MASTER IN Business Management / Retail Management


The Retail Management track of the Full Time Business Management Master’s course provides the necessary skills and tools to innovate the distribution strategies, in line with international market standards.

Starting from the original skills of negotiation and logistics, the companies of modern distribution and of the large scale retail trade need to find today new business opportunities through the levers of retail marketing, finance and production.

From this viewpoint, the management of a category of products is to be considered as the management of a business in itself. It requires ability to manage and control, to deal with the assortment and layout of goods, knowledge of the market to establish the right prices and mastery of marketing leverages to direct the offer towards the most efficient commercial channels, including of course the integration of analogue and digital channels.

The Full Time Business Management / Retail Management Master’s course opens the doors to a dynamic environment, one experiencing the need to rethink itself through new planning tools: a starting point for a career as category manager for leading industry players (supermarkets, large retail structures, chains of stores, directly owned stores).
The Master’s is part of the offer aimed at combining business administration with the characteristics of the related sectors. The program alternates, over its 12 months of length, study activities and the direct exchange of views with entrepreneurs, managers and retail leaders and international master lectures, to be concluded by a 600 hour internship. The classes preceding the internship alternate lectures on the topics of Retail Managementand practical exercises, by way of three corporate projects lasting a month each and a longer project, lasting over six months.


Retail businesses are imagining a new way to compete on the market: get in touch with the course program manager to support it with your value.



PerTe Prestito Con Lode”, a long-term and low-interest honor loan, with no collateral required to cover the full amount of the tuition fee.


Angelo Manaresi

Angelo Manaresi

Director of Studies

" With this Master you can meet experts and businesses that have already successfully developed its distribution network and understand how category managers, brand managers, buyers, store managers, customer relationship managers and area managers operate. "



  • 25


  • 50% F - 50% M



The Master in Business Management – Retail Management is a full-time program structured in 1,500 hours of learning activities over 12 months of study, divided into: 360 hours of lecturing, an estimated 540 hours of independent study, and 600 hours of internship. The structure of the Master is divided into three terms:

  • First term: December – April
  • Second term: May – July
  • Internship: September – March

Classroom participation is about 30 hours per week structured in order to allow time to work in groups, while not neglecting individual students focus and management of interpersonal relationships.
The course is enriched by 3 extensive company projects with a sectorial approach (each lasting one month) that are spaced and integrated with classroom activities and case studies.

The Master offers Business Administration courses intended to consolidate the conceptual knowledge and the operational techniques that are applied to the companies. There are also courses and projects with a focus on sectorial issues of Retail Management. Business Administration courses are concentrated mainly in the first term and are common to all the Master specializations; while track specific courses and company projects take place in the second term.

Given the importance of English language in business, the School offers the opportunity to participate in English conversation sessions within the classroom.

The Master program is constantly updated and adjusted to market needs through continuous interaction between faculty and a specific Management Committee:

Fabio Aiola, Chief Commercial Officer, Balmain • Serena Boni, Responsabile Pianificazione e Coordinamento Piano Strategico, Compagnia Assicuratrice LINEAR S.p.A. • Gianluca Camplone, Senior Partner, McKinsey & Company • Carlo Caranza, Managing Consultant • Fabio D’Angelantonio, Vice Presidente Executive Retail Lusso e Sole, Luxottica • Oscar Farinetti, Fondatore, Eataly • Fabrizio Penta de Peppo, Co-founder, Wision srl • Gianni Tofanelli, Marketing Manager, AGS S.p.a – Advanced Global Solution


This course focuses on the main components of accounting, budgeting and cost analysis. In addition the course will train students on how to analyze economic-financial forecasts and budgets as well as understand the measurement and interpretation of the economic-financial performance of the company. Calculation and analysis in decision-making, management supervision, strategic control and strategic cost management will also be explored.

