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About the course

Do you want to get into the business of fashion? Hoping to build sought after skills and understanding of the head office roles for buying and merchandising? 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.

This exciting course encourages creative flair, an eye for trends, business acumen and management skills. You will 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 and 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.

To aid your studies, you will 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. You will also have access to digital reprographics rooms for design work.

If you apply for this course with a placement year, you have the opportunity to undertake a year in industry between your second and third years.
Placement year
You have the opportunity to study abroad in one of our partner universities for a semester on this course.
Study abroad
This course has been accredited by a professional body.
Professional accreditation
If you're not quite ready for a full undergraduate degree, there's alternative entry through one of our foundation years.
Foundation year available
You have the opportunity to obtain a professional membership as part of this degree.
Professional memberships
As part of your studies you will have the opportunity to undertake a work experience placement.
Built in work experience placement
This course has access to Solent's specialist facilities.
Specialist facilities
After successfully completing your studies, there's an opportunity to continue your studies at Solent.
Further studies
If you have an appropriate Level 5 qualification, you can top it up to a degree in just a year.
Top-up option

Opportunity to gain practical work experience through the University’s own store, Re:So.

What does this course lead to?

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.

Who is this course for?

Solent’s fashion buying and merchandising degree is perfectly suited to students who want to build a working understanding of buying cycles, sales performance, forecasting, product development, garment sourcing, manufacturing, and brand development.

Facts and figures

Fees icon

Fees and costs

Tuition fees

The 2020/21 fees are not yet available. For guidance, the 2019/20 fees were:
UK, EU and Channel Island full-time fees: £9,250 per year
International full-time fees: £12,875 per year
UK, EU and Channel Island placement year fees: £1,385
International placement year fees: £1,750

For further information, please visit our tuition fees page.

Other costs

While most course costs are covered by your tuition fees, some essential resources and optional extras may need to be paid for separately. These additional costs are listed below. For advice on budgeting and managing your money, please contact student.funding@solent.ac.uk.

Year one:
Optional UK study trips: £100 
Optional International trips: £200 - £800

Year two:
Optional UK study trips: £100 
Optional International trips: £200 - £800

Year three:
Optional UK study trips: £100 
Optional International trips: £200 - £800
Major project: £100

Bursaries and scholarships

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

Graduation costs

For graduates in 2020, there is no charge to attend graduation, but you will be required to pay for the rental of your academic gown (approximately £45 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. Extra guest tickets will go on sale after results publication and will be sold on a first-come-first-served basis. The cost per ticket was £15 in 2019, but this fee is subject to change for future years. Please note, we do not guarantee there will be any extra tickets available to purchase.
Key entry requirements icon

Key entry requirements

96 - 112 UCAS points or equivalent 

  • A minimum of two completed A-levels, a BTEC Extended Diploma at MMM or BTEC Diploma at DM or equivalent qualification, or a combination of qualifications which comply with the minimum entry requirement of 96 UCAS points.
  • 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.
  • Alternative entry to this course is available through the Design Foundation Year.
  • If you are applying from outside the UK, find information about entry requirements, visas and agents for your country here.
  • For further information about UK, EU and international qualifications, please refer to our course entry requirement statement.

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
  • 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.


Study location

East Park Terrace

Got a question about this course?

Contact our Ask Solent team:

admissions@solent.ac.uk 023 8201 5066

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: www.ucas.com.

Your application should reach UCAS by 15 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 the end of June. The UCAS code for the University is S30, code name SOLNT.

Please click the links below to apply through UCAS:

Mode of study
Duration
Apply
Full-time  3 years  Apply 
Placement year  4 years  Apply 

Design Foundation Year route:

Mode of study
Duration
Apply
Full-time  4 years  Apply 
Placement year  5 years  Apply 
Top-up route:

We welcome applications from students currently studying a Foundation Degree, DipHE, HNC, HND or modules of an undergraduate degree course at another university, who wish to enter directly into Years 2 or 3 of one of our undergraduate degree courses. Please contact our admissions team for more information: contact us

How to apply

What you'll study

Year one

Core modules
  • Retail Environment
  • Marketing Principles
  • Introduction to Fashion Business
  • Ethical and Sustainable Fashion
  • Digital Concepts
  • Fashion Finance

Year two

Core modules
  • Fashion Buying and Merchandising
  • Fashion Market Research
  • Fashion Law
  • Product Development
  • Fashion Merchandise Planning

Options

  • Fashion Futures
  • International Fashion Communications

Please note: Not all optional modules are guaranteed to run each year.

 

Year three

Core modules
  • Research Proposal
  • Work Based Learning
  • International Strategic Business Practice
  • Final Major Project

Options

  • Innovation and Technology
  • Corporate Social Responsibility

Please note: Not all optional modules are guaranteed to run each year.

