This Fashion Buying and Merchandising course encompasses the foundations that are necessary to succeed as a fashion buyer in today's competitive environment.

While fashion trends change from season to season the fundamental role of the fashion buyer and merchandiser remains the same. As a fashion buyer, or fashion buyer assistant, 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. You must have a good eye for style and trends together with a great sense of design and creativity, but foremost you must have good business acumen to achieve sales targets.

The Fashion Buying and Merchandising course introduces you to the busy but exciting world of fashion. You will learn to prepare mood boards, retail display and analyse fashion trends in line with customer needs. The course prepares you to undertake a variety of roles within the fashion industry by introducing you to relevant subjects from the worlds of fashion, business and retailing which are customised to the needs of the fashion industry.

Qualifications gained

  • Portobello Institute Certificate in Fashion Buying and Merchandising
  • QQI Level 5 Major Award in Retail Practice (5M2105)

Entry Requirements

Entry to this course is by direct application to the college. Acceptance to Full Time courses is interview based.

Course Structure

This is a full time course delivered over 28 weeks.

Course Content Modules

1.    (5N3845) Level 5 Minor Award in Fashion Industry & Design Studies
2.    (5N1445) Level 5 Minor Award in Fashion Buying & Merchandising
3.    (5N0972) Level 5 Minor Award in Customer Service
4.    (5N1860) Level 5 Minor Award in Retail (Visual) Display
5.    (5N1356) Level 5 Minor Award in Work Experience (Industry Placement)
6.    (5N0690) Level 5 Minor Award in Communications
7.    (5N1619) Level 5 Minor Award in Retail Selling
8.    (5N1860) Level 5 Minor Award in Retail (Fashion) Administration
9.    (5N1364) Level 5 Minor Award in Digital Marketing
10.  (5N1977) Level 5 Minor Award in Spreadsheet Methods
11.  Fashion Styling

What the industry has to say about our fashion students...

Our students are in high demand within the industry with many getting full time employment from their work experience and/or shortly after completing the course (some even before they finish!).

This is what Rosemary Callanan from the Visual Display dept at Harvey Nicholas had to say.

"Portobello students come with great ideas, a good work ethic and a great knowledge of the fashion industry"

Caroline Kilkenny of NC Kilkenny Design

"I recently had the pleasure of working with one of Portobello Institutes'  fashion students when she came to work as an intern in our Design Studio. From beginning to end they approached all tasks given to them with enthusiasm & interest. They worked diligently & became part of our design team from the start. They offered interesting ideas & their input was very much valued. I would highly recommend working with a Portobello Institute student as I found the experience both helpful and fun. It was also lovely to see an intern enjoy and have a great experience working in a busy design studio".

Iseult McLaughlin - HR Officer with Arnott's Department Store

"As one of Ireland's leading department stores, we are always looking for talented people to join our team. We are proud of the two buying internship programmes we run every year and enjoy a long relationship with Portobello Institute's Creative Department. We have found Portobello students to be very well equipped to come to our buying offices for the 6 week programme and make a real difference during their time with us. We are delighted to be able to offer them some real insight to the world of buying outside of the classroom. Indeed some students have gone on to forge successful careers with us. We look forward to welcoming more students on the programme in the future".

Jennifer Rothwell of JRothwell Designs

"I have been working with students from Portobello Institute since 2013 and have found it an extremely positive experience. The students have been a great asset to JRothwell, in return they have gained invaluable hands on experience in a high end luxury designer brand and excellent references which is a must for future employment."

Georgina Bateman - Director of Eclectic Fashion Agency.

"I have worked with the Portobello Institute on a regular basis whereby the college have placed their Fashion Buying & Merchandising students, as part as an Internship programme, within my Wholesale Fashion Agency.
The one thing I liked is that every student placed as an Intern integrated quickly in the fashion wholesale environment & instantly became part of the team.
I found the experience in working with Portobello Institute a pleasurable one as they understood my needs for the Internship.
I would recommend working with the Institute on similar programmes as each student I have worked with over the last 3 years became an invaluable asset to the Agency during the busy Fashion buying seasons".

and what our students have to say....

Megan Gallagher shares her success story! I always knew I wanted to work in the fashion industry, I grew up in a family business and my Mum was a fashion designer specialising in wedding and occasion wear design so I spent my childhood behind the counter learning the trade.I moved to Dublin from Donegal in a mission to pursue my fashion buying career. Portobello Institute gave me exactly what I needed in order to achieve my goal. Read story here

Simon Cullen shares his success story. “I found the content extremely relevant and everything I learned I could take with me in the next steps of my career.” Having learnt huge detail in all aspects of buying, for Simon his favourite part of the course was the buying module. I have been doing an internship with BESTSELLER for the last 6 months and it has been amazing!” BESTSELLER is an international, family owned fashion company with a range of more than 20 individual fashion brands." Read story here

Seana’s Woods creative journey began while living in New York when she started work as an intern at a fashion PR boutique. This gave her an important insight into the importance of brand awareness as well as giving exposure to new labels and recognising key trends for every season. Seana is now working in Primark. “I hope to absorb as much knowledge as possible from colleagues, superiors alike, in the hopes of expanding my skill set and growing within my role as a trainee buyer.” Read full story here


Protection for Learners

QQI have introduced a mandatory insurance protection policy fee that must be paid by students enrolled on all courses with a duration of 12 weeks or over. This insurance cost is in addition to your course fees. 


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