Clearing 2016

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BA (Hons) Fashion Buying and Merchandising

Learn how to shape fashion trends and retail from head office

Enquire: 023 8201 5066

Do you want to get into the business of fashion? Hoping to build sought after supply-chain management, visual merchandising and business management skills? This challenging course will help you to acquire the perfect blend of creative and strategic thinking that employers are looking for, preparing you for a rewarding career in the booming fashion industry.

  • Students learn about buying cycles, sales performance, product development, garment sourcing, manufacturing, and brand development.
  • Students have had the opportunity to gain retail management experience through our student-managed high-street fashion store, Re:So, as well as opportunities to work on live projects through our in-house creative agency, Solent Creatives.
  • The curriculum is built around practical insights into the fashion industry through live projects, site visits, prestigious guest speakers and work placements. Past students have also organised and managed fashion conferences and events.
  • Voted as one of the most creative universities in the UK, Solent’s collaborative culture encourages students to work on exciting shared projects with students from other creative courses.
  • The University’s close proximity to London ensures that students are able to attend industry events including London Fashion Week and Graduate Fashion Week.
  • In addition to their degree studies, students have the option to go on educational trips to European fashion capitals – recent trips have included Paris and Rome.
  • Students are taught by a supportive academic team with extensive industry experience.

The industry

The fashion industry is a huge contributor to the UK economy. It was worth £26bn in 2014 and supported almost 800,000 jobs (British Fashion Council, 2014).

The fashion industry continues to evolve and offers huge potential for graduate employment both in the UK and globally. The specialist skills taught on this degree can help graduates to find roles in areas such as marketing, PR, product buying and merchandising.

The programme

This exciting course encourages creative flair, an eye for trends, business acumen and management skills. Students study a diverse range of subjects and gain a deeper understanding of buying cycles, sales performance, product development, garment sourcing, manufacturing and brand development.

The course places a strong emphasis on gaining practical work experience. Past students have had the opportunity to set up their own business at our stunning student-run store, Re:So, which sells a unique mix of fashion, accessories, publications, furniture and art. The store’s upper floor ‘learning zone’ has previously hosted guest speakers from the fashion industry, workshops, photo-shoots and exhibitions – all with an emphasis on developing student retail, enterprise and employability skills.

To aid their studies, students have free access to our media academy. This area contains photography studios, digital video cameras, media equipment and Mac suites with the latest Adobe Creative Suite software. Students also have access to digital reprographics rooms for design work.

The course is delivered by an enthusiastic academic team who have extensive industry experience in fashion branding, buying, merchandising, and marketing for major brands.

Next steps

Think working in fashion buying, marketing or merchandising might be for you? This degree will give you the opportunity to get involved in unique fashion projects, develop your creative vision and make valuable contacts for a future in the fashion industry.

Have you got a question about applying?


Don't just take our word for it...

Jean Pierre Gadson
Robert Salt
Chloe Adams
"Finding good graduates in the fashion buying and merchandising areas is incredibly difficult."
  More from Jean
"Guest lecturers complement the course lecturers very well indeed and offer a valuable insight into various industries"
  More from Robert
"I wouldn't be in this job if it wasn't for Southampton Solent University."
  More from Chloe

UCAS codes


  • 3 Years Standard entry W236

Typical entry requirements

2016 entry
240 UCAS Tariff points

2017 entry - New UCAS Tariff
96 UCAS Tariff points

Member of

Year one:


Core units

  • Introduction to Fashion Buying
  • Supply Chain and Project Management
  • Multi-Channel Marketing
  • Visual Merchandising for Fashion
  • Retail Environment
  • Introduction to IT Skills and Financial Analysis

Year two:


Core units

  • Buying and Merchandising
  • Product Development
  • International Fashion Communications
  • Fashion Buying and the Law.


  • Fashion Merchandise Planning
  • Ethical Issues
  • Freelancing at Solent Creatives
  • Model Your Business
  • Curriculum Plus.

