Fashion Buying with Design BA (Hons)

Explore the perfect blend of creative flair and strategy while learning the intricate process of selecting and sourcing to satisfy trends, consumer needs, sustainability and social responsibility.

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In this dynamic and ever-evolving field, you will have the opportunity to dive deep into the world of fashion, gaining a comprehensive understanding of trend analysis, design, retail management, and supply chain dynamics. You'll also have the chance to collaborate with industry professionals, visit fashion companies, and engage in real-world buying experiences that will prepare you for a successful career in this exciting field. 

Our dedicated faculty team are committed to providing you with a supportive learning environment, ensuring that you have access to the resources and guidance needed to thrive academically and professionally. You will learn how to develop your design ability, create garments and communicate your design vision through pattern-making, sewing workshops and 3D digital design.  

We know that it is often difficult to make the right choice of Degree programme, so we have structured the first year to offer your design specialism in one block with another three blocks taught alongside students from the Marketing, Merchandising and Fashion Business programme. This allows you the chance to change your mind, and with guidance, we will help you move to one of our other subjects.

Key features

  • Explore and specialise in digital and/or practical design creation. 
  • Create knit and weave samples and test fibres in our specialist labs.
  • We are one of the country’s most sustainable fashion and textiles schools (Green Gown Awards, 2021) and one of the best fashion schools in the world for 2022 (CEOWORLD, 2022).  
  • Take part in our one-year UK or global placement schemes in businesses such as Ralph Lauren, Next, Reiss, Hunkemoller, Primark and N Brown.
  • Take advantage of international opportunities through our DMU Global programme. This year students visited Porto.
  • Study in the award-winning Vijay Patel Building, and explore our cutting-edge facilities including construction labs, print and mixed-media rooms, laser cut and 3D print.
  • Benefit from Education 2030, where a simplified ‘block learning’ timetable means you will study one subject at a time and have more time to engage with your learning, receive faster feedback and enjoy a better study-life balance.
  • This years’ graduates are working for companies such as Monsoon, Fashion UK and Next. Other students have buying roles at companies such as Reiss, Primark, Next, Urban Outfitters and George. One student has a key role in FACE and contributed to the WEB 3.0 Fashion Synthesis event (July 2023). 

Become part of our student fashion society. 


More courses like this

Fashion Buying with Marketing BA (Hons)

Fashion Buying with Merchandising BA (Hons)

Fashion Communication and Styling BA (Hons)

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  • UK
  • EU/International

Institution code: D26

UCAS course code:

Fashion Buying with Design W224

Duration: Three years full-time, four years full-time with a placement. Six years part-time.

Fees and funding: 

2024/25 tuition fees for UK students: £9,250

Find out more about tuition fees and available funding.

Additional costs: Here at DMU we provide excellent learning resources, including the Kimberlin Library and specialist workshops and studios. However, you should be aware that sometimes you may incur additional costs for this programme.



Duration: Three years full-time, four years with placement.

Fees and funding: 

2024/25 tuition fees for international students: £15,750

Additional costs: Here at DMU we provide excellent learning resources, including the Kimberlin Library and specialist workshops and studios. However, you should be aware that sometimes you may incur additional costs for this programme.

Entry criteria

Typical entry requirements 

We welcome applicants from a range of backgrounds.

  • Art and Design Foundation or
  • 112 points from at least 2 A ‘levels 
  •  BTEC Extended Diploma DMM
  • International Baccalaureate: 26+ Points or 
  • T Levels Merit

Plus five GCSEs grades 9-4 including English Language or Literature at grade 4 or above.

  • Pass Access with 30 Level 3 credits at Merit and GCSE English (Language or Literature) at grade 4 or above

We will normally require students to have had a break from full time education before undertaking the Access course.

  • We also accept the BTEC First Diploma plus two GCSEs including English Language or Literature at grade 4 or above

English language requirements

If English is not your first language an IELTS score of 6.0 overall with 5.5 in each band (or equivalent) when you start the course is essential.

English language tuition, delivered by our British Council-accredited Centre for English Language Learning, is available both before and throughout the course if you need it.

Interview and Portfolio

Interview required: No

Portfolio required: Yes

Please see our portfolio advice page for full details.

Structure and assessment

Education 2030

We want to ensure you have the best learning experience possible and a supportive and nurturing learning community. That’s why we’re introducing a new block model for delivering the majority of our courses, known as Education 2030. This means a more simplified timetable where you will study one subject at a time instead of several at once. You will have more time to engage with your learning and get to know the teaching team and course mates. You will receive faster feedback through more regular assessment, and have a better study-life balance to enjoy other important aspects of university life.

