Fashion Business & Management at UCA

Behind every fashion brand is a brilliant business plan and the experts that bring it to life. If you want be a part of that, and take your place among fashion’s major players, then our BA/BSc (Hons) Fashion Business & Management degree course at UCA Epsom will help you get there. 

We’ll develop your business sense and your planning skills so that you can thrive commercially. Whether it's fashion buying, merchandising, forecasting, management strategy, PR and marketing, branding or international business, you'll graduate with the knowledge and confidence to succeed. 
 
You’ll work collaboratively across the Business School for the Creative Industries to learn the fundamentals of business and management, before branching out to the specifics of the fashion industry.  

You’ll have the opportunity to broaden your horizons and pick from a range of industry-related elective units, from supply chain management to behavioural studies, all with a global outlook, readying you for a career on domestic or international markets.   

This course has previously been offered with a BSc award - this route has been withdrawn from September 2024 entry

  • Students entering Year 1 or the Integrated Foundation year courses will be enrolled on the BA route
  • Students joining Year 2 will be enrolled on the BA/BSc route.

Course entry options

Select from the options below to find out more about the different study options available for this course:

What you'll study

What you'll
study

The content of the course may be subject to change. Curriculum content is provided as a guide.

UCA’s Integrated Foundation Year is designed to give you the skills you’ll need to start your degree in the best possible way – with confidence, solid knowledge of creative practice, study skills and more.

You’ll explore a range of creative techniques and develop your portfolio, with your chosen subject in mind. We’ll work with you throughout the year to ensure you’re on the right track and give you the tools to achieve your highest potential on your degree.

Find out more about the Integrated Foundation Year

For our students coming from a non-UK educational background, UCA has an Integrated International Foundation Year to bring students from around the world to one hub of creativity. 

This year of preparatory study is designed to give you the skills you’ll need to start your degree in the best possible way – with confidence, solid knowledge of creative practice, study skills and the English speaking and writing skills you’ll need to succeed.

You’ll explore a range of creative techniques and develop your portfolio, with your chosen subject in mind. We’ll work with you throughout the year to ensure you’re on the right track and give you the tools to achieve your highest potential on your degree.

Find out more about the Integrated International Foundation Year

Business Bootcamp 1: Design Thinking & Orientation
This introductory unit welcomes you to the Business School for the Creative Industries, its learning community and professional global network and gets you started design thinking.

Fashion: Theories & Histories
This unit will situate advertising in broader economic and political practices, and how audiences and consumers value and engage with creative outputs in the public sphere. This unit will equip you to connect your experiences of desiring brands, buying things you’ll never wear, signing up to apps’ invasive surveillance, with thinkers who’ve themselves struggled with and successfully challenged industry barriers to propose creative solutions.

Business Seminar 1 – Understanding Consumers
This unit explores what happens before, during, and after the point when someone buys something. It investigates how having (or not having) certain products affects our lives; specifically, how these items influence how we feel about ourselves and each other, especially with the influence of social media and the digital consumption. You’ll explore major trends and changes that impact the study of how consumers behave with a focus on the creative industries and the purchasing of creative goods and services such as fashion, music, cosmetics, beauty, films, media, toys, furniture, and interiors.

Foundations of Marketing and Communications
You will be introduced to the concepts, theories and models utilised in marketing and communications, providing the basis for further study within the course. Specifically, you’ll be introduced to the objectives and theory of marketing as a business function and explore the role of marketing within organisations and how marketing can be used in the achievement of an organisation's goals and objectives. Moreover, you’ll develop your understanding of the principles of marketing and communications and its relevance to organisations in fulfilling their customer requirements in a changing world.

Fashion Brands and Influence
You’ll be introduced to the principles that support the development of successful fashion branding, looking at the characteristics of fashion brands and how the communication of the culture and heritage of the brand has become so important. You’ll use theoretical frameworks to evaluate brand positions and develop new brand concepts, and you’ll explore the impact of environmental, cultural and social issues and its influence on strategic fashion brand development.

