Fashion Buying Management BA Honours
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View course-specific entry requirements
TYPICAL OFFER FOR SEPTEMBER 2014
|International Baccalaureate||29 points|
|Edexcel BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma||DMM|
|Access to HE Diploma||Pass with 45 credits at Level 3 with a minimum of 33 Level 3 credits at Merit or Distinction plus Maths and English GCSEs at at least grade C|
At interview, you must show your creative skills through a portfolio, if you have studied an art-based subject.
A fashion buyer is responsible for the profitable development, sourcing and selection of a range of products that meet the needs and desires of the target customer, by working closely with the merchandising, design and marketing teams.
As a Fashion Buying Management student you will combine your creative flair with robust business management skills in a fast-paced, industry-focused course which enjoys widespread support throughout the fashion and retail industry. The extensive contributions from industry leaders include guest lectures, live retail projects and student placements and internships. Key fashion and retail relationships include ASOS, Debenhams, John Lewis, L.K.Bennett, Net-a-Porter, River Island and Urban Outﬁtters.
While the prime focus of the course is to develop the academic, aesthetic, practical and commercial skills you need for the buying role, you will also be equipped for a career in product development and supply chain management, brand management and wholesale, PR and marketing, and trend forecasting and retail management. You will also gain the transferable and cognitive skills necessary for lifelong personal and professional development.
The course emphasis is placed on developing your creative, technical and interpersonal skills, commercial flair and business acumen. The focus of the course is global, to reflect the nature of the industry, and the additional opportunity to advance language skills and study abroad is offered to meet the increasing standards of global competition and the needs of the business environment. The work placement in the third year is an essential component of the course and can be taken as a full-year work placement or a combination of work placement and a study abroad option.
Based at the recently refurbished Harrow Campus – home to the Westminster School of Media, Arts and Design – you will work alongside students from film, photography, music, fashion and journalism, in a unique hothouse of creative opportunity. Teaching and learning is interactive, covering academic, practical and applied elements. Our teaching staff have had successful retail careers and understand the pivotal role of buyers within the decision-making hierarchy. Assessment methods include individual and group reports and presentations, industry projects, portfolio development, and extended essays and exams.
Subjects of study
The following subjects are indicative of what you will study on this course. For more details on course structure and modules, and how you will be taught and assessed, see the full course document.
Year 1 (Credit Level 4)
The first year modules provide a fundamental underpinning of business knowledge and creative skills that will build and deepen throughout the course. Subjects of study include:
- Fabrics and Garment Technology
- Fashion Marketing
- Fashion Trends and Consumer Culture
- Polylang Language module
- Range Design and CAD
- The Buying Process
- The Fashion Business
Year 2 (Credit Level 5)
The second year develops both your practical and academic skills and includes live project work for a fashion brand. The expectation is that the additional skills and knowledge gained will enable you to undertake a successful work placement year. Subjects of study include:
- Career Development
- Creative Encounters
- Fashion Promotion
- Global Retailing
- Polylang Language module
- Textiles and Garment Sourcing and Manufacture
- Trading and Concept Development
- Visual Merchandising and Styling
Year 3 – Sandwich year
You will be given substantial support in ﬁnding suitable work placements, and the course has excellent relationships with many well-respected potential employers. You are ultimately responsible for securing your own placement. You are supported throughout the year by a placement tutor.
Year 4 (Credit Level 6)
At this level you are expected to develop a more strategic perspective and draw together your academic and work experience. You will study subjects that further develop your general business skills, and you will also have the opportunity to specialise in areas of particular interest. Alongside your Final Major Project, Subjects of study include:
- Commercial Skills
- Fashion Branding
- Fashion Consumer Behaviour
- Fashion Entrepreneurship
- Global Fashion Sourcing
- Luxury Fashion Management
- Polylang Language module
- Sustainable Fashion
- Trends and Change Implementation for Fashion Retail
This list is indicative of what you will study on this course. For more specific and detailed module information please refer to full course document.
As part of your course you can take elective modules. Electives are an exciting opportunity to widen your experience at university and to gain skills and knowledge that will help make you more employable. Find out about Westminster electives.
- Helen Armour, Course Leader
- Caline Anouti, Course Lecturer
- Josie Misick, Course Lecturer
- Nicola Mansfield, Course Lecturer
Additional costs information
To check what your tuition fees cover and what you may need to pay for separately, see our What tuition fees cover page.
International Foundation course
We work in partnership with Kaplan International College London to provide Foundation courses for international students who do not meet our Bachelor's degree entry requirements. For more information visit the Kaplan International College's website.
