Learn about the diverse roles and responsibilities of a fashion buyer and merchandiser, and explore the associated roles that are key within the modern fashion industry.
You’ll develop in-depth knowledge of the buying cycle and the critical path, and key activities around trading the range, 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.
- We have been recognised as one of the most sustainable fashion and textiles schools in the country as winners of the Next Generation Learning and Skills Award in the Green Gown Awards 2021.
- DMU was named best in learning experience in 2019 by The Business of Fashion, the internationally renowned website which assesses the world’s top programmes.
- 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.
- Take part in our international experience programme, DMU Global. Students have benefited from trips to Porto, Antwerp, Amsterdam, Hong Kong and New York, meeting key influencers at top fashion brands.
- 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.
- Utilise an award-winning design space – the Vijay Patel Building – containing specialist facilities to foster fresh ideas and creativity.
Structure and assessment
- Core Buying 1
- Introduction to Fashion Business
- Textile Materials 1
- Fashion Communication (CAD)
- Design Cultures
- Core Buying 2
- Fashion Merchandising
- Textile Materials 2
- Design Cultures
- Language Option
- Sourcing and Supply
- Advanced Fashion Merchandising
- Major Project
- Language Option
Facilities and features
The excellent fashion and textiles facilities include state of the art sewing machine studios, textile testing labs, knitting, dying, spinning, weaving and printing facilities, CAD labs and designated studio workshop space.
You also have access to the most up to date trend prediction publications and databases.
The main Kimberlin Library is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year (other than in exceptional circumstances) and offers a huge range of online resources, all of which can be remotely accessed from anywhere you choose.
The library is run by dedicated staff who offer additional support to students, including help with academic writing, research strategies, literature searching and reference management and assistive technology, and mathematical skills for non-maths students. There is also a Just Ask service for help and advice, available via email or telephone.
Our Learning Zones and the The Greenhouse also provide space for group or individual work and study.
There are 1,600 study places across all library locations, more than 700 computer stations, laptops to borrow, free wi-fi and desktop power outlets.
You can also book rooms with plasma screens, laptops and DVD facilities for group work and presentations, secure an individual study room with adjustable lighting or make use of our assistive technology.
Opportunities and careers
Work placements give students the opportunity to work for a year in industry. They will gain key skills that prepare them for a graduate role, and invaluable experience that can aid with their final year studies. DMU have excellent links with industry and a credible reputation. Some previous companies that have offered our students placements include Marks & Spencer, ASOS, George, F&F, Timberland, Matalan, and 0’Neill (in Amsterdam)
This is our innovative international experience programme which aims to enrich your studies and expand your cultural horizons – helping you to become a global graduate, equipped to meet the needs of employers across the world. Through #DMUglobal, we offer a wide range of opportunities including on-campus and UK activities, overseas study, internships, faculty-led field trips and volunteering, as well as Erasmus+ and international exchanges.
Fashion Buying is a global business and it is highly likely that international travel will be required from a buyer in industry. DMU is enthusiastic about supporting and encouraging international links and the Fashion Buying Programme feeds into this initiative. Students will have the opportunity to visit a European city in their 2nd year, and New York in their 3rd year. Previous trips have involved visits to local museums, colleges, suppliers, product data management head offices, and a tour and talk by Gap Head Office in New York.
This course is designed for students who are aiming for a career in fashion buying, and also offers broader career options which include fashion merchandising, visual merchandising, garment technology, sourcing, design, and fashion marketing. Students will be equipped to work in retail and the extended supply base.
Recent graduates have succeeded into careers at ASOS, Selfridges, Next, George, M&S, River Island, and Joules amongst many others.
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