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Durham University

Postgraduate Module Handbook 2021/2022

Archive Module Description

This page is for the academic year 2021-22. The current handbook year is 2022-23
No such Code for pgprog: N1A360

Department: Management and Marketing

BUSI4R930: Marketing Theory and Practice

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Available in 2021/22
Tied to N1A360


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To develop a critical understanding of marketing theory and practice, focusing specifically on key debates and cutting-edge knowledge that challenge conventional accounts and practices. The theoretical, managerial, social, economic and political dimensions of marketing are considered, in order to illuminate how marketing thought and practice have developed; the role of marketing within markets, organisations, and society; and assumptions underpinning marketing thinking.


  • The Development of Marketing Theory and Practice: Origins and Eras
  • Paradigms and Turns of Marketing
  • Consumer Society and Conceptualisations of the Consumer
  • Marketing as Exchange: Transactions, Relationships, Co-creation or Manipulation?
  • Marketing and Market Research in a Digital World
  • Marketing and Society: Alternative Markets and the Future of Marketing

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • a critical understanding of the history and development of marketing theory and practice
  • a comprehensive knowledge of the assumptions underpinning marketing theory and practice
  • an advanced understanding of alternative accounts of the role of marketing in markets, organisations and society
  • an appreciation of the reciprocal relationship between marketing and technology, and marketing and culture
  • a critical understanding of the debates surrounding ethical, responsible and sustainable marketing practice
Subject-specific Skills:
  • ability to critically evauluate marketing theory and practice
  • ability to understand and apply different perspectives and approaches to marketing research
  • ability to debate the underlying assumptions that constitute the various paradigms in marketing theory and practice
  • ability to understand and evaluate the relationship between marketing theory and practice
Key Skills:
  • critical thinking in evaluating marketing theory and practice
  • creative and adaptable problem solving and analytical skills
  • effective written communication skills
  • self-reflection and self-awareness in research and practice
  • ability to formulate, articulate, and complete a scheme of research at doctoral level

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • The module will be delivered in a workshop format over an intensive three-day teaching block.
  • Workshops will compromise a balanced mix of lecture- and seminar-type delivery combined with small group discussions and other activities as appropriate to the nature of the material. Learning will also occure through tutor-supported, as well as self-support learning groups. There will also be on-line teaching support through a module blog. Finally, guided reading will address key topics. This range of methods will ensure that students will acquire the advanced skills and knowledge to enable them to develop a thorough understanding of this specialist field of study.
  • The assessment of the module is by individual written assignment that develops a critical analysis of a key challenge in marketing and is designed to test students' knowledge and understanding of the subject-matter and their ability to articulate a researchable issue.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Workshop 3 Daily 8 hours 24
Tutor-supported learning group 36
Self-supported learning group 36
Preparation and Reading 204
Total 300

Summative Assessment

Component: Assignment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Individual written assignment 5000 words (max) 100% Same

Formative Assessment:

Individual-based presentations and tutor feedback within workshops. Individual 2500 word assignment. The formative assessment is a smaller version of the summative assessment, and serves to provide students with feedback prior to submitting their summative assignment. It will compromise an initial critical review of the literature to be included in the summative assessment, and initial ideas on the themes emerging from the critical analysis.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University