Retail Marketing

Study retail marketing and graduate with a university degree

Stirling Management School's exceptional performance in REF 2014 has resulted in a coveted place among the UK's top 25 institutions for Business and Management, out of 101 Business Schools.

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.

Entrance requirements

Four-year Honours degree

SQA Higher:
BBBB - one sitting.
ABBB - two sittings.

GCE A-level:

IB Diploma:
32 points.

Three-year Honours degree

SQA Adv Higher:
ABB - one sitting.

GCE A-level:

IB Diploma:
35 points.

Other qualifications

Year one minimum entry
Scottish HNC/D - Bs in graded units
English, Welsh and NI HNC/D - Merits and Distinctions.
Advanced entry
Advanced entry may be possible with an HNC/D in a related subject. Please consult our Advanced Entrypages for more information.

Access courses:
Access courses and other UK/EU and international qualifications are also welcomed.

Additional information

General entrance requirements apply.
Mathematics Standard Grade (3), Intermediate 2, GCSE (C) or equivalent required.

If examinations are taken over two sittings, or there are repeats or upgrades, the entrance requirements may be higher.

INTO University of Stirling

INTO University of Stirling offers an International Foundation programme for those international students who do not meet the required academic and English-language criteria. These courses offer a route to study at the University of Stirling through an excellent teaching and learning experience located in the high-quality study facilities on campus.

International Foundation
Successful completion of the International Foundation in Business, Finance, Economics and Marketing to the required standard provides direct entry to year two of this degree.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

  • IELTS: 6.0 with 5.5 minimum in each skill
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade C
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic): 54 with 51 in each component
  • IBT TOEFL: 80 with no subtest less than 17

More information on our English language requirements

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO University of Stirling offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree.

Modes of study

Full-time (three modules per semester).
Part-time (one or two modules per semester).
January entry also available - see semester dates

Course contact

Professor Paul Freathy University of Stirling
+ 44 (0) 1786 467410

Course Director

Professor Paul Freathy

Find out more

Degree course

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.

Study abroad

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.'

Our students

At least 94% of our graduates are in work or further studies within six months of graduating.  Many of our alumni are now working in leading organisations across the world

Here is  what some of our alumni have to say about their experiences at the University of Stirling Management School and life after graduation.

Our Staff

Our Institute

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’.

Our teaching

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.

96% of our students are in employment or further study within six months of graduating. (Destination of Leavers from Higher Education, 2015)

Career opportunities

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:

  1. Boost your CV and stand out from the crowd in order to have an edge in the graduate job market.
  2. Make professional connections which may lead to the offer of a job upon graduation.
  3. 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.
  4. ‘Real world’ business experience, enabling you to put theory into practice.
  5. Develop transferable skills such as communication, team working, problem-solving, decision-making, initiative and creativity.
  6. Help fund your studies by earning a full-time salary during the vacation periods

Find out more about the Internships, which our Management School students have undertaken here:

Fees 2016/7

Overseas students (non-EU) £ 11,555.00
Scottish and EU students TBC
Students from the rest of the UK £6,750 per year for a maximum of 4 years


Fees 2015/6

Overseas students (non-EU) £ 11,275.00
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 there is an additional charge for the conferral of your degree. This will be charged at the rate applicable when you complete your studies. View more information


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.

Retail Marketing
  • Degree award BA, BA (Hons)
  • UCAS Code N550
  • Type Full-time, Campus based
  • Start date September / January
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