Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2019-2020 (archived)

Module BUSI49U15: Designing and Marketing Services

Department: Management and Marketing

BUSI49U15: Designing and Marketing Services

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2019/20 Module Cap
Tied to N5K609
Tied to N2P109
Tied to N2P309
Tied to N2P609


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To provide students with an in-depth understanding of key and current issues in the design and marketing of services;
  • To explore the increasing role of design thinking concepts and frameworks within service innovation;
  • To introduce key services marketing frameworks, such as the service marketing mix and explain how to utilise them to develop advanced strategy for service organisations;
  • To provide students with a set of analytical frameworks, concepts and tools for critical thinking about services, their design and their marketing, and service-related activities;
  • To critically engage with key debates surrounding the application of design thinking methodologies within service innovation, such as customer experience design, ideation and touch-point mapping.


  • The service sector, its development and the rise of service-dominant logic
  • Understanding service products, consumers, and markets
  • The value concept and value co-creation
  • Design thinking, marketing and service innovation
  • Key schools of thought in service design thinking; e.g. Stanford d.thinking, the Nordic School, Social Service Design
  • Stages in services development; exploration, creation, reflection, implementation
  • Market research, service prototyping and test marketing
  • Segmentation of service markets, persona development, and 'big data'
  • Customer experience (re-)design, journey and touch-point mapping, and service blue-printing
  • Target marketing and the Services Marketing Mix
  • Implementing profitable service strategies
  • Social services design, the not-for-profit sector, and ethical marketing practices

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module students will have an advanced knowledge and understanding of:
  • the ways in which services differ and how they can be classified
  • the critical importance of service activities in the modern world economy
  • the complexity of how consumers purchase, use and evaluate services
  • the growing application of design thinking concepts and tools to drive service innovation, improvement and recovery
  • the ways in which both design thinking and marketing concepts, frameworks and tools can be applied in an integrated manner to deliver competitive advantage for organisations within the services sector
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the module students will be able to:
  • critically analyse the unique elements of services marketing vs. goods marketing
  • critically analyse the various dimensions of a service offer
  • identify, develop and manage complex customer service experiences including expectations, perceptions, evaluations and outcomes
  • apply design thinking principles to identify and prioritise key areas for advanced service design development
  • design, develop and implement profitable advanced service strategies
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 computer literacy skills

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

  • The module will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, group work and discussion, supported by guided reading.
  • The summative assessment is an individual project, designed to explore a real-world problem or issue faced by an organisation in the service sector. This will test students’ acquisition of subject-specific knowledge and understanding, and their ability to apply relevant knowledge and skills.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 10 1 per week 2 hours 20
Seminars 4 Fortnightly 1 hour 4
Preparation and Reading 126
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Individual Project Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written project report 2500 words 100% Same

Formative Assessment:

Seminar exercises will be used to give students an opportunity to explore, discuss, critique and apply the key decisions in practice. In addition, students will also receive general feedback throughout the module in a number of forms such as oral feedback on work prepared by students for seminars; answers to questions either discussed during a seminar, or posted on DUO; and discussions with the lecturer during consultation hours, or via e-mail.

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