Support

Web-based learning

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

The Student Hub

The Student Hub is a central space where you can access all of the information and support you need during your time at University.

Professional and experienced staff can help resolve any query, and if they cannot answer the question themselves they will find the person who can.

Career support

Students' work

Meet the course team

Lisa Dibben academic profile Lisa Dibben Head of Subject View profile
Amanda Gomersall academic profile Amanda Gomersall Course Leader View profile
Emma Pritchard academic profile Emma Pritchard Senior Lecturer View profile
Janey McCulley academic profile Janey McCulley Senior Lecturer View profile
Lesley Taylor academic profile Lesley Taylor Senior Lecturer View profile
Joanne Weedon academic profile Joanne Weedon Lecturer View profile

The university cannot guarantee any particular members of staff will teach specific aspects of the course in the future, but will endeavour to ensure the teaching team maintains their balance of experience and qualifications.

Facilities

All fashion students have the opportunity to 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.

Solent also has its own student run store Re:So, located in the Marlands shopping centre, where you can gain hands on experience of many aspects of the fashion business.

This degree is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) providing students with exemptions against studying for the CIM Certificate and Diplomas in Professional or Digital Marketing.

Your future

Graduates from Solent’s Fashion Buying and Merchandising programme will be well prepared for a range of employment opportunities. Suitable roles include: 

  • Fashion buyer branded
  • Fashion buyer own label
  • Merchandiser
  • Fashion product developer
  • Ethics and sustainability coordinator
  • Supply chain manager
  • Garment technologist
  • Brand manager
  • Sourcing manager
  • Trend forecaster
  • Fashion marketing.
  • I wouldn’t be in this job if it wasn’t for Solent University. It taught me everything I needed to know to get a job in the industry. In my interview I felt really confident. The undergraduate degree gave me a really thorough understanding of fashion history, behaviour and culture, and of how fashion influences the economy and vice versa.

    Chloe Adams, graduate now merchandise associate at Arcadia

  • Finding good graduates in the fashion buying and merchandising areas is incredibly difficult. We get lots of applications but very few have the specialist knowledge that gives them the head start that they need. This course addresses this issue.

    Jean Pierre Gadson, HR, George at ASDA

  • My lecturers have great industry experience which helps with learning our course content. They are able to guide us with great industry contacts which will really help in future.

    Olivia Leigh

  • Teaching is always pitch-perfect in the sessions and the inclusion of guest associate lecturer sessions throughout the course modules gave a refreshing and interesting contrast in the course timetable. Guest lecturers complement the course lecturers very well indeed and offer a valuable insight into various industries and professions via their own industry experience.

    Robert Salt, graduate now area merchandiser at F&F

Industry links

The highly experienced teaching team have all worked in the industry at both high-street and luxury levels in stores and Omni channel.

The team also maintain excellent links to industry, enabling students to benefit from live briefs and the opportunity to engage with industry professionals through guest lectures either in person or online. During the course, trips are also made to companies and industry linked exhibitions.

Placements

In the summer between second- and third-year, students are required to complete a work-based learning module, with a minimum of 100 hours work experience in industry. 

Recent students in the School of Art, Design and Fashion have conducted placements at Armani, Vivienne Westwood, WGSN, Sheridan and Co, Ted Baker and Primark.

Graduate stories

Lauren's story

Lauren Newland - Buyer at Liz Earle Beauty Co

Tell us about your role at Liz Earle: 

My day-to-day varies depending on what projects require attention. My role itself is split between new product development and also management of natural raw materials which means the role stays exciting and challenging. Normally I would be briefing suppliers on new products we want to create or working through existing product development. I also look at sourcing natural ingredients and a lot of my time is dedicated to responsible sourcing of raw materials and ensuring we are providing a high level of traceability to our ingredients. 

How do you feel your studies at Solent have prepared you for your career?

My studies at Solent set me up with a well rounded knowledge of my industry and made me realise the career path I want to be working towards. As we used a lot of brands in case studies during assignments, it made me get to know brands inside out and identify the type of company I want to work for and what is important to me within a job role. One of the biggest skills I learnt at Solent was time management across my course. This is something that I work on every day in my role to meet urgent deadlines and help to prioritise work throughout my day.

What advice would you give to those wanting to follow in your footsteps?

Do what makes you happy, work for the smaller companies and don't necessarily follow the money route. It is more motivational to work somewhere smaller or low key and know that you are learning so much on the role, colleagues will have more time to go through things with you and help you grow. Always make a five year plan and know that within that time you want a promotion or to be in a different company. Its good to have goals and know where you eventually want to end up or who you dream to be working for. 

Further study

Enhance your career prospects by continuing your study at Solent.

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