Course Details

This BA (Hons) in Fashion Buying and Merchandising degree awarded by London Metropolitan University qualifies you to work within the business environment of the global fashion industry, launching your career as a fashion buyer and merchandiser.

Level
Undergraduate
Qualification
Honours Degree
Course Delivery Mode Start Date Duration
Course
BA (Hons) Fashion Buying & Merchandising
Delivery Mode
In-person Weekdays
Start Date
30th September 2024
Duration
3 years
Course
BA (Hons) Fashion Buying & Merchandising
Delivery Mode
Blended Learning
Start Date
TBC
Duration
3 years

Overview

Are you interested in becoming a fashion buyer or merchandiser? Portobello Institute’s BA (Hons) in Fashion Buying and Merchandising is an international qualification that will allow you to advance your career in fashion. This degree programme develops your knowledge of how to work innovatively within a Global Fashion Industry. The programme supports and teaches the essential skills to equip you to apply for buying and merchandising roles.

BA (Hons) Fashion Buying & Merchandising Course

This Fashion Buying and Merchandising degree programme encompass the skills and knowledge that are necessary to succeed as a top fashion buyer or merchandiser in today’s competitive environment. Areas of study include sustainability, trend research, product development, supply chain management and trading, fashion marketing, ethics, the leadership of people and organisations and more. The future of the fashion business is a significant focus.

Flexibility to switch to Fashion Management after year 1

This degree offers you career flexibility and the option to change to fashion management should you discover you prefer that area of study. We have designed this degree with the first year common with our BA (Hons) Fashion Management, giving you the option to switch to fashion management at the end of first year.

Learn about the digitalisation of the fashion industry

The digitalisation of fashion companies has had a significant impact on this sector and the required staff skills and competencies. This degree, through the analysis of literature and business practices and creative learning, will support you in attaining skills that will be attractive to major fashion companies. This course prepares you for the challenges that technological changes pose to companies in terms of organisational culture and that our focus on fashion education and training systems must exist to support this new way of working. 

Become a fashion buyer and merchandiser.

While fashion trends change from season to season the fundamental role of the fashion buyer and fashion merchandiser remains the same. As a fashion buyer, you will play an integral role within the infrastructure of the retail team, tracking and analysing seasonal trends, ensuring production costs are kept within budget and most importantly, ensuring profit and growth for the company. This course covers the key modules for those interested in a career in fashion buying and merchandising.

Here are some reasons to choose to study with Portobello:

  • Accelerated programme completing your undergraduate degree in three years, getting you out into the world of work faster.
  • Career focused qualifications – our courses lead to awards that offer you the opportunity of immediate employment upon graduation.
  • Notable university partners – our university partners are among the top-ranking universities in the UK offering you access to a qualification from a renowned university.
  • Reputable placements – our work experience placements are with prominent organisations, connecting you with respected employers to build your future career network.
  • Realistic entry requirements – our entry requirements are reflective of the academic ability needed to successfully complete this course. These are clearly stated and remain static regardless of demand for places.
  • Individualised support – we fit your learning model with support available when you need it throughout your learning journey.
  • SMART assessments – we use a range of assessments for each module designed to support a broad range of learning styles, giving you the opportunity to excel.
  • Industry expert tutors – our tutors are all industry practitioners connecting research and theory with industry practice throughout their lectures.
  • Condensed scheduling – we value your time by ensuring your timetable is optimised for delivery over the same 2 – 3 days, helping you maintain a part-time job.
  • Flexible delivery – we deliver theory sessions on-site, online whilst also recording the session simultaneously offering you a choice of when and how you learn.
  • City Centre Location – Commuting to Portobello is very accessible – the Luas stops outside our door, and we are located within minutes from the major transport hubs.
  • Affordable payment options – all our courses offer you the option to choose an easy payment plan supporting you to spread the cost out over your learning journey.

Why should I study this course?

The BA (Hons) Fashion Buying and Merchandising degree covers all the essential elements to turn a creative eye and an interest in fashion into a practical career in an incredibly exciting industryPutting into practice the skills learned in class is key to gaining employment in the fashion industry.

Strong network of connections

Our graduates have been incredibly successful gaining employment both at home and abroad. Much of this success is due to the established network and strong links with many of the main fashion buying and merchandising departments within some of Ireland’s largest retailers. Full-time students will work on a Professional Practice and Development Portfolio and Fashion Research Project in Year 3.

Accessible, affordable, achievable

There is an easy payment plan designed to make this degree affordable for you. These factors, together with the one to one tutorial support, offer you a course that is accessible, affordable and achievable.

"Fashion is about dreaming and making others dream"

- Donatella Versace

Who will recognise my qualification?

Upon completing this level 8 honours degree, you will hold a BA (Hons) in Fashion Buying & Merchandising awarded by London Metropolitan University (LMU).

Qualifications Frameworks in Ireland and the UK

The Irish and UK qualifications authorities have collaborated on initiatives that promote the transparency, recognition and mobility of qualifications between our respective jurisdictions. The qualifications authorities in the UK and Ireland have agreed the qualifications frameworks in operation, Brexit will not impact this agreement. Further guidance on this framework is available here.

Validated Agreement

One or more modules or the full course has been developed and delivered by Portobello Institute and has been evaluated and deemed by London Metropolitan university (London Met) to be of an equivalent standard and quality to that of its own provision, and therefore suitable to lead to one of its own awards.

What will I study during this BA (Hons) Fashion Buying & Merchandising course?

The aim of this course is to prepare graduates to secure employment in the fashion retail sector. The course content covers a broad range of fashion modules including fashion trends and consumer behaviour, fashion marketing, garment technology, visual merchandising and styling and business ethics, sustainability and CSR in fashion.

You will also learn about supplier relationships, key performance indicators, presentation skills and store merchandising so you understand how to maximise space to sales ratios. You will develop knowledge and skills in strategic planning and development for buying and merchandising.

Understanding garment production and technology are core skills of a buyer and/or merchandiser. To be successful, you need to understand the fundamentals of design, how a garment is constructed and how materials are sourced. We like to teach by doing! Portobello students learn how to sew and design, draft a pattern, consider appropriate materials and create a garment from scratch. Garment production and garment technology are two exciting modules on this course providing you with the innovative and essential knowledge to bring to your career.

  • Study Skills for Success in Higher Education (15 Credits)

    Learning Outcomes of this module are:

    1. Demonstrate ability to evaluate and plan for development of study skills and monitor achievement. 
    2. Reference other people’s work in a precise and systematic way. 
    3. Demonstrate ability to source appropriate information and reference.
    4. Reflect on learning and personal experiences as a student to foster a professional identity. 
    5.  Use digital tools to complete and submit assessment components.  
  • Culture & History of Fashion (15 Credits)

    Learning Outcomes of this Module are to:

    1. Summarize the chronological historical development and timeline of fashion evolution from the 1900’s to present.
    2. Identify and analyze a range of primary and secondary sources relating to the history of fashion and textiles and situate them in cultural, economic, and political contexts.  
    3. Articulate the relationship between fashion, culture, and power.
  • Fashion Trends & Consumer Behaviour (15 Credits)
  • Fashion Marketing (15 Credits)

    The Learning Outcomes of this module are:

    1. Analyse the business environment for fashion organisations, considering local and global perspectives.
    2. Describe and constructively critique major marketing principles and concepts.
    3. Design marketing strategies for organisations operating in the fashion industry drawing on major theoretical perspectives.

     

  • The Principles of Fashion Buying & Merchandising (15 Credits)

    The Learning Outcomes of this Module are to:

    1.  Articulate the roles and responsibilities of buyers and merchandisers in fashion industry organisations. 
    2.  Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the buying cycle and factors influencing it.
    3. Identify customer profiling strategies used by fashion organisations.  
  • Garment Technology (15 Credits)

    The Learning Outcomes of this Module are to:

    1. Evaluate and apply correct textile materials, equipment and mathematics required in apparel manufacturing.
    2.  Measure and record a variety of garments: blouses, pants, skirts, jackets, dresses, intimate apparel, and evaluate different methods used to measure garments in the industry and create garment specifications.
    3. Scrutinize in the context of garment design; fit and appearance, properties of materials, and cutting techniques involved in the creation of a garment 

     

    LO4. Evidence and illustrate considered reflection on appropriate industry processes and applications within their personal creative and intellectual practice 

  • Managing Global Fashion Supply Chains (30 Credits)

    The Learning Outcomes of this Module are to:

    1. Articulate the role of supply chain management in implementing the business strategy of companies. 
    2. Identify decision phases within the supply chain management and describe the main stages in the planning and coordination processes. 
    3. Examine commercial practices and supply chain networks strategies used by companies in the fashion industry.  
    4. Analyse the impact of disruptive technologies and sustainability concerns on global management of supply chains.