Over the last decade sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices have become paramount for companies as well as for the society at large. Although most companies have developed sustainability programs over the years, as they are cutting carbon emissions, reducing waste, and otherwise enhancing operational efficiency, we are witnessing a mishmash of sustainability tactics that does not add up to a sustainable strategy. To endure, a sustainable strategy has to cope with the competing – and apparently divergent – interests of all stakeholders: investors, employees, customers, governments, NGOs, society and the natural environment.

The purpose of this course is to initiate a debate around the role and functioning of modern corporations as sustainability challenges, opportunities and solutions emerge. In particular, the objective of the course is to detail and disentangle the links between sustainability, CSR and the key role that digital technologies can play as a mean to translate sustainable strategies into effective outcomes.

Within this perspective, three major learning outcomes are expected:

  • To allow students to gain a solid and robust understanding of what sustainability and corporate social responsibility mean in a business context;
  • To allow students to understand key approaches and frameworks for measuring and reporting sustainability and CSR in organizations;
  • To gain an understanding of what sustainability oriented innovation means and how it can be applied to a digital organizational context.

In order to achieve these objectives the course will combine (i) case studies and whole class discussion; (ii) talks by business leaders and managers dealing with sustainability issues; (iii) lectures.

The relationship between industry and distribution. Marketing policies and distribution of category management approach. The contents of the model and the evolution towards the shopper marketing. Category analysis: tools and models for decision support. The strategic choices and portfolio management categories. Marketing mix categories: the making of assortment, the levers of convenience, the size of the service and the enhancement of the business proposal in the store. Areas of collaboration and the role of industry.

The evaluation of how economically sound a project or investment is, determining the value of a company, understanding the fiscal variables which determine an optimal financial structure. Corporate governance, venture capital and the main issues inherent to the listing of companies on the stock exchange. The functions of the principle derived tools and their use when covering financial risks of the company.

The course will cover a variety of themes which are emerging as the most prominent ones in the context of digital culture.The following is a preliminary list of the topics that will be considered.

1. Computing: Meaning and Limitations (from Kurt Godel & Alan Turing to Quantum and Beyond).

2. Counter Culture vs. Cyber Culture (Stewart Brand & Bob Taylor, a la' carte).

3. Coding: Meaning and Perspectives.

4. The Internet: Lo and Behold.

5. History of Computation.

6. The New Rise of AI: Of Men and Machines.

7. Text Digitization + Literary Analysis + Maps + Interactive Media + Games + Design + Media Art = Digital Humanities?

8. Big Brother in Action: Surveillance, Hacking, Privacy, Cyber-security and Data.

9. Ethics, Moral Responsibility and Accountability of Computing.

10. The Economics of the New Web.

The objective of the course in Digital Marketing is to provide the necessary knowledge for successfully implementing a marketing strategy utilizing new information technology, analyzing the needs of the client, the company communication and sales. A principally quantitative approach for measuring the effectiveness of Digital Marketing activities, which finds their natural application in an online context (e.g. Social Media, E-Commerce, Direct Marketing), without overlooking the application of new technologies in an offline context (e.g. Apps and Mobile Marketing in a modern Retailing environment). At the end of the course, it is expected that the students will have acquired a high level of knowledge on the main tools used in the field of Digital Marketing, allowing them to: define and implement a coherent Digital Marketing strategy; select the best suited tools based on strategic objectives; monitor the effectiveness by means of rigorous analytical procedures.

Techniques for the use of accounting and other information for the planning and control of business enterprise: the control systems of management, organizational structure control, financial planning and investment evaluation, performance measurement, activities of budgeting and reporting for business distribution.

From business model to marketing operational plan. The basic conceptual and quantitative tools necessary to understand, analyze, and build relationships that a company establishes with its own market: the centrality of the customer, the study of purchasing behavior, the processes of segmentation and positioning, development of new products and diffusion of innovation, pricing decisions, distribution and communication.

Introduction to marketing research: descriptive analysis. Utilizing probability and hypothesis in marketing research. Design and technical development finalized for collecting primary data. Data analysis: regression. Segmentation and clustering techniques. Perceptual maps and positioning.

This course structure consists of select lectures and three company projects.

