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University of Exeter Business School

Contemporary Digital Marketing Themes

Module titleContemporary Digital Marketing Themes
Module codeBEMM781
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Ms Emma Wood (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks




Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

In the dynamic digital marketing environment, emerging issues and practices can cause frequent and rapid change. The focus of this module is therefore to introduce you to a range of contemporary issues relevant to future marketers. Running across 2 terms, this module will provide you with insights into the very latest research, industry developments and practices. Over the course of two terms, you will be guided by a single module coordinator but each distinct 5 week block will be led by a recognised specialist in their field. Though the themes will change regularly to reflect this evolving environment, the focus will be on building a strong understanding of significant trends such as data privacy, ethics, marketing automation and the growth of e-commerce. By drawing upon the latest thinking from cutting-edge researchers alongside insights from industry practitioners, these ‘mini-modules’ will provide an exciting opportunity to develop your understanding of this challenging sector.

The final 5 week block will focus on consolidating your learning throughout the Programme to consider your own skills and career preferences. Utilising a number of external speakers, including Exeter alumni, this Module will outline the wide range of careers available in marketing and support you to identify your next career steps. This block is designed to augment the academic and applied knowledge you will gain throughout your academic studies on this programme and will enable you to apply that learning successfully to your chosen career path and gain maximum benefit from your learning experience at the University of Exeter Business School.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The aim of this module is to introduce you to contemporary developments in the digital marketing sector and consider how they impact upon modern marketing practice. Utilising insights from both research and practitioner experience, you will be encouraged to take a critical and reflective approach to help you make connections between your previous experiences, learning and cross-cultural perspectives. Through a series of distinct but inter-related ‘mini-modules’, you will be supported to consider how your practice-based knowledge and skills can best be employed in the workplace.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Critically analyse contemporary marketing issues to understand their impact on marketing practice
  • 2. Demonstrate awareness of emerging tools, techniques and practices in marketing

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 3. Critically reflect on the changing marketing environment and your role within that
  • 4. Demonstrate strong problem-solving skills and creative thinking

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 5. Appreciate the social, ethical and environmental factors that influence organisations
  • 6. Recognise the importance of a global perspective in business
  • 7. Evaluate and articulate your personal competencies and attributes (skills, abilities, knowledge, career motivations), and the value these offer to a potential employer

Syllabus plan

This module is designed to be adapted frequently to reflect the ever changing nature of digital marketing. Each 5 week teaching block will focus on a distinct current theme.

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
Scheduled learning and teaching activities38 hoursEach 5 week block will be scheduled to best suit the theme and support external/guest speaker participation
Guided independent study262 hoursCore and supplementary reading, individual assignments

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Seminar discussion & participationThroughout1-7Verbal

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
Block A – written assignment251750 words equivalent1-6Written
Block B – written assignment251750 words equivalent1-6Written
Block C – written assignment251750 words equivalent1-6Written
Block D – reflective portfolio251750 words equivalent3,7Written

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Block A – written assignmentBlock A – 1750 word written assignment1-6Relevant re-assessment period
Block B – written assignmentBlock B – 1750 word written assignment1-6Relevant re-assessment period
Block C – written assignmentBlock C – 1750 word written assignment1-6Relevant re-assessment period
Block D – reflective portfolioBlock D – reflective portfolio (1750 words equivalent)3,7Relevant re-assessment period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

There is no ‘set text’ for this module and further guided reading will be provided for each 5 week block via the ELE pages and Module Handbook. Indicative reading will include:

  • Chaffey, D., Edmundson-Bird, D., & Hemphill, T. (2019). Digital business and e-commerce management. Pearson UK
  • Pennycook, G., Epstein, Z., Mosleh, M., Arechar, A., Eckles, D., & Rand, D. (2020). Understanding and reducing the spread of misinformation online. ACR North American Advances
  • Zuboff, S. (2019). The age of surveillance capitalism: The fight for a human future at the new frontier of power: Profile books

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

  • ELE Module pages

Indicative learning resources - Other resources


Key words search

Digital Marketing, Data Protection, E-commerce, Online Privacy, Misinformation, Careers in Marketing, Marketing Ethics

Credit value30
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites

This module is restricted to MSc Digital Marketing students only

Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date