UAL Level 3 Diploma and Extended Diploma in Fashion Business and Retail

Vocational qualification

The UAL Level 3 Diploma and Extended Diploma in Fashion Business and Retail qualifications are awarded by the University of the Arts London Awarding Body. 

Countries
  • England
  • Northern Ireland
Purpose

Overview

The UAL Level 3 Diploma and Extended Diploma in Fashion Business and Retail has been designed to provide students with the skills, knowledge, and understanding necessary to progress to further study and training in a range of fashion business and retail disciplines.

The qualification has been designed for students who have an interest in fashion business and retail, who wish to explore and extend this interest via a full-time, immersive learning experience. Many students will have identified a specific career in the creative industries they wish to progress to (e.g. range buyer, range planner, fashion management, fashion marketing, visual merchandising, etc.), using this qualification to build on skills and knowledge acquired via Level 2 qualifications such as the UAL Level 2 Diploma in Fashion Business and Retail or GCSEs.

The content of the UAL Level 3 Diploma and Extended Diploma in Fashion Business and Retail was developed with representatives from universities, further education colleges, sixth form colleges, and employers to ensure it provides students with the skills, knowledge, and understanding needed to progress to the next level of education and training.

The qualification enables students to:

  • have a critical and contextual awareness of different perspectives and approaches within fashion business and retail, or related subjects of study, or work
  • research, analyse, and evaluate relevant information and ideas in order to develop creative solutions
  • understand, adapt, and safely use appropriate and practical methods and skills for creative production
  • solve complex problems through the application of practical, theoretical, and technical understanding
  • critically review the effectiveness and appropriateness of methods, actions, and results
  • use evaluative and reflective skills to take responsibility for own learning, development, and decision-making
  • take responsibility for the research, planning, time management, and actions to access progression opportunities
  • effectively present themselves and their work to appropriate audiences

UAL Awarding Body requires centres delivering this qualification to recruit with integrity and on the basis of the students’ anticipated ability to successfully complete the requirements of the qualification. UAL Awarding Body recommends that students have a minimum of four GCSEs at grade C or above, or an equivalent Level 2 qualification in a relevant subject. Students are advised to discuss opportunities for re taking English and maths to achieve grade C or above with their admissions tutor. There are no age restrictions for this qualification. The majority of students are 16-18 year olds, but some are 19 and over. The UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Fashion Business and Retail is not currently available as part of an apprenticeship. 

Performance tables

This qualification does not currently meet the requirements of purpose, size, and recognition required for performance table inclusion, but is being revised to do so.

Who supports this qualification?

The qualification is recognised as providing students with opportunities to develop the skills, knowledge, and understanding they need to progress to the next level of education and training, usually in conjunction with other qualifications, by the following universities:

• London College of Fashion

• Sheffield Hallam University

• University for the Creative Arts

Letters of support from these institutions can be found on the UAL Awarding Body website at: www.arts.ac.uk/about-ual/awarding-body/qualifications.

Additional information for this qualification can be found on the UAL Awarding Body website at: www.arts.ac.uk/about-ual/awarding-body/qualifications.

Education context

UAL Awarding Body believes in transformative education. It designs and awards creative qualifications that empower and inspire educators to help students reach their potential. Qualifications are developed in collaboration with education and industry partners to ensure they are responsive and relevant to industry needs. They are delivered by further education colleges, sixth forms, adult education colleges, schools, and universities.

UAL is selective about who it works with and actively seeks out providers that are innovative, creative, and committed to arts education. UAL Awarding Body qualifications are designed to facilitate student progression to higher education and employment. They have high retention and achievement rates because they are flexible, engaging, and equip students with the skills required to progress.

Awarding organisation
  • UAL Awarding Body
Qualification codes
601/6483/9 (UAL Level 3 Diploma in Fashion Business and Retail)
601/6484/0 (UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Fashion Business and Retail)
Structure

The Diploma is made up of eight mandatory units. The Extended Diploma is made up of 13 mandatory units. All units must be successfully completed. 

Units vary in length to ensure the qualification provides an appropriately supportive experience, as students explore the diagnostic experience in preparation for further education or employment. Centres design assignments to provide the learning necessary to enable achievement of the assessment criteria. The length and complexity of the assignments, and the specific fashion business and retail activities, are at the discretion of the centre.

The units focus on the underpinning skills, knowledge, and understanding that support all fashion business and retail activity. They have been designed to allow approved providers to deliver them in a way that meets the specific needs of their students, taking into account their own resources and relationships with local creative employers, and enabling them to respond to the fast paced nature of the creative industries.

Subject areas
  • Fashion business
  • Fashion retail
Levels
  • Level 3

Level 3 qualifications regulated to the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF).

