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Level: 2

Location: Joseph Wright Centre

Years: 1

Interview: Y

Course Summary

The Level 2 Intermediate Fashion Retail and Business Pathway has been specifically designed for students aged 16 years or over wishing to study Fashion Retail, plus GCSE English and Maths [if required], work experience, tutorial and personal and professional development.

If you don’t already have a grade C [4] or above at GCSE in English and Maths, you’ll continue to study these elements which will form a significant part of your study programme.

If you are interested in exploring the potential of a career in fashion retail business, this course is for you. It is designed to enable you to develop your creative skills and pursue a career in a fun and energetic environment.  

You will gain a general overview of the fashion retail and business sectors, the opportunities within the sectors, the potential career progression and the skills needed to succeed in a fast-paced industry.

The Intermediate Fashion Retail and Business course has been designed holistically and provides complementary components to further aid your future progression and employability.

The Fashion Retail component of the course includes visits to large retailers and related organisations as well as a team building day - as team work is crucial within the fashion retail industry.  In addition, you will undertake lots of practical activities including personal shopping, style advice and fashion shows and installations.  

The Business component of the course focuses on helping you secure employment. It equips you with specialist knowledge and skills, enabling you to embark on an apprenticeship or employment or to progress to a Tech Level qualification. During your Business studies, you will have opportunities to find out from employers how the skills and knowledge you acquire are used in the workplace.

You will also develop your maths and English skills, which will support your progress within the programme and help in your future career.

Entry requirements

Typically you will need a minimum of one GCSE at grade 4 (C) or above, ideally in a related subject. You should also have GCSE English and Maths graded 3 (D) or equivalent Functional Skills.

Candidates will be invited to College for an interview and a screening test as part of the application process. You will need to demonstrate that you are interested in working in the retail business sector and that you have good communication skills.  It is also essential that you show a commitment to maintaining high standards of attendance and meeting deadlines.

Course Content

The Intermediate Fashion Retail component will:

  • Introduce you to the basic principles, skills, techniques and attributes required for employment within the fashion retail industry
  • Encourage progression by assisting in the development of knowledge, understanding and skills that you will need to access further Level 2 or Level 3 Retail qualifications or to enter employment
  • Encourage an evaluative approach to personal and professional development

During the programme, you will develop your knowledge in:

  • The evolution of the fashion retail market
  • Fashion retail selling skills
  • The fashion retail business
  • Customer service
  • Working in a fashion retail store
  • Handling payment

The Business component is made up of:

  • Principles of working in service sector organisations -  introducing you to information and knowledge that you will find useful when you start work as a new employee in a service sector organisation
  • Understand customer expectations and issues - exploring why customers’ expectations are important, why you must be aware of consumer rights and the importance of data confidentiality
  • Social media in the workplace - looking at the social media platforms that an organisation can use to interact with stakeholders and the reasons why this interaction may be of benefit

Throughout your studies, you will undertake meaningful activities involving employers.

How will I be assessed?

To successfully complete the Fashion Retail component, you must achieve:

  • 27 credits at Level 2 from the seven mandatory units

Assessment will be carried out using a variety of methods. You are expected to produce a portfolio of evidence for each unit. Assessment will include presentations, practical activities, discussions and assignments.

Achievement is graded as Pass/Fail only.

The Business component is assessed using a combination of:

  • External assessment
  • Internal assessment, where the tutor assesses your work which is then externally moderated.

Unit 1 is not graded but will be marked as achieved / not achieved. All the other units will be graded as Pass, Merit or Distinction.

Are there any additional costs or specialist equipment required?

You will be required to purchase a basic toolkit costing approximately £25 based on a list provided at enrolment (concessions are available subject to status). You will need a journal or notebook at all times throughout the course. There will also be a nominal charge for trips and visits.

What can I do after this course?

Further Study

You can progress to the Advanced Fashion Retail and Business course.


You can pursue a career in many roles in the fashion retail environment, including suitable apprenticeships.

Did you find the course information on this page useful?


This course is run at the Joseph Wright Centre

About Joseph Wright Centre »

Richard Auzins

Richard Auzins

Starting out in a retail career with M&S

Fashion enthusiast Richard Auzins has used his Diploma in Visual Merchandising as a springboard to working with Marks & Spencer

Richard has started out as a warehouse operative at the company’s distribution centre in Castle Donington, with a view to progressing his merchandising career within M&S. He especially enjoys dealing with the online sales side of the operation.

Richard had originally considered university but then discovered the specialist advanced course in Visual Merchandising at Derby College. Keen on keeping up with latest fashion trends, the course enabled him to translate his passion for fashion into a career.

Although I’m working in logistics, I’m still involved with fashion and homewares every day. The Derby College course helped me get the job and having a qualification in retail merchandising has made me more confident in sharing my ideas at work.

I’d like to move into visual merchandising one day but at the moment I enjoy what I do and M&S is a great business to work for.
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