Read more about Education 2030

Course modules

Teaching and assessments

Awards and memberships


First year

  • Block 1: Fashion Consumer and Marketplace
  • Block 2: Design and Development 
  • Block 3: Fashion Lifecycle 
  • Block 4: Sustainable Futures 

Second year

  • Block 1: Buying and Professional Practice
  • Block 2: Design Innovation and Sustainable Futures
  • Block 3: Fashion Buying Professional Practice
  • Block 4: Fashion Design Practice 

Third year

  • Block 1 and 2: Sustainable Sourcing and Supply Management and Collaboration with Industry
  • Block 3 and 4: Major Design Project OR Major Research Project 


This includes design studio practice, formal lectures, group seminars, tutorials, lab work and practical workshops. There are regular tutorials and reviews which allow you to reflect and develop your work ready for your final presentation at the end of the year.

Contact hours

You will be taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials, seminars, group work and self-directed study. Assessment is through coursework (presentations,  phase-tests, essays and reports) Your precise timetable will depend on the optional modules you choose to take, however, in your first year you will normally attend around 15 hours of timetabled taught sessions (lectures and tutorials) each week, and we expect you to undertake at least 25 further hours of independent study to complete project work and research.


Ranked as one of the best fashion schools in the world for 2022 (CEOWORLD, 2022) and in the top 10 in the UK for 'career after 15 months' (The Guardian University Guide 2022), our innovative and widely-respected courses help prepare students for fulfilling futures in this fast-paced industry.

Green Gown Award

The School of Fashion and Textiles won the Next Generation Learning and Skills Award in the Green Gowns Awards 2021 and received global recognition in the International Green Gown Awards 2022. These awards are the gold standard for sustainability in universities around the world and this puts DMU at the forefront of sustainable fashion and textiles education in the UK. Sustainability is at the heart of our curriculum and teaching, empowering our students to be agents of change within the industry.

UK Fashion and Textiles Association

We are members of the UK Fashion and Textile Association which ensures our teaching stays up to date with the latest developments in the sector and provides valuable industry links that enhance our courses.

UKFT partner logo

Facilities and features

Art and design facilities

Our award-winning Vijay Patel building has been designed to provide the space and facilities where all of our art and design students can develop their ideas and flourish. 

The creative industries require imaginative graduates who can develop new ideas and products. Students use our sophisticated and contemporary workshops, labs and studios to experiment and test in the same way they will in industry, while the open and transparent spaces in the building encourage collaboration between disciplines. In doing so, the building prepares students for industry and helps develop them as future leaders in their respective fields. 

Take a look at our stunning showcase of the building at

More flexible ways to learn

We offer an equitable and inclusive approach to learning and teaching for all our students. Known as the Universal Design for Learning (UDL), our teaching approach has been recognised as sector leading. UDL means we offer a wide variety of support, facilities and technology to all students, including those with disabilities and specific learning differences.

Just one of the ways we do this is by using ‘DMU Replay’ – a technology providing all students with anytime access to audio and/or visual material of lectures. This means students can revise taught material in a way that suits them best, whether it's replaying a recording of a class or adapting written material shared in class using specialist software.

Campus Centre

The home of  De Montfort Students' Union, (DSU) our Campus Centre offers a welcoming and lively hub for student life. Conveniently located at the heart of campus, it includes a convenience store, a Subway and a Starbucks. Here you can find the DSU-owned charitable accommodation service Sulets and DSU’s shop, SUpplies, selling art supplies, stationery and clothing, and printing and binding services. The building is also home to the DSU officer team. 

Opportunities and careers

Find the people who will open doors for you

DMU's award-winning careers service provides guaranteed work experience opportunities DMU Careers Team


This course gives you the option to enhance and build your professional skills to progress within your chosen career through a placement. Our dedicated team offers a range of careers resources and opportunities so you can start planning your future.

We have excellent links with the fashion industry, ensuring you work on industry relevant projects and client briefs to gain more experience and build your external reputation before you graduate. This invaluable experience can enrich student capabilities and their final-year projects. Students have gone to big brands including Boohoo, ASOS, Urban Outfitters, Hunkemöller, George at Asda, Ralph Lauren and Timberland.

Students on the #DMUglobal trip to New York

DMU Global

Our innovative international experience programme DMU Global aims to enrich studies, broaden cultural horizons and develop key skills valued by employers. 

Through DMU Global, we offer an exciting mix of overseas, on-campus and online international experiences, including the opportunity to study or work abroad for up to a year.

Students on this course have recently been on DMU Global trips to European cities as well as Hong Kong and New York, where they have visited company headquarters such as Burberry, Coach, Rituals, O'Neill and Calvin Klein.


Graduate careers

Our graduates go on to a variety of areas within fashion buying - recent employers include Pretty Little Thing, Next, Marks & Spencer, Piarossini, Boden, F&F at Tesco and O'Neill.

Charlotte Purnell graduated with a first-class honours degree and now works as a Junior Garment Technician in the snow department with leading lifestyle brand O’Neill, in Amsterdam.

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