Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2020-2021 (archived)

Module BUSI4H015: Marketing Theory

Department: Management and Marketing

BUSI4H015: Marketing Theory

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2020/21
Tied to N5K609 MSc Marketing


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To develop a critical understanding of marketing theory, focusing specifically on key debates and cutting-edge knowledge that challenge conventional accounts of marketing theory. The theoretical, managerial, social, economic, and political dimensions of marketing are considered, in order to illuminate how marketing thought has developed: the role of marketing within markets, organisations, and society: and assumptions underpinning marketing thinking.


  • The Development of Marketing Theory and Thought: Origins and Eras
  • Paradigms and Turns of Marketing Theory
  • Consumer Society and Conceptualising the Consumer
  • Marketing as Exchange: Transactions, Relationships, Co-Creation or Manipulation?
  • Brands and Branding
  • Globalisation and Marketing in Non-Western Contexts
  • Gender, Identity and the Marketplace
  • Technology and Surveillance in the Marketplace
  • Ethics, Vulnerable Consumers and Social Marketing
  • Marketing and Society: Alternative Markets and the Future of Marketing

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module students will have:
  • a critical understanding of the history and development of marketing theory
  • a comprehensive knowledge of the assumptions underpinning marketing theory;
  • an advanced understanding of alternative accounts of the role of marketing in markets, organisations, and society;
  • an appreciation of the reciprocal relationship between marketing and technology, and marketing and culture;
  • a critical understanding of the debates surrounding ethical, responsible, and sustainable marketing practice.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the module students should have the:
  • ability to critically evaluate marketing theory;
  • ability to understand and apply different perspectives and approaches to marketing;
  • ability to debate the underlying assumptions that constitute the various paradigms in marketing theory;
  • ability to understand and evaluate the relationship between marketing theory and practice.
Key Skills:
  • critical thinking in evaluating marketing theory and practice
  • creative and adaptable problem solving and analytical skills
  • effective written communication skills
  • self-reflection and self-awareness in research and practice
  • group work

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

  • The module will be taught in a combination of a weekly 2 hour workshop and 1 hour per week of asynchronous online learning activities. Asynchronous online learning activities will cover the core concepts which students can work through at their own pace. Workshops will comprise a balanced mix of group work, case studies, and discussions. This flipped classroom approach, encourages greater levels of interaction and collaboration, thus facilitating a deeper understanding of the module content and enabling the learning outcomes to be met.
  • The summative assessment, by individual written assignment, is designed to test students' acquisition of subject specific knowledge and understanding of the range of subject matter that has been introduced during the module.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
TEAL Workshops 10 Weekly 2 hours 20
Asynchronous Online Learning Activities 10 Weekly 1 hour 10
Preparation and Reading 120
Total 150

Summative Assessment

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

Formative Assessment:

Workshop exercises will give students an opportunity to explore, discuss, critique and apply the key aspects of marketing theory and will be closely linked to the summative assessment. Participation in workshops provides an opportunity for formative feedback throughout the module. Verbal formative feedback will be given to the students throughout the workshop exercises. The aim of formative assessment is to begin to understand the application of the material, to consolidate knowledge, and further develop relevant skills for academic work.

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