Convenience Leadership Programme

Key information

Start date: To be confirmed

Attendance dates:

To be confirmed


Online / Surrey Business School, University of Surrey / London and Midlands

Contact details:

Why choose this course

This course is the first convenience-specific programme of its kind and has been designed for area managers, buying teams, independent retailers, sales and market research specialists, and consultants. This will be delivered in partnership with the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS), a bold statement of how much we believe in the industry and the people who work in it, whether in stores, in larger retailers and wholesalers, or with our colleagues in the supplier community.

What you will study

  • Understand what’s changing in retail convenience and why.
  • The skills to make and implement effective decisions in this industry, and acquire a great network of like-minded people and senior mentors.
  • Doing this course will help you move ahead your business and your career.

This course will give a better understanding of the future of our sector to the leaders of the future. It’s a great opportunity for managers in retail, wholesale and supplier businesses to see the bigger picture of technological and consumer trends that will shape our industry, while keeping a tight focus on the realities of convenience retailing and how to drive success here and now.

Andy Cresswell, Chief Retail Officer, Bestway

Learning outcomes

  • A solid strategic and practical knowledge of convenience retailing, knowledge of the portfolio and activities from the ACS
  • A network of like-minded people within the sector
  • Having successfully completed the programme you will receive a graduation certificate attesting you a “Convenience Leadership Programme graduate” from the University of Surrey.

Course content

Session 1: Analysing the factors affecting the convenience sector

  • How is the convenience sector impacted by demographics changes, technology development, the political landscape, economics and societal changes?

Session 2: Personal and professional development

  • How can we identify how we are perceived or positioned in the workplace through the eyes of your employer - and which experience/skills are prized most?
  • How can we improve the effectiveness of our collaboration within teams - as leaders and as colleagues?
  • How can best communicate with others? How to best have a difficult conversation?

Session 3: Making attractive value propositions

  • What are the key market trends, and how are the needs of the convenience consumer changing?
  • How can we decide on the right offer for a convenience store, and how do we evolve it in line with our customers?
  • What is great service and how do we deliver customer satisfaction?

Session 4 and 5: ACS Summit & reflection

  • Participation in ACS summit
  • Reflection on takeaways from the summit. What does the information mean to my business?

Session 6: ACS Technology showcase & reflection

  • Participation in the virtual ACS Technology showcase
  • Reflection on takeaways from the summit. What does the information mean to my business?

Session 7: Data and decision making in the convenience sector

  • What data sources are available to support decision-making in convenience retailing?
  • How can this data be integrated into the decision-making process?

Session 8a: Innovation thinking

  • How do different kinds of companies innovate?
  • How can innovations be managed how can organisations be more agile?
  • How can large organisations think and act like start-ups?

Session 8b: Supply chain management

  • What are the new trends in supply chain management and procurement?
  • How to manage supply of products and services into stores?
  • How to manage our relationship with suppliers?
  • How to cope with recent uncertainties and complexities in supply chains?

Session 9: Store and customer management

  •    How can stores improve on-shelf availability?
  •    How can stores grow sales and profits by reducing retail loss? (shrinkage, food waste, markdowns, damages, fraud, etc)

Session 10: Presentation of final projects & graduation

Session 11: ACS Study Tour

Learning and teaching methods

This is an applied, evidenced-based course that aims to be directly relevant to business decisions in convenience retailing, but also has a sound basis in academic or practical evidence. The course has both a theory and a practical component. The course structure is aligned with various ACS activities and embeds them into the curriculum.


The assessment has two components:

  • Attendance and active participation in modules
  • Conducting a consultancy or research project and compose a final presentation.

At the end of the course, you will receive a graduation certificate (dependent on if you have passed your assessments).

Research project

The research project and presentation summarising the results of the project shall cover one particular topic in convenience retailing in-depth. It can be proposed by your employer funding the course or yourself. The report will enhance your convenience retailing-related knowledge and deliver insights to your employer and the sector.

All the projects are presented at the end of the module, which will also enable the participants to practice their presentation skills and enhance the knowledge of the entire group through the insights generated in the final projects. The final reports will have to be finalised in the phase from April to June and will be supervised by staff from Surrey Business School.

Course leader

Entry requirements

We accept applicants with a wide range of educational and business experience. There is no need for a previous degree in the higher education sector, but experience in the convenience retailing sector is required.

Fees and funding

Price per person:


ACS Members


Non-ACS Members

What these fees include

The fees include all teaching activities and materials.

Funding opportunities

Depending on the number and composition of participants we might be able to offer partial scholarships to exceptionally talented individuals. Please contact Mark Simmons for further information.

How to apply

We aim for a cohort of like-minded individuals with expertise and interest in convenience retailing.

To book on the programme and receive a registration form, please contact Mark Simmons, Executive Education Coordinator. 

Register your interest

Terms and conditions

When you accept an offer of a place at the University of Surrey, you are agreeing to comply with our policies and regulations and our terms and conditions. You are also confirming you have read and understood the University's prospective student privacy notice.

Further details of our terms and conditions will follow.


This online prospectus has been prepared and published in advance of the commencement of the course. The University of Surrey has used its reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content or additional costs) may occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for a course with us. Read more.