field of interior design and visual communication, the relationship between commercial spaces and target audiences: how to use retail design, display design and visual merchandising so as to effectively target market segments and enhance a brand and its identity. Since 2009 she has been teaching at the University of the Arts on both undergraduate and postgraduate level. Her current research interests are: retail design, display design, visual merchandising, branding, media and visual communication- visual persuasion Mirsini teaches on the Creative Retail Spaces Unit for MA Fashion Retail Management.

Dr Ana Roncha is course director for the MA in Strategic Fashion Marketing at the London College of Fashion and lectures in the fields of Fashion Business Strategies, Strategic Branding, Marketing Communications and Marketing Management across the BA’s, MA’s and MBA’s. An experienced creative and strategic thinker with more than 12 years specialising in strategic marketing and brand development for the fashion and lifestyle industries. Experience working with established international brands, start up community, academia, international and regional organisations. Ana has a post-doctoral research fellowship in Enterprise and Innovation and her research has been published in academic journals and featured in conferences worldwide. She holds a PhD in Design and Marketing Management for the Fashion Industry and previous degrees in Communication. Ana teaches on the Fashion Branding Unit for MA Fashion Retail Management.

Rosemary Varley teaches on the Fashion Retail Management Unit for MA Fashion Retail Management. Rosemary has 20 years' experience in Higher Education and has taught broadly in the areas of retailing and fashion management, including marketing strategy and supply chain management. She is also interested in sustainable fashion. View Rosemary Varley's full profile here.

Julie O’Sullivan is course leader for LCF MBA 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. View Julie O'Sullivan's full profile here.

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

The standard entry requirements for this course are as follows:

  • 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;
  • OR equivalent qualifications;

APEL (Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning)

Applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered in exceptional cases. The course team will consider each application that demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might, for example, be demonstrated by:

  • Related academic or work experience (minimum of three years)
  • The quality of the personal statement
  • A strong academic or other professional reference
  • OR a combination of these factors

Each application will be considered on its own merit but we cannot guarantee an offer in each case.

English Language Requirements

IELTS level 7.0 with a minimum of 6.0 in reading, writing, listening and speaking. Please check our main English Language Requirements .

Extra information required for applications to this course

Curriculum Vitae (CV)

You will be required to submit a CV in support of your application. This should include your full education and employment history.

Study proposal for Masters Project

The proposal should include the following:

* A title

* Rationale (reason for interest in topic)

* Overall aim of research

* A brief outline of methodology

* References/bibliography

Your study proposal should be a maximum of 600 words +/-10% (excluding research sources, bibliography and appendices).

Motivational Statement

Addressing two questions (max 500 words), a statement will be required addressing two questions set by the Course team. Please write no more than 500 words:

* Why do you want to study for a MA in Fashion Retail Management and what do you specifically want to learn on the course?

* What are your main area/s of research interest and how do they fit into the structure of the course?

Please enter your motivational statement in the ‘Personal Statement’ section of the application form.


There is no requirement to submit a portfolio for this course. However, if you wish to include a portfolio or other evidence to support your application, a digital portfolio can be submitted.

You may include a URL link to your portfolio within your CV or Motivational Statement.

Selection Criteria

The course team 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.

How we assess your application

If you have achieved or expect to achieve the standard entry requirements, then your application will be reviewed by the course team who will select applicants to attend an interview. Interviews may be conducted in person, via telephone or via Skype. Please note that not all applicants are invited to attend interview. When you have attended your interview we will advise you of your outcome through your UAL portal.

Making your application

This section includes all the information you need on how to apply and how your application is considered, and what happens next.

UK/EU students can apply to a postgraduate course at LCF by completing a direct application.

Application deadline

There are no official deadlines to submit your application. Applications are accepted, and offers are made throughout the year. The course will be closed once spaces are filled so we advise that you apply early.

London College of Fashion does not accept applications for deferred entry. You should therefore apply in the year you wish to study.

What happens next

All application forms, personal statements and relevant documents are read and considered by the course team against the selection criteria listed in the Entry requirements and Selection Criteria sections. The course team will select applicants to attend an interview. Interviews may be conducted in person, via telephone or via Skype.

