Retail Courses at Derby College

Retail is a diverse, exciting industry in which to make a career. You could work in settings ranging from well-known high street names, supermarket chains, corner shops, newsagents and charity retailers through to specialist and online stores.

Is this you?

  • Well organised
  • Good communicator
  • Friendly, helpful and confident
  • IT and money handling skills
  • Work well as part of a team
  • Enjoy working with people
  • Focused on customer service

Getting into Retail


  • Full time at College The range of Retail courses at Derby College includes general introductory courses and more specialist courses in Fashion Retail and Visual Merchandising. These courses can lead to retail roles with on-the-job training, to part-time further study or to university.
  • Apprenticeships With an apprenticeship, you will gain work experience and relevant qualifications in areas such as retail operations, retail skills, storage and warehousing, sales and customer service. For some apprenticeships, you will need GCSEs or Functional Skills in English and Maths.
  • Higher education Many managers working in the retail sector are recruited straight from university as most of the major companies have their own graduate training programmes. In most cases, any degree subject is acceptable but some companies prefer people with Retail, Business or Maths degrees. Some relevant work experience may also be necessary.
  • Jobs You can enter the retail sector straight from school. Employers may expect GCSEs at grade C or above, including English and Maths, for sales assistants and they may expect basic English and maths skills for shelf fillers. Training will be given on the job or through part-time study. Many of the skills learned in one retail job will apply to another and you can move between areas. You will also learn transferable skills, such as teamwork and communication, which will be useful in any job.

Few industries offer such a broad spectrum of career opportunities as retail – so try a Derby College course for size. You’re sure to find something to suit your ambitions in what is a vibrant, energetic industry.



Derby College Course Listings - Retail


PT NVQ Certificate in Customer Service - Level 2: Site Distance Learning

FT Apprenticeship - Retail Team Leader - Level 3: Site Other

FT Apprenticeship - Retailer - Level 2: Site Other

PT Certificate in Business Administration Principles Level 2: Site Distance Learning

PT Certificate in Customer Service Principles - Level 2 : Site Distance Learning

PT Certificate in Digital Skills in the Workplace L2 : Site Distance Learning

PT Certificate in Principles of Customer Service Level 2 : Site Distance Learning

PT Certificate in Principles of Warehousing and Storage - Level 2 : Site Distance Learning

PT Certificate in Retail Principles - Level 2 : Site Distance Learning

PT Certificate in Retail Skills Level 2 : Site Distance Learning

PT Certificate in Team Leading Principles - Level 2 : Site Distance Learning

PT Diploma in Retail Skills - Level 2: Site Distance Learning

FT Fashion Retail and Business - Level 3: Site Joseph Wright Centre

FT Higher Apprenticeship - Retail Manager - Level 4: Site Other

PT Level 1 Award in Mental Health Awareness: Site Distance Learning

PT Level 2 Certifcation in Information, Advice or Guidance: Site Distance Learning

PT Level 2 Certificate in Awareness of Mental Health Problems: Site Distance Learning

PT Level 2 Certificate in Counselling Skills: Site Distance Learning

PT Level 2 Certificate in Principles for Digital Skills in Employment: Site Distance Learning

PT Level 2 Certificate in Principles of Business Administration: Site Distance Learning

PT Level 2 Certificate in Principles of Team Leading: Site Distance Learning

PT Level 2 Certificate in Understanding Retail Operations: Site Distance Learning

FT Level 2 Diploma in Fashion Business and Retail : Site Joseph Wright Centre

PT NVQ Certificate in Warehousing and Storage - Level 2: Site Distance Learning

PT NVQ Diploma in Team Leading Level 2 : Site Distance Learning

Full Time Courses Full Time Courses Part Time Courses Part Time Courses

Maths and English

You need English and maths skills to get on in life. They will support your studies at the College, help with everyday tasks and pave the way to future career success.

If you don’t already have a grade 4 or above in GCSE English and Maths – or equivalent qualifications – you will continue studying these subjects as part of your course at Derby College.

We’ll support you all the way: working with you on the right programme of development throughout your time with us.

You might also be interested in ...

When you’ve completed your course, why not broaden your horizons further still at Derby College? Additional qualifications in subjects such as Art and Design, Customer Service, Logistics or Travel and Tourism are exciting choices. Or check out our courses in Business, Enterprise and Management if you would like to set up a venture of your own.

Maths & English

Find out how Maths and English can benefit you.

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.

Did you Know?

  • 38% of retail employees have advanced level qualifications
  • Online sales are set to rise by 21.5% by 2018
  • Retail employs 3 million people and is the largest private sector employer
  • The retail workforce is predicted to grow by 55,000 up to 2020, with the majority of new posts in managerial roles
  • The average weekly spend of the whole nation is around £7 billion

Recent Vacancies

Sales assistant
£12,000 – £17,000 per year.
Making shopping easier and more enjoyable for customers

Stock control assistant
£14,000 starting salary.
Dealing with orders and despatch of goods

Visual merchandising manager.
£25,000–£41,000 per year.
Using creative skills to promote products and services

Experienced retail manager
£30,000–£46,000 per year.
Responsible for the day-to-day running of a store

Site Information


Courses in this area are run at our Roundhouse campus and in the workplace

About the Roundhouse »

Useful Websites
The sector skills council for retail careers
The national skills academy for retail


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