Masters in Fashion Management: Courses Structure, Specializations & Career | Top Universities

The fashion industry is constantly evolving and worth billions of dollars worldwide. If you want to become one of its top business brains, a Masters in Fashion Management degree could be for you, leading to many opportunities for fashion management jobs.

Read on to find out about common Masters in Fashion Management degree types, entry requirements, specializations and career options. 

Masters in Fashion Management degrees are structured around gaining in-depth knowledge of the fashion industry, with an entrepreneurial and global focus. You’ll enhance both your creative and managerial skills to become a dynamic business brain, and be encouraged to ‘think outside the box’ and try new things.

Masters in Fashion Management degrees can be offered as Master of Arts (MA), Master of Science (MSc) or Masters of Business Administration (MBA) qualifications. The latter is likely to require more experience in fashion or business, whilst MA Fashion Management degrees tend to focus more on creativity in business, for example by creating a fashion magazine as one of the assessment tasks.

Most Masters in Fashion Management programs include a module on the history of fashion, giving you background information to see how the industry has developed to its current stage. 

Fashion management student

 

Depending on the nature of your course, your fashion management degree could end with a dissertation, business project or other major research or consulting project. Courses are one or two years long, depending on where you study.

Some fashion schools offer practical work placements and/or chances for students to attend high-profile fashion events in the country. It’s definitely a good idea to become involved with these opportunities, to apply what you’ve learned to practical situations and increase your career prospects.

Entry requirements

To gain entry onto a Masters in Fashion Management, you’ll need to have a good bachelor’s degree. Some universities state that applicants should have previously studied a relevant subject (such as business), while others will accept graduates of any discipline. If you don’t have a bachelor’s degree but you do have substantial work experience in the industry, you may also be considered.

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There are many master’s courses available which are dedicated to a particular specialization in fashion management. Specialized fashion schools are most likely to offer the widest range of courses. Here are some of the most popular specialized Masters in Fashion Management options:

Luxury and fashion management

If you have a particular interest in the luxurious side of the fashion industry, for example in studying the management behind haute couture, then this specialization could be for you. You’ll study the marketing strategies used in luxury fashion – including how well-known fashion houses maintain their iconic brand images. You’ll also learn about how to forecast business trends, professional practice in the luxury brand industry, and quality issues in fashion and luxury.

Marketing and fashion management 

Fashion marketing

This specialization focuses on the marketing practices used in the fashion industry, including how new techniques are evolving and how you can most effectively keep up with these constant changes. You’ll study customer communication, promotion and project management, and might develop your own personal project as part of the course, and/or take part in a work placement. You’ll also gain a strong understanding of brand equity (the value of a well-known brand name) and consumer buying habits.

Brand and product fashion management

Another specialized course offered at fashion schools and universities, this course focuses on providing you with multi-disciplinary skills in managing brands and products within the fashion industry. You’ll learn how to use tools such as PhotoShop, Excel and InDesign, as well as learning about the structure of the fashion industry and gaining an overview of different business models within it.

Fashion management and communication 

Fashion communication

Combining fashion management with communication studies, this specialization teaches you how to create and manage a cohesive communication strategy with an ad campaign, events and a successful launch. You’ll also gain an overview of marketing and communication planning, and how to use both traditional and new media forms to your advantage when running ad campaigns.

Other topics you could also specialize in include fashion design management, fashion merchandizing management, fashion retail management and more.

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Your Masters in Fashion Management should provide you with many useful skills, ideal for entering specialized fashion management jobs. In addition, the skills you’ve acquired should also be valuable in many other sectors and roles related to management, retail, branding, and merchandizing.

Here are some examples of fashion management jobs you might want to consider upon graduating:

Fashion marketing manager/executive 

Fashion manager

Fashion marketing managers publicize and increase awareness of a particular brand, which could be a high street chain, a department store or a designer brand. They create advertising campaigns and new ways to market their brand. They’ll also assist with analyzing the effectiveness of current campaigns and brand quality and take steps to improve these if necessary. Your fashion management degree will give you a good advantage for this career (especially if you studied the marketing specialization) and previous retail experience would also be looked upon favorably by employers.

Retail manager

Retail managers are in charge of the day-to-day running of stores or departments, including sales, staff, stock and resources management. They ensure that promotions are being run accurately and customers are receiving excellent customer service at all times. They also aim to maximize profits while keeping costs down. Their role involves managing budgets, providing good customer service, managing people, promoting the business, planning and overseeing pricing and stock control, amongst other tasks. Again, experience in retail is very beneficial for this role (and may be essential), but employers will also be looking for the qualities required to be a good retail manager: enthusiasm, people skills,  good customer service values and confidence.

Production manager 

Production manager

The next of our fashion management jobs is ideal for people who have an interest in details and want a role which involves a great deal of multi-tasking and responsibility. Production managers within the fashion industry are involved in events, coordinating public relations and travel arrangements. They also ensure that fashion pieces are created efficiently and that the correct amount of products are produced at the right cost and level of quality. As you can tell, you need strong organization skills for this role. You also need to be decisive, able to work under pressure and solve problems, and be able to work to deadlines. Previous work experience in an industrial environment is useful but not essential for entry to this role.

Creative fashion management jobs

If you want your career to include opportunities for creativity, a fashion management degree can open doors to these roles. You may want to consider roles in advertising, either in the corporate or retail side, which (like the fashion industry) is always changing and always open to innovative new ideas. Another role in which you could express your creativity is that of a visual merchandise manager, creating eye-catching displays to promote brands, products in services in store or online.

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Key Skills

Common skills gained from a Masters in Fashion Management include:

  • Problem-solving
  • Leadership skills
  • Decision making
  • Business awareness
  • Research skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Organization skills
  • Project management skills
  • Strong awareness of current trends/developments in the sector
  • Understanding of design practices
  • Understanding of commercial frameworks
  • Understanding the fashion industry cycle from product development to consumer