FdA Visual Merchandising

Key information

Why choose this course?

This programme will provide you with:

  • An emphasis on personal development and employability within the creative industries.
  • Outstanding connections to industry, including high profile live briefs and work placements from leading retail brands such as Selfridges, Harrods, Harvey Nichols, John Lewis, Marks & Spencer, Tesco and IKEA.
  • An opportunity to gain a nationally recognised qualification in two years of full-time study. 
  • Progression route to the final year of an appropriate honours degree programme at the University of Hertfordshire. 

What's the course about?

Whether it is in a physical or digital space, successful visual merchandising is a key part of the marketing strategy for all major retailers. It helps brands define their image, create positive customer experiences and ultimately drives sales through the creation of exciting displays, experiences and promotions. 

Our FdA Visual Merchandising programme focuses on developing creative and technical skills which provide a strong foundation for a career in the creative industries. You will undertake a range of vocational projects, which blend creativity and business, understanding how to combine materials, graphics and equipment on one hand and promotion of concepts on the other. You will learn the fundamentals of visual merchandising including display design, spatial design, fashion promotion and styling, customer behaviours, graphic design, marketing, and product promotion and styling. 

Ideas are at the heart of the course and there is a strong emphasis on practical experimental work. You will be challenged to respond to vocational based briefs in a creative and considered way, evaluating and analysing your work as you progress. This course will develop both your creative and technical skills and at all stages, you will be taught how to use established and emerging media through workshops, industry guest speakers, tutorials and seminars delivered by experienced industry professionals. 

Through contextual studies and an ongoing seminar programme, you will be introduced to the issues of analysis, aesthetic and theoretical frameworks as used in this industry. Through the course's emphasis on work-based learning, you will be encouraged to find work placements and job shadowing with industry professionals. You will be working in teams to simulate industry practice across the two years and hone your presentation and communication skills. Through our excellent industry links, both local and national, you will be regularly visited and supported by leading members of the design community. 

Where can I progress to?

All progression routes outlined below are currently valid; however available progression will be updated on an annual basis in accordance with changes in University of Hertfordshire provision. 

Entry to Level 6 is contingent on successful completion of the FdA. Additional routes may be available to students at the time of FdA completion. 

The FdA Visual Merchandising offers articulated progression into the final year of the following courses:   

What will I study?

Teaching comprises a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops, small group tutorials, course work and practical assignments. You are encouraged to undertake independent study to consolidate your learning and to broaden your knowledge and understanding of the subject. You will also experience working collaboratively on projects with other higher education courses. We have outstanding connections to industry, including high profile live briefs and work placements from leading retail brands. 

You will have access to state-of-the-art facilities including a dedicated purpose-built display studio with display practice spaces and store-quality glazed windows. As well as workshops, Mac suites and industry standard resources. We have a Creative Enterprise Shop that stocks products designed by you. The shop also pops-up at local community events, shops, empty shop units, external exhibitions both local and inner London. The teaching team combines full-time teaching staff with part-time industry professionals, who split their time between teaching and working in the creative industries. Throughout the programme there is an international study trip, as well as national study trips and visits to businesses, agencies, museums and galleries. 

You can visit our Instagram @creative_enterprise_hub and follow our current students creative exploits.