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Contemporary Consumer Behaviour - MAN00102M

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  • Department: The York Management School
  • Module co-ordinator: Ms. Sue Hudson
  • Credit value: 10 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2020-21

Module summary

This module aims to provide a comprehensive and critical understanding of consumers’ decision making process and their consumption behaviour. 

Related modules

Pre-requisite modules

Co-requisite modules

  • None

Prohibited combinations

  • None

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Spring Term 2020-21
B Summer Term 2020-21

Module aims

This module aims to provide a comprehensive and critical understanding of consumers’ decision making process and their consumption behaviour.  The module uses an interdisciplinary approach incorporating concepts, theories and approaches from a range of disciplines (psychology, sociology, economics, geography etc.) to provide a comprehensive multidisciplinary understanding of consumer behaviour. 

This module also aims to develop students’ understanding of the importance of understanding consumers’ behaviour within strategic marketing decision.  The module will also examine global and cultural elements of consumer behaviour and the effects of global marketing management strategies on international consumers. 

Module learning outcomes

Academic and graduate skills

  • Display a critical knowledge of underlying principles of consumer behaviour and marketing theories, together with their implications for marketing practice;
  • Apply and critically assess psychological, sociological, geographical and economic tools and concepts in the context of contemporary marketing practice and the consumer society;
  • Develop the skills needed to apply these tools and frameworks within global and local marketing contexts;
  • Evaluate the role of ethics and sustainability in consumers’ choices as well as strategic marketing decisions;
  • Develop a critical understanding of traditional and modern consumer research methods.

Other learning outcomes (if applicable)

  • Demonstrate ability to work both independently and in teams, set goals, and complete tasks within deadlines.
  • Produce logical and structured arguments supported by relevant evidence.

Module content

Subject content

  • Understand and critically evaluate the perspectives of various multidisciplinary/interdisciplinary theories and models of consumer behaviour;
  • Critical awareness of the importance of consumer behaviour in strategic market management decision making;
  • Critical appraisal and application of consumer behaviour theories, models and framework within an applied real-world context.
  • Understand and critically evaluate the consumer behaviour of in local, national and global contexts. 

Topics to be covered include:

  • Cognitive psychology:  perception the senses, persuasion, attitudes and involvement;
  • Consumer Motivations and Needs;
  • Social Psychology; The self and sociological perspectives on consumers;
  • Cultural aspects of consumer behaviour; International consumer behaviour (acculturation, country of origin, ethnocentrism)
  • Retail and spatial aspects of consumer behaviour;
  • Demographics and psychographics;
  • New product buying, innovation and repeat buying behaviour;
  • Neuro marketing/Neuro-consumer behaviour;
  • Consumer misbehaviour;
  • Ethical and sustainable consumer behaviour. 


Task Length % of module mark
Essay 2000 Words
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Essay 2000 Words
N/A 100

Module feedback

  • Each student will receive a feedback sheet with detailed comments on his/her assessment, explaining how the student performed in relation to each of the criteria used for assessment
  • At the end of term a self-evaluation of the course to be approved by the Board of Examiners and uploaded on to the VLE
  • Turnaround time maximum of 6 weeks

Indicative reading

East, R., Singh, J., Wright, M., & Vanhuele, M. (2017) Consumer Behaviour:  Applications in Marketing. Sage:  London (3rd Edition).

Lomg, P., D’Alessandro, S., & Winzar, H. (2015) Consumer Behaviour in Action. Oxford UniversityPress:  Oxford. 

O’Shaughnessy, J. (2013) Consumer Behavior:  Perspectives, Findings & Explanations. Palgrave Macmillan: London. 

Sethna, Z., & Blythe, J. (2016) Consumer Behaviour.  Sage: London (3rd Edition). 

Solomon, M.R., Bamossy, G.J., Askegaard, S., & Hogg, M.K. (2016) Consumer Behaviour: A European Perspective.  Pearson:  Harlow (6th Edition). 

Szmigin, I., & Piacentini, M. (2015) Consumer Behaviour. Oxford University Press:  Oxford. 

Key journals:

Consumption, Markets and Culture

Journal of Consumer Behavior

Journal of Customer Behavior

Journal of Consumer Psychology

Journal of Consumer Research

Psychology & Marketing

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): changes to courses

The 2020/21 academic year will start in September. We aim to deliver as much face-to-face teaching as we can, supported by high quality online alternatives where we must.

Find details of the measures we're planning to protect our community.

Course changes for new students