Retail Management BA (Hons) Top Up

This course is validated by: Lancaster University

Course Information


Our BA (Hons) Retail Management (Top Up) programme is for students who have successfully completed our FdA Retail Management programme. It enables you to top up your Foundation Degree to Honours level by studying an additional year (full-time) or for two additional years (part-time). The Top Up programme enables you to develop a deeper understanding of Retail Management and build decision making and practical skills at a higher level. This makes the programme ideal for entry to Graduate Management Schemes in the field of Retail Management as well as positions such as department managers, category managers or store managers.

The programme has been developed, and links are being built with, a number of leading retailers including Selfridges, New Look, the Independent Traders Association, Blackburn Rovers retail and a number of shopping outlets. As part of the Top Up programme you will complete a Retail Business Project which will be your opportunity to work closely with an employer to develop a full portfolio of work, including research, aligned to your employer. This will help you when you come to apply for graduate positions.

What will I study?

In order to complete the programme you will study six modules from a choice of seven, including the Retail Business Project. This is a new course for September 2014 and the course has been created to reflect the changing nature of Retail Management. In particular the module, The Changing World of Retail allows you to investigate the ways in which retail is changing through studying contemporary issues in the sector considering the strategies may adapt in order to respond to an every changing and challenging new world of global commerce, social commerce and falling in-store shopper numbers. Advanced Retail Management and Leadership considers a number of contemporary aspects surrounding current thinking in management and leadership and how important the role of a leader is in influencing change. You'll be encouraged to develop your own leadership style as leadership within retail has been highlighted as a skill lacking in the sector. You will also look at the role of Marketing within the retail sector - indeed this is a key feature of all modules due to its dynamic and fast-moving nature.

Similarly, this Top Up programme places a greater emphasis on higher level decision making and strategy enabling you to create long-term plans for retail organisations. The assessment within the programme has been specifically chosen to develop your employability skills - the skills that employers in retail specify their graduates require. These include presentation skills, group work as well as the compilation of a portfolio of evidence for your Retail Business Project.

Modules include:

  • Advanced Retail Management and Leadership
  • Advanced Retail Operations and Change Management (Optional)
  • Retail Business Strategy
  • Strategic Retail Marketing and Promotions
  • The Changing World of Retail
  • Retail Business Project
  • Enterprise (Optional)

Download the Programme Specification for BA (Hons) Retail Management (Top Up). The Programme Specification will give you further information about the course structure, learning outcomes and detailed information about the assessment you can expect during the course.

Entry Requirements

In order to join the BA (Hons) Retail Management (Top Up) programme you will need to have successfully completed . If you have received less than a Merit grade overall in your Foundation Degree you will be required to attend a guidance interview first to ensure you are fully prepared for the Top Up programme. Additional preparation for study at the Top Up programme may be required.

How will I be assessed?

Throughout the programme you will be assessed through a variety of methods including: examinations, presentations, course work, case study analysis, assignments/briefs and a research report.

Formative and summative assessments enable lecturers or tutors to monitor the learning that has/is taking place. Summative assessment is not always noticeable by the student as it is a continuous process; lecturers or assessors may observe participation and responses to class discussions and group work, a student’s response to question and answer sessions, participation in workshop practical and engagement with demonstrations. Each module is formally assessed through, for example, examination, open-book test, individual and group presentation, essay, observation of practice, assessment of course work e.g. art portfolio, written report, reflective practice and portfolios of evidence.

Students receive both formal and informal feedback. Formal feedback is through assessments, is usually in writing and given within 3 weeks following the submission date. However, some lecturers will provide group feedback, for example, following an examination they may choose to work through the exam paper in a tutorial. It should be noted that feedback is part of the ongoing learning cycle which is not limited to written feedback. Other forms of feedback include one-to-one meetings with a personal tutor, dissertation and project supervision meetings, a lecturer responding to learner questions or responses during topic or situation discussions.

Teaching and Learning

The learning environment and facilities include lecture theatres, classrooms, technology suites, laboratories and workshops, library and skills labs, art and photography studios, small group and quiet zones. Learning methods will vary according to the programme of study but will include lectures and group tutorials. In addition, seminars, field trips, work placements, role play or scenario activities, laboratory and workshop practical, demonstrations, guest lectures, discussions and debates all contribute to the learning experience to support the acquisition of subject specific skills and knowledge and the development of transferable and employment related skills.

What can I do next?

Upon completion of the BA (Hons) Retail Management (Top Up) programme you will be ready to gain employment graduate level positions in retail. This could include joining a Graduate Management Scheme as well as seeking out store manager, department manager and category manager roles.

Past students from Retail Management have moved into roles various roles with big name companies including: an Assistant Category Manager at Next, the Graduate Management Programme at Screw-Fix and McDonalds management positions amongst others.

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"In most cases the level of feedback given to students is extremely helpful and I would hope that students would use this to improve on future work."  

External Examiners Report 2014/15
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