From 104 UCAS points + Maths GCSE (Grade 4/C or Above)
£11,100 per year (Loans Available)
Industry Mentor and Work Placement
STUDY FASHION BUYING & MERCHANDISING
Our undergraduate Fashion Buying & Merchandising degree will help you build an understanding of the global fashion market.
You'll develop the core skills you need for a career in the fashion industry. You'll learn how to plan and trade a fashion season from concept to customer. You'll also discover the impact of trend analysis, consumer profiling and consumer behaviour on this process.
- Accelerated 2-year fashion buying & merchandising degree saving you time and money
- Discover how to plan successful product ranges and fashion collections
- Understand the buying cycle from concept to consumer
Studying on our accelerated undergraduate courses, you'll graduate in 2 years instead of 3, saving you time and money.
Every student on our undergraduate programmes is assigned their own industry mentor for help and support
IN WORK OR STUDY
80% of our BA (HONS) Buying & Merchandising graduates continued their studies or were in employment within 15 months of completing their course.
I loved every minute of my time at the Fashion Retail Academy. Over the years, I have had some amazing opportunities and gained experience from well-known fashion brands. This has allowed me to go straight into the industry as a BAA alongside my course. It’s my dream job and I have the FRA to thank!
Amie, Level 3 Fashion Retail and BA (Hons) Buying & Merchandising alumni and BAA at Pretty Lavish
My time at the Fashion Retail Academy gave me a great deal of personal and professional growth. Resilience, subject knowledge and learning that I am more capable than I believed has helped me land my dream role!
Annabel, BA (Hons) Buying & Merchandising alumni and MAA at John Lewis
I have loved doing my degree at the Fashion Retail Academy; it’s been challenging and inspiring. The great work experience opportunities have helped me get a job in industry before I even graduate!
Izzy, BA (Hons) Buying & Merchandising
It’s been a great two years. The best part of the course was the industry placement; from that, I got a job with M&S! I’d definitely recommend the Fashion Retail Academy. You get great industry insight from the lecturers, not many other places have lecturers that are fresh out of head office.
Teni, BA (Hons) Buying & Merchandising for Fashion
Our fashion Buying & Merchandising undergraduate degree teaches you the essential knowledge needed for a successful career as a fashion buyer or merchandiser.
You’ll examine the whole supply chain from product concept to consumer, developing the creative, commercial and analytical skills you need to thrive in these fast-paced, exciting roles.
On BA (Hons) Buying & Merchandising, you’ll master the art and science of buying and merchandising in the fashion industry. We’ll teach you the vital role these departments play within a fashion brand, exploring how they work together to deliver commercially profitable collections.
Throughout our fashion Buying & Merchandising course, you’ll develop the key skills required to create and source a successful product range. We’ll show you the tools and techniques used to determine which products and styles to buy and where to source them, and how to analyse data to inform your business decisions. You’ll examine the importance of good stock management and the impact this has on sales and profit.
You’ll examine the effect of consumer behaviour and environmental factors, learning to interpret information to support your creative ideas. Combining this with trend forecasting skills, we’ll teach you how to make informed, commercial decisions that deliver on a brand’s business goals.
Our accelerated degrees are taught over three teaching semesters a year instead of the traditional two. This means you'll learn the same academic content as a three-year course, whilst saving on tuition fees and living costs. You can also start your career a year earlier than your peers.
*This course is subject to change following our re-validation for 2023-24
BA (HONS) BUYING & MERCHANDISING MODULES
Our BA (Hons) Buying & Merchandising course has six specialist fashion buying and merchandising modules:
- Fundamentals of Buying & Merchandising (40 Credits): Understand the roles that buyers and merchandisers play within a fashion business. Discover how to source suppliers, manufacturers, and materials, and learn about the principles of supply chain management and how to plan and trade a fashion season and develop your knowledge in buying, merchandising, globalisation and pricing strategies.
- Supply Chain, ESG & Sustainability (40 Credits): Explore the principles of sourcing products and managing supply chains on a global level. Learn about the garment manufacturing process, fabric sourcing and the ethical considerations and principles of supply chain management.
- Advanced Buying & Merchandising (40 Credits): Develop a detailed understanding of the buying and merchandising processes in fashion retail. Discover how the roles fit within the wider business context and understand in depth the essential interactions of these roles and how they work together.
- Product Innovation & Range Planning (40 Credits): Discover how to plan a range and develop the analytical and creative skills to manage and deliver a range. Learn how to work with designers and manufacturers to develop innovative and sustainably made products.
- Personal Professional Project (40 Credits): Complete an individual project that represents the knowledge and skills you have learnt during the degree. This is a self-directed project, and you will receive guidance from your tutor.
- Specialist – live project & industry experience - Trading (40 Credits): Complete a live project, working with a brand, focused on trading a fashion season. Gain knowledge and insights from industry enrichment throughout the project.
There are six core modules that are taught across all undergraduate courses:
- Study and Research Skills (20 Credits): Develop the knowledge and skills necessary for studying fashion at undergraduate level. Complete a research project that allows you to practice creative research techniques in your specialist area. Explore theories on decolonisation, equity, diversity, and inclusion.
- The Fashion Industry (20 Credits): Learn about the contemporary fashion industry in all aspects. Explore the business structures across luxury, mid-market, and high street to identify differences and commonalities of how brands operate. Discover the relationship between marketing and brand management.
- Consumer and Data Insights (20 Credits): Learn how to gather, collate and analyse important data, and discover how to use your findings in evidence-based decision-making. Find out how to gain important insights into consumers’ habits and learn how to incorporate this data into your strategies.
