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6-Week Fashion Conversion Course






This 6-week course provides a unique and in-depth insight into the retail business covering an array of subject areas.

The focus of the course includes:

  • Analysis of retail organisations and business models
  • Brands and image
  • Buying and range planning
  • Technology and the future of retail
  • Merchandising
  • Retail Management
  • Head office, retail store and factory visits
  • Targeted CV preparation and career planning
  • Core skills: interview, negotiation, presentation, team building and networking

Other areas covered include:

  • Retail Maths
  • Excel for Retail
  • PR & Marketing
  • Visual Merchandising
  • Garment Technology

Opportunities are provided for networking and career planning, culminating in practise interviews conducted by HR specialists working in the industry. The course is popular with both UK and international students and has become recognised within the retail industry as offering a gold standard of retail training.

A degree qualification or considerable retail experience in sales is required to enrol on this course. It is also advisable to have fashion retail experience.

To successfully complete the programme you will be required to prepare individual and group research tasks and presentations and attend for a minimum of 90% of the course duration. Flexible payment options including instalments and direct debit are available.

Here's what our Alumni say about the programme...

"My experience has been more than I could have ever imagined. The course has completely exceeded my expectations and it has been an absolute pleasure to attend every day. I will always be thankful for the opportunities that the FRA has given me!"

"Fantastic, with such a wide variety of expert knowledge and course content that in 6 weeks I have learnt more than I would have ever imagined."

"The Postgraduate Programme is a great thing to do if you want to kick start your career in fashion. Not only will it provide you with great facilities, but also with an exciting and friendly working environment."

Want to see the academy for yourself? Book your tour now by emailing   

Want to find out what our 6-Week Fashion Conversion Course involves? Find out here.

The course will provide you with an understanding of how the fashion retail business operates including analysis of different business functions and will provide opportunities for you to complete research into key fashion retail organisations. Analysis of the different roles and responsibilities within retail, including Buyers/Merchandisers and Managers will enable you to consider different career paths, so that you can develop an individual and informed career plan.

  • Merchandising – forecasting and range plans, seasonal calendars, sourcing and costing, margin and mark-up, in-season allocation, promotions and markdowns, integration with buying
  • Buying – customer profiling trend analysis, luxury sector and high street, range planning, product development, critical path, integration with merchandising
  • Professional and Management Skills – targeted CV development, interview, presentation and negotiation skills, personal development plans, communication in retail

The course will include industry visits and presentations to enable closer examination of retail organisations.

You will have opportunities to develop interpersonal skills vital for the modern workplace, including presentation skills, interview techniques, negotiation, working as a team, organisational and networking abilities and targeted CVs. Tutorial support and coaching will assist in the development of the portfolio/reference file and preparation for interviews.

Teaching and Learning

All tutors at the FRA have experience in the retail industry and will deliver lectures and seminars on key subjects using the different interactive learning facilities and formats available at the FRA. Learning will be based around individual and group work and several research projects. Lectures will also be given by visiting lecturers from industry and master classes delivered by key industry figures. Periods of individual study time will be included.

Assessment will be on-going focusing on the production of a personal retail reference file. This will include information collated during the course, individual business research, and analysis of job roles, personal career path projections, and a targeted CV.

Feedback from the practise interview/presentation will also contribute to the overall assessment.

UK and/or international graduates with a Degree or those with retail industry experience.

All students should have GCSE in Maths and English with a minimum C Grade or above, or equivalent.


Before course begins it is preferable to have started your research into the UK retail market, by comparing the different retail locations and shopping areas of London. Specifically examine different types of stores, customers, prices, areas and merchandise to give you initial insight into different retail environments. Locations should include:

  • Oxford Street W1 - Flagship stores: e.g. Gap, Topshop Department stores e.g. Selfridges, House of Fraser
  • Bond Street/ Bruton Street W1- High end fashion stores e.g Louis Vuitton, Stella McCartney, Marc Jacobs
  • Westfield Centre - (White City or Stratford)

Please Bring:

  • Laptop (one can be provided if you don't have one)
  • Pen and notebook
  • Calculator
  • A copy of your CV for discussion (paper and electronic version)

The course runs 5 days a week, Monday - Friday 10am - 5pm for 6 weeks.

On occasion the timing may be adjusted to facilitate a particular visit, presentation or self-directed study time.

Next Course Dates:

Monday 20th April - Friday 29th May 2020


£2,750 (incl. VAT)

Payment Options:

The easiest way to pay is online. Simply register for the course and pay using a debit or credit card.

Alternative payment options are available. If you'd like to pay by an alternative method (bank transfer, telephone payment, installments) please email us - - or call 020 3040 2884.

