Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2017-2018 (archived)


Department: Business School (Business)


Type Tied Level 3 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2017/18 Module Cap Location Durham
Tied to N201
Tied to N203
Tied to N207
Tied to N501
Tied to N505
Tied to N507
Tied to N500
Tied to N506
Tied to N508
Tied to NN12
Tied to N205
Tied to N208
Tied to N509
Tied to N510
Tied to N511


  • Consumer Psychology BUSS2191 OR Integrated Marketing Communications BUSS2181


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • BUSS3291 Service Operations Management


  • The module is designed to raise students' awareness and critical understanding of the significance of both retail marketing and services marketing. The module provides a comprehensive and critical introduction to the main theoretical and managerial issues of relevance to both of these key areas of marketing practice.
  • For each consumer purchase, decisions are made regarding how and where to make purchase as well as what to purchase. The module aims to show that retail marketing can work in subtle or overt ways to affect the behaviour of the consumer prior to and at the point of purchase. Main considerations retailers face in developing and maintaining their presence in the market will also be covered.
  • Moreover, this module explores frameworks for understanding the nature and characteristics of services, and how these help in formulating marketing strategies and planning marketing tactics in relation to services.
  • The module will also provide students with an in-depth understanding of the key issues in the specialist marketing of services – in particular, how the utilisation of the services marketing mix facilitates effective strategy formulation by services organisations.


  • Retail Planning and Strategy
  • Locating the store
  • Managing merchandise and the store
  • Establishing and maintaining store image
  • Service Planning & Strategy
  • Understanding services, consumers and markets
  • Managing the customer interface
  • Implementing profitable service strategies
  • The service-dominant logic (SDL) paradigm

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module students will have an advanced knowledge and understanding of the:
  • ways in which retail and services marketing relate
  • characteristics of different retail formats
  • tools and processes used to ensure optimal location of physical store
  • role of environmental psychology in affecting consumers behaviour in retail environments
  • ways in which services differ and how they can be classified
  • critical importance of service activities in the modern world economy
  • complexity of how consumers purchase and evaluate services
  • ways in which learned knowledge can be applied to organisations within the services sector
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the module students should be able to:
  • identify optimal location and format for a physical store
  • identify and justify a suitable merchandise strategy
  • engineer a retail environment to elicit the most favourable customer response
  • explain the key influences on merchandising decisions
  • critically analyse factors contributing to store image
  • critically evaluate the elements of retail planning
  • critically analyse the unique elements of services marketing vs. product marketing
  • critically analyse the various dimensions of a service offer and key issues regarding customer evaluation of services
  • identify and manage complex customer service experiences, expectations, perceptions and outcomes
  • identify and prioritise key areas for advanced service design development
  • implement profitable advanced service strategies
  • understand notions of co-creation of value in relationships
Key Skills:
  • effective written communication skills
  • planning, organising and time management skills
  • problem solving and analytical skills
  • the ability to use initiative
  • advanced computer literacy skills

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

  • Teaching will be via lectures, seminars and group-work. The lectures will discuss the key concepts of Retail Marketing and Services Marketing and draw heavily on practical case studies. These ideas will be put into practice through group-work and seminar discussions. Students will be expected to prepare for lectures through identified readings, and prepare for seminars through case study preparation and other exercises.
  • Summative assessment is by means of one individual written report and one examination. The summative assignment will require students to provide an in-depth analysis of some aspect of the marketing strategy and/or operations of a retail or service company. Students will need to demonstrate their understanding of the relevant theoretical concepts covered in class, and critically assess the specific managerial challenges met by retailers and services organizations. The formative assessment will provide students with the opportunity to prepare and develop analytical and critical skills for the summative assessment.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 20 1 per week 1 hour 20
Seminars 8 4 in Term 1, 4 in Term 2 1 hour 8
Preparation, group-work, reading 172
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Assignment Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Individual written assignment 2,500 words 100% Same
Component: Examination Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
One written examination 2 hours 100% Same

Formative Assessment:

For their formative assessment, students will be asked to work in small groups and analyse some aspect/s of the strategy and operations of a retailer of their choice. Students must demonstrate an understanding of relevant concepts and the ability to apply them to a real case. Students will be required to present their project to the rest of the class.

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