Course Brief

We have been consumers all our lives. Our very identities are tied up with our roles as buyers and users of goods and services. Yet how many of us understand the forces that drive our consumer choices at any given time? (Foxall and Goldsmith1994).

This module illustrates how psychology can be a significant tool for making sense of and interpreting consumer behaviour without influencing it. The module specialises in understanding consumer behaviour by providing an in-depth coverage of various established theories in psychology and their application to consumer buying situations such as the cross-cultural buying behaviour. The conceptual content in this module has been drawn from an extensive amount of research available in this area.

The current module introduces students to the complexity of buying behaviour thus moving away from a simplistic approach to buying which focuses on a demand and price relationship. The scope of buying behaviour is considered within the framework of consumer behaviour variables such as demographic, economic, situational and psychological. Various theoretical orientations are utilised in order to develop consumer models to understand the complexity of buying behaviour. The implications of these models are discussed in the context of marketing decision-making with particular references to communications strategies, innovation, market segmentation, branding and socio-cultural ideas and customs affecting the business. This module therefore provides an excellent blend of theory and practice.

  • 40 contact hours

Upon successful completion of this module, students will have demonstrated:

K1. Critical understanding of the different approaches to consumer research with an emphasis on the positivist and interpretivist viewpoints
K2. Critical understanding of the individual dimensions of consumer behaviour, considering issues related to the development of relevant contemporary theories
K3. Critical understanding of the social aspects of consumer behaviour in an era of globalisation

S1. The ability to build a conceptual framework of consumer profiles
S2. The ability to apply psychological and social dimensions of consumers in problem-solving situations to facilitate strategic decision-making
S3. The ability to develop an effective customer focused strategic

  • BA (Hons) Business and Marketing (Top-Up)


    In today’s fast-paced, global environment, marketing is crucial to the commercial success of any business. The University of Sunderland’s BA (Hons) Business and Marketing Top-up degree is a balance of focus, that combines both business subjects and a marketing specialism to prepare students for employment in a diverse range of careers in both disciplines. Studying business and marketing together grants a unique understanding of organisations and their management, and the varied ways marketing is used to determine and demonstrate the quality and usefulness of products, brands and services.

    The BA (Hons) Business and Marketing programme can be earned in 18 months on a Part Time basis.  As a graduate of this course, you will have excellent skills and knowledge in marketing management, planning, strategy and digital marketing.

    Our other Business degree options include:

    Next Step

    Expand your potential; go beyond your University of Sunderland BA Honours degree.

    BA graduates can seamlessly progress to one of our Edinburgh Business School, Heriot-Watt University MBA or MSc. programmes, which we have been offering for over 24 years.

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