LECTURES: present and future strategies of commercial enterprises in a global competitive environment; the new scenarios that characterize the retail sector in a national and international perspective; the different formulas and distribution channels, innovation and new business in the commercial management of the company; distribution trends for the sector of consumer goods and that of durable goods.

BUSINESS PROJECTS: This portion of the course consists of 3 one-month long business projects. The projects are carried out by working in groups of 4-5 participants and begin with the presentation of the company by starting by a manager of a company who is a partner in the School’s network. The manager details to the group the scope of the project. During each work project participants are assisted by a tutor; at the end of the month there is a meeting with the management and presentation of the deliverables created by the participants.

Teachers and management both provide an assessment, in order to review both the originality of the managerial solutions proposed as well as the practical feasibility and implementation potential in a real business context.

The course focuses on issues related to the management of materials along the supply chain, from suppliers to distribution channels. In this regard, they have a vital role. Managerial and organizational decisions made about the relationships with external companies with which we relate to, are the focal point of the course. In analyzing the vertical relationships between firms, the course seeks to develop: sensitivity to the Strategic Importance of the reports, the technical and managerial knowledge needed to deal with the decisions in the matter and organizational skills needed to manage them.

Learning method

The educational sessions provide different learning methods, including lectures, simulations, discussions of case studies, presentations by companies, testimonies, and group work.

The curriculum is complete with a series of Master Lectures given by professionals from the world of business, academia, and politics, which also provide numerous opportunities for discussion and interaction with the business world through case histories.

The program is developed in close collaboration with business partners both during the courses, and during the three sectorial company projects; the didactic approach is totally different from traditional university courses, as the lessons of the Master provide practical tools which allow practitioners to carry out concrete projects.

This project vision consists of:

  • A business plan (January to December) developed during the entire Master
  • 3 major projects of 1 month each (May, June and July) related to the chosen field
  • Other shorter projects within single lessons
  • The final project for the internship.


Building synergies with businesses is a priority and a distinguishing characteristic of all programs of the Alma Bologna Business School, including the Master in Business Administration – Retail Management.
The School is fully dedicated to preparing students for the job market and it accomplishes this through systematic career development, with an ongoing commitment to combine the best professional projects by students with the demands of businesses.

The internship is an excellent springboard to the professional world, evidenced by the fact that six months after completing the full-time master at Alma Bologna Business School, an average of 90% of alumni are working in a company.


Armando Iannicelli

Trade Marketing Specialist & Sales Analyst, Meliconi
MGI - Retail Management (a.y. 2014/15)

"The choice to enroll in the Master was a big bet, which turned out to be absolutely in line with my expectations. Its pragmatism and dynamism have been essential components to make me understand that it has happened in the right place. The managerial experience brought to the field by excellent teachers and the hard engagement in corporate projects have given me the opportunity to enrich my professional and cultural baggage, in keeping with my predisposition to the business world. From the experience of business projects, I had the opportunity to look to the work world through a period of internship at Coop Adriatica. I currently play the role of Trade Marketing Specialist & Sales Analyst at Meliconi S.p.A., where I have the opportunity to live concretely all I learned during the classroom months in BBS."

Valerio Mantovani

Marketing, Essse Caffè
MGI - Retail Management (a.y. 2013/14)

"The Retail Management track of the Master in Business Management represented for me the crucial turning point from university theory to practical work experience. It was an amazing opportunity because I had the unique chance to work in a stimulating and multilingual work environment with entrepreneurs and senior business managers. Also, the company projects with a sectorial approach implemented my knowledge, skills and creativity in many ways. The meeting with marketing managers of Essse Caffè was a great stepping stone for my career because now I’m Marketing Assistant in this company. I support the marketing managers with the creation, execution and delivery of campaigns in order to achieve the business plan and I’m at the heart of driving marketing campaigns of products and services."

