FZMR04-Understanding and Influencing Consumer Behaviour

Module Provider: Food and Nutritional Sciences
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Lisa Methven

Email: L.Methven@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:
The Understanding & Influencing Consumer Behaviour module aims to examine core theories for understanding and influencing changes in consumer behaviour with special focus on food products.

The module is designed to develop an understanding of what consumer behaviour is and why this is important to food manufacturers and retailers. Students will develop knowledge of the underlying consumer behaviour mechanisms, and learn how to identify a range of important factors which influence consumer decision making and actual purchase behaviour. In addition they will develop an understanding of the marketing implications of consumer sensory, psychological, socio-cultural and buying behaviour processes.

Assessable learning outcomes:
•Understand what consumer behaviour is and why it is important to food manufacturers and retailers.
•Understand the motivation of consumers when making food choices
•Understand consumer liking of and attitudes towards food
•Understand the key factors shaping food choices and consumption
•Understand consumer decision making
•Profile customers into useful and actionable market segments
•Understand how policy influences food marketing practices and consumer behaviour

Additional outcomes:
The following transferable skills will be developed in this module:
•Collection, critical evaluation and dissemination of consumer behaviour information
•Processing, analysis and interpretation of data from consumer studies
•Effective communication of scientific information in oral and written format with scientific rigour

Outline content:
•What is consumer behaviour and why understanding consumer behaviour is important to food practitioners? What motivates consumers when making food choices?
•Consumer liking of food including the influence of sensory experience
•Consumer beliefs, feelings, and attitudes towards food products
•Psychological and socio- cultural influences shaping food choices and consumption
•Extrinsic and intrinsic profiling of consumers
•Consumer decision making
•Food policy issues
Introductory distance learning material will be provided via a virtual learning environment (VLE), and further learning material will be made available during the intensive teaching and study week. During and post the in-campus period, students will undertake practical projects on several of the above topics.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The module consists of five weeks preliminary distance learning material, ahead of on campus workshops providing a series of lectures and presentations covering different aspects of consumer behaviour. A major component will be problem based learning, individual and group exercises. To conclude, students undertake an individual task involving reflective learning.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Seminars 10
Guided independent study 35 35
Total hours by term 65.00 35.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 50
Oral assessment and presentation 30
Set exercise 20

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:
In preparation for the campus workshops, students will be required to undertake three tasks and upload them onto the VLE for discussion. On the final day of the on workshops the group presentation will be given and the group report submitted.
The individual task will be agreed during the on campus workshops period and will be completed during the following 6 weeks.

The individual task will contribute 60% of the module mark
The Group Presentation contributes 20% of the module mark
Set exercises completed on line during distance learning contribute 20% of the module mark

Formative assessment methods:
Self-assessment multiple choice question tests used during distance learning delivery. Questions related to video lectures and directed reading. Students will be required to undertake a survey during the distance learning period the data from which will be analysed during the on-campus period in a data analysis workshop.

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Assessment requirements for a pass:
A mark of 50% overall in all assessed work.

Reassessment arrangements:

In the event of a student failing the module they will be reassessed based on resubmission of failed coursework assignments or equivalent pieces of work.  Module marks are capped at 50% for passes at 2nd attempt.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 20 April 2018


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