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Higher Diploma in Buying and Visual Merchandising (Level 4)Apply Now »

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Level: 4

Location: Joseph Wright Centre

Years: 1

Weeks: 32

Hours: 12.00

Start: 11/09/2017

Days / Times: Monday 10:00 to 12:00 and Tuesday 10:00 to 12:00 and Wednesday 10:00 to 12:00 and Thursday 13:00 to 16:00 and Friday 13:00 to 16:00

Tuition (£): 2573.00*

Concessions: 1286.00***

24+ Loan Amount: 2573.00****

Interview: Y

Course Summary

If you are interested in becoming a creative visual merchandising practitioner within the fast-moving world of fashion retail, this one-year programme is for you.

You will learn how to co-ordinate and manage window displays, considering the importance of planning, costing and design. You will explore the use of effective lighting to create ambience and will learn about how space, location and design aesthetics are used to create a commercial retail environment.  You will also develop your understanding of commercial store design and the importance of retail concepts.

The course includes inspirational visits linked to the units you study, including to the head offices of national retailers and related organisations. During the final term, you will create your own visual merchandising project which will play a key role in your overall grade.  You will also source a mannequin which will be yours throughout the programme to help develop your creative retail skills.

The programme with run with a minimum of eight students.

Entry requirements

You must have a minimum of 160 UCAS points as well as Maths and English GCSE at grades A* - C.

Course Content

During the programme, you will develop your knowledge in:

  • Managing the installation of window displays for successful retail
  • Retail concepts and store design
  • Graphics in the retail environment
  • Developing retail relationships
  • In-store visual merchandising
  • Mannequins in visual merchandising
  • Pixel-based image manipulation
  • Independent retail management project

How will I be assessed?

Assessment will be carried out using a variety of methods and students are expected to produce a portfolio of evidence.  Assessment will include presentations, installations, discussions and assignments.

Are there any additional costs or specialist equipment required?

You will be given a Visual Merchandising kit list when you enrol and will need to buy items ready for your first lesson.  There will also be a nominal charge for trips and visits.  You may need to supply props and equipment to support your individual design project.

What can I do after this course?

You can progress into employment within the retail sector.

Alternatively, you can take your qualifications to the next level with higher education courses such as Foundation Degrees or other professional development programmes.


* Tuition - This figure is the fee to be paid if you are not entitled to any concessions.
*** Co-Tuition - This figure is the fee to be paid if you are entitled to any partial concessions.
**** Advanced Learner Loan: if you are aged 19 or over and want to study at Level 3, 4, 5 or 6, you could apply for an Advanced Learner Loan to help with the costs of your study. This is the fee that would need to be financed by a successful application for a loan. Alternatively, you or your employer could pay the fees directly.
Please Note: All fees for Higher Education courses are per year

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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