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Level: 3

Location: Joseph Wright Centre

Years: 2

Adult Loan Amount: 4170.00****

Interview: Y

Course Summary

The Advanced Level 3 Fashion Retail and Business pathway has been specifically designed for students wishing to study Fashion Retail alongside work experience, tutorial and personal and professional development.

The qualification is designed for students aged 16 years or over who have already achieved GCSE grade 4 [C] in both English and Maths and want to progress into further education, training or employment on a management training programme within a fashion retail company.

The Fashion Retail and Business pathway provides opportunities for integrated learning through practical application and academic activities. The delivery and assessment approach ensures you have a fulfilling experience while developing personal attributes and the skills and knowledge to excel in the fashion retail industry. It will also nurture your entrepreneurial talent.

As identified by the sector, a career in retail represents a future of unlimited potential, responsibility and personal development. The programme provides a unique opportunity to progress within the sector or into higher study (to a HNC or Honours Degree) and a fulfilling career within fashion retail.

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

The Business component of the course equips you with specialist knowledge and skills, enabling entry to an apprenticeship, employment or progression to higher education. It will provide opportunities for you to find out from employers how the skills and knowledge you acquire are used in work.

Entry requirements

Typically, you will have at least five GCSEs graded A*- C, including English Language and Maths. Alternatively you may have equivalent intermediate qualifications at Merit grade or above, along with GCSE grade 4/C in English Language and Maths.

Importantly a university application will probably require five GCSEs graded C (4) or above, including both English Language and Maths GCSE at grade 4/C or above.

In addition to these entry requirements, you may be asked to attend a taster activity where your practical skills and potential will be assessed.

Course Content

The Fashion Retail component will:

  • Enable you to develop knowledge, understanding and applied skills in specialist fashion retail management
  • Encourage your progression by assisting in the development of knowledge, understanding and skills that you will need to access further or higher education or to enter employment
  • Encourage an evaluative approach to personal and professional development

The Business component will:

  • Give you an understanding of the wider external contexts in which businesses operate and of internal business functions and their interdependencies
  • Allow you to appreciate how legal, financial, ethical and resource constraints can affect business behaviour, the influence that different stakeholders can have and how businesses must respond
  • Give you the opportunity to explore a specific aspect of business such as marketing, human resources or business planning
  • Develop the transferable skills that are valued by higher education institutions and employers, such as communication, planning, teamwork, research and analysis.

How will I be assessed?

To successfully complete the Fashion Retail component, you must achieve five units in total:

  • Three mandatory units - Unit 1, Unit 2 and Unit 4
  • Plus two additional units

To successfully complete the Business component, you must:

  • Achieve a total of two units consisting of one mandatory unit and one optional unit

Units 1, 2 and 3 are assessed by exam and marked by the Awarding Body. Your teacher will internally assess the other units and the Awarding Body will moderate them.

The qualification is graded Pass, Merit, Distinction 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 also need a journal or notebook at all times throughout the course.

What can I do after this course?

Students who successfully complete the Intermediate Fashion Retail and Business programme can progress to:

  • Level 4 Retail qualifications or the HNC in Digital Fashion
  • Employment on a management training programme within a fashion retail company
  • New business start-up or other employment
  • A Retail Fashion Management Foundation Degree, Honours Degree or associated higher education programme

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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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