Gianluca Maxia

Category Manager, Italy Discount
MGI - Retail Management (a.y. 2012/13)

"Professional and personal growth always happens in steps, and sometimes in real leaps forward. The Master of BBS for me was a real jump forward. There were many hours of work in the classroom and at home with teammates. All the tools defined by my professors have proven to be useful in my career. The first day I started working I attended a meeting where engineering language was used, and it was then that I really understood how important the Master Lectures were. Working as an intern in United States Discount allowed me to follow all the stages of the start-up of a company. At the end of my internship I was appointed Category Manager, but in reality the job means I deal with everything: from marketing to sales through the creation of the format of the store. Basically a lot of work, which allows me to put into practice everything I learned during my time at BBS."

Matteo Resca

Sales Coordinator Central South Europe, Maserati
MGI - Retail Management (a.y. 2009/10)

"The BBS Master gives you the opportunity to get into the workplace quickly, but more importantly, unlike other training courses, BBS offers a key competitive advantage, the structure of the courses are designed to better prepare the student for a work environment involving roles of responsibility. After deciding to achieve a Master, I selected BBS just for the wide range of training and the positive impression it gave me. To this day I can confirm the initial impressions: the quality of the professors and the service offered by BBS are certainly excellent. Among the most significant experiences of the Master, I must add the different stages of team work in which I had the opportunity to socialize with classmates and learn the logical process of a project work.
At the end of the Master I had the opportunity to interviews at prestigious companies and, as a result of my second interview, I now work for Maserati SpA, where I feel the position suits my every needs."


Over the years, our partners have been constantly involved in the activities, which make up the structure of our programs. Companies belonging to our network take part in project works and master’s lectures; they actively contributeby engaging with students through guest lecture sessions and by organizing company visits.
Our partners are the first supporters of our students by providing scholarships, internships and professional opportunities.

Bologna Business School’s partner companies for the Master in Business Management – Retail Management are:




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The tuition fee for the Master is 11.200 euro (VAT free) which is divided into two installments:

  • First installment: 1.500,00 euros
  • Second installment: 6.000,00 euros
  • Third installment: 3.700,00 euros

The fee includes participation in the Master, all the study material available through the online platform, and access to the services and facilities of Bologna Business School such as: personal account for the Alma wi-fi, use of the PCs in the Computer Lab, access to the study areas, access to the internal gym, special rates for the School restaurant.

Furthermore, the fee gives participants the right to take advantage of the supporting activities of the School, such as the language courses and the master lectures by invitation.

Free parking is also available within the BBS campus.

Additionally, with the Student Card of the University of Bologna, students have access to all of the university facilities, including over 100 libraries, digital resources and study halls (including databases and online subscriptions); the three city center canteens and all university student related discount offers. More information is available on the site of the University of Bologna:



Thanks to the agreement between Bologna Business School and Intesa Sanpaolo, participants are eligible to apply for “PerTe Prestito Con Lode”,  a long-term and low-interest honor loan.

Main characteristics:

  • Loan amount equal to the enrollment fee
  • Reduced interest rate
  • No collateral required
  • Repayable in 10 years
  • No early closing fees



Bologna Business School provides partial scholarships. Furthermore, thanks to the collaboration with LIDL Italia, a scholarship of 5.000 euros is foreseen for this track. All of these scholarships are merit-based and will be awarded to the top-ranked candidates in the selection process. At the end of the master, the School assigns a prize to the best student.

The cost of the Master can be covered in full or partially by third parties: public bodies, foundations, or companies.

Thanks to the contribution of INPS (Istituto Nazionale della Previdenza Sociale), in the academic year 2017/2018, 7 scholarships of 10.000 euros are available to INPS employees or retired members, to their children or orphans.

For futher details on the application procedures visit the INPS website.


Applying is open to anyone holding an undergraduate degree of the old and new system. The degree must be obtained on or before the enrollment deadline of the Master.

For auditors, an undergraduate degree is not necessary.


