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Level 2 Diploma in Fashion Business and Retail Apply Now »

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Level: 2

Location: Joseph Wright Centre

Years: 1


Course Summary

The Level 2 Fashion Business and Retail pathway has been specifically designed for students aged 16 years or over wishing to gain a broad diagnostic experience within the fashion retail sector alongside 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 business and retail, this course is for you. It is designed to enable you to develop your creative skills and professionalism to pursue a career within fashion retail and business.

You will gain a general overview of the fashion retail sectors including employer opportunities and pathways for further study, 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.

It includes visits to large retailers and brands, guest speakers from relevant organisations and client-led live projects.  In addition, you will undertake lots of practical activities including fashion photography, editorials, branding and marketing, and exploration of selling environments – both physical and online platforms. 

You will gain skills in digital software such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign as well as exploring new and emerging social media based marketing tools. 

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 two GCSEs 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 as part of the application process. You will need to demonstrate that you have an interest in the fashion retail sector by showcasing a piece of work at interview.  It is also essential that you show commitment to maintaining a high level of professionalism, attendance and meeting of deadlines.

Course Content

The Level 2 Fashion Business and Retail 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 Fashion Business and Retail qualifications or to enter employment or an apprenticeship
  • Encourage an evaluative approach to personal and professional development

During the programme, you will develop your knowledge in:

·      Customer service, roles and responsibilities and selling environments 

·      Marketing and branding techniques

·      Contextual research

·      Fashion photography and graphic editorial design

How will I be assessed?

To successfully complete the Fashion Business and Retail study programme, you must achieve:

  • 12 credits at Level 2 from the two 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.

Are there any additional costs or specialist equipment required?

You will be required to pay a £20 studio fee to cover costs of resources, such as sketchbooks and portfolios as well as general materials. Payment should be provided at enrolment (concessions are available subject to status).  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 UAL Level 2 Diploma Fashion Business and Retail and UAL Level 3 Diploma and Extended Diploma Fashion Business and Retail.


You can pursue a career in many roles in the fashion retail environment, including industry related 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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