Fashion (Buying & Merchandising)


Programme details

  • Next start date: 30 Sep 2019
  • Study: Full-time
  • Duration: 3 terms ( 1 full calendar year)
  • Fee: £18,500

The fashion industry needs buyers and merchandisers who are ready to work in a fast-paced and globally-connected market.

Whether you have already studied fashion and are looking to develop specialist skills, or you are new to the subject, this programme will prepare you to work in the diverse and rewarding global fashion industry.

This programme is at the cutting-edge of the sector. It is developed by academics at Regent's working alongside a panel of industry experts. It balances academic theory with specialist knowledge. You will learn to understand and analyse:

  • Future fashion trends
  • Global retail industry
  • Digital innovation & technology in fashion
  • Distribution
  • Marketing
  • Sustainability in fashion
  • The global supply chain
  • Terminology of textiles manufacture

You will study consumer decision making and consider a range of different retailers, including mass, own-brand, premium and luxury brands.

There is a particular emphasis on ethical dilemmas in the fashion industry, including both social and environmental concerns. In particular, there is a focus on sustainability throughout the programme.

You will learn research skills as well as a range of vocational skills, including:

  • Budgeting
  • Commercial awareness
  • Creating sample outfits
  • Creativity
  • Designing product offers
  • Giving presentations
  • Making data-based decisions
  • Predicting and analysing trends
  • Range building
  • Team working/building

You will also learn how to plan strategic marketing campaigns using PR, social media, e-commerce and celebrity influencers. This is supported by a wide range of digital resources (such as Fashion Monitor and the WGSN trend forecasting database) and software like Adobe Photoshop, all of which you can access free of charge.

The programme is designed to develop your imagination and creative thinking, and is well-suited for students with an entrepreneurial spirit. You will work on live projects for large retail brands, presenting directly to them.

You will study in the centre of London, a thriving fashion capital. The programme also includes a trip abroad to a European fashion capital. Some of the costs for this (tickets and accommodation) are included in the programme fees.

Register for an Open Evening

This is a one year programme. Teaching is split over three terms.

Some of these modules are shared with other programmes, meaning you will study alongside those studying on other programmes at Regent's.

Term 1

Module Title Overview
Fashion Cultures: History, Theory, Creativity The aim of this module is to allow you to develop your knowledge of fashion history from the late 19th century to the present day. Balancing this are lectures on the fashion industry – how it works and how it is changing, including retail, manufacturing and the luxury sector. You will also learn how to analyse creativity in styling, photography and digital innovation as much as in fashion design. The scope is global and broad-minded, exploring how trends evolve and how fashion interlinks with many other creative sectors, for application to fashion and broader lifestyle journalism.
Introduction to Textiles and Product Manufacturing The aim of this module is to develop your commercial fashion knowledge with a broad understanding and appreciation of fabrics, garment construction and their manufacture. It will provide you with an understanding of how garments are made including the essentials of mass-market manufacture. This will include a fundamental understanding of the key design characteristics that impact on clothing manufacture and an overview of textile technology and terminology. Covering a cross-section of product types, it will address fabric and garment performance and respond to a demand for a greater understanding of the fashion business.

The module also explores the product development cycle from the initial design idea, mood boards and colour palette creation, through to sampling, costing and final production.
Fashion Buying and Merchandising The module aims to provide you with a range of academic and vocational knowledge and skills relevant to entering or developing a career in fashion buying and merchandising. You will learn about the roles of buying, merchandising and related head office functions in a typical own brand or multi-brand buying office and how fashion ranges are developed, distributed and traded across retail channels to optimise sales and maximise profitability. The module will consider both mass market fashion retailer own-brands and premium fashion and luxury fashion brands to contrast differences in approaches to design, manufacture, range development and distribution. This module also aims to develop your skills in preparation for job interviews after the programme. For example, frequent presentations, applied numeracy in buying and merchandising workshops, putting sample outfits together to reflect fashion trends and product offers for different brands.
The Global Fashion Consumer This module will give you a good understanding of consumer theory with specific reference to fashion. You will learn about consumer markets and the fashion consumer landscape. You will examine the impact of economics and politics on consumers nationally and internationally and the differing influences that society and culture have on decision-making.