     

  • Innovation and Research Methods for Fashion – 15 Credits

    The Learning Outcomes of this module are to:

    1. Critically analyse examples of innovation in the world of fashion by drawing on theoretical perspectives and models.  
    2. Apply innovative approaches to solving problems in the fashion industry using available models and tools. 
    3. Demonstrate knowledge of major research methodologies and select appropriate research tools taking into account ethical issues.   
  • Garment Production (15 Credits)

    The Learning Outcomes of the Module are:

    1. Evaluate the properties and performance in textile fabrics and materials in garment construction and select the most suitable for the assembly and construction of a garment/s.
    2.  Interpret and analyse manufacturing problems, finding solutions to solving garment engineering and wholesale production problems.
    3. Select appropriate sources to gain relevant information on the manufacture of garment design, designed samples and wholesale production in the fashion industry.
  • The Business of Merchandising Planning (15 Credits)

    The Learning Outcomes of this Module are:

    1. Utilize analytical and numerical skills to plan, prepare and execute merchandise plans
    2. Justify the importance of lead times and the use of the critical path model in the product development process and supplier management
    3. Appraise the key skills required for the role of the merchandiser with a particular focus on interdepartmental and interpersonal relationships.
  • Leading & Managing Diverse Organisations (15 Credits)

    The Learning Outcomes of the module are to:

    1. Evaluate different models and theories of leadership and relate these to ethical dilemmas of leadership within a global context in the 21st century.  
    2. Outline the equality legislation and justify the importance of inclusive working environment for organisations within the fashion industry. 
    3. Employ reflective learning skills to relate models of leadership, change management and ethical issues to personal learning and practice. 

     

  • Financial Decision Making for Fashion Managers (15 Credits)

     

    The learning outcomes are:

    1.  Examine fundamental financial theories relevant to financial decision making and governance in the business of fashion. 
    2.   Analyse and critically evaluate retail financial information using various analytical tools to support strategic financial decision making 
    3. Evaluate elements of risk, return and value in strategic operational financial decisions.  
  • The Practice of Fashion Buying and Merchandising (30 Credits)

    The Learning Outcomes of the Module are:

     1.Use numerical skills to complete commercial calculations used for range planning and sales forecasting  

    2.Apply the Critical Path Model in the product development process

    3.Comapre and contrast commercial practices employed by companies in the fashion industry in the buying and merchandising processes of products from source to store.

    4.Source and interpret relevant data to support decision making for buying and merchandising processes.

  • Visual Merchandising & Styling (15 Credits)

    The Learning Outcomes of this module are:

    1. Apply creative and visual sensibilities in a commercial context. 
    2.  Evaluate the fashion retail environment and retail innovations used to improve the customer experience in stores, online and in mobile technology.  
    3. Articulate the processes, procedures and practices of fashion retail, marketing, management and buying and merchandising strategies and link to visual merchandising. 
  • Business Ethics, Sustainability & Corporate Social Relationship in Fashion – (15 Credits)

    The Learning Outcomes of this Module are to:

    1. Identify and analyse the complex process of developing sustainable fashion products, the manufacturing processes involved
    2.  Summarise and demonstrate critical awareness of business development within the context of Fashion and CSR
    3. Apply analytical tools to assess sustainability practices in a wide range of contexts and situations in the fashion Industry
  • Professional Practice & Development (15 Credits)

     The learning outcomes of this module are to:

    1. Make critical connnections between learning across modules within the professional context of the fashion industry. 
    2. Reflect constructively on their personal and professional learning and set targets for the future development of knowledge, skills and competencies. 
    3. Produce an e-Portofolio as a tool to support personal and professional development throughout the programme and beyond.  
  • Fashion Research Project (60 Credits)

     

    The learning outcomes of this module are to:

    1. Formulate research questions and set clear and realistic research aims related to the areas fashion business, management, marketing, buying, or merchandising.
    2.  Apply ethical frameworks throughout the research process.
    3.  Draw on a wide range of sources to conduct a literature review into a specific area to describe, analyse and constructively critique theoretical perspectives and contexts relevant to the research question.
    4.  Demonstrate competence in research skills through selection of appropriate tools for data gathering consistent with the chosen methodology.
    5.  Draw on theory to analyse data and discuss research findings to develop credible arguments and generate appropriate conclusions/recommendations 
  • Strategic Planning & Development for Buying and Merchandising (30 Credits)

    The Learning Outcomes of this module are to:

    1. Constructively critique and relate major strategy management theories, frameworks, concepts to delivery of strategic change in an organization.
    2. Evaluate organization’s current product range from strategic perspective, considering internal and external contexts
    3. .Apply strategy tools and techniques to increase a company’s product range while addressing challenges of sustainable development.
    4. Appraise influence of organizational culture on the strategic decision-making process.

Who will I learn from?

Programme Manager

Anne Marie McAuley

‘I absolutely love what I do and genuinely embrace supporting a person to develop and grow. I encourage and promote people at all levels to maximise their potential and hopefully instil a sense of purpose.

The are many careers one can pursue when completing a Portobello Institute fashion course. Part of my role is to help and support you to find the best path.’

ABOUT ANNE MARIE MCAULEY

After graduating from college in the USA with degrees in Business and Psychology, I initially worked as a milieu counsellor with young adults presenting with social and developmental difficulties – I was all about saving the world and think I still can – which was fantastic and the insights I gained in that role have helped me through my own journey to this day.

I always loved fashion, when I was small and then through my teenage years. I always wanted the latest trendy gear, constantly adapting my clothes myself to be a bit different. I was the first of my friends to have a pair of drainpipe jeans (known as skinnies these days!). I always had a part-time job in retail through school and in college at stores like Macy’s and Lord and Taylor.

My first job in a department store was at Christmas time and I was tasked with selling cashmere sweaters, the only section that the full-time and staff with tenure would allow me to work in as I was the ‘blown in college student’. I soon figured out that my best customer demographic was the panicked husband looking to purchase a gift for his wife and willing to spend ‘whatever to make her happy’ and of course who does not love cashmere – Cha-Ching! I did more in sales than anyone in the department and as we were commission-based, I was a very happy student. I was destined for a career in retail and fashion and I never forgot the importance of knowing your customer.

I then secured a job in Saks Fifth Ave as an assistant – really just running around New York picking up samples for photos, answering telephones, dressing mannequins, and doing whatever I was told to do, all the time absorbing and learning as much as I could. Back then being around designers like Michael Kors, Diane Von Furstenberg, and Ralph Lauren was an everyday occurrence.

I worked hard and soon became a junior buyer and then a senior buyer, I loved my job. I moved into the retail operations at Saks as I wanted to develop my skills and I found that leading, coaching, and developing people to also do well was one of my favourite parts of the job. I soon was heading up new store opening teams and one of my greatest achievements was the opening of the San Fran Store. It takes a huge team effort to train several hundred new staff and merchandise the store for opening. I travelled all over the country and enjoyed every day at Saks.

I moved back to Ireland where I secured the role of Retail Operations Manager of The Body Shop Ireland. I had always loved the product and admired their business ethos and not testing on animals. It soon became clear that there were huge challenges within the group around staff training and development which I embraced and was thrilled to be able to use my American experience to influence major decisions in changing the direction of The Body Shop. I also attended any training sessions that the company had for senior management to consistently develop my own skills in leadership and management. While at The Body Shop, I looked at how we could develop the business and came up with a body shop concession concept for pharmacies. We started with one and now there are 150 and the concept has been copied across Europe.

I decided to step away from the role when we were adopting my beautiful girl from Vietnam. For the next few years, I worked as a consultant in retail, so my schedule was flexible and partnered with companies like Claire’s Accessories, New Look, The Health Store Group, I also became a qualified trainer because helping, teaching, and supporting people were always top of my list.

I applied for the role of a tutor at Portobello Institute and started with delivering QQI level 6 business planning and then an opening came up in the fashion department to teach the buying and merchandising module. Wow, to be able to combine my qualifications, my fashion and business experience with my love of helping people to become successful while still being there for my daughter – fantastic. Of course, because it is in my nature to be a leader, yet still embrace inclusivity, I became the programme manager and have developed the fashion programme to be the number one course in the country. I am also on the panel of mentors of Enterprise Ireland, and on the panel of trainers with the Education Training Board.

Why did you choose to work in education?

I understand that to be a teacher is truly a calling of not just the mind, but the heart as well. I believe that great teachers are good at explaining content, are patient, yet firm with students, are always fair, set high expectations, know how to motivate, and use humour appropriately. Being an excellent communicator who has a command of the subject matter is really important. I have forged my own style of teaching that draws on my strengths, knowledge, skills, values, and experiences yet fully realise I still have much to learn and develop and I am always learning from my peers and my students.

