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PGCert Fashion: Buying and Merchandising

College
LCF
Start date
September 2020
Course length
15 weeks

Applications closed 2019/20

Applications for 2019/20 entry to this course have now closed. Visit the ‘Courses with places available’ page for a full list of UAL courses that are open for application.

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

The 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.

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 John Prince's Street 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.

What's it like to study a Postgraduate Certificate in Fashion Buying and Merchandising?

Find out more about the Postgraduate Certificate in Fashion Buying and Merchandising in the Fashion Business School at London College of Fashion, the course structure, highlights and content

PG Cert Fashion: Buying and Merchandising

In this film we hear from the course leader and some recent graduates about the 15 week fast paced buying course.

Fashion Business School Summit 2016

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.

Latest news from this course

Student Life: Budget tips on campus

Welcome to all our new students on campus! A lot of view will have just moved to London, and we know it’s an expensive city to live in as a student. So here are our tips in order to save while studying at LCF.

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, industry visits and industry-led masterclasses
  • Industry news quizzes
  • Written assessments including report writing and reflective journal
  • 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. This will be supported by industry visits to help to contextualise studies.  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.

Staff

Lois Baile is the acting course leader and 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.

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. Read Bethan Alexander's full profile here.

Nicole Dunlop’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.

Julie O’Sullivan is course leader on the LCF MBA. She has extensive cross-sector industry experience, including the luxury sector as the merchandise manager for Gucci in the UK. Her career in Higher Education began as the business development manager for the Creative Industries at Brighton University. She has 12 years’ teaching experience developing and delivering fashion business curriculum and delivers across a number of courses in the Fashion Business School; including MA Strategic Fashion Marketing, MA Fashion Retail Management, MSc Cosmetic Science and BA Buying and Merchandising. Specialisms include the changing role of buyers and merchandisers, sourcing and supply chain management 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. Read 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 disability@arts.ac.uk 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:

• 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.

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)

Essay

Write a 500 word essay (include references/bibliography but these are outside of word count) on the following topic: ‘What is the impact of multichannel on fashion retail buying and merchandising practices?’

Making your application

Applications for 2019/20 entry for this course are now closed. Applications for 2020/21 entry will open in Autumn 2019.

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:

  • For entry in January 2020, please click here
  • For entry in September 2019, please click here

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. 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 and 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.

Applications for 2019/20 entry for this course are now closed. Applications for 2020/21 entry will open in Autumn 2019.

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

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 and 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

£3,740

This applies for the 2020/21 year

International fee

£7,640

This applies for the 2020/21 academic year.

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.

Accommodation

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

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.

Alumni

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