The course has been running for four years with our first group of students graduating in summer of 2012. It is to the credit of these students, and the fashion buying programme, that at Graduation more than 70% of students had secured graduate scheme and graduate level fashion management and buying roles with the following employers amongst others: ASOS, M&S, Selfridges, River Island, Debenhams, Surfdome, Snow PR, Ralph Lauren, Original Penguin, Mothercare, and Disney.
The reputation of students attending our course is very good and is growing as are alumni progress within the industry.
“We received a really high caliber of applications from Westminster"
"The course gave me a great insight to the retail industry and gain the skills I needed to further my career in Buying. I now after 6 months of graduating have gained the role of Junior Assistant Buyer. Without my degree and studying the role of a buyer I believe I wouldn't be where I am at now. I have the course and the tutors of The University Of Westminster to thank."
Fay, 2012 Graduate
The work experience placement year
From the start our students are supported in gaining direct industry experience through employment and internships. These internships provide invaluable experience with manufacturing companies, head office buying departments, PR and wholesale marketing offices and design offices, including support at London and Paris fashion weeks. The high level of graduate employment is supported by the success of our students in their placement year.
In the third year of the course all our students complete a period of at least 6 months work experience, with the majority of students securing a 12-month paid placement. This placement year is invaluable in securing credible industry roles upon graduation. Students are fully supported in their search for placements. We have many of our key partners such as ASOS, John Lewis, River Island , Tesco and Primark come into harrow and run lectures, placement sessions and assessment centre master classes. In addition students are fully supported in their C.V and applications in a career planning module where we also run mock assessment centres and interview sessions.Students have completed placement positions with companies including:
- Harvey Nichols
- LK Bennett
- Per Una for M&S
- River Island
- Roland Mouret
- The white company
- Urban outfitters & Anthropologie
- Nicholas Kirkwood
The focus throughout the course is on developing our students' professional network and the key skills for success in the industry. We have excellent commercial links with our industry partners who work with us to deliver master classes, interactive workshops and live projects throughout the course as well as supporting our placement programme and employing our graduates.
Fashion Buying and design students presenting to River Island
Our dedicated Career Development Centre is actively working with an ever-expanding network of over 3,000 employers to provide you with exceptional employability support and guidance. As a result we were nominated as finalists for a significant industry award – the NUE Awards Most Improved Commitment to Employability 2016.
We provide our students with work placements and international opportunities to support them in becoming highly employable, globally engaged graduates, and with one million businesses operating within 20 miles of the University of Westminster, over 84% of our students are in work or further study six months after graduation. Our graduates work in a variety of sectors and organisations, from small/medium-sized companies and start-ups to large not-for-profit organisations and corporates.
During your time at Westminster you will be able to use our comprehensive online vacancy service and meet with our experienced careers consultants, providing you with thorough training and support on CV writing, application forms, interview preparation and assessment centres.
In addition to this, you will receive careers support from academic staff and faculty work placement teams, offering targeted course-specific careers advice and assistance in securing a work placement during your time at Westminster. You can find out more about course-specific career opportunities by visiting the Prospects website.
For more details, visit the employability section on our site.
Career Development Centre
Our Career Development Centre can help and support you throughout your study and after graduation.
We can help you to:
- find part-time/vacation, placement and graduate jobs, including voluntary experience
- explore how to develop the skills that employers are looking for
- plan your career development
- identify your career options
- market yourself effectively in CVs, application forms and at interviews
- develop your enterprise skills
We also organise a range of presentations and networking events with employers, professional bodies, alumni and other organisations throughout the year to help you with career planning.
Find out more about the Career Development Centre.
Our Work Placement Teams are based in your Faculty Registry Office and can help you find a suitable placement, as well as support you in making applications, writing CVs and improving your interview technique.
More details on work placements can be found on our Work placements page.
Career options in your subject area
Our team of careers consultants work closely with Faculty departments to deliver tailored employability support, including subject-specific workshops, employer events and careers information, advice and guidance.
