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A student and tutor preparing a window display

Centre Spotlight: Birmingham Metropolitan College

Written by UAL Awarding Body
Published date 18 October 2019

Birmingham Metropolitan College (BMet) has been delivering UAL Awarding Body Fashion Business and Retail qualifications for over 2 years.

Hannah Stacey is course leader for Fashion Business and Retail at BMet and believes that the world of modern arts should equip students with the skills and innovative practice to flourish within the UK creative industries. UAL Awarding Body caught up with Hannah to learn more about her experience of delivering Fashion Business and Retail at BMet.

What is the most rewarding aspect of teaching Fashion Business Retail?

The most rewarding parts of the course are seeing my students flourish and progress onto the many pathways that the FBR course feeds into, whether that be highly recognised universities or securing apprenticeships within the industry.

How does this qualification prepare students for higher education or employment?

The course naturally embeds many qualities that simulate a higher education environment; this can vary, students will work to regularly set deadlines within each brief- encouraging them to manage their time effectively. The course will also expose the students to many practices used within the industry such as working with current trends and themes in order to develop research packages that reflect the ever-changing fashion climate.

Tell us about some of the projects that your students carry out while they complete Fashion Business and Retail?

Students in the first year are inducted with a brief that is both creative and reflective- looking at visual merchandising and the psychology behind promotion. Their second brief looks at trend forecasting realised through range planning techniques used within the fashion buying and merchandising industry.  From their research, they will then develop collections for a wide variety of retailers.
Our second-year students will design pop up stores set within a commercial environment. For both year groups it is integral they use their creative skills and find supportive contexts that bring both diversity and meaning to their concepts.

What advice would you give to other teachers that are unsure of delivering Fashion Business Retail?

I would emphasise the importance of feeling comfortable in what you are teaching and to pull upon other relevant specialisms that your college currently has on offer. Try to incorporate many creative elements within the teaching of the course, although the spec contains different units, the FBR course can still be very creative and ambitious.