£2,100 (Payment plans available)
3 Week Work Placement
STUDY BUYING & MERCHANDISING ONLINE
Our online Buying and Merchandising course helps you to master the essential skills required for an entry-level position in the fashion industry.
You'll learn how to plan and trade a fashion season from concept to consumer, as well as how to analyse consumer behaviour to predict future trends and inform buying and merchandising decisions. Our Buying and Merchandising course is ideal for those with a busy lifestyle, or those living outside of London. Study completely online in your own time, around your other commitments, with just one compulsory live lesson each week.
- Learn to plan, build and manage product ranges to maximise sales
- Design collections that satisfy customer demands and reach profit targets
- Study at the Fashion Retail Academy from the convenience of your own home
IN WORK OR STUDY
88% of our students are in work or further study within 6 months of completing their course
Senior buyers in London earn an average of £54,000 a year*(1)
Senior merchandisers in London earn an average of £57,000 a year *(2)
I was unsure which career I wanted to pursue, but my course at the Fashion Retail Academy helped me decide between buying and merchandising! You’ll get a hands-on approach and work closely with industry experts within the fashion industry who have experience within the roles themselves.
Phoebe, FRA Almuni and Merchandising Assistant at Matches.com
Fashion buyers and merchandisers work at the heart of every fashion brand. They understand all the social, cultural and environmental factors that influence the trends of the future, using their forecasting skills to plan best-selling ranges.
Our online Buying and Merchandising course teaches you how to plan and trade a successful fashion season, learning how each department works together to maximise sales.
Over 36 weeks, we’ll teach you how to understand consumers, spot trends and make the right strategic decisions for a successful business. You’ll explore the stages of the supply chain, from sourcing to production, and learn how items are delivered to customers both in-store and online. You’ll also discover the increasing importance of sustainability and ethical production within the fashion industry.
We’ll teach you how to analyse and understand consumer shopping behaviour and purchasing patterns. You’ll also develop your knowledge of trend forecasting, using industry databases like WGSN and Edited to support your creative decisions. We’ll also show you the essential Excel skills used by industry professionals every day - so you'll complete the course ready for an entry-level job in industry.
You'll master the techniques for selecting bestselling products and buying them in the right quantities, making sure everything arrives in stores at the right time to maximise sales and profits.
One compulsory live lesson every week. Lessons will usually be in the evening (UK GMT).
Either a themed discussion group or support session, alternating every week.
Pre-recorded content, learning resources and tasks become available on our Online Learning platform. Work must be completed ahead of Tuesday's lesson.
We expect you to complete 4-6 hours of independent study a week.
- Monthly meetings with your industry mentor
- Bookable sessions with your tutor, the FRA library or online learning support
- Careers advice and guidance from the FRACareers team
*Timetable is subject to change
Throughout our online Buying and Merchandising course, you'll complete 4 projects that cover a range of key topics
- Introduction to the Fashion Industry:
Investigate how retail businesses are structured within the fashion industry. Analyse the factors that influence buying decisions including trend forecasting and consumer behaviour. Explore challenges around sustainability and ethical production. Explore the relationship between consumers, businesses and supply chains.
- Range Planning & Building: Learn how product ranges are created and produced by brands. Discover how buyers and merchandisers work with a development team to manage the design, production, quality, budget and marketing of a profitable range. Create visual range plans using digital design software.
- Sourcing & Product Development: Explore the logistics of supply chains. Examine how fabrics and garments are sourced from across the world. Investigate the benefits and challenges of global manufacturing, including the cultural and economic influences on sourcing in an international market. Learn about the principles of environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG).
- Business & Data Analytics: Master the tools and methods for data analysis. Learn how to ask the right questions and solve problems. Use data to develop appropriate, relevant and effective solutions to business challenges. This includes customer behaviour analysis, competitor reviews and 'comp shops'. Learn the main methods and tools used when analysing data
Throughout the course, you'll have regular seminars, talks and masterclasses from our brand partners. We’ll help you develop a strong industry 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, practical skills.
Either individually or in small groups, we'll assign you an industry mentor. They’ll meet with you once a month to discuss, advise and support you on your journey into industry. Your mentor will offer insight into working in a business and can help you plan your career goals.
TWO-WEEK work placement
You will have the opportunity to complete a 2 week full time work placement with one of our brand partners as part of your course. If you are unable to participate there will be the option to take part in industry based projects and careers workshops*
*Please note: Placement is open to UK residents only. Placements are most likely to be based in London. Placements could be fully in person, fully remote or a mixture of both.
After completing our online Buying & Merchandising course, you’ll be ready to progress straight into an entry-level role in industry. Popular roles include
- Buying Admin Assistant
- Merchandising Admin Assistant
- Buying Clerk
There is particular demand in the industry at the moment for entry-level merchandisers, with opportunities for rapid progression for strong candidates.
Minimum Age: 19 +
Course duration: 36 weeks
- Two Payments of 50% each
- Six monthly payments
- Full Payment upfront
The first payment is due before the start of your course.
Recommended Entry Qualifications: We welcome applicants with an undergraduate degree, A-levels or equivalent qualifications. We also encourage applicants with employment experience.
- As a minimum, we suggest GCSEs including Maths & English at grade 4/C or above.
- For international students, we require IELTS grade 5
Buying & Merchandising [online] is open to applications from international students. However, you must be able to attend one compulsory live lesson, one evening a week (UK GMT).
*(1) Source: average buyer salary in London
- Start of Term: 26 September 2023
*subject to change