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BA (Hons) Retail Management

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Retail management is an incredibly broad and demanding sector, and concerns managing the entire retail process beginning to end; from the raw materials through to the customer-ready products.

Our Retail Management degree has been designed to deliver the specialist knowledge and analytical skills required to succeed in this industry, whether your goal is to work in branding or strategic marketing, consumer psychology or buying & merchandising. Whatever your goal, this degree can help you reach it.

Accredited by the Chartered Institute of Marketing and Insitute of Direct Marketing and Digital Marketing, this four-year course covers every aspect of the retail process, and tackles a number of live case study assignments on behalf of blue-chip retailers. In the past, these have included Waitrose, Harrods and Marks & Spencer; and you’ll even get to present your findings to the companies’ senior managers.

A 30-week work placement, completed at home or overseas in year three is designed to add real-world context to the theoretical and practical framework forged on campus, as well as bearing a bounty of crucial contacts, bolstering your resume and enhancing your personal employability. What’s more, in your final year, you’ll get to complement your portfolio of core modules, with a pick and mix selection of subjects designed to bring your curriculum in line with your career aspirations. 

Discover more about international opportunities on this course by reading one of our student blogs about the Retail Management course trip to Madrid.

The work placement at Marks & Spencer was extremely beneficial and allowed me to gain an insight into the retail environment from a head office perspective.” – Olivia Martin, 2016

According to Unistats, 96% of our final year students agree our staff are good at explaining things. Join us on live chat now to find out more, or register to meet us at an Open Day. You can also gain a more detailed insight about this course by watching our online presentation delivered by course leader Corinna Budnarowska.

Interested in studying this course part-time? Enquire now.

All statistics shown throughout this page are taken from Unistats, Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE), BU institutional data and Ipsos MORI (National Student Survey) unless otherwise stated.

Key information

Next start date:

September 2018, September 2019


Bournemouth University, Talbot Campus


4 years including a minimum 30-week work placement


The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), Insitute of Direct Marketing and Digital Marketing (IDM)

Required subjects:

All subjects considered

Entry requirements:

For 2018 entry: 104-120 tariff points including a minimum of 2 A-levels or equivalent. BTEC Extended Diploma: DMM. For more information check out our entry requirements.

International entry requirements:

If English is not your first language you'll need IELTS (Academic) 6.0 with minimum 5.5 in each component, or equivalent. For more information check out our international entry requirements.

Accredited by:

Course details

On this course you will usually be taught by a range of staff with relevant retail expertise and knowledge appropriate to the content of the unit. This will include senior academic staff, qualified professional practitioners, research students.

You will also benefit from regular guest lectures from industry including many of our alumni. Previous guest lectures have included Jeremy Fennell, Marketing Director of Dixons Carphone and James Heese, Trading Director for Hobbycraft.

How you will be assessed

You will be assessed by coursework culminating in your final year research project, and you will also undertake group work and written exams. The assessment methods for each unit can be found on the programme profile in the programme specification for your course. As an indication, 70% of the most popular units on this course in 2016/17 were assessed by coursework.

Download the programme specification (pdf 457kb)


At BU, we recognise that placements are extremely valuable and can give you a head start when it comes to your future career. We are proud that our students have played their part in the success of top firms working in roles such as Retail Sales Support Analyst, Buyer's Assistant, Visual Merchandising Intern, Marketing Assistant, Management Trainee, Press & PR Intren. Why not read about some of our students’ experiences?

What’s more, you can also choose to undertake your placement abroad, giving you the opportunity to develop yourself personally, academically, and professionally and gain skills to help you stand out in the job market.

Our students perform very well on placement and a number of firms return to us year-on-year to source BU placement students.

Find out about BU students’ experiences on placementsAll you need to know about placements

Your application

The BA (Hons) Retail Management course will suit applicants who:

  • Have a clear passion for the retail industry
  • Have an ability to analyse complex situations and data
  • Are creative and innovative thinkers
  • Are prepared to take a leadership role early in their career.

How to apply

Entry requirements


There are numerous career paths you can embark on after completing this degree, with many of our former students now working in world-renowned retailers. Your 30-week work placement is an unrivalled opportunity to develop connections within the industry and you may even be sponsored by your employer through the final year of your course if you perform well.

Within six months of graduating, 90% of our students are in work or further study earning an average £24,000 per year. They are employed by companies such as Marks & Spencer, Debenhams, Argos, Cath Kidston, L'Oreal, House of Fraser and Tesco to name just a few. We have 22 Chief Executives/Managing Directors amongst our retail alumni and also 48 main Board Directors.

Costs and fees

All fees are quoted in pounds sterling and are per annum. Your tuition fees will be the same for each year of your course. You can find full information about funding your studies and paying your fees in our undergraduate fees and funding section. That’s also where you’ll find information about the scholarships and bursaries on offer – including unlimited Academic Excellence Scholarships for UK, EU and International students.

Fees quoted are for tuition only unless stated otherwise, and we’re committed to ensuring there are no hidden extra costs while you’re at university – that’s why we’re clear about what you can expect us to cover, and what your cost of living will be. You’ll also find you could benefit from a range of discounts as a student; see our Belong+ pages for more information.

Find out more about budgeting and living expenses

Our staff

Our staff are actively engaged in research and professional practice in the retail sector which is integrated into the teaching of this course. Find out about some of the staff who will be teaching on this course. along with their research activities.

Course changes

What our graduates think

Helen Hyland

My placement was incredibly varied and I have been involved in projects to assist in the improvement of logistics, marketing and e-commerce.

Hear employers think

Steve Clarke

Over the past 25 years I have been at lots of presentations from multinational companies and this presentation [BU students] would not be out of place.

What our graduates think

Ben Smith

My studies at BU enabled me to land a job as the youngest assistant buyer at B&Q using theories I learnt such as consumer behaviour to add value there.