Extended Diploma in Fashion Business & Retail*

Pre-degree - UCA Epsom - 2019

This course is part of:

This two-year course is designed to be taken after your GCSEs and provides you with an introduction to the business of fashion, teaching you skills such as how to time manage, solve complex problems, and take responsibility for development and research.

With access to our high-quality facilities, you’ll explore the dynamic fashion retail world and learn about the business through practical and theoretical projects, supporting your personal progression and helping you develop your skills.

You’ll have opportunities to collaborate with other students, supported by professionally trained academics and technicians with backgrounds in business, retail, fashion and design industries and experience working with major brands.

Throughout the course, you’ll explore and experiment with the different aspects of the fashion industry, developing business skills and acumen which will help to inform you about your choice of undergraduate degree and future career in the industry.

If you are yet to achieve grade 4 or above in GCSE Maths and/or English we will support you to get these qualifications.  

On completion of this course, you will be awarded the UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Fashion Business & Retail.

*This course is subject to validation.

Length of study:

Two years full-time


UCA Epsom

Start month:


View term dates

Entry year(s):


Entry requirements:

5 GCSE A*-C and/or grade 9-4

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Creative Business Open Evening

Join us on Wenesday 23 January at UCA Epsom to hear about our Extended Diploma courses relating specifically to Creative Business. 

Course details

  • Year 1

    Your first year is an introduction to the skills, knowledge and understanding necessary to explore, enhance and sustain your development and determine a standard from which all other activities and learning will develop. You will be given a broad introduction to fashion retail that will develop your understanding of the subject area and industry.

    Principles of fashion business and retail
    Provides you with a broad introduction to the contexts within which fashion retail is situated and the diversity of roles, responsibilities and employment opportunities within the sector. The unit will also introduce you to the particular personal and professional characteristics required for a career in fashion business and retail.

    Communication for fashion business and retail
    Provides you with an introduction to oral, written and visual communication as integral to activities in the fashion retail industry. You will explore and analyse meaning, how to convey a message to an audience, and the importance of visual language and digital skills in the presentation and communication of ideas.

    Critical and contextual awareness 
    Is an introduction to the investigation of both historical and contemporary contexts. Through a thematic approach to the subject, you will research a broad range of perspectives that influence contemporary thinking in fashion retail.

    Fashion production and supply chain 
    Is an opportunity to acquire knowledge and understanding of garment production processes and an introduction to the global supply chain. You will explore the specific skills and attributes required for garment production and technology in fashion retail.

    Fashion buying and merchandising
    Is an introduction to buying and merchandising, including the opportunity to understand and apply essential numeracy skills and knowledge required for buying and merchandising for fashion retail.

    Fashion management and marketing
    Is an opportunity to acquire knowledge, skills and understanding of fashion retail structures, organisation and functions, and to explore customer behaviour and the specific skills and attributes required for management and marketing within the fashion retail industry

    Visual merchandising for fashion retail
    Provides you with an opportunity to explore display across the spectrum of fashion retail environments - both in-store and online - and the specific skills and knowledge required to enhance sales through the use of visual merchandising.

    Collaborative fashion retail project
    Is an opportunity to make use of the skills, knowledge and understanding developed in the preceding units. It will provide you with a measure of self-directed learning, and an opportunity to begin to clarify their longer-term goals through their choice of an activity to explore in greater depth within a substantial collaborative project.

  • Year 2

    During your second year, there are more focused opportunities to explore activities and competencies within fashion business and retail. The course is designed to encourage a personal dialogue in terms of ambitions, preferences and future progression opportunities. You will take an increasing responsibility for your own learning and personal ambitions.

    Specialist study and preparation for progression in fashion business and retail
    This unit will enable you to develop the entrepreneurial, professional and vocational skills necessary for progression within yourd chosen discipline, and to identify and prepare for a degree course or employment depending on your ambitions.

    Fashion retail environments
    You will research and critically examine both historical and contemporary contexts, different technologies and their influence on the development of the fashion retail environment. This unit will enable you to demonstrate your understanding of the consumer within a diverse range of markets, and to present ideas, knowledge and understanding of the means by which audiences might be reached and addressed.

    Fashion futures and sustainability
    Requires you to investigate the ethical and environmental impact of the global supply chain. The unit will enable you to explore future trends and developments within the fashion retail industry and, through a personal research project, present ideas and solutions in response to and in anticipation of change.

    Project proposal in fashion business and retail
    Provides you with an opportunity to reflect on, review and summarise your personal progress and achievement through the preceding units, and to present a rationale for your choice of discipline and final project context. The unit will require you to articulate the skills, knowledge and understanding acquired throughout the course, and present ideas for the development of an independently conceived, planned, realised and evaluated extended project.

    Extended project in fashion business and retail
    Is an opportunity for you to engage in an extended activity related to your discipline of choice. The unit will enable you to take responsibility for your learning by responding positively to the greater opportunities for individual expression and creativity afforded. It will also provide an opportunity for you to demonstrate their achievement through realising a project, which integrates the skills, knowledge and understanding acquired throughout the course.

  • Fees
    Find out all about the fees for studying with us, as well the financial support you may be entitled to:

Business School

The first of its kind in the UK, our new Business School for the Creative Industries builds on our long tradition of collaborating with employers to cultivate leadership, entrepreneurial and problem-solving skills.


At UCA Epsom there are dedicated studios for our pre-degree courses as well as open access facilities such as the on-campus library, IT suites, photography studios and creative printing facilities.

Course leader

Course connections

On this course, you'll be exposed to a world of opportunities

  • Further study
    After completing this course, most of our students progress to a degree course at UCA.
  • Diploma 2 Degree scheme

    We run a supportive Diploma 2 Degree scheme which helps streamline the process of progressing from a pre-degree to an undergraduate course with us at UCA.

    The scheme guarantees your place on a degree course at UCA, providing you get the support of your tutor and course leader, and successfully pass your course. More details about the scheme can be found on the Diploma 2 Degree pages.

  • Careers

    Instead of further study you may also choose to do an apprenticeship in the industry, either in a store or at an office.

How to apply - 2019 entry

I am a UK or EU citizen ...

I am not a UK or EU citizen ...

When to apply:

Our equal consideration application deadline is 31 March. We guarantee that we'll consider all applications received by this date. If places are still available after this date, we'll consider late applications.

More information:

Go to our how to apply pages

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

The standard entry requirements* for this course are:

Minimum of five GCSE passes at grade A*-C and/or grade 9-4 preferably including: art, design, media, or related a creative subject, English and mathematics.

OR Higher Diploma (Level 2) in a related subject area.

OR Access Diploma (in an appropriate subject).

OR BTEC National Award.

Other relevant and equivalent Level 3 UK and international qualifications are considered on an individual basis, and we encourage students from diverse educational backgrounds to apply.

*We occasionally make offers which are lower than the standard entry criteria, to students who have faced difficulties that have affected their performance and who were expected to achieve higher results. 

International entry requirements

To view the equivalent entry requirements for your country please select it in the list below.

Pick Your Country

Non-UK equivalent qualifications

English language requirements

Your portfolio

For this course we will require you to attend an Applicant Day and bring your portfolio for assessment, although a portfolio may not be essential for all students. At your interview you will be asked to provide evidence that shows an interest and/or ability in either design, business or retail. This could include: creative work in a variety of media including digital; written work that shows an understanding of any of the following: business planning, business structures and organisation, product/ brand analysis, marketing or merchandising; promotion and advertising using print or social media. For this course we will require you to attend an Applicant Day and bring your portfolio for assessment.

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