In addition you will learn how the industry uses sophisticated marketing techniques to influence decision-making processes, and how modern technology is changing the relationship between industry and consumer within a global context. You will explore concepts such as the power of influencers and the democratisation of fashion. You will analyse shifts in attitude and behaviour and how these translate into products and services in fast-moving consumer markets. You will learn how consumer theory relates to fashion branding and retail strategies.

Term 2

Module Title Overview
Sustainability and Fashion The module aims to develop your understanding of sustainability issues in the contemporary fashion industry. Sustainability in fashion is investigated with a focus on the supply of fashion products and the context in which demand for them is created. Implicated in the global supply chain are questions of ethical standards and social justice.

You will develop an understanding of the substantial ethical challenges facing the fashion industry, particularly with regard to the need to develop a sustainable ethos for the fashion system in a world of finite resources. You will also consider what has been called the ‘true cost’ of fashion: its human and environmental impacts.
Research Design and Methods The aim of this module is to examine research design and to explore a range of qualitative and quantitative research methods which you will learn to apply to your specialist area. You will become familiar with research ethics and its importance to research projects. You will learn how to design and conduct advanced research and how to select appropriate research tools and methodologies. You will acquire the necessary skills to analyse and interpret research data. Through exercises and projects, you will apply research techniques to your area of study. You will learn through lectures, group and individual exercises, field work and tutorials. The module will prepare you to engage in original research during the final term of your degree.
Marketing and Distribution This module develops your understanding of how marketing impacts on buying and merchandising strategic planning and implementation. You will study a range of marketing and retailing theory and models relating to fashion markets, consumer profiling and behaviour, branding, communication and channel management. These will be applied to the management of range development and distribution decisions of fashion brands in both the mass and luxury markets. This module also aims to develop your skills in preparation for job interviews after the programme. For example, the LinkedIn Master-Class is a two hour workshop will show you how to use LinkedIn to enhance your reputation, build a killer network and find opportunities.
Trading and Response to Change This module aims to develop your understanding of how to respond to in-season changes in demand, influenced by a variety of external macro factors beyond the retailer’s control. Pre-season range planning needs to be supported by an ability to take effective action in response to negative influences on demand. Retail sales are vulnerable to many industry forces including deteriorating economic conditions, increasing or intense competition or even unseasonal weather conditions. Equally there is always the possibility that a range may include some poor fashion decisions. Consequently you need to be able to recognise when data is becoming a trend and to determine the appropriate response using a range of tactical retail merchandising and marketing options. You will work in teams in a role play scenario making decisions consistent with specific retail functions that address issues in the case scenario presented to you.

Term 3

You will choose one of the options below.

Module Title Overview
Dissertation The aim of this module is to enable you to learn how to determine a suitable topic for research, to conduct research at the forefront of the discipline, engage in critical analysis and in the formation of an argument that involves original thought. The Dissertation must be founded upon a topic or research question relating to contemporary fashion.

This is the final module of the master’s degree and provides you with the opportunity to demonstrate that you have gained the necessary knowledge, understanding, conceptual awareness and skills to plan, organise and conduct a significant research project. It should demonstrate your ability to identify a suitable topic for research: setting aims and research objectives; locating, organising and critically analysing relevant secondary sources and authoritative literature; devising an appropriate research methodology; collecting and critically analysing primary data and drawing from the latest relevant literature in the field; drawing conclusions; and where appropriate making relevant recommendations and indications of areas for further research.
Individual Consultancy Project The Individual Consultancy Project (ICP) is a major research-based activity. It is the final stage of the master’s degree and provides you with the opportunity to demonstrate that you have gained the knowledge, understanding, conceptual awareness and skills to plan and conduct a research project worthy of achievement at this level. It should demonstrate your ability to identify an area or topic suitable for research: to set aims and research objectives; devise an appropriate research methodology; locate, assimilate, organise and critically analyse relevant primary and secondary data and relevant authoritative literature in the field; draw conclusions based on sound judgement; and where appropriate make relevant recommendations and indicate areas for further research.

You can opt to complete a negotiated work placement as part of the Project. Work placements are self-generated with support from the Careers and Business Relations Department, and should involve assisting a fashion organisation in a particular area that relates to the taught modules on your programme.

How to apply  

Applying to study at Regent's University London is quick and easy. We have put together some helpful information to guide you through the process. We accept direct applications, have no formal application deadlines and there is no application fee.

Step 1 Apply

You can apply in the following ways:

If you have not uploaded the relevant supporting documents during the online application process, you should ensure that we have the below supporting documents as soon as you have completed your application.These can be sent to the Regent’s Admissions Department via email to [email protected].

