Key facts

Entry requirements

112 or DMM

Full entry requirements

UCAS code

W23A

Institution code

D26

Duration

3 yrs full-time

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

Fees

2024/25 UK tuition fees:
£9,250

2024/25 international tuition:
£15,750

Additional costs

Entry requirements

UCAS code

W23A

Institution code

D26

Duration

3 yrs full-time

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

Fees

2024/25 UK tuition fees:
£9,250

2024/25 international tuition:
£15,750

Additional costs

We place strong emphasis on sustainability and social responsibility, ensuring that you will graduate with the tools to drive innovation at all stages of the buying process.

Develop in-depth knowledge of the buying cycle and key activities around trading, reacting to sales and managing sales promotions. The merchandising pathway focuses on the numbers behind buying a fashion range, its selection process and strategic stock management.

We will nurture your professional practice through personal development planning, as well as guided research and critical reasoning. We place strong emphasis on sustainability and social responsibility, ensuring that you will graduate with the tools to drive innovation at all stages of the buying process.

The fashion industry is evolving with the shift in fashion retailing from high street to commerce. We work alongside industry professionals to put your learning into context and will equip you with the skills and adaptability to take on the challenges of our rapidly changing industry.

  • Learn what you’ll need – including communication and an understanding of fashion business – for a career in today’s fashion and buying industries.
  • Draw upon the expertise of fashion industry insiders to build your knowledge and ready yourself for a career in merchandising, or a related role.
  • Understand the figures in fashion finance – the budgets, trading forecasts, effective sales analysis and planning.
  • Develop industry-recognised merchandising expertise through an understanding of range building, sales forecasting, critical path management and presentation skills.
Block teaching designed around you

You deserve a positive teaching and learning experience, where you feel part of a supportive and nurturing community. That’s why most students will enjoy an innovative approach to learning using block teaching, where you will study one module at a time. You’ll benefit from regular assessments – rather than lots of exams at the end of the year – and a simple timetable that allows you to engage with your subject and enjoy other aspects of university life such as sports, societies, meeting friends and discovering your new city. By studying with the same peers and tutor for each block, you’ll build friendships and a sense of belonging. Read more about block teaching.

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What you will study

Block 1: Fashion Consumer and Marketplace

This module will introduce the concept of commercial awareness and the basic activities of the buying function through the Fashion Buying Cycle. Physical bricks and mortar stores, ecommerce and the future of retail experience will be explored. The module will offer an overview of the changing retail landscape at an introductory level. You will also be introduced to fashion roles and responsibilities, fabric identification, construction methods and Excel spreadsheets which will give crucial foundation knowledge for future modules.

Assessment: 100% report

Block 2: Fashion Business

This module teaches the fundamental principles of fashion business within a global context. The module will inform at an introductory level the subjects of fashion business innovation, marketing, merchandising, strategy, and digital enterprise. You will be taught the use of Microsoft Excel to develop a range plan and critical path. Additionally, you will explore and apply relevant theoretical concepts in the areas of fashion innovation, marketing, and business strategy to underpin your understanding of contemporary issues within these subject areas of fashion business.

Assessment: 100% report

Block 3: Fashion Lifecycle

This module explores the buying process from trend and colour prediction, range planning, product development and the role of sustainable sourcing, through critical path management to sales analysis and trading. You will communicate and present ideas through Adobe Creative Suite to develop a range of garments, implementing knowledge gained on fabric identification. Adobe skills will be developed enabling you to become CAD proficient, while developing your own digital portfolio.

Assessment: 100% digital portfolio

Block 4: Sustainable Futures

This module engages you in personal reflection and development with consideration to your professionalism and your future impact in the fashion world. The module content is further underpinned by theoretical studies delivered by the Design Cultures to contextualise current practice within an historical framework. You will consider origins and influences - how traditions develop and evolve in response to social and political - as well as research methods, visual literacy, and the skills for academic writing. Sessions will promote interaction and analytical thinking with an understanding of inclusive and ethical practice.

Assessment: 50% presentation and 50% assignment

Block 1: Buying and Professional Practice

This module explores the buying process from trend and colour prediction, range planning, product development and the role of sustainable sourcing, through critical path management to sales analysis and trading. You will communicate and present ideas through Adobe Creative Suite to develop a range of garments, implementing knowledge gained on fabric identification. Adobe skills will be developed enabling students to become CAD proficient, while developing their own digital portfolio.

Assessment: 100% digital portfolio

Block 2: Design Innovation and Sustainable Futures

This module teaches the fundamental principles of sustainable design innovation and the future of fashion within a global context. The module will examine the key issues and considerations of sustainability from a design innovation perspective. The module will introduce the circular economy with consideration of the implications of cost versus planet. You will explore and apply relevant theoretical concepts in the areas of design innovation, sustainability, and fashion business.

Assessment: 50% assignment and 50% assignment

Block 3: Introduction to Global Sourcing Skills

This module will examine the fundamental principles of fashion buying within a global context. It will equip you with a sound knowledge of key tasks and considerations in buying fashion products from a global supply base. The module explores open costings, negotiation, key fabrics and fabric testing, garment production and the management of the buying process. The module will examine the day-to-day role and responsibilities of a buyer within the buying cycle and critical path. It will examine the global sourcing environment including logistics, legal implications, and supplier management.