Full payment of the course fees must be received prior to commencement of the course. Your place on the course cannot be guaranteed until full payment is received. All fees stated are inclusive of VAT.

2. METHODS OF PAYMENT (excluding late applications)
Fees can be paid by credit card, debit card, cash or online. Payment by cheque is also accepted except in the two weeks prior to the course start date and please make all cheques payable to FRA Enterprises Ltd. Fees can be paid by cash if payment is made in person. Please see paragraph 20. Payments by bank electronic transfer or Banker’s Draft are acceptable. Our bank details are available on request. If your company is paying for the course fees and would prefer to be invoiced, please write to us on your company's headed paper and send a company purchase order with your booking form.

We cannot accept bookings from students under 18 years of age.

The course fee includes the cost of basic materials which will be provided. Please see the course description on our website for details of the additional materials which you will need, if applicable. Failure to bring the required materials will delay your progress on the courses


If there are places available on acourse we will accept bookings right up until the course commences and require payment in full on confirmation. If you apply within 5 working days of the course commencing we cannot guarantee that your booking will be confirmed. Late applicants will usually have their place on the course confirmed by email. If, however, you have not received confirmation within 24 hours of your application it is your responsibility to check the status of your booking which can be done by contacting the Short Course Office on 0203 040 2884.

Please note that courses have minimum attendance levels and may be cancelled if too few bookings are received. We reserve the right to amend or cancel courses. If we cancel a course we shall endeavour to give you at least one week's notice and you will have the option of transferring to another course or of having a full refund of the fees which we will return to you within three weeks. We will not be liable for any losses (including, but not limited to, travel and accommodation costs) arising as a consequence of any modification or cancellation of courses or time-tabling constraints as set out above beyond the cost of the course fee.

If you wish to cancel your place on a course your request should be made via email to If your written request is received more than one month prior to the course start date, you will be entitled to a full refund, less an administrative charge of £30 to cover our costs. If your written request is received within one month of the course start date you will not be entitled to a refund unless a replacement student can be found for your place. If a replacement student is found prior to the course start date, you will be entitled to a full refund, less an administrative charge of £30.

If you are unable to attend a course you are permitted to transfer your place to a substitute student up to one week before the start date. We must be notified via email of the substitute student's name and there is a £30 administration charge for each substitution. Substitutions cannot be accepted after the course has started.

You can transfer to another course up to one month prior to the course start date. There is a £30 administration charge for each transferral. Students can transfer a maximum of twice.

Non-attendance of classes due to illness or for personal/professional reasons does not provide the right to refunds, extra tuition or a transfer.

If a class is postponed for reasons for which we are responsible, including staff illness, we will make every reasonable effort to reschedule the class or to add the missed hours onto the remaining course classes. We apologise for this inconvenience and urge you to ring us on 0203 040 2884 if you have any concerns.

We shall not be liable for any failure or delay in the performance, in whole or part, of any or our obligations arising from or attributable to acts, events, omissions or accidents beyond our reasonable control including, but not limited to strikes, lock-outs or other industrial disputes (whether involving our workforce or the workforce of any other party), act of God, war, riot, civil commotion, malicious damage, compliance with any law or governmental order, rule regulation or direction, accident, breakdown of plant or machinery, fire, flood, storm, pandemics, epidemics or other outbreaks of disease or infection, failure in the public supply of electricity, heating, lighting, air conditioning or telecommunications equipment.

As we may need to contact you in the two weeks prior to the course start date, please ensure you include your contact details in the UK when making your booking. Please ensure that your place is confirmed and the course is running before you make any travel arrangements. We do not offer refunds for travel or accommodation costs in accordance with paragraph 7 above.

Students who book onto short courses are not eligible to apply for a Student Visa. We recommend you contact the British Embassy in your own country to check visa requirements before you book your course. If you cannot attend a course because you have not obtained a visa to enter the UK no refund will be offered although we will offer you a transfer (subject to the conditions contained in Clause 10 above) if your visa is delayed.


All classes are taught in English. Applicants whose first language is not English should note that they are required to be proficient in written and spoken English and be able to participate in group discussions and presentations in English. As a guideline we would expect you to have an IELTS score of 4.5 for practical courses and 6.0 for lecture courses.

Normally there are no Friday or Monday classes on bank holiday weekends and published course dates reflect this.

Students are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and to recognise that other students also require support and assistance. If a student becomes persistently disruptive we reserve the right to offer a verbal or written warning and, if this does not resolve the situation, we may, at our discretion, ask the student to leave the course.

On completion of your course, and having attended the 90% or higher, the Fashion Retail Academy will provide you with a certificate of attendance. The name given on the booking form will be the one that appears on the certificate. A certificate of attendance is not a qualification.

