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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Business School : Business Studies

Undergraduate Course: Brand Culture (BUST10127)

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
SummaryBrands 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. This course offers students the opportunity to study and understand this fundamental marketing technology from the perspective of the consumer.
Course description Taking a socio-cultural perspective, Brand Culture 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 create meaning and meet the needs of consumers. We firstly explore the socio-cultural meaning of brands to equip students with an understanding of what a brand is, how they are used by consumers and from where their meaning is derived. With this grounding in place, we then move to explore the concepts of brand equity before discussing different approaches for managing brands.

Student Learning Experience

The course is designed to deliver the space and skills to enable students to analyse brand meanings in relation to symbolic material such as marketing communications and, importantly, their own consumer behaviour. As such reflexivity and classroom discussion are central aspects of the course.

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 intermediate level, 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:  93
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 20, Revision Session Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 175 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 100% coursework: -
Individual Essay - 100%
Feedback Feedback will be provided on the assessment within agreed deadlines

No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand and discuss critically how consumer involvement and emotions affect consumers choice of, and relationship with, brands
  2. Understand and 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 and evaluate the concept of brand equity.
  4. Understand and discuss critically strategies used in the management of brands, both functional and symbolic
Reading List
Readings may be found either in the University library collection or accessed via The Library electronic journals on


Journal of Consumer Research
Journal of Marketing
Harvard Business Review
Journal of Marketing Management
European Journal of Marketing
Journal of Brand Management


Additional sources are all around us: the marketing communications campaigns of your favourite brands, social media, websites, celebrities, athletes, retail spaces and your friendship groups.

Look to the newspapers (not just the business pages) and other online news sources such as the BBC. Keep your eyes open for any coverage of BRANDS.

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Communication, ICT, and Numeracy Skills
After completing this course, students should be able to:
- Convey meaning and message through a wide range of communication tools, including digital technology and social media; to understand how to use these tools to communicate in ways that sustain positive and responsible relationships.
- Critically evaluate and present digital and other sources, research methods, data and information; discern their limitations, accuracy, validity, reliability and suitability; and apply responsibly in a wide variety of organisational contexts.

Cognitive Skills
After completing this course, students should be able to:
- Be self-motivated; curious; show initiative; set, achieve and surpass goals; as well as demonstrating adaptability, capable of handling complexity and ambiguity, with a willingness to learn; as well as being able to demonstrate the use digital and other tools to carry out tasks effectively, productively, and with attention to quality

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.
Additional Class Delivery Information 1 lecture per week
Course organiserDr Pauline Ferguson
Course secretaryMr Scott Fitzsimmons
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