Fashion Retail Academy

Degree level: Undergraduate
Awarded by: Falmouth University

Buying & Merchandising for Fashion (2 year accelerated degree)

Make sure you check on the university, college or conservatoire website for any updates about course changes as a result of COVID-19.

Course summary

This brand new and exclusive ‘Fast-Track’ two-year degree course in partnership with Falmouth University has been designed from the ground up with fashion retail employers of all shapes and sizes (from high street to high end and pureplay) to create a new breed of employee. Providing you not only with the latest skills needed for a successful career in buying, merchandising or online trading, but a broad range of futureproofed business skills and the agility you will need to succeed in contemporary retail environments. The Fashion Retail Academy (FRA) and Falmouth University Partnership This degree course has been exclusively developed in partnership with Falmouth University which has been ranked gold in the Teaching Excellence Framework, the new classification of degree teaching standards. The course will be delivered entirely at The Fashion Retail Academy in London and you will have the additional benefit of having access to Falmouth University’s extensive online library collection and resources. You will also become a member of the Falmouth University Student Union. The Degree FRA ‘degrees with a difference’ includes highly practical, industry-focused content delivered over an accelerated two-year course including industry involvement ranging from masterclasses to live practical projects, industry mentoring and work placements. Delivered in an accelerated model over 2 years your full BA (Hons) will propel you towards your chosen career a year quicker than a traditional degree. The structure of the course has been designed around study at Level 4 (developing foundational knowledge and awareness), Level 5 (high levels skills development and synthesis of information) and Level 6 (your launch pad for your career). This highly practical course has been created with retailers to fast track your studies and secure a role in Fashion Buying or Merchandising. The course is based upon market leading research into how the functions of Buying and Merchandising are changing and will ensure you can deploy a range of contemporary industry skills. The course will suit anyone pursuing a degree with a clear focus on gaining employment upon completion. Fashion buying and merchandising requires strong commercial and analytical skills and in contemporary retail a deep understanding of the main factors effecting business operations and profitability. Alongside the commercial acumen needed for a successful career, you will also develop a range of creative skills to provide you with broad experience in this specialist subject area to ensure that you are work ready. The buying and merchandising functions are symbiotic and whether you have a bent for either function, the course provides a solid ground in both disciplines. Modules of study include:

  • Contextual & Historical Studies
  • Merchandising concepts
  • Buying concepts
  • Buying & Merchandising systems and data
  • Trading
  • Sourcing and supply chain
  • Merchandising for fashion retail
  • Buying for fashion retail
  • Brand management
  • Consumer behaviour
  • Fashion Retail landscape and environment
  • Professional strategies
  • Internalisation and globalisation
  • Data and Analytics
The course also benefits from the FRA unique experience which includes live industry projects, a work placement each year with one of our 140 brand partners, and an industry mentor through your degree. You will study for three study blocks during the academic year between September and the following August (15 weeks in each) rather than the standard two. This means you will only have to pay for two years of fees and living costs rather than three. *Subject to meeting the expected levels of attendance in accordance with FRA’s Attendance Monitoring Policy.

Course details


CULTURAL AND CONTEXTUAL STUDIES The history of fashion including geographic locality, technology, sustainability, societal and cultural influences. You will look at the rise and impact of technology, sustainability and corporate social responsibility. MERCHANDISING CONCEPTS Through the module, you will develop an understanding of the Merchandising function and relevant strategies deployed in contemporary retail as well as the external factors and trends which impact upon the role. BUYING CONCEPTS In this module you will gain a deep understanding of the emerging global fashion market, investigate changes in sourcing, the factors influencing those changes and the effects it has on global manufacturing. TRADING Fashion trading is a key driving force within the fashion industry. Explore how to maximise the commercial performance of any group of categories using Web Analytics data on Traffic, Conversion and Order Value to examine what drives insights, actions and makes measurable improvements to a fashion oraganisation SOURCING AND SUPPLY CHAIN This module will explore the complexities and nuances of sourcing and supply chain in a truly global sense. A demand for ‘newness now’ and increasingly squeezed margins for fashion retailers make this aspect critically important. MERCHANDISING FOR FASHION RETAIL This module will develop a practical and detailed understanding of fashion merchandising and the influence of merchandise planning and trading on retail profit. You will gain a working insight into different merchandising environments and merchandising for different types of fashion business whether online, Omni-element, high street, brand, concessions, multichannel and wholesale both in the UK and globally. BUYNG FOR FASHION RETAIL In this module you will develop a practical and detailed understanding of fashion buying and the influence of planning and purchasing on retail profit. Your understanding of the day to day activities within the buying function will be secured and you will be able to understand the garment lifecycle from concept to consumer. CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR Incorporating retail trends, consumer behaviour looks at cultural, social, personal and economical behaviours that drive consumers to purchase, and what causes those consumers to develop product and brand preferences. FASHION RETAIL LANDSCAPE AND ENVIRONMENT Understand the many layers that comprise the retail environment including commercial, cultural, technological and anthropocentric factors. Look at rapid changes in the virtual world that have created an increased demand for online interaction, forcing the physical retail space to undergo substantial changes to evolve as more than just a shop. PROFESSIONAL STRATEGIES Develop a deeper awareness of self-positioning in the fashion industry through reflective practice for professionals including CV and LinkedIn writing workshops, support for business start-up funding and the development of a range of self-promotional material. Industry employers will share advice and guidance on how to contact relevant people and how to attract business funding whilst maintaining entrepreneurship and innovation. INTERNALISATION AND GLOBALISATION This module includes the diversity, complexity and vibrancy of the international business landscape for fashion business. Understand the opposing advantages of presenting a consistent brand globally whilst maintaining a tailored, operational approach at local level. DATA AND ANALYTICS IN A BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT Look at business analytics and statistical analysis to support an evidence based approach to management decision making. Different stages of the analytics process are examined using case studies and practical applications. From loyalty schemes, social media and e-commerce, retailers have increasing access to an abundance of rich data on customer behaviour and business costs.

