National Extended Diploma in Art & Design Practice: Fashion Business Retail

UCA Epsom - 2021

Length of study:

Two years full-time


UCA Epsom

Entry requirements:

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

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Course entry options:

September 2021

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Course overview

From global supply chains to merchandising and media marketing, this two-year course is designed to be taken after your GCSEs and provides you with an introduction to the business of fashion.

You'll learn about fashion trends, visual merchandising and targeted marketing and fashion management. 

Contextual studies will give you an overview of artist influences on fashion, current debates and themes. You'll learn skills such as how to time manage, solve complex problems, and take responsibility for development and research.

Located in our vibrant Creative Business hub, with access to our high quality facilities, you'll explore the dynamic fashion retail world and learn about the industry through practical and theoretical projects, supporting your personal progression and helping you develop your skills.

In the first year, you'll study the business of fashion and how technology, marketing and the retail process come together. You'll gain valuable knowledge through visits, collaborative projects and individual study and learn how to convey information to audiences using original ideas and digital tools including social media.

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.

During your second year, you'll specialise in an area that interests you. You'll have the freedom to develop ideas and discover your personal strengths and abilities to present concepts confidently. 

You'll also gain a thorough understanding of retail spaces, range planning and supply chains, as well as considering the concept of sustainability and ethics in business.

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.

On completion of this course, you will be awarded the Pearson BTEC National Extended Diploma in Art & Design Practice.

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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 your 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.

  • Additional tuition

    UCA supports weekly 1-2-1 and small group tutorials for 16 to 19 students who are studying English, Maths and other courses where learning has been disrupted, particularly where they have experienced additional disruption to learning because of their specific needs and disabilities. Tuition is focused on ensuring students receive formative and summative assessment and clearly understand assignment briefs, grading criteria and the additional support availability to them. This is for any students who have not achieved grade 5 or above in at least one of those subjects at this level by age 16. Support is prioritised for students who have not achieved a grade 4 in English and/or Maths, however, any young people with a grade 4 that also need catch up support may be considered.

  • Fees and additional course costs

    Tuition fees
    Currently, if you are an UK or EU student under 19 years old on the 31 August before your course starts, you don’t have to pay any tuition fees. 

    Additionally, you don't have to pay tuition fees if you are an UK or EU student aged between 19-23 on the 31 August before your course starts, and you are studying for your first full level 3 qualification.

    The fees for 2021 entry are:

    • UK students - TBC
    • International and EU students - £13,340 (standard fee)
    • International and EU students - £12,810 (full early payment fee)

    Additional course costs
    In addition to the tuition fees please see the additional course costs for 2021 entry. 

    Further information
    Find out more about our course fees and any financial support you may be entitled to:

    These fees are correct for the stated academic year only. Costs may increase each year during a student’s period of continued registration on course in line with inflation (subject to any maximum regulated tuition fee limit). Any adjustment for continuing students will be at or below the RPI-X forecast rate.


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.

Programme Director

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.

Apply now

UK applications

Apply for full-time study - starting September 2020:

Apply for part-time study - starting September 2020:

Apply for full-time study - starting February 2021:

Apply for full-time study - starting September 2021:

Apply for part-time study - starting September 2021:

International & EU applications

If you are applying for more than one course in the UK please apply via UCAS, to apply direct to UCA please use the links below:

Apply for full-time study - Year 1 - starting September 2021:

Apply for full-time study - Year 2 - starting September 2021:

Apply for full-time study - starting September 2020:

Apply for full-time study - starting February 2021:

Apply for full-time study - starting September 2021:

Apply for full-time study - starting September 2021:

Apply for this course and other courses in the UK - full-time study - starting September 2021:

Due to visa requirements, this course is not available to students that require a Tier 4 (General) visa

If you have another category of visa please contact us: to find out if you are eligible to study.

If you're interested in joining Year 3 of this course, please contact our Admissions Team on +44 (0) 1252 892 960 or

When to apply:

Our deadline for applications is 31 March - if you can apply by this date then we guarantee to consider you. But, if we still have places available after this date, we'll consider late applications, too.

For more information visit our how to apply pages

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

Along with your portfolio, the standard minimum entry requirements* for this course are:

Five GCSE passes at grade A*-C and/or grade 9-4 preferably including: art, design, media, or related creative subject, including English language/literature and a minimum of grade 3/D in mathematics

OR one of the following:

- Higher Diploma (Level 2) in a related subject area.
- Access Diploma (in an appropriate subject).
- BTEC National Award.

Other relevant and equivalent Level 2 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 and EU 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

Don't meet the international entry requirements or English language requirements?

You may be able to enter the course through the following entry courses:

Pre-sessional English courses in the UK or China

UCA International Foundation courses

The UCA International College

Your portfolio

For this course, you’ll be required to submit an online portfolio via your UCA Applicant Portal, although a portfolio may not be essential for all students. You should show 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. Further information on how to compile and upload your portfolio will be provided once you have applied. If you receive an offer, you’ll be invited to attend an Offer Holder Webinar where you can meet the course team and learn more about the course.

More portfolio advice

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