Level 4 Fast Track Buying & Merchandising

Fashion Retail Academy

Taking applications

  • College Courses
  • Level 4
  • College Higher Education
  • Alternative Courses/Degrees
  • Fashion
  • Retail
  • Design
  • Buying and Merchandising
  • Creative Industry
  • London remove

   •  Over 90% of former FRA students go on to  full time employment or further studies

   •  Huge industry demand for Merchandisers

   •  Includes unrivalled three work placement with a high street fashion brand

   •  Excellent specialist industry tutors

   •  Top reputation for producing students that are industry ready

This 22 week programme delivered two days per week is intended for students who wish to gain an entry level position in Buying or Merchandising. The course is ideal for anyone who wishes to combine a part-time job with a national recognised qualification. The diploma offers a unique programme providing you with the opportunity to gain or build on previous experience to establish your future career aspirations.

Buyers and Merchandising teams work closely together to maximise profit and ensure that stock is exciting, contemporary and sells well in a competitive market.  You will balance practical and creative skills with theoretical studies to include communication, negotiation and presentation alongside supply chain, marketing and external factors which influence the development of a commercial product range.

You will spend three weeks working within a retail environment give you exposure and experience of the work place and gain a greater understanding of the real time challenges currently facing the industry.


This course is taught by industry experts from both the high street and branded environment.

Some of the key subjects covered include customer profiling and consumer behaviour, trend history and development, turning trends into commercial range plans, garment technology, use of fabrics, costing and sourcing, manufacturing regions and critical path management. You will also study how Buyers respond to the ever changing fast pace of both in store and online fashion. You will have access to excellent fashion and trend resources and websites including industry sites such as WSGN.

Merchandising is a key unit and students will learn how to interpret data and use excel to Industry standard. The FRA work with a wide range of retailers on  Industry projects to give you the opportunity to  interact with today’s fashion Buyers and Merchandisers and increase your network of contacts, at the same time as working on a specific fashion retail brief.

You will be invited to attend a range of masterclasses from some of retails biggest names. Previous speakers have included ASOS; Chloe Miles – Fashion Blogger; Zalando; FRA Alumni Sorcha Kelly, Junior Merchandiser - Accessories at NET-A-PORTER; TK Maxx & New Look. During these sessions held in our state of the art lecture theatre, fashion retail experts advise and inform about a range of subjects affecting the industry with an interactive Q&A session at the end to enable students to have their say.


Awarding Body: University Arts London

Age Requirement: 19+

Start date: March/September  2018

Course duration: 22 weeks, two days per week

Entry Criteria: 1 A-Level or the equivalent grade C or above and 5 GCSE’s grade 4/5-9 including Maths and English or 5 GCSE's A*-C grade including Maths and English, or a BTEC National Diploma or NVQ level 3, or a one year one year foundation diploma in Art and Design plus 5 GCSE’s grade 4/5-9 including Maths and English or 5 GCSE's A*-C grade including Maths and English. Please provide us with a NARIC Statement of Comparability, if you have any non-UK qualifications. We will not be able to process your application without this information.

Applicant Guidance:  Applicants should show an interest in fashion and retail high street trends and have an aptitude for Maths and English

Fees: Fees for this course are £4,220.  Advanced learning loans are available. 

Disclaimer on fees: Tuition fees are subject to change - the fees due are effective at enrolment.

These are just a few of the retailers we work with….




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