Fashion Buying BA (Hons)

About the course

A course created to meet the needs of the highly dynamic, fast-moving and exciting sector of fashion retail buying and merchandising.


Reasons to choose the Fashion Buying course at DMU

  • You can choose to follow a creative design or a marketing pathway

  • Covers specialist areas of fashion buying across womenswear, childrenswear and menswear

  • Meet buying experts and work on live projects with industry

The first year is mostly common across the two BAs, where you will develop knowledge in materials, commercial garment production, and gain the skills to produce professional presentations though CAD. You will also be introduced to the roles and responsibilities within a typical buying office. This experience is then applied to your chosen pathway in the second year.

There is the opportunity for students on the Marketing pathway to do a year’s industrial placement, to build their practical knowledge of industry and see everything in context. Previous students have gained placements in Reiss, Boden, Arcadia, Swetty Betty, Speedo, Bhs, George and Next.

The Design pathway focuses more on product design, range planning and trends, whereas the Marketing pathway focuses on product development, consumer behaviour, marketing and promotion. Both pathways develop buying skills, and knowledge of the buying cycle, sourcing and garment technology.

Key facts

UCAS course code:  
Fashion Buying (with Design) W224
Fashion Buying (with Marketing) WN25

Fashion Buying (with Design): Three years full-time, six years part-time
Fashion Buying (with Marketing): Three/four years full-time with optional placement year, six years part-time

Institution code: D26

Entry and admission criteria


Design pathway

A good portfolio and normally:

  • Art and Design Foundation or
  • 260 points with a minimum of 160 points from 2 full A levels and including grade C in Art and Design or
  • National Diploma MMM or
  • International Baccalaureate: 28+ Points

Five GCSEs grades A* - C including English Language or  Literature at grade C or above.

We also accept the BTEC First Diploma plus two GCSEs including English at grade C or above

Marketing pathway

  • Art and Design Foundation or
  • 260 points with a minimum of 160 points from 2 full A levels or
  • National Diploma MMM or
  • International Baccalaureate: 28+ Points

Five GCSEs grades A* - C including English Language or  Literature at grade C or above.

We also accept the BTEC First Diploma plus two GCSEs including English at grade C or above

Interview and Portfolio

UK applicants with relevant qualifications will be invited to bring their portfolio of work to an open day and interview (please see our Fashion Buying portfolio advice| for full details).

Overseas applicants will be invited to send samples of their work. For further details check our international students portfolio page|.

International Students

If English is not your first language an IELTS score of 6.0 or equivalent when you start the course is essential. English Language tuition|, delivered by our British Council accredited Centre for English Language Learning, is available both before and throughout the course if you need it.

Teaching and assessment

Fashion Buying (with Design)

This encompasses design studio practice, formal lectures, group seminars, tutorials, lab work and practical workshops. This pathway involves regular tutorials and reviews, which allow you to reflect and develop your work ready for final presentation at the end of the year.

Fashion Buying (with Marketing)

Learning is more theory-led with a small element of design. It is mainly based on formal lectures, seminars, individual and group tutorials, lab and group work. Assessments tend to be written reports or assignments with some practical content. In the final year the major project focus is a dissertation.

Course modules

Year one

Buying Skills
Textile Technology
Fashion Communication
Pattern Technology*
Fashion Technology**

Year two

Core Buying Module
Range Planning*
Style and Colour*
Fashion Marketing**
Product Development**

Year three

Sourcing and Supply
Major Project*
Merchandising and Product Development*
Project – Dissertation**
Fashion Management**

Modules are studied by both pathways, unless otherwise marked:

*  Fashion Buying (with Design)
** Fashion Buying (with Marketing)

Note: All modules are subject to change in order to keep content current.

Academic expertise

You will be taught by specialist staff who are researchers and who have worked in and continue to have close contacts with the industry internationally.

Work experience and placements

Placement opportunities with companies such as Reiss, Boden, Acardia, Swetty Betty, Speedo, Bhs, George and Next

Graduate careers

This course is designed to cater for those looking to enter fashion buying careers. Options also include fashion merchandising, garment technology, working for fashion suppliers and also retail fashion management.

Fees and funding

2014 entry

UK/EU Fees: £9000 per year
International Fees: £11,250 per year

Learn more about fees and funding information 2014|


Learn more about our Undergraduate scholarships and awards| information.


There are excellent fashion and textiles facilities available to Fashion Buying students. These include sewing machine studios, textiles testing labs, knitting and weaving facilities, CAD labs and designated studio space. We also use lecture theatres for formal delivery.

How to apply

UK and EU students are advised to apply through UCAS at|

International students can apply to study at DMU directly using our online applications portal|.

Contact details

For more information please contact:

Online enquiry form|
Telephone enquiries:  +44 (0)116 2 50 60 70

Awards and competitions

Many competitions set by major blue chip fashion retailers are unique to the course and offer monetary and work experience awards. In recent years subjects covered have been fashion forecasting, visual merchandising, sourcing projects and range building. There are also opportunities to enter national competitions including the ASBCI (Association of Suppliers to the British Clothing Industry) award.

Art and Design at De Montfort University|

You can also follow us| on Twitter and YouTube.

Portfolio advice

Fashion Buying Portfolio and Application Advice PDF|

Fashion Buying portfolio and application advice|

International applicants should refer to our School of Fashion and Textiles portfolio advice|

Festival of CreativityDMU Art and Design Degree Show: Fashion Buying|


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