Executive Education


Strategic Leadership for the Automotive Retail Sector


For Dealer Principals, Senior Managers, Departmental Managers and those aspiring to these positions.

Our MSc in Strategic Leadership for the Automotive Retail Sector is designed to enable managers from all marques to challenge current practice and develop solutions with the potential to significantly improve the performance of their business.

I have gained a large range of knowledge about the Automotive Retail Industry. Coming from not knowing anything about the Industry and working with people that have worked in it their whole lives has helped a lot. I have also had to work with people from completely different backgrounds, which has taught me a lot about myself and how to treat others using people skills I have developed.

The programme will benefit highly motived senior managers, and those aspiring to these positions, who have the potential to lead themselves and their businesses into a successful future.

The programme aims to:

  • Develop individual skills and develop participants management career progression in the automotive retail sector, mainly through development of both their technical knowledge and skills, and their conceptual and analytical abilities;
  • Develop participants’ automotive retail management roles in which they will be expected to further develop their contribution towards the functional and strategic management of their organisations;
  • Provide participants with the opportunity to develop deep understanding in areas of particular interest by undertaking research and work-based projects;
  • Enable participants to see ways in which theory can be applied in practice to complex issues with the aim of improving business and management practice;
  • Enhance students’ career development in the automotive sector.
  • Encourage participants to pursue personal development and lifelong learning skills and be self-motivating.
  • Provide a relevant, practical and constantly updated programme through close links with the automotive industry.


The course is part time and extends over a period of 33 to 36 months. It involves a combination of short daytime modules and work-based assignments and projects. Work-based assignments give you the opportunity to research key aspects of your business with the aim of delivering business improvements, maximising your return on investment.


Past students have particularly appreciated the duration and delivery methods of this programme. The modules are delivered part-time and will normally extend over a period of 24 months, thereby allowing time for application and reflection. Modules are taught as 2-day or 3-day workshops instead of weekly classes. Our format facilitates participation by managers from a wide geographical area. We can recommend on-campus accommodation.

Learning methods are tailored to participants' needs, including a combination of:

  • short inputs
  • pair and group work
  • case studies
  • distance learning and
  • work-based assignments and projects.

For the final project element of the programme, participants have 6 months to attend training in research methods and project design as part of designing, implementing and writing up a research project exploring a topic of their own choice.


There are no exams for this programme.

Each module is assessed through coursework. Our coursework assignments require the student to read and research the topic of the module, to address a question that is based within a work environment. Several modules require the student to draw on their own work experience and/or their current work situation.

In addition to coursework, modules may be assessed through group presentations.


Each programme starts with an induction event where you will review and improve your skills in learning, researching and writing. Following this, core modules address the fundamentals of leadership and business competitiveness. The programme builds upon these fundamentals with further modules, so that you can explore areas of specific interest to you. At each stage, the content of assessments addresses real work examples within your own past and current work experience.

For your final year project, you agree the topic with the University to address a problem directly impacting upon your work area. As part of that project, you will be expected to demonstrate benefits to your organisation and your own learning.

Part one

Personal Values and Effectiveness (includes induction)

3 days - 15 Credits

  • Recognise your natural leadership style
  • Foster more effective and ethical working relationships
  • Learn vital study skills in data collection, analysis and report writing
  • Plan for personal and career development over the course of the degree

Strategic Marketing

3 days - 15 Credits

  • Understanding the marketing environment, concepts and techniques
  • How to analyse marketing problems
  • Recognising trends in organisations and consumer behaviour
  • Application of marketing theory to gain advantage in your organisation’s competitive arena

Managing Organisational Resources 

5 days - 30 Credits (split in to 2 sessions of 2 and 3 days)

  • Understand how a range of functional business areas contribute to successful organisational performance
  • Analysing and interpreting financial information for better decision making
  • How your role influences interaction with your team and organisational effectiveness
  • How to manage performance and get the most from your team
  • Analysing process effectiveness and strategic decision making

