If you have a passion for fashion and a keen eye for the latest trends, use your degree to start a career in one of the most exciting and fast-paced industries in the UK.

Careers in Fashion

As the UK’s largest creative sector, the Fashion industry has a workforce of over 800,000 and is estimated to contribute up to £26 billion to the country’s economy. Foreign investment has brought large amounts of funding from overseas for businesses and designers; but with home-grown talent on the rise, now has never been a better time to consider using your Fashion degree to start a career within the industry.

Constantly changing landscapes mean designers and sellers are continuously evolving to keep up with the latest trends, whilst attempting to start new ones themselves. The industry is super competitive, therefore being able to network and establish key contracts is essential to stay on top, as no two days are ever the same.

Just some of the job roles available in the fashion industry include:

Fashion designer

If you have a creative flair, a career as a fashion designer could be for you. You can use your talents to design garments for multiple retailers or specialise in specific demographics. You can usually work from anywhere, and a successful fashion designer can earn upwards of £50,000.

Retail buyer

Selecting product ranges to sell in retail outlets, retail buyers must always be ahead of the latest trends and be able to anticipate what types of clothes will sell well. It is essential to keep up to date with the latest styles, and buyers need excellent commercial awareness.

Retail merchandiser

Merchandiser’s in retail ensure the most profitable products are displayed in the right store or website and in the right quantities. Working closely with retail buyers, they plan product ranges and forecast both sales and profit. Industry knowledge and a qualification in finance is an advantage here, although many degrees can also be a route into this line of work.


Graduates with a degree in fashion styling or other related qualifications can use their knowledge of the industry to become a Stylist, working for individuals or clothing brands to provide advice and co-ordinate outfits for photo or video shoots.

Textile designer

Unlike Fashion designers, Textile designers specialise in selecting and creating fabrics for clothing lines and interiors like soft furnishing and upholstery. Most are self-employed or freelance, allowing the freedom to choose your working hours, and a keen eye-for-detail is essential for success.

Types of Degree and Key Skills

The UK is considered a world leader in fashion education, and according to recent surveys, is home to six of the world’s 20 leading fashion universities. Types of fashion degrees that lead to careers within the industry include, but is not limited to:

  • Fashion
  • Fashion Design
  • Textile Design
  • Fine Art with Textiles
  • Fashion Management and Communication
  • International Fashion Business
  • Fashion Marketing

During your degree, you will also develop a range of practical fashion design skills which you can use to promote yourself to prospective employers, including:

  • Illustration techniques and technical drawing
  • Tailoring and sewing
  • Communication and presentation skills
  • Teamwork
  • Creativeness
  • Problem Solving Skills

In many cases, employers will expect candidates to produce a portfolio of their best work – this is your best chance to promote yourself and show off your creative flair.

Graduate Schemes

There are a wide variety of opportunities available in the fashion industry for graduates, from successful designers in well-established studios to high street retail stores, clothing labels and manufacturing operations. There are many employers offering rewarding graduate schemes for those with a variety of fashion degrees, and often promote these by contacting university careers services or by attending graduate shows.

Here are just some examples:

Arcadia – Owning established high-street stores such as Burton Menswear, Topshop and Dorothy Perkins, the company offer four graduate schemes, with each focusing on different areas of the business, including buying, digital platforms, finance and merchandising.

New Look – New Look offers two exciting graduate scheme’s specialising in buying and merchandising often accepting applicants with little to no work experience within the industry.

British Fashion Council – Offering a graduate traineeship programme for aspiring London-based designers, the British Fashion Council provide the opportunity to experience working and learning in a dynamic fashion house environment.