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Unit information: Understanding Customers, Consumers and Markets in 2018/19

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Understanding Customers, Consumers and Markets
Unit code EFIMM0058
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Lloyd
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Management
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law


Understanding customers, consumers and markets is an essential part of the marketing process and function. This core unit aims to equip students with the knowledge and skills to analyse a given market and recognise the range of actors within it. It aims to encourage students to distinguish between the concepts of customers and consumers and explores the different ways in which ‘markets’ can be defined and understood. The unit will draw on a range of disciplines from psychology and economics to neuroscience and anthropology. Students are encouraged to explore actors’ motivations when entering a market and analyse the factors that influence their actions once they have chosen to engage. They analyse the different ways consumers behave within a range of contexts and reflect upon the range of benefits sought. Students are then required to analyse the implications such actions hold for those in the field of marketing and, in turn, reflect critically upon the impact that marketing activity has upon consumers, customers and markets.

Intended learning outcomes

Students should be able to:

LO 1: Consider and distinguish between the concepts of customers, consumers and markets

LO 2: Critically analyse a given market environment and appraise the range of factors that might affect the behaviour of actors within it.

LO 3: Demonstrate an appreciation of how an understanding of customers, consumers and markets contribute to effective marketing practice.

LO 4: Assess the ethical issues associated with marketing and debate over their influence on the behaviour of consumers, customers and markets.

Teaching details

The flipped learning style adopted by this unit requires students to engage with a range of sources prior to taught sessions. These include, but are not limited to, short videos outlining threshold concepts, contextual video content (Youtube, TED talks), academic papers, case study material, market reports and news reports. These resources will be delivered through Blackboard and will be supported by existing reading list software.

The unit structure offers 30 contact hours. The remaining 170 learning hours will be spent in independent study and in the preparation of assessment.

Assessment Details

The summative assessment on this unit will be: 1) a reflective learning portfolio (minimum 2,000 words long) and 2) a 2-hour ‘open book’ examination.

Over the course of the unit, students will be required to maintain a reflective portfolio in which they interrogate concepts covered in the unit and reflect upon their implications upon their own consumption practices and of other actors in the marketing environment. Students will be allowed to take this portfolio into the examination. The examination questions will require students to refer to their portfolio and reflect critically upon the relevance and application of a range of academic theory within their given context. On completion of the examination, students hand their portfolio in alongside their exam script for marking.

The final unit mark will be comprised of 40% Reflective Portfolio and 60% examination.

Formative assessment takes varying forms on this unit. Flipped delivery means that students are required to engage with material in preparation to taught sessions and students can test their own knowledge with online quizzes. The content of the reflective portfolios will form the basis of much of the work done in small group sessions. Students will have opportunity to present their thoughts and ideas and get verbal feedback from other members of the group and the academic present. Peer to peer feedback will be used where appropriate.

Reading and References

The core text for this unit is:

Solomon, M.R., Bamossy, G.J., Askegaard, S. & Hogg, M.K. 2016, Consumer behaviour: a European perspective, Sixth edn, Pearson, Harlow, England.

In addition, it is suggested that student read around the subject and may choose to draw from a range of texts including (but not limited to) the following:

Academic Textbooks

Schiffman, L., & Wisenblit, Joseph. (2014). Consumer behaviour / Leon G. Schiffman, Joseph Wisenblit. (Global edition, eleventh ed.).

East, R., Singh, J., Wright, M. & Vanhuele, M. (2017), Consumer behaviour: applications in marketing, 3rd edn, SAGE, Los Angeles.

Foxall, G.R. (2015), Consumer behaviour: a practical guide, Routledge, London.

Academic and Practitioner Journals

Journal of Consumer Behaviour

Journal of Consumer Research

European Journal of Marketing

Journal of Marketing Management

Marketing and Management

Harvard Business Review

The Economist



Other news media

The BBC website (

Any/all broadsheet newspapers