Dr Katherine Waite
+44 (0)131 451 3284
Heriot-Watt University’s MSc in International Fashion Marketing (IFM) was founded with the support and guidance of George Davies, the internationally-renowned fashion designer and businessman behind creations for Next, George at Asda, and Per Una brands. George Davies provides financial sponsorship for the programme and maintains his active involvement with the programme through a regular masterclass.
You can read more about George and his latest work.
Programme design and content
This Masters degree in International Fashion Marketing extends an existing awareness of the marketing process to develop skills and competencies necessary for a marketing career in the international fashion sector. The programme includes eight taught courses and a research based dissertation. The courses include:
- Contemporary Consumers in Fashion – examines the motivations and perspectives of fashion consumers in different international locations.
- International Strategic Marketing - identifies choices in marketing strategies for local and international brands, focusing on operating a global business.
- Marketing Logistics - explains how to gain competitive advantage in the international omni-channel distribution environment.
- New Product Development – identifies the processes and challenges of developing new fashion products. This course is delivered at the School of Fashion and Textiles in Galashiels by leading experts in garment construction and fabric characteristics and includes an industry visit.
- Branding and Communications in Fashion - considers the power of brands and helps students master the key principles of fashion brand management.
- Research Philosophy and Practice – provides training in data collection and analysis for roles in consumer insight and business consultancy and prepares you for the dissertation.
- Advances in Digital Marketing - examines digital marketing trends including gamification, brand community management and affiliate marketing.
- Fashion Buying and Merchandising – taught by specialists from Heriot-Watt’s School of Fashion and Textiles, this course explains the buying and merchandising functions including supplier selection, negotiation and performance evaluation.
The Master’s dissertation, completed during summer, enables you to deepen your knowledge in a topic of your choice by gathering and analysing data from companies or consumers within an international fashion marketing setting which directly relates to your ambitions. Previous students on MSc International Fashion Marketing have conducted dissertations on topics including:
- The Rise of New Fashion Influencers - A comparative look at fashion bloggers and celebrities' effect on fashion trends throughout Europe.'
- Use of Social Media (Instagram) for Sportswear/ Athleisure Brands
- Responsible Luxury: The Importance of CSR Initiatives in Building Brand Equity in the Luxury Goods
- The Use of Older Models in International Fashion Campaigns.
Engagement with the fashion retailing sector
Engagement with the global fashion retailing sector is a distinguishing feature of Heriot-Watt’s International Fashion Marketing programme. Each year students are offered a series of industry visits to facilitate direct involvement with the fashion sector. In 2017/18 visits included Holland and Sherry, international fabric merchants and Trend Bible, a trends forecasting consultancy. Students also engaged in projects for the Edinburgh International Fashion Festival and with Knockandoo Woollen Mill, an historic woolmill that creates contemporary designs with traditional Scottish materials.
This programme offers an annual four-week International Internship opportunity for one outstanding student at the Toronto HQ and New York offices of Array Marketing. Array Marketing has over 35 years’ experience in the retail sector, producing innovative visual merchandising and point-of-purchase displays for leading brands such as L’Oréal, Urban Decay, MAC, Sephora, ULTA, Estee Lauder and Prada. The internship provides experience across key operational areas including project management, digital marketing, merchandising, store fittings, and understanding the luxury consumer. 2016’s successful candidate was offered a permanent role with Array Marketing after presenting innovative business development ideas based on her dissertation research.
Read a reflection from this year's Array Marketing Intern: 'From Edinburgh to New York: A Display of Marketing Expertise on Array Internship'
Read more about Array Marketing on the Array Marketing Website
International Fashion Marketing competencies and skills
Your marketing competencies will be developed through case-study learning, direct interaction with industry and industry-focused assessments. Innovative group-based and individual coursework will challenge you to translate theory into fashion marketing solutions and demonstrate skills in time management, team leadership, information management and verbal, written and digital communications. This year’s IFM students gained experience in:
- Producing a Vlog to communicate key messages in an authentic way and then evaluate how to repurpose content into a podcast
- Designing and filming a fashion brand advertisement
- Developing a buying and merchandising plan
- Deconstructing garments to understand how they could be redeveloped to different price points.
The sought-after transferrable skills you gain through this programme will position you as an attractive candidate for employers. Previous students have progressed to roles in merchandising, public relations and retailing.
Diverse learning experience: a wealth of business and cultural perspectives
Studying on this programme will enable you to work alongside highly-motivated students from across the world who have chosen to progress their marketing knowledge at Heriot-Watt’s School of Social Sciences. This will develop your first-hand experience of working in international teams and providing you with crucial insights into a diverse range of markets and consumer perspectives, all of which are vital in the global fashion sector. By sharing courses with students from other management disciplines you will also experience working alongside those with different business perspectives, a true-to-life insight into the multi-functional nature of international fashion marketing. We offer a thriving calendar of social events which kicks off in week one with a bespoke induction event. Our campus-based location will help you to balance your academic experiences with a rewarding social life, providing many opportunities to develop an international network of friends and contacts from our friendly, global community.
