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Art & Design

Visual Merchandising students develop a portfolio of work and employability skills for progression directly to employment from Level 3 or progression directly to Higher Education here at HRC, studying for a foundation degree in Visual Merchandising or a related degree at another University.

In the UK alone the retail sector provides jobs for more than 1.5 million people. Our employers are high-profile retailers, both online and in the most successful shopping environments such as John Lewis at Stratford Westfield and Selfridges, Oxford Street.

Student pass rates for 2017-18 were 100%. Four students achieved a Distinction grade, equivalent to three A*.

"When I got to placement I was surprised that they had the same workshop and studio set up as we have here, so I could immediately be useful and put my training into practice"

"Me and my friend both got a display job before we finished the course, shame they are in different places!'

"I finished the course 9 years ago, but I come back every year to set a live brief with the students and I enjoy seeing the outcome. The course has a real advantage having tutors and technicians that know display and have industry experience."

Career Destinations

  • Visual Merchandising
  • Fashion branding and promotion
  • Events Design
  • Stage and Film Set Design
  • Styling
  • Interior Design
  • Architecture

What can I do next?

After successfully completing a UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Visual Merchandising you can progress directly to specialist employment in Visual Merchandising at one of our many linked stores. You will have gained a qualification that offers progression to university through any of the related pathways, listed above. We have a direct progression route to the Creative Enterprise Foundation Degree in Visual Merchandising, here at HRC.

What will I be doing?

  • 3D Display design concepts, prop-making, technical drawing, scale model making
  • Merchandise handling: interior, fashion or food lighting techniques and display theory
  • Enhance personal presentation skills developed through group and individual work
  • Historical research, current contextual and visual studies
  • Develop appropriate skills or take qualifications in English Maths and software applications

Added Extras

  • Produce an exhibition staged in purpose-built studios, gallery space and glazed displays
  • Trips and visits to London museums, galleries and major retailers
  • Work experience opportunities with major retailers: Selfridges, Harrods, John Lewis, IKEA, Marks & Spencer, All Saints
  • Live industry briefs and competitions

How will I be assessed?

You will complete coursework assignments for the UAL Diploma with nine units in year 1 and four in year 2 to attain the Extended Diploma in Visual Merchandising.

Entry requirements

  • 200 GCSE entry points including English at Grade C (Grade 4 of the new 16/17 GCSE grading structure)
  • or
  • A Level 2 Diploma at Merit level and English at Grade C (Grade 4 of the new 16/17 GCSE grading structure)
  • You will need to provide examples of art and design work at interview

We also welcome applications from students with relevant experience or qualifications.

For more information on GCSE points please refer to

What do I need to bring?

You will be required to purchase a course kit at approximately £60, a kit list will be provided, this will give you everything you need for the first term at college but you should expect to replace paints, sketchbooks and some materials as you progress on the course. £90 is payable on enrolment as a contribution towards the cost of study trips and additional specialist materials.

Students at HRC who meet the eligibility criteria can apply to the Bursary Fund for support towards essential kit, visit and material costs. Please note - bursary funding is not guaranteed and is subject to availability at the time of application. For further information contact the Information Centre on 01992 411411 or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Fee Information

Free to Home students under 19 on 31st August 2023.
If you are a Home student aged 19 or over on the 31st August 2023, you may be liable to pay approximately £2,500 tuition fee for a Level 2 qualification and approximately £5,000 for a Level 3 qualification (these were the tuition fees for 2022/2023 and could be subject to change for 2023/2024).

If you are aged 19-23 you may also be entitled to free tuition if the course you choose is on a government-approved list and the qualification is your first full Level 2 or Level 3 qualification.

If you are aged over 24 and you have not achieved a full Level 3 qualification you may be entitled to free tuition if the qualification is listed on the Government Free courses for jobs list. Similarly, if you already hold a Level 3 qualification (or above) and meet the Adult Education Budgets definition of unemployed or are in receipt of low wage, you may also be entitled to free tuition.

You may also be required to pay an administration fee, exam fees, kit fee and an Awarding Body Registration fee if applicable.

These fees are indicative of the 2021-22 costs and may be subject to change


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