  • Copies of academic transcripts and certificates from all university studies (i.e. undergraduate degree)
  • One letter of academic recommendation
  • A copy of your CV/resumé showing your work experience, if applicable.
  • A 500-700 word personal statement outlining the reasons for applying to your chosen programme. This should demonstrate an understanding of a current issue relevant to the subject, how you feel you will benefit from the programme of study, what contributions you will make to the University and how this will help your future career aspirations.
  • A copy of your passport photograph (ID) page
  • If you are not a native English speaker, proof of your English proficiency

For some of our programmes, the selection process may include an interview. Interviews can take the form of a one-to-one interview or group interview. These are generally conducted on campus but may be conducted by telephone or as a Skype call. Arrangements of these are made between the Admissions Department and the applicant.

Step 2 Receive a response to your application

You can expect to receive a decision on your application within 10 working days of receipt of your completed application and supporting documents.

We will assess whether you meet our entry requirements and will notify you of the decision via email.

Step 3 Accepting your offer

If you wish to accept the offer you must pay the advance tuition fee deposit (non-refundable) to confirm your place.

Please note: There is no formal deadline to pay your advance tuition fee deposit, however we recommend that you confirm your place as soon as possible.

Please see here for information on how to pay.

Step 4 After you have accepted your place

Closer to the start of the term the Admissions Team will send information regarding the registration process. This will include information on completing your online enrolment prior to your arrival as well as a checklist of documents you will need to bring with you to fully register onto the programme.

Information for international students

If you are an overseas student requiring visa sponsorship to study in the UK, our team will be in touch with information on applying for your student visa and the documents you will need. More information can be found on our visas and immigration page.

Scholarships, funding and bursaries

India Postgraduate Taught Masters scholarships

Regent’s University London has a long-standing tradition of welcoming talented students from all over India. Our students from this region have always had a strong entrepreneurial spirit and have graduated from Regent’s fully equipped to join a large multinational, start their own company or join the family business. Regent’s is therefore pleased to offer five postgraduate scholarships specifically for students of Indian nationality, each worth £3,000.

Full details

Regent’s Family Reward

Regent’s offers an intimate style of education, characterised by lots of personal attention. This personalised approach extends beyond our students to their families, with the University welcoming increasing numbers of brothers, sisters and even children of our alumni each year. The University is delighted to offer the Regent’s Family Reward as a thank-you to our alumni for their and their families’ loyalty.

Full details

Regent's Postgraduate Progression Scholarships

Regent's Postgraduate Progression Scholarships reward the loyalty of undergraduate students who progress to enrol on a postgraduate degree with us. It's our way of saying thank you. Scholarships are worth up to 15% of tuition fees. 

Full details

Future Finance loans

Alternative loan funding* for students studying at Regent's University London.

Full details

US Financial Aid

Direct subsidised and unsubsidised loans for US citizens, as well as Direct PLUS loans for eligible US citizens and Green Card holders administered by the US Department of Education (USED) for all eligible degree programmes offered at Regent’s University London.

Full details

State-Sponsored Funding for Students from Norway

Loans and grants for Norwegian students studying for undergraduate or postgraduate degrees at Regent's University London.

Full details

State-Sponsored Funding for Students from Sweden

Loans and grants for Swedish students studying for undergraduate or postgraduate degrees at Regent's University London.

Full details

Postgraduate loans - Student Finance England 2018-19

Student Finance England (SFE) is now offering funding for UK and EU nationals, as well as students with the status of Migrant Worker (under the age of 60 on the date of first class of the first Master’s degree).

Students, who already hold one Master’s degree (or an equivalent or higher-level qualification) will not be eligible.

Full details

Tuition fee

Starting September 2019: £18,500

Non-refundable advance deposit

Home/EU students: £1,000
Non-EU students: £4,000
Non-EU students in receipt of US Federal Loans: £1,000

What do fees include?

Fees cover the cost of all tuition and access to the University’s IT infrastructure and library learning resources.

What other costs should I budget for?

You will need to budget additional funds for accommodation and living expenses, travel, and any additional trips, visits, activities or courses (such as Summer programmes) that you choose to participate in outside of the tuition offered as part of the programme.

The library hold a limited number of copies of core text books and where possible in e-format. You will be encouraged to purchase your own text books and will need to budget approximately £80-£100 for the year, depending on your programme of study.