I have chosen education as a career because I believe that education is perhaps the most important function performed in our culture, or for that matter, any culture. I believe that teachers individually and collectively can not only change the world, but improve it, and in the process find personal and professional renewal. I love being to be part of this noble profession and hope to continue to inspire all the students I meet.

Empathy is of huge importance to me and understanding that no matter how someone presents themselves to you there are always things going on behind the scenes. I know this from experience and have learned the importance of understanding that everyone learns differently while at the same time, a tutor must balance that with the demands of the professional industry that the students want a career in.

The fashion industry is demanding and challenging. It is my role to fully prepare students for the reality of those challenges.

Your experience as a Programme Manager

As a Programme Manager, I can develop the course content, so that it remains up-to-date and relevant. I can utilise my connections in the industry to connect our students with the best companies to fulfil their dreams of a career in fashion. I can ensure we have the best team of tutors who are all on board with our philosophies, and I can share my experience and learn from everyone on the team. I get to inspire and I enjoy every day that I am part of Portobello.

Why Portobello?

I have chosen to work at Portobello because I am afforded the opportunity to bring my unique style to the classroom. I get to work with a super team of individuals. I am respected and valued for my input. Yes, we have policies and procedures like any strong organisation has but I get to have fun at work.

We have smaller classes in Portobello which allow us to connect with each student as an individual. We have a holistic approach to education and can balance the academic content required while putting our students’ emotional and psychological needs to the fore.

We have a team of people here at Portobello who all want our student base to succeed, from the academic team to the support team in the office. We are always thrilled to share great news stories about our students, especially those who have overcome many obstacles before they arrived at Portobello and during their time with us.

A student should choose to study with us because they will have the journey of their lives while being supported the whole way through and beyond.

Anne Marie is the Programme Manager for Portobello Institute’s BA (Hons) Fashion Buying & Merchandising, BA (Hons) Fashion Management, Postgraduate Cert Fashion Buying & Merchandising and Postgraduate Cert in Fashion Management.

What Students Say

Stephanie Burns – Fashion Buying & Merchandising

“Anne Marie has the rare ability to make learning both interesting and enjoyable. Through the amazing stories of her first-hand experience in international business and her unique and fun teaching methods, she was able to inspire me in a way of wanting to be the best student that I could be. I was scared of going back to education after a long absence, but Anne Marie made the transition so easy.  She encouraged me to step outside my comfort zone, helped me recognise my strengths, and gave me the confidence that I needed to go forward and pursue my dream career in the fashion industry. She is both encouraging and inspiring, and I feel so lucky to have been one of her students. She truly changed my life.”

Mpho Morwaeng – Business Planning

“Being a student of Anne Marie’s has been the best experience in my tertiary education. I enjoyed each and every single class with her. Being an international student, coming all the way from Botswana to be in her class was worth it and it’s an experience I will cherish forever. She was always supportive, positive, and patient with me, in and out of class she was available to assist me with my studies. She did not criticise, she encouraged. She motivated and inspired me to do my best. She treated us equally in class and it made me feel free to ask questions and participate in class. Not only did she teach theory, but she was also very practical and demonstrated how everything applies in the real world. I will carry with me the knowledge and skills I gained from her forever.”

Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s Degree Psychology
  • Bachelors Degree Business
  • QQI Level 6 Train the Trainer
  • QQI level 6 Supervisor
  • Currently completing MA in Counselling

Research / Industry Participation

  • Developed the Student Internship Programme partnered with Industry leaders Primark, Brown Thomas, Arnotts, Pamela Scott, Lifestyle Sports, Diesel etc.
  • Mentor for Enterprise Ireland
  • Mentor for Meath Partnership
  • Panelist of Trainers for ETB

 


Personal Academic Tutor

Each student is assigned a personal academic tutor to support you throughout your learning journey. They are available to offer you telephone and email support at any time. You can arrange to meet them for further one to one guidance at a time convenient to you.

Many of our past graduates have found it is the opportunity to ask a simple question, seek direction and submit a draft of their assessment that supported them most to successful completion. Emailing your tutor at any stage during your programme to ask a query or submit a draft of your assessment supports you to achieve your personal best throughout your studies with Portobello.

This level of one to one support is a particular benefit to choosing Portobello as your Institute of choice to complete your studies.


Alan Whelan

Alan Whelan is a Portobello Institute lecturer who worked in psychology away from sports before moving into sports education. Cathal Brady was a Portobello student before becoming a lecturer. Barry Roe underwent a late career change to become a sports lecturer.

Alan Whelan?

Alan Whelan did all three.

“The big thing for me is I put off going back to full-time education. I sat in a job for six years, six out of 10 years that I knew I didn’t like it…I put off for years making that jump. And that’s always something I say to a lot of people, just go and chase what you want to do.

Even if it’s a mistake you won’t regret it.”

It wasn’t a mistake for Alan. He was 36 years of age when he first walked through the doors at Portobello Institute. Fearing that he would be the oldest student in the class, he’s familiar with how mature students feel when they now walk into his lectures.

Fortunately for Alan, his class was diverse and he wasn’t even the oldest student in the class. He almost proudly noted that another student was six months older than him.

Many of our sports students come back to education later in life because they weren’t pushed towards a career in sports when they left school. Despite being an intelligent student and a sports-obsessed teenager, the adults in Alan’s life guided him towards a more traditional college and career choice.

Real estate and corporate finance made up most of Alan’s next 18 years.

The day-to-day monotony of going into school to study subjects he had no interest in was replaced by the day-to-day monotony of going into an office and doing the same work over and over again.

“That mundane 9-5, sitting in a desk in front of a computer in that kind of corporate world was just killing me. It was boredom, it was monotonous. It was the same thing day in day out with little gratitude.

It was my wife who pushed me. She said ‘Look, you’re clearly not happy. Go and take the risk and do it’…I completely packed in my job, I was a couple months shy of 10 years working there.”

Had Alan reached the 10-year milestone, he could have earned an extra five days off each year. That was the only thing driving him to stay in work, the opportunity to get out of work. Instead of getting that five days off, he took three years off and studied the Sports Science and Physical Education degree at Portobello Institute.

“When I gave up my full-time job, I had a little bit of savings behind me. My idea was I was going to completely stop working and I was going to focus on year one of the degree, then with the potential of getting some part-time work in year two and three to help.

But I actually ended up not working for the entire three years.

I remember I used to say to people ‘I have never been so broke in my entire life but I’ve never been as happy as I am now.’”

That happiness extended further when Alan travelled up to the University of Ulster in Belfast to do his master’s in sports psychology.

Dr. Susan Giblin had noticed Alan’s enthusiasm for his education in sports. She also noticed how impressive his dissertation was before offering him the opportunity to become a lecturer at Portobello. Alan took all of five seconds to realize it was a great idea.

“I’m enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would. It’s more freedom [compared to my previous jobs]…Now I’m working in Portobello and I set up my own psychology business last February.

It’s night and day the difference, particularly in relation to my own happiness.”

Having followed the path from uninterested secondary school student to college dropout to staying in the wrong career for more than 10 years, Alan can empathize with all of his students. Those students who have experienced that office depression can listen to him outline what his job is now and where he works.

He is no longer chained to an office for eight hours a day. Instead, he can work from home, can work in a sports hall, a classroom, on a field, in a locker room or, if he suddenly gets the urge, he can go and work in an office.

But working in an office would now be a choice he makes rather than something he does out of necessity.

That is because of the education he received at Portobello Institute and the decisions he made to take risks in pursuit of what he wanted.

Alan himself notes that he’s a happier person now, which makes him a more effective lecturer. He loves engaging his students and guiding them towards where they want to go.

“I am a very open and approachable tutor. I believe in a student-centred approach to learning, with student engagement and discussion at the heart of every lecture.

A firm believer in the benefits of effective goal setting, engaging in reflective practice and practical application, I employ a number of sport psychology related skills into the education setting to ensure all students maximize their potential for learning.”

Jaimie Caron

“Buyers will be taking pieces from designers to put into high street stores so they need a respect and understanding of the design process. That’s what I’m here to give” – Jaimie Caron, Advance Design Skills Tutor, Fashion Department, Portobello Institute.

About

Fashion and design have been a part of Jaimie Carron’s life from a very early age.

“Well, I ran a fashion business from 5th class,” says Jaimie, who is an Advanced Design Skills tutor at Portobello Institute.

That early business involved Jaimie designing and producing jewellery for classmates and beyond and it picked up substantial notoriety.

“It grew throughout the time I was in college. I got to collaborate with Swarovski. I won the Junior Enterprise competition for Ireland. I did Dragon’s Den.”

While it was jewellery design that first piqued her interest she has since moved away from the area.

“Absolutely loved jewellery design. Had planned to go into that and then pivoted to fashion design, manufacturing and textile development”.

