Retailing is a large and diverse industry that contributes significantly to the overall economy, as well as something that we as consumers experience regularly as part of our everyday lives. Understandably, the retail industry attracts a lot of attention from governments, the media and consumer groups.
According to the British Retail Consortium, in 2010 the retail sector generated approximately eight percent of UK's GDP, with sales over £293 billion. The sector is a major employer with over 2.9 million people currently working in retailing, equating to 12 percent of the total workforce.
In recent years retailers have had to deal with increased levels of competition, the growth of the Internet, new forms of technology and consumers that are looking for better value together with higher quality service. As a result, retailers require managers with the necessary skills to tackle and meet these challenges.
BBBB - one sitting.
ABBB - two sittings.
SQA Adv Higher:
ABB - one sitting.
Modes of study
Full-time (three modules per semester).
Part-time (one or two modules per semester).
January entry also available - see semester dates
Find out more
Semesters 1 and 2 are designed to provide a background in business related modules which will be taught alongside students from Marketing, Business Studies, Human Resource Management and Management. These modules are designed to give you a solid grounding in the general principles of industry, management, marketing, human resources and organisations.
Year 2 entry is available for suitably qualified candidates who can expect a seamless transition into Semester 3.
In Semesters 3 and 4, students study Retail Studies Fundamentals of Marketing, and Marketing Ethics and Society, as well as three optional modules from across the Stirling Management School or elsewhere within the University.
The Retail Marketing course is structured to ensure that through Semesters 5-8, seven core modules in retailing and marketing are studied alongside selection of elective modules. These core modules include: Understanding Consumers; Retail Operations; Marketing and the Supply Chain; Business & Management Research Methods; Professional Development and Practice. Students will also undertake a Marketing and Retail Consultancy Project which is designed to engage students with contemporary ‘live’ business practices.
Recommended elective modules include: Buying and Visual Merchandising; Multi-Channel Retail Marketing, and Branding and Communications.
You will have numerous opportunities to develop appropriate work-related skills at every stage of your studies, culminating in the Professional Development and Practice module in Semester 8 which helps you prepare for entering the workplace.
View full module descriptions
Teaching and assessment
Teaching methods centre around lectures and tutorials with considerable emphasis being placed on the analysis of case studies. The dissertation in the final semester enables you to focus in on a particular retail topic. Where relevant, the theory in the lectures is complemented with site visits and guest speakers from industry. Assessment is through a combination of coursework and formal examinations.
Our staff have established an international reputation for the high quality of their research and teaching in this field. The Institute for Retail Studies (IRS), part of Stirling Management School, was founded in 1983 to undertake retail research and retail teaching around the world. The wide-ranging experience of the IRS staff helps to ensure that the retail marketing degree is practical and up-to-date with trends in the retail industry.
You may spend Semester 6 studying abroad under the ERASMUS European exchange programme, or exchanges administered by the University’s Study Abroad Office to destinations in the USA, Canada, Australia and elsewhere. The Institute for Retail Studies also offers an undergraduate Retail Marketing programme in Singapore (in collaboration with SIM (GE)). Accordingly, Stirling students can study an entire semester in Singapore as part of this agreement.
Teaching provision in the Marketing department has been assessed by the Scottish Funding Council and rated as ‘highly satisfactory.'
The Institute for Retail Studies at the University of Stirling was established in 1983 to act as a focus for the academic and applied study of the retail industry. It is now one of Europe’s largest University based retail institutes and has developed a reputation for offering a range of high quality education and training courses to the retail sector as well as undertaking research of an international standard.
The Institute (IRS) has for a number of years been recognised as a ‘Centre of Excellence’ by the Department of Trade and Industy’s Retail and Consumer Services Panel (and contained in their Foresight publication ‘Bridging the gap’: Building a partnership between Retail and Education) for its contribution to retail education and training. The reputation of the Institute was further enhanced in the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) where retail research at Stirling was described as ‘World Leading’.
All members of staff are high profile academics with an excellent international reputation. Our teaching is based on the research activities in the fields of e.g. consumer behaviour, marketing, international retailing, retail planning, branding and logistics. Students benefit from our extensive contacts with leading UK retailers in terms of guest lectures or field trips.
94% of University of Stirling 2012 graduates have found work, or are in a
further programme of study within 6 months of graduation. The Telegraph
ranks Stirling in the top 12 UK universities for getting a job.
Where are our graduates now?
To provide you with an indication as to what you can do with your Retail Marketing degree, graduates entering into employment have, in the past, been successfully recruited to the following positions:
- Graduate Trainee Manager, Sainsbury’s
- Trainee Buyer, Tesco
- Account Executive, Good Creative
- Customer & Marketing Co-ordinator, Admail Group
- Visual Merchandiser, Topshop
- Graduate Trainee Area Manager, Aldi
- Fashion Buyer, Tesco
- Commercial Manager, East Stirlingshire Football Club
- Graduate Management Scheme, Marks & Spencer
- Assistant Manager, New Look
Stirling Management School’s Careers Mentoring Scheme
The Careers Mentoring Scheme is open to all Year 3 and Year 4 students across Stirling Management School. Mentoring is widely recognised as an effective tool for enhancing your career prospects and of ensuring informed choice, and this scheme is designed to provide additional support as you progress through your studies, as well as preparing your for progression into your desired professions. Mentors are all former students of Stirling Management School who know what it is like to be unsure about your future career plans. They are keen to pass on tips relating to potential careers and applying for jobs.
The benefits of the scheme include:
- Improving your employability skills
- Building your confidence and self-esteem when applying for jobs
- Searching and applying for suitable jobs, writing CVs, interview skills
- Providing an insight into the world of work and a particular industry
For more information, and to discover other ways in which our alumni get involved click here
Internship – What they are and why you should consider doing one?
An internship is an opportunity offered by an employer to students (or interns) over a fixed period of time, which enables the student to gain practical experience. The Career Development Centre has details of internships available around the world with large private sector organisations, as well as opportunities with smaller local businesses which are promoted through both the Third Sector Internship Scheme, the Saltire Foundation, and our very own Stirling Internship Programme. As a student, you will automatically be registered onto the University’s Vacancy & Events System which means that you will receive regular updates regarding new opportunities as they become available.
Six reasons why you should consider an internship:
- Boost your CV and stand out from the crowd in order to have an edge in the graduate job market.
- Make professional connections which may lead to the offer of a job upon graduation.
- Test your career choices – internships can ease your transition into future careers or alternatively, help you decide that you don’t want to work in that area after all.
- ‘Real world’ business experience, enabling you to put theory into practice.
- Develop transferable skills such as communication, team working, problem-solving, decision-making, initiative and creativity.
- Help fund your studies by earning a full-time salary during the vacation periods
|Overseas students (non-EU)||£ 11,000.00|
|Scottish and EU students||£ 1,820.00|
|Students from the rest of the UK||£6,750 per year for a maximum of 4 years|
Please note: Scottish and EU students can apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have tuition fees paid by the Scottish government.
Please note: Students from the rest of the UK can apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of the tuition fees, from the Student Loan Company.