Structure and Content
The programme consists of eight modules taught over two 15-week semesters plus a 15,000 word dissertation.
In the Autumn Semester, you will study:
Professional Skills in Marketing: Emphasises the importance of individual and team skills in bringing about market-led strategic change in organisations and includes a team-building weekend.
Retail Strategy: This module assesses the role of senior management in setting the direction of an organisation and examines how they confront strategic issues. It helps you to understand the decision-making process, the need to develop a corporate strategy and to specify the key success factors for a retail company.
Marketing Research Techniques and Applications: This module focuses on client-based market research and develops knowledge and understanding of the scope and types of such research.
Retail Marketing: This module investigates the nature of the retail ‘product’, segmentation and positioning, consumer behaviour and retailing, marketing communication in a retail context, retail branding, store formats and customer service.
In the Spring Semester, students study:
Retail Management Applications: This module entails conducting a ‘live’ piece of research/consultancy for a real client with links to the retailing industry. Recent client organisations have included Playtex International, Texstyle World and the Thistle Shopping Centre, Stirling.
Research Evaluation and Research Design: This module concentrates on academic scholarly research. It involves critiquing published research, a poster session in which you present ideas for your dissertation and is followed by a full research proposal.
Retail Buying and Merchandising: This module covers both strategic and operational decisions. It explains the context of buying operations, the issues facing retail buyers in different types of retail organisation, the activities of retail buyers and their interaction with other functional areas.
Logistics and Channel Management: This module focuses on logistics, channel relationships and the supply chain. It relates logistics to the economy and to business and develops an understanding of channel management.
The dissertation is an independent piece of research of up to 15,000 words that is carried out in June, July and August of the programme after the conclusion of the taught modules.
The website contains additional information to that provided here including a ‘Café’, with material written by previous MSc Retail Management students about their experience of the programme.
Delivery and Assessment
The taught modules of the MSc programme are delivered using a variety of teaching methods. In addition to lectures and tutorials, the programme makes use of case studies, role-playing, fieldwork exercises, site visits, guest speakers and company projects.
Much of the programme is examined by continuous assessment, which takes the form of reports, essays, case analyses and presentations, in various combinations. Assessed work is often conducted in groups, as developing team working and communication skills is seen as an important part of the programme.
Graduates of the MSc Retail Management programme have gained employment in large and small retail organisations, both in the UK and overseas, and in other retail-related sectors. Examples of companies who have recruited recent graduates include B&Q, Thornton’s and Canon. Many graduates return to their countries of origin to work and we have alumni in Greece, China, Taiwan and Dubai, amongst other fast-developing retail markets.
Several former MSc Retail Management students have taken further degree programmes, including PhDs: two have recently completed doctorates with a retail theme, having continued their studies at Stirling after completing the MSc.