Visual Merchandising Arts

  • Program Information
  • Learning Outcomes
  • Courses
  • Career Opportunities
  • Admission Requirements

Elevate your creativity and business savvy.

Holt Renfrew. Le Chateau. Décor & More. Anthropologie. IKEA.

These are only a few of the exciting brands and exceptional companies that our graduates now call home. The key to joining these young professionals, or creating your own distinctive business venture, is the Sheridan Visual Merchandising Arts program and its commitment to being relevant, fresh and connected to the latest industry trends!

What makes the visual merchandising training you’ll receive at Sheridan so dynamic and progressive is a curriculum specifically designed to develop and elevate your creativity and business savvy, as well as build your communication and leadership skills. Providing further support throughout your two-year merchandising diploma journey is a strong and dedicated faculty with years of experience and knowledge for you to draw from. There are also part-time professors who are active leaders in their field and are ready to share their insights on all the ins and outs of the business, and what you’ll need to know in order to succeed in the thrilling world of visual merchandising.

Begin your career with us today and let the Sheridan Visual Merchandising Arts program show you the art of designing retail environments, which will keep you ahead of the curve, and place you on the right track to working with the biggest and best brands in the industry!

Field Placements with Exciting Brands!

You’ll have a chance to learn from the best in the business with two field placements during the second year of the merchandising program. The placements are a great way to gain hands-on experience in a number of areas in the industry and make some important professional contacts. Whether you focus on fashion or photo styling, merchandising, or explore computer graphic design skills and more, your placements will help you better choose the direction of your merchandising career path.

Year-End Show Event

More than just a portfolio show-and-tell, Sheridan’s popular year-end show event is an exciting industry party where you’ll have a chance to promote your finest merchandising work to professionals from the best brands in the business!

A Progressive & Constantly Evolving Curriculum

Progressive and constantly evolving is the best way to describe Sheridan’s merchandising program because we’re continuously updating and improving the curriculum to stay on top of the latest trends. We’re also committed to ensuring that your merchandising course training utilizes current technology and software that the industry works with each day – so you achieve the highest level of relevant, hands-on learning.

Visual Merchandising Arts classes take place at the Trafalgar Road Campus in Oakville, Ontario.

Tuition and Fees

Note: Published tuition fees include ancillary fees.

Program Goals

The successful completion of this program will enable the graduate to:

  • Present and coordinate merchandise so that related goods are shown in a unique, desirable, and saleable manner.
  • Use both written and oral English that emphasizes good organization, clarity, correct grammar which is appropriate for communication purposes in the business environment.
  • Understand the fundamentals of basic financial problems, and use good reason in financial decision making.
  • Work with a wide variety of materials (paper, cardboard, plastic, foamcore, wood, laminate, fabric) to solve two and three dimensional design problems.
  • Apply basic design principles and colour theories to the construction of promotional displays and advertising.
  • Use photography to record displays and advertising, and integrate knowledge of the photographic process into advertising and display design.
  • Appreciate how the history of art and design influence current display practice and contemporary images.
  • Understand the basic functions of retail store operations including store location and layout, shopping centre analysis, retail market segmentation and strategies, and the merchandising mix.
  • Prepare and execute displays for exhibitions and promotional events using the visual dynamics of light as a design element.
  • Prepare illustrative matter and layout for posters and advertising using graphic design principles including perspective, lettering, and logo design.
  • Understand basic personnel functions such as interviewing techniques, basic supervisory skills, motivation, and written and non verbal communication.
  • Understand basic promotion and advertising including various media for retail advertising (newspaper, radio, direct mail) and the design, layout, and production of ads and promotional point of purchase material.
  • Design and build scale models and props suitable for use in display and exhibition.
  • Use basic display skills such as covering, stapling, and mounting.


Code Title     Credits
Term 1

VDES 16693 Visual Literacy 3
VDES 18448 Visual Merchandising 3
VDES 14444 Fashion and Styling Techniques 3
COMM 19999
Essential Communication Skills
ARTS 14857 Sketching & Drawing Fundamentals 3
APPL 11662 Computer Techniques 3
Total: 18

Term 2

VDES 17370 Visual Literacy: Graphic Applications 3
VDES 10065 Retail Merchandising 3
VDES 17028 Fabrication Techniques 3
INFO 19798
Computer Illustration for Visual Merchandisers
VDES 14998 Perspective Drawing 3
BUSM 13921 Professional Practice
ATDN 11459 Historical Trends in Design 3

Term 3

VDES 25142 Residential Design and Home Staging 3
VDES 24444 Retail Merchandising - Advanced  3
VDES 20025  Styling for Media Production 3
VDES 10172 Set Design
FLPL 25917  Professional Practice/Field Placement 3
GNED General Education Elective 3

Term 4

VDES 27900 Material Exploration & Fabrication
VDES 10261 Special Event Planning 3
VDES 28432 Portfolio Development 3
VDES 25738 Tradeshows and Showroom Design 3
BUSM 27545 Project Management/Field Placement  3
GNED General Education Elective 3

Note: Courses subject to change.

Graduates of the Sheridan Visual Merchandising Arts program consistently have a high job-placement rate. The merchandising diploma helps to provide entry into a variety of creative and exciting areas, including:

  • Fixture design
  • Freelance design
  • Home furnishing
  • Home staging
  • Marketing
  • Merchandiser
  • Merchandising coordinator
  • Photo styling- fashion/apparel and/or home fashion
  • Prop production
  • Set design
  • Small business owner
  • Space planner
  • Special event planner
  • Store planning
  • Trade show designer
  • Window display artist

Program Eligibility

Ontario Secondary School Diploma or equivalent, including these required courses:

  • One English, Grade 12 (ENG4C or ENG4U)


Mature student status. (See “Admissions” section for details.)

Applicant Selection

Eligible applicants are selected on the basis of their previous academic achievement (the average of their six highest senior-level credits, including required courses).

Applicants who do not meet the admission requirements for this program will be assessed and advised individually and may be considered for other, related programs.

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