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About the course

Created specifically for the retail and property industry, this de facto entry level qualification has been developed in conjunction with industry experts and the Revo Educational Trust. It provides retail place managers with the practical skillset and knowledge to manage and operate the retail and leisure assets that sit at the heart of our communities.

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The retail and leisure industry is going through an unprecedented structural change. Retail is no longer retail - it’s a blurring of lines between retail, leisure, food and beverage; day time and night economy; and online, as the consumer searches for the ultimate all-round retail experience.

The traditional centre manager has turned into a commercial manager who needs to present, interpret financial data into strategy, facilitate the wider community partnerships, and much more.

This two year, part-time, Level 4 Diploma has been designed to fit in around your busy work and home life. Through a blended learning approach – face-to-face or online, and presentations or course work - this programme puts knowledge and confidence building at the heart of your learning experience.

The course starts with an introductory bootcamp. This is a compulsory introduction to the course which runs over a full weekend. The bootcamp consists of an induction to the course, an introduction to academic and personal development and a sets out the ‘golden rules of place management’ with a five credit unit: Introduction to Retail and Leisure Place Management.

Personal and academic development is very important, as well as the acquisition of skills, and you will be supported in developing your confidence and start on the road of becoming an independent learner. We encourage teamwork as a skill, which is highly valued by employers. Being able also to manage one’s own resources in individual work is also essential. Personal development is an important part of the curriculum the course aims to produce graduates who are confident, competent and capable independent retail place managers.

You will be given regular feedback to help support you, both academically and professionally, enabling you to gain confidence.   This is helped by the small group teaching which features throughout our courses.

We are recruiting for an April 2020 start. The course begins with our bootcamp weekend, Thursday 23 to Saturday 25 April 2020.

You can apply direct to Solent University for this course.
Apply direct
You can study this course part-time.
Part time option

The programme is delivered through blended learning, and is designed to fit around students’ work and home commitments.

What does this course lead to?

A graduate from this course will be able to play a role in an industry that is constantly being challenged to get the best out of our assets in driving performance and value. Students will learn the additional competencies required of a traditional centre manager to transform them into a commercial manager able to present, interpret financial data into strategy, and facilitate wider community partnerships.

Who is this course for?

This course is open to anyone working in the retail and retail property industry, looking to build their skills and increase their knowledge to manage and operate retail and leisure places.

Facts and figures

Fees icon

Fees and costs

Tuition fees

UK, EU and Channel Island fees: £9,250 (VAT free). Various payment options are available.
International part-time fees: Students from outside the EU are usually unable to obtain a visa for part-time study. Please visit our  visas and immigration page for more information.

For further information, please visit our tuition fees page.

Other costs

While most course costs are covered by your tuition fees, some essential resources and optional extras may need to be paid for separately. These additional costs are listed below. For advice on budgeting and managing your money, please contact

The 2020/21 other costs are not yet available. For guidance, previous other costs have been:

Compulsory costs:
You will be required to attend a compulsory residential induction weekend and will be expected to fund your hotel and subsistence during the weekend - approximately £250.

Bursaries and scholarships

Solent University offers a range of bursaries and scholarships that provide financial assistance or waive fees for tuition or accommodation. Each bursary or scholarship has specific eligibility criteria. Check out our bursaries and scholarships pages to find out more.

Key entry requirements icon

Key entry requirements

Applications are welcomed from students who do not have the academic qualifications listed below but may be admitted on the basis of relevant experience rather than standard qualifications.

16 points minimum from either 6-unit or 3-unit awards

  • plus Level 2 English and Maths
  • or BTEC/Edexcel Advanced GNVQ
  • or National Certificate Diploma in a Building/Construction related discipline
  • or relevant Access course
  • or other qualifications which are considered to be equivalent of the above.

For further information about UK, EU and international qualifications, please refer to our course entry requirement statement

English language requirements

Applicants who do not have English as their first language will be required to demonstrate an approved level of proficiency in the use of the English language. The agreed minimum requirements for this course are:

  • IELTS minimum 6.0 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each individual component
  • TOEFL IBT minimum 80 with a minimum of 19 in each individual component
  • or equivalent.

Qualifications are checked before enrolment, and international students must bring their original certificates or certified copies when coming to study at the University.

The University also offers a pre-sessional English programme for international students who wish to improve their level of English before starting a degree course.

Study location

East Park Terrace

Got a question about this course?

Contact our Ask Solent team: 023 8201 5066

How to apply

The course begins with our bootcamp weekend, Thursday 23 to Saturday 25 April 2020.

To apply, please click the link below and complete the online application form.


Starts on 23 April 2020


What you'll study

Year one

Core units
  • Introduction to Retail and Leisure Place Management

  • Principles of Retail and Leisure Management
    A general introduction to the principles and practice in retail and leisure management.

  • Management, Operations, Health and Safety
    Building on and developing the operational topics introduced in Principles of Retail and Leisure Management, covering facilities and property management, operations and critical risk management, and health and safety.

  • Fundamentals of Property Law and Data Governance
    Providing an understanding of legal and statutory requirements and their application - essential for effective and competent professional practice for retail and leisure management professionals.

  • Principles of Marketing
    Developing an understanding of the key concepts and terminology used in marketing and introducing students to key principles in marketing focusing primarily on consumer marketing.

  • Financial Management and Reporting
    Providing an understanding of asset class, property economics, investment and the financial budgeting and reporting skills essential to a centre manager.

  • Project: The Retail Place - The Future Leaders Project
    Bringing together the learning from the course to date and providing an awareness of the retail and business innovations and new technologies being developed for use within the sector.


Web-based learning

Solent's virtual learning environment provides quick online access to assignments, lecture notes, suggested reading and other course information.

The Student Hub

The Student Hub is a central space where you can access all of the information and support you need during your time at University.

Professional and experienced staff can help resolve any query, and if they cannot answer the question themselves they will find the person who can.

Career support

Meet the course team

Gillian Saieva academic profile Gillian Saieva Head of Subject View profile
Harjinder Virdee academic profile Harjinder Virdee Senior Lecturer View profile
Andrëa Faustino academic profile Andrëa Faustino Senior Lecturer View profile

The university cannot guarantee any particular members of staff will teach specific aspects of the course in the future, but will endeavour to ensure the teaching team maintains their balance of experience and qualifications.


We provide a stimulating learning environment and access to state-of-the-art resources to help you make the most of your time with us. Flexible spaces, Wi-Fi facilities and learning zones all contribute to our lively and contemporary study environment at Solent.

Students are given regular feedback, both academically and professionally, to support development and build confidence.

Your future

Graduates from this course will be well-prepared to pursue roles such as retail centre manager, leisure centre manager, or operations manager. Graduates could also seek roles in the areas of marketing, commercialisation, asset management or retail liaison.

  • I chose to do the Diploma so I can progress within the industry, I see this course as being an enabler to help me achieve that. I think the course covers areas of expertise that perhaps I haven’t got already and I think it will help me to go on and be a general manager in the future.

    Helen Morgan - Retail Manager based at St David's Shopping Centre, Cardiff

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