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MSc International Retail Marketing

Course Description

This programme benefits from Surrey Business School’s expertise in retail – we have been offering programmes in the subject since 1989 – and reflects the demand for highly qualified managers in a rapidly internationalising sector.


At Surrey Business School, we offer a diverse range of business and management programmes that are fuelled by a common approach: encouraging you to be entrepreneurial and innovative, providing opportunities for you to engage with real-world business problems throughout your programme.

Visit the website http://www.surrey.ac.uk/postgraduate/international-retail-marketing


Retailing is a highly significant economic activity on both a national and international scale. Recognising this, we offer an MSc designed for those looking to develop their knowledge of the theory and practice of retail marketing and its application in the international business environment.

The programme also enables you to develop your knowledge of business management more generally, reflecting the demand for qualified managers in the sector.

The competitive significance of advanced retail marketing practices is increasingly acknowledged, making this programme highly relevant for future managers in retail and related professional services, working in both developed and developing business environments.

The student experience on this programme will include large lecture classes alongside seminars delivered to smaller groups. This offers you the opportunity to meet and interact with students from other programmes across Surrey Business School.

Programme structure

The programme comprises seven compulsory modules, one optional module and a dissertation.

Compulsory modules:

Research Methods
Retail Services Marketing
Relationship Marketing
Retail Buying and Merchandising
Consumer Behaviour
International Retailing
Digital Marketing & Social Media

Optional modules:

Accounting and Finance for Business
International Marketing Investigation
Marketing Communications
Applied Marketing Research
Introduction to Marketing Analytics

Example module content

- Consumer Behaviour

Consumer behaviour is evident in everyday life and knowledge and understanding of this subject is beneficial to marketing and strategy formulation. The module will focus on behavioural concepts, appropriate research techniques and recent research findings to enhance students’ understanding of how consumers choose products. Recent trends in consumer behaviour applied to services are also incorporated.

- Retail Services Marketing

The module is divided into two distinct elements, firstly the principles of marketing are covered, and secondly the retail industry specific application of marketing is analysed. The module also creates an opportunity to explore 'real life' decision-making and enhances a wide range of study skills, such as independent research, analytical skills as well as critical thinking.

- International Retailing

Internationalisation is now a very substantive feature of the retail industry, with implications for retail competition, retailer strategy, retail development and supply chain management among other issues. A considerable and growing body of academic and practitioner literature surrounds this issue. It provides a valuable body of knowledge to inform future retail marketing managers and highlights some of the potential complexities and enduring challenges of retailing in an international environment. This module is designed to help you to understand the extent and nature of retail internationalisation and to critically evaluate related theories and conceptualisations.

- Relationship Marketing

Relationship marketing, including customer relationship management, is a very current topic in marketing. Module content includes case studies, alliances and partnerships, capture of data, database management and the role of customer service and quality in RM.

- Retail Buying and Merchandising

Retail buying and merchandising are the core-competencies of retailers and impact substantially on retailers image and profitability. This module evaluates the role and nature of buying and merchandising strategies in meeting objectives (both financial and non-financial) of retail organisations. It examines specific management applications utilised in meeting product and service criteria set by the retail mix. Additionally the module touches upon related areas like in-store and shopper-marketing, retail operations and supply chain management.

- Research Methods

This module covers the fundamentals of research practice. It introduces the process of research project formulation and the key elements of research design, namely the choice of unit of analysis, measurement, methods of data collection, and data analysis. Ultimately, the module prepares you to design and execute your research study for your dissertation in a systematic and scientific manner.

- Digital Marketing and Social Media

This module introduces students to the core principles of digital marketing. New technologies change the way companies interact with consumers. Technological evolution continues apace and marketers are seeking to exploit it in new, creative ways. This module provides a comprehensive framework for understanding the contextual, strategic and operational issues involved in the application of technology to marketing.

- Accounting and Finance for Business

This module provides the conceptual foundations for understanding, analysing and interpreting accounting and cost management information. Students learn how to apply accounting principles and financial theory to decision-making in modern business organisations. Module content includes the financial environment, corporate governance and analysis of the prime financial statements.

- International Marketing Investigation

This module provides an opportunity to apply the theoretical knowledge acquired during the programme to a set problem of international marketing with a view to supporting reasoned choices. Students undertake a basic investigation leading to conclusions which are theoretically underpinned and empirically supported on some international business problem identified from the literature.