Economics for the Creative Industries
Economics affects almost everything we do, and this unit is all about giving you the skills and knowledge to discover how useful economics really is. At the outset, you’ll be introduced you to the central issues of scarcity and choice, and the extent of government involvement in decision-making. The unit outlines economic reasoning and discusses how our understanding is advanced by the interaction between theories and practical application with context of the creative industries.

Business Bootcamp 2: Research and Development
This Bootcamp is designed to build a highly effective learning community aligned with the Inclusive Curriculum Framework, through research and development. R&D is the generation of new knowledge to apply to businesses, and is something that companies undertake in order to develop new products, ways of doing business or services, or develop those that already exist.

Business Seminar 2 – Business Analytics
You’ll learn about business analytics, using case studies and examples from various creative industries and develop your knowledge of statistics and probability. You’ll be introduced to concepts such as random variables and probability distributions, and it cover the basics of statistical analysis and inference.

Understanding Trends & Forecasting
Of the many areas of expertise within the businesses that make up the creative industries; the ability to assess and react to the macro and micro-environment is vital to stay competitive and remain connected to customer lifestyles and buying behaviours. In this unit you’ll explore the concepts, theories and practices of trend forecasting within the context of the creative industries.

You choose one unit from the following:

Fashion: Business & Practices (elective unit)
You’ll learn fundamental principles of fashion business and practices through a global lens in this unit. You’ll identify with how the macro environment affects the fashion industry sector and consumer groups and how it operates, introducing you the various market levels and sectors. Each sector of the industry will be addressed, and you will understand the interrelationships between these sectors with emphasis on the evolution of business models in a digital economy.

Lifestyle Products: Business & Practices (elective unit)
This unit introduces you to the fundamental principles of the business and practices of lifestyle products, but through a global lens. You will identify with how the macro environment affects the lifestyle products industry sector and consumer groups and how it operates, introducing you the various market levels and sectors. It will examine the various roles and stakeholders in the business as well as the structure, supply chain and distribution of products and services to end users. Within these core areas, the unit will evaluate and consider trends and developmental opportunities and challenges as technology continues to impact on the business.

Business Bootcamp 3: Storytelling and Narrative (all students)
Telling stories is one of the most powerful means that we have to influence, teach, and inspire. It forges connections among people, and between people and ideas. Stories convey the culture, history, lifestyle, and values that unite people, they engender emotion and loyalty. This bootcamp provides you with an opportunity to explore narrative structures and experiment how they have been used, particularly in the changing landscape of digital marketing, demonstrating how important it is to develop your storytelling skills in the creative industries.

Visual & Promotional Merchandising (all students)
Consumer experience thrives on effective visual and promotional merchandising. It is about strategically presenting products in a retail space to optimise customer engagement and motivate them to buy to maximise store’s sales while creating a unique identity for a business. You’ll be introduced to the roles and theories of visual merchandising for fashion, from creative concept development to resolution and client presentation.

Business Seminar 3: Professional Practice (all students)
Through a series of lectures, workshops and seminars you'll begin your preparations for industry experience. We'll ask you to self-assess your interests, strengths, areas for development and your future career ambitions; building and creating your network, how you can make a positive contribution to the industry and how you see yourself and others.

Creative Business Start-up (all students)
Learn the process of creating and building a new business venture, through exploring a range of case studies and identifying and evaluating the role of creativity in business start-ups. With this knowledge, you will apply business innovation as well as how to create value in firms, through new product or services, technologies and business. To this, you’ll conduct market research and produce a creative business plan.

Business Bootcamp 4: Exploring Innovation (all students)
Through a series of exciting and engaging fast-paced workshops, tasks and peer sessions you will be introduced and welcomed to professional practice and conduct in the creative industries through the BSCI Honeycomb Lens where we facilitate self-motivation, exploration, empowerment, and support development and recognition of skills for learning as you experience your business school journey.

