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Consumer Research

Module description


This module seeks to develop an interdisciplinary, theoretically informed understanding of consumer research which recognizes the importance of both quantitative and qualitative methods of researching consumer demand. Selecting and justifying relevant social science concepts and theories are essential aspects of this module, as well as developing appropriate research questions and data generation strategies with the view to develop knowledge and understanding about the consumption of products, services and experiences. The growing use of ‘big data’ in management practice is also addressed in this module.

Additional Information:


Case studies from a range of markets will enhance students’ understanding of international issues affecting the design and implementation of consumer research.


Students will analyse real consumer research data and report on their findings. This will develop their practical and problem-solving skills and enhance their own marketability for future employment.

Full module specification

Module title:Consumer Research
Module code:BEM2028
Module level:2
Academic year:2020/1
Module lecturers:
  • Dr Mihaela Bishop - Convenor
Module credit:15
ECTS value:



BEM1019 Fundamentals of Marketing



Duration of module: Duration (weeks) - term 1:


Module aims

The main aims of this module are:

  1. To expose students to the range of research approaches available to study consumers
  2. To develop skills in analysing market research data
  3. To develop skills in designing appropriate consumer research to successfully address practical management problems.

This module uses theory, tools and techniques covering qualitative and quantitative methods for understanding consumers and so it builds upon the ‘Fundamentals of Marketing’ module and provides background for the ‘Consumer Behaviour’ module.

Consumer research is therefore of primary importance for those students who may wish to pursue careers in marketing, advertising, or market research.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. recognise the importance of consumer research for the implementation of the marketing concepts;
  • 2. develop the ability to apply appropriate tools for original research;
  • 3. be able to demonstrate knowledge and skills of planning, designing, implementing, analysing, and reporting consumer research;
  • 4. explain of the interdisciplinary foundations (psychology, sociology, and anthropology) that underpin consumer research.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 5. differentiate, apply, and analyse theories, concepts, and interpretive research methods commonly used in exploring and understanding consumers;
  • 6. demonstrate knowledge of the literature and concepts in consumer research and related fields;
  • 7. explain the interactions between consumer research and marketing.

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 8. develop communication skills, including negotiation, argumentation, and written presentation;
  • 9. experience motivation and support for undertaking original research that can be directly related to one's ability to provide novel insights and problem-solving in interviews, at work and in the community;
  • 10. develop key practical skills in data analysis;
  • 11. use technological tools to strategically source, process, and communicate information and share the content with others;
  • 12. engage as team members in group work that will require application of knowledge.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Schedule Learning and Teaching16Lectures
Scheduled Learning and Teaching8Lab Sessions
Guided Independent Study126Reading, preparation, assignment work

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
In groups, students will design (and present) both a Questionnaire and Interview Guide15 minutes1-12Verbal feedback, in class

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Mid-term exam501 hour 30 minutes1-8, 11Written and verbal feedback
Individual Report502,000 words1-11Individual feedback

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Mid Term Exam (50%)Exam (50%) 1.5 hours1-8, 11August/September Reassessment Period
Individual Report (50%)Individual Assignment, 2000 words (50%)1-11August/September Reassessment Period

Syllabus plan

  • Introduction to Consumer Research
  • The research process and research design; types of research design. Research question and objectives.
  • Sources, methods and challenges of quantitative research
  • Surveys and questionnaire design for quantitative research
  • Analysing consumer data
  • Qualitative research uses and limitations
  • Ethnography, Netnography, Observation
  • Interview techniques
  • Ethical considerations in market research

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Course pack (selected journal articles)

Hague, P. (2006). A practical guide to market research. Surrey: Grosvenor House.

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