Delivered online through interactive webinars, this course offers you a Postgraduate Certificate in Fashion Buying & Merchandising. This PGC will provide you with the relevant focus on garment production and global sourcing together with strategic management for buying and fashion retailing preparing you for senior positions in the business environment of the global fashion industry.
Start Date7th October 2023
QualificationLevel 9 Certificate
Course Duration2 academic semesters
This Postgraduate Certificate (PGC) Fashion Buying & Merchandising programme takes the skills you have learned at undergraduate level and focuses them for a career in fashion buying. You will learn about garment production and the dynamics of global sourcing including the sustainable fashion agenda – a hot topic and to the forefront of fashion buyers today. You will also develop an appreciation of the key competitive challenges of the contemporary global markets in fashion, textiles, and related industries. You will learn to consider current competitive positions and how to recognise opportunities for business growth in your role as a fashion buyer.
Deepen your knowledge of the business of fashion
This dynamic and relevant programme will appeal to those interested in deepening their knowledge and expertise in the business of fashion. You will advance your knowledge, understanding and professional practice through engagement with current research and thinking of global sourcing, strategic buying and finance for fashion management.
Flexible study with extensive learning resources
If you have been awarded a degree in an area such as business management, accountancy, commerce, this Postgraduate Certificate (PGC) in Fashion Buying & Merchandising is designed to offer a level 9 award to focus your qualifications and enhance your career opportunities in the area of fashion buying. The delivery mode is a flexible study option for those seeking to fit learning around work and family. There is access to extensive learning resources and support materials through our virtual learning environment that enables students to choose the time and place most suited for them to study. Assignments are practical and work-based and highly relevant to enhancing your strategic management skills.
Learn from Industry Experts
Cultivating strategic and innovative thinking is a core theme and the programme is taught from this perspective. Tutors are experienced industry leaders, ensuring the relevance of the content to management in the fashion industry. Graduates can immediately implement their learning and make a positive impact to the success of their working environment. This PGC programme will benefit your personal development as well as your professional career putting you in a strong position for career progression in this sector.
Develop as a buyer
The programme focuses on your development as a competent buyer at all levels. The content and specialised online learning approach is designed to provide a rich, stimulating, and individualised learning experience. This post-graduate programme aims to facilitate an exploration and understanding of the concepts, issues in the context of the global business of fashion.
- Career focused qualifications – our courses lead to awards that offer you the opportunity to immediately advance your career.
- Individualised support – we fit your learning model with support available when you need it throughout your learning journey.
- Industry expert tutors – our tutors are all experienced in the field of the business of fashion connecting research and theory with practice throughout their lectures.
- Condensed scheduling – we value your time by ensuring your timetable is optimised for delivery, helping you maintain a work/life/study balance.
- Flexible delivery – we deliver theory sessions online whilst also recording the session simultaneously offering you a choice of when and how you learn.
- 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.
Designed and delivered by Fashion Industry experts
This Postgraduate Certificate Fashion Buying & Merchandising has been designed by our experienced education management and tutoring team in consultation with leading retailers. This programme offers you the opportunity to advance your skills and progress to the next level in the business environment of the global fashion industry. It is a comprehensive course preparing graduates to undertake a variety of roles within the world of fashion, business and retailing.
Why should I study this course?
This course has been specifically designed for delivery by online learning with live interactive webinar sessions. It is very suited to you if you have a busy work and home life and want to fit study around this. The integrated programme webinars are designed to give you the connection between theory and practice. You will have the opportunity to attend online interactive webinars as they happen or to catch up later via the recorded session.
Build your professional network
Gaining employment in the business side of the fashion industry is the objective from this course and it is important students have the opportunity to gain practical experience and build a network of contacts within the sector. Portobello Institute has an established network of connections with many of the main fashion buying and merchandising departments within some of Ireland’s largest retailers.
One to one tutor support when you need it
There is one to one expert tutor support available to you during your learning journey. You can upload your assessments and your expert support tutor will give you feedback on whether you are on the right track. Online learning allows you to study at your time with support available when you need it.
“Don’t go too fast. People have to go to school, learn their craft, and build a brand – that’s the right healthy way to do things.”
- Anna Wintour - Vogue
Who will recognise my qualification?
Post Graduate Certificate in Fashion Buying is awarded by London Metropolitan University (London Met). This is mapped as a Level 9 award on the National Framework of Qualifications.
You will be registered as postgraduate student of London Metropolitan University and will receive a student card confirming their student status.
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 Postgraduate Cert Fashion Buying & Merchandising – Starts October ’23 course?
Considering and understanding the complex critical paths in range planning including balancing lead times, design options, pricing strategies, sourcing strategies and the movement of stock into and out of the business are core elements of the Strategic Fashion Buying & Merchandising module. Factors affecting the supply chain including product market strategies and external forces within the market are also studies during this module.
Having the ability to forecast trends needs a complete understanding of the design and development of a complete range for a fashion season. Portobello Institute has designed and developed the module of Garment Production & Global Sourcing to give students the opportunity to develop these skills. This module covers in detail design and development of an entire range, garment specification and construction.
Complementing these fashion focused modules are the core business subjects of strategic management and finance for fashion management. This Post Graduate Certificate in Fashion Buying & Merchandising is designed to encourage interaction and contribution from students, expert tutors and senior leaders. This methodology will enhance your skillset to include an understanding of a proactive approach and strategic thinking needed to advance your career as a manager of the business of fashion.
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.
How will I learn?
What is Online with Webinar Learning?
Online with Webinar Learning is a form of blended learning. It re-structures the content introducing online learning together with interactive webinars and one to one tutor support. This mode of delivery includes contact tuition (by webinar) 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.
