Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2010-2011 (archived)

Module BUSS40315: Integrated Marketing Communications

Department: Economics, Finance and Business (Business) [Queen's Campus, Stockton]

BUSS40315: Integrated Marketing Communications

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2010/11 Module Cap None.
Tied to N5K309
Tied to N5K207


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) aims to combine and integrate all relevant elements of an organization’s communication mix. This module is targeted to offer students examples of the application of IMC theory and analysis, using current discourse and trends to reveal an ‘outside-in’ approach that is important to reach both consumers and stakeholders alike. Through a systematic analysis of these key processes, the relationship of consumers, marketers and stakeholders at the centre of IMC is unpacked.
  • The module is grounded in marketing theory that focuses on consumer practices and specific stakeholder groups. Key constructs addressing issues such as marketing communications, customer relationships, consumer behaviour, the strategies for the management of IMC, digital technology and social media impact, communication analysis and future models for IMC sustainability are addressed.
  • Key objectives include:
  • The implications for marketing communications, communicators and stakeholder groups are explored in-depth.
  • An IMC model is explored to highlight the important relationships between organisations and key stakeholders.
  • The contribution to marketing is in the demonstration of IMC which is assessed as a complex and circular process rather than a linear (inside-out) competitive advantage.
  • The module will introduce the foundations of IMC, to discuss the most important features, and to analyse the advantages and challenges at a theoretical and practical level:
  • To demonstrate how IMC affects the breadth and depth of a firm’s overall marketing strategy.
  • To provide a working understanding of the marketing communications mix and its relationship with the marketing mix.
  • To ensure an appreciation of acquisition and retention marketing communications.
  • To provide an understanding of the digital media of marketing communications.
  • To ensure an understanding of the structure of the marketing communications industry and the working relationships within it.


  • The Marketing Communications Process and Integrated Marketing Communications
  • Measurement of IMC
  • Image & Brand Management / Customer Relationship Marketing
  • Marketing Communications Planning & the Communications Industry
  • Theories & Models of Communication
  • Digital marketing analytics and intelligence
  • An overview of consumer behaviour and consumption studies
  • Traditional, Digital and Interactive marketing communications
  • Social media technologies in business – including digital advertising

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module students will:
  • Have a critical understanding of the relationship between marketing plans and marketing communications plans as the basis for selecting and achieving a balanced marketing communications mix.
  • Be able to explain how an organisation communicates with its markets and publics through the marketing communications mix.
  • Have acquired the specialist knowledge to be able to identify buying motivations in a given market, to ensure that marketing communications plans are correctly based.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the module, students will have acquired the following specialist skills at an advanced level:
  • Ability to design and develop effective marketing communications plans.
  • Ability to establish a system of implementation, evaluation and control of the marketing communications strategy.
  • Ability to place communications in the ‘new’/digital technologies – communications setting.
  • Ability to analyse data from social media, identify appropriate analytics and apply best practices to marketing strategy recommendations.
  • Ability to generate a marketing plan to enhance a particular strategic objective.
Key Skills:
  • Effective written and oral communication skills
  • Planning, organising and time management skills
  • Problem solving and analytical skills
  • The ability to use initiative
  • Advanced skills in the interpretation of data
  • Advanced computer literacy skills

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

  • The module will be taught in 3-hour blocks to allow a greater level of engagement with students and to enable a flexibility of approach as appropriate. The teaching blocks will comprise a balanced mix of lecture-type teaching, group work, case studies, discussion and seminar style working such as will enable the learning outcomes to be met.
  • The summative assessment of the module, by group presentation and individual written assignment, is designed to test students’ knowledge and understanding of the subject-matter and their ability to apply their knowledge and specialist skills in the context of specific marketing communications issues.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Teaching Blocks 9 1 per week 3 hours 27
Preparation and Reading 123
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Group presentation Component Weighting: 40%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Group presentation based around the development of a digital integrated marketing communications plan 15 minutes 100% Individual report (1000 words) that tests same learning outcomes
Component: Written Assignment Component Weighting: 60%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Individual Report based on a communications case study 2500 words 100% same

Formative Assessment:

Team-based exercises within seminars developing an integrated marketing communications plan, which demonstrates both the breadth and depth of a firm’s overall marketing strategy.

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