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BA (Hons) Fashion Buying and Merchandising

College
LCF
Start date
September 2020
Course length
3 years / 4 years (with placement year in industry)
UCAS code
2F32

BA (Hons) Fashion Buying and Merchandising builds understanding of the global fashion market. The course teaches essential skills to equip students to apply for entry level buying and merchandising roles and those in related areas.  Subjects taught include sustainability, trend research, product development, supply chain management and trading. The future of fashion business is also a significant focus.

Why choose this course at London College of Fashion

    • Where graduates have gone on to work: graduates of this course are now working in merchandising and buying roles at companies including Yoox, Net-a-Porter, Urban Outfitters, Lipsy, Mulberry, The White Company, ASOS, H&M and River Island.
    • Industry links: students will have the opportunity to work with industry on collaborative projects, as well as having the opportunity to undertake an optional placement year. Current students are working for Nike, H&M, Disney, Rixo and ASOS.
    • Textile institute associateship level accreditation: BA (Hons) Fashion Buying and Merchandising students can enjoy membership benefits and graduates may apply to join the Textile Institute as Graduate members.

Location

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

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

Textile Institute logo

TEXTILE INSTITUTE

BA (Hons) Fashion Buying and Merchandising (BA FBM) has been awarded Associateship level accreditation, CText ATI, by the Textile Institute. Internationally recognised, the Textile Institute https://www.textileinstitute.org/ is the chartered professional body for all the textile, clothing and footwear industries. BA FBM students enjoy membership benefits and graduates may apply to join the Textile Institute as Graduate members and use the designatory letters CText ATI after their name.

Each year, London College of Fashion hosts a Fashion Business School Summit, showcasing the graduate talent from the fashion business courses. The event includes, talks, workshops and student work.

Collaborative Student Project with ASOS - Fashion Business School at London College of Fashion

Retail Futures presented in association with Shaftesbury PLC: Fashion Business School Summit 17

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.

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

Fashion business facilities

Take a tour of our fashion business facilities at John Prince's Street and High Holborn.

Canteen, Mare Street
Canteen, Mare Street Photography by: Ideal Insight

LCF's social spaces

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

Course overview

Introduction 

BA (Hons) Fashion Buying and Merchandising explores all levels of the market from value-orientated retailers to luxury brands. 

What to expect 

  • Students will learn the importance of developing fashion awareness and business acumen through the analysis of buying and merchandising practice in both established, and new and emerging organisations.  

  • Students will explore the strategic relationship between a fashion business and its customers.  

  • Students will learn how businesses can develop through establishing different retail formats and entering new markets.  

  • The course incorporates theoretical, historical and professional study. 

Work experience and opportunities 

Students will be given the opportunity to undertake collaborative projects with other students, simulating industry practice. Students will also gain industry relevant knowledge by working with a prestigious fashion company. National and international industry professionals are an integral part of study, with industry providing guest lectures and student projects. The opportunity to undertake an optional industry placement year between the second and final year of the course enhances the employability of students by offering valuable experience and contacts within the industry as well as earning an additional Diploma in Professional Studies qualification. 

Mode of study 

BA (Hons) Fashion Buying and Merchandising runs for 90 weeks in full time mode. It is divided into 3 stages over 3 academic years. Each stage lasts 30 weeks. 

Course units

In Stage 1 (Year 1) you are required to complete 120 credits at level 4 in order to progress to Stage 2 (Year 2):

  • Introduction to Fashion Buying (20 credits)
  • The Principles of Buying and Merchandising (20 credits)
  • Professional Skills Portfolio (20 credits)
  • Product Development (20 credits)
  • Introduction to Cultural & Historical Studies (20 credits)
  • Better Lives (20 credits)

In Stage 2 (Year 2) you are required to complete 120 credits at level 5 to progress to Stage 3 (Year 3):

  • Research Methods for Fashion Business (20 credits)
  • Cultural & Historical Studies Option (20 credits)
  • Merchandise Planning and Trading (20 credits)
  • Retail Concept Development and Product Management (40 credits)
  • Work Experience Based Learning (20 credits)

In Stage 3 (Year 3) you are required to complete 120 credits at level 6:

  • Futures and Innovation (20 credits)
  • Fashion Buying and Merchandising Strategy (40 credits)
  • Final Major Project (60 credits)

Students successfully completing Stage 3 will be awarded the degree BA (Hons) Fashion Buying and Merchandising.

