module specification

MC5012 - Consumer Culture and Behaviour (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Consumer Culture and Behaviour
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 30
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 300
219 hours Guided independent study
81 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 20%   Individual Essay
Group Presentation 30%   Group report - Develop and conduct and execute a consumer research project
Unseen Examination 50%   Unseen 3 hour paper
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year City Wednesday Morning

Module summary

Digital media is increasingly playing a crucial role in the consumer’s decision making and purchasing process. Effective marketing management requires the ability to understand the needs, predict and influence how consumers will behave both online and off line and within a given market situation. The module examines the various determinants of e-consumer/consumer & buyer behaviour, and introduces and examines the theories and influences of buyer behaviour and their application to managerial decision-making. In addition, the module builds an appreciation of the market research processes and methods used for researching and understanding consumer buyer behaviour within an integration of offline and on line digital channels. The module will deal with a range of theoretical, practical techniques in understanding and researching consumer consumption behaviour.

Module aims

This module has been designed to build on Level 4 Digital Theory and Practice module knowledge with a focus on the understanding of consumer’s consumption and buying behaviour.  This module aims to develop a critical understanding of the importance of studying and understanding buyer behaviour and market research and their role and contribution to the marketing function.
The module aims to

  • Develop students' understanding and knowledge of the influential factors affecting consumer decision making and buyer behaviour in the context of online / off line channels
  • Understand consumer on line and off line buying behaviour
  • Develop an understanding of the role of research in understanding social, cultural psychological and behavioural aspects of consumers buying behaviour.
  • Enable and develop student’s technical skills and knowledge in applying market research methods.
  • Develop an understanding of the scope of marketing research in designing and implementing successful marketing strategies.
  • To acquire and demonstrate an appreciation of various analytical techniques and use of statistical software in marketing research

The module also aims to assist students in the acquisition of the following skills:

  1. Digital literacy and IT skills
  2. Researching & analysing
  3. Inter-personal/Inter-cultural communication
  4. Application of knowledge and presenting data
  5. Critical thinking
  6. Academic writing


• Culture & consumption -Consumption as a cultural process , social, symbolic and ideological aspects of consumption.
• The marketplace cultures: Norms, myths rituals, consumer tribes, e-brand communities and subcultures of consumers.
• Relationships and the influence of others on buying behaviour – Group influences, social  networking, family buying
• The individual psychological processes and influence on consumer/ e-consumer and buying behaviour – motivation, Involvement, learning, memory, perception, attitudes, personality, lifestyles, emotions, self image and on line identity .
• Decision-making – The traditional decision making process, web based models, and multichannel buying models and the implications on consumer behaviour.
• Consumer activism on line. Ethical,and unethical consumer behaviour.
• Research paradigms – Positivism, interpretivism.
• The research process – Defining a consumer research problem and developing a research approach.
• Ethical issues in consumer research.
• Data sources for consumer research - Primary and secondary.
• Consumer Research designs –  descriptive, exploratory and causal.
• Data collection.
• Qualitative research approaches and techniques – Focus groups, interviews, observation, diary methods, projective techniques, ethnographic, Internet approaches for qualitative research.
• Quantitative research approaches and techniques- sampling, questionnaire design Survey, Internet surveys.
• Analysing data - Using statistical analysis and interpretative approaches & Software - SPSS, Excel Nvivo  for analyzing data.
• Reporting consumer research findings

Learning and teaching

The module will be delivered over a 30 week period and consists of 1.5 hours lectures and 1.5 hours seminar each week.   The weekly lectures will focus on key theories, concepts models and frameworks of  e-consumer , consumer, buyer  behaviour and related market research principles and methods.
The seminar sessions will cover discussions, debates, cases, quizzes, questions and answer sessions to build on the contemporary issues covered in the lectures.  At least 4 seminars will require computer sessions. The Seminar  serves to anchor knowledge imparted in the lectures and provides a forum for:

  • A better understanding of lectures through small group discussions, case study/ journal article/problem solving analysis and interchange of questions and answers.
  • Assist students in relating their knowledge to the marketing discipline and profession
  • Applied understanding of technical skills required for carrying out consumer research in order to assist in employability skills for future careers in marketing. Students will need to consider this aspect of the module as part of their personal development and be able to produce examples in a portfolio of the research skills for a future employer.

The facilities of Web Learn will be used as part of a blended learning approach and will be central to the delivery of module handbook, case studies, journal articles, and external web links learning. In particular students will be encouraged to use the leading portals covering market research developments which contain live up to date information and white papers on the subject

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:

  1. Select and apply e-consumer/ consumer and buyer behaviour concepts and theories to practical marketing situations
  2. Engage in the analysis of real world cases and current academic thinking in order  to investigate how e-consumer/consumer and buyer theory can explain and justify specific marketing strategies
  3. Be able to differentiate, apply, and analyse theories, concepts, and research methods commonly used in exploring and understanding consumers and how market research is used as an aid in effective marketing management decision making.
  4. Demonstrate knowledge and skills of planning, designing, implementing, analysing, and reporting a consumer research project.
  5. Understand the current issues in conducting consumer research in 21st century

Assessment strategy

Assessment strategy 
The assessment has been designed to test achievement of the module’s learning outcomes.
The assessment strategy consists of three components, which aims to assess the module’s learning outcomes.  These assessments require students to think critically and apply the knowledge gained during the module.  The components are:

