MARKETNG 7023 - Understanding Consumers (M)

North Terrace Campus - Trimester 2 - 2019

This course introduces the theory of consumer behaviour and relates it to the practice of marketing. It will present relevant material drawn from psychology, anthropology, social and behavioural sciences within the framework of the consumer decision process and its main influencing factors.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code MARKETNG 7023
    Course Understanding Consumers (M)
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Business School
    Term Trimester 2
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 36 hours
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites MARKETNG 7104
    Course Description This course introduces the theory of consumer behaviour and relates it to the practice of marketing. It will present relevant material drawn from psychology, anthropology, social and behavioural sciences within the framework of the consumer decision process and its main influencing factors.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Professor Arvid Hoffmann

    Prof. Arvid Hoffman
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
    1. Understand and explain the nature and scope of consumer behaviour and present about this in a professional and engaging manner;
    2. Identify and explain factors which influence consumer behaviour and demonstrate how knowledge of consumer behaviour can be applied to in practice to marketing;
    3. Provide a theoretical and practical basis for assessing consumer behaviour using real-world examples and report on this in a professional, logical and coherent way;
    4. Identify and discuss characteristics and challenges in dealing with consumer behaviour for firms in the modern world including cultural and ethical implications;
    5. Gather, evaluate and synthesise information and existing knowledge from a number of sources and experiences while displaying critical thinking and problem solving skills;
    6. Work effectively and efficiently in a team addressing consumer behaviour topics.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1, 2, 4
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    2, 3, 4, 5
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    1, 6
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    1, 2, 3, 4, 5
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
    3, 4
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources


    Pascale Quester, Simone Pettigrew, Sally Rao Hill, Foula Kopanidis, Del Hawkins (2014), Consumer Behaviour: Implications for
    Marketing Strategy, (7th Ed.), Australia: McGraw-Hill Irwin.

    eBooks of this text is available. The textbook has a related website which provides additional and updated material including relevant websites and self-testing tools. To access, visit the student site at:

    Recommended Resources

    M.R., Russell-Bennett, R. and Previte, J. (2013), Consumer Behaviour: Buying,
    Having, and Being, 3rd ed., Pearson, Frenchs Forest, N.S.W.


    LG. (2014), Consumer Behaviour, Pearson, Frenchs Forest, N.S.W.


    In addition, students are also encouraged to read on the topics covered by this course in the following journals. Students will find these journals particularly useful for the assignment:

    •           Journal of Consumer Research

    •           Journal of Consumer Behaviour

    •           Journal of Consumer Marketing

    •           Journal of Marketing

    •           Psychology and Marketing

    •           Journal of Consumer Psychology

    •           Journal of Personality and Social Psychology

    This list of references is a guide only; it is up to the student to determine what additional material is needed to satisfactorily complete their
    presentation, assignment, and the course.

    Online Learning
    Most of the learning material will be available on the MyUni course website.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course entails 30 hour face-to-face lectures and tutorials for a Trimester.


    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The University expects full-time students (i.e. those taking 12 units per semester) to devote a total of 48 hours per week to their studies.

    Students in this course are expected to attend all seminars throughout the Trimester.

    Learning Activities Summary
    Week 1
    Introduction to consumer behaviour
    Week 2
    Situational influences and problem recognition
    Week 3
    Information search and choices 
    Week 4
    Purchases and post-purchase processes 
    Week 5 
    Perception, Learning, and memory
    Week 6
    Online mid-semester quiz during lecture time, no lecture, no tutorial

    Week 7
    Motivation, personality, and emotion

    Week 8
    Attitudes and attitude change, and the changing Australian society and lifestyle

    Week 9
    Group influence and group communication

    Week 10
    Household structure and consumption behaviour and social stratification

    Week 11
    Culture and cross-cultural variations in consumer behaviour 

    Week 12
    Course revision

    Week 13
    No lecture, no tutorial
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Weighting Learning Outcome
    Class Participation, During tutorials 10%
    Presentation, Assigned in the first session 20%
    Online mid-semester quiz 20%
    Final Exam 50%
    Total 100%
    Assessment Detail
    Class Participation 10%

    A mark is awarded for tutorial participation and attendance. Students are required to not only attend tutorials, but to read and be prepared for active discussion of activities. You will be marked for each class separately on 1) engagement in class, 2) preparation, 3) listening skills, and 4) attendance / promptness. Your lecturer will call the roll at the beginning of the tutorial and will allocate individual marks at the end of the tutorial – late arrival or leaving early will impact on marks. Marks cannot be awarded after the class therefore it is important to ensure you are marked on the roll and awarded a mark on completion of the class. Failure to attend class due to illness will result in a mark being awarded only by supplying a medical certificate.

    Presentation 10%

    Working in a group, you will be required to present on a particular consumer behaviour topic and to a lead discussion and/or facilitate
    a class exercise. Be prepared to defend and support your analysis, and to discuss it with your classmates. Working in your group, you are required to make a 15 minute PowerPoint presentation. Following your presentation, you will be required to lead a discussion and/or facilitate a class activity of approximately 10 minutes, on the key aspects of the topic. Each presentation and discussion or activity will be graded out of 10 marks for a total of 10% of the course grade.

    Online Quiz 10%

    There will be a 1 hour timed Mid Semester Quiz over MyUni. The aim of this assessment is to give you feedback on your level of understanding of consumer behaviour principles. There will in the form of an on-line multiple-choice question test and will be 60 minutes long. It is worth 10% and is done individually will examine material covered up to and including the date of the test. You do not have to come to uni to complete this online test, but it is your responsibility that you have a reliable connection to the internet. Furthermore, the online quiz will only be available at this time, as this ensures that everyone has the same opportunity. If we had it during tutorial times, people with tutorials later in the week would have more time to prepare than those with tutorials earlier in the week. Please take this as advanced warning to save this date for those who may anticipate a conflict with work commitments. To allow students some additional preparation and review time, there will be no tutorial in the week of the online quiz.

    Assignment: Sustainable Consumption Project 20%

    Sustainable consumption is a pressing and complex issue. It involves the society at large which is also made up of individual consumers. Even though many consumers are aware of the issues and know what the right thing to do is, there often exists an intention/action gap.

    In a team of 3-4, you are to 1) identify an emerging green consumer behaviour trend. This could be environmentally friendly consumer behaviour (such as recycling, taking public transport, safe disposal of e-waste) or purchases of green products over the standard alternatives (examples include the compact fluorescent light bulb, solar panels/solar power, cloth nappies, appliances with better energy efficiency). These green behaviours may be an idea found in a magazine, newspaper article, or other secondary source, or you may be
    creative about sustainability issues and present an original idea for increasing sustainability; 2) research on this behaviour and report the trends amongst Australian consumer in relation to this behaviour; 3) apply what you have learned in this course to analyse issues/challenges surrounding the adoption of this behaviour; 4) suggest marketing tactics for improving this consumer sustainable behaviour based on consumer behaviour theories.

    Final Exam 50%

    There will be a 3 hour exam (minimum of 45% in the exam required). The final exam is a 3 hour exam to be held during the formal examination period. The final exam will cover materials from the entire course. The final examination is to be advised. Students must
    demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the course and interpretive and analytical ability in this written exam. 

    ·   Please retain a copy of all assignments submitted.

    ·   All team members are expected to contribute approximately equally to a group assignment.

    ·   Teaching staff can refuse to accept assignments, which do not have a signed acknowledgement of the University’s policy on plagiarism.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.