BSc (Hons) Retail Business Management (Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship)

Our Level 6 BSc (Hons) Retail Business Management (Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship) in retail allows you to invest in your workforce by combining university education, work-based learning and ongoing professional development towards Chartered Manager status. While working as a valuable part of your team, your apprentices can gain strong retail-focused leadership and management expertise ready tackle complex business challenges in one of the largest economic sectors.

BSc (Hons) Retail Business Management (Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship)

Course details

This Level 6 BSc (Hons) Retail Business Management (Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship) in retail specifically seeks to develop the future leaders of retail organisations by increasing their critical knowledge of retail organisations, their management and the changing external contexts in which they operate. It’s designed to develop all aspects of their management and leadership, along with their ability to manage complexity and deliver impact at both strategic and operational levels.

Our BSc (Hons) Retail Business Management (Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship) is aimed at those who already have retail management experience or who are just moving into the role. The course has been informed by employers and designed in collaboration with the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) to qualify as a Level 6 Apprenticeship under the Apprenticeship Levy guidelines. Study at the University of Bolton’s Institute of Management Greater Manchester complements learning in the workplace, supporting your apprentices as they learn to take responsibility for long-term organisational success, and manage people, projects, operations and services.

Your apprentices will spend 80% of their time at work and 20% ‘off the job’, learning at the Institute and through a virtual portal with access to our tutors and lecturers. Our expert team will guide them as they learn about strategy and planning, project management, business finance, and digital technologies for retail and business. We’ll help them to become supportive leaders, able to develop collaborative relationships, and effective communicators with the skills to influence, negotiate and persuade. Our dedicated team will also support them to grow into their position of responsibility, helping them develop resilience, commercial acumen and sound judgement.

Our flexible programme recognises the wide range of retail environments and the specific challenges they pose. We’ll work with you to devise individual learning agreements for each of your apprentices, ensuring they fulfil the core and essential criteria of the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship (CMDA), as well as develop additional skills and knowledge valuable for your organisation.

If you’re looking for undergraduate-level training in this subject area but don’t work for an employer who is offering apprenticeships, please see our related courses section for details of study opportunities that don’t require current employment.

  • Location: The University of Bolton
  • Award: BSc (Hons)
  • Duration: 4 years

Course highlights:

  • When apprentices successfully complete the end point assessment for this course, they will receive a Degree Apprenticeship Certificate, and be awarded an academic degree – the BSc (Hons) Retail Business Management from the University of Bolton. They’ll also have the option of applying for Chartered Manager (CMgr MCMI) status with the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).
  • Face-to-face sessions and one-to-one support is offered by our team of highly experienced and enthusiastic lecturers who have worked in a wide range of businesses ranging from multinational organisation to SMEs.
  • We’ll support your apprentice to develop sought-after skills such as data analysis, critical reasoning and problem solving, as well as professional communication, time management, teamwork, and lifelong learning.
  • During the final stage of the course, your apprentice will undertake a substantial work-based research project, the nature of which will be identified and developed through consultation between your organisation and the Institute. As well as offering your apprentice valuable experience, this live project can offer you genuine insight into potential opportunities or improvements that can benefit your organisation.

Key features:

  • This four-year part-time course skilfully combines study in our vibrant Institute of Management environment with practical and focused work-based learning and experience in your organisation.
  • Course materials are available online, to enable a great virtual learning experience and allowing your apprentices to prepare work at home to make the most of the highly interactive in-class tuition.
  • Our approach to teaching and learning is ‘student-centred’, so we’ll work with your apprentices on an individual basis, providing tailored help and support throughout their studies.
  • The apprenticeship offers a comprehensive overview of retail business management functions and the core business management principles, theories and models.
  • Quarterly and annual reviews, where each apprentice, their workplace mentor and a member of our team meet to assess your apprentice’s progress, promote continuing conversation between your workplace and the Institute. This helps to ensure the success of your apprentices and maximise the value of their studies to your organisation.

Entry requirements

  • Location: The University of Bolton
  • Award: BSc (Hons)
  • Duration: 4 years

Applicants will need 40 UCAS points. Please see our Guide to the UCAS tariff for some of the popular qualifications . Find out more

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

Applicants will be asked to attend a joint discussion with their employer and the University of Bolton.

Previous business and management experience may be taken into account if an applicant doesn’t meet the academic entry requirements for the course.

Admission to this programme is only available to candidates who meet the following criteria. 1) They are employed for a minimum of 30 hours per week in a role relevant to the apprenticeship. 2) They have the right to live and work in the UK. 3) Their employer is participating in the Degree Apprenticeship scheme. 4) Their employer is willing to sponsor them to attend the University one day per week (times and dates to be determined). Please note that an apprentice cannot be self-employed.

If an applicant doesn’t possess GCSEs in English and Mathematics at grade C or above or grade 4 to 9, or hold an equivalent such as Functional Skills Level 2 in Literacy and Numeracy, they will be asked to complete initial assessments for English and mathematics. The results of these assessments will determine whether they are accepted on to the apprenticeship with their current qualifications, or a recommendation of delayed entry is made so they can undertake studies enabling them to achieve the required level of English and mathematics prior to commencing the apprenticeship.

If English isn’t the applicant's first language they will 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

To be eligible for tuition fee funding through the Apprenticeship Levy, candidates should not normally have already completed a qualification at the same level as the proposed apprenticeship, unless that qualification was gained in a completely unrelated discipline.

