MSc International Fashion Marketing

The course

Full-time, Part-time, Per course
Course type
Entry date

Our MSc International Fashion Marketing teaches specialist fashion marketing combined with international marketing. Develop practical skills alongside an understanding of fashion theory equipping you for a diverse career within the fashion industry.


Got questions about this programme?

Contact our enquiries team.


The MSc in International Fashion Marketing provides students with a contextualised knowledge of international marketing that prepares them to meet the marketing challenges facing the fashion industry today.

There are eight taught courses, divided equally over two semesters, followed by an international fashion marketing dissertation in semester 3.  Part-time students register for two courses per semester and progress to the dissertation at the end of their second year. Assessment is specifically designed to develop professional career readiness and includes …

Mandatory courses deliver core international marketing concepts (International Strategic Marketing, Contemporary Consumers in Fashion, Marketing Metrics, Branding and Communication in Fashion, Research Philosophy and Practice) as well as specialist marketing knowledge (Fashion Product Development and Fashion Buying and Merchandising). 

In Semester 2 students have the choice of a marketing course option in either Sustainable Marketing or Social Media Marketing reflecting vital fashion industry trends.

In Semester 3 the International Fashion Marketing dissertation is the capstone course where students 'deep-dive' into their chosen area of research. Students will demonstrate their mastery of the subject area by developing new insight from analysis of valuable primary research.

Specialist mandatory courses

Semester 1

Fashion Product Development

This course provides insight into the management process of fashion product development and develops knowledge of the concepts and terminology specific to garment manufacture. Students will learn about the processes and challenges of developing new fashion products and will be trained in both market-led and design-led approaches. Customer preferences, brand positioning and market demand is examined for both luxury and high street fashion segments. Upon the conclusion of the course students will know how textile characteristics and garment construction can be adjusted to meet business objectives.

Semester 2

Fashion Buying and Merchandising

Buyers and merchandisers are key to fashion business success as they are responsible for maximising income through predicting sales potential, responding to customer demand and maintaining competitive advantage through selecting, sourcing, and managing product. This course introduces students to the structure and scope of the buying and merchandising function, develops in-depth knowledge of the process of range building and critically reviews the mechanisms for effective supplier selection, negotiation, and performance evaluation.  At the end of the course students will be able to create, develop and evaluate a fashion buying and merchandising plan using online retail market planning tools provided by

An MSc with industry demand

The International Fashion Marketing MSc develops both technical and managerial skills that will enable students to progress to a range of careers in international fashion marketing. Fashion brands and retailers are competing globally for market share whilst being environmentally sustainable and digitally authentic. This degree programme will develop critical thinking skills, an awareness of contemporary trends coupled with industry accredited international marketing knowledge. The programme benefits from the support of a fashion and textile industry careers advisor based at the School of Textiles and Design. Graduates have secured roles in fashion journalism, fashion brand management and retail merchandising.  

Heriot Watt is a global university and classes are shared with students from a range of MSc programmes and nationalities providing opportunities for professional networking that will be of benefit in professional life. Students also can become involved in the Heriot Watt Marketing Society, a student-run society which hosts speakers from industry and organises social events.

Our research: a driving force for new knowledge

The MSc International Fashion Marketing Programme Director is Dr Ian Grant, and the Head of the Marketing Subject Group is Dr Kathryn Waite. The MSc International Fashion Marketing is part of the Marketing Group's portfolio of programmes, which includes the MSc International Marketing with Consumer Psychology, the MSc Digital Marketing, and the MSc International Marketing. The Marketing Subject Group were recently ranked 1st in Scotland and 4th in the UK by the National Student Satisfaction 2021 survey highlighting how highly valued their degree programmes are.  