If you are successful at the interview stage you will be offered a place. Please note that applicants are not guaranteed an interview.

Please note that if you are unable to attend, the College may not be able to re-schedule.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

The result of your application will be communicated to you through your UAL Portal. If your application has been successful, you will receive a full offer pack including details of accommodation, fees, and other important information.

This section includes all the information you need on how to apply and how your application is considered, and what happens next.

There are two ways international students can apply to a postgraduate course at LCF:

For further advice on how to apply please visit the UAL International Application page.

Application deadline

There are no official deadlines to submit your application. Applications are accepted, and offers are made throughout the year. The course will be closed once spaces are filled so we advise that you apply early.

London College of Fashion does not accept applications for deferred entry. You should therefore apply in the year you wish to study.

What happens next

All application forms, personal statements and relevant documents are read and considered by the course team against the selection criteria listed in the Entry requirements and Selection Criteria sections. The course team will select applicants to attend an interview. Interviews may be conducted in person, via telephone or via Skype.

If you are successful at the interview stage you will be offered a place. Please note that applicants are not guaranteed an interview.

Please note that if you are unable to attend, the College may not be able to re-schedule.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

The result of your application will be communicated to you through your UAL Portal. If your application has been successful, you will receive a full offer pack including details of accommodation, fees, and other important information.

After you apply

After you’ve submitted your application, you’ll receive a confirmation email providing you with your login details for the UAL Portal. We’ll use this Portal to contact you to request any additional information, including inviting you to upload documents or book an interview, so please check it regularly.

Once we’ve reviewed and assessed your application, we’ll contact you via the UAL Portal to let you know whether your application has been successful.

Fees & Funding

Home / EU fee


This applies for the 2019/20 academic year.

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

Course fees may be paid in instalments

International fee


This applies for the 2019/20 academic year.

UAL International alumni receive a £1,000 discount

Course fees may be paid in instalments.

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.

Charges may be made for special clothing or equipment which students may need in order to participate in certain activities which form part of the course but which they retain. However, where such clothing or equipment is necessary for the student’s health or safety a charge may only be made for clothing and equipment which the student retains if the student also has the option of borrowing the clothing or equipment free of charge.


Find out about the accommodation options available and how much they will cost.

Scholarships and awards

There are a number of scholarships and awards available to students on this course. Use our search tool to find out more information.


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 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 jobsboard for all years.
  • Advice on setting up your own brand or company.

Career paths

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.

Possible graduate jobs include:

  • Buying and merchandising
  • Retail analyst
  • Retail strategy and insight
  • Business development
  • CRM analyst

Graduate destinations include Yoox Net A Porter, Stylus, ASOS, Burberry, Ralph Lauren, Tom Ford, Debenhams, Marks & Spencer, Harrods, Monsoon, TM Lewin, H&M, Fendi, Coach, Louis Vuitton, LVMH, Mood Media, L’Oreal Luxe, Kering Group, Christian Dior, Fenwick, Michael Kors, Zara, Inditex, Karen Millen, John Lewis & Partners, Accessorize, May Concepts, COS, Zalando, Ebeltoft Group Retail Consultancy, King Power, Stone Gaming Platform, Trendy International Group, Hudson Holdings, Hudson’s Bay Company, Harvey Nichols, Bloomingdales, Ounass, Design Republic, JW Anderson, Longchamp, Calvin Klein, 5xThinking digital consultancy, The Fashion B.A.R.N., Cartier, Fred Perry, Gaysorn Group, Toppy, Diesel, Liverpool, Jack Wills, Brush Agency, Kanjana, Selfridges, Nakama Global, G2000, Salvatore Ferragamo, C&A, The MySale Group, Stylus, American Eagle Outfitters, Comprador, Pivot Marketing Group, Global Fashion Group, More & More, American Eagle, plus entrepreneurs of own retail business start-up.

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


Yunchi  Ting

Yunchi Ting

Product Manager for Zara

Karie  Fung

Karie Fung

Retail Management Trainee at CELINE

Hanna  Moser

Hanna Moser

Buying Assistant at Ted Baker

Stefanie  Dorfer

Stefanie Dorfer

Editor and Innovation Analyst

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