University of East London

BA (Hons) Fashion Buying, Merchandising & Innovation

The BA (Hons) Fashion Buying, Merchandising & Innovation programme is designed to introduce students to responsibilities and develop their understanding of the skills that are required for working as a buyer within fashion.

In addition, students will be made aware of the evolving nature of fashion buying and be encouraged to developing an innovative mindset that will set them up for success and progression in the area of fashion buying. 

Subjects to develop their key skills will involve working with IT and digital platforms, training their numerical literacy and also learning about fashion operation systems and consumer behaviour in order to nurture each student’s progression within the evolving industry of fashion and also support with developing skills relevant for further progressing within higher education.

Foundation Year course

Our Foundation Year course is perfect if you want a degree in Journalism but you don't meet the standard entry requirements.

First we prepare you for your degree during the foundation year, bringing you up to speed with academic skills and a firm grounding in the subject. Then you can go on to do the full undergraduate degree. This means it will take you four years to complete the course full-time, and eight years to complete the course part-time.

Entry Requirements


Without Foundation Year

 112 UCAS Points from

  • A LEVEL- Must include passes at A2 in at least two subjects.
  • BTEC- Extended Diploma or Diploma.
  • INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE- Diploma with 25 points including a minimum of 15 points at Higher Level.
With Foundation Year

 64 UCAS Points from

  • A LEVEL- Must include passes at A2 in at least two subjects.
  • BTEC- Extended Diploma or Diploma.
  • INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE- Diploma with 25 points including a minimum of 15 points at Higher Level.

Additional requirement

We would normally expect you to have Grade C in GCSE English and Maths. All applicants are required to attend an interview and submit a portfolio of their work.

Portfolio advice

The portfolio is a very important part of the application process. It should reflect broad examples of your work. This will be used as evidence of your creative ability and potential.

Your portfolio should include elements of the below:

  • Evidence of use of colour, mixed media, sculptural work, photography, collage, and idea development.

  • Drawing skills - life drawing, observational drawing, understanding of garment scale and proportion on the body, fashion drawings, and inspiration development

  • Visual research and inspiration development

  • Evidence of understanding of fashion market levels

  • Evidence of publication knowledge – relevant newspaper and high-end conceptual fashion magazines

  • Fabric research

  • Any samples/photographs of work

  • Evidence of own projects/work/blogs etc

Other entry routes

Access to HE Diploma (QAA approved) with 60 credits overall and 45 credits at Level 3

English language requirements

Overall IELTS score of 5.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking (or recognised equivalent).
If you do not meet the academic English language requirements for your course, you may be eligible to enrol onto a pre-sessional English programme. The length of the course will depend on your current level of English and the requirements for your degree programme. We offer a 5-week and an 11-week pre-sessional course.

Alternative GCSE qualifications

Level 2 equivalences such as:

  • Level 2 Functional Skills in English / Maths,
  • Level 2 Key Skills in Communication / Application of Number and
  • Level 2 Adult Literacy / Adult Numeracy

Mature applicants and those with no formal qualifications

As an inclusive university, we recognise that applicants who have been out of education for some time may not have the formal qualifications usually required for entry to a course. We welcome applications from those who can demonstrate their enthusiasm and commitment to study and have the relevant life/work experience that equips them to succeed on the course. We will assess this from the information provided in your application – in particular your personal statement - to help us decide on your eligibility for the course.

Career Prospects

You can expect to find employment in the area of fashion buying across a range of fashion organisations. Further opportunities can include working as a consultant, in merchandising or starting up your own fashion label.

Course Details

You will learn a range of subjects related to how the fashion industry operates and also develop your skills and ability for working with the required skills needed for employment as a fashion buyer.

The evolving industry of fashion will also require you to be proactive, empathetic and also embrace knowledge of sustainable practices. The Fashion Buying course will encourage this in you.  You can also learn transferable skills that will be of paramount importance, such as team working, time management, communication skills and also develop your digital, numerical and technological proficiencies.

Foundation Year

Mental Wealth: Professional Life: Creative Research Practice
Design and Application
Design and Context
Fashion Development and Techniques
Technical and Creative Processes
Final Realisation

Year 1

Fashion Enterprise 1
Mental Wealth: Professional Life - Business of Fashion 1
Introduction to Fashion Management
Fashion Contexts and Research
Trends Forecasting & Fashion Buying
Technical Innovation for Fashion

Year 2

Principles of Fashion Buying
Application of Technical Skills for Buying
Creative Fashion Practice
Principles of Fashion Operations
Fashion Enterprise 2
Mental Wealth: Professional Life - Business of Fashion 2

Optional Placement

This course offers the opportunity of year-long placement between years two and three. If you choose to take this option, you’ll spend your third year on a placement with a relevant company or organisation, adding valuable practical experience to your growing academic knowledge.
The extra placement year means it will take four years to complete your studies, instead of three.

Year 3

Fashion Buying and Merchandising
Consumer Psychology and Behaviour
FMP - Research Project
Fashion Enterprise 3
Mental Wealth: Professional Life - Business of Fashion 3
FMP - Realisation

*The information’s are correct at the time of publishing, however it may change if university makes any changes after we have published the information. While we try our best to provide correct information, It is advisable to call us or visit university website for up to date information.

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