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Level 3 Fashion Retail

Course Duration

2 years

Start Date

September 2022

This two year course is equivalent to 3 A levels & up to 168 UCAS points. Level 3 Fashion Retail covers a wide range of subjects within fashion retail which enables you to choose from multiple pathways into higher education or employment.


During your time at the FRA, you’ll gain a comprehensive foundation of knowledge, allowing you to pinpoint the specific area you’d like to pursue. This focus on career development is a key part of the Level 3 Fashion Retail Diploma course, particularly in your second year.

You’ll learn about the fashion retail environment as a whole – from what happens on the shop floor, to the importance of a brand’s digital presence. This is essential for understanding the structure of a fashion business, and also how the various roles all function and intersect. You’ll examine fashion futures, and key concerns impacting the industry, such as globalisation and sustainability.

Using a combination of hands-on and theoretical learning, you’ll gain practical, technical and creative skills on the Level 3 Fashion Retail course. You’ll have the opportunity to work on unique and exciting projects designed to expand and test your knowledge of the industry and market. These projects might include creating a digital look book, experiencing the behind-the-scenes of a photoshoot, or helping to create a pop-up shop for an existing brand. Past projects have included creating a marketing campaign for Converse, and working on a collection with Topman. These career-enhancing opportunities are unique to the FRA and help to provide you with essential experience and contacts before you even step into your first fashion retail role.

Your learning will be supplemented and enhanced by industry experiences including an industry initiative, as well as masterclasses from well-known names in the industry, such as Zalando, New Look, and TK Maxx. What's more, the tutors on the Level 3 Fashion Retail course have all worked in the industry, and have masses of knowledge and experience to share with students.

At the FRA, we'll help prepare you for working life. If you choose to pursue employment when you graduate with us, you'll be ideally placed to go after roles such as: Stylist Assistant, Junior Merchandiser, Marketing Assistant, PR or Shop Floor Assistant. Or, you might choose to continue your education with us, once you've identified the specific area you're interested in. As long as you successfully complete and pass your Level 3 FRA Diploma, you will be guaranteed a place on one of our degree courses, providing you with a seamless experience from education to employment with all the skills you'll need to succeed in a fashion retail career.

Principles of Fashion Business and Retail – In this module, you’ll receive an introduction into the structure of a fashion retail business, and the functions of the various roles involved.

Communication for Fashion Business and Retail – From negotiating with suppliers to sharing new designs with stakeholders, communication is key to almost every part of fashion retail. We will help you to use oral, written and digital presentation skills to convey your point of view in a professional way.

Critical and Contextual Awareness – Learn all about the history of fashion retail, as well as the cultural, ethical and environmental influences which shape the industry.

Fashion Production and Supply Chain – In this unit, you’ll find out how garments are produced – taking into account the global supply chain and technologies involved.

Fashion Buying and Merchandising – This unit provides an introduction to buying and merchandising. You’ll understand how these job roles fit into the overall structure of a fashion business, and how they collaborate.

Fashion Management and Marketing – Delve deeper into the structure of a retail business, and understand the importance of customer behaviour to marketing.

Visual Merchandising for Fashion Retail – We’ll show you how visual merchandising can help to increase profitability, as well as the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in this area.

Collaborative Fashion Retail Project – Using all of the skills you’ve learned so far, you’ll create and execute a fashion retail project that digs deeper into a specific area. You’ll also be encouraged to evaluate your own work and that of others.

Specialist Study and Preparation for Progression in Fashion Retail – This unit will help you to identify which specific discipline you’d like to pursue. We make this possible by helping you to pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses, enthusiasms and ambitions. You can then begin to develop the tailored skills you’ll need to succeed.

Fashion Retail Environments – You’ll explore the factors and influences which have made the fashion industry the way it is today – these range from historical to technological. You’ll also gain an understanding of the consumer in different markets and be able to present your ideas of how to market to these audiences.

Fashion Futures and Sustainability – In this module, you’ll learn about the ethical and environmental impact of the international supply chain, and explore future developments and trends. A personal research project allows you to present your ideas about and reactions to these changes.


