International Retail Marketing MSc

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.

Why Surrey?

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.

Programme overview

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.


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.

Graduate prospects


Surrey is rated as the fourth best university in the UK for marketers by the LinkedIn University Rankings.

Professional recognition

Surrey Business School is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and by the Association of MBAs (AMBA)

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

Related programmes

Postgraduate (Taught)

Related departments/schools

Related research areas

Programme leader

Professor Christoph Teller

Find out more

General enquiries:

+44 (0)1483 681 681

Admissions enquiries:


Programme facts

Type of programme:


Programme length:

  • Full-time: 12 months

Start date:

Sep 2016

Entry Requirements

Applicants should normally hold a Bachelors degree (a good UK 2.2) or an equivalent qualification from a recognised British or overseas university.

If an applicant’s Bachelors degree is not in a subject related to the MSc, some relevant work experience would be an advantage. Higher level professional qualifications may also be accepted. Each applicant is assessed on their own merit.

View entry requirements by country

English language requirements

IELTS minimum overall: 6.5

IELTS minimum by component: 6.0

We offer intensive English language pre-sessional courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.


Study mode Start date UK/EU fees Overseas fees
Full-time Sep 2016 £11,000 £17,000

Please note these fees are for the academic year 2016/17 only. All fees are subject to annual review.

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Discounts for Surrey graduates

Thinking of continuing your education at Surrey? As an alumni of Surrey you could be eligible for a 10% discount on our Taught Masters programme fees.

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The Chancellor's International Scholarship

The University of Surrey is pleased to announce the Chancellor's International Scholarship for Taught Postgraduate, Surrey Business School students in the 2015/16 academic year.

The award is worth £2000 in the form of a fee waiver for self-funded students from India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Thailand and Vietnam achieving the equivalent of a UK 2:1. A further £1000 will be awarded to exceptional students.

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