Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2011-2012 (archived)

Module BUSI43R15: Retail Management (Blended Learning)

Department: Business School (Business)

BUSI43R15: Retail Management (Blended Learning)

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2011/12 Module Cap None.
Tied to
Tied to


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • Retail Management (Block Taught)


  • 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

  • The module is delivered via blended learning and in the form of discrete Study Units. These are designed to enable the learning outcomes to be achieved through a combination of specially written material, directed reading, reflection through self-assessed assignments and guidance for further reading. Extensive use of learning technologies is also employed to reinforce learning, including online seminars. Module tutors provide feedback on formative work and are available for individual consultation as necessary (by email, telephone, post, fax and video-conferencing).
  • 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
Blended-learning Study Units (a combination of specially written materials, directed reading, self-assessed assignments, e-learning resources, and guidance for further reading) 9 150
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:

Virtual team-based discussions and case-study exercises, delivered via DUO.

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