A 20-credit unit is approximately equivalent to 200 hours of learning time, which includes a mixture of taught time, independent study and assessment.

Assessment methods

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

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • eLearning
  • Critiques
  • Group presentations
  • Studio-based workshops
  • Open access facilities
  • Demonstrations
  • Self-directed study
  • Collaborative working

Staff

My main responsibility is to ensure that students are ‘industry ready’ at the end of the programme, by upskilling graduates via live industry projects, a toolkit of Excel and Indesign proficiencies and by developing problem solving and creative thinking attributes.

Chloe Mason, course leader

Chloe Mason is the course leader. She has a PGCE and 17 years of teaching experience in higher education, principally as pathway and course leader. Her subject specialism in buying, supply chain, product development and sustainability and the supervision of dissertations in the final year. In her academic life she has a breadth of knowledge of curricular development, widening participation and learning and teaching co-ordination and personal tutorship. The course is highly regarded by industry and Chloe is the Diploma in Professional Studies Industries (DiPS) placement co-ordinator and regularly visits students in the head offices of fashion brands in their placement year. As the course is so industry-focused most of the assignment briefs are industry linked and as such there is many collaborations and projects to be organised with brands such as Levi’s ASOS, John Lewis and Whistles. Her previous life was as a buyer for Urban Outfitters, French Connection and George at Asda. Buying across the categories of ladies, men’s and children’s outerwear and underwear has given her the experience to spread her knowledge and help nurture students and enjoy their progress through the 3 or 4 years that they are with the Fashion Buying and Merchandising course.

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.

Working in the fashion industry is an exciting and challenging career.  Buyers are at the forefront of today's marketplace working at all levels from value to luxury.  The challenges of an every changing global economy attract students from around the world to learn their skills in London, one of the most attractive fashion capitals.  Live projects, industry speakers and professionals come together to offer a unique educational experience that aims to deliver the next generation of graduates for the Fashion Business School at London College of Fashion.

Stephanie Liberman, lecturer in Fashion Buying and Merchandising

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, 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.

Merchandising is the backbone of the Buying and Merchandising retail environment.  It requires someone who is strategic, analytical and results driven.  The BA (Hons) Fashion Buying and Merchandising course at LCF teaches you the importance of meeting customer demands whilst balancing budgets and and making profit.  The key role of the Merchandiser is to minimise risks whilst optimising opportunity - the Merchandiser has to ensure the right stock is delivered to the right stores at the right time!

Katie de Ley, lecturer in Fashion Buying and Merchandising

Katie de Ley is a lecturer in Fashion Buying and Merchandising at LCF.  She has an inherent passion for fashion and the clothing industry having been involved in selecting the clothing range for her family's chain of franchised Benetton stores from a young age.  In her career, Katie has worked as a merchandiser for Etam plc, House of Fraser, Arcadia Group and Mosaic Fashions.

There is such a requirement for developed skills to support the successful global retailers of the future . Courses provided by LCF gives students insight to the ever changing and demanding world of fashion retailing. The College equips students for a greater understanding of the principles and methods employed within the industry and gives them an introduction to the reality of working within successful trading businesses.

Lois Baile, lecturer in Fashion Buying and Merchandising

Lois Baile is a part-time lecturer in Fashion Buying and Merchandising at LCF. She 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.

Rob Lakin is the creative director of the Fashion Business School, and started his career designing fashion menswear, womenswear and childrenswear, working for a number of brands within Coats Viyella plc and the Sears Group plc. He has extensive experience of Far East product development, manufacturing, sourcing, and CMT operations. From 2008 to 2013 Rob headed up London College of Fashion’s Flexible Programme: a unique specialist portfolio of part-time undergraduate courses representing fashion business, fashion media, and fashion design. He has been responsible for enhancing the student experience through the development of a creative curriculum, with a variety of live industry collaborative projects including CoolBrands, Brands Incorporated, and Amnesty International. Rob continues to make a major contribution to the creative identity of the School through the design and development of new courses aimed at international students allowing them to successfully prepare for an exciting academic undergraduate career at London College of Fashion.