Faculty members involved in this degree have published in digital consumption (Dr Ian Grant, Professor Paul Hopkinson), entrepreneurship (Elaine Collinson), digital marketing (Dr Kathryn Waite, Rodney Mwenje, Kristen Marshall), retail atmospherics and consumer diversity (Dr Chris Dodd)x, consumer identity (Dr Jane Priest). Professor Marylyn Carrigan is an internationally recognized expert in the field of ethical and sustainable consumption; she has won multiple research grants, published over 100 academic articles, and serves on the boards of several leading management journals.

Group members are active in several University research centres including the Centre for Research on Employment, Work and Professions (Dr Kathryn Waite), Centre for Logistics and Sustainability (Professor Marylyn Carrigan, Dr Ian Grant), and the Centre for Networks and Enterprise Excellence (Elaine Collinson, Dr Jane Priest). The Marketing Subject Group faculty also possess considerable practitioner experience of advertising and communication agencies (Dr Ian Grant), corporate and project communications (Dr Jane Priest) and international industry/academic partnerships (Elaine Collinson). Professor Carrigan has extensive contacts with industry including serving as a member of the Standards Committee for the Responsible Jewellery Council, and consulting for Fairtrade Gold and the BBC. Her work investigates the role that context plays in determining how consumers and firms are embedded or deterred from behaving sustainably and the tensions and conflicts resultant.

Specialist fashion courses are delivered by experts who combine academic insight with substantial industry experience. Fashion Product Development is taught by three faculty members from the Heriot Watt School of Textile and Design. Bruce Roberts, who is the course leader, founded and managed his own bespoke garment design and production company before becoming the Director of Studies for Fashion Technology. Dr Lisa Macintyre is a specialist in knitting technology and the physical testing of textiles and is researching quality issues with luxury knitwear manufacturers and medical compression product. Finally, Dr Danmei Sun who is researching smart/functional textile materials and eco-friendly print and colour processes. Fashion Buying and Merchandising is taught by Dr Antoinette Fionda-Douglas who is member of the EBS Marketing Group, an accredited United Nations expert on sustainable fashion and the co-founder and MD of Beira Moda Ltd. The course also benefits from the insights of Heather Marshall who is an experienced textile and fashion career advisor with considerable experience of working in fashion retailing as a buyer.

The mandatory course in 'Research Philosophy and Practice', which is the springboard to the dissertation project, is taught by Dr Lina Fadel whose interdisciplinary research has addressed global challenges including ethnic group identity and the experiences of Syrian refugees in the UK.

Programme duration

  • MSc - 12 months full-time; 24 months part-time
  • PGDip - 9 months full-time; 21 months part-time

September 2023 entry

The deadline for applications from Scottish and RUK students is 31st August 2023. For EU and overseas applicants, we guarantee to consider applications submitted by 1st August 2023.


The Chartered Institute of Marketing: Graduate Gateway

The MSc is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) within the Graduate Gateway programmes. This provides graduate with a credit for prior learning upon completion of their degree or the choice of self-study for a CIM qualification during their programme of study. This would require registration on one additional CIM training course to gain a CIM certificate or two additional courses to gain a CIM diploma. 

Course content

Semester 1 (Sep - Dec)
International Strategic Marketing
Contemporary Consumers in Fashion
Digital Customer Experience 
Fashion Product Development
Semester 2 (Jan - April)  
Branding and Communication in Fashion  
Research Philosophy and Practice  
Fashion Buying and Merchandising  
Choose ONE of the following options:  
Sustainable Marketing  
Social Media Marketing  
Semester 3 (May-Aug)
International Fashion Marketing Dissertation

Fashion Marketing mandatory courses

Fashion Product Development

This course provides insight into the management process of fashion product development and develops knowledge of the concepts and terminology specific to garment manufacture.

 Fashion Product Development

This course introduces students to the structure and scope of the buying and merchandising function, develops in-depth knowledge of the process of range building and critically reviews the mechanisms for effective supplier selection, negotiation ,and performance evaluation. 

International Marketing mandatory courses

Digital Customer Experience

This course examines the components that form the basis of digital customer experience management.  Upon completion students will understand the customer journey, recognise the role of customer insight, understand omni-channel marketing strategy and be aware of legal and ethical issues.

