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TH977 - Brands and Meanings: Theory & Practice

  • Module code: TH977
  • Module name: Brands and Meanings: Theory & Practice
  • Department: School of Theatre & Performance Studies and Cultural & Media Policy Studies
  • Credit: 20

Content and teaching | Assessment | Availability

Module content and teaching

Principal aims

In this module you will consider the state of branding and marketing in the 21st century. You will also develop your understanding of the research methods used to deliver market insight as well as to account for the elusive concept of meaning which unifies both brand management and cultural reception. You will explore semiotics and marketing theory as frameworks within which to understand brands and their symbolic value, and will be encouraged to relate these theories of branding to theories of consumption through the consideration of a variety of perspectives applied to generate consumer insight, including ethnography, neuroscience, behavioural economics, and a variety of methods of engaging consumers in the research process ( co-creation and crowd-sourcing). In the third part of the module you will be invited to connect these theoretical insights to the practical challenges of communication through the study of 'ecosystems' of communication, including multimedia channels, the cultural content of communication, new technologies of communication and customisation, and buzz/ambient and apply these methods in a practical project.

Principal learning outcomes

Students will demonstrate an understanding of the theory and common practices behind the consumer insight industry, explaining the meaning of semiotics and how it can be applied to understand a variety of cultural phenomena. They will understand and assess the impact of the media, cultural and sociological contexts on the development of consumer society and the consumer insight industry demonstrating an ability to assess the aptness of various consumer insight techniques to address business problems of consumer understanding or brand strategy and communication.

Timetabled teaching activities

Lectures, Seminars and tutorials.

Departmental link

Other essential notes

Centre for Cultural Policy Studies module

Module assessment

Assessment group Assessment name Percentage
20 CATS (Module code: TH977-20)
A (Assessed work only) Assessed Course Work 80%
Assessed Course Work 20%

Module availability

This module is available on the following courses:



Optional Core


  • Postgraduate Taught Creative and Media Enterprises (W4P4) - Year 2
  • Postgraduate Taught Global Media and Communication (W4PG) - Year 2
  • Postgraduate Taught International Cultural Policy and Management (W4PM) - Year 2
  • Postgraduate Taught Arts, Enterprise and Development (W4PQ) - Year 2