A levels are also Level 3 qualifications regulated to the Regulated Qualifications Framework.

Level 3 is the same level as the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) Level 6.

Grading

The overall grade for the Level 3 Diploma in Fashion Business and Retail is determined by the student’s achievement in the final unit of the qualification, Unit 8: Collaborative fashion retail project. The unit is graded Pass, Merit, Distinction. A student who submits evidence that fails to meet the assessment criteria will be referred. The student has one further opportunity to redeem a referral by the submission of additional evidence within a time frame agreed by the centre and confirmed by UAL Awarding Body. 

The grades that can be achieved are:

  • Distinction: to achieve a Distinction grade, a student must achieve all the assessment criteria listed in Unit 8, in addition to all the Merit grade criteria and the entire Distinction grade criteria
  • Merit: to achieve a Merit grade, a student must achieve all the assessment criteria listed in Unit 8, in addition to the entire Merit grade criteria 
  • Pass: to achieve a Pass grade, a student must achieve all the assessment criteria listed in Unit 8
  • Fail: if the candidate is unable to provide further evidence that meets the assessment criteria, they will receive a Fail grade
  • Referral: if a student provides insufficient evidence to meet all the assessment criteria, they are referred. The student has one further opportunity to redeem the Referral by the submission of additional evidence within a time frame agreed by the centre and confirmed by UAL Awarding Body

The final grade of the Diploma is awarded on the basis of the unit grade assigned to Unit 8: Collaborative fashion retail project.

In the Level 3 Extended Diploma in Fashion Business and Retail, units 12 and 13 together make up the learning and assessment activities for the final project and will determine the grade achievement at Level 3. Unit 12 is internally assessed and graded, and contributes 40% of the mark for the final grade. All internal assessment and grading decisions are subject to external moderation. Unit 13 is internally assessed and graded and contributes 60% of the mark for the final grade. All internal assessment and grading decisions are subject to external moderation.

The grades that can be achieved are:

  • Distinction: to achieve a Distinction grade, a student must achieve all of the assessment criteria listed in Unit 12, in addition to all the Merit and the entire Distinction grade criteria
  • Merit: to achieve a Merit grade, a student must achieve all the assessment criteria listed in Unit 12, in addition to the entire Merit grade criteria
  • Pass: to achieve a Pass grade, a student must achieve all the assessment criteria listed in Unit 12
  • Fail: if the student is unable to provide further evidence that meets the assessment criteria, they will receive a Fail grade
  • Referral: if a student provides insufficient evidence to meet all the assessment criteria, they are referred. The student has one further opportunity to redeem the Referral by the submission of additional evidence within a timeframe agreed by the centre and confirmed by UAL Awarding Body

Awarding the Extended Diploma:

The final grade of the Extended Diploma is awarded on the basis of the grades assigned to Unit 12: Project proposal for extended project in fashion business and retail, and Unit 13: Extended project in fashion business and retail. The two individual unit grades, weighted 40% and 60% respectively, are aggregated to provide the overall qualification grade. The final grade is based on a structure of Pass, High Pass, Merit, High Merit, and Distinction.

The table below shows how the accumulation of each unit grade is aggregated to form the overall qualification grade:

Unit 12 (40% weighting)

Unit 13 (60% weighting)

Qualification grade

Distinction

Distinction

Distinction

Distinction

Merit

Merit

Distinction

Pass

High Pass

Merit

Distinction

High Merit

Merit

Merit

Merit

Merit

Pass

Pass

Pass

Distinction

Merit

Pass

Merit

High Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

UAL Awarding Body will issue the final grade to the centre.

Assessment

Units 1 – 7 and 9 – 11 of the Level 3 Extended Diploma in Fashion Business and Retail are internally assessed and internally verified through students’ portfolios of evidence, and are subject to UAL Awarding Body’s external quality assurance. 

Unit 8, the final unit of the Level 3 Diploma in Fashion Business and Retail, determines the grade achievement at Level 3. Evidence is internally assessed and verified, and externally moderated through students’ portfolios of evidence against the assessment and grading criteria for the unit.

Units 12 and 13, the final units of the Level 3 Extended Diploma in Fashion Business and Retail, together make up the learning and assessment activities for the final project and determine the achievement grade. For Unit 12, evidence is assessed against the grading criteria and contributes 40% of the mark for the final grade. The unit is graded Fail, Pass, Merit, or Distinction. The remaining 60% of the final overall grade is determined by student performance in Unit 13. This is internally assessed and verified, and externally moderated through students’ portfolios of evidence against the assessment and grading criteria for the unit. The unit is graded Fail, Pass, Merit, or Distinction. The two grades are aggregated to provide the final overall grade for the qualification: Pass, High Pass, Merit, High Merit, Distinction.