Professional Placement (all students)
This unit is self-initiated and will involve you taking a legitimate Industry placement opportunity, regarded by you and your unit leader as an appropriate and unique professional experience.

All students choose one unit from Gamification & Marketing and Wearable Technology

Gamification & Marketing (elective unit)
This unit approaches the subject of gamification and marketing holistically, investigating the practical, critical and theoretical contexts surrounding this subject.

Wearable Technology (elective unit)
This unit approaches the subject of wearable technology, assessing the practical, critical and theoretical contexts surrounding this subject. You’ll explore wearable cultures, alongside the macro and micro landscapes and how this is influencing and impacting the creative industries. You’ll look at how sectors are adopting, or resisting, wearable technology and where and how it is being used.

BA students choose one unit from Digital Marketing Analytics or Public Relations or Fashion Buying or Range Planning or Financial Management for the Creative Industries

BSc students choose one unit from Digital Marketing Analytics or Financial Management for the Creative Industries

Digital Marketing Analytics (elective unit)
Digital marketing analytics seeks to understand markets to improve marketing actions. The ability to acquire, analyse and to understand large marketing data sets, made possible by digitisation, can improve marketing campaigns and result in better performance. Data sets can be mined using a variety of quantitative techniques. Understanding markets better will enable more effective allocation of marketing budgets and an improved understanding of customer experiences.

Public Relations (elective unit)
Great PR resonates in a way that advertising never can. In this unit, you will discover the theories, the personalities, and the good, the bad and the ugly of this craft. You will learn how to produce press releases, how to build and elevate compelling stories and how to pitch them.

Fashion Buying (elective unit)
This unit explores the fast-paced world of global fashion buying and maps the evolution from traditional season driven buying to contemporary drop-based fashion. You will investigate the ethical and environmental issues around the fashion industry and explore opportunities for the fashion buyer to effect positive change as well as drive sales and profits through their buying strategies.

Range Planning (elective unit)
Effective range planning is key to maximising sales and profit for any retail business. Anticipating future demand from target consumers is one of the biggest challenges facing retail buyers and merchandisers; this unit explores how consumer profiling, competitor research, historical sales patterns, data analysis and future trend predictions are used to inform range planning. You’ll evaluate how future sales forecasts are used to inform the range planning assortment and exploring how a brand can balance future planning with flexibility to optimise sales and minimise overstocks. You’ll be applying research and data analysis methodologies used for merchandise planning to create a range plan for your chosen business.

Financial Management for the Creative Industries (elective unit)
Financial Management in the creative and cultural industries is all about getting the right financial result by managing your income and expenditure. Financial management is an essential part of any enterprise and business. In this unit, you will explore business, financial and management models relating to the creative economy with focus sessions on the nuances of Fashion, Music and Digital revenue streams.

BA students choose one unit from Supply Chain Analysis & Management or Behavioural Studies and Consumption or Fashion & Identity

BSc students choose one unit from Supply Chain Analysis & Management or Identity & Marketing

Supply Chain Analysis & Management (elective unit)
This unit explores supply chains and the impact they have on business, discussing the five stages of supply chain management - plan, source, make, deliver, and return. You’ll also consider ethics and sustainability - analysing how people and planet can be impacted through the supply chain and how this can affect the reputation of the brand in the eyes of the consumer.

Behavioural Studies and Consumption (elective unit)
You’ll be introduced to the theory and practice of consumer behaviour and consumption. You’ll explore how perceptions, learning, memory, personality, and culture influence consumer behaviour and how consumption changes by cultural and subcultural influences.

Fashion & Identity (elective unit)
Every person in the world is clothed in some way to make their body socially acceptable, but are all forms of clothing and dress related to fashion? If fashion is produced, promoted, and sold to thousands of people, how can it bear any relation to personal identity? When fashionable looks are mediated to us through social media, film, music video, and journalistic accounts, how can individuals navigate their own embodied fashion journey? This unit explores these slippery questions and more, by considering the ways in which fashion writers and scholars have discussed, examined and argued about what fashion is and how it might relate to notions of identity.

