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Postgraduate

PG Cert Fashion: Buying and Merchandising

Close up shot of moulded shapes in a variety of pastel colours
Amelia Timberlake BA (Hons) Fashion Visual Merchandising and Branding | London College of Fashion | University of Arts London
College
London College of Fashion
Start date
January 2023 | September 2023
Course length
15 weeks

A dynamic, relevant and industry-facing fashion buying and merchandising course, with live briefs, keynote speakers and field trips.

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.

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.

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

Helen Hindley | Course leader | PG Cert Fashion Buying and Merchandising

Studying a Postgraduate Certificate in Fashion Buying and Merchandising

About PG Cert Fashion: Buying and Merchandising

Students in class

Latest news from this course

LCF facilities

  • 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 JPS and High Holborn

    Take a tour of lecture theatres and tutorial rooms across our two 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.

  • LCF at Stratford Exterior Design
    LCF at Stratford Exterior Design
    LCF's move

    LCF is moving to a new single campus on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in 2023. Find more information about the College’s relocation.

Staff

Nicole Dunlop Programme Director Product and Innovation

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 PGCert Fashion 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. Visit Helen's LinkedIn profile.

Ginny Hutt Senior lecturer

Ginny Hutt is a Senior Lecturer and teaches on both the undergraduate and postgraduate Fashion Buying and Merchandising courses. Ginny started teaching at UAL 3 years ago, 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 Senior 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. As part of the UAL Knowledge Exchange Programme, Ginny works closely with industry on student projects. She is also the DiPS placement year leader for the undergraduate B&M course and works with students to support them with their placements. Earlier this year Ginny completed her PGCert in Academic Practice in Art, Design and Communication here at UAL, and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Authority.

Stephanie Liberman Senior lecturer

Stephanie is a Senior Lecturer teaching undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the Fashion Business School.  Following a 22-year buying career she moved into teaching with the aim of inspiring the next generation. Product specialty 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 taught across all levels from year 1 to Postgraduate and supported final year students with their final major projects.  Developing links with industry for live projects is key to her teaching and enhancing the curriculum content.  Her research interests are about blended learning for creative subjects and digital pedagogy.  Stephanie is currently studying a Masters in Academic Practice and is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Rob Chadband Associate lecturer

Rob 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.

Eddie Knevett Associate lecturer

Eddie is an associate lecturer teaching who started teaching at UAL after 25 year career in Luxury and Premium buying starting in Harrods to eventually become the Head of Buying for Fashion Accessories at House of Fraser. Experienced in creating destination retail concepts for example strategically taking House of Fraser accessories from a high street own label offer to one of the largest premium and luxury offers within the UK he successfully worked with all the major luxury and premium fashion houses.  Eddie also had his own successful premium Handbag brand, Village England, for 5 years after leaving House of Fraser. As well as teaching Eddie works with various international fashion brands and retailers on a consultancy basis.

Deborah Britz

Deborah has worked extensively across the fashion industry and studied Fashion Management at LCF in the 1980’s. Latterly she is working as a Fashion Show Producer and Lecturer at CSM and then LCF.

Initially Deborah worked as a hairdresser, designer, retailer, fashion PR, in international fashion recruitment, as an art dealer, in fashion forecasting and throughout this as a fashion show and events producer.

At various times, her experience has encompassed business, events, marketing, promotions, photography and video production, and market research. Work has enabled her to travel abroad producing events on behalf of the British Embassies and British Council.

Additionally, she runs a construction business with her husband; an inability to say no has led to many opportunities which have added to a rich portfolio career.

Fees and funding

Home fee

£3,850

This fee is correct for 2023/24 entry and is subject to change for 2024/25 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 2023/24 entry and is subject to change for 2024/25 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

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.

 

Apply now

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 January 2023 click here.

For entry in September 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 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.

For postgraduate courses at UAL there are 2 rounds of applications. This is to ensure equal consideration and fairness for all of our applicants. You must apply for 19 December 2022 for Round 1 or by 3 April 2023 for Round 2.

The round 1 deadline has been changed to 19 December to give you more time to make your application.

When you'll hear from us

If this course requires a digital portfolio as part of the application process, you will be invited to submit this through UAL’s online submission tool, PebblePad. We will request this separately after initial processing of your application is complete. Once we request your portfolio, you will have 7 days to submit it.

Once you’ve sent in your application, this will be sent through to our course teams for review. Find out more about what happens after you apply.

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 January 2023 click here.

For entry in September 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 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.

For postgraduate courses at UAL there are 2 rounds of applications. This is to ensure equal consideration and fairness for all of our applicants. You must apply for 19 December 2022 for Round 1 or by 3 April 2023 for Round 2.

We recommend you submit your application as early as possible before these deadlines to allow the Admissions team to resolve any initial queries about your application as quickly as possible.

When you'll hear from us

Once you’ve sent in your application, this will be sent through to our course teams for review. Find out more about what happens after you apply.

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.

Careers

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.

Alumni