Jaimie has a degree in Fashion Design and Textile Development from the Limerick School of Art and Design, a constituent school of Limerick Institute of Technology.

She has completed an internship with Alanagh Clegg and her company, Four Threads, a fashion business that puts sustainability at the forefront of their work.

Sustainable and ethical fashion is a big priority for Jaimie, who lists one of her main influences as Iris van Herpen. She also lists the likes of Chanel and Dior “but Iris van Herpen would be the main one. She works with 3D printing and it’s zero waste, all sustainable”.

Domestically, Jaimie mentions the likes of Aoife McNamara, Colin Horgan and Alanagh Clegg as some of the leading figures, for her, in the Irish fashion design industry. When asked if she has aspirations of joining them in the future, Jaimie says:

“Absolutely. I’ve always wanted to head in that direction eventually. But for the minute I want to get my Master’s degree and I can do that alongside this (tutoring at Portobello) which is perfect.”

As mentioned, Jaimie joins Portobello Institute as an Advanced Design Skills tutor.

“Basically, what I’ll be doing is teaching from start to finish what the process is for manufacturing a garment. So, this would be for fashion and merchandising. Buyers will be taking pieces from designers to put into high street stores, so they need respect and understanding of the design process. That’s what I’m here to give”.

The fashion department at Portobello Institute is growing and this is a key factor for Jaimie.

“Getting in at the minute it’s the excitement of watching the place grow and seeing what will come of everything and everyone.”

Past testimonials of students were another enticing aspect of the role.

“Seeing stories from the graduates of the fashion programme, it seemed like a very innovative way of teaching this course, which I haven’t seen before. All of that really just drew me in.”

Qualifications

  • QQI Level 6 Training Delivery and Evaluation
  • Limerick School of Art and Design – BA Honours Degree in Fashion Design

Sinead Kelly

Position: Fashion tutor

About Sinead

I am a fashion creative based in Dublin. Having graduated from Dublin City University with a BA in Journalism and Irish, I immediately pursued my fashion instincts by doing internships with RTE Fashion online, followed by Stellar Magazine.

I began working with Folkster, in its infancy, where I spent four years working across all areas of the development of the independent retail store and online shopping website www.folkster.com, specifically in terms of press and marketing, and fashion styling.

Four years later, countless photo shoots, kilo sale events, buying trips and business adventures, the Kilkenny store grew to encompass a second store in Dublin, a growing online business, and the start of a successful venture into the Bridal world, all of which I was actively involved in.

In 2014 I returned to DCU where she achieved a Masters in Marketing. All the while, I have steadily grown my freelance work through assisting other stylists, and taking on projects of my own. I host my portfolio on www.stylebysinead.ie

I began my current role as Personal Shopper in Arnotts, Ireland’s oldest and largest department store, shortly after. Each day is filled with appointments encompassing wardrobe overhauls, capsule corporate wear, formal and occasion wear, and menswear. Each client experiences a personable and relaxed service while being provided with an array of choices tailored to their personal tastes and requirements.

Alongside the coordination of daily appointments, my responsibilities and duties also span to include working/hosting in store events, styling photo shoots and commercial opportunities (ie. TV appearances, dressing notable public figures etc.), contributing to Arnotts social media pages, organising, styling and speaking at corporate events and attending seasonal press events. I was delighted to style and Rosie Fortescue (Made in Chelsea) for irish Tatler, in conjunction with Arnotts. Working with Aaron Hurley, the shoot was published in December 2016.

At the same time, I teamed up with now business partner, Tobi Balogun, and launched Selfmade Clothing. Selfmade is a concept clothing brand encompassing reworked vintage into its range of product. Whereby we both saw a gap in the market to exude individuality through dressing, Selfmade’s mission is to inspire ‘You being the best version of you, no matter what!’

Whereby high street clothing was replicated, and somewhat uninspiring, we took the leap and created the brand to bring something new to the fashion scene. A typically urban, street wear brand, Selfmade has customers worldwide, including Irish model and DJ Daniella Moyles, and an array of international dance choreographers such as Tony Tzar (LA), Kerrie Milne (Dublin/LA). The brand has been featured in the Irish Examiner, and MFI magazine. Working with emerging artists and creatives, we ensure unique, raw authenticity in their work. With myself as Creative Director and Stylist, the brand has produced many campaigns over the past few years, and house their works on www.selfmadeclothing.ie

In October 2018, I assumed yet another role, this time as a Fashion Tutor at Portobello Institute in Dublin. With my creative experience and academic background, I am tutor of Fashion Styling, Digital Marketing, and Retail Administrations.

Work to date

  • Fashion Stylist: Arnotts SS18, Men’s Fashion Ireland (MFI), Evoke.ie, Irish Tatler, Folkster Ltd, Folkster Bridal, RTE Guide – 2 Cover Shoots, RTE Ten, Xpose, Irish Independent Weekend Magazine, The Silver Factory, Fish Tail Soup Apparel, United Colors of Benetton for Fashion One TV
  • Fashion Styling Assistant: The Voice of Ireland 2014; Harvey Nichols Fashion Show S/S14, A/W14, Happy Closet Launch Night; Irish Independent Weekend Magazine; Irish Times Fashion Feature – Aviary Lane; Arnotts Menswear A/W14; Stena Line Commercial July 2014.

Press features/profiles

  • Stellar Magazine Streetstyle 2013
  • U Magazine Fashion Diary Feature 2014
  •  Irish Examiner Streets Ahead feature 2014
  •  U Magazine – So You Think You Want My Job – 2016
  • Stellar Magazine – A Day in the Life feature – 2018
Programme Manager

Anne Marie McAuley

‘I absolutely love what I do and genuinely embrace supporting a person to develop and grow. I encourage and promote people at all levels to maximise their potential and hopefully instil a sense of purpose.

The are many careers one can pursue when completing a Portobello Institute fashion course. Part of my role is to help and support you to find the best path.’

ABOUT ANNE MARIE MCAULEY

After graduating from college in the USA with degrees in Business and Psychology, I initially worked as a milieu counsellor with young adults presenting with social and developmental difficulties – I was all about saving the world and think I still can – which was fantastic and the insights I gained in that role have helped me through my own journey to this day.

I always loved fashion, when I was small and then through my teenage years. I always wanted the latest trendy gear, constantly adapting my clothes myself to be a bit different. I was the first of my friends to have a pair of drainpipe jeans (known as skinnies these days!). I always had a part-time job in retail through school and in college at stores like Macy’s and Lord and Taylor.

My first job in a department store was at Christmas time and I was tasked with selling cashmere sweaters, the only section that the full-time and staff with tenure would allow me to work in as I was the ‘blown in college student’. I soon figured out that my best customer demographic was the panicked husband looking to purchase a gift for his wife and willing to spend ‘whatever to make her happy’ and of course who does not love cashmere – Cha-Ching! I did more in sales than anyone in the department and as we were commission-based, I was a very happy student. I was destined for a career in retail and fashion and I never forgot the importance of knowing your customer.

I then secured a job in Saks Fifth Ave as an assistant – really just running around New York picking up samples for photos, answering telephones, dressing mannequins, and doing whatever I was told to do, all the time absorbing and learning as much as I could. Back then being around designers like Michael Kors, Diane Von Furstenberg, and Ralph Lauren was an everyday occurrence.

I worked hard and soon became a junior buyer and then a senior buyer, I loved my job. I moved into the retail operations at Saks as I wanted to develop my skills and I found that leading, coaching, and developing people to also do well was one of my favourite parts of the job. I soon was heading up new store opening teams and one of my greatest achievements was the opening of the San Fran Store. It takes a huge team effort to train several hundred new staff and merchandise the store for opening. I travelled all over the country and enjoyed every day at Saks.

I moved back to Ireland where I secured the role of Retail Operations Manager of The Body Shop Ireland. I had always loved the product and admired their business ethos and not testing on animals. It soon became clear that there were huge challenges within the group around staff training and development which I embraced and was thrilled to be able to use my American experience to influence major decisions in changing the direction of The Body Shop. I also attended any training sessions that the company had for senior management to consistently develop my own skills in leadership and management. While at The Body Shop, I looked at how we could develop the business and came up with a body shop concession concept for pharmacies. We started with one and now there are 150 and the concept has been copied across Europe.

I decided to step away from the role when we were adopting my beautiful girl from Vietnam. For the next few years, I worked as a consultant in retail, so my schedule was flexible and partnered with companies like Claire’s Accessories, New Look, The Health Store Group, I also became a qualified trainer because helping, teaching, and supporting people were always top of my list.

I applied for the role of a tutor at Portobello Institute and started with delivering QQI level 6 business planning and then an opening came up in the fashion department to teach the buying and merchandising module. Wow, to be able to combine my qualifications, my fashion and business experience with my love of helping people to become successful while still being there for my daughter – fantastic. Of course, because it is in my nature to be a leader, yet still embrace inclusivity, I became the programme manager and have developed the fashion programme to be the number one course in the country. I am also on the panel of mentors of Enterprise Ireland, and on the panel of trainers with the Education Training Board.

