Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2014-2015 (archived)

Module BUSI4F015: Buyer Behaviour & Marketing Communications (Taught)

Department: Business School (Business)

BUSI4F015: Buyer Behaviour & Marketing Communications (Taught)

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2014/15 Module Cap
Tied to N2K307
Tied to N5K107
Tied to N6K107
Tied to N1KY07
Tied to N2K507
Tied to N5K407
Tied to N1N107
Tied to N6K207
Tied to N5K507


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • Buyer Behaviour & Marketing Communications (Online)


  • To provide a comprehensive introduction to the specialised area of buyer behaviour and the management of customer-centric Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) strategies.
  • To consolidate and extend the advanced conceptual and empirical skills acquired during the Core period of the MA programme.
  • To equip the student with the advanced conceptual and practical skills needed to successfully develop a professional multimedia marketing communications plan.


  • I. Understanding customers:-
  • Marketing management in the customer-driven organisation;
  • Consumer buying and organisational buying;
  • Customer choice and decision-making processes;
  • Internal influences on customer decision-making;
  • External influences on customer decision-making.
  • II. Communicating with customers:-
  • Marketing communications as a buyer-seller dialogue;
  • Developing an integrated marketing communications (IMC) strategy;
  • One, two, three and four-dimensional communications strategies;
  • The marketing communications mix - advertising, promotion, merchandising, PR, etc;
  • Developing and implementing a strategic media plan.
  • III. Managing customer relationships:-
  • Understanding customer-marketer dynamics;
  • In-bound communications and customer intelligence;
  • Relationship marketing and the 'marketing concept';
  • Customer relationship management (CRM) systems;
  • Identifying, communicating and delivering the value proposition.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • On completion of the module students should have:
  • An advanced understanding and critical appreciation of customer responses to the products and services of everyday life, and to the marketing of those products and services.
  • A critical appreciation of the complex nature of the customer decision-making process and the methods of studying these processes, together with the challenges marketers face in seeking to influence that process.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the module, students should have:
  • Acquired the specialised skills needed to develop a comprehensive marketing communications strategy that is founded upon a grounded knowledge of how and why customers behave as they do.
Key Skills:
  • effective written 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

  • Learning outcomes will be met through a combination of taught input, groupwork, case studies and discussion, supported by guided reading and specially-written self-study material. 
  • The summative assessment of the module is designed to test the acquisition and articulation of knowledge and critical understanding, and skills of application and interpretation within the business context.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Workshops (a combination of taught input, groupwork, case studies and discussion), timetabled in blocks 24
Preparation and reading 126
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Written Assignment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Individual written report, based on the development of a communications plan 3000 words 100% Same

Formative Assessment:

Group-based discussions and case study exercises.

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