Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2017-2018 (archived)


Department: Business School (Business)


Type Tied Level 2 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2017/18 Module Cap Location Durham
Tied to N201
Tied to N203
Tied to N207
Tied to N500
Tied to N506
Tied to N508
Tied to N501
Tied to N505
Tied to N507
Tied to NN12
Tied to N205
Tied to N208
Tied to N509
Tied to N510
Tied to N511


  • Marketing Principles


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • This module is designed to enable students to understand the key principles of brand management from socio-cultural, psychological and anthropological perspectives, rather than relying on just the cognitive approach to branding.
  • To provide invaluable insights into, and a critical engagement with, the brand management subject. Students will go beyond the functional and naming aspects of branding to develop critical thinking. This will be based on an engagement with brands which considers how brands are formed through the development of their cultural meaning alongside managerial branding strategies. We will consider the ways brands transform consumer experience, build brand identity, and develop brand equity from both a financial and a consumer perspective.
  • The module also aims to provide students with an understanding of how brand management works in practice, taking into account the context (domestic or international), culture, market characteristics and trends.


  • Part 1: The socio-cultural meaning of brands
  • 1.1: A semiotic act of naming a product– from products to brands
  • 1.2: Semiotics and the symbolic meaning of brands
  • 1.3: Brands as symbolic resources for self and social identities
  • 1.4: The principles of cultural branding
  • Part 2: Brand equity
  • 2.1: Brand equity from financial and consumer perspectives
  • 2.2: Stakeholders, brand equity, and consumer research
  • Part 3: Managing brands
  • 3.1: Brand strategies
  • 3.2: Brands and advertising
  • 3.3: Global brands

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Demonstrate an understanding of core branding concepts and strategies from socio-cultural, psychological and anthropological perspectives.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the social psychology of brands, the symbolic and cultural meaning of brands and the relationship between brands and emotions.
  • Gain knowledge and understanding of the brand equity concept from both financial and consumer perspectives.
  • Gain knowledge and understanding of different approaches to brand strategies and be able to critically evaluate the main choices that brand managers must take into account when they manage their brands.
  • Apply knowledge of the branding concept and brand management in the context of the development of global brands.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between brands and advertising and evaluate how these are affected by new technology and media.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Have developed expertise in understanding the key branding concepts, strategies and current issues in brand management from socio-cultural, psychological and anthropological perspectives.
  • Be able to apply branding concepts and strategies in a dynamic, global, diverse and fragmented media landscape and the ever-increasing significance of social media.
  • Be able to explore the complex task of successful branding with regards to the semiotic act of naming a product, authenticity, reassurance, differentiation, the development of its cultural meaning and the transformation of experience.
  • Have developed an understanding that when a product-commodity becomes a brand, its use value is imbued with symbolic value that consumers deploy in constructing and maintaining their identities.
  • Be able to critically evaluate the importance of strong brands to stakeholders.
Key Skills:
  • Information skills and the synthesis of data
  • Creativity and problem-solving (e.g. by thinking laterally and innovatively, to develop original approaches)
  • Critical thinking
  • Active and reflective learning
  • Time management/self-discipline
  • Presenting in both the written and oral/visual form
  • Group work/teamwork and leadership skills

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

  • The teaching and learning strategy is designed to encourage an understanding of the key branding concepts and development of the Brand Management discipline; develop a knowledge of the principal areas within the discipline and the application of these branding principles in practice.The teaching and learning methods include lectures and seminars, incorporating appropriate video footage, examples, case studies and seminar exercises. Strong emphasis is placed on group participation, developing formatively the students’ interpersonal and team working skills. Students will be expected to prepare for lectures through identified readings and exercises. This module is assessed in two stages, by group assignment & examination.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 19 1 per week 1 hour 19
Lecture 1 3 hour 3
Seminars 7 3 in term 1, 4 in term 2 1 hour 7
Preparation, fieldwork and Reading 171
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Assignment Component Weighting: 40%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Group report 2000 words 100% Individual written assignment
Component: Examination Component Weighting: 60%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
One written examination 90 mins 100% Same

Formative Assessment:

Individual essay - 1000 words.

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