SSST Subjects

EC 424 Consumer Behaviour


Programme(s) where module is offered

  • BSc in Business and Management with Economics
  • BSc in Business and Management with Finance

Status (core, option, free choice)



FHEQ Level



Unit Value



Semester taught



Pre-Requisite Modules or Qualifications

Introduction to Marketing


Module Code

EC 424


Module coordinator

Maja Pulic de Sanctis


Applicable From



Educational Aims of the Module

  • Current approaches to business emphasize the importance of adopting a consumer focus. For students of business, and especially marketing, consumer behaviour is a critical area that practitioners need to know about.
  • Central to the marketing concept is the need for organizations to understand the factors that shape and influence people’s behaviour in different environments.
  • Marketers have to recognize and appreciate how consumers respond to the various aspects of their offerings. This implies that business needs a solid grasp of consumer behaviour in many different settings and context, which means thinking about each category of individual consumers, including different age groups, and different social and cultural settings.
  • This course seeks to acquire knowledge of how the individual makes decisions and how the market ‘makes’ decisions.
  • Furthermore, we take a global perspective by ensuring the analysis of examples and cases from a range of countries, including China, India, Mexico, Japan, Germany and the UK.
  • During this course, students will have an opportunity to learn how to pay attention to trends and developments in technology and social media and how organizations use these as they interact with consumers. Current research is also incorporated, including sustained treatment and inclusion of studies from consumer culture theory (CCT).
  • Throughout this course, students will have an opportunity to experience consumer research in the field, while working in a team and identifying which focus is important to consider in order to understand consumer behaviour relating to a particular product, service, or other consumer offering (e.g., movie theatre, museum, financial/health service, furniture, automobile).
  • While using exploratory research analysis, students will gain practical skills in research as well as problem-solving abilities and analytical skills.

Module Outline/Syllabus

  • Historical context for understanding consumption (approaches to studying consumers and consumption)

  • Market research: Exploratory research methods

  • Contemporary perspectives on consumer behaviour

  • Experiential marketing

  • Consumer culture theory

  • Technology and consumer behaviour

  • Social networks and consumer behaviour

  • Decision-making and involvement

  • Learning and memory

  • Perceptual processes

  • Attitude theory and behaviour change

  • Personality, self, and motivation

  • Groups, social processes, and communications

  • Consumption and social inequality

  • Culture, social organization and consumption

  • Patterns of buyer behaviour

  • The experience of consumption: Consuming the past


Student Engagement Hours

Type Number per Term Duration Total Time


15 1.5 22.5


5 1.5 7.5


5 1.5 7.5
Tutorials 5 1.5 7.5

Total Contact Hours


Total Guided/Independent Learning Hours

Total Engagement Hours 150.0

Assessment Method Summary

Type Number Required Duration / Length Weighting Timing / Submission Deadline

Final exam


3 hours


Week 15

Midterm exam


2.5 hours


Week 7

Group field project


1500 words


Week 12

Presentation of the project


20 minutes


Week 13


Module Outcomes

Intended Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand the rationale for studying consumer behaviour

  • To comprehend the most important theory related to the field of Consumer Behaviour.

  • Identify and explain factors which influence consumer behaviour

  • Demonstrate how knowledge of consumer behaviour can be applied to marketing

  • Identify and critically analyse ethical issues.

  • Ability to conduct a research using pre-defined methods and to be able to critically analyse results.

Teaching and Learning Strategy:

  • Teaching will be combined with in-depth discussion of various cases necessary to illustrate the theoretical part of course. Examples will be provided for case studies that are of crucial importance for the course. (ILO:1-5)

  • Course readings and class discussion (ILO:1-5)

  • Group field project that provides a hands-on opportunity to understand specific behaviours that consumers engage in. (ILO:3-6)

Assessment Strategy:

  • Midterm exam oral presentation (ILO:1-3)

  • Final exam (ILO:1-5)

  • Group field project (ILO:3-6)

Practical Skills:

  • Ability to produce an exploratory research project in the field

  • Ability to strategize research in the field

  • Report writing

  • Understand the influence of conditions, time and manner of purchases on consumer behaviour

  • Choosing the optimal approach in resolving consumer problems

Teaching and Learning Strategy:

  • Teaching will be a combination of lecture and discussion with extensive use of examples and case studies (PS:1-5)

  • Group field project (PS:1-5)

Assessment Strategy:

  • Final and midterm exam (PS:3-5)

  • Group field project (PS:1,2,3,4)

  • Oral presentation (PS:2-3)

Transferable Skills:

  • A problem-centered and problem-solving approach

  • Ability to effectively present own and others’ point of view

  • Communication Skills: Written and Oral

  • Research Skills

  • Data analyses skills

  • Ability to work in the team

  • Classify data

  • Compare, inspect or record facts

  • Meet deadlines

  • Good time management

  • Organize/manage projects

Teaching and Learning Strategy:

  • Course readings and class discussions. (TS: 1-3; 5-8)

  • Lectures and in-class exercises (TS: 1-3;5-8)

  • Group field project and presentation (TS:1-11)

  • Group discussions (TS: 1-3,5,7,8)

Assessment Strategy:

  • Midterm and Final exam (TS: 1-3;5-8)

  • Group field project and presentation (TS:1-11)


Key Texts and/or other learning materials

Set text

  • Szmigin I. and Piacentini M. (2015) Consumer Behaviour, Oxford University Press.


  • Edgell S., Hetherington K. and Warde A. ed. (1996) Consumption Matters, The Editorial Board of the Sociological Review, Blackwell Publishers. (selected chapters)

  • Hesse-Biber S. and Leavy P. (2004) Approaches to Qualitative Research, Oxford University Press. (selected chapters)

  • Schor J.B. and Hold D. ed. (2000) The Consumer Society Reader, The New Press, New York. (selected chapters)

  • Sherry J. F. Jr. and Fischer E. (2009) Explorations in Consumer Culture Theory, Routledge. (selected chapters)

  • Sherry J.F. Jr. ed. (1995) Contemporary Marketing and Consumer Behaviour: An Anthropological Sourcebook, SAGE Publications Inc. (selected chapters)

Journal articles

  • Bradley J. (2007) The Consumer. Advertising Age. Vol.78(3), p.29.

  • Carter, T.J. and Gilovich, T. (2012) I Am What I Do, Not What I Have: The Differential Centrality of Experiential and Material Purchases to the Self, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol.102(6), pp.1304-1317

  • Chang, P. and Chieng, M. (2006)Building consumer–brand relationship: A crosscultural experiential view

  • Goulding, C. (2001) Romancing the past: Heritage visiting and the nostalgic consumer, Psychology & Marketing, Vol.18(6), pp.565-592

  • Hamby, A., Daniloski, K. and Brinberg, D. (2015). How consumer reviews persuade through narratives. Journal of Business Research, 68(6), pp.1242-1250.

  • Lüdicke, M. (2011) Broadening the Scope of Consumer Acculturation Theory. Advances in Consumer Research, Vol.38, p.1.

  • Psychology and Marketing, Vol.23(11), pp.927-959

Please note

This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the module and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if he/she takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided.

More detailed information on the learning outcomes, content and teaching, learning and assessment methods of each module and programme can be found in the departmental or programme handbook.

The accuracy of the information contained in this document is reviewed annually by the University of Buckingham and may be checked by the Quality Assurance Agency.

Date of Production : May 2017

Date approved by School Learning and Teaching Committee

Date approved by School Board of Study

Date approved by University Learning and Teaching Committee

Date of Annual Review


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Bosna i Hercegovina

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