When are fees paid?

Fees are payable in the following instalments:

  • An initial non-refundable advance deposit paid when you accept your offer of a place
  • The advance deposit is allocated against the first term’s fees
  • Tuition fees (including fees for subsequent terms) are due two weeks in advance of classes commencing

Calculating fee increases

  • The University sets tuition fees on an annual basis in line with the University's financial year which runs from 1 August to 31 July
  • The fees quoted here are for one academic year of study
  • For students starting their programme in January the programme spans two separate financial year accounting periods. Fees for the different teaching terms are calculated separately in line with fees charged in each financial year
  • Fees for subsequent years of study are subject to fee inflation
  • The University aims to keep annual fee increases in line with the University’s cost inflation. The expectation is that this will be no greater than UK consumer price inflation (CPI) plus 3%. There are occasionally variations to this dictated by the costs of running specific programmes or facilities required for our programmes
  • As a registered charity, all fee increases are subject to approval of the Trustee Board thus ensuring that affordability for our students remains a primary concern in any decisions regarding fee increases

Teaching and Assessment

This is a one year, full time programme. Teaching takes place on two days per week, leaving three for independent study, as well as the option of work or work experience.

You will learn through a combination of:

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Workshops
  • Tutorials
  • Fieldwork
  • Presentations
  • Role play

Academic Calendar

Teaching staff

You will be taught by experienced academics and senior fashion buyers, most of whom have considerable industry experience within fashion buying and merchandising.

Methods of assessment

  • Essays/reports
  • Combination of individual and group projects
  • Presentations

Please note that there are no exams on this programme.

Disability Support

We welcome and support students with a wide range of disabilities and health concerns. This includes learning difficulties, visual and hearing impairments, mental health difficulties, autism spectrum conditions, mobility difficulties, and temporary or chronic health conditions.

Our dedicated Disability Officer is here to support you. We ask that you speak with Student Registry and our Disability Officer as early as you can to enable us to support you. Find out more about our disability support and contact us.

Academic requirements

A Regent’s education provides you with a high level of personal attention, and this begins from the moment you apply to study with us. We want to understand who you are and what your skills and interests may be – we are interested in your potential, as well as your prior achievements. We review each application comprehensively and on its individual merit, considering all of your skills, interests and attributes.

Typically, we will make an offer to a student holding a minimum lower second class (2:2) UK Honours undergraduate degree from a recognised institution. Other equivalent international qualifications from recognised institutions will be accepted.

We also welcome applications from candidates who do not meet the essential entry criteria outlined above. In order to be accepted for exceptional entry, you must:

  • Hold a minimum of two years’ relevant work experience
  • Provide a 1000-word personal statement outlining your reasons for applying, and how your previous experience is of relevance to the programme you are applying for
  • Be prepared to attend an interview with the Postgraduate Admissions Panel

English Language requirements 

We require proof of English Proficiency. For example, we ask for:

  • IELTS: Overall score of 6.5, with 6.0 or above in all 4 component parts
  • Pearson’s Test for English (PTE): Overall score of 58, with 51 or above in each individual component
  • TOEFL IBT: Overall score 80 (We do not accept TOEFL from applicants requiring a Tier 4 visa, as this qualification is no longer accepted by the UK Visas and Immigration Department (UKVI)
  • A-level/GCSE/IGCSE English: grade C / 4 or above (for IGCSE certificates, please provide the Supplementary Certifying Statement with the breakdown of component grades)
  • International Baccalaureate: Grade 5 in A1 or A2 English at Higher or Standard Level

For applicants who wish to improve their English language proficiency, please see our English language courses.

On-campus diagnostic test

For offer holders in London, we can provide a free on-campus English diagnostic test.  This test must be arranged in advance. To book a test, please contact [email protected]. Please note, this is a diagnostic test for Regent’s University London only.

This programme will equip you to work in graduate roles such as:

  • Allocator
  • Assistant buyer
  • Assistant merchandiser
  • Distributor
  • Merchandising assistant
  • Product development assistant
  • Supply chain coordinator

Graduates of Regent's have gone on to work at All Saints, Harrods, Browns, Selfridges, H&M, Neiman Marcus and Macy’s.

As well as giving you practical skills, there is an emphasis within the programme on helping you to build your international network. For example, you can attend guest lectures given by members of our global fashion network.

Apply now

MA Fashion (Buying and Merchandising)