BA (HONS) Buying and Merchandising for fashion

Fashion Retail Academy

Taking applications

  • Alternative Courses/Degrees
  • Buying and Merchandising
  • Nationwide

  • Fast track to a career in Buying with our two year accelerated degree programme
  • Two thirds of the time, two thirds of the cost
  • Industry Mentor throughout your course
  • Guaranteed interviews/assessment centres*
  • Includes unrivalled head office work placement with a high street fashion brand


This brand new and exclusive ‘Fast-Track’ two-year degree course in partnership with Falmouth University has been designed from the ground up with fashion retail employers of all shapes and sizes (from high street to high end and pureplay) to create a new breed of employee. Providing you not only with the latest skills needed for a successful career in buying, merchandising or online trading, but a broad range of futureproofed business skills and the agility you will need to succeed in contemporary retail environments.

Fashion and retail are changing at break neck speed. The continued rise and use of technology, the demand for ‘new now’ and an unstable trading environment has given rise to increased competition and the need to alter business models fundamentally to remain competitive.  Retail today bears less and less resemblance to that of a decade ago and our exclusive research into retail of the future clearly shows that this shift will only continue to grow.


This highly practical course has been created in partnership with retailers to fast track your studies and secure a role in Fashion Buying or Merchandising. The course is based upon market leading research into how the functions of Buying and Merchandising are changing and will ensure you can deploy a range of contemporary industry skills. The course will suit anyone pursuing a degree with a clear focus on gaining employment upon completion. The accelerated nature will support you securing a role a year quicker than other available degrees.

This course equips you with the specific and broad skills needed for a successful career in contemporary retail and covers the product lifecycle from concept to consumer.

Fashion buying and merchandising requires strong commercial and analytical skills and in contemporary retail a deep understanding of the main factors effecting business operations and profitability. Alongside the commercial acumen needed for a successful career, you will also develop a range of creative skills to provide you with broad experience in this specialist subject area to ensure that you are work ready and your skills are futureproofed.

The buying and merchandising functions are symbiotic and whether you have a bent for either function, the course provides a solid ground in both disciplines. Whilst each is distinctly different a commonality exists and in contemporary retail these functions will evolve as external factors and trends continue to alter business strategy and operational models.

Having the right product, in the right place, at the right time, is evermore critical to fashion retail and the complexities and logistics of this due to the continued raise and prominence of online and mobile shopping make this central to profitability. Buying elements of the course include identifying seasonal trends, ascertaining the changing buying and shopping behaviour of customers to develop successful product ranges. Merchandising elements reduce risk and manage the range development, production quality and costs with a view to ensuring customers can purchase in the right locations.

This dynamic programme will develop creative flair, commercial, numerical and analytical awareness, management skills, negotiating skills, brand awareness, sourcing and the supply chain and a deep understanding of global retail and the impact of all functions in driving a successful contemporary retail business.

During the course, you will study multiple facets of buying, merchandising as well as sourcing and supply chain in depth to ensure your success in a future buying or merchandising role within the fashion industry upon graduation.

Modules of study include:

  • Contextual & Historical Studies
  • Merchandising concepts
  • Buying concepts
  • Buying & Merchandising systems and data
  • Trading
  • Sourcing and supply chain
  • Merchandising for fashion retail
  • Buying for fashion retail
  • Brand management
  • Consumer behaviour
  • Fashion Retail landscape and environment
  • Professional strategies
  • Internalisation and globalisation
  • Data and Analytics

The course also includes the FRA unique experience:

  • Unique two year condensed delivery
  • Guaranteed interviews/assessment centres*
  • Live Industry Projects, led by employers, to build your experience and portfolio.
  • A work placement each year with one of the 130 fashion retail brand partners working with the FRA  – to provide hands on practical experience of different roles and gain industry contacts & experience
  • Industry Mentor throughout your course
  • Course taught by experienced fashion retail industry professionals

You will study for three study blocks during the academic year between September and the following August (15 weeks in each).

Our Fast Track Degree is an accelerated course so students will work more intensively, and study for more of the year than on a traditional year degree. This means that the course is ideal for anyone who is committed to working in fashion retail, and to getting there fast. You will study the same content as you would in a traditional degree, however, your year will be broken up into three study blocks, rather than the usual two study blocks, utilising the summer period for study.

The accelerated model enables you to get into a career in two years having already gained practical on the job experience, to give you a competitive advantage over your peers.

This also means you will only have to pay fees for two years rather than three, saving a full year’s fees and living costs.

*Subject to meeting the expected levels of attendance in accordance with FRA’s Attendance Monitoring Policy.

 Suitability skilled graduates for these roles are in high demand and career progression is a strong proposition.

Start Date: September 2019

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