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 consider culturally driven consumer behaviour.
This module engages with sustainability by addressing concepts such as ‘green consumption’, ethics and corporate social responsibility.
All of the resources for this course are available through the ELE (Exeter Learning Environment).
Formative projects done by students include an element of research, giving them the opportunity to engage with external organisations and individuals.
Students also have the opportunity to engage with the current research being done by Exeter academic staff and by other academics in the field.
Students will 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. explain 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. explain 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. further develop skills for negotiation, argumentation, communication and problem solving
- 10. develop critical reflexivity towards the subject matter, and towards one's own and one's peers consumer behaviour
- 11. explain 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|
|Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity||22||Lectures|
|Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity||5||Fortnightly Tutorials (5 x 1 hour in week 2,4,6,8,10)|
|Guided Independent Study||123||Reading, preparation for classes and assessments|
|Form of assessment||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Formative exercises will take various forms including group exercises, revision quizzes and multiple-choice question exercises as well as group discussions on consumer behaviour and essay topics||1-11||Written comments, indicative grade, group 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|
|Mid-term test||30||45 minutes||1-6||Grade and feedback notified to individuals via ELE|
|Examination||70||2 hour 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.||1-11||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|
|Mid-term test (30%), Examination (70%)||Written Examination (100%)||1-11||August/September Reassessment period|
The market society – an introduction to consumer culture and modernity
The wheel of consumption: Buying, Using and Disposing
Self – the role of self in consumption
Motivation, values and lifestyle
Learning, memory and consumer attitude formation
Household decision making and social class
Group influence and opinion leadership
Culture, subcultures and consumer acculturation
Cultural change process and new consumers
Online Consumer Behaviour
Indicative learning resources - Basic reading
Solomon, M. et al. (2018) Consumer Behaviour, A European Perspective, 7th 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 Behaviour
Last revision date