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Module: Marketing Theory and Practice


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 has 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;
  • 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 the initial formulation and articulation of a potential scheme of research, is designed to test students' knowledge and understanding of the subject-matter and their ability to articulate a researchable issue.

Summative assessment

Individual written assignment that develops the initial formulation and articulation of a potential scheme of research, 5,000 words.

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 how to address the research question methodologically.