FdSc Retail Business Management

People love shopping whether in-store or online, and retail businesses need talented graduates. Designed in consultation with successful retail chains, our Retail Business Management Foundation Degree offers an excellent preparation for an exciting career in the fast-paced retail industry.

FdSc Retail Business Management

Course details

The retail industry employs 2.8 million people and contributed £358 billion to the UK economy in 2016 (ONS 2017). Digital technology is transforming traditional retailing, and businesses are now able to attract a global customer base through social media and other e-tailing channels. Creating seamless customer experiences that link online presence with in-store shopping experiences is now key to staying ahead of competitors in meeting customer expectations, which are higher than ever. Such a competitive marketplace means that there are a wide range of exciting, varied and rewarding careers available to skilled and imaginative retail business managers.

Our FdSc Retail Business Management course offers a focused programme where you’ll study topics such as retail environment, retail sales and marketing, retail operations, people and performance, and financial management. Our dedicated team of experienced retail professionals and academics will help you develop key employability skills such as leadership, team management, customer service and professional communication.

Retail offers a vast range of careers in many sectors and we’ll help you enhance your employability. Whether your passion is fashion, food, cosmetics, electronics, or any of a wide variety of retail sectors, we’ll support you whatever your aspirations, helping you develop your career and life skills.

  • UCAS points: 64
  • Location: The University of Bolton
  • Award: FdSc
  • UCAS code: N242
  • Duration: 2 years

Course highlights:

  • Our Business, Management and Marketing courses are placed top in the North West for student-to-staff ratio by the 2018 Guardian University Guide, so you have access to individual tutor support and small group teaching.
  • You’ll have opportunities to work on live retail projects and undertake work experience so that you can gain industry-relevant professional experience to enhance your CV.
  • Our course curriculum has been mapped to two sets of Trailblazer apprenticeship standards, which have been designed by groups of employers within their sectors to ensure that students gain workplace skills relevant to business and industry.
  • We have well-established links with retail employers and professional bodies, and continually monitor and update the course to make sure the content is industry-relevant and introduces you to the latest thinking and innovations.
  • You’ll have opportunity to hear from visiting speakers who will provide insight into their professional practice and up-to-the-minute developments in the sector.
  • By designing the course assignments and projects so that they mimic industry processes and standards, we aim to give you a real world experience of a career in retail business management.

Key features:

  • We offer a warm and friendly environment for your studies, with relatively small class sizes, purpose-built teaching facilities and excellent student support and library services.
  • We’re committed to helping you develop your employability and career network. You’ll be encouraged to attend guest lectures that enhance your learning and help you make industry contacts that contribute to your professional development.
  • We want to work with you as an individual, giving you access to the support you need to help you achieve your personal development and career goals.
  • Our dedicated staff team have a wide range of professional experience, industry knowledge, technical expertise and academic credentials, offering you a variety of perspectives and broadening your horizons.
  • We use small group and tutorial teaching, so that you have plenty of opportunities to ask questions and get help, as well as benefit from the ideas and support offered by your classmates.
  • On successful completion of this Foundation Degree, you’ll be eligible to apply for our BSc (Hons) Business Retail Logistics (Top-up) course. This allows you to complete your bachelor’s degree by studying for an additional 12 months full-time or 18 months part-time.

Entry requirements

  • UCAS points: 64
  • Location: The University of Bolton
  • Award: FdSc
  • UCAS code: N242
  • Duration: 2 years

Any subjects are acceptable at Level 3. You should also have five GCSEs at grade C or above or grade 4 to 9 (or equivalent) including English.

If English isn’t your first language you’ll also need IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in any band (or equivalent). We also accept a range of other English language qualifications – please visit our English Language Requirements web page for more details. Find out more

Career opportunities

Retail business managers oversee the operations and staff within a retail store/environment, from the highest corporate level to interactions on the sales floor. Whatever your career aspirations, this course aims to provide you with the knowledge, skills and practical experience to apply for a variety of entry level roles – whether in-store, online or in operational fulfilment.

As a Foundation Degree graduate, you’ll have generic business skills as well as retail-specific expertise. The programme is focused on developing future managers and leaders in retailing. Some of the key transferable skills you’ll gain include leadership, communication, people management, problem solving, flexibility and resilience.

What can I do with this qualification?

The retail industry offers national and international career opportunities for Foundation Degree graduates. The variety of retail and wholesale business is virtually unlimited and includes departmental stores, supermarkets, shopping centres, speciality stores, general dealers, chain stores, factory stores, boutiques and restaurants.

Retail Business Management Foundation Degree graduates can work in a range of areas such as marketing and PR, finance and accounting, buying and merchandising, design and brand management, consumer analysis, supply chain, store operations, administration, and location planning.

