Skip to main content
Postgraduate

PG Cert Fashion: Buying and Merchandising

Mary Quant exhibition.
PG Cert Fashion Buying and Merchandising. © University of Arts London
College
London College of Fashion
Start date
September 2022 | January 2023
Course length
15 weeks

This dynamic course equips students with product, market and consumer insight, an understanding of the supply chain and strong negotiating skills for a career in fashion buying and merchandising.

Why choose this course at London College of Fashion

  • Career options: graduates are equipped to apply for market entry positions in both fashion buying and merchandising departments of retail organisations after 15 weeks.
  • Industry links: students benefit from LCF’s strong links with fashion and buying offices in the UK.
  • Where graduates have gone on to work: recent graduates have gone on to work for Gucci, Ted Baker, mytheresa.com, John Lewis, River Island, Ralph Lauren, All Saints, ASOS, Net A Porter, Karen Millen.

Location

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

LCF’s move

London College of Fashion is planning to move to a new single campus on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in 2023. This is part of a new development for London, prioritising culture, education and innovation, known as East Bank. Some students studying this course from September 2021 may start their studies in High Holborn and transfer to LCF’s new site in East London to complete them. Please see LCF’s move to the Olympic Park for more information about the College’s relocation.

Studying a Postgraduate Certificate in Fashion Buying and Merchandising

About PG Cert Fashion: Buying and Merchandising

LCF facilities

Latest news from this course

Course overview

Introduction

In 15 weeks of intensive teaching and learning the PG Cert Buying and Merchandising equips students with the relevant skill set to successfully apply for market entry positions in Buying and Merchandising. The course develops vital knowledge of current practice in the UK in addition to professional communication, presentation and negotiation skills

What to expect

  • Lectures and seminars
  • Industry led workshops
  • Library and learning resource inductions
  • Briefings, individual and group tutorials and presentations
  • Guest speakers and industry-led masterclasses
  • Industry news quizzes
  • Written assessments including report writing and reflective analysis
  • Peer assessment
  • Conducting live negotiations
  • Presentations

Work experience and opportunities

Students will have the opportunity to connect with industry via guest speakers that feature as part of the course. Industry practice will also be simulated throughout the course, giving you the skills required for entry-level positions.

Mode of study

Fashion Buying & Merchandising runs for 15 weeks in full time mode. It is divided into 3 units over 15 weeks. Units 1 & 2 run from week 1-10. Unit 3 runs from week 11-15.

Contact us

Register your interest to receive information and updates about studying at UAL.

Contact us to make an enquiry.

Course units

Unit one

In the Buying and Merchandising unit you will develop your understanding of the integration of buying, merchandising, design and garment technology functions in contributing to a fashion range. You will consider a variety of factors in range planning including commercially balanced groups of design options, lead times, the significance of pricing strategies, effective sourcing strategies, the movement of stock into and around the business, and the use of merchandising data to help in the development of a range plan.

Unit two

In the Marketing and Supply Chain Management unit you will develop an understanding of the market context in which fashion buyers and merchandisers function and the commercial implications for product ranges. Factors affecting the supply chain are studied including product market strategies, and implications of external forces. You will study a typical supply chain for a large multiple fashion retail business and marketing mixes appropriate to UK and overseas markets in a multichannel environment.

Unit three

Integrated Project. This final unit provides you with an opportunity to apply the range of knowledge and skills developed on the course to a complex buying scenario requiring applied problem solving and negotiating skills. You will complete the project during the last five weeks of the course. The project will involve you preparing a response to a negotiation problem set within a hypothetical buying scenario between a clothing supplier and retailer. This will be conducted by allocating negotiating roles to teams of students, with individual and team responses.

Showing your work

All students are advised to set up a profile on portfolio.arts.ac.uk, 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

The following learning and teaching methods are employed to support the integrated achievement of the course outcomes: 

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Group work 
  • Self-directed study

Assessment methods

The following assessment methods are employed to support the integrated aims of the course outcomes:

Within the Buying and Merchandising course, summative assessment of each unit takes the form of case study analysis, written reflective analysis and project presentation.

Throughout the programme, opportunity for formative assessment feedback is provided in individual tutorials. Students are encouraged to formulate their own self-assessment via the use of the log book throughout the course.

The award of PG Certificate is based on the successful completion of all units. Credit is awarded when a student passes each unit and the final awarded grade will be determined by the weighting of assessment grades as outlined in the regulations.

Staff

Nicole Dunlop is the programme director. Nicole's career began with a degree in clothing and management at Manchester University where she was sponsored by Marks & Spencer, this also included a short spell in Paris at the Sorbonne. She started her career with Jaeger, as a member of their buying team, and eventually moved on to become the sourcing manager for Adams. Having gained a qualification for marketing with the CIM (Chartered Institute of Marketing) Nicole moved on to manage various consultancy projects with various retailers throughout Europe including Etam, Graduate Fashion Week, Harrods, Karstadt, La Rinascente, London Fashion Week, Matalan, Tencel, and Wrangler. She ultimately became head of marketing for the Hunter family of brands (best known for their iconic green welly), transforming it from the historic workwear brand into the fashion icon that it is today. Nicole gained a distinction in her Post Graduate Teaching degree and has extensive experience teaching at degree and masters level at several London business Universities, and CIM.

