Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2007-2008 (archived)


Department: Economics, Finance and Business (Business)


Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2007/08 Module Cap None.
Tied to N1KL17


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • Effective marketing begins with a grounded understanding of how and why customers behave as they do. Locating itself at the interface between the psychology and marketing disciplines, this module therefore examines three types of behavioural relationship of crucial importance to the successful management of marketing activities: the behaviour of customers in the marketplace; the behaviour of marketers toward their customers; and the behaviour of firms in the competitive environment. Specifically, through a combination of lecturers, case studies and practical exercises, this very applied module develops a comprehensive behaviour-analytical framework with which marketing managers may seek to better understand, predict and control customer responses to the products and services of everyday life, and to the marketing of those products and services, in both consumer and organisational buying contexts.


  • Explanatory fictions - the traditional view of customer decision making (and what's wrong with it).
  • New wine in new bottles - marketing as the behaviourist views it.
  • Pavlov and his dogs - what all marketers need to know about classical conditioning.
  • Little Albert and Johnson's Baby Powder - the legacy of John Broadus Watson, "advertising guru".
  • Re-opening Skinner's box - reinforcing brand loyalty.
  • Customer rules - verbal behaviour and marketing communications.
  • Controlling the scope of customer choice - how to manage the sales environment more profitably!
  • The behavioural perspective model - a framework for the modern marketing manager.
  • The things that marketers do - an operant view of marketing strategies.
  • The marketing firm and how to manage it - what the competitive environment is really all about!

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Upon successful completion of the module, participants will have developed:
  • an advanced understanding of the psychology of individual, situational, environmental and cultural (inter-personal) influences on customer behaviour;
  • a critical appreciation of the choice processes that customers engage in when determining what to buy and where to buy it, together with the role of marketing stimuli in shaping such choice processes.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Upon successful completion of the module, participants will have developed:
  • the specialist skills needed to successfully develop and evaluate marketing strategies in light of knowledge of applied behaviour analysis and marketing psychology theory.
Key Skills:

    Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

    • Learning outcomes will be met through a combination of lectures, groupwork, case studies and discussion, supported by guided reading. The written assignment will test students' understanding of relevant concepts and their ability to apply and interpret what they have learned to the analysis of a particular issue in depth.

    Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

    Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
    Workshops (a combination of lectures, groupwork, case studies and discussion) 24
    Preparation and Reading 126
    Total 150

    Summative Assessment

    Component: Written Assignment Component Weighting: 100%
    Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
    Written Assignment 4,000 words maximum 100%

    Formative Assessment:

    Students receive feedback on their contributions to the workshops.

    Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University