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L2 Fashion Retail

   •  A mixed variety of subjects to enhance skills in all areas

   •  Includes creative and business subjects to provide a wide choice of progression routes

   •  Combines practical and theoretical learning


Level 2 Fashion Retail is a one year course that includes a broad range of subjects to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of both the creative and business sides of the fashion industry. This course enables students to explore different areas of the industry to determine which career route they are most suited to, acting as a feeder to a more specialist level 3 course or alternatively an introduction to an apprenticeship in the fashion industry.  

You will study Visual Merchandising, Personal Styling, Fashion Buying, Sales, Operations & Production, Marketing and Fashion Retail.  Students will learn about the different roles and responsibilities within the industry whilst improving teamwork, confidence, time management and organisation skills. The course incorporates all 3 fashion routes – Graphics, Design and Business, to enable you to make a more informed decision about your future career path.

As part of this course students attend both practical workshops and theory based lessons as well taking part in live industry projects to provide a proper understanding of what it is like to work in a busy and successful fashion business.

The course is fun and allows students to explore a variety of job roles and responsibilities within the industry. As well as creative and analytical skills you will learn organisational and time management skills, build confidence how to work together as part of a team.  

What's it like to actually work at FRA? Find out here.

This course is divided into distinct subjects to ensure you gain a comprehensive overview of the many different areas of fashion retail.  These include:

Introduction to Fashion Retail - to look at the different components that contribute to the fashion retail environment.

Contextual Research - to provide an introduction to the history of fashion retail and develop an awareness of the importance of research to gain knowledge and generate ideas.

Communication skills - teaches the specific skills, attributes and methods to communicate ideas to a wide ranges of audiences in the fashion retail environment 

Production and Operations - to integrate and apply knowledge gained so far into a production and Operations context gaining an understanding of the roles and responsibilities of the Ops team and the basic principles of production for fashion.

Buying and Selling for Fashion Retail - understand the multiple dynamics and complexity involved to create a successful fashion range

Visual Merchandising - You will be taught the display principles required to enhance sales in fashion, using creative methods and techniques to plan and present ideas for a store display. 

You will be invited to attend a range of masterclasses from some of retails biggest names. Previous speakers have included ASOS; Chloe Miles – Fashion Blogger; Zalando; FRA Alumni Sorcha Kelly, Junior Merchandiser - Accessories at NET-A-PORTER; TK Maxx & New Look. During these sessions held in our state of the art lecture theatre, fashion retail experts advise and inform about a range of subjects affecting the industry with an interactive Q&A session at the end to enable students to have their say.

Students from this course have previously created a log book of three high street retailers.

They visited these retailers monthly to collect information about shop windows, visual merchandising, promotions in store, seasonal fabrics and trends as well as the retailer’s ethical responsibility.

Level 2 Fashion Retail students also took part in a Hestia t-shirt project – to design t-shirts for the charity to raise awareness of domestic violence resulting in a catwalk show in front of a panel judges. The best designs won Zara vouchers.

Your day may start with you rushing off to Carnaby Street to make notes on the latest trends, whilst stopping at Selfridges to see the latest shop windows.

You may be designing and developing a range for a top design house such as Alexander McQueen and then learning how to present these designs in your own shop window.

You will find yourself sketching the London skyline at Primrose Hill to hunting for fabrics and embellishments on Berwick St.

One day at the FRA is never the same. It’s fast paced and up to date with all current and future trends. Coming here will make sure you are one step ahead of your friends, jet setting you into a career in the fashion industry.

Students completing this course often progress to a more specialist L3 fashion course, choosing to progress either the creative or business route after experiencing what each can offer. Some graduates choose to go into entry level job roles including fashion internships or in store sales roles with a high street brand.

Awarding Body: University Arts London

Age Requirement: 16+

Start date: September 2018

Course duration: 1 year, two days per week (+1 day if additional Maths & English tuition is required)

Entry Criteria: 4 GCSE’s at grade 4/3 or 4 GCSE's at grade A*-D including Maths and English. Please provide us with a NARIC Statement of Comparability, if you have any non-UK qualifications. We will not be able to process your application without this information.

Applicant Guidance: Enthusiasm for fashion business as well as design.  A motivation to learn new skills.

Interview: Interviews take place at The Fashion Retail Academy, or online by Skype or Facetime (in exceptional circumstances). If successful, you will usually receive an offer by post within two weeks of your interview.

Fees: If you are 16-18 as of 31st August in the academic year of which your course starts and are a UK resident you will be eligible for full fee remission and do not have to pay any tuition fees.

If you are 19 or over at the start of your course your fees are £4220 per annum. For a full list of course fees please visit our Fees page. Advanced Learning Loans will be available for anyone aged 19 or over. Click this link to find out more about course fees.

Disclaimer on fees: Tuition fees are subject to change - the fees due are effective at enrolment.

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Meet The Tutor

Meet The Tutor

Philip Bosley, Level 2 Fashion Retail Course Leader


After graduating from The London College of Fashion in womenswear, I continued to work with British designers Bella Freud and Paul Frith to develop my skills and knowledge of the industry. Whilst producing my own collections along-side teaching I realised teaching full time would be the next step in my career. “I see teaching as a collaboration between myself and my students”



Rosalind Shimmen, Graduated 2010, L2 & L3 Fashion Retail & L4 Buying.

"My time at the Fashion Retail Academy was extremely beneficial and I can't thank the school and my teachers enough. I learnt so much within my 3 years spent at the school. The teachers were from the industry so their knowledge was from personal experience and the students were sat in class for a reason, they had the same love and passion as me. It's been 5 years since I left FRA, since then I have worked in Fashion Buying for the Arcadia Group, became the Editor of MTV Verge Magazine and just recently launched my own boutique PR Agency, Rosalind Shimmen PR."



Morgan Griffiths, Graduated 2010, L2 & L3 Fashion Retail.


"I look back fondly on my time at the Academy where I learnt invaluable skills and tricks of the trade. Meeting influential industry leaders led me into a career I had only dreamt of and also led me to make some amazing lifelong friends. I left the Academy in 2010 and have since worked in Press and Marketing for Arcadia, BHS and River Island. I then decided to spend some time travelling across the world and living in Canada and Australia. I now work for kikki.k a Swedish stationery and homewares company based in Melbourne. They are launched in London last year and I now working in the Retail Operations team to spread the brand across Europe."

Meet the PR Manager

Meet the PR Manager

Gemma Boner, Menswear PR Manager, Whistles.

"Fashion PR is an exciting fast paced career, the role of a PR is diverse and everyday can be a new challenge. It is an extremely sociable role that leads you to meeting an eclectic mix of people. Be prepared to get your hands dirty, its not all glamour but when your hard work pays off the rewards are high. Nothing beats the feeling of seeing a fashion show, press day or event that you have organised come to life; as journalists and stylists take their seats, music starts to play and the models come out.. I still always get goosebumps and it reminds me why I love this industry…"

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