Individual Essay 20%   Students will be given an issue in consumer/ e-consumer and  buyer behaviour  and will be required to investigate  the area with supporting secondary research and will be required to carry out research using academic journal articles . The aim is to familaries studest in acaemic reading and to appreciate journal articles as academic sources of information for consumer and buyer behaviour research and concepts.  Due week 10. Word count 2,500

Group report  – Develop and conduct and execute a consumer research project 30%
In groups of no more 3 students. Students will be required to define a research problem, design, develop and conduct primary research on the consumer issue and to prepare and present findings with appropriate managerial recommendations.  Word count  3,500. Due week 27

Exam 50%
In order to facilitate incremental learning a there will be a number of formative quizzes throughout the semester to assist the students in preparation for the final exam.
3 hour unseen. The examination will be designed to test the students' depth, breadth of knowledge and understanding of consumer and e-consumer buyer behaviour theories and consumer research. This exam will take place in the  exam period 30 - 31

Further details on assessments will be included on Module handbook
Constructive alignment of assessment strategy to learning outcomes and skill development

Constructive alignment of assessment strategy to learning outcomes and skill development

Assessment strategy Learning Outcomes Skill Development
Individual Essay 1,2,3,5 Researching & analysing,(PA) Academic writing(PA)
Critical thinking (IPA)
Group report  – Develop and conduct and execute a consumer research project 1,2,3,4, Inter-personal/Inter-cultural communication, (PA) Application of knowledge and presenting data, Digital literacy and IT skills (IPA)
Exam 1,2,3,4,5, Application of knowledge,(A) Critical thinking (IPA)
Academic writing (A)



Core Reading books:
Hansen, H.  Schiffman, L. Kanuk L. (2012) Consumer Behaviour: A European Outlook  Pearson Education
Solomon M., Bamossy G.,Askegaard S.,  Hogg M. (2013) Consumer Behaviour A European Perspective 5th Edition Peason Education
Malhotra N. (2014) Basic Marketing Research: International Version, 4/E Pearson Higher Education

Helpful additional recommended reading:
Close A. (2012) Online Consumer Behavior Theory and Research in Social Media, Advertising and E-tail Taylor & Francis Ltd  Routledge Academic London UK e book
Belk R., Llamas R. (2013) The Routledge Companion to Digital Consumption Routledge ebook
Slater, D. (1997) Consumer culture and modernity, Oxford: Polity
Ruvio A., and Belk R.(2012)The Routledge Companion to Identity and Consumption Routledge  ebook
Glesne, C. (2011). Becoming qualitative researchers: An introduction  International  4th Edition Pearson Education
Alvin, C Burns, A. Bush R. (2012) Basic Marketing Research with Excel: International Version, 3/E Pearson Higher Education
Pallant J.(2013) SPSS Survival Manual: A Step by Step Guide to Data Analysis Using IBM SPSS Spiral-bound
De Pelsmacker, P. Kenhove, P. Janssens,  W. Wijnen K. (2008) Marketing Research with SPSS Pearson
McGivern,  Y. (2013)  The Practice of Market Research: An Introduction, 4/E  Pearson
Silver L . Stevens R.  Wrenn B., Loudon D. (2013) The Essentials of Marketing Research
Wilson A. (2012) Marketing Research: An Integrated Approach, 3/E  Financial Times Press
Hair J.  Wolfinbarger M., Robert Bush R., Ortinau D. (2012) Essentials of Marketing Research McGraw-Hill
O'Shaughnessy J. (2013) Consumer Behaviour: Perspectives, Findings and Explanations Palgarve Macmillan
Evans, M. Foxall G, Jamal, A. (2009) Consumer Behaviour, 2nd Edition Wiley + Sons
Daniel C.  Gates R. ( 2011)  Marketing Research John Wiley & Sons
Jansson-Boyd C. (2010) Consumer Psychology, 1st Edition 
Hoyer, W. MacInnis D.  Pieters R.  (2013) Consumer Behavior 6th Edition South Western
East,,R.  Wright, M.,Vanhuele, M. (2008) Consumer behaviour: applications in marketing  SAGE Publications Ltd
Malhotra,N. Birks,D. Wills P. (2013) Essentials of Marketing Research Pearson
Field A. ( 2012) Discovering Statistics using IBM SPSS Statistics SAGE Publications Ltd  ebook
Malhotra, N. SPSS (2010) Marketing Research: An Applied Orientation: Global Edition, 6/E Pearson Higher Education
Bazeley  P. Kristi Jackson K. (2013 )Qualitative Data Analysis with NVivo Sage publication ebook

Leading portals covering  marketing research developments
The Market Research Society
European Society for opinion and Market Research  ESOMAR -
British Market Research Association
The Association for Qualitative Research
Market Research World
emarketer -
Smartinsights -
Clickz -
imediaconnection -
Interactive Advertising Bureau -
Direct Marketing Association
Academic Journals
Journal of Interactive Marketing
International Journal of Mobile Marketing
Journal of Direct, Data and Digital Marketing Practice
International Journal of Electronic Commerce
Journal of Mobile Communications
The journal of database marketing and customer strategy management
Journal of targeting, measurement and analysis for marketing
Journal of Consumer Behaviour     Psychology and Marketing
Advances in Consumer Research      International review of retail, distribution and consumer research
Journal of Consumer Research   Journal of Marketing Research
Journal of consumer studies and home economics  International journal of consumer studies