Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2020-2021 (archived)

Module BUSI43R15: Retail Management (ONLINE)

Department: Management and Marketing

BUSI43R15: Retail Management (ONLINE)

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2020/21 Module Cap
Tied to N2K307
Tied to N1KY07
Tied to N6K107
Tied to N5K107
Tied to N2K507
Tied to N5K407
Tied to N1N107
Tied to N6K207


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • Retail Management (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 online learning across a six month period, 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).
  • 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 3,000 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