Consumer Behaviour

The details
Essex Business School
Kaplan Singapore
Full Year
Undergraduate: Level 6
Thursday 08 October 2020
Friday 02 July 2021
01 July 2019


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BSC NN25JS Management and Marketing,
BSC NN25NS Management and Marketing

Module description

In contemporary culture the need for marketers to be flexible and adaptable to the rapidly changing world is ever growing. As competition in markets grows and consumers make ever more demands on the companies from which they choose to purchase, marketers must be increasingly sensitive to consumers. BE515 explores a variety of different theories of consumption relating to consumption in the marketplace, consumers as individuals, consumers as decision makers and consumers as social beings.

The module will go beyond looking at the act of buying to consider the entire consumption cycle. This module explores how an understanding of buyer behaviour plays an essential role in marketing strategy formulation as we consider how marketers use and apply consumer behaviour theory. Given that consumption has an increasingly important role in our daily lives, students will also be encouraged to draw on their own experiences to aid understanding of the theoretical content of the class.

Module aims

The module aims are:
To provide students with a thorough understanding of the main theories and principles of consumer behaviour, and to show how these concepts relate to the practice of marketing.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:
1. Identify and explain key consumer behaviour theories and their relationship to practice.
2. Understand consumer behaviour as complex phenomena worthy of study for managerial purposes and in its own right.
3. Apply the knowledge necessary for further advanced study on marketing and consumer behaviour courses.

Skills for Your Professional Life (Transferable Skills)
By the end of the module you should be able to:
* Critically reflect upon consumer behaviour and its place within the discipline of marketing
* Approach and solve problems creatively
* Reflect on your own practice in relation to marketing

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

This module will begin by locating our understanding of consumer behaviour within the context of consumer culture. Throughout the module we will engage with a range of theoretical approaches that will reveal alternative ways of making sense of consumer behaviour. Students will also gain methodological skills that will allow them to translate this theoretical knowledge into practical use. The first five sessions will be delivered by Stephen Murphy and the last five by David MacGregor.


  • John W. Schouten. (1991) 'Selves in Transition: Symbolic Consumption in Personal Rites of Passage and Identity Reconstruction', in Journal of Consumer Research. vol. 17 (4) , pp.412-425
  • John W. Schouten and James H. McAlexander. (1995) 'Subcultures of Consumption: An Ethnography of the New Bikers', in Journal of Consumer Research. vol. 22 (1) , pp.43-61
  • Morris B. Holbrook and Elizabeth C. Hirschman. (1982) 'The Experiential Aspects of Consumption: Consumer Fantasies, Feelings, and Fun', in Journal of Consumer Research. vol. 9 (2) , pp.132-140
  • Richard L. Celsi, Randall L. Rose and Thomas W. Leigh. (1993) 'An Exploration of High-Risk Leisure Consumption Through Skydiving', in Journal of Consumer Research. vol. 20 (1) , pp.1-23
  • Grant McCracken. (1986) 'Culture and Consumption: A Theoretical Account of the Structure and Movement of the Cultural Meaning of Consumer Goods', in Journal of Consumer Research. vol. 13 (1) , pp.71-84
  • (2018) The SAGE handbook of consumer culture, Los Angeles: SAGE Publications Ltd.
  • Eric J. Arnould and Craig J. Thompson. (2005) 'Consumer Culture Theory (CCT): Twenty Years of Research', in Journal of Consumer Research. vol. 31 (4) , pp.868-882
  • Albert M. Muniz, Jr. and Thomas C. O’Guinn Albert M. Muniz, Jr. Thomas C. O’Guinn *. (2001) 'Brand Community', in Journal of Consumer Research. vol. 27 (4) , pp.412-432

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
40% 0%


Coursework Exam
40% 60%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Stephen Murphy, email:
Stephen Murphy, Neeru Malhotra



External examiner

Mr Ben Lowe
University of Kent
Professor of Marketing
Available via Moodle
No lecture recording information available for this module.


Further information
Essex Business School

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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