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Centre Spotlight: Fashion Retail Academy

A student and tutor preparing a window display
A student and tutor preparing a window display
A student and tutor from Birmingham Metropolitan Collegepreparing a window display. Copyright Liz Carrington
Written by
UAL Awarding Body
Published date
01 September 2019

Fashion Retail Academy

Fashion Retail Academy (FRA) is a unique, industry-led college. Founded by Retail Giants, FRA offer a range of exclusive fashion courses with unparalleled industry involvement to ensure their students gain the skills and contacts needed to successfully progress to employment.

UAL Awarding Body has been working with FRA for nearly 4 years. We caught up with Judean Lowe, Level 3 Fashion Business and Retail Programme Manager, to find out about their experience delivering our qualifications.

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

Being a part of the journey and progression of our students into a variety of options at the end of their course, be it higher education, further education (level 4), apprenticeships and work.

How can students benefit professionally by completing this qualification with Fashion Retail Academy?

This course opens students eyes to the wide variety of job roles available in industry today, including traditional bricks and mortar roles such as store management and visual merchandising, head office roles in fashion production, buying and merchandising, as well as new roles in an innovative and digital era such a social media, e-commerce and styling.

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

Students are taught by subject-specific lecturers that have had or continue to have a career in industry. Units lessons and assignments are designed to be up-to-date, relevant and industry-focused. The FRA prides itself on its industry involvement, who keep us informed on the skills and attributes required for potential new recruits.

Year one is the foundation upon which students form their fashion industry knowledge, coving a wide range of units. Year two actively requires the student to consider their future career options, and unit 9 is designed specifically to support students through decisions made towards deciding their next steps.

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

In year 1 students have created Fashion magazines, developed a fashion range for a celebrity collaboration or a marketing campaign for a meaningful cause.

In year 2, students have created slogan tee-shirts and protest material to raise awareness of sustainability importance within the fashion industry.

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

Attend the conferences and standardisation sessions – this is the best way to meet and network with other centres delivering the same qualification. It allows you to share ideas, see how units and assignments are being delivered, but most importantly you leave with renewed ideas that you can implement to your own course for your students.

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