International Strategic Marketing

This course identifies choices in marketing strategies for local and international brands, focusing on operating a global business.

Contemporary Consumers in Fashion

On this course you will learn about the conceptual, theoretical, and practical approaches to studying consumer behaviour.

Branding and Communications in Fashion

This course helps you to master the key principles of brand management by learning how integrated marketing communications creates a valuable brand with strong, effective messaging.

Research Philosophy and Practice

This course provides training in a range of research skills that prepares you for the dissertation project and provides the foundation for roles in market insight and business consultancy.

Marketing course options

Social Media Marketing

This course provides understanding of theories and applications of social media marketing alongside a critical evaluation of the social, cultural, and technological impact of social media technologies upon consumer behaviour and the business environment.

Sustainable Marketing

On this course, you will examine how to market sustainably within the context of fundamental social and economic change, developing an understanding of the sustainable consumer, the barriers to sustainable consumption and how sustainable marketing can be practiced.

Dissertation project

Over the summer the master's dissertation enables you to deepen your knowledge of international fashion marketing through research into a topic of your choice. You will gather and analyse data from companies or consumers which directly relates to your ambitions and interests.

Examples of topics within this discipline are:

  • An investigation into post-consumption guilt within luxury fashion
  • Cross-cultural examination of the online shopping addiction: A comparison of Thailand and UK.
  • 'Green' (Sustainable) Marketing within the Global Fashion Industry: A Content Analysis of Annual Reports
  • Self-identity and consumption of sustainable fashion items among Millennials. A comparison between Italian and British consumers.
  • An exploration into the impact of social media influencers on millennial buying behaviour in the fast fashion industry within the UK and India.

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 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 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 Associate Professor of Marketing and 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 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.

Bruce Roberts is the Director of Studies for Fashion Technology at the School of Textiles and Design in Galashiels. Within this role he oversees the Fashion Technology programme, industrial placements and also industry collaborations.

Heather Marshall is an approved teacher for MSc International Fashion Marketing on Buying and Merchandising Module.

Andrew Maclaren is an assistant professor in Marketing at Heriot-Watt University.

Antoinette Fiondra-Douglas is a lecturer at Heriot-Watt University.

Meet the programme director

Dr Kathryn Waite is Assistant Professor of marketing, 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.

Entry requirements

A good Honours degree (first or second class), or its non-UK equivalent, in a related subject.

Applicants with relevant education and work experience may also be considered.

English language requirements

If your first language is not English, or your first degree was not taught in English, we'll need to see evidence of your English language ability.

The minimum English language requirement for entry to this programme is IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent) with no component lower than 6.0.

If you do not have IELTS 6.5, we offer a range of English language courses to help you meet the English language requirement for this programme prior to commencing your studies:

  • 20 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.0 with no skill lower than 4.5)
  • 14 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.0 with minimum of 5.0 in writing and no skill lower than 4.5)
  • 10 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with no skill lower than 5.0)
  • 6 weeks English (for IELTS 5.5 with no skill lower than 5.5)


Tuition fees for entry
Status Full-time Part-time Per course
UK £9760 £4880 £1220
Overseas £21136 £10568 £2642


  1. Your residency 'status' is usually defined as the country where you have been ordinarily resident for the three years before the start of your course. Find out more about tuition fees.
  2. Fee per course (module). Refer to the Course Content to see how many courses comprise the full programme.
  3. Overseas includes applications from European Union countries who do not hold Pre-Settled or Settled status in the UK. Read more about the application process for EU nationals.

Scholarships and bursaries

We aim to encourage well-qualified, ambitious students to study with us and we offer a wide variety of scholarships and bursaries to achieve this. Over £6 million worth of opportunities are available in fee and stipend scholarships, and more than 400 students benefit from this support.

View our full range of postgraduate scholarships.