module specification

MC4013 - The Business of Fashion (2021/22)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2021/22
Module status DELETED (This module is no longer running)
Module title The Business of Fashion
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 300
9 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
210 hours Guided independent study
81 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 20%   Info-graphic 800-words
Coursework 30%   2-3,000-word group comparative case studies
Coursework 50%   2,000-word individual report
Running in 2021/22

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
No instances running in the year

Module summary

The module aims to provide a motivational learning experience and to stimulate the co-creation of knowledge pertaining to the various processes that together constitute the apparel industry. The module content addresses the development of a consumer society, retail geographies, buying behaviours trend forecasting and promotional culture. Identification and analysis of differentiated market segments, lifestyle groups and taste communities is designed to raise awareness of the pivotal role of consumers as both initiators and end-users of the fashion product. The key skills of academic reading & writing, analytical thinking problem-solving, visual communication and self-directed research are mobilised in completing a diverse suite of assessment tasks predicated on the module’s constructively aligned learning outcomes. The module complements student engagement with the other fashion-specific area of study undertaken at Level 4


Fashion consumption: Consumer pen-portraits, over-consumption, segmentation (geographic, demographic, psychographic, behavioural, benefits sought), consumer values, attitudes & lifestyles, taste communities, sub-cultures & style tribes, retail practice LO1

Fashion production: The creative process, apparel fabrication, off-shoring, logistics, distribution, collectives and collaborations, ethical practice, CAD/CAM, technology, artisanship LO2

Fashion dissemination: Fashion periodicals, advertising, the fashion shows PR events, promotional culture, e-commerce, social media, cultural intermediaries, fashion icons, fashion journalism and critique LO3

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The module is delivered over a 27-week teaching period, through a combination of workshops, lecture presentations and seminars totalling three hours contact time per week. Seminars feature group discussion and analysis of case studies or utilise a tactic of ‘flip-learning’ to provide opportunities for peer interaction. The module supports independent study through a virtual learning environment hosted on WebLearn, where students can access lecture notes, additional readings, coursework briefs, assessment guidelines and feedback, in addition to finding links to external resources. The university’s feed-forward initiative supports these independent learning strategies. Lecture materials and seminar/workshop tasks are posted in advance as part of a blended learning approach that allows students to plan their contribution to particular sessions.

Reflective learning is incorporated into the module – students are advised to keep a journal of experiences and personal development that charts the effectiveness of their learning. Personal Development Plans can be customised through negotiation of topics of personal interest for assessment and take advantage of learning opportunities as these arise during the module. Students are encouraged to actively engage with the subject, their peers, and the tutors through the module's online forums. Guest speakers are invited to give master classes or discuss career opportunities with students and employability is embedded throughout the module through consideration of the various job roles within the fashion industry and reflection on how the skills and knowledge conveyed during the module line-up with professional expectations.

Learning outcomes

LO1. Conduct market research data pertaining to particular consumer typologies/taste communities

LO2. Articulate the micro- and macro-economic factors impacting on players in the fashion market

LO3. Identify weaknesses in the retail offer and propose commercially viable solutions

Assessment strategy

The assessment strategy consists of three components, each informed by reflection, professional practice and subject-specific/educational scholarship.

Assessment component 1: provides paired students with the opportunity to demonstrate achievement of LO1 through research and development of a series of consumer typologies appropriate to the fashion consumption context, using vox-pop marketing propositions such as ‘Skinted or Minted?’ or ‘Made in China or Made in Chelsea?’ as initiating points.

Assessment component 2: provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate achievement of LO2 through comparative case studies featuring self-selected brands/labels/designers of different levels of appeal. As a group assessment, the task offers L4 students the chance to interact with, and learn from, other members of the cohort.

Assessment component 3: provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate achievement of LO3 through a report addressing the range of micro- and macro-environmental factors impacting on the various  player in the business of fashion


Core Text:
Grainger, M. (2007), Fashion: The Industry and its Careers, Fairchild Books
Other Texts:
Diamond, E. (2005), Fashion Retailing: A Multi-Channel Approach, Prentice Hall
Granger, M. & Sterling, T. (2011), Fashion Entrepreneurship: Retail Business Planning, Fairchild
Iverson, A. (2010), In Fashion: From Runway to Retail, Everything you Need to Know to Break into the Fashion Industry, Clarkson Potter
Klein, N (1999), No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies, Knopf.
Wernick, A. (1991), Promotional Culture, Sage Publication

Journal of Retailing
Journal of Retail and Consumer Services
International Journal of Sales, Retailing and Marketing

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