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Consumer Psychology with Business - MSc/PGDip/PGCert

Course content

This course is also offered as an MA.

Have you ever wondered why you can remember an advert from your childhood but haven’t a clue what adverts you saw yesterday? Or maybe you’ve been in a supermarket and wondered why all of the cartoon characters on cereal boxes are looking down. If so you’re probably interested in consumer psychology. Consumer psychology is a specialty area of psychology that studies how feelings, beliefs, and perceptions influence the way consumers buy and relate to goods and services.

This exciting new discipline uses psychological insight and research and applies it to the problems facing markeeters, helping them make better decisions. For example, if a brand is developing a new advertisement, it is essential that it grabs consumers’ attention. Not only should it grab attention, but marketeers will want to ensure that consumers learn the targeted message - and psychologists can help achieve this. For over a hundred years psychologists have studied concepts including: attention, perception, decision-making learning and motivation to name a few. While these have traditionally been studied in a laboratory based system, the relevance to marketing is obvious. By applying principles generated from learning psychology and our knowledge of how the visual system works, psychologists are able to develop advertisements that are more effective at capturing attention and more likely to be remembered.

Today consumer psychologists are working for some of the largest companies tackling questions ranging from the relatively simple (for example which product packaging grabs the most attention) to the hugely complex (how should the National Health Service use behaviour-changing interventions to reduce waiting times?). In order to help answer these questions techniques used range from traditional focus groups, questionnaires, and crowd-sourced data to the more specialised psychological based approaches including: laboratory experiments, brain imaging and eye tracking. 

This exciting new course will focus on the latest theoretical developments and explain how science is influencing: advertising, branding, consumer decision-making, merchandising, packaging store design and more. This course is perfect for any graduate wishing to start, or further develop a career in Consumer Psychology and Business and is delivered by schools that enjoy an international reputation in their respective fields.

The Teaching Team

Unlike many university courses, which are taught by academics that have no experience outside of academia, all of the teaching team on this course are either practising consumer psychologists, business consultants or both. Over the last ten years, the teaching team has independently worked on projects for companies including: Aldi, Cadburys, Iceland, Kraft, Mars, Tesco, Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Walkers to name a few. The team are also regular contributors to both the BBC and Sky News, featuring on programmes ranging from the Today programme on Radio 4, to Don’t Get Done Get Dom. Not only do the teaching team regularly undertake consultancy work for companies but also a number of staff have permanent positions as scientific advisors for both advertising agencies and shopper research agencies’. Members of the teaching team are active members of both the British Psychological Society (BPS), Society for Consumer Psychology and the Association for Consumer Research. The teaching team is:

Facilities

All research students in the Psychology Department have access to a range of state of the art research laboratories, that are used both for teaching Consumer Psychology and when completing dissertation and research projects. These facilities include:

  • Three dedicated consumer psychology testing laboratories
  • Portable Eye-tracking equipment (used for analysing how consumers behave in a retail environment)
  • Static eye-tracking equipment (used for analysing how consumers interact with webpages)
  • Facial Tracking equipment: (used for analysing how effective advertisements are at attracting consumers’ attention)
  • BIOPACs: (A device used to measure participants physiological responses e.g. heart rate, Galvanic Skin Response. For example to assess the psychological impact that advertisements have. 
  • A dedicated MRI/fMRI scanner: Used for conducting neuromarketing projects. For example read about a commercial neuormarketing project conducted at Bangor University investigating how consumers react to special offers while shopping here.
  • Five independent Electrophysiology (EEG) laboratories: Again used for conducting neuromarketing projects, but this is the equipment that the majority of the world’s leading neuromarketing agencies use.

Watch Professor James Intriligator, previous programme lead, talk about Consumer Psychology in this British Council video.

Student Comments and Profiles

"Thank you so much for running such a fantastic course as I think without this I wouldn’t have stood a chance of landing a place on the Ipsos Mori graduate scheme- all the presentations we did definitely helped. I think they loved my passion for brands and consumer-psychology stuff which is down to you and the awesome lectures. The job is in the ASI department which means I’m looking at consumer opinions of brands and adverts and all stuff like that which is amazing and pretty much exactly one of the things I wanted to do and it will really make use of my Psych stuff and especially my consumer psych stuff." LEANNE FOSTER, MSc Consumer Psychology and Business, 2013

To get a taste of what life as a postgraduate student in the School of Psychology is like, you may want to read the profiles of some of our current and past Postgraduate students.

Scholarships and Funding

You can find out more about Scholarships and funding sources here.

Course content is for guidance purposes only and may be subject to change.


Visit the Consumer Psychology with Business - MSc/PGDip/PGCert page on the Bangor University website for more details!

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