Fashion Merchandise Management BA Honours
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View course-specific entry requirements
TYPICAL OFFER FOR SEPTEMBER 2014
|International Baccalaureate||29 points (minimum)|
|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.
This course was designed to directly meet the needs of the retail industry, 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, Debenhams, John Lewis, Michael Kors, Reiss, River Island, Selfridges and Thomas Pink, to name just a few.
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 fully the importance of the role of merchandisers within the industry.
Our aim is to develop graduates with strong commercial skills, an excellent understanding of the sector, outstanding communication skills and who are real team players. While being numerate is an essential skill, the focus is much more on analytical ability, and merchandising is a great career choice for commercially minded students with a passion for fashion. You will also gain the transferable and cognitive skills necessary for lifelong personal and professional development.
The study abroad option enables you to develop a global perspective on the retail industry, and modules taken during this period develop your knowledge of fashion.
The course fosters new thinking, new ideas and new possibilities. The teaching is delivered by a team of core staff, all with substantial industry experience, along with additional expertise from practitioners in specific fields. We have an extensive network of industry professionals who support relevant modules throughout the four years of the course.
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 takes place in lectures, seminars, tutorials, work placements, off site visits and via the online learning system Blackboard. Assessment methods include group reports and presentations, industry projects, portfolio development, and extended essays and exams.
The business placement year is an integral part of the course which will greatly increase your knowledge and understanding of the business environment, and is a critical factor in enhancing subsequent graduate career progression.
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)
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
Year 2 (Credit Level 5) – two calendar years
In preparation for the one-year business placement 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 include:
- Fashion Trends
- Planning and Trading for Merchandisers
- Preparing for the World of Work
- Textiles and Product Development
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, however 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
Eligible students can apply to one of our exchange partners for a semester abroad in America (New York or Virginia), Canada or Hong Kong, where complimentary modules will be studied. New York options often include internship modules which always prove to be very popular.
Year 4 (Credit Level 6)
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
- Consumer Behaviour for the Fashion Industry
- Fashion Branding
- Fashion Entrepreneurship
- Global Fashion Sourcing
- Luxury Fashion Management
- Sustainable Fashion
- Trends and Change Implementation for Fashion Retail
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
- Louise Cootes, Course Lecturer
- Caroline Curtis, Course Lecturer
- Kate Hopkin, Course Lecturer
- Beth Jelly, 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 website.
The course has been running for twelve years and it is testament to the course content and quality of the teaching that within six months of graduating over 90% of students have secured graduate level employment in the fashion retail sector. Even before graduation upwards of 70% of students have firm job offers, many in the enviable position of choosing which to say yes to.
"The FMM degree gave me a great balance of knowledge and experience relating to both Fashion and Retail as a business. It was not only useful in securing a job in merchandising immediately after completing the course but also in allowing me to move quickly beyond an entry level position once I was working."
The Work experience placement year
First hand industry experience gained through a mixture of short term and long term paid employment and internships helps to lay the foundations for a successful placement year. Placement experience in turn makes securing a graduate level role easier to achieve. All students are encouraged to balance part-time retail work with their studies in the first year. Industry regularly contacts us with short term opportunities in their buying. merchandising, marketing and PR functions. All these experiences help not only to build students’ CVs and their ability to work in a variety of different companies but also help students to decide which part of this dynamic industry they are best suited to.
"We have worked with the FMM course at Westminster for several years and we're delighted that the placement students we have selected have been of a high calibre. The course seems to prepares them well for the world of work and they are always eager to get involved and learn about our Business"
UK Recruitment Manager, Selfridges
"It is always a huge pleasure to get involved with the Fashion Merchandise Management course at Westminster. The course is fabulous and the calibre of students generated for the workplace for both placement years and post-graduation is of the highest calibre in such a competitive market. The biggest success of the whole process is the ease. In such busy work schedules, the team at Westminster, somehow seamlessly plan and organise the placements with us as retailers in a fair and timely manner. Arcadia has always been more than pleased to work with Westminster for the Fashion Merchandise Management course, and are looking forward to working with them in the future."
Resourcing Partner, Arcadia
We are supported by our industry partners as we prepare students for a rigorous application process, sometimes including telephone screening, verbal reasoning, group exercises, numeracy tests and presentations in addition to one on one interviews. Tesco, ASOS, Mothercare and River Island amongst others give their time to work with lecturers on making the process less frightening and allowing students to show their true selves in what can be a stressful setting. In the past students have successfully completed placements with amongst others the following companies:
- House of Fraser
- John Lewis
- The White Company
- Thomas Pink
- Michael Kors
- Atterley Road
Contact with industry does not stop with placements throughout the four years speakers with current experience will act as guest speakers and deliver master classes across the modules. The placement experience also can be helpful when researching the major project in the final year and final year electives will build on insight gained whilst on the year out.
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 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
“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.