Course summary

This course was designed to meet the needs of the retail industry directly and was developed with extensive input from the fashion and retail sectors. It continues to meet the needs of this fast-moving industry, and our graduates are much sought after throughout their careers, with current graduates working at Arcadia, ASOS, Aurora, John Lewis, Michael Kors, Reiss, River Island, Selfridges and Thomas Pink.

Companies support the course through guest lectures and student placements, as well as working with the students on industry-related projects. We run an annual networking event where students can talk to representatives from a cross-section of retailers, and our lecturers have all had successful careers in retailing and understand the importance of the role of merchandisers within the industry fully.

Course structure

The following subjects are indicative of what you will study in this course.

Year 1

You will develop a good understanding of the retail industry and where the merchandising function sits in relation to other roles, along with gaining insight into the responsibilities that lie with the merchandiser. You will also be supported in the transition to university-level study; the ability to research, analyse, evaluate and present information will all be taught.

Subjects of study include:

  • Fashion Marketing
  • Introduction to the Fashion Merchandise Industry
  • London Fashion
  • The Role of Buyers and Merchandisers in the Fashion Industry
  • Study Skills for Fashion Merchandise Management

Credit Level 4

Year 2 & 3

In preparation for the one-year business internship, you will take modules that will enable you to make the most of this valuable opportunity and to add value to the company which employs you.

Subjects of study:

  • Fashion Trends
  • Preparing for Work in Merchandising

During the year out you will be assigned a tutor, and presentations and a business report will be assessed in the Business Experience module. You will be given significant and ongoing support to secure a placement; ultimately you are responsible for securing employment for the year. The placement year is subject to an annual University administration fee.

Following the completion of the year out you can remain in the UK and study subjects including:

  • Fashion Promotion
  • Global Retailing
  • Visual Merchandising
  • Textiles & Product Development

Eligible students can apply to one of our exchange partners for a semester abroad in America (New York or Virginia), Canada, Hong Kong or Australia, where complementary modules will be studied. New York options often include internship modules which always prove to be very popular.

Credit Level 5

Year 4

You will have the opportunity to take modules that both build on your placement experience and allow you a degree of specialism appropriate to your chosen career path.

Alongside your Major Project – a year-long, in-depth piece of original study under the supervision of a tutor – subjects of study include:

  • Commercial Skills
  • Fashion Consumer Behaviour
  • Fashion Branding
  • Fashion Entrepreneurship
  • Global Fashion Sourcing
  • Luxury Fashion Management
  • Sustainable Fashion
  • The Changing Business of Retail

Credit Level 6

Entry Requirements


  • A Levels - BBC
  • International Baccalaureate - 28 points (minimum)
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 Extended National Diploma - DDM
  • Access to HE Diploma - Pass with 45 credits at Level 3 with a minimum of 33 Level 3 credits at Merit or Distinction. GCSE minimum grade 4 (grade C in grading system prior to 2017) in Maths and English.

If English is not your first language, you must have an IELTS of 6.5 overall with at least 6.0 in each element. Suitably qualified applicants will be invited to an interview.


  • International Baccalaureate - 28 points (minimum)

If English is not your first language, you must have an IELTS of 6.5 overall with at least 6.0 in each element. Suitably qualified applicants will be invited to an interview.

Career path

Graduates from the course work as merchandisers and senior merchandisers with major High Street brands. They work within the sourcing and supply chain functions and are building careers with major suppliers.

Some have set up their own businesses and are enjoying developing their own businesses in the sector. They may be working ensuring social compliance and maintaining and improving the ethical standards of the industry.

Some of our former students work in PR and Marketing. We have alumni in retail companies including Harrods, Fenwick, Selfridges, Arcadia, Next, River Island, ASOS, Jack Wills and many, many more.

Our graduates are employed in one of the biggest employment sectors in the UK and building the experience and networks that they need for success.

‘The course not only gave me the experiences and opportunities required to start my career in the fashion industry but also taught me the invaluable thinking processes and skills needed to cope with what the future of buying and merchandising will require. I found my placement year at River Island invaluable and the support provided by course staff second to none. The course is recognised within the industry for producing high-quality graduates and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to pursue a career in fashion retailing.’ – Cheyenne Meehan, Graduated June 2016, River Island

Program taught in:
  • English

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Last updated July 12, 2019
This course is Campus based
Start Date
4 years
13,400 GBP
international - UK/EU: £9,250 (fees per academic year)
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