Why did you choose to work in education?

I understand that to be a teacher is truly a calling of not just the mind, but the heart as well. I believe that great teachers are good at explaining content, are patient, yet firm with students, are always fair, set high expectations, know how to motivate, and use humour appropriately. Being an excellent communicator who has a command of the subject matter is really important. I have forged my own style of teaching that draws on my strengths, knowledge, skills, values, and experiences yet fully realise I still have much to learn and develop and I am always learning from my peers and my students.

I have chosen education as a career because I believe that education is perhaps the most important function performed in our culture, or for that matter, any culture. I believe that teachers individually and collectively can not only change the world, but improve it, and in the process find personal and professional renewal. I love being to be part of this noble profession and hope to continue to inspire all the students I meet.

Empathy is of huge importance to me and understanding that no matter how someone presents themselves to you there are always things going on behind the scenes. I know this from experience and have learned the importance of understanding that everyone learns differently while at the same time, a tutor must balance that with the demands of the professional industry that the students want a career in.

The fashion industry is demanding and challenging. It is my role to fully prepare students for the reality of those challenges.

Your experience as a Programme Manager

As a Programme Manager, I can develop the course content, so that it remains up-to-date and relevant. I can utilise my connections in the industry to connect our students with the best companies to fulfil their dreams of a career in fashion. I can ensure we have the best team of tutors who are all on board with our philosophies, and I can share my experience and learn from everyone on the team. I get to inspire and I enjoy every day that I am part of Portobello.

Why Portobello?

I have chosen to work at Portobello because I am afforded the opportunity to bring my unique style to the classroom. I get to work with a super team of individuals. I am respected and valued for my input. Yes, we have policies and procedures like any strong organisation has but I get to have fun at work.

We have smaller classes in Portobello which allow us to connect with each student as an individual. We have a holistic approach to education and can balance the academic content required while putting our students’ emotional and psychological needs to the fore.

We have a team of people here at Portobello who all want our student base to succeed, from the academic team to the support team in the office. We are always thrilled to share great news stories about our students, especially those who have overcome many obstacles before they arrived at Portobello and during their time with us.

A student should choose to study with us because they will have the journey of their lives while being supported the whole way through and beyond.

Anne Marie is the Programme Manager for Portobello Institute’s BA (Hons) Fashion Buying & Merchandising, BA (Hons) Fashion Management, Postgraduate Cert Fashion Buying & Merchandising and Postgraduate Cert in Fashion Management.

What Students Say

Stephanie Burns – Fashion Buying & Merchandising

“Anne Marie has the rare ability to make learning both interesting and enjoyable. Through the amazing stories of her first-hand experience in international business and her unique and fun teaching methods, she was able to inspire me in a way of wanting to be the best student that I could be. I was scared of going back to education after a long absence, but Anne Marie made the transition so easy.  She encouraged me to step outside my comfort zone, helped me recognise my strengths, and gave me the confidence that I needed to go forward and pursue my dream career in the fashion industry. She is both encouraging and inspiring, and I feel so lucky to have been one of her students. She truly changed my life.”

Mpho Morwaeng – Business Planning

“Being a student of Anne Marie’s has been the best experience in my tertiary education. I enjoyed each and every single class with her. Being an international student, coming all the way from Botswana to be in her class was worth it and it’s an experience I will cherish forever. She was always supportive, positive, and patient with me, in and out of class she was available to assist me with my studies. She did not criticise, she encouraged. She motivated and inspired me to do my best. She treated us equally in class and it made me feel free to ask questions and participate in class. Not only did she teach theory, but she was also very practical and demonstrated how everything applies in the real world. I will carry with me the knowledge and skills I gained from her forever.”

Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s Degree Psychology
  • Bachelors Degree Business
  • QQI Level 6 Train the Trainer
  • QQI level 6 Supervisor
  • Currently completing MA in Counselling

Research / Industry Participation

  • Developed the Student Internship Programme partnered with Industry leaders Primark, Brown Thomas, Arnotts, Pamela Scott, Lifestyle Sports, Diesel etc.
  • Mentor for Enterprise Ireland
  • Mentor for Meath Partnership
  • Panelist of Trainers for ETB

 


Personal Academic Tutor

Each student is assigned a personal academic tutor to support you throughout your learning journey. They are available to offer you telephone and email support at any time. You can arrange to meet them for further one to one guidance at a time convenient to you.

Many of our past graduates have found it is the opportunity to ask a simple question, seek direction and submit a draft of their assessment that supported them most to successful completion. Emailing your tutor at any stage during your programme to ask a query or submit a draft of your assessment supports you to achieve your personal best throughout your studies with Portobello.

This level of one to one support is a particular benefit to choosing Portobello as your Institute of choice to complete your studies.


Alan Whelan

Alan Whelan is a Portobello Institute lecturer who worked in psychology away from sports before moving into sports education. Cathal Brady was a Portobello student before becoming a lecturer. Barry Roe underwent a late career change to become a sports lecturer.

Alan Whelan?

Alan Whelan did all three.

“The big thing for me is I put off going back to full-time education. I sat in a job for six years, six out of 10 years that I knew I didn’t like it…I put off for years making that jump. And that’s always something I say to a lot of people, just go and chase what you want to do.

Even if it’s a mistake you won’t regret it.”

It wasn’t a mistake for Alan. He was 36 years of age when he first walked through the doors at Portobello Institute. Fearing that he would be the oldest student in the class, he’s familiar with how mature students feel when they now walk into his lectures.

Fortunately for Alan, his class was diverse and he wasn’t even the oldest student in the class. He almost proudly noted that another student was six months older than him.

Many of our sports students come back to education later in life because they weren’t pushed towards a career in sports when they left school. Despite being an intelligent student and a sports-obsessed teenager, the adults in Alan’s life guided him towards a more traditional college and career choice.

Real estate and corporate finance made up most of Alan’s next 18 years.

The day-to-day monotony of going into school to study subjects he had no interest in was replaced by the day-to-day monotony of going into an office and doing the same work over and over again.

“That mundane 9-5, sitting in a desk in front of a computer in that kind of corporate world was just killing me. It was boredom, it was monotonous. It was the same thing day in day out with little gratitude.

It was my wife who pushed me. She said ‘Look, you’re clearly not happy. Go and take the risk and do it’…I completely packed in my job, I was a couple months shy of 10 years working there.”

Had Alan reached the 10-year milestone, he could have earned an extra five days off each year. That was the only thing driving him to stay in work, the opportunity to get out of work. Instead of getting that five days off, he took three years off and studied the Sports Science and Physical Education degree at Portobello Institute.

“When I gave up my full-time job, I had a little bit of savings behind me. My idea was I was going to completely stop working and I was going to focus on year one of the degree, then with the potential of getting some part-time work in year two and three to help.

But I actually ended up not working for the entire three years.

I remember I used to say to people ‘I have never been so broke in my entire life but I’ve never been as happy as I am now.’”

That happiness extended further when Alan travelled up to the University of Ulster in Belfast to do his master’s in sports psychology.

Dr. Susan Giblin had noticed Alan’s enthusiasm for his education in sports. She also noticed how impressive his dissertation was before offering him the opportunity to become a lecturer at Portobello. Alan took all of five seconds to realize it was a great idea.

“I’m enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would. It’s more freedom [compared to my previous jobs]…Now I’m working in Portobello and I set up my own psychology business last February.

It’s night and day the difference, particularly in relation to my own happiness.”

Having followed the path from uninterested secondary school student to college dropout to staying in the wrong career for more than 10 years, Alan can empathize with all of his students. Those students who have experienced that office depression can listen to him outline what his job is now and where he works.

He is no longer chained to an office for eight hours a day. Instead, he can work from home, can work in a sports hall, a classroom, on a field, in a locker room or, if he suddenly gets the urge, he can go and work in an office.

But working in an office would now be a choice he makes rather than something he does out of necessity.

That is because of the education he received at Portobello Institute and the decisions he made to take risks in pursuit of what he wanted.

Alan himself notes that he’s a happier person now, which makes him a more effective lecturer. He loves engaging his students and guiding them towards where they want to go.

“I am a very open and approachable tutor. I believe in a student-centred approach to learning, with student engagement and discussion at the heart of every lecture.

A firm believer in the benefits of effective goal setting, engaging in reflective practice and practical application, I employ a number of sport psychology related skills into the education setting to ensure all students maximize their potential for learning.”

Jaimie Caron

“Buyers will be taking pieces from designers to put into high street stores so they need a respect and understanding of the design process. That’s what I’m here to give” – Jaimie Caron, Advance Design Skills Tutor, Fashion Department, Portobello Institute.

