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.

Key information



Mode of Study:



3 years


The University of Bolton

UCAS points:


Start date:


Course Details

The retail industry employed nearly 2.9 million people and the value of retail sales totalled £394 billion in the UK in 2019*. 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 is 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.

* https://www.retaileconomics.co.uk/library-retail-stats-and-facts accessed on 30 March 2020

  • 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.
Professional recognition

Want some reassurance or advice? Speak to one of our advisors. Email us at enquiries@bolton.ac.uk or call us on +44 (0)1204 903 903.

Where changes are made to material information contained in this course description or a decision is taken to suspend a course between the offer of admissions and enrolment, we will inform applicants at the earliest possible opportunity and will outline the various options available to the applicant.

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

Foundation Degree graduates can use the qualification to enter a range of other careers, and for some of these roles, both relevant experience and Honours degree-level and postgraduate study is required. They include:

  • 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

Course fees

Home students starting this course in the first year will be required to pay a Home fee of £6,000 for the academic year 2020/21.

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 2021/2022.

For 2021/2022 entry, the maximum government approved undergraduate tuition fee for UK students is £9,250 per year. The University is able to charge this fee subject to an approved Access and Participation Plan for 2021/2022 and its current rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework.


Click here for more information about the scholarships and bursaries available to University of Bolton undergraduate students.

For details of how to apply for this course, please choose your status from the options below:

You may apply directly to the University using the University's online application form. Please select your chosen start date from the list below:

You should have to hand:

  • Details of the educational establishments you attended and dates

  • Your certificates for the qualifications you are using to gain entry to the course – you will need to enter the completion date and upload copies

  • Details of any employment history including name, address, dates and role

  • Personal statement – this can be either input into the relevant field or uploaded separately

  • Details including e-mail addresses of two referees, at least one of which should be someone who can provide an academic reference

Please make sure any documents you wish to upload in support of your application are in pdf or jpeg format. Personal statements may be word documents.

Please ensure your data is correct at each stage of the application before you proceed to the next page. If you use the back button at any time during the application, you should check the validity of the data you have already input.

If you experience difficulties during the application process, contact the Admissions Team on 01204 903394 or admissions@bolton.ac.uk

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.

University of Bolton Group Partners

Bolton College
University Technical College
University of Bolton

The University welcomes applications from our group partners and progressing students so we try to make our application process as simple and as fast as possible. By selecting the link for your chosen course from the list shown below you will be taken directly to our online application form. Please read the user guidance before completing this and ensure you upload all supporting documents such as certificates and your personal statement when you apply.

Please ensure when you are asked to add a contact email address you add your college/university email account address as well as your personal address. If you do not add your college address as your contact address we will be unable to identify you as a partner and you will be referred to apply via UCAS, which incurs a cost.

We look forward to receiving your application and you continuing your academic journey with us!

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 modules listed below may be a mixture of compulsory and optional. You may not have the opportunity to study all the modules shown 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
Assessment methods
LevelAssesment method
Level oneCoursework 54%, Practical exams 28%, Written exams 18%
Level twoCoursework 50%, Practical exams 25%, Written exams 25%
Learning activities
LevelLearning activity
Level oneGuided independent study 66%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 34%
Level twoGuided independent study 66%, Placement/study abroad 17%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 17%


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. The university considers changes to courses very carefully and the university will minimise any changes. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis and changes may be necessary due to legitimate staffing, financial, regulatory and academic reasons. 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.

The academic staff detailed above teach across a range of courses in this subject area and may not teach on this course specifically.

Programme Contacts

Matthew France
Programme Leader


+44 (0)1204 903145

Enquiry Team
University of Bolton


+44 (0)1204 903903

Related courses

FdSc Retail Business Management

Mode of study
2 Years
UCAS Points

The University of Bolton

BSc (Hons) Retail Business Management with foundation year

Mode of study
4 Years
UCAS Points

The University of Bolton

BSc (Hons) Retail Business Management

Mode of study
4.5 Years
UCAS Points

The University of Bolton

BSc (Hons) Retail Business Management (HE6 top-up)

Mode of study
18 Months

The University of Bolton

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

Mode of study
4 Years

The University of Bolton

Postgraduate Options

MBA Retail Management

Mode of study
1 Years

The University of Bolton

MBA Executive Retail Management (Senior Leader Master's Degree Apprenticeship Route)

Mode of study
30 Months

The University of Bolton


Download the app for your smartphone from:

Part of the University of Bolton Group

Bolton college
Alliance learning
Anderton centre2
RiSE pos rgb logo
TEF Silver QQA iip Logo

Part of the University of Bolton Group

Bolton college
Alliance learning
Anderton centre2
RiSE pos rgb logo
TEF Silver
iip Logo