Helen Hindley - Course leader PG Cert Buying and Merchandising. 

Helen has been an associate lecturer at UAL for over 18 years. She has and has teaching experience in Higher Education, on the BA Buying & Merchandising, BA Fashion Management and The Graduate Diploma in Fashion Management as well as developing and delivering LCF short courses and masterclasses for industry professionals. She began her fashion career with House of Fraser. From buying assistant to head of Merchandising across numerous categories, Menswear, Womenswear, childrenswear and home. She has extensive experience in merchandising, brand management, strategy, and supply chain. Helen also had the opportunity own her own SME, a lifestyle concept store. This was an insightful experience and a huge benefit when supporting students in the final year with their Final major projects.

Lois Baile started her career in the late 1980s through a merchandising route leading to UK and International Directorships within major corporate fashion multi-channel retailers. She has extensive experience of planning, trading, allocation and replenishment including change management within businesses to effectively prepare for strategic redirection. Her career started within the Arcadia Group and progressed with BHS, Debenhams, House of Fraser, New Look, First Friday (consulting and training). The last 5 years have been spent abroad working in Italy and Turkey for global retailers Bata, LC Waikiki and Defacto.

Sarah Walls is an associate lecturer and has over eight years of teaching experience in Higher Education, on the Pg. Cert Buying & Merchandising, BA Buying & Merchandising and MBA as well as developing and delivering LCF short courses and masterclasses for industry professionals. She began her buying career after a Bachelor of Science degree in Textile & Knitwear Technology from De Montfort University, with high street giant Topshop. From assistant buyer to head of buying across numerous brands in her career, she has extensive experience in buying and supply chain with specialisms in product/ range development and range building, combined with in-depth experience of trend prediction. Her more recent experience as a partner in a retail consultancy covers a wide spectrum of brands and retailers, from multiple high street brands to privately owned small chains, start-ups and designer boutiques.

Rob Chadband is an associate lecturer and started teaching at UAL after a 25 year career in merchandising. He has extensive experience across UK high street and franchise merchandising,

supply chain management, project management, retail technology implementation, process optimisation and standardisation, change management, training and mentoring, strategy planning, data analysis, stakeholder management and governance. Rob is passionate about retail with a knowledge of fashion and home products. He enjoys working with students, sharing his knowledge with the support of a wide network of contacts and insight from running his own business.

Ginny Hutt is a lecturer in Buying and Merchandising and started teaching at UAL after a 30-year career in buying. She is a direct sourcing specialist and has extensive experience working for UK and international brands such as Arcadia, BHS, F&F at Tesco and Ralph Lauren where she was Buying Director. Ginny loves product and has covered most garment types during her career, working across Menswear, Womenswear, Childrenswear, Sportswear and Footwear. Ginny loves to share her experience and knowledge with students. She also teaches on the BA (Hons) course and is the DiPS placement lead, working with students to support them during their placements.

Stephanie Liberman is a lecturer in Fashion Buying and Merchandising. Following a 22-year buying career she moved into teaching with the aim to inspire the next generation. Product speciality areas include buying lingerie, swimwear, knitwear and stationery and working for multi-channel retailers Debenhams, Very.co.uk, Sainsburys and Paperchase. She has also run her own lingerie boutique. Having started teaching and developing short courses for Artscom she then became course leader for the BA (hons) Fashion Marketing at Regent’s University London before re-joining LCF in the Fashion Business School. At LCF she has supported final year students, developing links with industry for live projects and enhancing the curriculum content.  Her research interests are about blended learning for creative subjects.

How to apply

Information for disabled applicants

UAL is committed to achieving inclusion and equality for disabled students. This includes students who have:
     
  • Dyslexia or another Specific Learning Difference
  • A sensory impairment
  • A physical impairment
  • A long-term health or mental health condition
  • Autism
  • Another long-term condition which has an impact on your day-to-day life
Our Disability Service arranges adjustments and support for disabled applicants and students. Read our Disability and dyslexia: applying for a course and joining UAL information.

Entry requirements

The standard entry requirements for this course are as follows:

  • a good first degree (2.1 or above) (or equivalent) in fashion or business plus GCSE Mathematics grade C or above (or equivalent)
  • or sufficient relevant experience in the fashion industry (retail or manufacturing)

We would also expect applicants to be able to demonstrate competence with IT.

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 (Fashion retail or manufacturing)
  • 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 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in reading, writing, listening and speaking. Please check our main English Language Requirements.

Selection criteria

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

The course team seeks to recruit students who can demonstrate:

  • an enthusiasm for fashion and awareness of current ideas;
  • knowledge of the fashion industry and a strong vocational interest in buying and merchandising;
  • an open minded approach and commitment to self development through analysis and willingness to experiment with new ideas;
  • an ability to successfully complete a business numeracy test;
  • computer literacy, preferably on a Microsoft Windows platform.

