1 A-Level & 5 GCSEs
16-18: Fully funded. 19+: £4,220 (Loans Available)
Three-Week Work Placement
STUDY LEVEL 4 fashion buying
Studying a fashion buying course will help you master the essential skills and abilities needed to start work as a Buyer's Admin Assistant.
Learn how to source fabric, garments and suppliers across the globe, and how to collaborate with merchandisers to design range plans that maximise sales.
- Combine academic study with practical experience and develop the skills to launch your buying career
- Create exciting range plans that meet consumer needs, maximising sales and profits
- Learn forecasting skills to accurately predict future market trends
IN WORK OR STUDY
95% of our students are employed or continuing their studies within 6 months of completing Level 4 Buying.
IN HIGHER EDUCATION
All of our Level 4 Buying students who opted to continue their studies progressed to higher education.
WORKING 25+ HOURS A WEEK
97% of our Level 4 Buying students who opted to move into the industry are now working 25+ hours a week.
Studying at the Fashion Retail Academy is a fantastic experience. The teaching is amazing, and there’s so much support.
Adena, Level 4 Fashion Buying
I’ve loved my time at the Fashion Retail Academy! I’ve learnt so much during my course which has prepared me for industry life.
Ella, Level 4 Fashion Buying
I feel honoured to be have been welcomed back to the Fashion Retail Academy a few years after graduating from my Level 3 course. You really helped me land on my feet and get back on track after losing my job. I'll forever be thankful for the things I've learned and for the connections I've made whilst studying with you.
Andrew, Level 4 Fashion Buying
Studying Level 4 Fashion Buying, you’ll learn how to plan and trade a successful fashion season.
You'll investigate the key relationships between the Buying, Merchandising and Design teams within a fashion brand, and learn how they work together to develop trend-led ranges.
In our popular fashion buying course, we’ll teach you the essential skills for creating fashion range plans and collections, discovering how to select garments that satisfy customer demand and sell successfully. By developing your data analysis skills, we'll teach you how to evaluate customer behaviour and purchasing patterns. You'll learn how to identify what consumers want before they want it, making sure bestselling products are ready for purchase in stores when the trends arrive.
We’ll also show you how to navigate the global retail market. You'll explore how brands target new and emerging regions, and how to manage cultural and language differences within the supply chain. You'll learn how to complete 'Comp (Comparison) Shops' at competitor brands, and learn to use your findings to support your decisions.
Issues surrounding the negative environmental impact of the fashion industry are increasingly important for retail businesses. You’ll explore the routes to market and the different distribution channels used by businesses, including methods for sustainable sourcing and ethical production.
You’ll also have the chance to visit a UK factory, where you’ll see how garments are produced from 2D sketches and how digital ranges are constructed. You’ll also have the chance to visit a UK factory, where you’ll see how garments are produced from 2D sketches and how digital ranges are constructed. When you finish the fashion buying course, you’ll be ready to start your career as a fashion buyer or merchandiser.
The Level 4 Fashion Buying course covers:
- Fashion Retail Buying Environment: Explore a buyer and merchandiser's role within the fashion industry. Learn how to research and analyse key factors that influence buying decisions, and how to plan and design ranges for different types of fashion businesses.
- Fashion Retail Range Planning and Building: Develop the skills needed to create ranges of products for a brand. Learn how to work within a team to manage the design, production, quality, financial and marketing aspects used to build profitable ranges. Create visual range plans using a variety of design software.
- Fashion Retail Buying Principles: Examine the global market and learn to source fabrics and garments in the global supply chain, managing cultural differences. Develop an understanding of fabrics, garment construction, and pattern along with the ethical, political and environmental landscape of clothing production.
- Past Present Future: Learn how social, historical and cultural influences have impacted the fashion industry. Explore a wide range of influential ideas to improve research, writing and analytical skills.
- Individually-Negotiated Retail Project: Use the knowledge and skills developed over the year to create a professional-standard personal project, following a brief set by industry experts. Learn to self-evaluate and present work in a variety of different situations.
- Preparation for Progression: Learn to identify career opportunities to prepare for a career in buying, developing teamwork and presentation skills.