Assessment: 100% coursework

Block 4: Fashion Merchandising

This module will teach the fundamental principles of fashion merchandising, the role of stock planning, management, and control to maximise profit - equipping you with a sound knowledge of key tasks and skills of a merchandising role in fashion today. The module will examine the day-to-day role and responsibilities of a merchandiser including how to read key reports, the use of Excel, formatting data for analysis and retail math.

Assessment: 70% coursework and 30% test

Block 1 and 2

Sustainable Sourcing and Supply Management

This module focuses on the sourcing of a textile product and examines some of the global supply issues faced by buyers and merchandisers. Set within a commercial context, you will select a textile product, together with a specific type of retail outlet in the UK. You will evaluate country-of-origin, and consider flexibility of supply, managing quality, international distribution and supply chains, international political legislation, and sustainability.

Assessment: 100% assignment

And

Strategic Fashion Merchandising

This module is designed to develop your technical merchandising skills, as well as your analytical, critical, and strategic thinking. Economic and business theories relevant to merchandising will be discussed as part of the wider business context. The module focuses on the strategic planning of the range; principally how to build a budget, option planning, supplier strategy, spend and margin management. Excel experience and skills are developed through manipulating data and preparing various planning documents.

Assessment: 75% coursework and 25% presentation

Block 3 and 4: Major Research Project

This module will allow you to select a topic to research and create a piece of original work under supervision. The project will provide three options of research:

  • A dissertation.
  • An entrepreneurial project that identifies a product area for development and demands a business plan up to product launch.
  • A work-based project where you liaise with a company to develop an improvement project that focuses on a need, and through research and investigation can propose well justified solutions.

Assessment: 85% written and 15% presentation

Note: All modules are indicative and based on the current academic session. Course information is correct at the time of publication and is subject to review. Exact modules may, therefore, vary for your intake in order to keep content current. If there are changes to your course we will, where reasonable, take steps to inform you as appropriate.

Structure

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, 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.

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Our facilities

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.

Vijay Patel Building

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. It is home to a wide range of resources and facilities, including:

  • Fashion studios: The building has a number of fashion studios, where students can design, create, and prototype their garments.
  • Textile workshops: The building has a number of textile workshops, where students can learn how to work with a variety of textiles, including fabrics, yarns, and fibers.
  • Fashion technology labs: The building has a number of fashion technology labs, where students can learn how to use a variety of fashion technology, including CAD software, pattern-making software, and sewing machines.
  • Exhibition spaces: The building has a number of exhibition spaces, where students can showcase their work.

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.

The building is striking and innovative, with a large central atrium filled with natural light. It has a variety of teaching and learning spaces, studios, workshops, and exhibition spaces.

It is a major landmark on the De Montfort University campus and provides students and staff with the space and resources they need to thrive.

Awards and memberships

Ranked as one of the best fashion schools in the world for 2022 and 2023 (CEOWORLD, 2023) 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 logo

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 logo

UK Fashion and Textiles Association

We are members of the UK Fashion and Textiles 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.

AFBE logo

The Association for Fashion Business Employability (AFBE)

The (AFBE) is a collaborative platform uniting top UK fashion business schools with the industry, empowering students through networking and showcasing events.

What makes us special

Education 2030 - Block Learning

Block learning

With Education 2030, you’ll learn in a focused ‘block’ teaching format, where you study one subject at a time instead of several at once. As a result, you will receive faster feedback through more regular assessment, have a more simplified timetable, and have a better study-life balance. That means more time to engage with your DMU community and other rewarding aspects of university life.

DMU-global

Global experiences

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 to Porto, where they learnt about the fashion manufacturing cycle by visiting spinners, knitters, dye houses and manufacturers – culminating in a simulated design and negotiation task with suppliers. New York trips have involved visits to local museums, colleges, suppliers, product data management head offices, and a tour and talk at Gap’s head office.

Where we could take you

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Placements

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.

Take up a one-year placement opportunity within or outside the UK. Our students have experienced life at Tommy Hilfiger, O'Neill, Next, Marks & Spencer, Reiss, George, Selfridges, River Island, Joules, G-Star, Mamas & Papas, and at several supply bases. Many go on to work for these big brands, or are now running their own successful businesses.

Image of DMU students at a graduation ceremony

Graduate careers

Our graduates go on to work in a variety of areas within fashion buying. Recent employers include ASOS, Selfridges, Next, Reiss, Marks & Spencer, River Island, and Joules, among many others.

Course specifications

Course title

Fashion Buying with Merchandising

Award

BA (Hons)

UCAS code

W23A

Institution code

D26

Study level

Undergraduate

Study mode

Full-time

Part-time

Start date

September 2024

Duration

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

Fees

2024/25 UK tuition fees:
£9,250

2024/25 international tuition:
£15,750

Additional costs

Entry requirements

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.

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, which for this programme could include the following:

  • Art and Design materials; £50 in your first and second years, increasing to £100 in your third year.
  • Field trips or visits: £30 in your first year, £100-£300 in your second year and £400-600 in your third year.

There will also be a range of optional showcasing activities that will be available to you, the costs of which will vary depending on the opportunities you choose.

Learn more about fees and funding information