Due to the competitive nature of head office roles in retail, topping-up your Foundation Degree to a full Honours degree, and then completing a postgraduate degree could help you to stand out from the crowd. Aspiring buyers, merchandisers and logistics managers should consider their postgraduate options and an MBA in retail could open up senior-level opportunities.

Alternative career options

  • E-commerce
  • Social media management and consultancy
  • Business analysis
  • Human resources
  • Sales
  • Market research
  • Logistics and distribution
  • Education and training
  • Accountancy
  • Customer service
  • Charity work
  • Security and loss prevention
  • Insurance
  • Fashion and textiles

Professional recognition

Fees & funding

Home/EU fees

  Year of study Total
Entry year 2019/202020/212021/22
2019/20 £9,250£9,250-£18,500
2020/21 -nullnullnull

International fees

  Year of study Total
Entry year 2019/202020/212021/22
2019/20 £12,450£12,450-£24,900
2020/21 -nullnullnull

The fees for a student’s course of study will be set for the normal duration of that course subject only to inflationary increases – measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded in March each year to take effect for subsequent start dates.

The University is currently awaiting Government guidelines as to EU fee charges for students commencing study in 2019/20.

UK undergraduate tuition fees are subject to UK government approval and are subject to the outcome of the Teaching Excellence Framework.

How to apply


Call Admissions

Please contact Admissions by telephone on 01204 903903 or email enquiries@bolton.ac.uk

University of Bolton
Deane Road
Bolton, BL3 5AB
United Kingdom

Tel: 01204 903903
Email: enquiries@bolton.ac.uk


The University welcomes applications from international students from all over the world. We try to make the application process as simple and as fast as possible for our international applicants.

This course is not currently accepting online applications

Please contact Admissions by telephone on 01204 903903 or email enquiries@bolton.ac.uk

University of Bolton
Deane Road
Bolton, BL3 5AB
United Kingdom

Tel: 01204 903903
Email: enquiries@bolton.ac.uk

Teaching & assessment


Modules listed below are a mixture of compulsory and optional. You may not have the opportunity to study all the modules as part of the course.

  • Skills and Personal Development Planning
  • Retail Environment
  • Introduction to Retail Law
  • Retail Sales and Marketing
  • People and Performance in Organisations
  • Information Systems and Big Data Analysis
  • Retail Business Project
  • Consumer Behaviour in Retailing
  • Retail Operations and Processes
  • Leading and Managing Work Teams
  • Principles of Financial Management and Decision Making

Teaching, learning and assessment

Lectures are used to introduce the core course content, while seminars allow you to explore subjects in greater detail. Tutorials offer space for you to ask any questions you have, ensuring you understand the topics covered in the lectures and seminars. We use case studies and ‘live projects’ to help you learn to apply academic theory to real-life practical scenarios, allowing you to gain insights into contemporary practice in the working retail business environment. You’ll also be expected to undertake considerable guided independent study; for instance, library research and background reading, preparing for seminar and tutorial activities, and working on assignments.

Guest lectures and presentations by a variety of visiting speakers from a range of retail sectors will offer you the chance to further develop your knowledge and understanding.

In terms of assessment, you can expect time constrained exams, essays, reports, presentations, portfolios, and others. These contribute to your final marks and allow you to demonstrate that you’ve met the learning outcomes.

We also use formative assessment to help you learn, providing you with regular feedback and support with your assessments drafts. These will help to identify areas where you need extra support from your tutors or student services.


The university will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver your course as described in its published material and the programme specification for the academic year in which you begin your course. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis. The content of course modules and mode of associated assessments may be updated on an annual basis. This is to ensure that all modules are up to date and responsive to employment and sector needs. The published course material and the programme specification contain indicative ‘optional modules’ that may be subject to change due to circumstances outside of our control. For this reason we cannot guarantee to run any specific optional module.

Assessment methods

Level Assessment method
Level One Coursework (54%), Practical exams (28%), Written exams (18%)
Level Two Coursework (50%), Practical exams (25%), Written exams (25%)

Learning activities

Level Learning activity
Level One Guided independent study (66%), Scheduled learning and teaching activities (34%)
Level Two Guided independent study (66%), Placement/study abroad (17%), Scheduled learning and teaching activities (17%)

Contact The University

Key facts

  • UCAS code:
  • Course type:
  • Location:
    The University of Bolton
  • Award:
  • UCAS points:
  • Duration:
    2 years

Contact us

Matthew France
Programme Leader
Email: M.France@bolton.ac.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)1204 903145

Enquiry Team
University of Bolton
Email: enquiries@bolton.ac.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)1204 903903