What our Business Partners say about the Course
What our Course Leader says about the Course
What employers say about us
We had heard such amazing things about the University of Westminster and reached out to start to build a partnership. From the start we were blown away by the caliber of students and the professors. This past summer was the first year we hosted International students in our Internship Program, and we had two students from Westminster. Both students were highly successful, which is a testament to the program that they graduated from. The Westminster Interns were extremely engaged and professional and they brought a lot to the table in the way of creativity and new ideas. We look forward to partnering with Westminster for years to come.Creative Recruiter, Corporate Talent Resources
I was delighted with the quality and commitment of our University of Westminster student. The professionalism and skills developed through the course are exactly what we need and we are delighted to be developing an intern programme with the Fashion Buying Management degree course.Egomark, London
We received a really high caliber of applications from Westminster.John Lewis
Over the last few years we have had some great students from Westminster via our intern programme and have since taken on a number of graduates into our buying team. Technically capable, appreciative of the modern ever changing retail sector, they seem grounded yet ambitious ready to make a difference. The course teaches a good understanding of the industry and the roles within it, the course is keen to adapt to these changes, especially online, which benefits us, the students are keen to learn and understand. We have also recently done a project mixing the design and the fashion course to produce a range to sell on our Marketplace site, which shows a modern approach, with real life data and trading opportunities. Great tutors looking to expand their students minds helps bridge the gap between learning and practice.James Baron Head of buying ASOS
It is always a pleasure collaborating with Westminster. I have taught their students on both sides of the Atlantic and find them to be of a very high calibre, engaged with the subject matter, eager to learn and willing to work together to learn from each other and me. Having specialised in Youth culture my whole career I'm constantly looking for new ideas and concepts and I invariably walk away from my sessions with Westminster students with a list of exciting references to look into.Helen Job, Director Fashion & Lifestyle Trends, DistrictMTV.com
The quality of the Westminster students is very high and they are always committed and hard working. We have found students are eager to learn as much as possible during their placement year and develop a respect for 'the real workplace' by the end of the year. There is always potential for employment upon graduation for those who really stand out and we have had previous students return who have progressed well within the business.Senior recruitment officer River island
Study in the city
If you study at the University of Westminster, everything that London has to offer is on your doorstep.
Our central London campuses are ideally located for the city's fantastic learning institutions including libraries, archives and museums, as well as opportunities for shopping, eating out, enjoying London's nightlife or just simply relaxing.
After choosing your course, one of your biggest decisions will be where to live, and we aim to make that choice as easy as possible. Whether you want to apply for our Halls of Residence or live in private housing, we can help you to find the right accommodation.
Fees, funding, bursaries and scholarships
In recent years the University of Westminster's scholarship scheme has been the largest university scholarships scheme in the UK, and our Scholarships Department won the Times Higher Education inaugural Award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students.
All students on courses of a year or more and who are registered for more than three modules will be allocated a personal tutor.
Your personal tutor will be there to support you from induction onwards, helping you to integrate into the University, academically and socially, at an early stage. They will be able to give you advice and support on academic and personal matters affecting your study, as well as developmental advice through regular individual and group tutorials.
Polylang is a University-wide programme through which you can study a language as a free choice module.
Personal advice and counselling
While most students overcome any problems with help from friends, family or a personal tutor, the University's free counselling and advice services are there if you need them.
With one of the UK's largest international student populations, the University of Westminster has plenty of experience in giving you the help and support you need to make the most of your time with us.
Study Abroad and Summer School programmes
Westminster's Study Abroad programme has been running for more than 15 years, and is one of the largest in the UK – each year we welcome hundreds of visiting students from universities all over the world.
If you are already studying outside the UK, the programme offers you the opportunity to study with us for one or two semesters, or for a period in the summer.
Sport and recreation
The University has extensive sport and recreation facilities, with a sports hall and gym at Harrow, a state-of-the-art gym at Regent Campus, and the University sports ground by the River Thames at Chiswick.
University of Westminster Students' Union (UWSU) aims to make sure you have the best university experience possible by providing a range of activities and support, from sports clubs to society groups, educational advice and social events.
Hear from our Graduates
Fashion Buying at Westminster has given me such a good insight to the fashion industry and I've had so much support form the tutors. Having a year on placement was my highlight as its amazing experience, and Westminster has such good connections to the fashion world, which really helped.Alex, Final year student, December 2012
The FBM course has provided me with the greatest platform for a career in buying. This knowledge has been developed by the continual guidance and support of my tutors, which was enhanced by a brilliant placement in Barcelona.Francesca, Final year student, December 2012
The course gave me a great insight to the retail industry and gain the skills I needed to further my career in Buying. I now after 6 months of graduating have gained the role of Junior Assistant Buyer. Without my degree and studying the role of a buyer I believe I wouldn't be where I am at now. I have the course and the tutors of The University Of Westminster to thank.Fay, 2012 Graduate
Westminster's Fashion Buying Management course gave me an indepth knowledge of the buying cycle which gave me the confidence that I could hit the ground running when I started my first graduate buying job.Miriam, M&S graduate scheme, assistant buyer.
The year placement has taught me more than I ever thought it would. Working 5 days a week, on a real team, and with real responsibilities has shown me that this is the right career for me. It has prepared me for my final year as well as allowing me to create new networks for potential jobs after graduation.Gillian, Placement year student.