How to apply

You can no longer submit a new application for courses starting in 2020.

If you already have a 2020 application and are in Clearing, you can add this course as a Clearing choice in Track – contact the university or college first to check they have places.

Application deadlines

If your application is completed by the following date, it’s guaranteed to be considered:

15 January

*If you apply after this deadline, universities or colleges don’t have to consider your application if they’ve filled their spaces, so the sooner you apply, the better!

Application codes

You will need these codes when you add a choice to your application.

Course codeBUM1
Institution code F70
Campus nameFashion Retail Academy
Campus codeF

Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1

International applicants

We regret that this course is not available to international (non-EU) applicants who would require a Tier 4 Student Visa. If English is not your first language, you will need to demonstrate English language skills that are sufficiently developed for successful completion of your studies. We accept a range of recognised English language qualifications that are equivalent to the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic minimum score of 6.0 overall, with a minimum of 5.5 in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

QualificationOfferFurther information
UCAS Tariff 104 - 120 points A typical offer is between 104 and 120 UCAS points for entry to undergraduate courses, primarily from Level 3 equivalent qualifications such as A levels, a BTEC Extended Diploma or a Foundation Diploma. You can check how many points your qualifications are worth using the online UCAS Tariff Calculator. Due to the creative nature of our courses, you will be considered on your own individual merit and potential to succeed. We encourage you to get in touch if you are predicted points below this range, thinking about transferring from another institution, or if you have other qualifications or professional experience as we may be able to consider you. If English is not your first language, we accept a range of recognised language qualifications that are equivalent to the IELTS Academic minimum score of 6.0 overall, with a minimum of 5.5 in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening. If you require a Tier 4 student visa to study in the UK, you must take an approved Secure English Language Test (SELT) to fulfil government visa requirements.
A level We welcome A Levels in a wide range of subjects, especially in those relevant to the course for which you apply.
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (first teaching from September 2016) A typical offer is between 104 and 120 UCAS points
Access to HE Diploma 60 credits (with a minimum of 45 credits achieved at level 3) in a relevant subject.
Scottish Higher A typical offer is between 104 and 120 UCAS points
AS We may consider a standalone AS in a relevant subject, if it is taken along with other A Levels and if an A Level has not been taken in the same subject. However, you will not be disadvantaged if you do not have a standalone AS subject as we will not ordinarily use them in our offers.
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma (first teaching from September 2016) Acceptable when combined with other qualifications
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate (first teaching from September 2016) Acceptable when combined with other qualifications
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Certificate (first teaching from September 2016) Acceptable when combined with other qualifications
Scottish Advanced Higher A typical offer is between 104 and 120 UCAS points
International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme 24 points
Welsh Baccalaureate - Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate (first teaching September 2015) A minimum of 40 UCAS tariff points, when combined with a minimum of 64 UCAS tariff points from the Supporting Qualifications
Extended Project Acceptable when combined with other qualifications
Leaving Certificate - Higher Level (Ireland) (first awarded in 2017) A typical offer is between 104 and 120 UCAS points
Leaving Certificate - Ordinary Level (Ireland) (first awarded in 2017) A typical offer is between 104 and 120 UCAS points
Cambridge International Pre-U Certificate - Principal A typical offer is between 104 and 120 UCAS points

If you are able to demonstrate relevant, current, equivalent experience instead of formal qualifications, we encourage you to apply

English language requirements

If English isn't your first language, we'll need to see academic proof of your level of written and spoken English. We require a minimum International English language testing system (IELTS) score of 6.0 (or recognised equivalent*). This test must have been taken no earlier than two years before you start at the Fashion Retail Academy. * Trinity (taken in the UK) - 111 Cambridge ESOL Exams - CAE or FCE Cambridge English scale 176 Common European Framework - C1 - C2

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

EU £11100 Year 1
England £11100 Year 1
Northern Ireland £11100 Year 1
Scotland £11100 Year 1
Wales £11100 Year 1
Channel Islands £11100 Year 1

Additional fee information

£70 - recurring annual cost. £50-£200 - One off costs for the course duration (compulsory trips, final portfolios or shows, etc). £300 - Optional study visits and placements for the course duration. Additionally, if you need to bring equipment or materials with you, these will be outlined in your induction
Buying & Merchandising for Fashion (2 year accelerated degree) at Fashion Retail Academy - UCAS