We're proud of our exceptional industry links to over 140 major brands at the Fashion Retail Academy. All our tutors have worked in the industry, and have plenty of knowledge and experience to share.
During your fashion buying course, you’ll have regular enrichment from industry and our retail partners. We’ll teach you to develop a strong professional network that will support you throughout your career. You’ll also take part in projects and challenges set by brands that help you to develop valuable professional skills.
VISITING INDUSTRY EXPERTS
You’ll receive regular classes and lectures from Visiting Industry Experts (VIEs), from top brands in the fashion industry. Throughout the year, they’ll also set projects and tasks for you to complete.
Our VIEs will give you feedback on your work and tell you how their brand might react in similar circumstances, helping give context and direction to your studies. These projects will also develop your professional skills in time management, team building and prioritising for deadlines.
Previous projects have been set by retailers including Alexander McQueen, ASOS, Sweaty Betty and H&M.
THREE-WEEK WORK PLACEMENT
You’ll have the opportunity to complete a three-week work placement as part of your course. We'll assign you to an industry manager, and you'll work either remotely or in the office. You’ll be given tasks to complete, giving you 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. You might be alone, or working in a small group. You’ll earn practical, professional skills that give a valuable boost to your CV.
Previous students have completed placements with Fortnum & Mason, Next, John Lewis, Whistles and Harvey Nichols.
After graduating from Level 4 Fashion Buying, you’ll be ready to progress straight into an entry-level role in fashion.
89% of our Level 4 Fashion Buying students are in employment or further education within 6 months of finishing their course at the FRA.
This course prepares you for jobs including Buyer’s Admin Assistant or Buyer's Clerk.
You could also move into merchandising as a Merchandiser’s Admin Assistant or Allocator. There's particular demand in the industry at the moment for entry-level merchandisers, with opportunities for rapid progression for strong candidates!
Find out more about our Fashion Careers Service.
All our Level 4 specialist higher Diplomas come with our Job Guarantee.
We design our courses alongside our industry partners to teach you the skills and attributes you need to secure a job. So, if you’re not offered one within six months of completing your course, we’ll refund your course fees in full.
This offer applies to students who are paying privately or using the Advanced Learner Loan to fund their studies. If you secured a loan to pay for your course, we will not refund your loan interest.
See our Terms & Conditions for our full eligibility criteria.
University of the Arts London
Level 4 Diploma in Buying and Range Planning for Fashion Retail
1 year, delivered over 2 days per week
- Fully-funded for students aged 18
- £4,220 per year for students aged 19+ - Advanced Learner Loans are available
- 1 A-level or the equivalent Level 3 qualification
- 5 GCSEs grade C/4 or above, including Maths and English
For non-UK qualifications, please provide an ENIC Statement of Comparability.
If you're applying from a non-English speaking country, you'll need at least 5.5 overall and in each section of IELTS test for English language
The course is 100% coursework via termly assignments that measure your knowledge and understanding.
After completing our online form, we'll process your application and send you the outcome by post and email in 5-10 working days. We process applications in the order we receive them, and offers are made on a first-come, first-served basis.
- If you have your exam results and you meet the course's entry requirements, you'll be given an unconditional offer.
- If you don't have your results yet, your offer will be conditional on you meeting the entry requirements.
Your place on the Level 4 Fashion Buying course is only secure after you have completed enrolment.
- Academic Transition Day: 1 September 2022
- Term Start Date: 5 September
- Half Term: 24 – 28 October
- End of Term: 19 December
- Winter Holidays: 19 December 2022 – 2 January 2023
- Term Start Date: 2 January 2023
- End of Term: 31 March
- Spring Holidays: 3 – 14 April
- Term Starts: 17 April
- End of Term: 30 June 2023
*Term Dates are subject to change
- Academic Transition Day: 31 August 2023
- Term Start Date: 4 September
- End of Term: 18 December
- Winter Holidays: 18 December 2023 – 1 January 2024
- Term Start Date: 2 January 2024
- End of Term: 18 March
- Spring Holidays: 18 March - 7 April
- Term Starts: 8 April
- End of Term: 24 June 2024
*Term Dates are subject to change
RUBY WILSON - VERGE GIRL RENTAL x HURR
in-store smart mirrors