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Contemporary Consumer Behaviour - MAN00159M

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  • Department: The York Management School
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Sarah Forbes
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25
    • See module specification for other years: 2023-24

Module summary

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

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 1 2024-25

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 marketing decision making. The module will also examine global and cultural elements of consumer behaviour, as well as the influence of the marketing mix on consumer behaviour and the effects of global marketing management strategies on 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.

  • Demonstrate an understanding of how elements of the marketing mix influence consumer behaviour

Skills-related learning outcomes

  • 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 in local, national and global contexts.

Possible topics include but not limited to (some may be covered over multiple weeks):

  • Consumer behaviour history and development

  • Consumer behaviour and the marketing mix

  • The decision-making process

  • B2C vs B2B consumer behaviour

  • Micro issues in consumer behaviour- attitudes, motivation, involvement, personality

  • Macro issues in consumer behaviour – reference groups, culture, the physical environment

  • Demographics, psychographics

  • Post purchase consumer behaviour

  • Sustainable and ethical consumer behaviour

  • Consumer behaviour research methods


Task Length % of module mark
Essay : Essay
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Essay : Essay
N/A 100

Module feedback

Feedback will be given in accordance with the University Policy on feedback in the Guide to Assessment as well as in line with the School policy.

Indicative reading

East, R., Singh, J., Wright, M and Vanhuele,M. (2021) Consumer Behaviour: Applications in Marketing (4th Edition), Sage Publications

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

Sethna, Z. (2023) Consumer Behaviour (5th Edition), Sage Publications

Solomon, M.R., Askegaar, S., Hogg, M.K and Bamossy, G.J. (2019) Consumer Behaviour: A European Perspective (7th Edition), Pearson

Szmigin, I and Piacentini, M. (2022) Consumer Behaviour (3rd Edition), Oxford University Press

Key journals (readings will be provided week by week):

Consumption, Markets and Culture

Journal of Consumer Behavior

Journal of Customer Behaviour

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.