Module code: MANM366

Module Overview

To be successful any business needs to adopt a consumer focus, with all marketing efforts directed at managing the complexities of consumers: their hearts and minds and actions.  If consumer behaviour were easy to explicate, then all products would sell as well as projected, all ads would be effective, economies would be efficient and marketing would be a simple prospect.  In actuality, consumers are frustratingly human: irrational, emotional and difficult to predict and influence. This module provides you with the latest insights from psychology, economics, and sociology to enhance your understanding of how and why consumers choose, use and evaluate products and services the way they do. Using a range of lectures, guest lectures, readings and real life cases and projects you will learn how to develop, implement and evaluate effective marketing strategies.

Module provider

Surrey Business School

Module Leader


Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

JACs code: N500

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 90

Lecture Hours: 42

Guided Learning: 18

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

Marketing in a digital world (MANM365)

Module content

The module will cover the following main areas of Consumer Behaviour:

  1. Following a general introduction (session 1) into the ever increasing importance to fully comprehend consumers and the reasons for their actions, the first part of this module is designed to develop a useful, conceptual understanding of the core psychological process underlying human behaviour, namely (2) Motivation; (3) Perception and Attention; (4) Memory, Knowledge and Attitude Formation and Change and associated marketing strategy applications for each process.

  2. Following this first core understanding of how humans behave, we move on to the second part which considers how consumers are influenced to say ‘yes’ (or ‘no’). We will learn the “weapons of influence”, focusing on marketing implications to uncover how (5) Reciprocity and Commitment; (6) Scarcity and Liking; (7) Authority and Social Proof are key reasons that people comply with requests in business settings and consumers in line with marketing efforts.

  3. And finally we will consider the irrationalities in customers’ consumption and decision making processes. Specifically looking at the effects of Power of Price, Relativity and Zero Costs (8) effects of Ownership, Options and Variety (9) and the effects of Arousal and Self-Control (10).

      4. Following a concluding session (11) to sum everything up and group presentations.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework GROUP WORK 50

Alternative Assessment

Alternative Assessments for the group assignments are as follows: Alternative assessment: CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR INDIVIDUAL ASSIGNMENT (max 500 words); COURSEWORK; WEIGHTING 20%. Alternative assessment: CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR INDIVIDUAL ASSIGNMENT (max 1000 words); COURSEWORK; WEIGHTING 40%  

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate knowledge of strategic and tactical methods and approaches, and the application of methods and knowledge in the form of applied case study projects. Students continuously work on the final presentation so should different pieces of this presentation over the length of the semester. Beyond the group work the students will prepare one workshop to co-facilitate and write one summative individual assignment.

Formative assessment

Students will prepare an in-class discussion session and co-facilitate the workshop as a group (20%). The pieces of the presentation will be focusing on different aspects in consumer behavior that will evolve within the guided group work constitute the formative assessment. Students receive peer feedback during the group discussion  and feedback from the module leader.


Summative assessment

  1. Students hold one group presentation on a business case for 15 minutes + 5 minutes Q&A (40%). The presentation will include a hand-out report (max. word count 1500) and will apply the knowledge to a business case, which will be presented ideally to a panel of industry (i.e. company representatives) and subject experts. This group work will be an on-going task that will be guided during the group work sessions.

  2. Students will also submit one individual assignment (40%). The final individual assignment builds on the theoretical knowledge and understanding of irrationalities in the Consumer Decision Making (e.g. the effects of Power of Price, Relativity and Zero Costs; effects of Ownership, Options and Variety and/or the effects of Arousal and Self-Control). Students are asked to critically discuss these theoretical concepts in the light of managerial practice using an advert of their choice. The individual assignment should not exceed 1500 words.

  3. The alternative assessment will be an individual assignment for 40%. An application of the learned theories and frameworks of consumer behaviour to a business case (max 1500 words).


Feedback will be provided in the following forms:

  1. Written feedback from the marker based on what the student does well, what could be improved and overall assessment of the assignment in the context of the marking grid.

