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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Business School : Business Studies

Undergraduate Course: Consumer Behaviour (BUST10007)

Course Outline
SchoolBusiness School CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
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 marketing and social science literature as well as looking at contemporary consumer issues in the digital media.

Course description The course is divided into four sections: an introduction to consumer behaviour; the decision making process; the individual consumer; 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.


Introduction to Consumer Behaviour
Perception, Cognition, and Motivation
Learning and Attitudes
Decision Making
Personality & Self
Brand Loyalty
Reference group &peer Influence
Lifestyle & Social class
Household & Families

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 must have at least 4 Business courses at grade B or above. This MUST INCLUDE at least one Marketing course at intermediate level. This course cannot be taken alongside BUST08004 Marketing. We will only consider University/College level courses.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, 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, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 2, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Revision Session Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 171 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 60 %, Coursework 40 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) The overall assessment will be based on:
Written examination 60%
Individual Essay 40%

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

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 Knowledge and Understanding
After completing this course, students should be able to:
Demonstrate a thorough knowledge and understanding of contemporary organisational disciplines; comprehend the role of business within the contemporary world; and critically evaluate and synthesise primary and secondary research and sources of evidence in order to make, and present, well informed and transparent organisation-related decisions, which have a positive global impact.
Course organiserDr David Marshall
Tel: (0131 6)50 3822
Course secretaryMiss Emma Allison
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