Year three:


Core units

  • Major Project
  • Work-Based Learning for Fashion and the Creative Industries
  • International Strategic Business Practice.


  • Innovation and Technology
  • Corporate Social Responsibility.

Teaching, learning and assessment

The course is taught through lectures, tutorials and small seminar group sessions that facilitate discussion and give you a chance for regular one-to-one feedback. There are elements of individual, group and self-directed study.

Work experience
In year three you’ll work towards the Fashion Industry Work-Based Learning unit, incorporating work experience directly into your course.

You’ll also be encouraged to seek work experience outside of teaching time, and the course team will often provide support and contacts within the industry to help you find a placement.

Recent students in the School of Art, Design and Fashion have conducted placements at Micheal Kors, Hugo Boss New York, Harvey Nichols, Arcadia Group, Peter Pilotto, London Fashion Week, Anya Hindmarch, Calvin Klein, Puma and Ted Baker.

You’ll be assessed through individual projects, presentations, group projects and your final-year project.

Our facilities

All fashion students use the photography studios, IT suites, cameras, media equipment, and specialist rooms within Solent’s media academy. You’ll also have access to an extensive range of fashion, forecasting, marketing, retail and media publications within the library, as well as a range of merchandising equipment within the fashion department and our Re:So store.

Study abroad

The Erasmus+ programme may give you the opportunity to spend between a term and a year of your course studying abroad at one of our partner universities, or undertaking a work placement for a company in Europe.
For more information, see

If you are a student at one of our Erasmus partner institutions in Europe, then you may have the opportunity to come to the UK and study fashion buying and merchandising units at Solent for either a single term or a full academic year as part of your degree programme.

If you’re studying outside Europe, then you may be able to study with us as an exchange student if there is a partnership agreement in place. If you are studying at a university which does not have a partnership agreement with us, then you could apply to study at Solent under our Study Abroad programme.

Web-based learning

Solent’s virtual learning environment provides quick online access to assignments, lecture notes, suggested reading and other course information.

Meet the Team

The teaching team consists of fashion industry professionals and academics, all of whom have extensive experience within the fashion industry and a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm to share.

UCAS codes


  • 3 Years Standard entry W236

What do we offer?

From a vibrant city centre campus to our first class facilities, this is where you can find out why you should choose Solent.

As a graduate of this course you will be well placed to pursue a career in a wide variety of head office roles, helping to shape the international fashion design and retail industries. Established career paths offer the potential for travel and great opportunities for progression, while new areas of multi-channel retail and the expansion of luxury and international markets ensure that employment prospects are broad and exciting.

Suitable roles for graduates include:

  • Fashion buyer
  • Merchandiser
  • Allocator
  • Fashion forecaster
  • Fashion brand manager
  • Visual merchandiser 
  • Product development manager
  • Retail manager
  • Product line manager. 

Links with industry

We work closely with fashion industry professionals, regularly inviting guest speakers to discuss their experiences of working in the fashion industry and impart their knowledge; past speakers have included Caryn Franklyn and representatives from WGSN, Marks & Spencer, Next, All Saints, Fat Face, Michael Kors, and Hobbs. The school of fashion has also run projects with Fat Face, Puma, TM Lewin, Ted Baker, Top Shop, MRA Architects and IBM Innovation Centre.

Transferable skills

Specialist skills that students will develop include an understanding of the fashion product, trend prediction and consumer awareness, creativity and teamwork. Organisation, analytical, communication and presentation skills are also developed, along with project management.


Key facts


Location of study: East Park Terrace

Study mode: Full-time

Entry requirements


UCAS have updated their tariff points for 2017 entry. Please click here for more information.

