MSc Marketing / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Marketing in Society

Course unit fact file
Unit code BMAN74792
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? No


Corporations have long been seen as profit maximizing entities whose sole purpose is to maximise shareholder’s value. In doing so, firms often neglected the interests of other stakeholders. This led to the development of business practices that are harmful to the environment, exploiting the workforce, harming the customer and the communities in which firms operate. In response, several initiatives have been brought to life urging a shift in corporations’ mindset and developing tools to hold corporations accountable for their practices and to create organizations that act in favour of all their stakeholders.

The aim of this course is to contribute to that shift in mindset by raising the awareness and knowledge of our students about these issues. The aim of the course is to equip our graduates with the knowledge and skills to become marketers that could have a positive impact on the organizations they work in and the environment and society they live in. 

The course particularly aims to provide and critical perspective of the field of marketing and the impact it has on society and the environment. The course will focus on how marketing academics and practitioners could provide solutions to some of the most pressing global challenges the world is facing today. In doing so the course will be drawing on both academic substance and real-life practicality.


The unit aims to: 
1. Provide a critical evaluation of the role of the firm in society.
2. Offer a critical assessment of the impact business and marketing have on society and the environment.
3. Analyse existing sustainable businesses and marketing frameworks.
4. Discuss how marketing could contribute to solving some of the major challenges faced by the world today.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

•  (ILO1) Critically evaluate existing marketing practices and the impact they have on the environment/community in which they operate.
•  (ILO2) Describe and critically assess existing frameworks/initiatives that aim to promote more sustainable business/marketing practices. 
•  (ILO3) Develop a clear understanding of the role of marketing in addressing current societal challenges.

Intellectual skills

•  (ILO4) Develop tools/measures to assess the impact business/ marketing practices have on the environment/community in which they operate.
•  (ILO5) Assess the connection between marketing and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs).

Practical skills

•  (ILO6) Collect and analyse data to assess the impact businesses have on the environment and society.
•  (ILO7) Design creative solutions of how marketing could contribute to solving current societal challenges.
•  (ILO8) Create a connection between economic performance and environmental success. 

Transferable skills and personal qualities

•  (ILO9) Develop a sustainability mindset.
•  (ILO10) Create an understanding of different market contexts and cultural environments.


Topic 1: Revisiting the role of the firm in society
Topic 2: Sustainable business/marketing frameworks
Topic 3: The role of marketing in poverty reduction (SDG 1)
Topic 4: The role of marketing in good health and wellbeing (SDG 3)
Topic 5: The role of marketing in promoting economic growth (SDG 8) 
Topic 6: The role of marketing in reducing Inequality (SDG 10)
Topic 7: The role of marketing in promoting sustainable consumption (SDG 12)
Topic 9: The role of marketing in climate action (SDG 13)
Topic 10: Defining Impact
Topic 11: Sustainable business models and sustainable transformations
Topic 12: Social Entrepreneurship
Topic 13: Our business environment: enabler or inhibitor?

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures – Lecture will be used to develop a solid understanding of theoretical concept and existing body of knowledge.
Workshops – During the seminars, activities will be set up to encourage critical discussion of the theoretical concepts presented during the lectures.
Case studies – Students will be asked to analyse case studies.
Industry partnerships – Students will be asked to advise companies based on real life challenges.

Assessment methods

Critical analysis assignment 60%
Group Presentation 40%

Formative Assessment task
Summary video of critical analysis assignment

Feedback methods

Feedback will be provided on BB within 15 working days

Recommended reading

de Ruyter, K., Keeling, D. I., Plangger, K., Montecchi, M., Scott, M. L., & Dahl, D. W. (2021). Reimagining marketing strategy: driving the debate on grand challenges. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science. Springer.
Farmer, R. N. (1967). Would you want your daughter to marry a marketing man? Journal of Marketing, 31(1), 1–3.
Hitchcock, D. E., & Willard, M. L. (2006). The Business Guide to Sustainability: Practical Strategies and Tools for Organizations. Earthscan.
Lenox, M., & Chatterji, A. (2018). Can Business Save the Earth? In Can Business Save the Earth? Stanford University Press.
Sheth, J. N., Sethia, N. K., & Srinivas, S. (2011). Mindful consumption: a customer-centric approach to sustainability. Journal of the academy of marketing science, 39(1), 21–39.
Sheth, J., Sethia, N., & Srinivas, S. (2011). Mindful Consumption: A Customer-Centric Approach to Sustainability. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 39, 21–39.
Smith, N. (2009). Bounded goodness: Marketing implications of Drucker on corporate responsibility. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 37, 73–84.


Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 30
Independent study hours
Independent study 120

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Magda Hassan Unit coordinator

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