International Buying & Merchandising* BA/BSc (Hons)

with Professional Practice Year (optional)

UCA Epsom - 2020

Length of study:

Three years full-time


UCA Epsom

Start date:


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Entry year(s)


Entry requirements:

112 UCAS tariff points

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UCAS institution code:


UCAS code:


UCAS code for course with Professional Practice:


Course overview

With a specific focus on working in the fashion, accessories, furniture and toy industries, our BA/BSc (Hons) International Buying and Merchandising course offers you the chance to become an expert within a highly sought-after field.

Taught at our unique Business School for the Creative Industries at UCA Epsom, you’ll learn all about the wider business of buying and merchandising, and its place within the creative industries. You’ll develop the skills to use analytical tools and techniques in order to manage buying and merchandising as a business, and to aid business development.

You’ll gain vital core business acumen – from accounting and finance, to marketing and HR - through a series of Business Seminars, which you’ll share with students from other courses across the Business School.

In more depth, you’ll develop understanding of trends, forecasting and futures, as well as hone your skills in wider retail buying as well as personal luxury buying. And you’ll also have options to take industry placements, study abroad or even take a year away from study to undertake professional training.

All of these skills and experiences will help you gain analytical, organisational and communication skills needed to go straight into the industry with confidence after you graduate.

You also have the option to complete a Professional Practice Year as part of this course, see below for more details.   

*Course subject to validation.

This course is part of:

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Course details

  • Year one

    You’ll be introduced to the various aspects of international buying and merchandising, learning how to understand consumers, design an experience, and understand trends and forecasting. You’ll also take part in the shared Business Seminars, giving you a chance to interact with several other courses at the school.

    The units covered are outlined as follows:

    • Principles of Buying
    • Introduction to Merchandising
    • Understanding Consumers
    • Business Seminar I
    • Designing a Retail Experience
    • Buying and Cost Planning
    • Understanding Trends and Forecasting
    • Business Seminar II.
  • Year two

    In your second year of study you’ll cover units appropriate to each, continue your Business Seminars with others students and you’ll have the option, if you want, to take an industry placement or study abroad.

    The units covered are outlined as follows:

    • Digital and Online Retailing I
    • Business Sustainability and Ethics
    • Planning and Presenting a Collection
    • Business Seminar III
    • Sustainability and Supply Chain
    • Business Seminar IV
    • Industry Placement – optional
    • Study abroad – optional
  • Professional Practice Year (optional)

    If you opt to complete a professional practice year, this will take place in year three. You will undertake a placement within the creative industries to further develop your skills and CV.

  • Year three

    Your final year will see you continue your shared Business Seminars with other students, and look in-depth at futures and buying, buying strategy and personal and luxury buying. You’ll conclude your studies with your final degree project.

    The units covered are outlined as follows:

    • Futures and Buying
    • Digital and Online Retailing II
    • Buying Strategy
    • Business Seminar V
    • Personal and Luxury Buying
    • Business Seminar VI
    • Degree Project
  • Fees and additional course costs

    Tuition fees
    The course fees per year for 2020 entry are:

    • UK and EU students - £9,250 
    • International students - £16,250 (standard fee)
    • International students - £15,600 (full early payment fee)

    Additional course costs
    Details of the additional course will be available as soon as possible.

    Further information
    Find out more about our course fees and any financial support you may be entitled to:

    These fees are correct for the stated academic year only. Costs may increase each year during a student’s period of continued registration on course in line with inflation (subject to any maximum regulated tuition fee limit). Any adjustment for continuing students will be at or below the RPI-X forecast rate.

Professional Practice Year

You have the option to complete a Professional Practice Year as part of this course.

You’ll spend two years learning with us, before putting what you’ve learned into practice through a year-long industry placement.

Our Professional Practice placements give you the opportunity to develop your professional, academic and personal potential, equipping you to be confident and engaged in creative workplaces. These qualities are widely recognised by employers and a significant proportion of placement students nationally are offered graduate-level jobs or go onto postgraduate study.

Throughout your placement, your course team will support you, making use of our extensive industry connections to help facilitate you to find about the right placement for you. On conclusion of the placement, you’ll return to complete your final year of study – applying what you’ve learned on the job. 

Business School

The first of its kind in the UK, our new Business School for the Creative Industries builds on our long tradition of collaborating with employers to cultivate leadership, entrepreneurial and problem-solving skills.


The UCA Business School for the Creative Industries, based at our Epsom campus, is the first of its kind in the UK. There’s dedicated studios and study areas, digital media suites equipped with Macs and PCs which are programmed with specialist software including Adobe Creative Suite, Dreamweaver and After Effects. There’s a modern library with a wealth of books and thanks to its location, many collaborative opportunities with students from other courses.

Programme Director

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Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

The standard entry requirements* for this course are:

One of the following:

  • 112 new UCAS tariff points, see accepted qualifications
  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4)
  • Distinction, Merit, Merit at BTEC Extended Diploma
  • Merit at UAL Extended Diploma
  • 112 new UCAS tariff points from an accredited Access to Higher Education Diploma in appropriate subject
  • 27-30 total points in the International Baccalaureate Diploma with at least 15 IB points at Higher level, see more information about IB entry requirements.

And four GCSE passes at grade A*-C and/or grade 4-9 including English (or Functional Skills English/Key Skills Communication Level 2).

Other relevant and equivalent Level 3 UK and international qualifications are considered on an individual basis, and we encourage students from diverse educational backgrounds to apply.

*We occasionally make offers which are lower than the standard entry criteria, to students who have faced difficulties that have affected their performance and who were expected to achieve higher results.

International entry requirements

To view the equivalent entry requirements for your country please select it in the list below.

Pick Your Country

Non-UK equivalent qualifications

English language requirements

Don't meet the international entry requirements or English language requirements?

You may be able to enter the course through the UCA International College

Learn more about the UCA International College

Your portfolio

This course doesn’t require a portfolio. We may invite you for an Applicant Day and interview so you can visit us, meet the course team and other applicants, and take a tour of all our facilities. Students from diverse educational backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Course connections

On this course, you'll be exposed to a world of opportunities

  • Careers

    The course prepares you for further study at postgraduate level as well as a wide range of careers within the creative business sector. The course promotes creative thinking within a commercial context, focusing on the realities of the buying industry, placing emphasis on business acumen and strategic planning. From the start your skills are developed in buying, merchandising, range building, visual merchandising and international business. The course enables students to develop industry-standard communication skills through report writing, graphic presentation and professional pitches, entering the global buying and management world from a creative business perspective.

  • Further study

    Your training on this course will prepare you for a wide range of postgraduate courses. We offer postgraduate opportunities in our Business School and we will help you find the correct course for you and support you in your application should further study be for you.

    Find out more about UCA's Business School

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