+ Student & Staff

The Visual Merchandising & Promotional Design courses offer undergraduates a unique insight into the inspiring and global world of retail and brand communications.

Undergraduates will develop creative thinking to capture the imagination of customers through a range of merchandise promotion techniques. They will include theatrical window displays; styling for fashion promotion campaigns; innovative retail design solutions, merchandise presentation and promotion communications.

Students will engage in the design process exploiting realistic, industry equipped design studios with the latest in digital design technologies in order to turn design ideas into 3D installations or concept models. They will be trained to harness their creativity in constructive and industry-focused tasks and projects in which they will create the inspiring design concepts behind the high street window displays and in-store configurations. For students to develop as designers, they will also be required to develop many underpinning practical skills required by todays workforce, such as: display prop building; model making; mannequin styling; display installations; fashion styling; merchandise handling; computer generated promotional graphics; creating and following installation guidelines.

To develop as designers, undergraduates are expected to engage in local, national and international trips and independent exploration to see first-hand how the global world of retail displays and promotes their products to the different world markets. Educational trips major cities ensure undergraduates foster a wider awareness of retail, fashion, interior and general design trends and in recent years groups have visited New York, Milan, Venice and London.

Undergraduates compete against the best Visual Merchandising students globally in international competition projects as well as ‘live’ industry projects for some of the leading high street retailers. As students’ progress to the third year, they are confident and ambitious designers who are focused on successfully competing for the top design jobs within the retail design sector locally, nationally and internationally.

All design staff have extensive industry related experience, current design technology experience including a wide-ranging array of industry contacts that allow students to be a part of the world of retail design and promotion.

This is an exciting industry to be a part of. One that is competitive, creative and rewarding.



What our students say

Matt Longden

Visual Merchandising & Promotional Design - BA (Hons) Top up

"What I love about the course is the working environment you get being in the studio space. The staff and students are all really nice and there is always someone willing to help you, whether it be a student or a tutor."

Read more

Matt Longden

Where are they now?

Many of our graduates go on to work in design practice in regional, national and international companies including IKEA, Forever 21 and Harvey Nichols, whilst some graduates set up their own design practice.

Some example of graduate careers include:

  • Sophie Whitehead - Graphic Designer for Xplosive Ape
  • Helen Delaney - Visual Supervisor for Coast
  • Laura Reedman - Kitchens Interior Designer for Howdens Joinery
  • Lisa Raybould - Visual Merchandiser/Stylist for Matalan
  • Jessica Shrimpton - Visual Merchandiser for Ugg
  • Kelly Risley – Visual Merchandiser for IKEA
  • Lyndsey Johansen - Art and Design Store & Signwriting
  • Alyce Stockdale - Assistant Buyer Shop Direct
  • Kristy Ford – Assistant Buyer NEXT
  • Nicola Phennah - Graphic Designer Brio Leisure
  • Kate Dennett - Visual Merchandiser New Look
  • Melanie Watson - Visual Merchandiser BOOHOO.com
  • Katie Murray - Visual Assistant Debenhams
  • Matt Longdon - 3D Designer at Tom Howley Kitchens
  • Molly Kerfoot - Art worker Cascade Lighting
  • Salley Reed – Visual Merchandiser Marks and Spencer
  • Leah Rigby - Visual Merchandiser at Harrods
  • Nicola Birchall – Visual Merchandiser Harvey Nichols
  • Lesley Armstrong – Visual Merchandiser Harvey Nichols
  • John Doolan – Visual Merchandising Manager Forever 21
  • Sarah Cooke – Area Visual Merchandiser Armani Exchange
  • Anneliese Little - Visual Stylist Marks and Spencer
  • Emma Livesey – Project Planner and Visual Merchandiser at IKEA Group
  • Sharon Hay – Visual Merchandiser IKEA
  • Kirsty Isabor – Visual Merchandiser Top Shop Flagship store London
  • Paulina Marciniak – Company Director Unlimited Creativity
  • Helen Delaney – Visual Merchandiser Miss Selfridge

Employer Endorsement

Karen O’Connor,
Head of Retail, National Museums Liverpool.

"We really enjoyed working with the undergraduates to come up with creative ideas to transform our shop window. All of their designs were incredible, they were so well researched and thought-through, using very simple methods to remember those who fought in the First World War. The winning design incorporated products available in our shops to animate the display, which was seen by all of our visitors and many others who pass the Museum on the waterfront."

Where are they now?

Kristy Ford graduated from the BA (Hons) Top up in Visual Merchandising & Promotional Design course with a first class Honours degree. On graduation Kristy gained a graduate job as an Interior Buyer with NEXT.

Kirsty said: "When I applied for the role I sat down with my lecturers and they prepared me for what I would face in the interview process. They have worked in the industry before becoming lecturers so they know exactly what companies are looking for. Without the Hugh Baird University Centre I would never have been able to achieve this. The course is so diverse, we covered fashion, retail, interiors, architecture and photography and that allowed students to follow the path that most suited them."

For Kristy's full story, click here.

£500 Bursary Gift

For new first year full time Foundation Degree students. Terms apply. Find out more.

  • Request a prospectus

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Visual Merchandising & Promotional Design
Design (Foundation Entry) - BA (Hons)
Visual Merchandising and Promotional Design - Foundation Degree (FdA)
Visual Merchandising & Promotional Design - BA (Hons) Top up
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