This full-time 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.
Fee€5,394.00 Per academic year
Start Date2nd October 2023
QualificationLevel 8 Honours Degree
Course Duration3 years
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 full-time 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 full-time 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 industry. Putting 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.
What will I study during this BA (Hons) Fashion Buying & Merchandising – Full-time – Oct ’23 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.
Who will I learn from?
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 instill 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 senior buyer, I loved my job. I move 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 merchandising 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 as 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, 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 realising 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 fulfill 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.
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 allows 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.
Follow @fashionportobello on Instagram to watch Anne Marie McAuley Instagram Live interviews with tutors and students.
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 recognize 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 criticize, 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.”
- 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.
Position: Fashion tutor
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.
- 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
Position: Fashion tutor
I have over 10 years of experience in commercial retail design, styling, event management, production, brand identity and creative direction alongside a personal passion for art and illustration.
I currently working on the creative team in Brown Thomas as a senior stylist and merchandiser. Previous to this role I obtained a B.A in Visual Merchandising from Dublin Institute of technology and have worked for many years within the music industry in Ireland doing stage design ,event dressing and art direction for club nights and music festivals in Ireland such as Hidden Agenda , Metropolis , Forbidden Fruit , The Beatyard and many more.
B.A Visual Merchandising
How will I learn?
This programme is delivered full-time; in third level education 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. Where possible, classes scheduled for Monday, are delivered online.
Practical classes are delivered in a fully equipped design studio.
The Difference between Blended Learning and Full Time Delivery Modes
There are two delivery mode options for this degree available in Portobello Institute giving you the freedom to choose how you will learn and making education accessible around work and life commitments.
Full-Time 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 between Tuesday and Thursday. Monday’s lectures are delivered online.
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.
Having the flexibility to choose whether you attend a lecture as it is taking place or to catch up later means you can seamlessly access and fit education into your life whilst still continuing with your everyday life.
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.
Other delivery modes available
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.
Real Life Learning Opportunities
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.
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
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.
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.
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@example.com. 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. Those who do not meet any of the above criteria, must complete a QQI Level 5 Fashion Buying single award or equivalent course to confirm academic capability. The QQI Level 5 Fashion Buying award is available through Portobello Institute and is delivered frequently through various modes of study.
Confirming Eligibility Criteria
Our course advisory team will contact you to confirm you meet the eligibility criteria. Depending on your application, you may be required to email copies of transcripts of previous qualifications, leaving certificate results or evidence of work experience.
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
Year 1 Fees & Payment Options
Exam Body Reg. Fee€335.00
Easy Payment Plan
Deposit of 40%. Balance paid in full on 1st October, or in 6 instalments commencing 1st October. All additional fees such as exam registration fees etc are included in the Easy Payment Plan.
Deposit + 1 Instalment
Settle final balance (€3,437.40) by 1st October 2023.
Deposit + 6 Instalments
- €602.40 due on 1st October 2023.
- €602.40 due on 1st November 2023.
- €602.40 due on 1st December 2023.
- €602.40 due on 1st January 2024.
- €602.40 due on 1st February 2024.
- €602.40 due on 1st March 2024.
Year 2 Fees & Payment Options
Exam Body Reg. Fee€335.00
Easy Payment Plan
Deposit of 40% upon acceptance of offer. Balance paid over 6 instalments commencing 1st October. All additional fees such as exam registration fees etc are included in the Easy Payment Plan.
Deposit + 6 Instalments
- €602.50 due on 1st November 2023.
- €602.50 due on 1st December 2023.
- €602.50 due on 1st January 2024.
- €602.50 due on 1st February 2024.
- €602.50 due on 1st March 2024.
- €602.50 due on 1st April 2024.
Year 3 Fees & Payment Options
Exam Body Reg. Fee€325.00
Easy Payment Plan
Deposit of 40% upon acceptance of offer. Balance paid over 6 instalments commencing 1st October. All additional fees such as exam registration fees etc are included in the Easy Payment Plan.
Deposit + 6 Instalments
- €601.50 due on 1st November 2023.
- €601.50 due on 1st December 2023.
- €601.50 due on 1st January 2024.
- €601.50 due on 1st February 2024.
- €601.50 due on 1st March 2024.
- €601.50 due on 1st April 2024.