- Consumer Behaviour (20 Credits): Explore how consumer behaviour impacts all aspects of a fashion business and understand how individual and collective consumer habits are influenced by cultural, social, and economic factors.
- Global Markets (20 Credits): Develop your understanding of global markets and the international business landscape. Learn about the impact of globalisation on businesses and consumers, and how business models are changing in reaction to social and political change. Learn about the diversity, complexity, and vibrancy of the international business landscape for fashion, and how each element of the industry is connected.
- Entrepreneurial Practice (20 Credits): Discover the core elements that make a business entrepreneurial and how the business ecosystem can drive change. Explore the theoretical and practical entrepreneurial capabilities for start-ups and established businesses.
*Course structures and modules can change as part of our curriculum enhancement and review processes
We work with over 140 brands at the FRA. Our Buying & Merchandising undergraduate degree course includes practical, industry-focused content taught by some of fashion’s biggest names to give you valuable skills and work experience.
We match every undergraduate student with their own dedicated industry mentor. You’ll meet a minimum of once a term, and they’ll be there to support and guide you, and give you insight into working life. They’ll share their professional experience and personal connections to top names in fashion. Current students are working with mentors from brands like Jigsaw, Whistles, Burberry and Lipsy.
THREE-WEEK work placement
As part of our undergraduate programmes, you’ll have a work placement with one of our partner brands each year. You’ll be assigned to an industry manager either individually or as a small group, and you’ll work remotely or in the office. You’ll be given tasks to complete, providing you with an understanding of a specific job role and its place within an organisation. You could be working in a single team, or across multiple areas of the business.
In your first year, you’ll complete a three-week work placement. In your second year, this will be extended to two days a week over three months. You’ll earn practical, professional skills that give a valuable boost to your CV.
YOU 2.0 ASSESSMENT CENTRE BOOTCAMP
All graduating students will pass through our unique assessment centre bootcamp, designed to give you experience of industry interviews and assessment days. You’ll learn what to expect and how to prepare for interviews. We’ll teach you how to stand out from the crowd, so you'll know exactly what talent acquisition teams are looking for and feel confident applying for industry roles.
When you graduate from one of our accelerated degree programmes, you'll be ready to progress straight into employment in the fashion industry.
Previous graduates from BA (Hons) Buying & Merchandising are now working in a wide variety of job roles, including:
- Buying Admin Assistant
- Buying Assistant
- Merchandising Admin Assistant
- Merchandising Assistant
- Online Assistant Merchandiser
We've noticed a particular demand in the industry for entry-level merchandisers, with potential opportunities for rapid career progression for strong candidates.
All applications are processed through UCAS.
UCAS Code: BUM1
Our offers are usually between 104 and 120 UCAS points for our undergraduate courses, from Level 3 equivalent qualifications such as:
- A levels
- a BTEC Extended Diploma
- a Foundation Diploma
You can check how many points your qualifications are worth using the online UCAS Tariff Calculator. You will also need to have a Maths GCSE at a Grade 4/C or above.
For more details on applying for our undergraduate degrees, please see our Undergraduate Application Process.
Due to the creative nature of our courses, you'll be considered on your own individual merit and potential to succeed. We encourage you to get in touch if you're predicted fewer than 104 UCAS points, thinking about transferring from another institution, or if you have other qualifications or professional experience.
We are currently unable to accept international applications for our undergraduate degree courses. If you'd like to study at the Fashion Retail Academy, please apply for one of our Level 4 diploma programmes.
- £11,100 per year
- Student tuition and maintenance loans are available
Our undergraduate degree programmes have been exclusively developed in partnership with Falmouth University.
All our undergraduate courses are taught at our Central London campus by our team of leading academics and industry professionals. Throughout your studies, you will be part of Falmouth University's Student Union and have access to their library facilities alongside our own. Upon graduation, your degree will be awarded by Falmouth University at a Fashion Retail Academy graduation ceremony.
- End of term: 18 August
- Work Placement: 21 August - 8 September
- End of term: 18 August
*Term Dates are subject to change
- Freshers Week: 18 September 2023
- Start of term: 25 September
- Winter Holidays: 18 December 2023 - 19 January 2024
- Start of term: 22 January 2024
- Spring Holidays: 25 March - 5 April
- Students return: 8 April
- Start of term: 27 May
- End of term: 16 August 2024
Gabrielle Landy - Polaroid x Levi's
trend research & development
range launch & scope
From September 2024, the Fashion Retail Academy will be located at our new campus at Electra House in Liverpool Street, Central London.
The listed building is currently undergoing a £30 million refurbishment, created to our exact specifications.
There will be:
- 8 floors (Electra House is double the size of our current campus)
- A bigger library and more workspaces
- 35 classrooms
- Bespoke studio spaces
- 6 lecture theatres
- Dedicated fashion design wing
- IT hub and self-service laptop lockers
- "Speakeasy" student common room and on-site cafe
- 2 specialist exhibition and event spaces
- Wellness spaces and communal areas
- Discovery nook
Liverpool Street has excellent transport links to the rest of London and beyond, and Electra House is situated directly across from Moorgate tube station. There is a bus stop outside the building, and Liverpool Street Station is a short walk away.
Students starting their course in September 2023 will start at our Gresse Street campus and move to Electra House for their second year. We will be there to support you throughout the transition, and provide any help and guidance wherever needed.
Click here for more information about Electra House and how our new campus will benefit you.