Fashion Retail Academy

Degree level: Undergraduate
Awarded by: Falmouth University

Buying & Merchandising for Fashion (2 year accelerated degree)

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Course summary

The two year accelerated BA (Hons) Buying & Merchandising for Fashion degree will teach you how to develop, plan and manage product ranges by teaching you the creative and technical knowledge required. You will study the principles of both buying and merchandising, range planning, sourcing, trading, supply chain management as well as about the factors that affect the decision making of buyers and merchandisers. You will learn about the whole supply chain from product concept to consumer, the art and science of buying and merchandising and how to use the tools and techniques that determine what to buy and when to buy it. You will learn how to manage a critical path, analyse sales and profits and understand the importance and implications of good stock management. The function of Buying and Merchandising is responsible for creating and sourcing the range of product that will be sold in the stores and for the profit the retailer will make. The Buyer focuses mainly on the selection of the product, its style and quality and where it will be made. The merchandiser will focus on the quantity of each product bought, number of styles and where it will be sold. Together they are responsible for ensuring the product sells in line with the business plan. These are exciting and fast paced roles. Both require creative, commercial and analytical skills. To build a product range Buyers and Merchandisers need to understand their consumers in order to forecast what will sell. They work closely with suppliers to understand their capabilities and what can be made, and follow their competitors to determine prices. They need to understand the relationship between stock, sales and profit. To do their job well, Buyers and Merchandisers need to work together but also alongside retailers, designers and marketeers to ensure their range is commercially viable and profitable. How effective they are in their role is pivotal to a retailers success. Buying & Merchandising requires strong commercial and analytical skills. Contemporary retail involves a deep understanding of the main factors affecting 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 and your skills are future proofed. 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 three-week industry experience 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. 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.

Course details


Delivered in an accelerated model over 2 years, you will utilise the summer period to study over three study blocks instead of two. The structure of this 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. Common Modules which are taught across each degree include:

  • Cultural and Contextual Studies
  • Consumer Behaviour
  • Fashion Retail Landscape and Environment
  • Professional Strategies
  • Internalisation and Globalisation
  • Data and Analytics in Business
Buying & Merchandising Core Modules are: 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. 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. 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 business, 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.

How to apply

Application codes

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Fashion Retail Academy
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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

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

Unistats information

Operated by the Office for Students

There is no data available for this course. For further information visit the Discover Uni website.

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