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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Business School : Common Courses (Management School)

Postgraduate Course: Understanding Brands (CMSE11162)

Course Outline
SchoolBusiness School CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits15 ECTS Credits7.5
SummaryTaking a socio-cultural perspective, this course provides students with a deeper knowledge of the place of brands in the lives of consumers and the skills used to manage them. It does this by considering the meanings of brands and by outlining different brand strategies available to companies to both meet the needs of consumers and achieve strategic organisational goals. Section one - which explores the socio-cultural meaning of brands - is designed to equip students with an understanding of what a brand is, how they are used by consumers and from where their meaning is derived. This will be done by exploring a range of contemporary theories from social psychology, sociology and anthropology. With this grounding in place, we then move in section two to explore the concepts of brand equity before discussing different approaches to the management of brands. Learning is guided through consideration of the relevant literature and real-life examples from a variety of sectors.
Course description Aims, Nature, Context

This course offers students the opportunity to study and understand a fundamental marketing technology. Brands are considerable vehicles for cultural meaning, self-expression, community, social movement and communication. Increasingly, for better or worse, the logic of brands and branding can be seen in diverse areas of life, beyond consumer goods - e.g. the political brand, branded religion and person as brand. In short, our daily lives are saturated by brand messages and meaning. From this backdrop we will explore the ways in which brands create value for both organisation and consumers alike.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements For Business School PG students only, or by special permission of the School. Please contact the course secretary.
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 150 ( Lecture Hours 20, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 3, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 125 )
Additional Information (Learning and Teaching) Independent Study 75hrs; Preparation for assessment 50hrs.
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 60 %, Coursework 40 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Assessment of this course is through an exam (weighted 60%) and essay (weighted 40%).
Feedback Formative feedback will be given throughout the course through class discussion and Q&A sessions, particularly pertaining to the coursework. The exam will be discussed at the end of the course and oral feedback will be given in this session. Written, summative feedback will be delivered through the coursework and exam grades and the detailed comments provided by the marker. Dr Dunnett welcomes queries about grades and is very happy to discuss feedback and rationale individually.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)Understanding Brands2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Discuss critically how consumer involvement and emotions affect consumers' choice of, and relationship with, brands
  2. Discuss critically how consumers use brands as a resource to manage their identity
  3. Discuss critically how brands gain their meanings from various cultural agents including marketers and consumers.
  4. Critically evaluate strategies used in the management of brands - both functional and symbolic
  5. Discuss critically symbolism and the meaning of brands, and the concept of brand equity.
Reading List
Required Text
Elliot, R., Percy, L. and S. Pervan (2015) Strategic Brand Management, (3rd Ed.) Oxford University Press: Oxford.
(Please also use earlier editions, if these are easier to come by.)

Appropriate readings will be provided in advance of each lecture.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Cognitive Skills

Students will develop analytical skills such as:
* The ability to apply concepts and theories to real life brand management;
* The ability to critically evaluate brand portfolios;
* The ability to critically appraise brand strategies and make suggestions for improvement;
* The ability to use introspection as an analytical tool

Subject Specific Skills

Students will gain:
* The ability to recognise and respond to challenges associated with the management of brands;
* The ability to make recommendations to overcome and avoid specific brand challenges and threats.

By the end of the course students will be expected to:
* Be able to work individually and in a team;
* Be able to communicate and exchange ideas in oral and written formats
* Be able to critically analyse and use problem solving skills when considering possible courses of action.
Course organiserDr Kirsten Cowan
Course secretaryMs Emily Davis
Tel: (0131 6)51 7112
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