If you do not receive your certificate at the end of the course for reasons that we are responsible for we will post certificates free of charge once the register has been returned to us confirming your attendance record. If you do not collect your certificate in class for reasons that we are not responsible for e.g. you miss the last class or leave early, we will post it to you (subject to you attending 70% of the course) but you must supply:

• Self addressed envelope
• First class stamp


If you require to pay for your course in cash, and the amount is over £500, you will be required to provide photo ID (preferably either a driving license or passport) which we will photocopy and attach to your booking form. All cash bookings requiring a refund will be required to bring photographic ID to collect a refund. This will be photocopied (if not already done when booking) when you come to pick up your refund. Please note that cash refunds can only be offered on weekdays between 10am and 4pm with 1 day notice. Please also refer to paragraph 7 above.

Due to copyrights, and to respect other participants, the use of audio and/or visual recording is not permitted during any course.

This website clearly describes the courses being run for FRA Enterprises Ltd. as maintained by Fashion Retail Academy. Every care has been taken to ensure accuracy but changes may have been introduced after publication since it is the policy of Fashion Retail Academy to constantly monitor its course offer as well as the performance and content of individual courses. Whilst every endeavour will be made to provide the courses and services described, FRA Enterprises Ltd reserves the right to make changes as appropriate for reasons of operational efficiency or due to circumstances, including industrial action, beyond its control. All course titles and descriptions are the copyright of FRA Enterprise Ltd at the Fashion Retail Academy. Registered Number 6793904.

Register now

For further information please email or call 020 3040 2884.

Meet The Tutor

Meet The Tutor

Bianca Foley, Buying and Merchandising Tutor.


"I have a BA (hons) in Human Geography from Queen Mary's college University of London. After years of working on the shopfloor on Saturdays and in holidays, my first head office role was as an allocator at BHS progressing from an allocator at BHS, to Planner at Duty Free Shoppers to Merchandise and logistics Director at Kurt Geiger for 9 years.

Completing an MBO, expanding internationally in Italy and France and launching the first e-commerce site at Kurt Geiger was exciting!"

Meet The Tutor

Meet The Tutor

Jo Reynolds, PR & Marketing Tutor.

"After graduating in Fashion Journalism and Promotion at The London College of Fashion, I now have over 20 years of experience within the PR/Marketing industry. I've worked across a number of high profile brands including Patrick Cox, Marc O'Polo, Ben Sherman, Spiewak, Evisu Jeans, Duffer of St George, AG Jeans, J.Lindeberg, Tiger of Sweden and Dr Martens to name but a few. In 2011 I started my own PR & Marketing consultancy where I represent fashion footwear brands, Vagabond, Fiorentini + Baker and jeweller Sophie Harley.  Additionally, I have been teaching at the Fashion Retail Academy since 2009"

Meet The Tutor

Meet The Tutor

Denise Francis-Brown, Visual Merchandising Tutor.

"I studied a BA Honours Degree in Textile & Fashion. I knew Visual Merchandising was for me so I then went on to complete a City & Guilds in Display & Presentation; the Course content included Display, Design and Prop Making. Looking back now, I feel students from the VM short course have an opportunity to learn so much more than I did with the facilities we have at the FRA. I have always loved fashion and working in retail has given me the opportunity to combine my passion of styling and displaying merchandise.There are no words that can describe the great job satisfaction you get when a consumer buys the merchandise that you have displayed. I've worked on so many different projects from opening a new store and shop fitting, providing visual support at head office for the new collections and for events such as management meetings and press.  During my career I have worked for Peter Jones, Wallis and Jigsaw.  I always tell my students no question is a silly question and to use my knowledge to understand the industry. Regarding working in the industry, always remember to display merchandise so consumers can see the product that you are selling."



Alejandra Vargas, previous Postgraduate student, now Senior Allocator, River Island.

"As a result of attending the Postgraduate course at FRA, I had the opportunity to attend an interview with River Island and I got the job! Six months into the job and I am still using the information that I learned during the course. The course is very hard work but great fun!"

Testimonial 2

Testimonial 2

Sophie Pillar, previous Postgraduate student, now an Allocator at Ralph Lauren.

"I have found the Postgraduate course helpful in developing my career, it has put me on the right track and given me a greater understanding of Fashion Retail. Don't settle for something if you know it's not right for you. Make the most of your contacts."

Career Development

Career Development

Alumni from this course are now pursuing successful careers in buying, merchandising and management in the retail industry. These include Max Chalong who was a graduate from the course in 2014. Max was  recruited as an MAA by River Island as a result of one of the workshops arranged during the programme. He has subsequently gone on to be promoted to a merchandiser role.