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Level 2 Fashion Retail

Course Duration

1 year

Start Date

September 2022

This fully funded, one year course introduces you to a wide variety of areas within fashion retail. This course will prepare you to progress either a creative or business route. You’ll study two days a week in class, plus additional independent study for the duration of the course. Additional days will be timetabled for Maths and English GCSE resits, if required. 


All three routes into the industry - graphics, design, and business are covered in this course. This overview helps you to understand your skills and determine what you enjoy, helping you decide which discipline you ultimately want to pursue. Along the way, you'll also work on your teamwork, presentation, time management, interpersonal and organisational skills to stand you in good stead for the next step of your education and career. We’ll cover both the creative and business side of the industry. Similarly, you’ll have the unique opportunity to follow the retail journey from the design stages to the moment a garment hits the shop floor, giving you a complete insight into the step by step process. 

This course combines theoretical classroom learning with practical workshops and live projects to give you a well-rounded foundation. We will develop your analytical and creative skills through a live industry project. This “real world” experience will give you a taster of life in the fashion industry and the challenges involved. 

Above all, the Level 2 Fashion Retail course acts as a springboard for further study. It’s a great place to start if you’re not quite sure which specific discipline you’d like to progress in – the team will help you to identify your interests and enthusiasms as well as your strengths and weaknesses. Upon completion of the course, you’ll be in the ideal position to go onto a more specialist Level 3 course or an apprenticeship with a fashion brand. After graduating from a Level 3 course you might choose to take on an internship, an entry-level position in your selected area or continue studying. 

History of Fashion Retail – This unit will introduce you to the many different elements that make up the fashion retail environment. You’ll begin to understand the purposes of various roles, and how they fit together. Key topics covered include store locations, brand identity, annual turnovers brand visuals and history. 

Contextual Research– In this module, you’ll begin to understand a brand’s aesthetic and how it’s evolved over the years. 

Communication Skills – Communication of your ideas and research is key in this industry. In this module, we’ll teach you the attributes, methods and creative software you’ll need to effectively share information with a wide range of audiences. 

Design and Production – This unit gives you the opportunity to collaborate with a brand and create a garment from scratch. 

Buying and Selling– Explore how buying and selling work in the fashion retail industry and the skills required to facilitate effective fashion retail buying. You’ll learn how to edit a capsule collection and create range plans for a brand. 

Visual Merchandising We will introduce you to visual merchandising and how brands communicate visuals and brand values using displays. 

Personal Project and Presentation in Fashion Business and Retail– Using all of the skills and knowledge you’ve gained during the course, you’ll create a digital magazine or final research and design project. 

As part of the Level 2 Fashion Retail course, you’ll take part in projects set by our high street partners to give you a deeper understanding of the industry and its current challenges. 

A previous project saw Level 2 students collaborate with All Saints and M&S to create garments that were inspired by a current exhibition. During this process, students visited these retailers monthly to collect information about shop windows, visual merchandising, in-store promotions, seasonal fabrics and trends, and ethical responsibility.  

Two days are never the same in the fashion industry, so we aim to reflect that in our courses. 

A typical day might begin with you making notes on the latest trends for the forthcoming season or the window displays at Selfridges. You might help to develop a range for a brand like Alexander McQueen, before thinking about how you would display the designs in a shop windows. 

Your afternoon might include looking at the visual merchandising of a brand and how it was evolved over time. 

Students completing this course often progress to a more specialist Level 3 Diploma course, either in the creative or business route after experiencing what each can offer. Some graduates choose to go into entry level jobs including fashion internships or in-store sales roles with a high street brand. 

Awarding Body: University Arts London

Qualification Title: Level 2 Award in Fashion Business & Retail

Age Requirement: 16+

Start Date: 6 September, 2021

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

Entry Criteria: 4 GCSEs at grade D/3 or above, including Maths and English. If you have any non-UK qualifications, please provide us with an ENIC Statement of Comparability, as well as, the IELTS test for English language (our entry requirement is 5.5 overall and in all sections) if you have not studied in the UK or an English speaking country.

If necessary, please contact IELTS prior to booking your test to confirm how they are testing during the current pandemic of COVID-19.

Assessment: Assessment is continuous throughout the course with each unit needing to be passed to enable progression to the next. Once all units have been passed in terms 1 and 2, students move to the final units in Term 3, which on successful completion, are assessed as either Pass, Merit or Distinction.

Offers: After completing our online form, your application will be processed and you will receive the outcome by post and e-mail within 5-10 working days. If we decide you would benefit from an interview, we will contact you with an invite. Your offer will be based on your predicted grades and is only secure after enrolment.

Applications are processed in the order they are received and you may be required to attend an interview.

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 are also available for anyone aged 19 or over.

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

Induction Week: 29 August - 2 September, 2022

Start Date: 5 September, 2022

Half Term: 24-28 October, 2022

Christmas Holiday: 19 December, 2022 - 6 January, 2023

Easter Holiday: 3-14 April, 2023

End of Term: 23 June, 2023


*Term Dates are subject to change.

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Meet The Tutor

Meet The Tutor

Philip Bosley, L2 Fashion Retail & L3 Fashion Design Programme Lead


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…"