Rapidly-changing consumer trends and how to capitalise on advances in online shopping will be encapsulated in a flexible new retail degree.
North Wales Business School at Wrexham Glyndwr University has unveiled the BA (Hons) in Retail Management, which will be taught from September 2017.
During the course students will have the opportunity to create their own online company and focus on omni-channel retailing, with career prospects in the fields of digital merchandising, store management and business analysis, from head office to the shop floor.
Programme leader Claire Blanchard says the modules will be fluid so that the qualification is always at the cutting edge of the sector.
“As well as being flexible, one of the biggest difference between us and other business schools is that we can give students the personal touch, which is something that’s especially important in retail,” said Claire.
“Even the biggest global organisations, whether it be face to face or online, make the customer feel wanted and take them on a journey, and that’s something we aim to recreate on this degree.”
With employability at 92.1% – the highest in North Wales – Claire says the University aims to have all students job-ready on graduating.
“That’s especially the case on degrees like this, where we will be linking closely with industry and bringing in practitioners who’ve been there at the coal face and can share their experiences,” she said.
“Another element is that every student will launch their own online business; whether they turn out to be successful or not, it doesn’t matter, it’s how they do it, what they learn from it and how they come back in the face of adversity.
“That’s what happens in a real business environment, so we aim to replicate that.”
She added: “Retail has become about web clicks as much, if not more, than bricks and mortar. The high street is changing and as a result jobs in the sector are as well, so it’s about being at the forefront of that.
“It is an ever-evolving industry and this degree reflects that.”
All students at Wrexham Glyndwr are given a personal tutor to guide them through their studies, which aligns with the University’s reputation for widening access and support, elements which reinforced a 5% rise in student satisfaction this year.
The University’s focus on bringing business and academia together comes after Vice-Chancellor, Professor Maria Hinfelaar, spoke of how – using the ‘triple helix’ methodology – Wrexham Glyndwr will unite education, industry and government to power north east Wales on to new heights.
“Research suggests that the components of the triple helix can underpin the transition from a traditional industrial economy to a knowledge economy and finally to what is known as an ‘innovation economy’,” she said.
“If my experience is anything to go by, much can be achieved here in Wrexham through consciously working along the principles of the model: synchronise the agendas of educators, civic and political leaders and industry and actually make them come together for the benefit of all.”
“As the university of and for north east Wales we will be a key driver for regional development – if we blossom, the region blossoms and vice versa.”
More information on the course can be found on the Wrexham Glyndwr University website.