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L4 Intensive Visual Merchandising

   •  12 week programme to fast track your career in fashion retail

   •  Includes unrivalled two week work placement to gain invaluable experience with a major fashion brand

   •  Over 90% of former FRA students go on to  full time employment or further studies

This brand new intensive course is aimed at students who want to start or progress a career in fashion retail in the shortest time possible, avoiding the cost of lengthy University courses, to enter job roles at graduate level.

This 12 week programme delivered over 5 days a week for L4 Visual Merchandising and Retail Branding for Fashion is intended for students who wish to graduate into employment within Visual Merchandising. The diploma offers a unique programme providing you with the opportunity to gain or build on previous experience to establish your future career aspirations.

A two week work placement with a major fashion brand will provide you with experience of real time challenges facing the industry today and current on the job experience, to secure your future in fashion so you are job ready.

Meet our team of wonderful tutors here.

The course introduces students' to the significance of Visual Merchandising in the retail industry. You will explore how Visual Merchandising and Retail Branding is a key part of the marketing operation for major retailers. In department stores and fashion multiples the visual merchandiser ensures windows and interiors promote the stores brand identity. Visual Merchandisers are responsible for designing and commissioning windows and in-store display schemes, understanding floor layouts and fixture requirements as well as managing in-store signage and graphics.

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.

Your day may include putting on overalls and painting, making props, styling mannequins and then rushing off to see the latest window at Selfridges. You'll find yourself running from a master class with an industry leader like Sir Philip Green to print off an important design concept before the deadline.

You may be dressing mannequins around the Academy using a selection of merchandise or creating your own couture costume from lengths of fabric. No one day is the same at the FRA and you will continually be set new and different challenges.

This course includes a two week internship at a high street brand aimed at developing on the job skills to enable graduates to go straight into the workplace with unrivalled hands on experience.

Most graduating students go on to entry level job roles within the industry at a variety of retailers including Burberry, Selfridges, Next, M&S and John Lewis.

Awarding Body: University Arts London

Age Requirement: 19+

Start date: Week commencing 26th June 2017

Course duration: 12 weeks full time, five days per week

Entry Criteria: 1 A-Level or the equivalent grade C or above and 5 GCSE’s grade 4/5-9 including Maths and English or 5 GCSE's A*-C grade including Maths and English, or a BTEC National Diploma or NVQ level 3, or a one year one year foundation diploma in Art and Design plus 5 GCSE’s grade 4/5-9 including Maths and English or 5 GCSE's A*-C grade 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:  Applicants should have an awareness of fashion trends and an interest in store and window designs and also possess  numeracy, literacy and computer skills. 

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.

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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."



Natasha Gledhill, Graduated 2015.

"I previously worked in accountancy but found it too restricting. I quit in September and travelled for two months, then found the course online and moved to Huddersfield within a week to start it. I am really enjoying such a change and hoping it'll lead to a VM role. I like the fact the course is tailored towards employment. Other VM courses I have looked at are out of reach without arts qualifications but this course offered me exactly what I want."



Ella Taylor, Level 4 Visual Merchandising.


"I thought the course was brilliant. It was challenging and fast paced, but always exciting. There was never a moment I wasn't pushing myself or learning new things, and the opportunities given were more than I would have expected. Working on a multitude of different projects, with a mix of practical work and digital, has extended my portfolio and opened up so many more future opportunities in terms of a career.
Currently, I've just finished a work placement at Selfridges working within the visual display team and  I'm about to start a three month fixed contract at Mothercare, working as a buyers assistant."

Meet the Visual Merchandiser

Meet the Visual Merchandiser

Sarah Plunkett, Head of Visual Merchandising at All Saints.

"I have been a visual merchandiser for 15 years beginning my career a sales assistant. I knew I had an eye for VM so I began to develop my skillset. I left school and did a short course in fashion buying & merchandising. What I enjoy about VM is that there is a start, middle & end to all your projects & daily tasks so you will always feel accomplished. Take criticism on the chin & always turn it into a positive, VM can be very subjective. Remember you'll be running the show one day. Always let your creativity thrive, it will be difficult at times as each brand will have their own set guidelines but never let that hinder you showing your talents, you could be the one who brings new ideas to the table. Always shine."

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