Throughout the course you will take part in projects and challenges set by industry professionals. Here are some of the ways we involve the industry in this course:

Level 3 Industry Enterprise Initiative

An Industry set brief which offers you the unique opportunity to look at different aspects of a business, accessing the necessary industry talent throughout your journey to provide support.  Working in small groups, each live brief will be multi-faceted and you will be allocated a ‘job role’ within teams such as E-Commerce, Marketing, Online, Visual Merchandising and Operations You will develop a deeper understanding of the roles available and how a business functions cross-departmentally, enabling you to make an informed decision about your progression from the Level 3 course.  

Previous Fashion Retail students have been tasked with creating a new ‘on-line exclusive’ brand image for Primark's womenswear, inspired and endorsed by a well-known celebrity. Students worked in teams of 4-5, putting together a presentation that outlined their ideas. They were tasked with creating an initial moodboard and conducting both primary and secondary market research into the target customer and celebrity of their choice. The initial presentations were peer assessed, with the top 8 teams presenting to a team of senior management from Primark. The overall winners selected by the Primark Senior Management Team were invited to spend a day at their Head Office, providing students with an invaluable insight into the industry and their chosen careers.

48 Hour Challenge 

A quick turnaround disrupter to challenge you to think on your feet to solve a specific issue will be both launched and judged by one of our visiting industry experts to provide valuable feedback on how the industry would react in similar circumstances.  You will develop skills in time management, working to tight deadlines and team building whilst developing solutions to specific, current, industry challenges. 



A typical day on the Level 3 Fashion Retail Diploma course might begin with you visiting high street retail stores in Central London to research current trends and gather inspiration for your first project. You'll take photographs and make notes to create your own mood board.

In the afternoon, you might compile some online research related to the history and marketing of a brand to help develop and inform your own ideas. You finish the day by attending a masterclass to hear about the experiences from the best of the best.

Students studying this course have a number of routes open to them. Many choose to progress to a more specialist Level 4 or Degree course at the FRA whilst others go straight into industry roles, such as Stylist Assistant, Junior Merchandiser or Shop Floor Assistant.

Awarding Body: University Arts London

Qualification Title: Level 3 Extended Diploma in Fashion Business & Retail

Age Requirement: 16+

Start Date: 6 September, 2021

Course Duration: Two years, delivered over two days per week

Entry Criteria: 5 GCSEs at grade C/4 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 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 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.


*Term Dates are subject to change.

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Meet The Tutor

Meet The Tutor

Judean Hallier, L3 Fashion Retail Programme Lead 

"Judean has worked within the Retail Operations side of the industry with UK brands Whistles, Dune and LK Bennett, in a career spanning 12 years, before finding her vocation in professional career development and vocational coaching. She has worked within a variety of educational settings including Apprenticeships, delivering Retail, Management and Customer Service training to young people. Her specialist teaching includes starting a business, customer service and retail operations."




Nikita Agapovaite, Graduated 2017, L3 Fashion Retail, Account Executive at Canoe PR.


"The last two years have definitely been filled with hard work, countless late hours but also new adventures and new friendships. And in the end all worth it!"



Rachel Montgomery, Graduated 2019, L3 Fashion Retail, Sales Executive at French Connection. 


"Before I left the FRA I was an intern at French Connection Head offices in Camden. Once I had finished I was offered a permanent position in the wholesale team there as a Sales Executive. I have been here almost a year now and loving it. Without the FRA I wouldn’t be where I am today. I am so grateful to all my lecturers and the staff who helped me to achieve my dream of working within the fashion."

Meet the Marketing Manager

Meet the Marketing Manager

Michelle Attmore, Marketing Manager, Hunter.

"I started my career at Arcadia Group as a Marketing Assistant, before moving to become Marketing Executive at Giorgio Armani. I worked for Armani for five years, becoming a manager after two years. I have recently moved to a new role as Marketing Manager for Hunter Boots. Working in a marketing department offers many great opportunities, and I love the challenge of balancing creative ideas with strategic planning."