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Marketing in the 21st century

The economic turmoil of the last few years has required organisations to undertake more creative marketing as well as be more responsive to the needs of the market. This online module explores a variety of marketing issues that emerge from marketing planning, such as marketing research, marketing segmentation, targeting and positioning. You will draw upon current theories and examples that illustrate how organisations of all sizes deal with environmental challenges and through this gain a strong appreciation of how marketing principles will not only benefit your organisation, but also how you can use these to improve your own performance.

Vocational relevance

This module uses a variety of theories, case studies examples and multi-media that reflects our changing times. The module provides both marketing and non-marketing practitioners with the marketing knowledge and skills to make a practical difference to their work. The knowledge and skills gained will be of value to you regardless of whether or not you currently hold a marketing role.


BB844 is an optional module in our:

Excluded combinations

Sometimes you will not be able to count a module towards a qualification if you have already taken another module with similar content. To check any excluded combinations relating to this module, visit our excluded combination finder or check with an adviser before registering.


Module code


  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
Study level
Across the UK, there are two parallel frameworks for higher education qualifications, the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Northern Ireland and Wales (FHEQ) and the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). These define a hierarchy of levels and describe the achievement expected at each level. The information provided shows how OU postgraduate modules correspond to these frameworks.
OU Postgraduate
Study method
Distance learning
Find out more in Why the OU?
Module cost
See Module registration
Entry requirements

Find out more about entry requirements.

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What you will study

This module is delivered online, and is designed to appeal to both marketing professionals and those managers in other professions. Drawing upon the introduction to marketing in MBA stage 1: management: perspectives and practice (B716), this module develops a broader understanding of how marketing impacts upon the manager and how, when successfully used, can lead to increased job and organisational performance.

This is achieved through a combination of theory, examples, video clips, podcasts and, more importantly, a collection of activities that relate to your role as a manager and is equally relevant whether you work in the public, private or voluntary sector.

BB844 encourages you to appreciate and understand how marketing forms a central aspect of an organisation’s performance within the market place. You will study a combination of theory and see how this is applied by organisations. However, as marketing raises a number of ethical issues, these issues are raised with the specific intention of encouraging you to assess what you would have done in that situation.

There is one module assignment and one end-of-module assessment. These have a central theme of resolving a work based problem by drawing on the various learning activities that you undertake. This approach encourages you to view your learning in incremental stages, recognising how marketing can better inform you and ultimately allows you to resolve a real life work problem.

Complimenting your learning will be your tutor who will support you in undertaking your activities, as well as implementing a number of group discussions. This aims to ensure you have a motivating and challenging learning experience that delivers real and practical outcomes to improve your own job performance.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You will have a tutor who will help you with the study material and mark and comment on your assignments and whom you can ask for advice and guidance. You will contact your tutor by telephone, email or via your tutor group forum on the BB844 website.

Contact us if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.


The assessment details can be found in the facts box above.

You must use the online eTMA system to submit your tutor-marked assignment (TMA) and end-of-module assessment (EMA).

Course work includes

1 Tutor-marked assignment (TMA)
End-of-module assessment
No residential school

Future availability

Marketing in the 21st century starts twice a year – in May and November. This page describes the module that will start in November 2019 and May 2020 when we expect it to start for the last time.


As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the academic regulations which are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website.

    Entry requirements

    If you are studying this module as part of a qualification, such as the MBA (Master of Business Administration) (F61), you will need to have already completed MBA stage 1: management: perspectives and practice (B716). Your first module in Stage 2 of the MBA will be the compulsory module The dynamics of strategy (BB835). The next module you must study is Corporate finance (BB831), although you may choose to study an elective module alongside this 15 credits of compulsory finance study.

    Alternatively it is possible to study this module on a standalone basis. You will need to ensure that you have the knowledge and experience to study at postgraduate level. Please note that if you wish to study towards a qualification at a later date you must meet the entry requirements for that qualification.

    You will also need an appropriate facility in English language, sufficient to be able to work effectively at postgraduate level; generally this means capability equivalent to an International English Language Test System (IELTS) score of 6.5. To assess your English language skills in relation to your proposed studies you can visit the IELTS website. If you are unsure whether your skill level in English is adequate you may find it helpful to look at our Skills for OU Study site.

    If you have any doubt about the suitability of the module, please speak to an adviser.


    Start End England fee Register
    02 Nov 2019 Apr 2020 £1490.00

    Registration closes 17/10/19 (places subject to availability)

    02 May 2020 Oct 2020 £1490.00

    Registration closes 16/04/20 (places subject to availability)

    This module is expected to start for the last time in May 2020.

    Future availability

    Marketing in the 21st century starts twice a year – in May and November. This page describes the module that will start in November 2019 and May 2020 when we expect it to start for the last time.

    Additional costs

    Study costs

    There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as a laptop, travel to tutorials, set books and internet access.

    Ways to pay

    We know there’s a lot to think about when choosing to study, not least how much it’s going to cost and how you can pay.

    That’s why we keep our fees as low as possible and offer a range of flexible payment and funding options, including a postgraduate loan, if you study this module as part of an eligible qualification. To find out more, see Fees and funding.

    Study materials

    What's included

    Online study units and other web-based materials, including the BB844 website, study guide and online discussion forums. 

    Computing requirements

    A computing device with a browser and broadband internet access is required for this module. Any modern browser will be suitable for most computer activities. Functionality may be limited on mobile devices.

    Any additional software will be provided, or is generally freely available. However, some activities may have more specific requirements. For this reason, you will need to be able to install and run additional software on a device that meets the requirements below.

    A desktop or laptop computer with either:

    • Windows 7 or higher
    • Mac OS X 10.7 or higher

    The screen of the device must have a resolution of at least 1024 pixels horizontally and 768 pixels vertically.

    To join in the spoken conversation in our online rooms we recommend a headset (headphones or earphones with an integrated microphone).

    Our Skills for OU study website has further information including computing skills for study, computer security, acquiring a computer and Microsoft software offers for students.

    If you have a disability

    Elements of this module are delivered online and include the use of real-time online discussions and an interactive whiteboard space; consequently time spent using a computer and the internet will be extensive. If you use assistive technology or have a hearing or speech impairment and have concerns about accessing this type of virtual environment and materials you can visit the system provider's website for information and contact The Open University to discuss it further before registering.

    Written transcripts of any audio components and Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) versions of printed material are available. Some Adobe PDF components may not be available or fully accessible using a screen reader. Alternative formats of the study materials may be available in the future.

    If you have particular study requirements please tell us as soon as possible, as some of our support services may take several weeks to arrange. Visit our Disability support website to find more about what we offer.