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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 course is due to be re-validated during the academic year 2020/21, so course content might change to align with current business needs to enhance employability on graduation. This exclusive accelerated 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. This provides you, not only with the latest skills needed for a successful career in a broad range roles in a management capacity, but also of futureproofed business skills and the agility you will need to succeed in contemporary retail environments. Fashion and retail are changing at break neck speed. The continued rise and use of technology, the demand for ‘new now’ and an unstable trading environment has given rise to increased competition and the need to alter business models fundamentally to remain competitive. Retail today bears less and less resemblance to that of a decade ago and our exclusive research into retail of the future clearly shows that this shift will only continue to grow. The Fashion Retail Academy (FRA) and Falmouth University Partnership The FRA Buying & Merchandising Degree 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. Gold is reserved for institutions where teaching, retention and graduate outcomes are consistently outstanding and are of the highest quality found in the UK. Falmouth University has a 115 year history at the leading edge of creativity and is now at the forefront of driving innovation and entrepreneurialism across the creative economy with its mission of “doing it for real”. The course will be delivered wholly at the FRA in London by its team of dedicated academics and industry professionals. As well as being a student of the FRA, you will also benefit from having joint studentship with Falmouth University, which gives you access to Falmouth University’s extensive online library collection and resources. You will also become a member of the FXU Students’ 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 a 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). The course also includes the FRA unique experience:

  • Unique two year condensed delivery
  • Live Industry Projects, led by employers, to build your experience and portfolio.
  • A work placement each year with one of the 140 fashion retail brand partners working with the FRA – to provide hands on practical experience of different roles and gain industry contacts & experience
  • Industry Mentor throughout your course
  • Course taught by experienced fashion retail industry professionals
You will study for three study blocks during the academic year between September and the following August (15 weeks in each). Our two year delivery also means you will only have to pay fees for two years rather than three, saving a full year’s fees and living costs. *Subject to meeting the expected levels of attendance in accordance with FRA’s Attendance Monitoring Policy.

Course details

Modules

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. You will gain an understanding of the broad operational concepts required of fashion retail merchandisers through supply chain management including the analytical and external considerations required of the role. Linking to other modules within the course, your appreciation of different retailer types and the importance of the customer in relation to this will be implicit throughout. 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. You will examine the supply chain and effective ways of managing it, how to source agents, suppliers and manufacturers and understand the complexity of cultural differences in business practise, pulling together multiple elements from other modules, contextualised for the buying role. Additionally, you will look at the range of ethical, environment, political and legal contexts, as well as current affairs, which sourcing managers and buyers operate, and the affects upon the logistics and distribution management of the supply chain. INTRODUCTION TO INFORMATION SYSTEMS This introduces you to a wide range of reports and systems that are readily available and implemented by fashion retail companies. As part of this module, you will also utilise Excel skills and learn to use information and business reports to optimise trade and profitability. TRADING Like any large businesses, fashion buyers have to think globally in order to supply to a cross section of international shoppers whom they can now serve directly. Modern consumers do not have to travel to the high street, let alone abroad, to find the top brands, as multinational labels have blanketed the world with boutiques and now look online. Fashion trading is a key driving force within the fashion industry, in exploring how to maximise the commercial performance of any group of categories using Web Analytics data on Traffic, Conversion and Order Value and exploring goods, what drives insights, actions and makes measurable improvements to a fashion organisation SOURCING AND SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT 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. The module has been developed to ensure a greater understanding of the essential interaction between the buyer and other head office roles in a modern, globalised retail environment. You will gain a working insight into different buying environments and merchandising for different types of fashion business whether online, high street, brand, concessions, multichannel and wholesale both in the UK and globally. Fundamentally, 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. Through live projects and work placements, you will practically demonstrate an industry level ability in buying.


How to apply

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
GCSE/National 4/National 5 GCSE Maths and English grade C/4 or above.

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