Edward Stammers is (Acting) programme director for the Fashion Business Programme.

Craig Crawford is founder of CrawfordIT, a London-based consultancy that drives momentum and growth through digital innovation for brands such as Hugo Boss, Jaeger, matchesfashion.com, Diane von Furstenberg, MaxMara, and Tory Burch.  Prior to this, Craig Crawford was Burberry’s VP in IT Strategy, Architecture and Relationships for seven years. As a creative with nearly 30 years’ experience in global fashion brands, Craig is often referred to as “the right brain of IT.” Craig is also chairman of Product Innovation Apparel, where he connects global industry leaders and technology innovators. He advises fashion tech start-ups in both the UK and US. His articles, videos, and webcasts appear on both sides of the Atlantic. As an Adviser for London College of Fashion, Craig brings industry relevance to the classroom.

Johnny Martin FCA is Entrepreneur in Residence at London College of Fashion. He is professionally, The Numbers Coach – an experienced director who now passionately explains business numbers and jargon to help young businesses find their business model. He is a British Library Business & IP Centre partner and runs regular workshops, as well as being a mentor for the Royal College of Art Innovation Unit.

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 minimum entry requirements for this course are:

One or a combination of the following accepted full level 3 qualifications.

  • A Level Passes at Grade C or above to total 96 new UCAS tariff points (preferred subjects include Maths, Economics, Business Studies, Science subjects, IT, Geography, Psychology and Languages);
  • Merit in Foundation Diploma in Art and Design;
  • at least Merit, Merit, Merit BTEC Extended Diploma
  • Merit in UAL Extended Diploma;
  • Access Diploma with at least 45 credits at Merit level or 96 tariff points from the Access to HE Diploma;
  • 96 new UCAS tariff points (equivalent to 220 old UCAS tariff points) from a combination of the above qualifications or an equivalent full Level 3 qualification;
  • Or equivalent EU or non-EU qualifications such as International Baccalaureate Diploma;
  • and six GCSE passes at grade A*-C or grade 9-4, with a grade B or 6 for Maths.

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, preferably within a fashion retail store environment or a work placement at a fashion retailer
  • 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 team seeks to recruit students who can demonstrate:

  • Appropriate knowledge and skills commensurate with entry requirements for the course
  • Clear academic interest in the study of buying and merchandising
  • Evidence of intelligent independent thinking
  • An engagement with analytical and evaluative activities
  • The ability to communicate visually, verbally and in writing

Applicants will be expected to evidence reasons in the application for:

  • why you want to come on the course and what you will bring to the course
  • an understanding of the different roles of buying and merchandising within the fashion industry
  • an awareness of fashion and the role it plays in the culture of a society
  • the ability to work in a team
  • a motivation to succeed on the course
  • a motivation for working in buying and merchandising in the fashion industry.

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.

You should apply though UCAS – Universities and Colleges Admissions Service – and you will need the following information:

University code:          U65

UCAS Code:                 2F32

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

Entry to Year 2 or Year 3

If you have successfully completed 120 credits (year 1) or 240 credits (years 1 and 2) in the equivalent units/modules on a degree course at another institution and wish to continue your studies at London College of Fashion, you can apply to transfer to year 2 or year 3 respectively. The Admissions Tutor will consider applicants for entry to year 2 and 3 on a case by case basis, subject to places being available on the course. You must apply through UCAS and indicate POE 2 for entry to year 2 or POE 3 for entry to year 3 on your application. Click here for important information about our UAL External Student Transfer Policy.

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by 15th January for equal consideration. However this course will consider applications after that date, subject to places being available.

