MMM181: Applied Challenge

MMM181: Applied Challenge

Module code: MMM181

Module provider: Marketing and Reputation; Henley Business School

Credits: 20

Level: Postgraduate Masters

When you'll be taught: Semester 2 / Summer

Module convenor: Professor Adrian Palmer, email:

Pre-requisite module(s):

Co-requisite module(s):

Pre-requisite or Co-requisite module(s):

Module(s) excluded:

Placement information: NA

Academic year: 2024/5

Available to visiting students: No

Talis reading list: Yes

Last updated: 28 May 2024


Module aims and purpose

The Marketing Applied Challenge provides an integrative module for the MSc Marketing programmes through intensive experiential learning. It exposes students in a holistic manner to a marketing challenge to which they will apply previously acquired theoretical knowledge. Students will engage in preliminary research related to the study, which will provide formative assessment prior to further activity during a field study visit. The module will seek to work with a business that is planning to develop a marketing opportunity and the challenge will be to provide managerially useful, and theoretically underpinned advice. As an example, in a previous year, this module worked with a local clothing entrepreneur that sought to identify opportunities for opening a “pop-up” shop in Paris, using social media to drive sales. A field study visit to Paris sought to identify consumer habits and optimal interfaces with prospective customers . Further specific details of the field study visit offered within this module will be available to students before registering for it.

The module assists to create a network of active young specialists who think globally and act locally to make business action happen.


Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module, it is expected that students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate skills in critical and multicultural thinking for practice to support their educational experiences as well as to support business practice in a global world
  2. identify, collect and analyse information relevant to the challenge posed by the study. 
  3. produce recommendations based on analysis and synthesis of information presented during the study challenge.
  4. critically reflect on and synthesise previously acquired knowledge and theoretical  models and operationalise them in the context of the study challenge.  
  5. analyse, evaluate and reflect on personal and shared experience relevant to the formation of ad-hoc relationships in a local context. 
  6. enhance further oral communication /presentation skills and confidence within diverse cultural marketing contexts. 
  7. demonstrate team working skills as well as oral and written communication skills in diverse contexts through experiential learning.


Module content

Spring term seminars will introduce students to general background knowledge relevant to the study. The content of these seminars will depend on the precise definition of the study trip, but will broadly comprise:

  1. Seminar giving background to the study context. Where practical, this will be supplemented by a visiting speaker relevant to the study.
  2. Personal development session on finding information in an unfamiliar environment.
  3. Practical workshops applying theory to the practical context of the study visit.
  4. Operational pre-departure briefing.

The study visit will be of approximately 4-5 days duration, during which a programme of visits, guest speakers and formative assignments will be undertaken. The study visit is likely to take place in June, however the exact timing will be dependent upon the nature of the visit, partners’ availability etc., and can only be confirmed closer to the time.

The study visit may include a UK or international destination.

Students will have to sign a letter, stipulating some formalities in respect to the module, namely study tasks during the time in a particular country, conditions of confidentiality of information, which they may have access in relation to the Company or its clients or staff (related to the company visits), the obligations outlined above extend to information contained in any documents, reports, spreadsheets or other materials produced by students regarding the placement in support of the module; data protection. 

A team presentation will be made towards the end of the visit (40% of module assessment).

An individual written report (2,000 words) will be submitted within approximately 1 month of return.


Teaching and learning methods

Customised academic and applied presentations by faculty members and other experts will be provided before departure. During the study visit, students will be exposed to a variety of customised and generic group visits to various businesses and broader institutions that altogether form the “local cultural context” and norms. Student teams will also be allocated a tutor to act as supervisor providing regular contact for consultation as necessary, before and during the visit. Learning will largely be student team-centred, and tutors will respond to individual students’ queries and learning needs.

The exact timing of activities during the visit will be dependent upon the nature of the visit.

Note that if it is deemed unsafe to travel, an alternative field study challenge may be set and undertaken online.


Study hours

This module is a placement or study abroad module and therefore the teaching and learning activities will predominantly, or entirely, take place away from the University of Reading. Your host organisation will normally advise you of the associated hours of your placement or year abroad. If the module includes any in-person activities at the University of Reading, these will be confirmed to you before the start of the module.

 Scheduled teaching and learning activities  Semester 1  Semester 2  Summer
Lectures 5
Seminars 5
Project Supervision
Practical classes and workshops 15
Supervised time in studio / workshop
Scheduled revision sessions
Feedback meetings with staff
Fieldwork 110
External visits 10
Work-based learning

 Self-scheduled teaching and learning activities  Semester 1  Semester 2  Summer
Directed viewing of video materials/screencasts
Participation in discussion boards/other discussions
Feedback meetings with staff 5
Other (details)

 Placement and study abroad  Semester 1  Semester 2  Summer
Study abroad

Please note that the hours listed above are for guidance purposes only.

 Independent study hours  Semester 1  Semester 2  Summer
Independent study hours 25 25

Please note the independent study hours above are notional numbers of hours; each student will approach studying in different ways. We would advise you to reflect on your learning and the number of hours you are allocating to these tasks.

Semester 1 The hours in this column may include hours during the Christmas holiday period.

Semester 2 The hours in this column may include hours during the Easter holiday period.

Summer The hours in this column will take place during the summer holidays and may be at the start and/or end of the module.


Requirements for a pass

Students need to achieve an overall module mark of 50% to pass this module.

Summative assessment

Type of assessment Detail of assessment % contribution towards module mark Size of assessment Submission date Additional information
Oral assessment Group Presentation 40 15 minutes During visit Plus supporting notes
Written coursework assignment Individual Report 60 2,000 words 4 weeks after visit

Penalties for late submission of summative assessment

The Support Centres will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

Assessments with numerical marks

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of three working days;
  • the mark awarded due to the imposition of the penalty shall not fall below the threshold pass mark, namely 40% in the case of modules at Levels 4-6 (i.e. undergraduate modules for Parts 1-3) and 50% in the case of Level 7 modules offered as part of an Integrated Masters or taught postgraduate degree programme;
  • where the piece of work is awarded a mark below the threshold pass mark prior to any penalty being imposed, and is submitted up to three working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline), no penalty shall be imposed;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than three working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

Assessments marked Pass/Fail

  • where the piece of work is submitted within three working days of the deadline (or any formally agreed extension of the deadline): no penalty will be applied;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than three working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension of the deadline): a grade of Fail will be awarded.

The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:

You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

Formative assessment

Formative assessment is any task or activity which creates feedback (or feedforward) for you about your learning, but which does not contribute towards your overall module mark.

Feedback in class to class exercises


Type of reassessment Detail of reassessment % contribution towards module mark Size of reassessment Submission date Additional information
Oral reassessment Individual recorded presentation 40 15 minutes During re-assessment period
Written coursework assignment Rewrite individual report 60 2,000 words During re-assessment period

Additional costs

Item Additional information Cost
Computers and devices with a particular specification
Required textbooks
Specialist equipment or materials
Specialist clothing, footwear, or headgear
Printing and binding
Travel, accommodation, and subsistence


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