Information Management and Business Analytics 

3 days -15 Credits

  • Analysing the role of information systems in a competitive environment
  • Creating a competitive advantage for the business through technology value generation
  • Managing IT risk and responding to legislation on data handling
  • Understanding the implications of cybercrime and information security

Part two

Managing Business Improvement 

3 days - 15 Credits

  • Approach problem solving with a creative/ entrepreneurial mindset
  • Evaluate innovative solutions using analytical tools and techniques
  • Explore the commercial potential of new business ideas and process improvements
  • Create an implementation route for business improvement

Customer Loyalty and Relationship Marketing

3 days - 15 Credits

  • Recognise the importance and benefits of generating customer loyalty
  • Develop an effective, ethical and sustainable relationship marketing strategy within the organisation
  • Understand the link between customer satisfaction and loyalty and the investment required to attract new customers
  • Critically evaluate the impact of business decisions on retention of customers

Strategy, Governance and Risk 

3 days - 15 Credits

  • How to analyse the market and identify opportunities for business
  • Identifying innovative strategic options
  • Planning for strategic change
  • Evaluating and managing risk
  • Managing stakeholder expectations
  • Implementing successful strategies in a disruptive environment

Leading and Influencing Change 

5 days - 30 Credits (split in to 2 sessions of 2 days and 3 days)

  • How to lead a strategic change in an organisation
  • Being resilient throughout turbulent times
  • How to build innovative, agile and collaborative cultures to gain buy-in for change
  • Managing conflict in times of change
  • Gain confidence in presenting with impact
  • How to recognise and implement a range of negotiation techniques to achieve successful outcomes
  • How to utilise your personal leadership style to inspire and influence a diversity of stakeholders in a variety of situations

Part three

Business Project

3 days - 30 credits

This module has 3 days on campus but is mainly taken up with a business-relevant project. This project should address an area in your own business, implementing learning and research to create value for your organisation.

  • Understand the processes involved in conducting a research project in a business and management context
  • Provide an in-depth explanation of a specific business-related subject chosen by the student that integrates and further develops aspects of the taught programme
  • Evaluate the advantages and limitations of a range of qualitative and quantitative methods in business and management research

Whilst previous formal qualifications are not required, admission will normally be restricted to Dealer Principals, Senior Managers and managers aspiring to a senior role in the automotive industry. Entrants will need a minimum of 5 years’ managerial experience at an appropriate level.

New entrants to the automotive industry who possess a first degree (with Second Class Honours or equivalent) from a UK or recognised overseas University will also be considered.

Programme start date

October 2018

Please be aware that all intakes for the postgraduate/post-experience programmes are recruitment driven requiring a minimum number of students to make a viable study group. You will be advised 6 weeks before the advertised start date whether the programme will run.

Fees and funding

Provided below is a listing of the 2018-19 tuition fees for this programme. If you are studying for a Postgraduate Certificate or Diploma, tuition fees will be charged on a pro rata basis, according to the number of credits you are studying for.

Programme MSc (180 credits)
MSc in Strategic Leadership for the Automotive Retail Sector   £9,500
Apprenticeship MSc in Strategic Leadership for the Automotive Retail Sector  £19,600

Sources of funding for business training are constantly changing, but pockets do exist.  Please see at our Fees and Funding page for further details.

All Loughborough University Alumni are eligible for a 10% discount on fees.

For information about the Apprenticeship pathway using government Levy please visit our Apprenticeships pages.

Useful links

Admissions Information

For further information about the programme, please contact:

Ruth Cufflin
Telephone: +44 (0)1509 228839
Email: R.Cufflin@lboro.ac.uk

Apprenticeships applications

If you are interested in the Apprenticeship programme route please contact our Business Development Manager prior to applying for the programme.  Our Business Development Manager will work with you to establish your eligibility for funding via the Apprenticeship Levy and will guide you and your employer through the application process.

Vicki Unwin
Business Development Manager 
School of Business and Economics
Loughborough University
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509222160