Retail Design - BA (Hons)

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Why study this course?

Our Retail Design BA (Hons) degree will give you the skills you need to take advantage of the huge number of career opportunities in retail design. The degree encompasses aspects of interior design, branding, visual merchandising, visual communication, window dressing and service design.

On our Retail Design BA you'll learn about conventional retail design as well as specialist areas of retail design. You'll also investigate retail strategies that respond to the needs and expectations of different generations.

More about this course

Retail design occupies the space where interiors and visual communications merge. This course embodies the practice of both disciplines. 

You'll explore how retail practices work in both global and local economies, learning how international brands are made meaningful within a wide range of contexts whilst still allowing for community prosperity and regeneration. 

Retail design has an important role in a world that is working towards better sustainable practice. You'll learn about how sustainability presents both challenges and opportunities in creative retail design.

The future of the high street is a key consideration in retail design. The projects you'll work on will involve looking for new ways to engage customers and define the impact and experience of retail spaces and third place environments such as coffee shops and restaurants that offer office space. 

Our Retail Design BA degree will take you through a range of retail environments, working with live clients and retail practitioners in scenarios ranging from high streets and shopping malls to airports and festivals. You'll also explore topics such as packaging, after-sales opportunities and audience participation.


A variety of assessment methods are used throughout the course. These range from formative, summative, diagnostic, peer and self-assessment methods, through to studio based work, workshops, computer-aided design (CAD) and digital projects and exercises. Feedback is given throughout the course.

Fees and key information

Course type
UCAS code WK22
Entry requirements View

This course is subject to validation.

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Entry requirements

In addition to the University's standard entry requirements, you should have:

  • a minimum grade of BBC in three A levels in relevant subjects (or a minimum of 112 UCAS points from an equivalent Level 3 qualification, eg BTEC National, OCR Diploma or Advanced Diploma)
  • a portfolio review
  • English Language GCSE at grade C/grade 4 or above (or equivalent)

Suitable applicants living in the UK will be invited to a portfolio interview or may submit an e-portfolio. Applicants living outside the UK will be required to submit a portfolio of work via email.

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa may need to provide a Secure English Language Test
(SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information on English qualifications, please see our English language requirements.

Modular structure

Example modules include:

  • Critical and Contextual Studies 1
  • Design Principles for Interiors 
  • Spatial Design Development
  • Retail Strategies and Techniques
  • Critical and Contextual Studies 2
  • Human Scale
  • Design Details
  • Interior Technologies and Production
  • Critical and Contextual Studies 3
  • Project Design and Development for Interiors
  • Major Project Realisation: Retail Design
  • Integrated Design Practice

After the course

Graduates from this course could work as interior designers, interior architects orretail and exhibition designers. Many of our Interior Design BA graduates now work for some of the most successful practices in London representing leading high street brands and international companies. Other design graduates have gone on to work in TV and film set design, animation, lighting design and journalism.

As part of your course, you’ll also have the opportunity to undertake a work placement at a leading London design practice, helping you develop the skills and contacts you'll need to succeed in your future career. We work with over 150 design companies including GenslerTurnerbates, Fitch, Forster and Lumsden.

Additional costs

Please note, in addition to the tuition fee there may be additional costs for things like equipment, materials, printing, textbooks, trips or professional body fees.

Additionally, there may be other activities that are not formally part of your course and not required to complete your course, but which you may find helpful (for example, optional field trips). The costs of these are additional to your tuition fee and the fees set out above and will be notified when the activity is being arranged.

Unistats - key information set

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How to apply

If you're a UK/EU applicant applying for full-time study you must apply via UCAS unless otherwise specified.

Non-EU applicants for full-time study may choose to apply via UCAS or apply direct to the University. Non-EU applicants looking to study part-time should apply direct to the University. If you require a Tier 4 (General) student visa, please be aware that you will not be able to study as a part-time student at undergraduate level.

When to apply

The University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) accepts applications for full-time courses starting in September from one year before the start of the course. Our UCAS institution code is L68.

If you will be applying direct to the University you are advised to apply as early as possible as we will only be able to consider your application if there are places available on the course.

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