Retail Management Foundation Degree FdA

This course is validated by: Lancaster University

Course Information


Have you ever thought about the work that goes on behind the scenes to get your favourite products on supermarket shelves? Or your favourite line of clothing in a local store? Our Foundation Degree in Retail Management has been designed to provide a specialist education for a profession in Retail Management and help you answer questions such as these. It will open doors to an interesting and varied career. The degree is designed to give you the knowledge and skills required to enter the Retail Management profession by studying subjects such as Consumer Behaviour and Visual Merchandising, Retail Marketing and Promotions and Retailing in the Digital Age and more. 

This course should appeal to you if you need to fit studying around other commitments or if you are looking to take your first step into higher education after a gap of study and wish to move into retail management. This is a full time course but the combination of personal study and employer involvement means you attend the University Centre currently for two days per week. This degree attracts interest from local employers as town centre regeneration projects lead for the need for store employees and managers to be better trained and able to respond to the demands of increasingly knowledgeable consumers. Students on this course will be working in a retail environment or will be expected to undertake a minimum of 40 days work placement over the two years. Our successful students have successfully progressed into more senior positions and obtained places on management development programmes with their respective renowned high street retailers.

Students on the programme have had excellent opportunities to work with large retailers such as New Look, Eurogarages and The Mall, Blackburn. Trips that students have enjoyed include visiting The Trafford Centre and the Manchester Christmas Markets to look at how these occupy positions in the retail sector. 

What will I study?

The Foundation Degree programme is designed to provide you with a range of skills enabling you to enter this field. You will be encouraged to broaden your understanding of Retail Management in general and develop valuable transferable skills to enhance your employment prospects. Material is delivered through a lecture/seminar/workshop process. Assessment is on an individual module basis. The material taught concerns a large number of retail settings: from large chain supermarkets, to boutique shops. The degree is designed to give you the knowledge and skills required to enter the Retail Management profession. You will study 16 modules over two years. The modules studied include both academic and practical aspects of Retail Management.

In the first year of the coursem, should you study full-time you will be able to choose between two optional modules: The Reflective Practitioner or Career Planning and Personal Development. Then, in the second year of the course, again if you study full-time, you will be able to choose between a further two optional modules: Retail Operations and Stock Management or Entrepreneurship.

Modules include:

  • Change and the Retail Environment
  • Retail Marketing and Promotions
  • Retail Law and Health and Safety
  • Human Resources in Retailing
  • Consumer Behaviour and Visual Merchandising
  • Retail Customer Service
  • Research Methods for Retail
  • The Reflective Practitioner (Optional)
  • Career Planning and Personal Development (Optional)
  • Retail Finance and Information
  • Retail Mnagement and Leadership
  • Retail Purchasing and the Supply Chain
  • Retail Operations and Stock Management (Optional)
  • Retailing in the Digital Age
  • Retail Employee Development
  • Work Based Learning
  • Research Project
  • Entrepreneurship (Optional)

Download the Programme Specification for Retail Management (FdA). 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

You'll need 120 UCAS tariff points to join this programme. All applicants must show that they have a good level of spoken or written English, and if English is not your first language you'll need to demonstrate the ability to study in English.

If you do not meet the standard entry criteria but have relevant work / life experience will be considered on an individual basis and may be invited to interview.

Please note: For 2017 entry the UCAS Tariff is changing and the UCAS points required to enter this programme will be different from 2016. For those joining this programme in September 2017, you will need to have 48 UCAS Tariff points. All other entry criteria (as specified above) remain in place.

If you require more information on the UCAS tariff for 2017 entry please visit:

If you are an International Student from outside of the EU it is a requirement for you to have a Tier 4 Visa in order to study with us. In order for you to undertake this particular programme of study, you will also need to demonstrate that you have a good level of written and spoken English and will require a UK VI Academic IELTS score of 5.5. Please note: the fees for International Students from outside of the EU, for this particular programme are £9,250 per year. Fees are subject to change in subsequent years.


How will I be assessed?

You'll be assessed by examinations, open-book examinations, group projects, assignments or briefs, presentations including group presentations, essays, self and peer assessment, portfolio building examinations and a research project.

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?

The majority of students progress onto in order to gain an Honours degree. 

There are fantastic opportunities for varied and challenging careers in this sector. The feedback received from employers confirms that our Foundation Degree incorporates key skills and the breadth of knowledge required in today's fast-paced industry.

You could go on to become a Store Manager or specialise in different functions within the retail industry. You may also use the general business training received to diversify into other areas of business that interest you. Typical roles that graduates of the programme move into include: graduate retail management programmes for developing managers, Store Managers, Assistant Store Managers or self employed retail owners.

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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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