  2. Marks against descriptors related to specific criteria using the university’s PG Marking Grid.

Module aims

  • The first objective of this course is to develop a useful, conceptual understanding of the problems and strategies associated with the psychology behind consumer behaviour. The second objective is to help provide frameworks that will enable you to responsibly, systematically, and creatively apply these concepts. As a result, the focus of this course will be as much on planning and implementation as on conceptual analysis. Because of this, the more theoretical readings from the packet are supplemented with handouts dealing with more practical issues. During the semester, our class sessions will entail demonstrations, lecture-discussions, guest lectures and in-class exercises.
  • To provide insight and comprehension on how consumers behave and decide (predictably irrational) and how they are influenced through persuasive communication, social influence and personality.
  • To enable students to analyse and apply consumer behaviour theory to marketing action across business situations.
  • To practice active learning and problem solving, including discussions and sharing ideas and insights with professionals in business as a basis for good business practice.
  • To develop the ability to apply the marketing knowledge and transferable skills required for professional marketers.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 During the module you will frequently be asked to consider two perspectives when thinking about the concepts we cover. Firstly, you will put yourself in the shoes of the customer and understand the influences of marketing strategies and tactis from their perspective as well as your own behaviour. Secondly, you will learn the perspective of the marketing manager, who needs to understand consumer behaviour to develop, implement and evaluate the effectiveness of marketing strategies and tactics. The outcome of this course is full comprehension of state-of-the-art knowledge of customer behavior and the ability to keep this knowledge up-to-date. K
2 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding the key theories and research from behavioral sciences (e.g. psychology, sociology, economics) to assess and predict consumer behavior across a range of business contexts. K
3 Apply state-of-the-art knowledge of customer behavior in developing and evaluating marketing strategies and the ability to keep this knowledge up-to-date KCP
4 Evaluate consumer behavior research evidence that you encounter in the future, either in your own or others' research and PT
5 Develop your skills in managing group projects and delivering coherent and compelling presentations of results KCPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to provide a range of delivery methods in a blended way to facilitate the development of skills in the areas set out above.


The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Workshops, presentations, discussion

  • Inclusion of teaching case studies

  • Guest Lectures and practical sessions with business and business leaders

  • Group problem solving using a single big case study per group


    The teaching delivery is structured as follows:

Lectures and Workshops: Including case discussions, guest speakers and presentations

Individual Study: Outside classroom study, including reading chapters, articles cases and working independently in groups on the projects

Group work: working in groups on the business projects and presentations

Theory and briefing for problem-solving activity

Accumulating knowledge and problem-solving activity

Applying knowledge, prepare presentations, discussion of projects and peer feedback



To ensure the module’s learning outcomes are assessed:

In the first Workshop, the students will be given a real life company case that faces an interesting, challenging or difficult market situation and need to gain a better understanding of the behaviour of their consumers and related marketing decisions to influence the market. During the course of the module the students will do research about this company, the market it operates in and the consumer segments they cater to. A company representative ideally supports this. Based on their work they will suggest changes of their current marketing activity closely aligned with the influencing techniques learned. At the end of the course the students will present their solutions on this real-life case to suggest how the company should change to enhance their competitiveness. This presentation (including a brief report) is an assessment component covering the first learning sessions (e.g. Motivation; Perception and Attention; Memory, Knowledge and Attitude Formation and Change and associated marketing strategy applications using one or several influencing techniques (e.g. Reciprocity; Commitment; Scarcity; Liking; Authority and/or Social Proof).


There will be a formally assessed formative group assessment component in form of a co-facilitated workshop to be prepared by the students outside the classroom to guide classroom discussions on how consumers’ decision making can be influenced directly and subconsciously (i.e. group presentation).


Finally, at the end of the module students will submit an individual assignment building on their theoretical knowledge on the predictable irrationalities in Consumer Decision Making applied to an advert of their choice.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: MANM366

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2022/3 academic year.