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Postgraduate Certificate Fashion: Buying and Merchandising

College
LCF
Start date
January 2019 or September 2019
Course length
15 weeks

Course summary

Applications are open for 2019/20 entry.

Scroll down to the How to apply section below.

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.

About

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

Great reasons to apply

  • Graduates are equipped to apply for market entry positions in both fashion buying and merchandising departments of retail organisations in 15 weeks.
  • Students benefit from LCF's strong links with fashion and buying offices in the UK.
  • Recent Graduates have gone on to work for Liberty London, Debenhams, Ralph Lauren, John Lewis, H&M (New York), All Saints. Net A Porter, ASOS, ME + EM, Cosmopolitan (Kazakhstan). Tata Trent (India) and 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.

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

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Inside the Industry: Justin Cooke

This week Justin Cooke came in to speak to students from the Graduate School Business & Management Cluster. Justin joined Burberry in 2006, when the brand was associated less with […]

Course details

Postgraduate Certificate Fashion: Buying and Merchandising is designed for graduates aiming at a first career position in fashion buying or merchandising but who need to supplement their first degree with a more relevant academic qualification. The course may also be suitable as a preparation for higher level postgraduate study in related subject areas.

The Postgraduate Certificate Fashion: Buying and Merchandising course is based at High Holborn, adjacent to Lincoln’s Inn Fields. Other green spaces in the area include Gray’s Inn Gardens and Coram’s Fields. Situated nearby are Sir John Soane’s Museum in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, the Foundling Museum in Brunswick Square, and the British Museum in Bloomsbury. Markets worth visiting are the weekday lunchtime markets in Leather Lane and Exmouth Market. Covent Garden, with its numerous shops, bars and restaurants, the Royal Opera House and many of the West End’s theatres, is a ten minute walk away. The John Prince’s Street site, with the library, Oxford Street and Regent Street, is two tube stops along the Central line.

Course structure

Weeks 1-10 - level 7 - 40 credits

Buying and Merchandising (20 credits)

Marketing and Supply Chain Management (20 credits)

Weeks 11-15 - level 7 - 20 credits

Integrated Project (20 credits)

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.

Please note that due to staff research agreements or availability, not all of the optional modules listed may be available every year.

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

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

  • Lectures and seminars
  • Industry led workshops
  • Library and learning resources Inductions
  • Briefings, individual and group tutorials, Presentations
  • Guest speakers, industry visits, Industry led Master classes
  • Study support inductions, English language inductions, reflective writing workshop
  • Industry news quizzes

Assessment Methods (Summative)

  • Report writing
  • Peer Assessment
  • Live Negotiation
  • Reflective journal

Assessment Methods (Formative)

  • Presentations
  • Peer review
  • Individual and Group tutorials

Staff

Sarah Walls is the course leader with over six years of teaching experience in Higher Education, on the Pg. Cert Buying & Merchandising and BA Buying & Merchandising 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.

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.

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) in fashion or business;
  • OR equivalent qualifications;
  • AND GCSE Mathematics grade C or 4, or above;
  • AND IT skills

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 .

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?’

Selection Criteria

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.

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, upon successful completion of both a numeracy test and a written comprehension test. 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. 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.

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:

  • One of our official representatives in your country
  • A direct application:

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

£3,630

This applies for the 2019/20 year

International fee

£6,645

This applies for the 2019/20 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.

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 2017/18 cohorts have secured roles at Gucci, ASOS, Ralph Lauren, All Saints, DSW (USA), Mytheresa.com, Karen Millen, Net A Porter, and Zalando.

Alumni

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