MSc in Internet Retailing

The MSc in Internet Retailing is the UK’s first commercial postgraduate qualification to address specifically the career and business needs of ambitious retail professionals.

It’s a challenging, multi-disciplinary programme that delivers all the skills and understanding you’ll need to become a successful e-commerce practitioner.

The three year part-time syllabus guides delegates through all aspects of internet retailing, from marketing, buying and merchandising, through to logistics, engineering and technology. Whether you’re already involved in internet retailing or you are from a more traditional retail background, completion of the qualification will:

  • Develop your understanding and appreciation of the whole discipline of Internet Retailing
  • Fully prepare you for a commercial leadership role
  • Give you a broad and deep perspective on e-commerce best practice, trends and opportunities
  • Establish you with a network of like-minded e-commerce leaders with full access to an ongoing support framework of research, insight and expert advice

The MSc in Internet Retailing has been created by Econsultancy in partnership with Ian Jindal (Editor-in-Chief of Internet Retailing Magazine) and Manchester Metropolitan University. With the unique industry insight provided by our Retailing Leadership Council, course provides a combination of highly flexible, cutting-edge tuition with the academic rigour and exceptional academic standards expected of a top European Business School. Current delegates come from companies including Asda, Debenhams, Evans Cycles, Harvey Nichols, House of Fraser, Vodafone, Pentland Brands.

Who is the MSc for?

We tend to find that this MSc attracts ambitious delegates who are keen to pursue a career in retail as this postgraduate qualification encompasses more than just e-commerce, giving you a broader understanding of online and multichannel retail.  The qualification will be of interest if:

  • You’re a commercial manager with a retail focus or e-commerce professional with more than two years industry experience
  • You’re currently employed either full or part time
  • You’re looking for a course where you can immediately apply what you learn to your current working practices and projects
  • You are looking to gain a wider understanding of all aspects of internet retailing, from web to marketing to supply chain management and logistics
  • You want to network with other professionals and share best practice and insight
  • You’re looking for flexible study options which allow you to commit one stage at a time and achieve the right level of qualification for your needs
  • You have around 12 hours a week in which to study
  • You are able to take up to 12 days a year out of the office to attend face to face training

Valuable additional benefits from our partner,

  • Up to seven days of practitioner-led Econsultancy training per year, specifically developed to meet the needs of the course and constantly updated to reflect industry developments – worth £7,000 across the life of the course
  • Provision of all textbooks and access to MMU’s electronic resources and university libraries nationwide
  • Full support from your tutors via our online learning environment
  • Econsultancy membership for the life of your course, giving you access to all their reports and researchworth £295 per annum
  • Fantastic networking opportunities with course alumni and current delegates, as well as access to Econsultancy and MMU’s industry networks
  • Free access to many Econsultancy events (including our nationwide innovation briefings) and offers from partners (in particular, InternetRetailing Magazine)
  • 50% off five days of Econsultancy training per year, for you and your colleagues worth £1,250
  • A dedicated Econsultancy account manager to help with all enquiries on the MSc and the rest of our services

Applications for open for May 2014. Register your interest to receive an application form, or contact us if you have any questions.


MSc – Industry Support

IMRG has endorsed the MSc in Internet Retailing as a qualification to develop tomorrow’s leaders in multichannel retail.

The MSc programme blends commercial training with up to the minute best practice insights and a rigorous, portable qualification accredited by Manchester Metropolitan University. The MSc is for today’s and tomorrow’s leaders in multichannel retail.

IMRG was established in 1990 as the industry body for e-retail. IMRG’s influence now extends beyond the UK with their formation of IMRWorld, along with a focus upon research, professionalism and skills development.

James Roper, FRSA. CEO and Founder of IMRG

James Roper, founder and CEO of IMRG said:

“At IMRG we’re focused up developing the skills, capabilities and professionalism in our young and dynamic industry, as well as extending the recognition of the multichannel skills within the wider market. We’re pleased to support the MSc in Internet Retailing and welcome the blend of current, commercially-focused training with recognised, portable academic qualification. In our work we seek to develop the next generation of retail leaders via knowledge, research and insight and the MSc programme is a valuable contribution to that. We look forward to working with the team on the MSc to ensure its ongoing relevance to the future of our industry”.
Ian Jindal, creator of the MSc in Internet Retailing (and Editor in Chief of InternetRetailing) welcomed James’ comments and the support of the IMRG and noted:
“We welcome the support of the IMRG as we enter the second year of the MSc programme. We look forward to working closely with the IMRG over the coming years to maintain the commercial focus and relevance of the MSc. We’re also delighted to be able to announce that James Roper, FRSA, CEO and Founder of IMRG, has agreed to join the Leadership Council and will advise on the ongoing development of the qualification”.
The MSc programme was created by Ian Jindal and, and is accredited by Manchester Metropolitan University’s Business School (MMUBS).