Contribution of assessment components to overall grade

Diploma: Unit 8 counts for 100% of the overall grade of the Diploma.

Extended Diploma: for Unit 12, evidence will be assessed against the grading criteria, and contributes 40% of the mark for the final grade for the Extended Diploma. The unit is graded Fail, Pass, Merit, or Distinction. The remaining 60% of the final overall grade is determined by student performance in Unit 13. The unit is graded Fail, Pass, Merit, or Distinction. The two grades are aggregated to provide the final overall grade for the Extended Diploma: Pass, High Pass, Merit, High Merit, Distinction.

Resit arrangements

For the Diploma, a student who submits evidence that fails to meet the assessment criteria for Unit 8 will be referred. The student has one further opportunity to redeem a Referral by the submission of additional evidence within a time frame agreed by the centre and confirmed by UAL Awarding Body. If the evidence submitted for the referral does not meet the assessment criteria, it will receive a Fail grade. The student has unlimited opportunities to retake the full year.

For the Extended Diploma, if a student provides insufficient evidence to meet all of the assessment criteria in Unit 12 and Unit 13, they will be referred. The candidate has one further opportunity to redeem the Referral by the submission of additional evidence within a time frame agreed by the centre and confirmed by UAL Awarding Body. If the student is unable to provide further evidence that meets the assessment criteria, they will receive a Fail grade. The student has unlimited opportunities to repeat the full year. 

Guided / notional learning hours
1040 TQT DIploma: 600 hours
2030 TQT Extended Diploma: 1140 hours
Guided / notional learning hours notes

Diploma: 600 GLH

Extended Diploma: 1,140 GLH

UCAS Tariff points

UAL Level 3 Diploma in Fashion Business & Retail

Grade Points
D 84
M 60
P 36

UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Fashion Business & Retail

Grade Points
D 168
HM 144
M 120
HP 96
P 72
Key issues for UK HE admissions

The units in the qualifications focus on the underpinning skills, knowledge, and understanding that support all fashion business and retail activity to prepare students for progression to higher education, employment, or an apprenticeship. 

Students achieving the qualifications have a number of routes open to them. Many choose to progress to a more specialist Level 4 course, some progress to higher education, while others go straight into industry roles, for example (but not limited to) stylist assistant, junior merchandiser or shop floor assistant.

Progression information is captured at the point of results submission, and is published annually in the UAL's chief examiner reports (by qualification).

Timing of assessments and results

Timing of assessments is at the discretion of the centre. 

Results are not provided at a fixed time. The centres upload the results, the External Moderator must verify the results within five days, and UAL Awarding Body aims to deliver certificates within ten days from verification.

Qualification date
Starting from 01 Aug 2015
Qualification dates notes

The qualifications are currently being delivered.

Certification information

The results of many UK qualifications are reported to UCAS through Awarding Body Linkage (ABL).

  • A levels and results from larger awarding bodies are reported automatically
  • IB results are only reported with the candidate’s permission
  • Some results are not reported through ABL, this does not reflect the validity of the qualification.

View the results available through ABL.

Where results are not available through ABL, HEPs will need to ask applicants to provide their own evidence of achievement.

UAL Awarding Body submits data returns to UCAS in June for UAL Level 3 Diplomas. 

UAL Awarding Body submits certification information to Ofqual which is accessed by the Northern Ireland regulator, CCEA. 

UAL Awarding Body also submits certification information to the Department for Education.

Progression information

The majority of students completing the UAL Level 3 Diploma in Fashion Business and Retail will progress to the UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Fashion Business and Retail.

Some students may also progress into a range of entry level roles in the fashion industry. 

The UAL Level 3 Diploma in Fashion Business and Retail is generally delivered over one year and will enable students to develop a portfolio of work that could support progression into a range of higher education courses, usually in conjunction with other Level 3 qualifications.

However, the UAL Level 3 Diploma in Fashion Business and Retail is linked to the UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Fashion Business and Retail. It is advised that students complete the full two year Extended Diploma if they wish to progress to undergraduate study at a university or further education college.

Complementary qualifications could include AS levels in related subjects (e.g. AS in business studies), although as this is a large, full-time and immersive qualification, it is likely that students will pursue this qualification on its own.

Further information

UAL Awarding Body website: www.arts.ac.uk/about-ual/awarding-body

UAL Level 3 Diploma and Extended Diploma in Fashion Business and Retail: www.arts.ac.uk/about-ual/awarding-body/qualifications/fashion-retail/le…

UAL Level 3 Diploma and Extended Diploma in Fashion Business and Retail: www.arts.ac.uk/media/arts/about-ual/ual-awarding-body/documents/specs-s…