Creative Innovation (for students on the Professional Practice Year pathway)
The ability to adapt and innovate is a vital element of creative business to withstand and prosper in fast-paced, and highly transformative sectors. This unit is designed for you investigate the real-world, relevant issues that are impacting on your Industry, while challenging well-established theory and/or principles which these contemporary issues conflict with. You’ll attempt to locate solutions to these problems through creative concepts, underpinned by alternative or reinvigorated principles and/or theory.

Industry Lecture Series (for students on the Professional Practice Year pathway)
This unit allows you to explore contemporary industry practices central to today’s global creative industries. It will allow you to build a portfolio of knowledge pertinent to your chosen industry sector. The series will include industry expert lectures, group workshops and group working, in order to test and explore industry sectors

Critical Analysis with English for Academic Purposes 1 (For direct entry international students only)
This unit will help you improve your academic skills within the context of the creative industries, including learning about our core expectations, formal and informal communication skills, critical thinking, research and presenting skills and academic writing skills.

Critical Analysis with English for Academic Purposes 2 (For direct entry international students only)
This second unit will help you further improve your academic skills within the context of the creative industries, covering academic study, writing and considerations in-depth. This unit covers the likes of critical analysis, research methodologies, referencing, and further writing skills.

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.

While on the Professional Practice Year, you will be required to pay a reduced tuition fee for that year. This fee will be determined using government funding regulations. Based on current regulations, we expect this to be a maximum of 20% of the tuition fee rate that you are charged for your second year of study. You will also incur additional travel and accommodation costs during this year. The University will provide you with further advice and guidance about this as you approach your Professional Practice Year.

Business Bootcamp 5: Research & Methodologies (all students)
This bootcamp is about examining research and methodologies and how this applies to your course. We will discuss the different methods by which you can elicit findings whether quantitative (informing by data) or qualitative (informing from opinions).

Business Seminar 4: Strategy & Decision Making (all students)
More than ever, we are facing the challenge of making decisions under uncertainty against the backdrop of external factors that we cannot control or predict. As leaders, managers and executives, making effective decisions in a time-conscious manner is crucial. This bootcamp will enable you to transform decision-making into a smart and insightful process, providing a robust framework of effective and replicable solutions for better decisions and awareness of decision traps, as well as learning how to assess and choose high-value strategic options under the current climate of enormous uncertainty.

Business Bootcamp 6: Developing Enterprise (all students)
This unit will provide you with the opportunity to develop your creative thinking skills in a collaborative environment, bringing greater understanding to how those ideas may develop and transform through product or enterprise development.

Degree Project (all students)
In this final unit, you will apply all you’ve learned to create a distinctive piece of work for your degree project, the purpose of which is to allow you to identify opportunities successfully in your specialist subject area to promote and to develop your career. Through research, you will independently identify and/or generate innovative opportunities within your specialist subject area. Your portfolio will consist of a series of outcomes that showcase your knowledge, and your key attributes and skills as a reflective creative practitioner. You will be expected to consider the theoretical and professional contexts of your exploration. It is important that your work is contemporary, innovative, and representative of its target audience and industry sector.

All students choose one unit from Fashion: Contemporary Issues or Lifestyle Goods: Contemporary Issues

Fashion: Contemporary Issues (elective unit)
To effectively inspire a team, gain clients’ confident and connect authentically with audiences, effective leaders in fashion need deep understanding of contemporary issues and opportunities. You’ll learn about the influences affecting consumer behaviour to enable you to advise clients credibly, and research and analyse diverse testimonies on experiences of work, creativity and collaboration.

