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

Our Level 6 CMI-accredited BSc (Hons) Retail Business Management (Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship) 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 to tackle complex business challenges in one of the largest economic sectors.

Retail Business Management (Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship)

Key information


BSc (Hons)

Mode of Study:



4 years


University of Bolton

Start date:

To be confirmed

Course Details

This Level 6 BSc (Hons) Retail Business Management (Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship) seeks explicitly 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.

The University of Bolton's BSc (Hons) Retail Business Management (Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship) is aimed at candidates who possess 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), ensuring its relevance. Studying at the Greater Manchester Business School at the University of Bolton 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.

Learning focuses on your workplace environment – your apprentices will spend the majority of their time gaining on-the-job knowledge and experience. They will also complete at least six hours per week in off-the-job learning, including studying at the university 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 their specific challenges. 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) and 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 that offers apprenticeships, please see our related courses section for details of study opportunities that don't require current employment.

  • When apprentices successfully complete the end point assessment for this course, they will receive a degree apprenticeship certificate from the relevant awarding body and be awarded an academic degree – the BSc (Hons) Retail Business Management from the University of Bolton. They'll also be able to apply for Chartered Manager (CMgr MCMI) status with the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).
  • Face-to-face sessions and one-to-one support are offered by our team of highly experienced and enthusiastic lecturers who have worked in a wide range of businesses ranging from multinational organisations to SMEs.
  • We'll support your apprentice in developing sought-after skills such as data analysis, critical reasoning and problem-solving, 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 University. As well as offering your apprentice valuable experience, this live project can provide you with 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 Greater Manchester Business School 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. They allow your apprentices to prepare work in advance 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 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 University. This helps to ensure the success of your apprentices and maximise the value of their studies to your organisation.
Professional recognition

This programme is accredited by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), the leading professional body for managers in the UK and Europe.

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

Successful apprentices will be awarded the BSc (Hons) Retail Business Management from the University of Bolton and a degree apprenticeship certificate from the relevant awarding body.

  • Any subjects are acceptable at Level 3.
  • Applicants should have five GCSEs at grade C or above or grade 4 to 9 (or equivalent), including English and Mathematics. If an applicant has yet to achieve appropriate Level 2 English and Mathematics qualifications, then with their employer's support, they can complete suitable equivalents locally or with assistance from the University before commencing the apprenticeship. Please contact for a list of acceptable GCSE equivalents, further information and support.
  • Previous business and management experience may be taken into account if an applicant doesn’t meet the academic entry requirements for the course.
  • Applicants will attend a joint discussion with their employer and the University of Bolton. This combined interview and onboarding discussion fosters trust and sets the tone of the relationship between the applicant, their employer and our tutors. As part of the interview, applicants may be asked to undertake additional assessment(s) or provide a portfolio of appropriate work to determine their suitability for the course.
  • Admission to this programme is only available to applicants who meet ESFA eligibility criteria, including the following: 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 willing to sponsor them to spend a minimum of six hours per week of their time in off-the-job training, including attending the University (times and dates to be determined) for the duration of their course. Please note that an apprentice cannot be self-employed. ESFA eligibility criteria may change so please contact for up-to-date information.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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.

This retail-focused programme is designed to meet the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship (CMDA) standard for Leadership and Management (ST0272). 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 to develop their expertise further. Studying for an MBA is another option.

Course fees

Apprentices will need to be employed by your organisation for a minimum of 30 hours per week. Your organisation will also need to commit to sponsoring apprentices to complete this qualification.

For further information on how your organisation can access funds to support apprentices, please e-mail

Whether you’re an employer, employee or school leaver, please visit our Apprenticeship web page for support and advice regarding apprenticeships.

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.

Useful information

Apprentices will not be expected to pay tuition fees towards this programme. If your organisation has a wage bill of more than £3 million per annum, then it may be able to fund this apprenticeship through its Apprenticeship Levy contributions. If your organisation does not pay the levy, it will be eligible for government support to fund apprenticeships. This support, called co-investment, covers 95% of the apprenticeship's tuition fees, with your organisation funding the remaining 5% of the fees.

Important note regarding tuition fees for the 2023-2024 academic year: EU nationals who meet residency requirements (have settled or pre-settled status) may be eligible for 'Home' fee status. If you do not meet these residency requirements, overseas fees will apply. Irish citizens living in the UK or Ireland will be eligible for 'Home' fee status under the Common Travel Area arrangement. Please read the student finance for EU students web page on for information.

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.

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

Course application details are unavailable at present

Course application details are unavailable at present

Course application details are unavailable at present

To make this course as beneficial as possible for you and your apprentices, we apply a range of learning, teaching and assessment methods, including face-to-face and online. 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. Your apprentices will spend most of their time in the workplace, with a minimum of six hours per week being devoted to off-the-job training and university learning.

To complement lectures that introduce the course content, seminars and group-based activities allow apprentices to explore subjects in greater detail. Tutorials allow them 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 develop their knowledge and understanding further.

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. This shows where they need to seek extra support from course tutors.


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.

  • Professional and Academic Skills
  • 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
Assessment methods
LevelAssesment method
Level oneCoursework 54%, Practical exams 28%, Written exams 18%
Level twoCoursework 58%, Practical exams 12%, Written exams 25%
Level threeCoursework 82%, Practical exams 8%, Written exams 10%
Learning activities
LevelLearning activity
Level oneGuided independent study 80%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 20%
Level twoGuided independent study 80%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 20%
Level threeGuided independent study 80%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 20%


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

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

Mode of study
4 Years
UCAS Points

University of Bolton


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We have the answers to your questions, find all the advice and support in one place.

Part of the University of Bolton Group

Bolton college
Alliance learning
Anderton centre2
QQA Scheme Participant