Food Business and Retail Management
BSc (Hons) *

2022/23 Part-time Undergraduate course


Bachelor of Science with Honours


Ulster University Business School


Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management


Coleraine campus

Start date:

September 2022


This is a degree course covering food producer and retailer elements focusing on core business and management areas with a commercial orientation.

* This course is undergoing academic validation. Please note that the information displayed here is subject to change as part of this process.


Food and Drink is a £5 billion industry in N. Ireland and is the region’s largest manufacturer. It is deemed a priority sector by Government and a major future economic driver requiring support to build a stronger economy (NI Business Info, 2020; DfE 2020; DAERA, 2020). The DfE Rebuilding a Stronger Economy document acknowledges challenges such as Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic, noting that existing strengths in the NI agri-food sector need actions taken to protect them. The document recommends a plan for the recovery of the agri-food sector in NI, suggesting a range of interventions to support viable businesses through the short/medium term. The most recent strategic plan for the food industry – Going for Growth – Investing in Success – emphasised a programme of measures to ensure higher levels of market-led innovation, sales growth outside Northern Ireland, especially to new markets in the USA, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, and a significant improvement in skills. Crucially, this was positioned as a key requirement across the supply chain from food producer to food retailer. The strategic vision set is commercial in focus and ambitious, “Growing a sustainable, profitable and integrated Agri-Food supply chain, focused on delivering the needs of the market.” This is timely, given the recent significant challenges of Brexit and COVID19, with supply chain disruptions and dynamic changes to consumer behaviour impacting all players in the food industry and demanding a response in terms of skills development and change management. The proposed BSc (Hons) Food Business and Retail Management course, is being developed to address the aims of strategic developments in the industry and to prepare firms to face the challenges presented by Brexit and the pandemic. To meet the needs of prospective and existing employees, it will be delivered in full-time and part-time modes, providing the skills needed by those who aspire to be managers and leaders who have the skills to respond to significant opportunities and challenges faced by the industry. The course, in meeting the needs of a key strategic industry in N. Ireland, aims to also support the University’s strategic themes around academic excellence and civic contribution. It’s distinctiveness reflects the commercial focus of recent strategic developments to support the growth of the food industry and the skills needed to respond to supply chain and consumer behaviour challenges. Reflecting this, the course structure and content covers the key aspects of supply chain management, consumer behaviour, marketing and category management. As a student on this course, a distinctive outcome on completion will be the capability to realise and exploit market opportunities, while also enhancing their commercial appreciation of the food supply chain and key functional activities required to create competitiveness in the food industry.

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About this course


With an emphasis on the application of knowledge in the real-term context, the overall aim of the BSc (Hons) Food Business and Retail Management programme is to educate students in the commercial principles of business and management, both theoretical and applied, within the context of food producers and retailing. This will provide students with an academically challenging and intellectually stimulating study of the subjects and disciplines associated with career opportunities across a broad range of areas, such as marketing, supply chain management and international business. The programme will play an important part in equipping students to take the next step towards becoming subject matter experts, innovative thinkers and future leaders in driving a competitive food industry in Northern Ireland and beyond. The programme provides knowledge and skills of business and management that can be applied to commercial situations while providing the potential to specialise in specific areas of interest in the context of food business and retail management. Students will therefore develop transferable intellectual skills that are key to a successful career in the food industry. Within the overall aim the objectives of the programme are to provide students with:

  • An applied study of both the theoretical and commercial aspects of business and management and managed solutions to bridge the theory-practice gap within food business and retail management.
  • Preparation for a managerial career in a competitive food industry environment by development of the necessary transferable intellectual and interpersonal skills.
  • A critical awareness of macro challenges and consumer trends within the international food industry environment.
  • A critical appreciation of the role of new technologies that support understanding market trends and commercial movements in the food industry.
  • An ability to analyse food producer and retailer strengths and weaknesses critically, rationally and rigorously, to creatively and systematically apply knowledge and understanding of business and management concepts to a competitive business environment, and to respond in a way that embraces opportunities while minimising threats for firms.
  • The development of skills to cultivate in students an understanding of the nature of logical reasoning and develop a capacity for creative thinking, adaptability, resilience, and effective communication.
  • Enhanced lifelong learning skills to be able to work with self-direction and originality and to contribute to the competitiveness of the food industry and to continuously develop personally and professionally.

