Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2014-2015 (archived)

Module BUSI4H115: Marketing and Society

Department: Business School (Business)

BUSI4H115: Marketing and Society

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2014/15 Module Cap
Tied to N5K609 MSc Marketing


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • Work and Society (BUSI5F015)


  • This module explores marketing within its wider societal economic, political, and cultural contexts, which shape, but are also being shaped by, marketing practice and discourse. The module seeks to reflect critically upon the significance and consequences of marketing within modern capitalist society. The module questions the role of marketing, marketing institutions and practitioners on society, and seeks to deconstruct the ideology of marketing and the marketisation and commodification of non-business contexts. Empirically, a range of specific cases will be introduced to discuss the role of marketing on a range of contexts, both locally and internationally. The module enables students to engage with areas of specific interest to them, by tackling issues that affect them directly, but also by tackling a number of different contexts, beyond the realm of management/commerce and beyond the so-called Western world. Students are expected to engage with these issues in a critical, theoretical and practical manner.


  • Introduction to Macromarketing: overview and contribution
  • Marketing institutions and practitioners
  • Industry Regulations and consumer protection
  • The Marketisation of practices, discourse and contexts (e.g. politics; higher education)
  • The politics of marketing & the marketing of politics
  • The resistance to marketing (e.g. marketing intrusion and consumer resistance, issues of sustainable consumption; anti-consumption and brand avoidance, etc), and the marketing of resistance (e.g. consumer movements, consumer activism)
  • Marketing and the invisible ‘others’ (e.g. the non-male, non-straight, non-white, the poor)
  • Gender roles and stereotypes
  • Marketing in emerging markets

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module, students should:
  • Have an advanced understanding and knowledge of the role of marketing in society.
  • Be able to critically engage with a variety of issues and theories addressed in the course.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the module, students should be able to:
  • Problematize the role of marketing in society, and marketing relevance in different contexts.
  • Recognise the limitations of knowledge in marketing.
  • Critically evaluate theories, arguments and situations from competing perspectives.
  • Be able to analyse and provide a reasoned verbal and written account on a number of themes tackled in the course.
  • Be able to identify and deconstruct marketing discourse and ideology in a number of different contexts and situations.
  • Seek creative solutions to the issues tackled.
Key Skills:
  • Effective writing skills
  • Effective research and analytical skills
  • Creative problem-solving
  • Critical thinking
  • Independent learning and work

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 for an in-depth engagement with the course. Adopting a student-centred learning approach, sessions will consist of lecture-type teaching, group discussions and case studies. Group presentations will also be an important element of the sessions, and part of the formative assessment on the module. At the end of the module, there will a summative assignment which will allow for independent work and reflection on the various themes covered. Such flexible approach to teaching and assessment will allow for a greater engagement with the course material, encouraging an in-depth understanding and critical assessment of relevant theory, along with the opportunity to engage with practice.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

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

Summative Assessment

Component: Assignment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Individual assignment 3,000 words 100% Same

Formative Assessment:

Seminar exercises, including group discussion, group and individual presentations, and case studies will provide students with the opportunity to explore and critically discuss a number of issues related to the course material. Formative feedback will be provided throughout the module. Each student will be part of a small group and will be requested to make a presentation on a pre-determined topic. The students will receive written group feedback on the presentation.

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