School of Business and Management

Consumer Psychology (BUS318)

Semester: A
Level: 5
Module code: BUS318
Module organiser: Dr Stephan Dickert

Module Overview

“People get up in the morning, start consuming the moment their toes touch the carpet, allocate their time to various consumption activities throughout the day, and continue consuming until they finally drift off to sleep at night, after which they confine their consumption mostly to dreams, pyjamas, and bed linens” (Holbrook 1985, 146). In essence, our whole lives revolve around consumption. The module will help you gain an in-depth understanding of what makes us buy some products/brands and not others; how do we as consumers form and change attitudes; and how various psychological characteristics influence our consumer behaviours, among other interesting topics. Building on a general understanding of marketing, this course develops a useful, conceptual understanding of psychological theories relevant to the study of consumer behaviour. We will start with an overview of the scope of consumer psychology and its relationship to marketing. Subsequently, we will focus on cognitive and affective processes that drive consumer behaviour. Once an understanding of the basic psychological processes has been gained we will look at various factors that are able to influence these processes. Particular attention will be paid to how marketing practice influences consumer perception, evaluation, and behaviour.

This module is quite theoretical, which is why throughout the module case studies and hands-on exercises will facilitate understanding and transferability of contents. Various examples will also be used to illustrate the applicability and use of these theoretical perspectives on real world marketing practice. The module will enable students to relate and apply theoretical insights to concrete marketing and communication strategy; improve student’s ability in analysing case studies, brainstorming, and communicating ideas; and prepare students for the possible pursuit of a career in marketing and/or a master in marketing. There will be three assessment components for this module: an individual final exam worth 60% given the theoretical nature of the module; a group poster presentation worth 20%, which will allow students to apply concepts learned in class, and develop teamwork and communication skills necessary for a career in marketing; and a group research project report (2,000 words) worth 20%, which will allow students to go beyond what was learned in class, and learn how to conduct consumer behaviour research, and present their findings in the form of a 2,000 words report; commonly used in the marketing industry. The two group assessment outputs can also be used for students’ sample portfolios, while job hunting.


  • Examination 60%
  • Coursework 40%