240 points (for 2016 entry) or 96 points (for 2017 entry) from:

  • A-levels, a BTEC Extended Diploma at MMM or BTEC Diploma at DD or equivalent.
  • Direct entry into the second or third years may be considered for this course.
  • Applicants over the age of 21 may be considered based on relevant experience, without having the required tariff points.
We welcome applicants from a diverse range of backgrounds. Applicants who are not in possession of the minimum entry requirements but are able to demonstrate aptitude, enthusiasm and motivation will be considered on an individual basis and may be admitted subject to satisfactory interview and/or portfolio. Please contact us for further details.

English language requirements

Applicants who do not have English as their first language will be required to demonstrate an approved level of proficiency in the use of the English language. The agreed minimum requirements for this course are:

  • IELTS minimum 6.0 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each individual component
  • TOEFL IBT minimum 80 with a minimum of 19 in each individual component- TOEFL is only valid for EU students
  • or equivalent.

Qualifications are checked before enrolment, and international students must bring their original certificates or certified copies when coming to study at the University.

The University also offers a pre-sessional English programme for international students who wish to improve their level of English before starting a degree course.

Note to all international students requiring a visa:

All international applicants need to be aware that the English language requirements to attend Southampton Solent University, and the English language requirements to obtain a visa from the Home Office, may be different. This means that if you meet the Southampton Solent University language requirement to gain a place on the course, you may still have to meet additional requirements to be granted with a visa by the Home Office.

We strongly advise all applicants to visit the Home Office website which outlines all the requirements for a successful visa application and to take a look at this PDF document which outlines both Solent University and Home Office requirements for a number of language tests.  

Non-standard entry

If you do not have these qualifications or are unsure of your eligibility please contact the University using the contact details found at the top of this page.

Costs involved


Tuition fees

The tuition fees for the 2016/2017 academic year are:

UK and EU full-time fees: £9,000 per year

International full-time fees: £11,000 per year

Other costs


UK trips: £100 per year
International trips: £200 - £800 per year.

Graduation costs 

Graduation is the ceremony to celebrate the achievements of your studies. For graduates in 2015, there is no charge to attend graduation, but you will be required to pay for the rental of your academic gown (approximately £42 per graduate, depending on your award). You may also wish to purchase official photography packages, which range in price from £15 to £200+. Graduation is not compulsory, so if you prefer to have your award sent to you, there is no cost.

For more details, please visit:

Bursaries and scholarships

Southampton Solent University offers a range of scholarships that provide financial assistance or waive fees for tuition or accommodation. Each scholarship has specific eligibility criteria. Check out our scholarships page to find out more.


How to apply


Any student applying for the first year of a full-time/sandwich undergraduate course must apply through UCAS (University and Colleges Admissions Service). This includes mature, overseas and EU students.

Nearly all schools and colleges offer their students the facility of applying electronically through the UCAS website using 'Apply'; it may also be used by those applying independently in the UK and overseas. This facility and all course information can be found on the UCAS website:

Your application should reach UCAS by January if you hope to enter a course the following autumn. Early application is advised for the most popular subject areas. Late applications may be made until June. The UCAS Code for the University is S30, code name SOLNT.

Student support and services


Student welfare

Southampton Solent University is committed to giving you the best possible educational experience during your time with us. As such we have a number of support services and policies set up covering funding, careers and employability, chaplaincy, counselling, international advice, student affairs, key academic skills, disability support and general student advice. Find out more about our approach to student welfare.

University facilities

You will have access to a modern, comfortable and efficient environment in which to study, following our extensive refurbishment and modernisation over recent years. Some key facilities include Mountbatten library, a wide variety of sports and watersports facilities, plus superb IT and media facilities. Find out more about our first-class facilities here.

Living in Southampton

Southampton is a vibrant student city and studying at Solent means that you will be at the very heart of the action. Find out more about being a student in Southampton.

Solent Students’ Union

Run by students for students, Solent Students’ Union is a key part of any student’s time at Solent. Visit the Students’ Union website for more information.


UCAS codes


  • 3 Years Standard entry W236