For the award of BSc (Hons) Food Business and Retail Management, students will complete a business plan/research paper. There is also the option of a Placement Year working in the food industry. These applied course components will enable students to experience how their modules of study are synthesised and practiced in a particular food producer/retail setting and allow them to be immersed in contemporary commercial challenges, which will develop and enhance personal, inter-personal, professional and practical skills and experience.


This course is starting in September 2022 and will be delivered on the Coleraine Campus of Ulster University. The course is modular in design, with each module worth 20 credit points. Students must obtain 360 CAT points in total to obtain the honours degree. Part-time students may complete the course in up to seven years from the date of registration (normally five years); part-time students are only allowed to take 45 credit points in any one semester.

Start dates

  • September 2022


The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.

Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:

Attendance and Independent Study

As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until close to the start date and may be subject to some change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days and periods of attendance will be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.

Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10- or 20-credit modules (more usually 20) and postgraduate course typically 15- or 30-credit modules.

The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.

Postgraduate Master’s courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.

Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.


Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be a combination of examination and coursework but may also be only one of these methods. Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes. You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessment. The precise assessment will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.

Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification and the assessment timetable. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.

Normally, a module will have 4 learning outcomes, and no more than 2 items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised.

Calculation of the Final Award

The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6, (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).

Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Master’s degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.

All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study. In Master’s degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.

Academic profile

The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 59% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.

Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (25%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (18%) or Lecturers (57%).

We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic staff (81%) are accredited fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.

The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise. The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff. This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.

Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.

Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.

Coleraine campus

The feeling of community at our Coleraine campus makes for a warm and welcoming student experience.


A laid-back campus at the heart of a global tourist attraction.

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Sports Facilities

Our Campus in Coleraine boasts a variety of indoor and outdoor facilities that are open all year round to students and members of the public.

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Student Wellbeing

At Student Wellbeing we provide many services to help students through their time at Ulster University.

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Coleraine campus location info

  Find out more about our Coleraine campus


Ulster University
Cromore Road
County Londonderry
BT52 1SA

T: 028 7012 3456

Standard entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.

A level

Applicants must satisfy the general requirements for admission to a first degree, and hold: GCSE passes in English and Mathematics at grade C or above.

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Additional Entry Requirements

Candidates may be interviewed as part of the selection process and mature (or non-traditional students) students not having the general entry requirements may be admitted on the basis of APEL.

Careers & opportunities

Career options

The food industry is N. Ireland’s most successful industry, driving the local economy and contributing substantially to every area. This proposed programme is targeted at people interested in a career in this dynamic and growing food industry and employees seeking to progress in their careers, in both food producers and retailers. Graduates will be prepared for a range of employment opportunities with organisations across Ireland, the UK and beyond. Employment opportunities with organisations such as Tesco, Lidl, Dale Farm and Moy Park. By offering an undergraduate program tailored to the needs of the food industry, the BSc (Hons) Food Business and Retail Management programme, will help meet the growth and planned employment opportunities in food production and retail particularly in response to Brexit opportunities and the emerging consumption trends around the Covid-19 pandemic. The commercially-focused skills set embodied in the programme are in high demand by employers as noted from the industry engagement conducted; and this demand is anticipated to increase in a post COVID19 and Brexit marketplace. In part-time mode, the programme will prepare existing employees who wish to continue in their professional development in management and leadership roles in the food industry. For those in employment in the industry, it will provide an opportunity for continuing professional development and may lead to further study and / or professional qualifications (for example, MSc Marketing; MSc Food Design and Innovation).

Work placement / study abroad

Not applicable to P/Time students.


Start dates

  • September 2022

Fees and funding

In this section

Important notice - fees information

Fees illustrated are based on 21/22 entry and are subject to an annual increase.

Correct at the time of publishing. Terms and conditions apply.

Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.

Additional mandatory costs

Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.

We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.

There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.

Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.

Please contact the course team for more information.

Module Pricing

The price of your overall programme will be determined by the number of modules that you initiate in the relevant academic year.

For modules commenced in the academic year 2021/22, the following module fees apply:

Module Pricing
Number of Modules NI/ROI Cost GB Cost International Cost
120 x credit modules £4,530 £9,250 £14,910
60 x credit modules £2,265 £4,625 £7,455
30 x credit modules £1,132.50 £2,312.50 £3,727.50
20 x credit modules £755 £1,541.66 £2,485


Course Director

Professor Geoff Simmons

T: +44 (0)28 9536 7514



Joanne Warke

T: +44 (0)28 7012 3259


International Admissions Office

T: +44 (0)28 7012 3333


For more information visit


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