Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2010-2011 (archived)

Module BUSI43X15: Retail Management (Block Taught)

Department: Economics, Finance and Business (Business)

BUSI43X15: Retail Management (Block Taught)

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2010/11 Module Cap None.
Tied to
Tied to


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • Retail Management (Blended Learning)


  • To provide a comprehensive overview of the retail industry, its development, and current trends
  • To equip students with the specialist knowledge and tools necessary to analyse a retailer’s business environment, strategic direction, format and implementation, and performance and profitability
  • To equip students with the skills needed to identify areas of improvement within a retail business and make informed recommendations for strategic and tactical improvement


  • The retail sector – development, structure and growth
  • Retail formats, channels and strategies
  • Intelligence-driven retailing
  • Retail store location and site evaluation methods
  • Managing the retail business – finance, operations, human resources, marketing, etc
  • Merchandise management and price competitiveness
  • Communicating with the customer and managing stakeholder relationships
  • Integrating and controlling retail strategies
  • Retailing futures – issues and challenges
  • Sustainable Retailing – zero-waste targets, ethical supply chains, carbon reduction, etc
  • Consumer power and retail strategy – foods scares, fair trade initiatives, boycotting, etc

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • On completion of the module students should have an advanced knowledge and critical understanding of:
  • The development, scope and structure of the retail sector;
  • Key theories of retailing and retail management;
  • Key functions and activities in retailing practice;
  • Current strategic issues, challenges and debates in retail management.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • On completion of the module students should:
  • be able to examine and critically evaluate retail performance and trends;
  • be able to develop an appropriate retail management strategy;
  • be able to critically evaluate the key drivers of competitive advantage within the retail sector.
Key Skills:
  • Effective written communication skills
  • Planning, organising and time management skills
  • Problem solving and analytical skills
  • The ability to use initiative
  • Advanced skills in the interpretation of data
  • Advanced computer literacy skills

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Learning outcomes will be met through a combination of taught input, groupwork, case studies and discussion, supported by guided reading and specially-written self-study material.
  • The summative assessment of the module, by case-study based written assignment, is designed to test the acquisition and articulation of knowledge and critical understanding, and skills of application and interpretation within the business context.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Workshops (a combination of taught input, groupwork, case studies and discussion), timetabled in blocks 24
Preparation and reading 126
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Written Assignment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Individual written report, based on a case analysis of a retail organisation 2,500 words maximum 100% same

Formative Assessment:

Group presentation

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University