About

Fashion and design have been a part of Jaimie Carron’s life from a very early age.

“Well, I ran a fashion business from 5th class,” says Jaimie, who is an Advanced Design Skills tutor at Portobello Institute.

That early business involved Jaimie designing and producing jewellery for classmates and beyond and it picked up substantial notoriety.

“It grew throughout the time I was in college. I got to collaborate with Swarovski. I won the Junior Enterprise competition for Ireland. I did Dragon’s Den.”

While it was jewellery design that first piqued her interest she has since moved away from the area.

“Absolutely loved jewellery design. Had planned to go into that and then pivoted to fashion design, manufacturing and textile development”.

Jaimie has a degree in Fashion Design and Textile Development from the Limerick School of Art and Design, a constituent school of Limerick Institute of Technology.

She has completed an internship with Alanagh Clegg and her company, Four Threads, a fashion business that puts sustainability at the forefront of their work.

Sustainable and ethical fashion is a big priority for Jaimie, who lists one of her main influences as Iris van Herpen. She also lists the likes of Chanel and Dior “but Iris van Herpen would be the main one. She works with 3D printing and it’s zero waste, all sustainable”.

Domestically, Jaimie mentions the likes of Aoife McNamara, Colin Horgan and Alanagh Clegg as some of the leading figures, for her, in the Irish fashion design industry. When asked if she has aspirations of joining them in the future, Jaimie says:

“Absolutely. I’ve always wanted to head in that direction eventually. But for the minute I want to get my Master’s degree and I can do that alongside this (tutoring at Portobello) which is perfect.”

As mentioned, Jaimie joins Portobello Institute as an Advanced Design Skills tutor.

“Basically, what I’ll be doing is teaching from start to finish what the process is for manufacturing a garment. So, this would be for fashion and merchandising. Buyers will be taking pieces from designers to put into high street stores, so they need respect and understanding of the design process. That’s what I’m here to give”.

The fashion department at Portobello Institute is growing and this is a key factor for Jaimie.

“Getting in at the minute it’s the excitement of watching the place grow and seeing what will come of everything and everyone.”

Past testimonials of students were another enticing aspect of the role.

“Seeing stories from the graduates of the fashion programme, it seemed like a very innovative way of teaching this course, which I haven’t seen before. All of that really just drew me in.”

Qualifications

  • QQI Level 6 Training Delivery and Evaluation
  • Limerick School of Art and Design – BA Honours Degree in Fashion Design

Sinead Kelly

Position: Fashion tutor

About Sinead

I am a fashion creative based in Dublin. Having graduated from Dublin City University with a BA in Journalism and Irish, I immediately pursued my fashion instincts by doing internships with RTE Fashion online, followed by Stellar Magazine.

I began working with Folkster, in its infancy, where I spent four years working across all areas of the development of the independent retail store and online shopping website www.folkster.com, specifically in terms of press and marketing, and fashion styling.

Four years later, countless photo shoots, kilo sale events, buying trips and business adventures, the Kilkenny store grew to encompass a second store in Dublin, a growing online business, and the start of a successful venture into the Bridal world, all of which I was actively involved in.

In 2014 I returned to DCU where she achieved a Masters in Marketing. All the while, I have steadily grown my freelance work through assisting other stylists, and taking on projects of my own. I host my portfolio on www.stylebysinead.ie

I began my current role as Personal Shopper in Arnotts, Ireland’s oldest and largest department store, shortly after. Each day is filled with appointments encompassing wardrobe overhauls, capsule corporate wear, formal and occasion wear, and menswear. Each client experiences a personable and relaxed service while being provided with an array of choices tailored to their personal tastes and requirements.

Alongside the coordination of daily appointments, my responsibilities and duties also span to include working/hosting in store events, styling photo shoots and commercial opportunities (ie. TV appearances, dressing notable public figures etc.), contributing to Arnotts social media pages, organising, styling and speaking at corporate events and attending seasonal press events. I was delighted to style and Rosie Fortescue (Made in Chelsea) for irish Tatler, in conjunction with Arnotts. Working with Aaron Hurley, the shoot was published in December 2016.

At the same time, I teamed up with now business partner, Tobi Balogun, and launched Selfmade Clothing. Selfmade is a concept clothing brand encompassing reworked vintage into its range of product. Whereby we both saw a gap in the market to exude individuality through dressing, Selfmade’s mission is to inspire ‘You being the best version of you, no matter what!’

Whereby high street clothing was replicated, and somewhat uninspiring, we took the leap and created the brand to bring something new to the fashion scene. A typically urban, street wear brand, Selfmade has customers worldwide, including Irish model and DJ Daniella Moyles, and an array of international dance choreographers such as Tony Tzar (LA), Kerrie Milne (Dublin/LA). The brand has been featured in the Irish Examiner, and MFI magazine. Working with emerging artists and creatives, we ensure unique, raw authenticity in their work. With myself as Creative Director and Stylist, the brand has produced many campaigns over the past few years, and house their works on www.selfmadeclothing.ie

In October 2018, I assumed yet another role, this time as a Fashion Tutor at Portobello Institute in Dublin. With my creative experience and academic background, I am tutor of Fashion Styling, Digital Marketing, and Retail Administrations.

Work to date

  • Fashion Stylist: Arnotts SS18, Men’s Fashion Ireland (MFI), Evoke.ie, Irish Tatler, Folkster Ltd, Folkster Bridal, RTE Guide – 2 Cover Shoots, RTE Ten, Xpose, Irish Independent Weekend Magazine, The Silver Factory, Fish Tail Soup Apparel, United Colors of Benetton for Fashion One TV
  • Fashion Styling Assistant: The Voice of Ireland 2014; Harvey Nichols Fashion Show S/S14, A/W14, Happy Closet Launch Night; Irish Independent Weekend Magazine; Irish Times Fashion Feature – Aviary Lane; Arnotts Menswear A/W14; Stena Line Commercial July 2014.

Press features/profiles

  • Stellar Magazine Streetstyle 2013
  • U Magazine Fashion Diary Feature 2014
  •  Irish Examiner Streets Ahead feature 2014
  •  U Magazine – So You Think You Want My Job – 2016
  • Stellar Magazine – A Day in the Life feature – 2018

How will I learn?

In-person weekday delivery offers you the opportunity to study with a more traditional schedule with lectures delivered on-site in Portobello during weekdays. Typically, those lectures are generally scheduled over 2 – 2 ½ days between Tuesday and Thursday.

Blended Learning is essentially the same, with a blend of online and on-site lectures taking place at the weekends. This makes it easier for you to study while working full-time. It also makes studying for a degree more accessible if you live outside of Dublin.

With both delivery modes, there will be lectures you need to attend on-site due to the nature of the content – practical skills etc. All online only lectures are recorded for you to catch up later. Where lectures are delivered onsite – these will simultaneously be delivered online and will also be recorded so you can customise your learning journey – attend on-site, online, or catch-up later.

Delivery Mode

You have the option to study this programme in-person on weekdays. This means 12- 16 hours of lectures per week. Portobello ensures scheduling of course timetables is considerate of students travel and accommodation arrangements, part-time working and study-life balance. The course timetable is condensed to be delivered with onsite classes 2-3 days per week over 2 semesters. Examinations are held at the end of each semester.

Practical classes are delivered in a fully equipped design studio.

Tutor Support

You can email your tutor at any stage during the module to ask a simple query and there will be scheduled opportunities to submit a draft of your assignment. Our programme management team are always available to offer you telephone and email support and if you need to, you can arrange to meet them for further one to one guidance. For more information about our team, click here. Many of our past graduates have found it is the opportunity to ask a simple question, seek direction and submit a draft of their assessment that supported them most to successful completion.

This level of one-to-one support is unique to Portobello Institute and is a particular benefit to choosing this Institute to gain your degree with. Portobello Institute has invested in a team of programme managers and tutors who are experienced early years practitioners as well as qualified and knowledgeable educators. They are available to assist you at every stage of this programme.

Online Learning Portal – ePortobello

During the induction seminar, we will show you how to navigate and find what you need with all of the information you need to complete this programme uploaded on to ePortobello. The content of this programme is set out in an easy to follow format with a combination of notes, articles, podcasts and other materials that will help you to understand the subject and complete your assessment.


Course Structure

This course is delivered over three academic years. During your first year you will complete the core modules which will introduce you to this field of study and provide you with essential skills that will aid your study for the course of your degree.

In second year, you will complete a total of four modules each semester, with one year long core module which runs for the duration of both semesters.

In third year, the core modules include your final year dissertation project in the area of fashion business and your work placement.


COURSE SCHEDULE - September 2024 Start Date

The first year of this course runs from 30/09/24 – 24/05/25.

