module specification

MC4013S - The Business of Fashion (2023/24)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2023/24
Module title The Business of Fashion
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 15
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 150
9 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
105 hours Guided independent study
36 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 40%   400-word info-graphic
Coursework 60%   Group portfolio 2,000-3,000 words
Running in 2023/24

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Tuesday Morning

Module summary

The module provides a motivational context for the co-creation of knowledge pertaining to the commercial operation of the apparel industries. The content addresses a range of up-stream and down-stream processes fundamental to fashion business practice. The pedagogical aims are to raise student awareness and understandings of (i) the fabrication of fashion products (ii) the role of promotional strategies (iii) the retail ‘brandscape’ and (iv) to develop abilities to articulate how the sector identifies and categorises the taste communities/consumers of its creative outputs. The key skills of academic reading & writing, analytical thinking problem-solving, visual communication and self-directed research are mobilised in completing assessment tasks predicated on constructively aligned learning outcomes. The learning experience complements that provided in the other subject-specific modules and is designed to engage the whole of the Level 4 cohort together with international learners.

Prior learning requirements



Fashion production: Design and the creative process; garment fabrication and manufacturing; branding; retail geographies; pricing strategies; technology

Fashion consumption: Positioning; consumer targeting and segmentation; collectives and collaborations; ethical design; artisanship; taste communities

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The module is delivered during a 15-week semester via a combination of lectures, workshops, seminars and other activities 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. Learning materials 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; 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 coincide with professional expectations.

Learning outcomes

On completion of the module students will be able to:

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

LO2. Propose a range of commercially viable strategies based on identification of strengths/weaknesses in the retail offer

Assessment strategy

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

Assessment component 1: provides 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 in the form of a diagnostic portfolio for two or more brands/designer labels articulating their respective commercial appeals. As a group assessment the task offers L4 students the chance to interact with, and learn from, other members of the cohort


Core Text:
Grainger, M. (20015), Fashion: The Industry and its Careers, Fairchild Books

Recommended 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

Journal of Fashion Practice
International Journal of Business and Globalisation
International Journal of Fashion Design, Technology & Education

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