Consumer Behaviour has become an important focus of marketing activity as markets operate to serve the desires of increasingly fragmented niche markets. This module will examine the development of consumer behaviour in the marketplace from different disciplinary perspectives spanning the social sciences. Theoretical insights from these perspectives will be used to critically evaluate current aspects of consumer culture such as the role of brands in consumers’ lives, the uses and consequences of advertising campaigns, the formation of late-modern personalities and marketplace communities.
The content of this module is relevant around the world, so students are encouraged to take a global perspective in their work and to do culturally comparative projects.
This module engages with sustainability by addressing concepts such as ‘green consumption’, sustainable fashion, ethics and corporate social responsibility.
All of the resources for this course are available through the ELE (Exeter Learning Environment).
All of the projects done by students include an element of survey, giving them the opportunity to engage with external organisations and individuals. Students also have the opportunity to visit with local organisations, such as the Co-op and the Donkey Sanctuary and do research for the marketing managers.
Students also have the opportunity to engage with the current research being done by Exeter academic staff and PhD students.
By conducting surveys students are able to develop their skills in questioning, interviewing, video-making, and team-working. On top of these, they also develop their understanding of the drive behind consumer behaviour patterns, market research skills, and report writing ability.
Full module specification
|Module title:||Consumer Behaviour|
|Duration of module:||
Duration (weeks) - term 2: |
The broad aim of this module is to enable students’ understanding of the extent to which Consumer Behaviour has become an important focus of marketing activity as markets operate to serve the desires of increasingly fragmented niche markets. To this end students will examine the development of consumer behaviour in the marketplace from different disciplinary perspectives spanning the social sciences. Students will build upon theoretical insights gained from these perspectives to critically evaluate current aspects of consumer culture such as the role of brands in consumers’ lives, the uses and consequences of advertising campaigns, the formation of late-modern personalities and marketplace communities.
ILO: Module-specific skills
- 1. understand the managerial significance of studying consumer behaviour in a competitive marketplace and how consumer behaviour can be located within a broader framework of marketing and business strategy
- 2. understand and apply principles and theories from psychology, sociology and consumer cultural theory
- 3. evaluate management and communications strategies that might derive from theories taught during the semester
ILO: Discipline-specific skills
- 4. analyse and critically evaluate the behaviour of consumers in the marketplace - including being able to reflexively assess the impact of consumerism on self and one's own buying patterns and influences
- 5. analyse and critically evaluate social phenomena that occur in a market society
- 6. recognise the importance of studying consumer behaviour from an interdisciplinary social science perspective
ILO: Personal and key skills
- 7. further develop writing skills
- 8. further develop independent study skills
- 9. develop researching skills
- 10. develop critical reflexivity towards the subject matter, and towards one's own and one's peers consumer behaviour
- 11. engage as team members in group work that will require intellectual, reflexive and aesthetic applications within the framework of an extended research project
- 12. understand the social, financial and environmental factors that can impact on consumption sustainability and appreciate ethical dimensions in consumer decision making
Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)
|Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities||Guided independent study||Placement / study abroad|
Details of learning activities and teaching methods
|Category||Hours of study time||Description|
|Group and individual drop-in sessions as arranged once group membership is defined||Averagely 2 hours per group / individual = 100 hours|
|Form of assessment||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Formative exercises will be embedded during the lectures and after classes. These will take various forms including, group exercises, revision quizzes and multiple-choice questions exercises as well as class discussions on consumer behaviour and essay topics.||1-12||Written comments, indicative grade, class discussion|
Summative assessment (% of credit)
|Coursework||Written exams||Practical exams|
Details of summative assessment
|Form of assessment||% of credit||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Group report in group size of four, where possible||40||Group report of maximum 3000 words||1-12||Marked by lecturer, outcomes discussed and reviewed in class for formative feedback|
|Examination||60||90 minute exam - Students will need to use taught theory and real life examples in order to develop and justify arguments and demonstrate a critical understanding of consumer behaviour topics.||1-10, 12||Indicative answers on ELE, written feedback on mark sheet and verbal feedback available|
Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)
|Original form of assessment||Form of re-assessment||ILOs re-assessed||Timescale for re-assessment|
|Group report & Exam||Referral exam (100%)||1-10, 12||August/September post exam board|
- The market society – an introduction to consumer culture and modernity
- Researching consumer behaviour – setting up small group research activity
- Consumer perception
- Self – the role of self in consumption
- Motivation, values and lifestyle
- Learning, memory and consumer attitude formation
- Individual and household decision making
- Group influence and opinion leadership
- Culture, subcultures and consumer behaviour
- Cultural change process and new consumers
Indicative learning resources - Basic reading
Solomon, M. et al. (2010) Consumer Behaviour, A European Perspective, 4th edition, London: Prentice Hall
Module has an active ELE page?
Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources
Journal of Consumer Research
Advances in Consumer Research
Consumption, Markets and Culture
European Journal of Marketing
Journal of Consumer Psychology
Journal of Consumer Behavior
Last revision date