Industry support for the MSc

Peter Callaway, Director of eCommerce at House of Fraser, had a senior member of his team in the first cohort of the MSc. He notes that the MSc programme “is adding significant value to the in-house team and [the] academic work is feeding directly into the online business strategy. It’s a great way to integrate academic learning with real-world commercial requirements.”
Alison Lancaster, ex Marketing Director at and John Lewis Direct, and now marketing director at White Stuff and other clients noted:

“I am delighted to support and promote the MSc in Internet Retailing.It’s a unique qualification in our industry, designed to significantly raise the competency bar.  The course enables organisations and individuals to train and gain practical, expert knowledge and in-depth learning and understanding about our fast moving, dynamic industry, helping develop a quality source of talented trading stars for tomorrow.  With the rapid growth of online and multi channel retail over the last 15 years, there is a shortage of suitably qualified internet and multi channel retail traders.If multi channel retail success is all about excellence in trading execution- from strategy, to brand, product and customer proposition and delivery -then this course provides world-class in-depth training and mentoring of all the required elements to inspire, educate and motivate the internet and multichannel leaders of the future.”


What the students say

We asked our current students to give their thoughts on the benefit of the MSc to them, to their businesses and a few words of advice to those considering doing the Masters programme in the future….

Becky Olie, Head of Web Selling, House of Fraser

“I believe the future of retail is non-existent without a clear cross-channel vision, and having the MSc under my belt puts me in a much stronger position to take on a senior leadership position in the future. I was particularly attracted to this course because of the strong commercial focus, so the work I do as part of the programme is directly impacting my day-to-day activity. Having the support of both industry experts and a group of like-minded professionals with whom I can share my ideas (and frustrations!) has been absolutely invaluable.”

Dan Mahoney, International Manager – eCommerce and Multichannel, Monsoon

What you value about MSc?

The course has been great for me. It has helped me focus on being more commercial, thinking ‘outside my desk’ and taking a more critical approach to managing an Ecommerce business.  It has also been a great opportunity to spend more time reviewing competitors and interacting with colleagues from different business with the same and different problems.

What are the benefit for your role/business?

Course content can be used directly within your own business. Models, ideas and ways of thinking can be used in everyday business practice. In fact this has my biggest challenge, to ensure that all the best ideas are used to ensure I can more effective at work. As an aside, I’ve had 2 new jobs since starting the course – this certainly wasn’t the plan, but I can guarantee my progression would have not been so fast without the challenges the course brings.

What advice would you give to anyone considering the MSc?

DO IT! It will massively benefit the way you work, and help you understand what is required to become a truely top Multi-Channel professional. But you have to be committed – whilst I wouldn’t moan about the workload, there are certain periods of the year where weekends and holidays say a fond farewell.

Thomas Parrott, Managing Director (UK Operations), Beachbody LLC

What you value about MSc?

The ability to talk to people (peers) who are (interestingly and often!) dealing with many of the same problems with their web integration / Internet retail set up…just sometimes at massively different levels of turnover. The quality of the tutors we have been able to learn from at MMU. The interesting and challenging questions… and the interest the MSc sparks in my CV!

What are the benefit for your role/business?

The abilty to think at masters Level to problem solve and question how business processes are performed. The ability to talk to the IT types that would generally try to blind us retailers with science….now they have to justify their communications to me.

What advice would you give to anyone considering the MSc?

Don’t attempt to do a MSc while starting a family!

Make sure you plan enough time and consider the amount of time that needs to be devoted to the studies.

Get your boss to sign up to the amount of time the course takes so you can go to all the events and discussion days. 

Justin Joyce, Senior Online Marketing Manager, Lloyds Pharmacy

What you value about MSc?

The most valuable aspect of the course so far has been the way in which it forces you to challenge everything you know and the way it makes you think in completely different ways.

What are the benefit for your role/business?

Since starting the course, my approach to business has completely changed; the main benefit to my role (and business) has been the way in which I approach each new project or initiative in that I no longer get starry eyed at each new piece of exciting technology or approach that enters the market. I am now able to quickly make a decision on whether something will be of commercial value to my team or the wider business.

What advice would you give to anyone considering the MSc?

Make sure you have thought long and hard about your ability to commit enough time and effort to the course before applying! This MSc has nowhere to hide!