Retail Design (including foundation year) - BA (Hons)

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Why study this course?

This Retail Design (including foundation year) bachelor’s degree is designed to provide an alternative route into higher education. The programme will help you find an individual focus and build a portfolio of work that will enable you to progress to the subsequent three years of this degree. The course is also the ideal choice if you can’t meet the entry requirements for the standard three-year course.

Following the foundation year, after you’ve built a portfolio, gained important study skills and learnt key workshop techniques, you’ll focus on retail design. Studies in retail design offer a number of career opportunities as you’ll examine a range of design and commercial fields, including branding, visual merchandising, interior design and communications. Equipped with specialist knowledge and skills in the area you’ll be a valuable asset to retail design consultancies and brands.

More about this course

Our Retail Design (including foundation year) BA consists of two parts, a foundation year and a bachelor’s degree. The foundation year is an intense preparatory year that will help you develop knowledge and skills related to a range of art and design disciplines at undergraduate level.

During the foundation year you’ll have the opportunity to create a portfolio of work, as you’ll practise and develop techniques used by designers and artists in a range of fields. This year is diagnostic in nature and you’ll get the opportunity to find your individual focus and direction by experimenting with different disciplines of art and design.
The foundation year will be shared with students on other art and design courses with a foundation year, which will be the perfect opportunity to meet students outside your course.

In the subsequent three years of your studies you’ll specialise in retail design and join students on the standard three-year course. You’ll also graduate with the same award and title as those students. During these years you’ll be introduced to practices within two disciplines of interior design and visual communications. The course will allow you to explore projects of varying scales – from designing packaging to reinventing large spaces such as shopping malls and restaurants. To learn more about the content you’ll study during these years, visit our Retail Design BA (Hons) page.

If at the end of your foundation year you’d like to change your specialism to a different area of design, there will be flexibility to allow you to do this.


We will use a range of assessments and provide constructive feedback to help you grow academically and as a designer. The methods include studio-based work, workshops, computer-aided design, as well as digital projects and exercises.

Fees and key information

Course type
UCAS code WK26
Entry requirements View
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Entry requirements

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

  • at least one A level (or a minimum of 32 UCAS points from an equivalent Level 3 qualification, eg BTEC Subsidiary/National/BTEC Extended Diploma)
  • English Language GCSE at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent)

You will need to attend an interview with your portfolio of creative work. If you live outside the UK, you will be required to submit a small portfolio of work via email.

To study a degree at London Met, you must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. If you require a Tier 4 student visa you may need to provide the results of a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

If you need (or wish) to improve your English before starting your degree, the University offers a Pre-sessional Academic English course to help you build your confidence and reach the level of English you require.

Modular structure

Year 0 modules include:

  • Critical and Contextual Studies: Foundation
  • Formats
  • Project
  • Techniques

Year 1 modules include: 

  • Critical and Contextual Studies 1 (Interiors)
  • Design Principles for Interiors
  • Retail Strategies and Techniques
  • Spatial Design and Development

Year 2 modules include: 

  • Critical and Contextual Studies 2 (Interiors)
  • Design Detail
  • Human Scale
  • Interior Technologies and Production

Year 3 modules include:

  • Critical and Contextual Studies 3: Dissertation (Interiors) 
  • Integrated Design Practice
  • Major Project Realisation: Retail Design
  • Project Design and Development for Interiors

After the course

This course will open up a range of opportunities for you in retail design, ranging from high streets and shopping malls to restaurants and coffee shops.

You’ll also graduate with tools to help you find employment in fields that champion sustainable design for community prosperity and regeneration.

What is a degree with foundation year?

This is a four-year degree course with a built-in foundation year (Year 0). It's the perfect route into university if you don't meet the necessary entry requirements for the standard undergraduate degree. You'll graduate with a full undergraduate degree with the same title and award as those who studied the three-year course.

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.

Discover Uni – key statistics about this course

Discover Uni is an official source of information about university and college courses across the UK. The widget below draws data from the corresponding course on the Discover Uni website, which is compiled from national surveys and data collected from universities and colleges. If a course is taught both full-time and part-time, information for each mode of study will be displayed here.

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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