- Marketing Communications

Students are introduced to the concepts, issues, theory and practice of marketing communications (marcoms) and integrated marketing communications (IMC). This provides an understanding of how marketing communications work in practice, taking into account the context, culture and market characteristics.

- Applied Marketing Research

This module covers the critical aspects of marketing research theory and practice to support and improve marketing management practice. Module content includes quantitative research, questionnaire design, advertising research, research on pricing, channel management research, internet research, and international market research.

- Introduction to Marketing Analytics

Technology advances of the past decade have dramatically enhanced marketers’ means of collecting and analysing data to measure the ROI and effectiveness of their marketing strategies. This module is designed to provide students with an overview of what data is collected, how it can be analysed, and interpreted to guide marketing executives in their strategic decisions. The module focuses on introducing students to key analytical techniques with an emphasis on interpreting results and generating strategic insights for marketing decision making.

- Dissertation

The dissertation is the final element of the programme which provides an opportunity for a sustained period of research. It allows students to concentrate on a topic that is of particular interest to you and it draws upon a range of different aspects of the taught programme. It also gives students an opportunity to work on their own with individual supervision.


Surrey Business School is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) (http://aacsb.edu/) and by the Association of MBAs (AMBA) (http://www.mbaworld.com/).

The University of Surrey is a member of the Academy of Marketing.

Find out how to apply here - http://www.surrey.ac.uk/apply/postgraduate

Visit the MSc International Retail Marketing page on the University of Surrey website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Nick Carroll

What attracted you to choose the University of Surrey?

I was initially attracted to the University of Surrey because of the renowned reputation of Surrey Business School, and its lecturers, in the field of retail research. I also happened to live in Guildford at the time and having a world-class university of my doorstep meant I didn’t think of anywhere else!

What is your strongest memory of your time at Surrey – what do you picture first when you think of being here?

My strongest memories are from discussions had with both my classmates and lecturers, both inside of lectures and outside. The broad diversity of nationalities and the international scope of the course meant I learnt just as much through talking with my peers as I did through my own studying.

What were the best things about your course?

The best thing about my course, MSc International Retail Marketing, was that it did truly give you a holistic view of the retail market, from store operations, to marketing, to logistics and a host of other areas. This was really important in my career, as having a broad understanding of all the moving parts of the retail market is essential, even if you are looking to specialise in a particular area.

What are your top tips for students aspiring to work in your profession?

It might sound obvious, but to work in market research you must first love research! A big part of being a successful market researcher and analyst is both understanding what is currently happening in the market but also what is likely to happen in five or ten years from now. To do this you must be comfortable being an authoritative voice in the field and often challenge the perceived way of doing things by always looking forward and suggesting new ways of doing things. Keeping to deadlines and the ability to write quickly is also essential; I essentially write a dissertation a month so a love of writing is essential!


Discounts for Surrey graduates - No. of awards TBC

If you are a self-funded UK, EU or international student who has studied for an undergraduate degree at the University of Surrey campus in Guildford, you could be eligible for a ten per cent discount on our taught postgraduate Masters programme fees. This scheme is for applicable to Postgraduate Taught entry students only and is reviewed annually.Students who graduated in 2013 are eligible, as well as alumni from previous years, on receipt of evidence of the award from Surrey and where we can identify that you actually studied in Guildford. Students from SII-DUFE are eligible for this scheme.Associated Institution students are not eligible. Not available to modular self-pacing students.

Value of Scholarship(s)

10% tuition fee discount


If you are a self-funded UK, EU or international student who has studied for an undergraduate degree at the University of Surrey campus in Guildford

Application Procedure

If you have any enquiries regarding this matter please contact the Student Fees and Funding Office on [email protected]

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Applicants should usually hold a Bachelors degree (UK 2.2 or above) or equivalent qualification from a recognised British/overseas university. Every applicant is assessed individually on their own merit. Higher level professional qualifications may also be accepted. Relevant work experience could be an additional benefit where applicants have not reached the standard entry requirements, although it is not an admissions requirement for this particular degree programme.English language requirements-IELTS minimum overall: 6.5-IELTS minimum by component: 6.0

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