Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Social Marketing: Theory and Practice

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course



DESCRIPTION With millions of euro spent annually to combat social problems like HIV/AIDS, smoking, food risk, obesity, teen dieting, drug/alcohol abuse, skin cancer and environmental pollution, social marketing has come to play an increasingly important role both in scholarly work and in practise. Social marketing draws on a range of social sciences and marketing concepts and techniques to achieve behavioural goals for a social good.

The unit presents students with theory and applications of social marketing. Students will learn to analyse real world problems and develop solutions using social marketing frameworks and informed by insights from theory and literature.

Study-unit Aims:

The aim of this study-unit is to draw upon behavioural change theories, case studies and contemporary applications to impart in students an ability to develop, to implement as well as to critically evaluate social marketing initiatives.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

• discern distinctions between social and other forms of marketing;
• apply a range of behavioural change theories to social marketing;
• design a research project to inform a social marketing intervention;
• design a strategy to implement a social marketing intervention;
• critically synthesize a range of real life social marketing case studies;
• understand the ethical challenges involved in social change initiatives;
• consider the possible unintended consequences of interventions.

2. Skills
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

• apply written and oral skills to communicate a social marketing plan;
• design, implement and evaluate a social marketing intervention;
• apply theory to concrete proposals in the field;
• critically assess propositions related to behavioural change interventions;
• integrate and synthesise insights from a range of sources and environments;
• analyse independently, and systematically.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:


- Hastings G. Social Marketing: Why should the devil have all the best tunes? (2007) Elsevier, Oxford.
- Kotler, P., and Lee, N.R. Social marketing: Influencing behaviors for good, (2008), 3rd edition, Sage, Thousand Oaks, California.


- Andreasen, A.R., (2003). The life trajectory of social marketing. Marketing Theory, 3(3), pp. 293-303.
- Darnton, A., (2008). GSR behaviour change knowledge review overview of behaviour change models and their uses briefing note for policy makers. Centre for Sustainable Development, University of Westminster.
- Rosthschild, M.L. (1979). Marketing communications in nonbusiness situations or why it's so hard to sell brotherhood like soap. Journal of Marketing, 43(2), pp. 11-20.
- Rothschild, M.L. (2001) A few behavioural economics insights for social marketers, Social Marketing Quarterly. 7(3), pp. 9–13.


- Ajzen, I., 1992. Persuasive communication theory in social psychology: A historical perspective. Influencing human behavior. In: Influencing human behavior: Theory and applications in recreation, tourism, and natural resource management, Publisher: Champaign, IL: Sagamore Publishing, Editors: M. J. Manfredo, pp.1–27.
- Ajzen, I., 1991. The theory of planned behaviour. Organisational behavior and human decision processes, 50(2), pp. 179-211.
- Andreasen, A.R., 2002. Marketing social marketing in the social change marketplace. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 21(1), pp. 3-13.
- Bator, R.J. and Cialdini, R.B., 2000. The application of persuasion theory to the development of effective proenvironmental public service announcements. Journal of Social Issues, 56(3), pp. 527-541.
- Bertrand, M., Mullainathan, S. and Shafir, E., 2006. Behavioral economics and marketing in aid of decision making among the poor. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 25(1), pp. 8-23.
- Cialdini, R.B., 2005. Basic social influence is underestimated. Psychological Inquiry, 16(4), pp. pp. 158-161.
- Kollmuss, A. and Agyeman, J., 2002. Mind the gap: Why do people act environmentally and what are the barriers to pro-environmental behavior? Environmental education research, 8(3), pp. 239-260.
- Kotler, P. and Zaltman, G., 1971. Social marketing: An approach to planned social change. Journal of Marketing, 35(3), pp. 3-12.
- Peattie, K. and Peattie, S., 2009. Social marketing: A pathway to consumption reduction? Journal of Business Research, 62(2), pp. 260-268.
- Prochaska, J.O., Diclemente, C.C. and Norcross, J.C., 1992. In search of how people change. American Psychologist, 47, pp. 1102.


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM2 Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Marie Briguglio

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2019/0, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.