Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2012-2013 (archived)

Module BUSS40715: Marketing Science

Department: Business School (Business) [Queen's Campus, Stockton]

BUSS40715: Marketing Science

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2012/13 Module Cap None.
Tied to N5K309


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To develop an understanding of the philosophical foundations of different research methods
  • To establish the links between research questions and research design
  • To appreciate the application of the main quantitative and qualitative research designs
  • To be able to design a research project appropriate to the research question.


  • Is marketing science? – the debate between science and art/humanity
  • Theory development & conceptualisation
  • Philosophical foundations of qualitative research methods
  • Questionnaire design
  • Experimental design
  • Scale development
  • Quantitative data analysis (1) – t-tests, chi-squares, correlation, ANOVA, regression
  • Quantitative data analysis (2) – moderating & mediating effects, reliability analysis, factor analysis
  • Philosophical foundations of qualitative research methods
  • Interviews & focus groups
  • Observation & ethnography
  • Qualitative data analysis (1) – meaning categorisation/condensation, deductive & inductive approaches
  • Qualitative data analysis (2) – introduction to NVIVO

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module students will:
  • Have an advanced understanding of how to identify relevant and rigorous marketing research questions
  • Have an advanced understanding of marketing theory development, conceptualisation and hypotheses/proposition development
  • Have a critical understanding of the philosophical foundations of marketing research methods
  • Be able to critically evaluate different marketing research methods & designs
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the module students will:
  • be able to identify appropriate advanced marketing research questions
  • be able to develop an appropriate conceptual framework based on marketing-focused problems and issues
  • be able to design and conduct quantitative research into relevant marketing topics – including questionnaire and experimental design
  • be able to design and conduct qualitative research into relevant marketing topics – including the key forms of observation
  • be able to analyse qualitative and quantitative data relating to marketing.
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
  • Groupworking 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, lab sessions, case studies, discussion and seminar style working such as will enable the learning outcomes to be met.
  • The module is summatively assessed by a combination of individual written assignment and group poster presentation to maintain a balance of assessment methods and to promote, and test, the development of groupworking skills. The assignments will also test students’ knowledge and understanding of the subject-matter and their ability to apply their knowledge and specialist skills in the context of specific issues in marketing research/marketing science.

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: Individual Assignment Component Weighting: 60%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Individual written assignment based on a research proposal 2500 words 100% same
Component: Group project/presentation Component Weighting: 40%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Group poster presentation based on a research project that entails both quantitative and qualitative primary data collection and analysis A0 poster 100% 1000 word individual report assessing same learning outcomes

Formative Assessment:

Various exercises during the sessions focusing on the understanding of the module’s main concepts: in-class research question formulation exercise; in-class qualitative and quantitative data analysis exercise.

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