There are webinars held at regular intervals including the commencement of each module. Attendance is not mandatory but is encouraged for optimal learning. The webinars are designed to support students understand the requirements of the learning outcomes, the expectations of the assessment and meet their tutor for the module.
The Difference between Blended and Online with Webinars Delivery Modes
There are two blended learning delivery mode options to study courses in Portobello Institute.
Blended learning offers you the opportunity to study with lectures delivered on-site at the weekends.
Online with Webinars – you will not be required to attend on-site lectures if you are enrolled on a course with this delivery mode. All lectures are delivered online and are recorded so you can catch-up later.
What is a webinar?
A webinar, in the context of online learning, is a lecturer delivering a presentation or class online to a group of students. We use specifically designed e-learning software so you can participate in the class just as if you were present in the same room. You can ask a question of the lecturer at any stage during the class.
Interactive break-out rooms
The software is designed with “break-out rooms” where you can discuss a topic or complete a group exercise with a smaller group from your class. You will need a computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone that has internet connection, an audio facility so you can hear and speak during the class and a camera so your lecturer and fellow class participants can see you.
Secure online learning environment
The webinar is a secure online environment and only those permitted entry by the lecturer can gain access to the “classroom”. Webinars are recorded during each session and should you miss a session, you can catch up with the recorded session at a later date. You will only be able to access Webinars of the group you are assigned to.
Peer to Peer Support
Learning from the experience of other students is often cited as an integral part of any learning journey through a programme. This programme is conducted primarily online and to achieve peer to peer learning, we create study groups. This is a group of students either with a similar research interest or located regionally for ease of “meeting up”. Many graduates tell us that the relationships they build in their study group, offers them a professional network to tap into through out their careers as well as some lifelong friendships.
You can email your tutor during the module to ask a simple query or submit a draft of your assessment. Our programme management team are 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. 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 during your learning journey through this programme.
Online Learning Portal
During the induction webinar, 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 the learning portal. 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. You will need basic computer skills to search the internet and type a word document to complete your assignment.
This course is delivered over 2 semesters with supported webinars held once per month. These are recorded so you can catch up later if you are unable to attend the live session. This programme consists of four core modules. You will complete two modules in each semester.
Each module has 2 * half day webinars designed to support the student to complete the modules scheduled for that semester. Webinars are generally held on a Saturday from 10am to 4pm. Attendance at webinars is recommended for an optimal learning experience and achievement. Webinars are delivered with the purpose of introducing the module lecturer, setting out the learning outcomes, content, the assessment strategy and expectations for skills/knowledge development.
All of the course material is held on an online learning portal which is an easy to use online platform specifically designed for online learning programmes. During the induction, students will be introduced to the platform with practical demonstration of how to use the portal and access lessons quickly and easily. To complete this course, students must have a basic knowledge of using a computer and searching the internet for research purposes.
PGC Fashion Buying and Merchandising
|7th Oct 2023||Induction||TBC-|
|14th Oct 2023||Global Sourcing and Supply Chain Management||10am-1pm|
|15th Oct 2023||Strategic Management for Fashion Retailing||2pm-5pm|
|11th Nov 2023||Global Sourcing and Supply Chain Management||10am-1pm|
|12th Nov 2023||Strategic Management for Fashion Retailing||2pm-5pm|
|2nd Dec 2023||Global Sourcing and Supply Chain Management||10am-1pm|
|3rd Dec 2023||Strategic Management for Fashion Retailing||2pm-5pm|
|6th Jan 2024||Global Sourcing and Supply Chain Management||10am-1pm|
|7th Jan 2024||Strategic Management for Fashion Retailing||2pm-5pm|
|17th Feb 2024||Strategic Fashion Buying and Merchandising||10am-1pm|
|18th Feb 2024||Finance for Fashion Management||2pm-5pm|
|10th March 2024||Strategic Fashion Buying and Merchandising||10am-1pm|
|11th March 2024||Finance for Fashion Management||2pm-5pm|
|30th March 2024||Strategic Fashion Buying and Merchandising||10am-1pm|
|1st April 2024||Finance for Fashion Management||2pm-5pm|
|5th May 2024||Strategic Fashion Buying and Merchandising||10am-1pm|
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 as a result of a range of assessments.
All of these assessment methods are seeking to support you to combine theory with scenario-based learning and how to practically implement these methods into your everyday practice.
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.
There are entry criteria available to students with differing qualifications/experience levels and these are detailed below.
This programme is intended for applicants with a primary degree preferably but not limited to business, accountancy, commerce, fashion design, retail management – or a related discipline. A lower second-class honours degree or international equivalent is required. Applicants with substantial relevant work experience will also be considered – see below.
All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language.
Entry using Experiential Learning
Students may apply for entry to the PGC Fashion Buying & Merchandising using experience gained in the workplace in place of prior educational qualifications if they meet the eligibility criteria.
Applications are reviewed on a case by case basis with practical knowledge a key criterion for entry via this route.
Our experienced course adviser team are available to support you with your programme choice. If you are unsure if this programme is right for you, . We will support you to map your experience to date and any previous educational experience you may have to our programmes so that you can select the course best suited to your career ambition and educational experience.
Fees & Payment Options
Exam Body Reg. Fee
Easy Payment Plan
Deposit of 30%. Balance payable in 6 equal instalments commencing the 1st of the month after the course commences. All additional fees such as exam body registration fees are included in the easy payment plan detailed.
Deposit + 1 Instalment
Settle final balance (€2,989.00) by 1st October 2023.
Deposit + 6 Instalments
- €532.58 due on 1st October 2023.
- €532.58 due on 1st November 2023.
- €532.58 due on 1st December 2023.
- €532.58 due on 1st January 2024.
- €532.58 due on 1st February 2024.
- €532.58 due on 1st March 2024.