Lifestyle Goods: Contemporary Issues (elective unit)
To effectively inspire a team, gain clients’ confident and connect authentically with audiences, effective leaders in the lifestyle industries need a deep understanding of contemporary issues and opportunities. You’ll learn about consumer lifestyles, free-time, self-image, and choices to enable you to advise clients credibly. And you’ll research and analyse diverse testimonies on experiences of work, creativity and collaboration in this specialised industry.

All students choose one unit from Fashion: Global Industry & Futures or Lifestyle Goods: Global Industry & Futures

Fashion: Global Industry & Futures (elective unit)
You’ll explore the concept of future thinking and its influence on the global fashion industry. Analysing influence from culture and society and predicting through recognition of global shifts and emerging trend manifestations, you’ll complete an in-depth study of the current macro environment and use the findings of this study to translate, validate and communicate a vision for the future of fashion.

Lifestyle Goods: Global Industry & Futures (elective unit)
You’ll the concept of future thinking and its influence on the global lifestyle industries, analysing influence from culture and society and predicting through recognition of global shifts and emerging trend manifestations. You’ll complete an in-depth study of the current macro environment, using the findings of this study to translate, validate and communicate a vision for the future.

All students choose one unit from Data Mining for Marketers or Predictive Analytics for Business.

Data Mining for Marketers (elective unit)
Data Mining focuses on the use of automation to uncover relationships within datasets that can be used to support improved decision processes. When employed in marketing, data mining will use customer, potential customer, supplier, and population data to reveal patterns in the data that have potential to improve the marketing process and outcomes. You’ll be introduced to the processes of data mining using various tools including descriptive statistics, including SPSS and R.

Predictive Analytics for Business (elective unit)
Predictive analytics is a domain of statistical analysis that allows an organisation to extract information from data to predict patterns and trends. This unit introduces predictive modelling and explains its application in business decisions. It focusses on a set of statistical techniques including regression modelling, cluster analysis and survival analysis.

This course is designed to offer you (if eligible) the opportunity to study part of your degree aboard at a UCA partner university, while still earning credits towards your UCA degree.

For more information please visit the Study Abroad section

Industry placement
offer

Preparing graduates for successful careers underpins everything we do, and all students on this course may be offered support to identify and prepare for an industry placement according to their individual needs. We’ll draw on our wide range of contacts within the creative industries to help provide you with opportunities that align with your interests and future career aspirations.

Course specifications

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change in line with our Student Terms and Conditions for example, as required by external professional bodies or to improve the quality of the course.

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Fees & funding

Fees &
financial support

Tuition fees - 2024/25 entry

UK students:

  • Integrated Foundation Year - £9,250
  • BA course - £9,250

EU students:

  • Integrated International Foundation Year - £9,250 (see fee discount information)
  • BA course - £9,250 (see fee discount information)

International students:

  • Integrated International Foundation Year - £16,950
  • BA course - £17,500

If you opt to study the Professional Practice Year, for 2024 you will be required to pay a reduced tuition fee of £1,850 (UK students) and £3,390 (International students). You will also incur additional travel and accommodation costs during your Professional Practice year. The University will provide you with further advice and guidance about this.

The fees listed here are correct for the stated academic year only, for details of previous years please see the full fee schedules

Financial support

There are lots of ways you can access additional financial support to help you fund your studies - both from UCA and from external sources.

Discover what support you might qualify for please see our financial support information

UCA scholarships and fee discounts

At UCA we have a number of scholarships and fee discounts available to assist you with the cost of your studies.

You'll find everything you need to know for your level of study on our scholarships page.

Additional course costs
In addition to the tuition fees there may be other costs for your course. The things that you are likely to need to budget for to get the most out of a creative arts education will include books, printing costs, occasional or optional study trips and/or project materials.

These costs will vary according to the nature of your project work and the individual choices that you make. Please see the Additional Course Costs section of your Course Information for details of the costs you may incur.

Facilities

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.

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Business School Studios, UCA Epsom

Business School Lecture, UCA Epsom

Library, UCA Epsom

Digital media suite, UCA Epsom

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