- MSc - 12 months full-time; 24 months part-time
- PGDip - 9 months full-time; 21 months part-time
This Programme is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) indicating that our teaching and assessment meet the rigorous standards of the CIM in terms of content, scope and learning outcomes.
As a result, all graduates from the International Fashion Marketing MSc gain exemption from two CIM modules: the Certificate Level Marketing module and the CIM Diploma Level Strategic Marketing module. This exemption is provided at no extra charge and reduces the cost of pursuing this prestigious professional qualification by up to £400. Students are also given the opportunity to attend CIM networking events which take place on campus and in Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Course contentDetailed course guide
|Semester 1 (Sept - Dec)||Semester 2 (Jan - April)|
|Contemporary Consumers||Branding and Communications in Fashion|
|Strategic Marketing||Research Philosophy and Practice|
|New Product Development||Advances in Digital Marketing|
|Marketing Logistics||Fashion Buying and Merchandising|
International Fashion Marketing - Semester 1
Semester 1 of IFM is all about design; not just the creative and artistic elements of design but strategic design and brand concept. The learning involved in semester 1 will expose you to masterminding a fashion concept to unite artistic creativity with strategic creativity. Business Masterclasses are delivered by George Davies, Colin Temple (CEO of Schuh), Dale Hicks (CEO of The Fashion Network), Tom Hendren (CEO of Array Marketing) as well as other guests.
Critically evaluate the relevance of different perspectives in understanding 21st Century international consumers. Explore key managerial challenges faced in responding to consumers within international contexts.
Provides an understanding of theoretical and practical perspectives of international marketing management strategies, as well as examines how marketing strategies are resourced and how they create value for the business.
New Product Development
Examines the analytical and theoretical tools that support the processes and challenges of developing new fashion products, and evaluates differences among new product development approaches in the fashion industry.
Provides an understanding on the supply chain management and logistics initiatives in global context and its relation with marketing management.
International Fashion Marketing - Semester 2
Semester 2 of IFM is all about implementation and operations. Now that you have experienced the foundations of successful fashion marketing, you will learn about the complexities of maximising your margins through effective buying and merchandising and creative business development skills. Masterclasses are delivered by George Davies, Natalie Th'ng (Marketing Executive for Temperley London), Tom Hendren (CEO of Array Marketing), Alessandro Brun (Professor of design and supply chain) as well as other guests.
The MSc dissertation is then completed between May and August.
Branding and Communications
Provides an understanding of the key principles of brand management from socio-cultural, psychological and anthropological perspectives, rather than relying on just the cognitive approach to branding. Identifies the rationale and obstacles toward adopting integrated marketing communications.
Research Philosophy and Practice
Provides an understanding of the social science research process, as well as theory and approaches to research. Develops practical skills (i.e. quantitative and qualitative techniques) in data analysis to transform the raw data into information that guides marketing management valuations.
Advances in Digital Marketing
This course provides an understanding of contemporary principles and practices that underpin digital marketing approaches, and their relationship to conventional marketing.
Careers and Employability on IFM
Alongside the core teaching on IFM we also have significant input on careers development from our university careers support (including Rachel Mathia, Fashion Consultant), internship providers (Johari; Solo and others) and direct recruitment activity from companies such as Abercrombie & Fitch.
Meet the Course Leaders
Elaine Collinson B.A. (Hons), MPhil Elaine Collinson is Associate Professor of Marketing and the Course Leader for International Strategic Marketing. She has over 25 years’ experience teaching in the area of marketing and is the Director of Postgraduate Studies and Director of Corporate Executive Relationships in the School of Social Sciences.
Professor Michael Danson is Professor of Enterprise Policy and Director of Doctoral Programmes and the Course Leader for Research Philosophy and Practice. He has extensive experience of conducting research and providing policy advice on economic development, urban and regional labour markets, European and national programmes.
Dr Babak Taheri is an Associate Professor of Marketing and the Course Leader for Branding and Communications and Issues and Trends in Tourism. HIs research has a dual focus: ‘tourism marketing’ and ‘consumer research’. Throughout his career he has had over 70 academic publications and secured over £2.5m funding (including Horizon 2020 and KTP).
Dr Christine Rutherford is an Associate Professor of Supply Chain Management in the Logistics Research Centre at Heriot-Watt University and Course Leader for Marketing Logistics. Her research is in the area of supply chain strategy and planning, she has worked with several blue chip companies helping them improve their supply chain planning processes through consultancy and bespoke training.
Meet the Programme Director
Dr Kathryn Waite is an Assistant Professor of marketing, the Course Leader for Advances in Digital Marketing and Director of the International Marketing Management MSc Programmes. As a mature student she gained an MBA followed by a PhD at Edinburgh University. Her research focuses upon digital technology and she has published several journal articles examining issues of trust, engagement and empowerment.