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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Business School : Business Studies

Undergraduate Course: Consumer Behaviour (BUST10007)

Course Outline
SchoolBusiness School CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe purpose of the course is to examine in detail the process of consumer decision making, the influences upon buying behaviour and their implications for marketing in purposeful organisations. An understanding of consumer behaviour is essential to effective marketing management. As the study of consumers helps firms and organizations improve their marketing strategies. This course attempts to build on basic concepts introduced in the Marketing 2 course to develop advanced knowledge of consumer behaviour and an appreciation of its contribution to the field of marketing. It draws on a broad range of academic material from within the marketing and social science literature as well as looking at contemporary consumer issues in the media.
Course description The course is divided into four sections: an introduction to consumer behaviour, the individual consumer, the decision making process and the social consumer. The course draws mainly on the theoretical literature as a means of providing conceptual framework to examine consumer behaviour and for students to critically reflect on their own experiences as consumers. Each lecture is supported with a set of recommended readings and students are encouraged to undertake their own literature reviews as well as access other useful sources of information on contemporary issues such as the internet, television consumer programmes and the print media for examples of consumer behaviour in practice.


Introduction to Consumer Behaviour
Household and Families
Lifestyle and Social Class
Reference Groups And Peer Influence
Brand Loyalty
Consumer Decision Making
Learning And Attitudes
Personality And Self

Student Learning Experience

The lectures provide both basic concepts and informative material along with some critique of the main ideas but students are encouraged to develop their understanding and critical appreciation outside the lectures through reading around the lecture topics. There is considerable emphasis placed on the need for students to move beyond the basic textbook readings and to consider the more critical perspectives and research contained within the readings. There are no tutorials in this honours course but the opportunity for discussion arises within the lectures and students are encouraged to be constructively critical and to debate issues in class. The essay is designed to encourage students to seek out references from academic journals and to engage in a more critical debate.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Marketing (BUST08004)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Year 4 only. Business Studies Honours entry.
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least 3 Business Studies courses (including at least one Marketing course) at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 20, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Revision Session Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 172 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 60 %, Coursework 40 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Course performance will be assessed continuously and by a degree examination in December It should be noted that all sessions are examinable in the degree examination.
Overall assessment will be based upon:

Individual essay 40%
Degree examination 60%

Continuous assessment will account for 40% of the final grade and takes the form of a 2000 word individual essay (excluding bibliography and appendices).

Feedback Generic feedback on your coursework, together with individual marks, will be available on Learn.

Your examination marks will be posted on Learn (together with generic feedback and examination statistics) as soon as possible after the Board of Examiners' meeting (normally end of January/beginning of February). You will have the opportunity to look at your examination scripts in early February in the UG Office (Room 1.11, Business School, 29 Buccleuch Place). Note that you will not be able to remove any examination scripts from the UG Office as they may be required by the Board of Examiners.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand and discuss critically how consumers think, feel, reason, and select between different alternatives (e.g., brands, products) and how marketers can adapt and improve their marketing to more effectively reach the consumer
  2. Critically assess the nature and scope of consumer behaviour.
  3. Describe and critically discuss key consumer behaviour terminology, concepts and theories.
  4. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the existing theories of consumer behaviour along with an awareness of both their contribution and limitations.
  5. Understand and critically discuss the complexities of consumer behaviour and its relevance to marketing practice.
Reading List
Readings may be found either in the University library collection or accessed via The Library electronic journals on

Please note that these readings are provided as a guide to some of the literature in the area and students are not expected to read all of these articles but to select from the references. Students are encouraged to undertake their own literature search for relevant consumer behaviour articles.

Recommended Textbook

Michael R. Solomon, Gary J. Bamossy, Søren T. Askegaard and Margaret K. Hogg, (2016) Consumer Behaviour: A European Perspective, 6th Edition.


European Journal of Marketing
Journal of Consumer Research
Journal of Consumer Marketing (on campus)
Journal of Customer Marketing
European Journal of Marketing (on campus access)
Journal of Marketing Management
Journal of Marketing Research
Journal of Advertising Research
The International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research
Harvard Business Review


BBC Watchdog
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Cognitive Skills

- demonstrate that they can move beyond simple description of consumer behaviour to analysis and evaluation of consumer behaviour using key concepts learnt during the course
- demonstrate their ability to independently research collate, analyses and synthesis material on an emerging issue within the field of consumer behaviour

Key Skills

- engage in critical discussion of consumer behaviour issues through class discussion, to debate and defend considered arguments
- utilise and source information from library, internet and database sources
- study independently and take responsibility for sourcing, reading and analysing related reference material for the course

Subject specific skills

Reflect on their own behaviour as consumers.
Course organiserDr David Marshall
Tel: (0131 6)50 3822
Course secretaryMiss Carry Arnold
Tel: (0131 6)50 3826
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