Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2014-2015 (archived)

Module BUSI42Y15: Global Retailing (ONLINE)

Department: Business School (Business)

BUSI42Y15: Global Retailing (ONLINE)

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Not available in 2014/15 Module Cap
Tied to N1KS17
Tied to N1KR17
Tied to N1N317
Tied to N1N417


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • BUSI44K15: Global Retailing (Taught)


  • To engage in a critical analysis of the strategies and characteristics of successful retailers operating at a global level
  • To develop an understanding of, and ability to critically examine, the strategic and operational dimensions of retail management and their associated global supply chains
  • To equip students with an advanced conceptual and practical knowledge of the opportunities, challenges and potential futures faced by the retail industry in the global economy


  • The evolution of global retailing – macro and micro perspectives
  • Global competition and retailing across borders
  • Strategic location management
  • Retail business models
  • Managing global supply chains
  • Customer-centricity and competitive advantage
  • Retail management in an international context – local and global tensions
  • Brands, labels and the retail marketing mix
  • Retail formats and the multichannel business model
  • Retail futures – opportunities, challenges and prospects
  • 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:
  • By the end of the module students should:
  • have a critical understanding of the nature, form and structure of retailing and its significance within the global economy;
  • have a grounded understanding of strategic and operational dimensions of retail management;
  • have a critical appreciation of the key drivers of competitive advantage within a global retailing context.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end 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 global retailing 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 online learning, divided up into study weeks with specially produced resources within each week. Resources vary according to the learning outcomes but normally include: video content, directed reading, reflection through activities, opportunities for self-assessment and peer-to-peer learning within a tutor-facilitated discussion board. Tutors provide feedback on formative work and facilitate discussion board communication as well as being available for individual consultation as necessary (usually by email and Skype).
  • The summative assessment of the module 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
Video content, directed reading, self-assessed assignments and guidance for further reading 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 operating in the global economy 4,000 words maximum 100% Same

Formative Assessment:

A written assignment of 1,500 words, or its multimedia equivalent, which may involve some group work.

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