Career opportunities

This retail-focussed programme is designed to meet the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship (CMDA) Standard for Leadership and Management. Developed by employers in collaboration with higher education institutions and the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), the standard underpins a highly relevant qualification and professional development pathway that educates retail business managers who can take responsibility for people, projects, operations and services to deliver long-term organisational success.

It’s designed to educate professional managers capable of managing complexity and delivering impact at both strategic and operational levels. Employers can expect graduate apprentices to be skilled in strategic decision making, setting direction and achieving results, building and leading teams, clear communication, developing skills and motivating others, fostering inclusive and ethical cultures, leading change, project management, financial management, innovation, risk management, and developing stakeholder relationships.

Overall, our BSc (Hons) Retail Business Management (Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship) is designed to prepare apprentices to take management and leadership responsibility for setting and delivering organisational objectives through a wide range of functions relevant to retail organisations.

What can I do with this qualification?

Graduate apprentices from this programme should prove valuable to retail organisations of all sizes and across the full spectrum of functions. On successful completion of the end point assessment after completion of the course, apprentices will have the option of applying for Chartered Manager status. They are well prepared to take on more demanding roles in retail management.

They are also ready to progress to postgraduate-level study in subjects such as marketing, finance, human resources and international business management in order to develop their expertise further. Studying for an MBA is another option.

Professional recognition

Successful apprentices will have the option to apply for professional recognition as Chartered Managers and Members of the Chartered Management Institute (CMgr MCMI), the leading professional body for managers in the UK and Europe. Chartered Manager is the highest professional status that can be achieved in leadership and management in the UK.

Successful apprentices will also have the option to apply for professional recognition as a member of the Institute for Leadership & Management or other relevant professional body.

Successful apprentices will be awarded the BSc (Hons) Retail Business Management from the University of Bolton and a Degree Apprenticeship Certificate from the Institute for Apprenticeships.

Fees & funding

No fee information is currently available, please contact Student Data Management on 01204 903059 or for more information

Useful information

Apprentices will not be expected to pay tuition fees towards this programme. Your organisation may be able to fund this Degree Apprenticeship though the Apprenticeship Levy (if your organisation is paying the levy).

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.


There are no bursaries associated with this programme.

Click here for more information on undergraduate bursaries

How to apply


Please contact the programme leader for details of the application procedure. You can find their name, email address and phone number in the Contact us section of this page.

For tailored support and advice regarding apprenticeships, please visit


International applications are not possible for this course

As an international student you are not allowed to study this course because of the restrictions on your visa.

We offer a wide range of full-time courses in lots of different subjects, many of our courses start in September and January. If you would like to see what courses are available please visit our Course Search.

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.

  • Professional and Academic Skills Development
  • The UK Retail Industry
  • Retail Business Law
  • Contemporary Issues in Marketing
  • Information Systems and Big Data Analysis
  • People and Performance
  • Work Based Portfolio 1
  • Retail Business Project
  • Consumer Behaviour
  • Retail Operations
  • Leading and Managing Teams
  • Financial Management and Decision Making
  • Work Based Portfolio 2
  • Retail Work Based Project (CMDA Pathway)
  • Strategic Retail Management
  • Omni/Multi-Channel Retailing Strategies
  • Integrated Digital Marketing Strategy
  • Buying and Merchandising Strategies
  • Work Based Portfolio 3

Teaching, learning and assessment

Your apprentices will spend 80% of their time in the workplace, with the other 20% of their time being devoted to off-the-job training and university learning.

To make this course as beneficial as possible for you and your apprentices, we apply a range of learning, teaching and assessment methods. These are designed to fully engage apprentices, helping them to develop the skills, knowledge, self-awareness and behaviours essential to become a Chartered Manager , with particular reference to your organisation and their place within it. Learning focuses on your workplace environment, and builds the transferable body of knowledge and skills demanded to achieve Chartered Manager status , and apply this expertise within your organisation.

To complement lectures that introduce the course content, seminars and group-based activities allow apprentices to explore subjects in greater detail. Tutorials give them the opportunity to clarify their understanding of the topics we cover in lectures and seminars. We use case studies and practical scenarios to help apprentices apply their newly acquired academic knowledge to real-life problems, and gain valuable insights into contemporary practice in a working retail environment. Apprentices will also be expected to undertake considerable guided independent study; for instance, library research, virtual learning and background reading, preparing for seminar and tutorial activities, and working on assignments.

Guest lectures and presentations by a variety of visiting speakers from relevant employment areas will offer apprentices the chance to further develop their knowledge and understanding.

Our assessment methods are designed to reflect what will be required of Chartered Managers in retail business management settings. For example, the course requires apprentices to submit written reports, give presentations, develop their portfolio, complete a work based project, and practice interviewing and coaching skills. We also expect them to take written exams, write essays and reflective accounts, and play an active part in group discussions. Some assessments contribute to their final module marks, while others are designed to help them identify their strengths and weaknesses, and where they needs to seek extra support from course tutors.


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 (58%), Practical exams (12%), Written exams (25%)
Level Three Coursework (82%), Practical exams (8%), Written exams (10%)

Learning activities

Level Learning activity
Level One Guided independent study (80%), Scheduled learning and teaching activities (20%)
Level Two Guided independent study (80%), Scheduled learning and teaching activities (20%)
Level Three Guided independent study (80%), Scheduled learning and teaching activities (20%)

Contact The University

Key facts

  • Course type:
  • Location:
    The University of Bolton
  • Award:
    BSc (Hons)
  • Duration:
    4 years

Contact us

Matthew France
Programme Leader
Telephone: +44 (0)1204 903145

Enquiry Team
University of Bolton
Telephone: +44 (0)1204 903903