Barbara Shepherd

Head of Business Engagement

Barbara Shepherd

Head of Business Engagement


Telephone: 0161 247 4618

Academic and professional qualifications

I am the Head Of Business Engagement in the Manchester Fashion Institute at Manchester Metropolitan University. 

I have introduced a leading MoD supplier to the department and with colleagues have instigated Garment Engineering training programmes and a sponsored prize for the Masters Programme in Advanced Product Development. I have also helped secure approval for MMU on the UK Defence Human Capability Supplier Network.

I instigated the first ‘Student Placement’ at the Speedo Aqualab and have developed with colleagues body scanning collaborations with the company.

I am the Lead Academic for The China Project Team to develop teaching and placement links with The Shenzhen Garment Industry Association. I have
instigated the first Chinese Placement opportunities for the department (two Placement Students from Sept 2015)and helped secure the departments first graduate position in mainland China.

Previous Employment

My background includes more than 20 years in garment manufacturing and supply, to the leading UK High Street retailers. This has involved bulk manufacturing of all major product sectors for the market leaders in the UK. I have extensive global sourcing experience and have worked with both UK and Off Shore manufacturers.

Projects and initiatives

  • KTP – Knowledge Transfer Partnerships
  • International Collaborative Partnerships
  • Research Funding Projects/Opportunities
  • Sector Specific Development – Retail / Brand / Manufacturing / Advanced Technical Clothing / Technical Specialists / Technical Textiles
  • I have recently completed a Masters in Academic Practice, which focuses on employability issues related to the fashion sector.

Prizes and awards

  • BA (Hons)
  • FHE
  • MAAP
  • CText
  • ATI

Other distinctions

  • 2010 – Shortlisted Outstanding Teaching for Employability
  • 2012 – Nominated -Best Overall Teacher & Outstanding Teaching for Employability
  • 2013 – Shortlisted Outstanding Teaching for Employability
  • 2013 – Winner – MMU KEIF funding award -Fashion start Up Label -Andrea Zapp -The School of Art
  • 2013 – Joint Winner – MMU Knowledge Exchange Award -Hollings Faculty-Fashion Start Up Label with Andrea Zapp -School of Art
  • 2014 – Shortlisted Outstanding Teaching for Employability
  • 2014 – Winner – MMU Knowledge Exchange Award -Hollings Faculty -Body Scanning Research for Fashion Retailing
  • 2015 -Finalist UKTI- Greater China Achievement in International Trade Awards-Education Links Award
  • 2015 – Winner – MMU Knowledge Exchange Award -Hollings Faculty -Body Scanning Research for Canterbury Sportswear

Membership of professional associations

  • CTextATI-Associate of the Textile Institute (2009).
  • FHEA- Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2012).


Conference Papers

Ledbury, J., Shepherd, B., Hall, N., Parker, L., 2018. 'Safer custody clothing: designing clothing for female prisoners at risk of self-harm', Functional Textiles and Clothing Conference, New Delhi, India, 9/2/2018 - 12/2/2018.


Collins, SK., Shepherd, B., 2018. 'User Centred Design: Framework for Student Practice', Manchester Metropolitan University.

Office Location

Room RG.06
Righton Building
Manchester Fashion Institute
Manchester Metropolitan University
Cavendish Street
Manchester M15 6BG

Office Hours