module specification

SM4018 - Social Media Businesses (2023/24)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2023/24
Module title Social Media Businesses
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Computing and Digital Media
Total study hours 300
219 hours Guided independent study
81 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 40%   Social media marketing campaign
Coursework 60%   Social media strategy report
Running in 2023/24

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Wednesday Afternoon

Module summary

This Level 4 module introduces students to debates around the use of social media in business contexts. The module contextualises the understanding of social media with reference to the history, theory and practice of social media in corporate contexts, as well as setting out social media practice. The module combines theory-based learning of the contexts and uses of social media with practice-based learning around the use of social media in specific employability-oriented contexts.

The module aims to

1. introduce students to a range of debates about the role of social media in society and in business;
2. encourage students to employ critical methods in the understanding of and analysis of social media,
3. allow students to learn from practice in developing a multi-modal social media campaign.


The syllabus combines lecture and lab-based learning. The lecture syllabus will cover a history of social media, social media technologies, social media in the workplace, and major debates around social media. An indicative syllabus includes:

Introduction to social media
Daniel Bell and Manuel Castells: PIS to IS
Participatory culture
Privacy, surveillance and cybersecurity
Social media, cybercrime and moral panics
Digital marketing and digital marketing strategies
Social media marketing
Customer engagement
Brand engagement
Social media advertising
Facebook and Instagram
Twitter and citizen journalism
LinkedIn: network building
Business blogging – email marketing
Viral marketing

The lab based syllabus will cover online tools for study and learning; social networking services profiles; blogging and microblogging; basic HTML and simple web design. An indicative syllabus includes:

Using the university systems
Planning a SMART campaign
Targeting your audience
The marketing campaign
Understanding HTML
Using LinkedIn
Using WordPress
Using Mintel / Euromonitor

Learning Outcomes LO1 - 3

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

This module will be delivered through a combination of modes of delivery, including formal lectures, seminars, computer lab workshops, and individual tutorials. The mixed-mode module delivery will be used to encourage a supportive environment for individual and peer-group learning. 

A blended learning strategy will be employed to enhance the learning experience, facilitate communication between students and tutors and develop collaboration among students. The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) will be used as a platform to support online activities including on-line discussions, evaluation of online resources, and access to electronic reading packs. The VLE will also be used to facilitate formative assessment and related feedback, as well as a tool to integrate useful online learning materials provided by research institutions, academic publications, professional organisations and other relevant sources.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will:

1) Have gained a thorough understanding of social media and its uses within a corporate context including an understanding of the history of social media and key debates around the use of social media.
2) Have demonstrated the ability to apply critical and theoretical perspectives in the use and analysis of social media
3) Have demonstrated a good understanding of the wider social, culture, theoretical and historical context of social media.

Assessment strategy

This is a level 4 module and the assessment strategy is aimed at introducing students to formal assessment including the processes around assessment submission, while allowing opportunities for extensive formative feedback both in development of assessed work and after submission. The assessments are closely tied to the curriculum allowing students to develop work in lab time with the support of the module tutor. The assessments are:

1) Social media marketing campaign: students are required to produce a sequence of social media content combined with a publishing schedule in response to a scenario from a selection set by the module tutor.

2) Social media strategy report: students are required to write a report detailing a social media marketing strategy on the basis of scenarios set by the tutor.


Core reading:

*Albarran, A.B. (ed.) (2013) The Social Media Industries, Media management and economics. New York and London: Routledge.
*Fuchs, C. (2014) Social Media: A Critical Introduction, SAGE: Los Angeles; London.
*Funk, Tom (2013) Advanced Social Media Marketing: How to lead, launch and manage a successful social media program (Berkeley, California: Apress)
*Tuten, Tracy and Solomon, Michael (2014) Social Media Marketing (Harlow: Pearson

Additional reading:

Batesole, Brad (2016) Social Media Marketing with Facebook and Twitter. Carpenteria, California:
Bruns, A. (2008) Blogs, Wikipedia, Second Life and Beyond: From Production to Produsage. London: Peter Lang.
Gbadamosi, A., Bathgate I., Nwankwo S. (2013) Principles of Marketing: A Value-Based Approach. Palgrave Macmillan
Jobber D., Ellis-Chadwick, F. (2019) Principles and Practices of Marketing, 9th edition McGraw Hill
Kelly, N. (2013) How to Measure Social Media: A Step-by-Step Guide to Developing and Assessing Social Media ROI, Que: Indianapolis, Ind.
Kotler P., Armstrong G, Harris, C. L., Piercy, N. (2017) Principles of Marketing, 7th European Edition Pearson/Prentice Hall.
Kurtzke, Simone (2015) Social Media Marketing: 2015 and beyond. London: Henry Stewart Talks. [electronic resource: streaming video file]
Lovelock C., Wirtz J., Chew P. (2016) Essentials of Service Marketing Management, 3rd edition Pearson.
Macarthy, Andrew (2013) 500 social media marketing tips: essential advice, hints and strategy for business: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, and more! Sand Bernardino,CA: CreateSpace.
Macy, Beverly (2011) The power of real-time social media marketing : how to attract and retain customers and grow the bottom line in the globally connected world New York: McGraw-Hill
Ryan, Damian. (2011) The Best Digital Marketing Campaigns in the World: Mastering the Art of Customer Engagement. Kogan Page: London; Philadelphia.
Seeley, Justin (2014) Social Media Marketing Tips. Carpenteria, California:
Smith, N. (2011) The Social Media Management Handbook: Everything You Need to Know to Get Social Media Working in Your Business, John Wiley & Sons: Chichester.
Treadaway, C. (2010) Facebook Marketing: An Hour a Day, Wiley: Indianapolis.

Tredinnick, L. (2008), Digital Information Culture, Oxford: Chandos Publishing.