 

Making your application

This section includes all the information you need on how to apply, 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.

For entry in September 2022 click here.

For entry in January 2023 click here.

Deferring your place

This course accepts requests from offer holders to defer their place for one academic year. Deferral requests are granted on a first-come, first-served basis until all deferral places are filled, or a deadline has been reached, whichever is sooner. Read our Admissions Policy for details, including how to request a deferral and by when.

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).

Video task

We’d like you to submit a 2-3 minute video to help us learn more about you:

  • Please speak clearly in English and face the camera.
  • Your video task is submitted along with your portfolio.
  • Read our guidance for how to submit your video task and which file types we accept.

As part of your video task, please respond to the following direction:

We would like you to tell us about why you have applied to the PG Cert Fashion: Buying and Merchandising, what your main interests are within this field and how you feel you will use what you learn in your future career.

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. Prior to the interview, applicants will be asked to complete a basic numeracy test, and answer questions on an article under a time constraint – if an applicant does not complete these tests successfully, the interview will not take place. Upon successful completion of the tests, the interview will take place. These will take place online using Teams from Microsoft – please ensure that you download this software prior to the interview date; this is available as a free download from the Microsoft website. We will send you further details at a later point about how we will connect with you for your interview.

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.

Applications for this course can only be accepted for this year of entry. Applications for deferred entry cannot be accepted.

Application deadline

Other

For September 2022 entry, this course will remain open to applications until places have been filled. We recommend you submit your application as early as possible to allow the Admissions team to quickly resolve any queries.

For January 2023 entry, we encourage you to apply for this course by 26 October 2022. All applications received at this point will be considered equally. If there are places available after this date, the course will remain open to applications until places have been filled.

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

There are 2 ways international students can apply to a postgraduate course:

For entry in September 2022 click here.

For entry in January 2023 click here.

Read our immigration and visa information to find out if you need a visa to study at UAL.

You can only apply to the same course once per year. Any duplicate applications will be withdrawn.  Read the UAL international application advice for further information on how to apply.

Deferring your place

This course accepts requests from offer holders to defer their place for one academic year. Deferral requests are granted on a first-come, first-served basis until all deferral places are filled, or a deadline has been reached, whichever is sooner. Read our Admissions Policy for details, including how to request a deferral and by when.

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).

Video task

We’d like you to submit a 2-3 minute video to help us learn more about you:

  • Please speak clearly in English and face the camera.
  • Your video task is submitted along with your portfolio.
  • Read our guidance for how to submit your video task and which file types we accept.

As part of your video task, please respond to the following direction:

We would like you to tell us about why you have applied to the PG Cert Fashion: Buying and Merchandising, what your main interests are within this field and how you feel you will use what you learn in your future career.

What happens next

Immigration History Check

After you have applied, you will need to complete an Immigration History Check to identify whether you are eligible to study at UAL. Do be aware, if you do not complete the Immigration History Check we will not be able to proceed with your application.

Initial application check

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. Prior to the interview, applicants will be asked to complete a basic numeracy test, and answer questions on an article under a time constraint – if an applicant does not complete these tests successfully, the interview will not take place. Upon successful completion of the tests, the interview will take place. These will take place online using Teams from Microsoft – please ensure that you download this software prior to the interview date; this is available as a free download from the Microsoft website. We will send you further details at a later point about how we will connect with you for your interview.

.

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.

Applications for this course can only be accepted for this year of entry. Applications for deferred entry cannot be accepted.

Application deadline

Other

For September 2022 entry, this course will remain open to applications until places have been filled. We recommend you submit your application as early as possible to allow the Admissions team to quickly resolve any queries.

For January 2023 entry, we encourage you to apply for this course by 26 October 2022. All applications received at this point will be considered equally. If there are places available after this date, the course will remain open to applications until places have been filled.

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 and funding

Home fee

£3,850

This fee is correct for 2022/23 entry and is subject to change for 2023/24 entry. Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students on courses lasting more than one year. For this course, you can pay tuition fees in instalments.

Home fees are currently charged to UK nationals and UK residents who meet the rules. However, the rules are complex. Find out more about our tuition fees and determining your fee status.

International fee

£7,870

This fee is correct for 2022/23 entry and is subject to change for 2023/24 entry. Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students on courses lasting more than one year. For this course, you can pay tuition fees in instalments.

Home fees are currently charged to UK nationals and UK residents who meet the rules. However, the rules are complex. Find out more about our tuition fees and determining your fee status.

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

Some graduates from this course progress to suitable MA courses in the areas of business and management, while others enter employment in the industry, gaining entry-level (and above) positions in both fashion buying and merchandising departments of retail organisations.

Graduates from 2017-2019 cohorts have secured roles at Gucci, ASOS, Ralph Lauren, All Saints, DSW (USA), mytheresa.com, Karen Millen, Net A Porter, and Zalando, Ted Baker, River Island, Browns, John Lewis, Saks Fifth Avenue, & Warehouse.