Classes are generally delivered 2-3 days per week and are scheduled mid-week where possible.

The second and third academic years of this course will run on a similar schedule.

Real Life Learning Opportunities

Work Experience

Putting into practice the skills learned in class is key to gaining employment in the fashion industry. Portobello Institute has established strong links with many of the main fashion buying and merchandising departments within some of Ireland’s largest retailers. We are delighted to announce our students, full and blended, can now participate on a work experience placement programme with some of the participating companies listed below;

Arnotts, Brown Thomas, Harvey Nicholls, Primark, Dunnes Stores, Lifestyle Sports, Jack & Jones, Junarose, Mamalicious, Name IT, Noisy May, Only, Only & Sons, Postyr, Pamela Scott, Selected, Vero Moda, Vila Clothes.

Fashion Event Showcasing Irish Designers

Essential to becoming a buyer or merchandiser is developing a keen eye for trends, understanding the cycle within the fashion industry and having the opportunity to network and meet professionals in the fashion industry. Portobello Institute has integrated a number of key events within the fashion calendar to expose students of this course to the professionals working in the sector.

Each year, students of this programme collaborate together to create a showcase event for Irish designers. The purpose of this event is to give students the opportunity to work with designers and gain some understanding of the designer showcase and buying process.

Field Trips

Portobello Institute organises trips each year to the following major fashion events in the annual calendar;

  • Fashion City, Dublin
  • Pure in London
  • Moda in Birmingham
  • Pret-a-Porter, Milan, Italy

These are usually one day return trips and are booked with minimal cost for students. They are not included in the fees and are optional.

Guest Lecturers

Once off guest lectures are organised throughout the calendar year to give student’s an opportunity to gain insight into either a particular brand, the career of an established and successful professional in the fashion industry or an upcoming trend in fashion. These lecturers vary year to year but are always an interesting experience for our students.


How will I be assessed?

SMART assessments – we use a range of assessments for each module designed to support a broad range of learning styles, giving you the opportunity to excel.

The primary aim of the varying assessment styles is to support you to demonstrate your knowledge of theory and practical with assignments such as fashion business case studies, audits, development plans, presentations showcasing your practical skills.

We will encourage you to explore and support you to complete several innovative assessment formats such as presentations, posters, portfolios, podcasts, blogs, which further support development of your creative and digital skills and will give you confidence to share your knowledge with colleagues, peers, and other professionals.

Group assignments will add another dimension to your learning experience – they will help you to learn to work in teams and will provide you with benefits of peer learning.

All these methods are seeking to support you to combine theory with scenario-based learning and encourage and guiding you for future implementation into your career in the business of fashion.

Delivery Mode

Blended learning takes the schedule of a traditional face to face learning programme and re-structures it to reduce the contact tuition time by introducing more online learning together with one to one tutor support.  This mode of delivery includes contact tuition and web-based e-learning sessions. The e-learning platform is interactive including recorded sessions, webinars with weekly content and assigned tasks to themes and topics. This mode of delivery will usually include a minimum of one-weekend seminar per month attendance required. This type of delivery is generally applied to courses with a practical skills element and allows you to work full-time and balance the requirements of a lengthy programme with home and work.

Tutor Support

You can email your tutor at any stage during the module to ask a simple query and there will be scheduled opportunities to submit a draft of your assignment. Our programme management team are always available to offer you telephone and email support and if you need to, you can arrange to meet them for further one to one guidance. For more information about our team, click here. Many of our past graduates have found it is the opportunity to ask a simple question, seek direction and submit a draft of their assessment that supported them most to successful completion.

This level of one-to-one support is unique to Portobello Institute and is a particular benefit to choosing this Institute to gain your degree with. Portobello Institute has invested in a team of programme managers and tutors who are experienced early years practitioners as well as qualified and knowledgeable educators. They are available to assist you at every stage of this programme.

Online Learning Portal – ePortobello

During the induction seminar, we will show you how to navigate and find what you need with all of the information you need to complete this programme uploaded on to ePortobello. The content of this programme is set out in an easy to follow format with a combination of notes, articles, podcasts and other materials that will help you to understand the subject and complete your assessment.


Course Structure

This programme is structured for delivery over 3 academic years, with 2 semesters per academic year. There are workshops held once a month on a Saturday to cover the practical element, and webinars held throughout the semester. Webinars are recorded so you may catch up later if you are unable to attend the live session.

The Saturday workshops are held onsite, with breaks throughout the day. The evening webinars are 1-1½ long and are scheduled between 6.30pm and 9.30pm to accommodate students who work full-time. All sessions are recorded so you may review the session at a later stage should you be unable to log-in at the scheduled time.

The semester structure ensures you can focus on a small number of modules per term while also working on your professional practice portfolio.

The course will open with a module which will help you to develop the skills which you will need to achieve success at a degree level, such as sourcing credible information, academic writing, referencing, computer skills, basic research methods, time management and planning, emotional aspects of studying and at higher education level and student well-being. Completing the module will build a solid base for your further professional and academic development throughout the programme.

Timetable

This course is timetabled with online, onsite and pre-recorded sessions.

A schedule is available here.

All times and dates are provisional and subject to change.


ATTENDANCE AT WEBINARS

There are online practical workshops held on eight Saturdays throughout the academic year

Attendance at webinars is not mandatory however is recommended for an optimal learning experience and achievement.

Webinars are recorded so you may catch up later should you be unable to to attend.

One to one tutor support is available throughout the programme if you are unable to attend a webinar.

Real Life Learning Opportunities

Work Experience

Putting into practice the skills learned in class is key to gaining employment in the fashion industry. Portobello Institute has established strong links with many of the main fashion buying and merchandising departments within some of Ireland’s largest retailers. We are delighted to announce our students, full and part-time, can now participate on a work experience placement programme with some of the participating companies listed below;

Arnotts, Brown Thomas, Harvey Nicholls, Primark, Dunnes Stores, Lifestyle Sports, Jack & Jones, Junarose, Mamalicious, Name IT, Noisy May, Only, Only & Sons, Postyr, Pamela Scott, Selected, Vero Moda, Vila Clothes.

Fashion Event Showcasing Irish Designers

Essential to becoming a buyer or merchandiser is developing a keen eye for trends, understanding the cycle within the fashion industry and having the opportunity to network and meet professionals in the fashion industry. Portobello Institute has integrated a number of key events within the fashion calendar to expose students of this course to the professionals working in the sector.

Each year, students of this programme collaborate together to create a showcase event for Irish designers. The purpose of this event is to give students the opportunity to work with designers and gain some understanding of the designer showcase and buying process.

Field Trips

Portobello Institute organises trips each year to the following major fashion events in the annual calendar;

  • Fashion City, Dublin
  • Pure in London
  • Moda in Birmingham
  • Pret-a-Porter, Milan, Italy

These are usually one day return trips and are booked with minimal cost for students. They are not included in the fees and are optional.

Guest Lecturers

Once off guest lectures are organised throughout the calendar year to give student’s an opportunity to gain insight into either a particular brand, the career of an established and successful professional in the fashion industry or an upcoming trend in fashion. These lecturers vary year to year but are always an interesting experience for our students.


How will I be assessed?

SMART assessments – we use a range of assessments for each module designed to support a broad range of learning styles, giving you the opportunity to excel.

The primary aim of the varying assessment styles is to support you to demonstrate your knowledge of theory and practical with assignments such as fashion business case studies, audits, development plans, presentations showcasing your practical skills.

We will encourage you to explore and support you to complete several innovative assessment formats such as presentations, posters, portfolios, podcasts, blogs, which further support development of your creative and digital skills and will give you confidence to share your knowledge with colleagues, parents, and other professionals.

Group assignments will add another dimension to your learning experience – they will help you to learn to work in teams and will provide you with benefits of peer learning.

All these methods are seeking to support you to combine theory with scenario-based learning and encourage and guiding you for future implementation into your career in the business of fashion.

Downloads

Course Delivery Mode
Course
BA (Hons) Fashion Buying & Merchandising
Delivery Mode
In-person Weekdays
Download Brochure

Career prospects

This degree is for people with a flair and interest in the fashion industry along with a desire to develop fashion business skills. 

This programme will be taught by experts in fashion buying and merchandising, design, marketing, visual media and display, business and marketing, supply chain management, finance, digital marketing, leadership and management, business analysis, communication and organisational skills, brand management and global trading. 

These experts will also have hands-on experience in implementing innovative approaches to management with good decision-making skills and actions, with a noticeably clear understanding of the world of fashion management, buying and merchandising. Some are phenomenally successful entrepreneurs in the eCommerce and digital branding world which allows them to be at the forefront of this fast-moving and ever-changing business of fashion. These skillsets and experiences will allow us to keep our students up to date in real-time for the best career opportunities.

