Foundation Degree in Retail Management
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Retail is a dynamic, global industry – with innovative new markets constantly emerging to keep pace with increasingly sophisticated consumer behaviour. This foundation degree course is designed to equip you with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in this competitive world. You’ll gain a clear understanding of the key management functions of a retail business and its trading environments, together with a sound knowledge of business disciplines. From an organisational viewpoint, you will study retail operations; processes; structures and cultures; and wider considerations such as trading relationships, environments, and markets – investigating how all these inform retail management practices. From an individual viewpoint, you’ll explore the management and development of people within and beyond the organisation. The Foundation Degree in Retail Management will also help you develop: an understanding of concepts and analytical approaches; problem-solving skills; and practical and professional skills that will enhance employability.
The programme of study for this foundation degree is also offered as the
Diploma of Higher Education in Retail Management (W14). The diploma of higher education might be of particular interest to those living and working in Scotland.
Fees and facts
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Flexible, part-time study through
Foundation degrees are nationally recognised qualifications focusing either on a particular job or profession; they combine work place learning with academic study. Designed and developed with external partners, you must be working either as a paid employee or as a volunteer in a related work setting.
A foundation degree is equivalent to two thirds of an honours degree. They aim to enhance the professional and technical skills of staff within a profession or those intending to go into that profession.
You can use a foundation degree to:
change careers or progress your current career, gain technical and professional skills, gain professional recognition, achieve a full honours degree through further study.
Most of our foundation degrees are also offered as diplomas of higher education for those living and working in Scotland.
There are no formal entry requirements to study this qualification.
Career relevance and employability
The skills and knowledge you’ll gain by studying this foundation degree course are recognised by employers as being of great value for work in the retail sector. They can also lead to opportunities in specialist areas concerned with offering guidance to managers or businesses – for example, management consultancy or any customer-facing industry.
The Foundation Degree in Retail Management will contribute to your career development by enhancing your cognitive skills – writing, critical thinking, analysis and evaluation – as well as ICT, presentation and numeracy skills. You’ll explore how theories and ideas in business, leadership and management influence how retail organisations think and work. You can choose to take other modules from a number of subject areas, which will further increase your skills set.
There’s more information about how OU study can improve your employability in the
OU’s Employability Statement from our Careers Advisory Service. You can also read or download our publication and look at our OU study and your career subject pages to find out about career opportunities.
Choose a pathway and register
Pathways allow you to specialise or choose particular topics that interest you. You will need to choose a pathway before registering.
Credit for previous study elsewhere
If you have already completed some successful study at higher education level at another institution you may be able to transfer credit for this study and count it towards this qualification. If you wish to apply to transfer credit you must do so as soon as possible, and before you register for this qualification.
If you are awarded credit for study completed elsewhere, you may find that you need to study fewer OU modules to complete this qualification. This may also mean that the next start date and the maximum time limit for this qualification are different to those shown above.
Credit Transfer site for more information and details of how to apply for credit transfer.
The learning outcomes of this qualification are described in four areas:
Knowledge and understanding
Practical and professional skills
Read more detailed information about the learning outcomes, and how they are acquired through teaching, learning and assessment methods.
On successful completion of the required modules you will be awarded a Foundation Degree in Retail Management and will be entitled to use the letters FD (Open) after your name.
As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the following regulations:
These regulations are also available on our
Essential Documents website.
If you have a disability
Choosing the qualification that’s right for you is very important. Depending on your disability, long-term health condition, mental health disability or specific learning difficulty, you may need to consider any challenges posed by:
the learning objectives: for example, to gain an honours degree in a language you must be physically able to speak the language
how the modules are taught: for example, some of our science qualifications require that you complete laboratory work
any work-based competency requirements.
Choosing the right qualification can be a complex mix of the subject requirements and the support you may need. To help you assess whether the qualification you are interested in will work for you, further advice is available from:
You will need a computer with internet access to study for this qualification. For most OU qualifications a Microsoft Windows (new since 2007),
Apple Mac (OS X 10.6 or later) or Linux computer should be adequate. However, some qualifications require more specific IT equipment, in which case you
will need additional software to use an Apple Mac or Linux computer. A detailed technical specification for your modules will be made available when you
register. Please note, technical specifications do change over time to match computer developments and the way we teach.
The Open University is the world’s leading provider of flexible, high quality distance learning. Unlike other universities
we are not campus based. You will study in a flexible way that works for you whether you’re at home, at work or on the move.
As an OU student you’ll be supported throughout your studies – your tutor or study adviser will guide and advise you, offer detailed
feedback on your assignments, and help with any study issues. Tuition might be in face-to-face groups, via online
tutorials, or by phone.
For more information read
Distance learning explained.