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Level: 1

Location: Joseph Wright Centre

Years: 1

Interview: Y

Course Summary

The Level 1 Introductory Fashion Retail and Employability pathway provides you with exciting creative and practical opportunities to continue developing skills through individual exploration of fashion retail.

If you don’t already have a grade C [4] or above at GCSE in English and Maths, you’ll continue to study these subjects. You’ll also have the opportunity to develop digital literacy skills to help you succeed in your learning, work and everyday life.

The Fashion Retail and Employability pathway has been designed to provide an accessible programme of study for those wishing to enter the retail industry or for those already in the industry wishing to follow a professional development programme.

In order to support your main programme of study, future progression and life skills, you will develop your skills in maths and English, complete work-based activity, undertake personal professional development and plan your learning with a personal coach.

Entry requirements

Typically you will be aged under 19 and will have limited achievement at GCSE (grades E-G) and a sound interest in your chosen subject area.  Applicants aged 19+ will have their prior attainment taken into account.

All applicants will be interviewed, will undertake an initial assessment of English and maths, and will be encouraged to present examples of their current work or an e-portfolio.

You should also have a standard of English and maths equivalent to a minimum of Functional Skills Level 1.

Course Content

Available units include:

  • Wrap and pack goods for customers in a retail environment
  • Keep stock at required levels in a retail environment
  • Sort donated goods for resale or recycling
  • Load orders for despatch from a retail store to customers

How will I be assessed?

Units involve workplace assessment of occupational competence which will be internally assessed and internally and externally moderated via a student's portfolio and other related evidence.

Are there any additional costs or specialist equipment required?

Additional costs associated with the qualification include:

  • Transportation to and from a suitable work experience/placement
  • Learning materials [estimated cost £25 per year]
  • Mandatory educational visits and trips [estimated cost £20 per year]

What can I do after this course?

Further Study

Students who successfully gain the ABC Introductory Certificate in Retail Skills can progress to:

  • ABC Levels 2 and 3 Fashion Retail Certificates and Diplomas
  • A retail apprenticeship


You can advance to employment within a retail store.


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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