The difference between the role of the buyer and the merchandiser

The Buyer

A retail buyer is responsible for planning and selecting a range of products to sell in retail outlets. The buyer must consider the following factors when making purchasing decisions:

  • Customer demand, including price, quality and availability assortment.
  • Trend Forecasting.
  • Sales analysis.
  • Financial budgets.

Buyers source new merchandise and review existing items to ensure products remain competitive. By fully understanding customer needs, they are able to maximise profits and provide a commercially viable range of merchandise at competitive prices. Keeping up to date with market trends and reacting to changes in demand are key elements of the role.

Retail buyers have a considerable amount of responsibility and autonomy in what is often a pressured environment.

Typical work activities can vary according to the season. This is particularly true for those working in fashion. For example, out of season, the majority of time will be spent in the workplace (in the office and on the shop floor), and during the buying season, a significant amount of time will be spent away from the workplace in order to assemble a new collection of merchandise. Starting salaries range from €26,000 per annum.

Typical work activities

  • analysing consumer buying patterns and predicting future trends;
  • regularly reviewing key performance indicators, such as sales and discount levels;
  • managing plans for stock levels;
  • reacting to changes in demand and logistics;
  • meeting suppliers and negotiating terms of contract;
  • maintaining relationships with existing suppliers and sourcing new suppliers for future products;
  • liaising with other departments within the organisation to ensure projects are completed;
  • attending trade fairs, in the UK and overseas, to select and assemble a new collection of products;
  • participating in promotional activities;
  • writing reports and forecasting sales levels;
  • presenting new ranges to senior retail managers;
  • liaising with shop personnel to ensure supply meets demand;
  • getting feedback from customers;
  • training and mentoring junior staff.
  • strong analytical skills;
  • negotiating skills and the ability to network and influence people;
  • teamworking and interpersonal skills;
  • excellent communication skills;
  • numeracy skills and proficiency using IT;
  • good organisation skills and the ability to multitask;
  • the ability to cope with the pressure of having to make important decisions and meet tight deadlines;
  • the ability to work in a fast-paced environment and achieve targets;
  • drive and determination;
  • commercial awareness;
  • leadership attributes;
  • creative flair;
  • confident presentation style;
  • a passion for retail;

 

The Retail Merchandiser

Merchandisers are responsible for ensuring that products appear in the right store, or on a website, at the appropriate time and in the correct quantities. This involves working closely with the buying teams to accurately forecast trends, plan stock levels and monitor performance.

While the buyer selects the lines, the merchandiser decides how much money should be spent, how many lines should be bought, and in what quantities. In smaller companies, the same person may be responsible for both buying and merchandising.

Merchandisers play a key role within organisations, as profitability can be affected by how successfully they undertake their work. Merchandisers set prices to maximise profits and manage the performance of ranges, planning promotions and markdowns as necessary. They also oversee delivery and distribution of stock and deal with suppliers. Salaries start at €32,000 for this role.

Typical work activities

These vary depending on the company and the particular retail sector, but will typically include:

  • planning product ranges and preparing sales and stock plans in conjunction with buyers;
  • liaising with buyers, analysts, stores, suppliers and distributors;
  • maintaining a comprehensive library of appropriate data;
  • working closely with visual display staff and department heads to decide how goods should be displayed to maximise customer interest and sales;
  • producing layout plans for stores, sometimes called ‘statements’;
  • forecasting profits and sales, and optimising the sales volume and profitability of designated product areas;
  • planning budgets and presenting sales forecasts and figures for new ranges;
  • controlling stock levels based on forecasts for the season;
  • using specialist computer software, for example to handle sales statistics, produce sales projections and present spreadsheets and graphs;
  • analysing every aspect of bestsellers (for example, the bestselling price points, colours or styles) and ensuring that bestsellers reach their full potential;

Salaries for buyers start at €26,000 whilst Merchandiser salaries start at €32,000 per annum.

Related Courses

Speak to an expert

Choosing a course that will lead you to your career of choice is a significant decision. Understanding the delivery modes, supports available, career opportunities and further study options are all key considerations when making your choice. Our course adviser team are experts in the courses Portobello offers, the employment prospects and possible progression routes to Masters programmes – they will guide you through the detail and support you with any queries you may have.

It is important you make the right choice for you and choose the Institute and course that will best suit your needs.

Your Consultant

Sarah Coyne

Education is a journey and the destination is a career that you love. I support the department that helps you to plan your journey so you can find the path that’s right for you. As I am often the first point of contact for many prospective students, I am excited to introduce students to the Portobello Institute experience. I enjoy learning about students’ ideas, goals, and passions, and this job allows me to do so.  

Book a consultation

How do I apply?

Entry is by direct application to Portobello Institute

With a Leaving Certificate

Leaving Certificate requirements – Minimum of grade C or O6 in English and Maths with a pass in 4 other subjects.

Sitting the Leaving Certificate in 2023

Students may apply and be granted a “Conditional Offer” prior to completing the Leaving Certificate.

Step 1 – Submit application

Step 2 – Review of application and confirmation of eligibility criteria and entry requirements

Step 3 – Conditional Offer issued on the basis of successful achievement of LC requirements

Step 4 – Confirm acceptance of a place and pay deposit as detailed

Places cannot be held open for applicants awaiting leaving certificate results, however, should a student accept a place and then choose not to progress with this course having received a CAO offer, a refund of 75% of fees paid will be made. Refunds must be requested in writing within 48 hours after the first-round offers have been made. This will only be accepted by emailing [email protected]. Evidence of CAO offer acceptance must be provided along in order to apply for a refund.

Applicants who have previously completed the Leaving Certificate;

Minimum of grade C or O6 in English and Maths with a pass in 4 other subjects.

Without a Leaving Certificate

Students are accepted on to this programme without a leaving certificate however applicants must meet one of the following criteria;

  • QQI level 5 major award preferably but not essentially in retail, design, business or finance.
  • Alternative retail, business, design or finance qualification.
  • An undergraduate degree in another subject.
  • Experiential Learning in retail, business, finance or a related field with a QQI Level 5 or equivalent award in any subject.
  • Mature entry at 21 years. Mature student applications are reviewed on a case by case basis and entry is via interview.
Application Process

Step 1

Complete the online application form.

Step 2

Applicant’s application will be reviewed by the Portobello enrolment team.

Step 3

Applicant’s will be contacted by the Portobello enrolment team to confirm place on the course or for more information.

Depending on your application, you may be required to email copies of transcripts of previous qualifications, leaving certificate results or evidence of work experience.

Confirming Eligibility Criteria

We also seek to understand that applicants have a genuine interest in working within the fashion industry, they understand the sector, and the requirements of the programme. Meeting each applicant offers both the student and our team the opportunity to explore the programme and that this programme and Portobello Institute is the right career choice. This meeting happens (online) at a time convenient to applicants and is with a member of our programme management or advisory team.

Places on this programme are limited and early application is advised. Following our confirmation of eligibility and an offer of a place to you, we reserve a place for you for 14 days. Thereafter, unconfirmed offers are released and your place may be offered to another applicant.

Fees & Payment Options

Fees

Course Price

Year 1 base fee

€5,395

Exam Body Reg. Fee

€335.00

Overall Course Price

Total amount due

€5,730.00

Easy Payment Plan

Payment Option 1

40% deposit payment (€2,410.00), followed by 6 scheduled payments on the first of each month, commencing the 1st of the month after the start date of the course. Includes one off instalment fee of €295.

  • €602.50 due in month 1
  • €602.50 due in month 2
  • €602.50 due in month 3
  • €602.50 due in month 4
  • €602.50 due in month 5
  • €602.50 due in month 6

Payment Option 2

40% deposit payment (€2,292.00) due on application of your course. Final balance (€3,438.00) due before the course start date.


Fees

Course Price

Year 1 base fee

€4,315

Exam Body Reg. Fee

€335.00

Overall Course Price

Total amount due

€4,650.00

Easy Payment Plan

Payment Option 1

33% deposit payment (€1,654.95), followed by 8 scheduled payments on the first of each month, commencing the 1st of the month after the start date of the course. Includes one off instalment fee of €365.

  • €420.01 due in month 1
  • €420.01 due in month 2
  • €420.01 due in month 3
  • €420.01 due in month 4
  • €420.01 due in month 5
  • €420.01 due in month 6
  • €420.01 due in month 7
  • €420.01 due in month 8

Available Courses

Course Delivery Mode Start Date Duration Fees Per Year
Course
BA (Hons) Fashion Buying & Merchandising
Delivery Mode
In-person Weekdays
Start Date
30th September 2024
Duration
3 years
Fees Per Year
€5,730.00
Course
BA (Hons) Fashion Buying & Merchandising
Delivery Mode
Blended Learning
Start Date
TBC
Duration
3 years
Fees Per Year
€4,650.00

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