What happens next

All application forms, personal statements and references are read and considered by the course team against the selection criteria listed in the Entry Requirements and Selection Criteria sections.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

If you applied through UCAS the result of your application will be communicated to you via UCAS through UCAS Track. You will only receive further communication directly from the College if your application has been successful. This will be in the form of 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.

How we assess your application

All application forms, personal statements and references are read and considered by the course team against the entry requirements and selection criteria listed above. If you have achieved or expect to achieve the standard entry requirements you will be invited to attend an interview. Please note that not all applicants are invited to attend interview. When you have attended your interview we will advise you of your outcome.

There are three ways international students can apply to an undergraduate course at London College of Fashion:

If you choose to apply though UCAS – Universities and Colleges Admissions Service – you will need the following information:

University code:          U65

UCAS Code:                 2F32

You can only apply to the same course once per year whether you are applying via UCAS, UAL Representative or using the UAL online application system. Any duplicate application will be withdrawn.

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

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

Entry to Year 2 or Year 3

If you have successfully completed 120 credits (year 1) or 240 credits (years 1 and 2) in the equivalent units/modules on a degree course at another institution and wish to continue your studies at London College of Fashion, you can apply to transfer to year 2 or year 3 respectively. The Admissions Tutor will consider applicants for entry to year 2 and 3 on a case by case basis, subject to places being available on the course. You must apply through UCAS and indicate POE 2 for entry to year 2 or POE 3 for entry to year 3 on your application. Click here for important information about our UAL External Student Transfer Policy.

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by 15th January for equal consideration. However this course will consider applications after that date, subject to places being available.

What happens next

Immigration History Check

Whether you are applying online via UCAS or through a UAL representative or direct application 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 references are read and considered by the course team against the selection criteria listed in the Entry Requirements and Selection Criteria sections. If the academic team wish to consider your application further, you will be invited to attend an interview either in person or via telephone where an international academic will ask you questions to establish your suitability for the course.

If you are successful at the interview stage you will be offered a place. Applicants are not guaranteed to be asked to attend an interview.

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

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

If you applied through UCAS the result of your application will be communicated to you via UCAS through UCAS Track. If you have applied directly or through an agent, we will notify you through the UAL portal. You will only receive further communication directly from the College if your application has been successful. This will be in the form of 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 UCAS Track or the UAL Portal to let you know whether your application has been successful.

Potential changes to course structure

Please note: 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 use this register your interest form.

Fees & Funding

Home / EU fee

£9,250

This applies for the 2020/21 academic year.

Tuition fees for undergraduate degree courses have been set at £9,250 per year for full-time study, subject to changes in the law. Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students, in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Please visit our Undergraduate tuition fees page for more information.

International fee

£22,920

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.

Scholarships and awards

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

Scholarship search

Careers and alumni

All of our undergraduate 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:

  • An on-course work experience or placement year. Please note, this is not available on every course; please see the Course Details section for information about work placement opportunities.
  • 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.

Graduates who wish to continue their education at postgraduate level can progress to suitable courses within the College, the University or elsewhere.

Career paths

Students have gained employment in a variety of roles in Buying and Merchandising with a number of companies including Matches, John Lewis, Marks and Spencers, H&M and Topshop. The transferable skills students have acquired have also seen our alumni progress into aligned roles in areas such as supply chain, visual merchandising, and marketing. This is a new course so we have no graduates as yet. Graduates from the Foundation Degree in buying and merchandising, which is replaced by this course, have gained employment in a variety of buying and merchandising roles with a number of companies including Yoox Net-a-Porter, Phase 8, The White Company, Lipsy, Zalando, Top Shop, JD Sports, Matches, John Lewis, Disney, Whistles, Jigsaw, ASOS, Debenhams, Marks and Spencers, Primark, Ralph Lauren, River Island, Finery, New Look, Harrods, Selfidge’s, Liberty’s, Ted Baker, Jaques Vert, H&M, AllSaints, TopShop, Reiss, Arcadia, Whistles, Jaeger, Burberry and ASOS. Two graduates from that course have moved into the visual merchandising field through the transferable skills they acquired, and are working as visual merchandisers at Abercrombie and Fitch and Urban Outfitters.

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