Course Overview

Attendance
UK/EU Fees £9,250 *
International Fees £12,750 *
Alumni Discount See details
Duration 4 years

* Price per academic year

Course summary

This course was designed to meet the needs of the retail industry directly 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, John Lewis, Michael Kors, Reiss, River Island, Selfridges and Thomas Pink.

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 the importance of the role of merchandisers within the industry fully.

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 desire 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 are 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.

Course structure

The following subjects are indicative of what you will study on this course.

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

Credit Level 4

In preparation for the one-year business internship, 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:

  • Fashion Trends
  • Preparing for Work in Merchandising 

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; 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
  • Textiles & Product Development

Eligible students can apply to one of our exchange partners for a semester abroad in America (New York or Virginia), Canada, Hong Kong or Australia, where complementary modules will be studied. New York options often include internship modules which always prove to be very popular.

Credit Level 5

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
  • Fashion Consumer Behaviour
  • Fashion Branding
  • Fashion Entrepreneurship
  • Global Fashion Sourcing
  • Luxury Fashion Management
  • Sustainable Fashion
  • Trends and Change Implementation for Fashion Retail

Credit Level 6

Westminster Plus Electives

 
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As part of your course you may be able to 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 Plus Electives.

Entry Requirements

Typical offer

  • A Levels - BBC
  • International Baccalaureate - 29 points (minimum)
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 Extended National Diploma - DDM
  • Access to HE Diploma - Pass with 45 credits at Level 3 with a minimum of 33 Level 3 credits at Merit or Distinction. GCSE minimum grade 4 (grade C in grading system prior to 2017) in Maths and English.

If English is not your first language, you must have an IELTS of 6.5 overall with at least 6.0 in each element. Suitably qualified applicants will be invited to an interview.

More information

Typical offer

  • International Baccalaureate - 29 points (minimum)

If English is not your first language, you must have an IELTS of 6.5 overall with at least 6.0 in each element. Suitably qualified applicants will be invited to an interview.

More information

Careers

Graduates from the course work as merchandisers and senior merchandisers with major High Street brands. They work within the sourcing and supply chain functions and are building careers with major suppliers.

Some have set up their own businesses and are enjoying developing their own businesses in the sector. They may be working ensuring social compliance and maintaining and improving the ethical standards of the industry.

Some of our former students work in PR and Marketing. We have alumni in retail companies including Harrods, Fenwick, Selfridges, Arcadia, Next, River Island, ASOS, Jack Wills and many, many more.

Our graduates are employed in one of the biggest employment sectors in the UK and building the experience and networks that they need for success.

 

‘The course not only gave me the experiences and opportunities required to start my career in the fashion industry but also taught me the invaluable thinking processes and skills needed to cope with what the future of buying and merchandising will require. I found my placement year at River Island invaluable and the support provided by course staff second to none. The course is recognised within the industry for producing high-quality graduates and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to pursue a career in fashion retailing.’ – Cheyenne Meehan, Graduated June 2016, River Island

The course includes a placement year working in the industry and every year employers return to offer opportunities to our students to spend a year in the industry. We currently have students working with Boden, Debenhams, Alshaya, Selfridges, Next, River Island, House of Fraser, Charles Tyrwhitt, ASOS, Tommy Hilfiger, Anthropologie, Ralph Lauren & Michael Kors amongst many others. Our graduates are highly sought after and companies maintain their connections with us and are eager to recruit from our  graduates knowing their value, knowledge and experience.

Our Career Development Centre has just been shortlisted for the Best University Careers Service in the National Undergraduate Employability Awards for 2017.

With a growing network of over 3,000 employers around the world and a team of experienced careers consultants, we are here to help you succeed.

In 2015–16, we helped over 1,500 students find work placements across a range of sectors, with 250 employers attending 14 on-campus skills and careers fairs.

As a Westminster student, you’ll have access to our services throughout your studies and after you graduate.

We can help you:

  • find work placements related to your course
  • find part-time/vacation, placement and graduate jobs, including voluntary experience
  • find international opportunities to enhance your employability
  • market yourself effectively to employers
  • write better CVs and application forms
  • develop your interview and enterprise skills
  • plan your career with our careers consultants
  • meet employers and explore your career options at our employer fairs, careers presentations and networking events throughout the year

Find out more about the Career Development Centre.

Facilities

Fees and Funding

UK and EU tuition fee: £9,250 (Price per academic year)

The amount you will pay may increase each year to take into account the effects of inflation.

Find out how we set our tuition fees.

Funding

As well as tuition fee loans, there is a range of funding available to help you fund your studies.

Find out about undergraduate student funding options.

Scholarships

The University is dedicated to supporting ambitious and outstanding students and we offer a variety of scholarships to eligible undergraduate students, which cover all or part of your tuition fees.

Find out if you qualify for one of our scholarships.

Additional costs

See what you may need to pay for separately and what your tuition fees cover.

International tuition fee: £12,750 (Price per academic year)

The amount you will pay may increase each year to take into account the effects of inflation.

Find out how we set our tuition fees.

International student funding

Find out about funding for international students.

Scholarships

The University is dedicated to supporting ambitious and outstanding students and we offer a variety of scholarships to eligible undergraduate students, which cover all or part of your tuition fees.

Find out if you qualify for one of our scholarships.

Additional costs

See what you may need to pay for separately and what your tuition fees cover.

Course Location

The vibrant home of Westminster School of Media, Arts and Design, the Harrow Campus offers one of the richest portfolios of creative industry research and learning in Europe. The recent redevelopment of the campus has seen the creation of fluid, informal learning spaces, dedicated project and gallery spaces and a revamped library. For more details, visit our Harrow Campus page.

Contact us

Call our dedicated team on:

+44 (0)20 7915 5511

Opening hours (GMT): 9am-5pm Monday to Friday

[email protected]

More information

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