Admission to the Master requires the student to pass the selection process, which consists of:

  • a written exam on general knowledge and logic and mathematics
  • a written exam on English language proficiency
  • a motivational interview designed to assess the candidate’s professional plan and its consistency with the objectives of the Master


The second level Master is accessible only to those who have a bachelor's degree from the old system or a Laurea Magistrale/Specialistica. To access the first level Master a three-year undergraduate degree or a bachelor’s degree in the old system is sufficient.
Access to a first level University Master requires at least a three-year Bachelor’s degree (or the Bachelor’s degree in the old system); for a second level Master's Degree, the Laurea Magistrale/Specialistica (or the Bachelor’s degree of the old system) is necessary.
Enrolling in multiple university courses is not allowed. Therefore, if you are already enrolled in a degree at this or another university prior to registration into the master you are required to apply for a suspension of studies ("career freeze") at the secretariat of the specific School. During the suspension period you will not be able to undertake exams nor accumulate attendance related to the suspended degree.
Yes, you can enroll prior recognition of the degree at the Italian Embassy or Consulate in the country where it was obtained. More details are available in the tender announcement.
Upon registration and payment of the admission fee, you must submit or send via registered mail to Alma Bologna Business School (Via degli Scalini 18-40136 Bologna), the following documents:
• a copy of the receipt for the fee of 60.00 euro for administrative services;
• summary sheet;
• a copy of your ID;
• Undergraduate Degree (or substitute statement);
• curriculum vitae;
• any additional titles to be assessed for admission purposes.
No, once you pass the selections, you can decide whether to formalize the registration to the Master through the registration process. However, it is essential to participate in the selection process and to pass it in order to be able to register.
It is essential, for the purpose of registration, to have completed the degree by the registration deadline.
As long as you have passed the selection process, you can still register as an auditor.
An auditor is someone who participates in a master and who has passed the selection stage but doesn’t have an MA/Specialist degree/degree according the old system/ or hasn’t be graduated within the call’s deadline. An auditor can participate in all lessons, academic activities and to the internship (not compulsory). An auditor doesn’t need to take exams and therefore is not awarded CFU. An auditor will however receive a certificate of attendance by the University of Bologna. Instead of paying €11.200 an auditor pays €9.200
CFU or Crediti Formativi Universitari is a tool to measure the quantity of learning required, including independent work necessary for the student to acquire the knowledge and skills in the subject matter of each specific course.
A credit (CFU) generally corresponds to 25 hours of work including lectures, tutorials, etc., but also independent study. For each academic year, a full time student in the course requires an average amount of work equal to 60 credits, ie. around 1500 hours. The credits are acquired by passing the exam or other testing.
The credits are used to compare different courses in Italian and European universities through an evaluation of the student workload required in certain subject areas in order to achieve the educational objectives defined. They facilitate student mobility between different courses of study, but also between Italian and European universities. Loans acquired during a course of study may be approved for continuing in other courses of study.
The University of Bologna uses the ECTS system accurately applying the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) in all courses of the first cycle (Laurea), second cycle (Laurea Magistrale) and unified cycle. ECTS is a recognized standard created with the goal of supporting mobility and cultural exchange among students at the European level. This standard allows for the comparison of credit systems used by Universities and higher education institutions in Europe, to plan and implement the learning path of students. This allows students who study in one country to see their studies recognized at an institution in another country that applies the same standard.
Yes, every Master is composed of multiple courses, each with an exam at the end and based on whose completion the student earns the relative CFU for the course.
You can contact the Help Desk directly via e-mail:, or by telephone: +39 0512099882; or you can apply online:
The School organizes several occasions for meetings, discussion, networking, training, refresher training reserved for the Alumni Community (those who have attended a course in Alma Bologna Business School). For further information visit the Community section of our website.
Unlike the Laurea Magistrale or Specialistica, a University Master's degree actively involves students in practical cases, providing skills that facilitate immediate entry into the labor market. Specifically, the Master in Business Management, before the internship period, requires the development of a business plan that is carried out for the duration of the master and 3 one-month-long company projects each with a company chosen by the participant.


Faculty members at Bologna Business School work together offering outstanding teaching standards. An international and interdisciplinary approach is guaranteed by a joint team of distinguished national core professors, adjunct, visiting professors, guest speakers and top managers.

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