Mitchells & Butlers (M&B), the managed operator, has introduced an on-line degree for managers run by University College Birmingham (UCB).

The first-intake of 45 M&B retail managers have now enrolled on the new Managing in Service Industries course, a higher education foundation degree that covers a range of practice-based modules designed to enhance managers' performance in busy commercial environments.

The three-year degree comprises a total of 10 modules, which are studied one at a time, and include key subject areas including business economics, financial administration and human resource planning. The part-time programme is delivered online and features a range of activities such as podcasts, videos, slideshow presentations and study blogs.

Susan Martindale, group HR director at M&B, said: "By building a partnership with UCB we can offer our employees a professional, relevant and accessible way of learning.

"Our employees have the chance to enhance their skills which not only benefits Mitchells & Butlers, but ultimately helps us to continue to deliver great service to our guests."

Paul Russell, dean of the School of Hospitality, Tourism and Events Management, said: "We are delighted to be working with Mitchells & Butlers. As an academic institution with a strong industry focus, we recognise how important it is for employers to upskill and retain high quality managers."

"Managing in Service Industries is designed to appeal to ambitious staff at companies such as Mitchells & Butlers and allows frontline managers to access the latest management theory and apply their learning to improve performance."